language deconstructed:


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  1. #1

    language deconstructed:

    Who taught him words — need,
    that terrible master, chalk-dusted hands
    permanently ready to strike the cheek?

    Perhaps he has no words, words
    being creatures of the shared, crablike
    critters that scuttle across space,

    that slide down the conch ear,
    like children enjoying the water slide,
    until dunked in a gasp of thought.

    Eyes, body, skin and smell, hold the links
    forged with the spoken word
    into a chain that binds each to the other.

    He, alone, needs no such linkage,
    is mute
    as he endures the pause between visits.

    Has he thoughts
    then — or do they, too,
    need words?

    Perhaps time is perpetually about —
    a pattern that ensnares him,
    constricts him as ideas circle like sharks.

    Or time is a flick of the switch,
    He is off, he is on,
    waiting, rage, back to waiting, so on.

    He may howl, as if he could see the moon,
    scream pain out into the darkness,
    sound to create a chance of light?

    Perhaps he throws stones into the dark,
    the clink of them hitting
    seconds to hours to years passing.

    Or he uses stones to sharpen his horns
    so despite the boredom of time
    they remain as sharp as his unspoken rage.

    If he had words
    could he have unraveled his rage —
    or is that the tale’s sadness,

    inherent in his plight
    the dark as a constant companion
    he must always succumb?

    If he thought, his thoughts might,
    for a time, confine the rage
    so that it simmers like an unused cock.

    In the end, though,
    his thoughts fail him, as thoughts must —
    when left alone they create madness.

    No matter how many time the rage,
    no matter the times just after the blood —
    the regret, the promises, new beginnings

    he sits amongst ruined bodies,
    innocent lunges squeezing out final words
    he cannot understand,

    the smell of decay pressing against him,
    like fingers poking, asking the question
    he cannot answer

    all that persists with the beast
    left in the ruin of bones is the wish
    he had the words to find solace.

  2. #2
    But where are the Minotaurs?

    Kidding. This is great. I’ll write some real feedback later.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    WF Veteran SilverMoon's Avatar
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    Danny, yet another chance to examine the academic inherent in your work. I spent some time reading up on Deconstructionism (you choose a whopper!) in hope to address your poem with the best I’ve of what I’ve gleaned. Here, I savored your metaphorical twist and turns. Richer, than ever.

    Who taught him words — need, are essential?
    That terrible master, chalk-dusted hands
    permanently ready to strike the cheek? Unlike the Formalist who places importance on structure and literary devices, that terrible master, teacher of Deconstructionism purports that words are insignificant.

    [Perhaps he has no words, words
    being creatures of the shared, crablike
    critters that scuttle across space,] The breaking down of language

    [that slide down the conch ear, great imagery!
    like children enjoying the water slide,] In contrast to the whole, actually haunting
    [until dunked in a gasp of thought.] Deconstructionism causes us to question and revise everything we were told about the world.

    Eyes, body, skin and smell, hold the “links”
    forged with the spoken word
    into a chain that binds each to the other”. It asserts that words only refer to other words*

    He, alone, needs no such linkage,
    is mute *
    “as he endures the pause between visits”. Beautiful wording but unclear as to meaning

    Has he thoughts

    then — or do they, too,
    need words? “Words are not fully present to us”

    Perhaps time is perpetually about —
    a pattern that ensnares him,
    constricts him as ideas circle like sharks. What an absolutely brilliant twist!!!

    Or time is a flick of the switch,
    He is off, he is on,
    waiting, rage, back to waiting, so on.

    He may howl as if he could see the moon, at a moon, unseen (slant -
    scream pain out into the darkness,
    sound to create a chance of light?

    Perhaps he throws stones into the dark,
    the clink of them hitting maybe another word?
    seconds to hours to years passing.

    Or he uses stones to sharpen his horns Maybe "tongue" but to no avail. Make this the focus of verse? Love the "stone sharpening"
    so despite the boredom of time
    they remain as sharp as his unspoken rage.

    If he had words He cannot. Language is unstable or impossible in the Deconstructionist world
    could he have unraveled his rage —
    or is that the tale’s sadness,

    inherent in his plight
    the dark as a constant companion
    he must (must he) always succumb?

    If he thought, his thoughts might, [like you driving this home]
    for a time, confine the rage
    so that it simmers like an unused cock. [Great slant rhymes and striking imagery not easy to forget]

    In the end, though,
    his thoughts fail him, as thoughts must —
    when left alone they create madness. [Thoughts, left too long alone, are like a feral animal. Perfectly, put!]

    No matter
    how many time the rage,
    no matter the times just after the blood — like the repeating
    the regret, the promises, new beginnings

    he sits amongst ruined bodies, now soulless bodies
    innocence lunges, squeezing out final words
    he cannot understand, for language can never be mastered, comprehended

    the smell of decay pressing against him,
    like fingers poking, asking the question
    he cannot answer Can a smell ask a question?

    all that persists within the beast sans organic language, we lose our humanity, soul. Does this not render us a beast?
    left in the ruin of bones is the wish
    he had the words to find solace How can solace be found where words are nothing but an analytic examination in order to reveal their inadequacy. This is a heartbreaking ending.

    Thank you, Danny who always manages to marry the intellect and visceral with such skill. Laurie
    Last edited by SilverMoon; November 5th, 2017 at 11:43 PM.
    “The man who cannot visualize a horse galloping on a tomato is an idiot.”
    Andre Breton

  4. #4
    Hi Jen,

    thanks for the feedback - this poem attempts to work through Deconstructionism and uses the Minotaur as the central figure - that may help with that "he alone..." - then again it might just be that those three lines don't work. Part of this is trying to work through how things like Deconstructionism etc are attempts to replace the more "mythic" or "alchemic" thoughts of past generations (and so in truth this poem connects to the poem Literalism not just through the Minotaur, but also through this idea of past world-views being replaced by the new ones).

    I must admit being a bit concerned in referencing Deconstrucionalism - it has been many many years since I actually looked at it - (late 70's I was a language & literature student before theatre took control of my bodily functions).


    Again thank you

    Danny

  5. #5
    WF Veteran SilverMoon's Avatar
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    Hi, Danny....that would be "Laurie" - (but Jen is a lovely name. Hi, Jen!) I suppose I took your title to an entirely different level but did learn much about Deconstructionism as it pertains to Literature. Nearly impossible to define so exploring the theoretical was interesting.

    Seriously, I will have to re-read because I did not get reference to the Minotaur. I had thought your reference to "He" was akin to the "Royal We"

    Now, if you had titled your poem "The Minotaur" I would have looked this up immediately only to discover you were referring to my ex-husband - the bullheaded beast....

    I must admit being a bit concerned in referencing Deconstrucionalism
    No worry. Now, just a ghost of a thought

    I'm all linked out by now but will become properly acquainted with this Greek shortly.

    Thanks for explaining. Laurie
    Last edited by SilverMoon; November 6th, 2017 at 02:15 AM.
    “The man who cannot visualize a horse galloping on a tomato is an idiot.”
    Andre Breton

  6. #6
    Hi Laurie,

    sorry Jen's my wife - oops.

  7. #7
    Sorry, that was a long 'later', but I'd like to go through this comprehensively and make some comments (in red)

    Quote Originally Posted by dannyboy View Post
    Who taught him words — need,
    that terrible master, chalk-dusted hands
    permanently ready to strike the cheek?

    I always like work that starts off with a question, even one I cannot possibly comprehend the meaning of. So a strong opening as expected. Good, vivid image. Not a fan of 'terrible'. I think that's a little unimaginative and unmelodic. I would replace it with 'monstrous master'. I think you could do a pretty neat little double act with:

    "that monstrous master, chalk-CRUSTED hands"


    Perhaps he has no words? Words
    being creatures of the shared, crablike
    critters that scuttle across space,

    ^ Excellent verse. No complaints.

    that slide down the conch ear,
    like children enjoying the water slide,
    until dunked in a gasp of thought.

    Great image with the conch ear and overall this is good. I just think it could be a little more poetic. I think sometimes you miss out on opportunities to really inject some extra 'oomph'.

    How do you feel about?

    "that crawl down the conch's ear,
    like children cascade down waterfalls
    to be doused in gasping thought"


    Eyes, body, skin and smell, hold the links
    forged with the spoken word
    into a chain that binds each to the other.

    ^Good!

    He, alone, needs no such linkage,
    is mute
    as he endures the pause between visits.

    ^I like this right up to "pause between visits". Just not strong enough to end a stanza. I know it might be bordering on cliche but I almost would prefer "as he endures the passage of time". It links back to your labyrinthian motifs Or "as he endures the tortures of time"


    Has he thoughts
    then — or do they, too,
    need words?

    Good

    Perhaps time is perpetually about —
    a pattern that ensnares him,
    constricts him as ideas circle like sharks

    Big fan of sharks in anything.

    Or time is a flick of the switch,
    He is off, he is on,
    waiting, rage, back to waiting, so on.

    He may howl, as if he could see the moon,
    scream pain out into the darkness,
    sound to create a chance of light?

    Is this a question? It does not read like one.


    Perhaps he throws stones into the dark,
    the clink of them hitting
    seconds to hours to years passing.

    Or he uses stones to sharpen his horns
    so despite the boredom of time
    they remain as sharp as his unspoken rage.

    ^Ah, horns! I love that. Great image-play with stones. Brilliant.


    If he had words
    could he have unraveled his rage —
    or is that the tale’s sadness,

    inherent in his plight
    the dark as a constant companion
    he must always succumb?



    If he thought, his thoughts might,
    for a time, confine the rage
    so that it simmers like an unused cock.

    In the end, though,
    his thoughts fail him, as thoughts must —
    when left alone they create madness.

    No matter how many time the rage,
    no matter the times just after the blood —
    the regret, the promises, new beginnings

    he sits amongst ruined bodies,
    innocent lunges squeezing out final words
    he cannot understand,

    the smell of decay pressing against him,
    like fingers poking, asking the question
    he cannot answer

    all that persists with the beast
    left in the ruin of bones is the wish
    he had the words to find solace.

    Not sure about 'to find solace'. Nothing wrong with it, but I find it a little squibby as an end note. I would prefer it simply "he had the words." Would construct more or less the same meaning I think, and is much less spelling-it-out.

  8. #8
    Hi VB - thanks so very much,

    I'll work on this over the day and respond later. Plenty to think about!

  9. #9
    language deconstructed: (edit 1)

    Who taught him words — need,
    that pitiless master, chalk-dusted hands
    permanently ready to strike the cheek?

    Perhaps he has no words? Words
    being creatures of the shared, crablike
    critters that scuttle across space,

    slide down the conch ear,
    children relishing the water slide,
    until dunked in a gasp of cold thought.

    Eyes, body, skin and smell, hold the links
    forged with the spoken word
    into a chain that binds each to the other.

    He, alone, needs no such linkage,
    is mute
    as he endures the hiatus between visits.

    Has he thoughts
    then — or do they, too,
    need words?

    Perhaps time is perpetually about —
    a pattern that ensnares him,
    constricts him as ideas circle like sharks.

    Or time is a flick of the switch,
    He is off, he is on,
    waiting, rage, back to waiting, so on.

    He may howl, as if he could see the moon,
    scream pain out into the darkness,
    sound to create a chance of light.

    Perhaps he throws stones into the dark,
    the clink of them hitting
    seconds to hours to years passing.

    Or he uses stones to sharpen his horns
    so despite the boredom of time
    they remain as sharp as his unspoken rage.

    If he had words
    could he have unravelled his rage —
    or is that the tale’s sadness,

    inherent in his plight
    the dark as a constant companion
    he must always succumb?

    If he thought, his thoughts might,
    for a time, confine the rage
    so that it simmers like an unused cock.

    In the end, though,
    his thoughts fail him, as thoughts must —
    when left alone they create madness.

    No matter how many times the rage,
    no matter the times just after the blood —
    the regret, the promises, new beginnings.

    He sits amongst ruined bodies,
    innocent lungs squeeze out final words
    he cannot understand,

    the smell of decay presses against him,
    like fingers that poke and require
    an explanation he cannot provide.

    Left in the ruin of bones
    the beast yearns for words
    to construct an exit.

  10. #10
    I can't believe I didn't mention it the first time around but...

    ...'unused cock'?

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