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Aback of empties

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  • Aback of empties

    in skin of his mother
    webbed around his father’s heart-
    eye of the trick the nettle
    tricking of sisters-
    hands of a thousand fences
    gates and greeting the dog-
    and mornings mended
    with a slog of whistling--
    his lope of the storm and sentence
    weary to bench and brew-
    his betters learned and suns
    in quips on the barstool
    solving to burble done
    with sweat for the day--
    still standing by in the brain---

    here is your drink sir-
    here it’s yours the one you
    ordered here it’s yours
    um sir - y’right there?---

    man in his cups and cornered
    beetle black in amber
    has rorted in beads up glass
    an afterthought of ages--
    maybe an atom jesus
    riding reward on a crise-
    yes maybe up a drowning
    to the chorus-breezy hours-
    it’ll have to do for now-
    enough till someday to fix
    his laden look on taken
    helens aback of empties--
    they and all these eyefuls
    holding their place in the show
    have evermore to screw---

    from trafficked wounds
    the music taps a copied moon
    that grifts all cells to copy
    quicker along their tides---

    and quickened from her side
    his tune is footfall-
    skin kept up its long limn
    back to the mother germ-
    the diamond point of a poem
    the bullgod lipped in a vulcan steam--
    and eyeholes through the mantle
    of his own and any mindful-
    opened on brine in trickles damning
    cells from fish to kings--the cattle
    trodden hills that cities crowned
    would sprout their codes-
    the jaws of plowed up skulls
    cry out oh bind him
    angel for the spade---

    her night in his palm
    was there a time your dreams
    made a fool o'you tell
    tell me she’d said
    Last edited by grant hayes; 08-06-2018, 04:26 PM.

  • #2
    Hey -- so I 'approved' this post, I'm not sure why it was flagged. I can recover from the other one or keep it 'unapproved'. As for the content I shall be by later to check out the poetry, Be well.


    • #3
      Thanks amenOra. The message that came up when I posted said 'suspected spam'. That's kind of funny. My verse has the characteristics of some automated bot. Hahahahahahahaha!

      The other one could be deleted, if you can do that. It's the same content. I posted twice to try to beat the unapproval.


      • #4
        I've introduced a feature that I hope may assist with reading the poem. You may notice that there are dashes at the end of some lines, and of each stanza. These are meant to suggest when a breath might be taken. The single dash - stands for a short breath, made with only a slight pause, on the run, as it were. The double dash -.- stands for a full breath, one that might be noticed as a pause, but no longer than a single beat. The triple dash -.-.- , which comes at the end of each stanza, stands for a deep breath, which is meant to relieve and revive you before the next stanza. I have tried to integrate these breaths in such a way that the rhythm of the lines and the flow between lines are not impeded.
        Last edited by grant hayes; 08-02-2018, 08:20 PM.


        • #5
          A mesmerizing piece Grant. So much so that I didn't even notice the 'dashes' the first few times around. Once I read your comment and went back to read as you intended - I found myself focussing on them more than I wanted.

          What I like best about your formatting was the interplay of regular and italicized stanzas. It sets the whole piece into a lyrical mode in my mind, verse and chorus, although I know it's nothing like that. It helps my ear travel between the interior/exterior of the individual - what is happening inside of him set against what is happening around/outside of him.

          This is quite a moving poem. It speaks incredible ability to me. Keep writing man - so glad you are back.

          Also, I learned two new words, 'rorted' and 'chise'. As always, thanks for expanding my vocabulary!


          • grant hayes
            grant hayes commented
            Editing a comment
            I anticipated that the dashes could prove distracting, Rhymist, which is why I made them relatively unobtrusive. They are suggestions only, and probably could be honed more finely. I am aware that one can become breathless when reading pieces like this aloud, so I suppose I wanted to demonstrate that it is possible to recite them without asphyxiating

            Thank you for noticing the interplay between stanzas. The first and last of the four-line italicised stanzas are attempts to *earth* the poem with vernacular diction, and to help orient the reader in what might otherwise be too-too much unfamiliar locution. The second of the four-line stanzas is a comment *from above* as it were, at a distance from the everyman protagonist, using the exterior atmosphere to set up the next long stanza. The final four-line stanza, though it is simple in its final form, was the hardest to write. The poem was left *hanging* without this closure for a long time.

            Thank you so much for engaging with the piece and sharing your thoughts, Rhymist.

        • #6
          Well the diction was challenging but well used, so I learned some new words. Some of the phrasing was really striking, and with the bit of how to read it/translate the breath, nice. I did notice how it worked as you said, to sort of structure the flow a bit more. Challenging and beautiful. It's rife with what seem to be calls to, how do I say it, progressions of history and significance. It helped to read it aloud, to savor what I was seeing. I feel like Saturn energies inform this, it's about the weight of bearing Something. You point to "havings", like 'in the skin of his mother//webbed around his father's heart'. Which covers up his identity, so we see 'him' generally. 'trafficked' wounds is Something!-- Ending with 'her night in his palm'.
          Densely packed with a lot of interesting elements which have a 'traditional' feel, I feel echoings back to other "voices" in poetry! And the beauty of your way with words. Enjoyed the peaks and valleys. Thank you for sharing!


          • grant hayes
            grant hayes commented
            Editing a comment
            You really know how to capture your own reaction to a poem, amenOra. I wish I could do that as comprehensively as you. As always, you help me to focus better on aspects of a piece that I might have *taken for granted*. I know that may seem odd, but I find that being authorially close to the poem can actually obscure its features, in some ways. It's as if I have put something in the piece sub-consciously, almost by instinct, which it takes a perceptive reader like yourself to manifest fully. For example, I had not consciously *tried* to cover up the identity of the protagonist with those initial mother/father 'havings', but you are spot on regarding the effect: that he is generalised. I *felt* that I was doing that, without *knowing* so. And it *works* with regard to the rest of the poem. Thank you so much for your words; it's a privilege to be read thus.

        • #7
          So, in its four stanzas
          it goes, it seems to me,
          from the working-man's
          cameraderie through
          the concentration
          of inebriation
          to its dislocation
          of time and finds
          in a bullgod lipped
          in a vulcan steam
          the earlier realm
          of Poseidon.

          Perhaps I'm misled by
          an image of Schliemann's
          Mycenaen burial masks
          on an archeology programme
          I was watching last night
          and mantled eyeholes,
          volcanic cones.

          See how differently
          we read this.
          Last edited by Johntee; 07-30-2018, 05:54 AM.


          • grant hayes
            grant hayes commented
            Editing a comment
            From camaraderie to Mycenae suits me fine, Johntee. Helen was there in stanza three, after all, and Aegean tectonic turbulence underlies any bullgod. You read insightfully, methinks.

          • Johntee
            Johntee commented
            Editing a comment
            I'd missed Helen
            which might have
            saved further thought
            but too late, I mentally rewrote
            what yesterday I read
            to take the story
            of a night in its cups
            to its regretful dregs.

            I particularly liked
            "hands of a
            thousand fences gates
            greeting the dog"