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  • Denials

    under yellow den of curls
    a scar from lip to temple
    purple rope across his cheek
    the one-eyed cupid squinted
    with a veteran’s wry contempt
    and wagged a fleshless finger
    before his uptorn leeching
    mouth at me as I saw him
    hiss wir wussten ja von nichts



    Last edited by grant hayes; 10-17-2018, 06:45 PM.

  • #2
    Perfectly described the man who stayed up all night trying to find meaning in my poetry

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    • #3
      Sorry for the poor joke. I liked this. It vividly tells a story

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      • grant hayes
        grant hayes commented
        Editing a comment
        It was a good joke Thanks, Parkinsonspoet.

    • #4
      Sounds like a hanging to me! . . . Nicely done, Prof Grant! The scar was a nice touch!

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      • grant hayes
        grant hayes commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks, Prof Rhyme.

    • #5
      I think my dermatologist recited something like this just before he carved into my cheek.

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      • grant hayes
        grant hayes commented
        Editing a comment
        Oh no! Sorry, Bob, coincidence much. I need that disclaimer they put on the end of movies: "all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this production are fictitious. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred."

    • #6
      Ah, but is it the hanging man describing his smug executioner, or simply a witness account of the condemned man, in the throes of death?

      And what is it that is being denied?

      That was my second reading. As with most of your work, multiple interpretations come to mind.

      The surgeon succinctly plies his craft, with lexical precision, once again!

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      • grant hayes
        grant hayes commented
        Editing a comment
        It is kind of confusing, I daresay. I've come up with another version that is quite different and maybe more clear. Stay tuned!

    • #7
      Hello grant, What a powerful image you portray here. It is as if you are digging up a grave to find the truth and there buried but lies. 'Yellow den of curls', reminds me of the Nazi youth camps and from there to war's end and the battle-beaten storm trooper gurgling his last words and that, even in death, a lie or is he looking into your eyes before he pulls the trigger and then denial - I knew nothing. How you put yourself into the scene gives it a somewhat surreal effect and strengthens the image with the scars of a witness, as it were. I think this form becomes you; I felt the author was more relaxed, whereas, in some of your poetry, I could feel the strain, as if you were delving, perhaps a tad too deep - a dangerous place where gifted men can go mad in search of Nietzsche's Superman, Van Gogh's severed ear and the lost child.. This is a powerful poem, one for the tomes of poetry, I have no doubt. Fond regards, Tony.

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      • grant hayes
        grant hayes commented
        Editing a comment
        Strewth, Tony, I had no idea this short piece could have such an impact. I appreciate you sharing your very perspicacious appraisal of the imagery, themes, and implications of the nine lines - from the allusions of the German to the surreal effect.

        Where gifted men may go mad, a fool may survive - by dumb luck - or merely perish. I am such a fool.

    • #8
      I wonder what the German means, "it's nothing that I know?" and it makes me want to dive into German more seriously, for some reason I've stuck to French and Hebrew mostly. Good job, I enjoyed this, a different sort of shade of "wonder" here, and the structure of the lines which I detected a shift enjambing the penultimate lines together. or the last three really, yeah, that's enjoyable!

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      • grant hayes
        grant hayes commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi amenOra. Yes, there is certainly enjambment as you observe. Thank you for the kind appraisal; I feared the enjambment may have amounted merely to a jam! French and Hebrew - that's impressive! I've had to come to terms with German because much of the scholarship I consult is in that language.

      • amenOra
        amenOra commented
        Editing a comment
        Lol might be a bit more impressive if I could SPEAK them, I am still learning little by little but Language is forever I guess. This worked for me, enjambing and all, just was a definite switch, not a jam though. Peace!

    • #9
      Knowing yes from no
      befehl ist behfehl
      Nuremberg deemed hollow

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      • grant hayes
        grant hayes commented
        Editing a comment
        Ja, tatsächlich!

    • #10
      What strikes me (beyond the vivid imagery parlayed) was the use of 'saw'. You didn't highlight the pedestrian act of hearing - you instead 'saw' the excuse he hissed, as if his words rose to take shape in the air between you, floating a life of their own. Powerful.

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      • grant hayes
        grant hayes commented
        Editing a comment
        I like that you noticed that, Rhymist. It was the last thing I changed before posting the piece. I had put 'heard' in there as a kind of stop-gap. Clearly, I replaced it with the right word, as it has spoken so vividly to you

    • #11
      This reminded me of the Nuremberg trials and how humanity a times go by mans orders instead of the higher morals and conscience we were given. It’s very poignant and pushes to do self-examination. Are we followers or do we take accountability for our actions.

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      • grant hayes
        grant hayes commented
        Editing a comment
        That is a fine lesson to draw from these nine lines, Alexandra. I'm not sure I deserve such generous exigesis, when I am so full of faults.

    • #12
      By the look of it, I'll be needing to go over some of your previous works to fully understand.
      For, Ich wusste es auch nicht. (Two weeks of a German class finally pays off maybe.)

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      • grant hayes
        grant hayes commented
        Editing a comment
        You can join the large army of discerning folks who find my works, well, gratuitously opaque.

      • RhymeLovingWriter
        RhymeLovingWriter commented
        Editing a comment
        "Gratuitously opaque" made me LOL!

    • #13
      A different version:

      under yellow den of curls
      a welt from lip to temple
      the one-eyed angel rippled
      with a veteran’s wry contempt
      shook toward me a pulpit
      finger before his uptorn
      leeching mouth and I saw him
      hiss wir wussten ja von nichts
      Last edited by grant hayes; 10-17-2018, 08:49 PM.

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      • Rhymeboy
        Rhymeboy commented
        Editing a comment
        I like this version too . . . but the other version is more enigmatic and dramatic and so I like it much better. Either way Well done!

      • RhymeLovingWriter
        RhymeLovingWriter commented
        Editing a comment
        I agree with Rhymeboy. The first version pack more punch for me.

    • #14
      Grant - History shows that it takes some of man's madness to produce man's magic and I believe you've captured well some of each with this work and I liked it. No 'denials' here. Intriguing piece. Namyh

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