Litkicks Message Board Archive

Thanks pottygok

Posted to Poetry




Thanks for looking at this for me...

>Some of the crushed bulbs
>at the front of the house
>still flashed a little at the filament.

Is this possible? I like the image, but it may teeter into the speculative a bit too heavily.

Yeah, I know what you mean. For me, it basically just sets the atmosphere for the poem. The subject is supposed to be mentally ill, so could this image not be evidence of their mental state, i.e. a delusion, hallucination?

>The tapwater ran outside
>into grass, hair and lice molasses

"lice molasses"?

'Molasses' is supposed to describe the garden as crawling with insects almost, because molasses is word describing something as being thick and syrup like, isn't it? It's also, again, to give a description of the subject's illness, imagining these images....do they work in that respect? Plus, I like the sound of 'hair and lice molasses', which was really my main reason for writing it.

>underneath the spare bricks.
>I was sat outside the entrance

Watch the grammar of this line. Also, "to be" and "sat" are weak words, imagewise. What else can you do outside the entrance? "crouch" "perch" "curl" etc.

Yeah, I'll look for another word which will hopefully suggest the subject's illness and state of mind even more.

>with my head held in my knees,
>waiting for the nurse
>to move in my things.

>There's space still available here.

I want this line to have the word "vacancie" in it. Something like a rental advertisement, or something.

Well, it came from a previous revision, where I had this stanza that employed the language of a mental hospital's brochure. That was the tone I was going for, detached, emotionless, but it didn't suit the rest of the poem so I instead kept this line and chopped the rest.

I don't know whether I could include the word 'vancancie' in this particular line, because I want the title to retain its double meaning. The double meaning, for me, is that line specifically, and then the subject's eventual (well, as I've intended it to be intepreted as) mental collapse.


>As I followed him inside, I swore
>I could smell my mother;

What's the smell, exactly. Good line, just go deeper, into our senses.

Well, by the semi-colon, I intended it to be read as their mother having a similar smell to that of paint, his mother having some kind of poisonous effect on him, maybe leading to his situation. It probably doesn't come across though, and I don't think I explored that enough for other people to make the connection.

>somebody had painted all the walls
>yellow, so they would look wider.
>The carpet was free of any rogue hairs
>that might've fallen from me;

take out "from me", you cover that in the next two lines more vividly.

>they hired somebody a week before
>to shave my head and body.
>I lit up my last cigarette,
>ventured upstairs, found my dorm
>just next to the bathroom and reminded
>myself of the rules:
>NO RAZORS, NO SHOELACES.

I would repeat the "there is space available here" line, or what ever it mutates to, right after this stanza again. Make it a solid refrain.

Yeah, good idea... so do you suggest it should read slightly differently at each refrain, to vary the meaning after each stanza?

>I heard the pipes click
>and turn over water,
>the constant rhythms of bones

rhythm takes out the double plural, and doesn't hurt the poem any.

>that sit between chlorinate walls.
>And I watched the nurse
>as he prepared our supper;
>he came into my room every day
>with the food, pulling the trolley behind him.
>While swallowing yellow root
>and spiderflower, being fed by hand,
>I noticed that his fingers had a strangeness,
>a fluid and regular movement.

Tighten this image up. This is the last thing the reader will remember, so really nail us with these lines.

Is the last line, the description of the nurse's fingers, a little too vague to have any impact? I did have a different version; "a fluid yet affected movement", would that communicate more to the reader?



Again pottygok, thanks for looking at this, your comments are really appreciated.

Cheers.