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Poor Poem

At the moment of birth

when you move into focus

my eyes burn

at deformities

and jaundice

the way you gulp for air.


The cord is broke

and blood sponged up


the wedding robes

are coarsely cut.


My flannel wipes

the spittle from your chin.


Every orifice is plugged.

You lack a soul


and afterthoughts

just rot inside the skin.


Sprinkle scent

spread the shroud


count the mourners

bearing flowers.


You disappear beneath

the weight of others

give or take

an occasional bump.

I’m already pregnant

once again.



◄ Insignia

Sexual Politics ►


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Ray Miller

Tue 15th May 2012 22:54

Harry -"Aristotle (somewhere)
talks about poetry using - sometimes - slightly strange, but relevant, words".I think it was probably Greece.
Thanks for the comments. The middle section, the couplets, can be better.

Originally, I did have "the cord is cut" but after a while it seemed too obvious and I also began thinking about vocal chords breaking. But I don't like it either. I'll come back to it one day.

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Tue 15th May 2012 14:06

It's fascinating the way changing one word can bring such different connotations. I can see why Laura likes 'cut' cos there is alliteration and it also re-inforces the purposeful separation - echoing what happens in childbirth.

For me 'broken' brought with it the idea of something imperfect - something that maybe couldn't be fixed...

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Laura Taylor

Tue 15th May 2012 13:30

Harry - I know, I make up words all the time too, but cords are pliable material, not rigid, so don't and can't break. It just jars with me.

Ray - smellevision is a concept that comes out of advertising I THINK. The idea's been around since I was a nipper, and how it works is that televisions emit smells of the stuff that's shown onscreen :) Sweaty socks, sausages, rotting stuff, flowers ;)

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Harry O'Neill

Tue 15th May 2012 12:35

Interested in the discussion about `broke`
between you and Laura. Aristotle (somewhere)
talks about poetry using - sometimes - slightly strange, but relevant, words. I think this is a demonstration.

By the way, when I looked at the title properly and `got` it (it`s my age) This is a good poem.

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Ray Miller

Tue 15th May 2012 11:19

Thanks, Laura. I think cord is broke is just about ok, though I know what you mean. Those four lines you highlight are the ones I like least - I was trying to give some sense of a life passing very quickly. Excuse my ignorance but what is smellevision?

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Laura Taylor

Mon 14th May 2012 09:51

The cord is 'broke'? Dunt sit right that, for me. Cords are cut, not 'broke'.

I like the title, and the piece overall* - another one who can identify with it. It's a bit like smellevision this, but poetry :D

* BUT - I would take these two verses and reduce them into something that makes more sense:

The cord is broke

and blood sponged up

the wedding robes

are coarsely cut.

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Ray Miller

Sun 13th May 2012 12:43

Thanks, Isobel.I can see me spending the rest of my life searching for an apt title for this sodding poem.By Poor Poem I mean in the sense of "Ah, poor poem!"feeling sorry fot it. The sentiments apply to any poem, though it's true a lot of mine are poor!I could call it Labour, I suppose, summat like that.

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Sat 12th May 2012 23:54

I'd say the poem is about what you say in the title - something you've created that isn't necessarily good enough to survive close scrutiny. And no - it doesn't take long before anything drowns beneath the weight of others - particularly on this site :)

It's a metaphor I've seen used in this way before, but maybe not taken to the same extremes.

'After thoughts just rot inside the skin' - I can identify with that. I think we've all released something out into the ether that we are less than happy with. It's hard to work up the enthusiasm to change it, once it has gone - and if we accept the ideas of other people too much, it ceases to feel like our own poem. It becomes bastardised - to continue your metaphor... :)

I struggled with the line 'A cord is broke' I want to add an n.

Other than that, an interesting read.

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Ray Miller

Sat 12th May 2012 20:39

Thanks, Steve and Yvonne. Much as I liked the previous title it was maybe OTT. Anyhow, I've tried to alter the tone a little.

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Yvonne Brunton

Fri 11th May 2012 20:56

By heck Ray, you gave me some uncomfortable feeling with this one.If, as Steve says, it's a metaphor for writing it is a jolly good one.Although writing is not as traumatic as excising the 'gems' one has produced that do not actually bear scrutiny. XX

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