Tuesday, August 02, 2005

An experiment with shorter lines

Something I don't do often. . .

What then, the burn?

Maybe the spattering
of cloves
on the counter

is a way
to believe
in strength. Chew

on one, suck
oil until it crumbles
into dust between

your molars.
Does it taste
like heart?

Does the squeal
of foreign light
make its way

to you now?
Burn hole in your tongue
eyes tongue.

Maybe years ago
the source
was clear, the sting

was a yellow puss-flower
on your skin
between your fingers.

What now?
What if I am leaving?
What burns then?

7 comments:

Penultimatina said...

You know I'm partial to short lines to begin with, but yeowza Mackenzie! I really connected with that, and the ending gave me chills (and not just the central air at work there).

A very worthy experiment indeed!

Lorna Dee Cervantes said...

I really like this poem, love it.

I worry about this line, though:

"Burn hole in your tongue
eyes tongue."

As everything else is in conventional grammatical units, this yanks me out of the sense & music of it, without the line satisfying in the end. (You may not even need it.) (?) "Burn-hole in your tongue/ eyes tongue"? It's a weird line. Stands out

"Burn a hole in your tongue,
eye tongue." (?)

And, it's the 3rd time in the poem "burn" appears.

Omit? Reword? Shake up the other lines thusly?

It's a little thing; poem shines through.

Scott Glassman said...

I second lorna's comment on the "burn a hole in your tongue"-- I think it's mostly the line's length. Maybe "burn hole in / eyes tongue" Strong poem though!

Scott Glassman said...
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poetzie said...

wow, thanks Lorna, mary and Scott. I mean, this really was an experiment!

Lorna Dee Cervantes said...

interesting "experiment" for you, then
good voice for you

Lorna Dee Cervantes said...
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