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useless tatter


moonqueen

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useless tatter

reality;

the crawl of my scalp

is as torture. i conclude

it is the birth

of an agonizing

episode i know i will

survive, but before

it ends will pray

i do not.

 

more likely than reality;

impossible

lilliputian sadists

traverse the contours

of my cranium,

they brandish tools

of extreme percussion

and diligently pound

diminutive spikes

into my skull.

 

within my veins

surges liquid fire,

it burns, inside-out.

surely, it will purge

that which would

inhale me

and leave

my ravaged significance

a useless tatter

of mental rag.

 

 

02-15-11 rev.

07-06-10

©tlp 2010

 

 

This is not about migraines or headaches of any kind.

Edited by moonqueen
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I would never question the quality of the poetry inside anyone elses poem, and this is no exception.

 

The title is quite apt re the content. The general suggestion is to look hard at your line breaks. The strength of the poem, as written, depends much on the effect of each line, first all by itself and, second, how it collaborates w/ the other lines.

 

Since this is free verse, I think it is crucial to pay more attention to what Lewis Turco calls grammatical prosody. As I see it, structures lines not as dictated by rhyme, metrics or syllable count but in that the content of a line is a sequence of words that is meaningfully complete, phrases/clauses then sequenced into a likewise set of lines (including run-ons) into a verse paragraph, the free verse equivalent of a stanza in metered, esp. rhymed poems.

 

That is easier said than done. Few seemingly certain ways are: 1) keep a preposition together with either the verb/noun that are connected by it that is more affected by it, i.e., the one whose meaning would be way different w/o the preposition ('...ronning off/ to China" is finely differnt from "... running/off to China"), 2) doing same for a modifier(s) and the noun/verb/other modifier that it modifies, and 3) being sensitive re whetherto put a conjunction (in a run-on case) at the end of the previous or the beginning of the next line, the choice can be influenced by the resulting rhythmic (not necessarily via classical metrics) quality of the line(s)..

 

What I make is a generalized suggestion, and it is for you (or any other poet) to combine personal instinct and inklination with some of the time proven tenets in poem writing. You are probably aware that a better known tenet, exception to obey the above, is to end a line with one of the stronger part of spech, i.e., a noun or a verb.

 

Also, more parallel structures strengthen what is said as long as one avoids mere repetition, exception being 'list' poems.

 

If your instincts and inclinations were somewhat identical with mine your poem might read as below.

 

useless tatter

reality is ~ why the italics

the crawl of my scalp. ~ two connected good metaphors cancelled by 'as'

is as torture. i conclude ~ 'as' seeks comparison, i.e., of what kind, but 'like' would do, if you wish

it is the birth

of an agonizing episode

i know i will survive, ~ moving verb (that is not auxiliary) to end of line

but, before it ends,

i will pray i do not. ~ paralleling structure of L6

 

more likely than reality ~ metaphor paralleling above is lost to a simile, a less effective a trope; could try 'certain'

are the impossible

lilliputian sadists

that traverse the contours

of my cranium.

they brandish tools

of extreme percussion

to and diligently pound

diminutive spikes

into my skull.

 

within my veins

there surges liquid fire. ~ would mask the inversion of "liquid fire surges"

it burns, inside-out.

surely, it will purge that

that which would

inhale me

and leave me

a my ravaged significance

a useless tatter

of a mindless mental rag. ~ good closure, but "mental rag = rag made of ? mental(s)" :icon_redface:

 

Seems you and I may like the pithy, more condensed poem above all the rest. Thanks for letting me enjoy this one.

Edited by waxwings
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Wow. A lot of excellent suggestions, some of which I have already applied to my file copy.

 

Sometimes, I become so intent on having the same number of lines in each verse, I forget what I'm doing with my line breaks. And unless it is a piece of form poetry, I don't know why I care.

 

I appreciate the time you spent with this work and am glad you seem to have enjoyed it.

 

Thanks, waxwings.

 

Tammi

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Very interesting poem, Moonqueen. Though I never considered migraines when I first read the poem, I like the note at the end. It adds a different perspective and functions like a part of the poem.

 

No, I have never seen head lice, but this is what the "lilliputian sadists" who "traverse the contours" of the speaker's "cranium" bring to mind. What I find especially interesting is the wording here:

 

... it is the birth

of an agonizing

episode i know i will

survive, but before

it ends will pray

i do not ....

It makes me wonder whether the speaker will pray s/he survives the episode, or at all.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Tony, ugh! I'd rather you'd gone with the migraine idea. This has nothing to do with actual 'creatures' of any kind.

 

"... it is the birth

of an agonizing

episode i know i will

survive, but before

it ends will pray

i do not ..."

 

The "episode" in question is one emotional stress. That's what the entire piece is about. The insanity inside the head of the N and the pain it brings with it. Bottom line, the N in my works of this kind always recovers, has to.

 

Thanks for your interest in the poem and for taking time to comment. I appreciate it.

 

Tammi

Edited by moonqueen
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To me, there is no chance this speaks to a migrane. The Liliputian sadists seem to be the miriad of tiny thoughts/worries a person is likely to have. One of your replies uses N. Ritual songs of certain organizations use NN as the place to insert the name(s) of the member being addressed. In this case, it could be anybody that fits the depiction by the poem, or is it the non-invasive reference to yourself?

Edited by waxwings
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N=Narrator or the speaker, not necessarily the poet, although in my case, whether true or not, whether about myself or someone else, my emotions are used to write it. But, Narrator was all I meant. You have confused me a bit with your question? Laughing; I do not join "organizations".

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N=Narrator or the speaker, not necessarily the poet, although in my case, whether true or not, whether about myself or someone else, my emotions are used to write it. But, Narrator was all I meant. You have confused me a bit with your question? Laughing; I do not join "organizations".

 

I ahve been part of a few serious organizations, such as the BSA, the US Army and a fraternity. And we all know without being told, by the shape of a poem whether or not you are the N. :icon_eek:

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