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Poetry Magnum Opus

How to Stop a Beating Heart


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First, let his eyes witness the inevitability of death.

(This silence is over-extended.)


Make his chest heave for lack of air.

(This is making me hyperventilate.)


Press your overwhelming weight upon him.

(You’re easing me out of your space.)


Look him in the eyes, examine his fear, and tell him to relax.

(You want to say it’s over? So, I have been ex-ed?)


Pierce the blade into his chest, through layers of muscles

(Can I leave now? )


to sink into his heart-

(I need to pee.)


Finally, look into his eyes ‘til there is nothing to see.

(I really have to go.)

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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I sense anxiety in this poem, Joel, especially by the third and fourth couplets. The feeling is heightened by the parenthetical lines.


The pace quickens by the fifth, penultimate, and final couplets, because the first lines of the respective couplets are not end-stopped. Rather, they flow one into the other to form a complete sentence. I enjoyed the intensity of this one.



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

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Very interesting poem. Visual also. It sounds like playing with words here. I like that part.

The end is pretty good. This poem finished leaving beyond some enigmas . I like that too.


And as I can notice, your style now took very different way Joel, which I love it.

Keep writing my friend.


Thank you for sharing



The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia



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That's correct, Tony. It is a poem about anxiety and as Aleksandra noted I used quite strong imagery starting from the 5th couplet.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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