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Transuxorial


David W. Parsley
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David W. Parsley

Transuxorial

Soles chilled by floorboards
at her bedroom door.  Yes she's
sure she did not call.

 

 

© 2021 David W. Parsley

First published: London Grip, Dec 2021.

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Intriguing Dave. The title had me googling. Still pondering. A mix of the physical and ghostly; night sounds, heard or imagined, to bridge separation. Nice play on 'soles'...I suspect some wishful thinking😀

Some nice sonics floor/door/sure and the l's

Phil

 

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David W. Parsley

Hi Phil, thanks for the read and the googling, as well as your insight on the sonic effects.  I am particularly delighted that you picked up on a key play on words.  And, yes, lacking a word that would suit the title, I made one up by joining a common prefix with a (somewhat unusual) word.

Query: Would the poem be improved by substituting "wife's" for "her"?  Would like your thoughts on that.

Cheers,
- Dave

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David W. Parsley

Interesting perspective, Tony.  I confess that I often vividly hear voices echoing from my past, including those of deceased people.  For the last few decades this has occurred almost exclusively while asleep, though I could sometimes hear them while awake all the way through adolescence.  My Dad (whom I still sometimes 'hear') also had this experience, but I'm not sure how common it is.

That said, I would be totally gratified to learn that she had actually called, that something in her wants to be shaken by me again.  Perhaps even stirred.

Query (same as tendered to Phil):  Would the poem be improved by substituting "wife's" for "her"?  Is the ambiguity a help to the poem or distraction?

Thanks,
- Dave

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Query: Would the poem be improved by substituting "wife's" for "her"?  Would like your thoughts on that.

I prefer her because wife brings too much focus on a domestic context.

There's more frisson with her.

hope that helps some

Phil

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Hi Dave,

On 9/24/2021 at 3:33 PM, David W. Parsley said:

Interesting perspective, Tony.  I confess that I often vividly hear voices echoing from my past, including those of deceased people.  For the last few decades this has occurred almost exclusively while asleep, though I could sometimes hear them while awake all the way through adolescence.  My Dad (whom I still sometimes 'hear') also had this experience, but I'm not sure how common it is.

I never considered a paranormal perspective nor any other, other than my own. For me, "she" could have never been anyone other than a romantic interest, wife or extramarital girlfriend, that is, messing around (i.e. playing games), pretending that she didn't call when she actually did. But that's just me and my own messed up, peculiar take, and it has no bearing on how the rest of the real world may have perceived this account.

On 9/24/2021 at 3:33 PM, David W. Parsley said:

That said, I would be totally gratified to learn that she had actually called, that something in her wants to be shaken by me again.  Perhaps even stirred.

And that's why I suggested that she did, not just because it might have been what you wanted to hear, but because it's true.

On 9/24/2021 at 3:33 PM, David W. Parsley said:

Query (same as tendered to Phil):  Would the poem be improved by substituting "wife's" for "her"?  Is the ambiguity a help to the poem or distraction?

Either way works for me. As I said, wife and/or girlfriend. It all comes down to a romantic interest. I never saw it any other way, as wrong as I may have been. I like that it's left open.

Tony

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

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David W. Parsley

Hi Phil, thanks for the feedback!

 - Dave

 

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David W. Parsley

Thanks, Tony, I like your optimism.

 - Dave

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Hi Dave,

Not really a haiku--a senryu, as defined by devotees of the form, as haiku are observations of nature/seasons. 

"Yes" in L2 is superfluous, and there only to make the syl. count. A two syl. replacement for "door" would fix (one in mind begins with an "e"). :biggrin:

Hope this helps.

Best, AHL

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  • 1 month later...
David W. Parsley

Senryu.  Food for thought, AHL.  Sorry I am only now replying, just happened to see it. 

But I think you misunderstand the purpose of "Yes" here.  It is intended to imply that She has replied to the narrator after he asks again if she is sure she didn't call him.  It illustrates the conviction that the man roused from his sleep found the sensation of her summons thoroughly credible and difficult to shake, much like his persisting sense of loyalty though she seems to be slipping away (they are in different bedrooms, after all.)

Thanks and Welcome to the Forum!
- Dave

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David W. Parsley

A couple more points to add/expand:

1. The final sentence was actually completed before the first. Far from being a superfluous scansion device, that phrase containing “Yes” seemed the most economical use of syllables that would still communicate the concluding narrative explained above.  Going back to the first part then, and paring down to achieve a 5-5 introduction and center, was quite challenging.  The breakthrough came with hitting on the kigo contained in the “soles chilled by floorboards.”  This of course is a device of classic haiku.  I will expand on that point in a post to follow.

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  • 6 months later...
David W. Parsley

Hi Tony,

First of all, apologies to everyone on PMO for being out of pocket for so much of 2022.  I will probably have need of saying this more than once.  I have simply been distracted with a number of family events and some priorities at work where I am absorbed with helping to get us back to Mars to retrieve samples that are being taken by the Perseverance Rover.  I am not as young as I used to be, so such work can sometimes inundate my time and energy.  Just glad to be a part of it!  (That does not justify neglecting friends and remote family.  Please be patient with me.)

Second, thanks for your suggestion.  Grammatically, I completely agree that the comma is required here.  But we are poets, so we can push the rules around a bit, if we think it serves the purposes of the poem.  Here, I felt that the missing comma would emphasize her bewilderment and slight impatience at being asked if she was sure about not calling for me.  A haiku is a brief thing.  Every syllable and punctuation mark (or its absence!) has a lot of weight to carry.  And I am still not sure I chose correctly, but for now I'm sticking with no comma.

Incidentally, I would like to take this opportunity to mount the grammatical/spelling soap box.  Those that believe misspellings and grammar errors are not significant aspects of preparing a poem to be posted here, are missing something.  Sometimes such "errors" are deliberate figures of speech or ambiguity, plays on word, etc.  It complicates the work of your colleagues on the forum if they are simply careless errors.  I find myself wondering if the author intended this formulation or if it is a simple goof.

Thanks Much!
- Dave

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37 minutes ago, David W. Parsley said:

 

First of all, apologies to everyone on PMO for being out of pocket for so much of 2022.  I will probably have need of saying this more than once.  I have simply been distracted with a number of family events and some priorities at work where I am absorbed with helping to get us back to Mars to retrieve samples that are being taken by the Perseverance Rover.  I am not as young as I used to be, so such work can sometimes inundate my time and energy.  Just glad to be a part of it!  (That does not justify neglecting friends and remote family.  Please be patient with me.)

Dave, as always, I'm pleased to see you! Thanks for the update, but be assured, you never have to explain at PMO. You're a most valued member, in good standing, and you and I are both here for the long haul, not to micromanage day-to-day minutiae.

37 minutes ago, David W. Parsley said:

Second, thanks for your suggestion.  Grammatically, I completely agree that the comma is required here.  But we are poets, so we can push the rules around a bit, if we think it serves the purposes of the poem.  Here, I felt that the missing comma would emphasize her bewilderment and slight impatience at being asked if she was sure about not calling for me.  A haiku is a brief thing.  Every syllable and punctuation mark (or its absence!) has a lot of weight to carry.  And I am still not sure I chose correctly, but for now I'm sticking with no comma.

Incidentally, I would like to take this opportunity to mount the grammatical/spelling soap box.  Those that believe misspellings and grammar errors are not significant aspects of preparing a poem to be posted here, are missing something.  Sometimes such "errors" are deliberate figures of speech or ambiguity, plays on word, etc.  It complicates the work of your colleagues on the forum if they are simply careless errors.  I find myself wondering if the author intended this formulation or if it is a simple goof.

Any opinion I give is just an opinion. To be clear, I'm in complete agreement. In my own works, I often omit punctuation (and even employ the occasional cliche).  Anyone who would could consider the lack of a comma after "yes" a dealbreaker when it comes to this haiku needs to lighten up.

Thank you. This is excellent work.

Tony

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

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David W. Parsley

More about justifying this work as a haiku.  Though satisfying the traditional 5-7-5 "syllable" count, I acknowledge that I am pushing the form, perhaps beyond its breaking point.  But for example, as noted above, I claim there is a kigo in the poem, that is to say a device that implies the season.  Let's examine in detail what I mean.  By stating that the narrator's soles are chilled by the floorboards, a number of things are implied:

  • The speaker is noticeably bothered by the cold floor, so it is not yet something to which he is accustomed
  • This is reinforced by the fact that his feet are bare, implying he has not yet engaged in the practice of keeping slippers by the bed or begun laying out rugs
  • I maintain that these two observations combine to imply early- to mid-Autumn
  • This is also symbolic of the narrator's perception of the declining state of the relationship, at least during this phase of it

To address another point made by Mr. AHL, it is true that haiku are intended to address events or observations from Nature.  But even the most antique and revered practitioners of the form have been known to push this principle.  One example is Buson's famous, "Springtime Rain," which features conversation and mundane personal trappings such as raincoat and umbrella.  And there are others, such as the haiku depicting Shida Yaba's attempts to get his head through the lattice, etc.

I'm sticking to my position on this.  It's a haiku.

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  • 1 month later...
mikejewett

I'm sure she didn't call. He must have. Did she pick up? Did she agree to the rendezvous? Quite the mind-racing Haiku.

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mikejewett
On 6/12/2022 at 5:39 PM, David W. Parsley said:

More about justifying this work as a haiku.  Though satisfying the traditional 5-7-5 "syllable" count, I acknowledge that I am pushing the form, perhaps beyond its breaking point.  But for example, as noted above, I claim there is a kigo in the poem, that is to say a device that implies the season.  Let's examine in detail what I mean.  By stating that the narrator's soles are chilled by the floorboards, a number of things are implied:

  • The speaker is noticeably bothered by the cold floor, so it is not yet something to which he is accustomed
  • This is reinforced by the fact that his feet are bare, implying he has not yet engaged in the practice of keeping slippers by the bed or begun laying out rugs
  • I maintain that these two observations combine to imply early- to mid-Autumn
  • This is also symbolic of the narrator's perception of the declining state of the relationship, at least during this phase of it

To address another point made by Mr. AHL, it is true that haiku are intended to address events or observations from Nature.  But even the most antique and revered practitioners of the form have been known to push this principle.  One example is Buson's famous, "Springtime Rain," which features conversation and mundane personal trappings such as raincoat and umbrella.  And there are others, such as the haiku depicting Shida Yaba's attempts to get his head through the lattice, etc.

I'm sticking to my position on this.  It's a haiku.

Haiku actually have no rules; tradition, yes, but no boundaries.

This is absolutely an Haiku. Anyone who thinks otherwise simply hasn't read through modern Haiku journals which are always pushing the artform.

You can have a single syllable word and have that as an Haiku. You can have less or more than 3 lines of text and still be true to form.

Bat

Ball

Fly

can be an Haiku. There are so many interpretations of those three words. I think that's what Haiku are all about - surprising the reader and touching upon nature.

Don't change the way you write for naysayers or stuck-in-the-gutter traditionalists. There's absolutely a place for the 5/7/5, nature word, add a twist form of Haiku. But there's also an equal spot at the cool kids' table for breaking boundaries.

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David W. Parsley

Hi Mike, thanks for the support and the perspective.  Count me among those who are not sure that any insight-provoking shortie is a haiku, any more than a five-line 19-syllable expression with a turn should be deemed a sonnet.  It is part of what makes a poem formal or not, though I am all for pushing boundaries - even Basho composed a 5-5-7 haiku from his own time.  But that is just my opinion.  I certainly welcome the conversation!

Cheers (cool as I can make the salutation!),
 - Dave

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  • 3 weeks later...

Mike and Dave, some enjoyable discussion with insights re the form. I always apply my own edge when I generate a purported haiku. Even if it's not technically a haiku, I'll call it one lol. Recognizing that I'm an English-speaking American, I'll include stuff that others often omit: articles, punctuation (sometimes), and sometimes rhyme. (I can feel you both cringing now.) I'll even try to make the syllabic lines iambic. Ridiculous, I know. 🤣

As for what we discussed above re the comma after "yes," I definitely consider artistic/poetic license when it comes to inclusion or omission. I did it recently with one of mine ("Nothing"), which I know you both saw:

I am nothing with
you, everything without you
nothing out of you

With no comma after L2, I leave it open. The line break can function as a comma which would make L3 yet another appositive or it can function as a period with L3 relegated to an independent phrase to express either "(there is) nothing out of you" or "(I am) nothing out of you" with "out of" either amounting to "outside of" in the corporal/conjugal sense or serving as one of my favorite synonyms for "without."

Okay, I didn't mean to go on about it, I just wanted to reiterate that I absolutely wasn't trying to say there has to be a comma after "yes" in L3 of "Transuxorial," only that if that's the sole intent it could eliminate confusion. But I agree wholeheartedly that:

On 6/12/2022 at 4:25 PM, David W. Parsley said:

... we are poets, so we can push the rules around a bit, if we think it serves the purposes of the poem.  Here, I felt that the missing comma would emphasize her bewilderment and slight impatience at being asked if she was sure about not calling for me.  A haiku is a brief thing.  Every syllable and punctuation mark (or its absence!) has a lot of weight to carry ...

Tony

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

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David W. Parsley

Hi Tony, it has been long enough since the original publication.  Should be okay to move this post and its stimulating conversation to Showcase, with no harm to magazine readership.  Might I ask you or Tink to do the honors?  Or show me how to do it myself?

Thanks,
 - Dave

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