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goodbyes of madmen

The morning call-song grazes
broken shutters, breathing
no louder than eyelids folding instinctively
over fainted dream trails.
The first thought moves closer-
unstoppable slippage
receding to softness
faintly stored away,
expected and sometimes felt
like hot bubbles bouncing,
popping noisily under fingertips
that bruise without bending,
playing me like a headache to rub
against gulf-thonged temples.  
What have we here but a thousand layers
of ocean-deep chastity,
the damp presence of bodies become
a singe muscle, a wave  
pinned under a fishnet corset
and the purple mollusc of lips that insist
we must be going on:
my breasts slipping,
your hand touching down.

24 Jan 07

Rated 7.7 (7.7) by 3 users.
Active (3): 7, 7, 9
Inactive (0):

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could this perhaps have a break between L8/9. I like the imagary of this though especially L3
 — SolCarloman

that would break the first stanza, which is one singular thought.
I will see what I can do
thanks for the comment
 — slancho

the lines 7 and 8 seem to lead to a natural break, but that is just in my mind and the way i'm interpreting it
 — SolCarloman

I made some changes, see what you think of it now
 — slancho

ok, to be more definitive:
the words "receding" and "faintly" suggest something eroding or disappearing and are in contast to "installed", which implies something new. Its this imagary that leads me to think that the break should come at this point and why it seems more "natural" there.
 — SolCarloman

but this is just an editing opinion. If you believe strongly in your own, then justify it. Critiques are just that and not always correct.
 — SolCarloman

I am not interested nor do I often engage in justifying, but I will admit you have a point.  By way of explanation, the purpose of receding was not to imply disappearing, but rather being folded or, enfolded, moving away from one source perhaps to become, how shall I put it, tighter, more sparse even in the movement toward another (from sleep to wakefulness in this case).  Folding and being absorbed both invite a reception as well, a call to be addressed as such.  The movement is faint because it is almost inaudible and also, not violent.  Here the word "faint" as an adjective also plays on the word "faint" as a noun, meaning to become dizzy, to be enthralled.  

I think if you read the poem that way (but then again, a poem writes itself sometimes independent of what I intend it to be), then perhaps "installed" would make some sense.  It would also suggest being made permanent, being made to stay but in a less than natural way (an installataion is usually something you put up temporarily and not something you would find in nature, but that also depends on the point of view).  I wanted to play off the contradiction of this sense of "installed" and what comes next, namely, the images of popping and bouncing ... that is, suggesting a sense of fluidity, of flux contrary to definition.

Thank you for your comments and for taking the time to re-visit, dear SolCarloman
Your very kindly
 — slancho

in that case "folded or, enfolded," seems contrary to "moving away from one source perhaps to become, how shall I put it, tighter" but perhaps I'm just getting pedantic. If thats what you mean, then change your format back to your initial intention, I have no quarrel here. A good piece.
 — SolCarloman

I'm curious about the title.  The final stanza reflects a very personal connection the speaker has with someone else.  The mention of breasts is most commonly used to refer to a woman, so I am assuming the speaker is a woman.  The title implies there is more than one goodbye being addressed.  Perhaps like the waves piling into the fishnet corsets, the speaker is refering to many goodbyes by many madmen?  And the "your" hand is actually serving as metaphor for the many?
 — tillmorgan

SolCarolman, thank you for revisiting
I think I will sleep on this tonight before I make any changes, one tends to get tangled in editions at times and can ruin a poem.  I will be back in the morning and, I hope, able to bring some clarity to the work.

Tillmorgan, thank you for a very thought-provoking critique and for what I would call a careful, intelligent read.  Yes, the final stanza wanted to remain almost de-personalized in its reference to a generic kind of solitude, departures (or goodbyes) communicated through images such as the ocean, waves, fishnets (being caught, against one's will) and purple lips that imply coldness, being left outside, the lack of blood (though not necessarily death).  The speaker is a she, indeed, though I do not always write from the feminine.  However, I wonder what would happen to the voice of the poem if I reversed the personal pronouns in the last two lines and had them read: "your breasts slipping,/my hand touching down" (here touching down a reference to landing, as in arrival and slipping, well, escaping being caught)?  I suppose without wanting to explain or disclose too much about the ending, I would say that it treats (though poorly at that I am sure) the contradictory, yet somehow appropriately so, nature of writing on the subject of being at home.  The madmen are sexless, they are ... well, somewhat lovable in their resistance to being tamed.  They are not mad in that they are scary but mad in that their madness is shared by parting couples.  The two characters in the last stanza - they are also madmen.  But perhaps I need to clarify this a bit (in line with my response to SolCarloman, it is in the heads and imaginations of manmen that all contradictory things that cancel each other out can exist alongside, without threat).

Excuse me for this long response, I am trying to work these concepts in another piece of writing that is giving me grief, the poem was supposed to serve as a catalyst.

Thanks for your comments, both, I appreciate them greatly
 — slancho

Maria , I have to ask ' how many words can you type a minute ?' , I have not seen such long replies since inuki or semja .
Your stuff is good .
Line 14 you missed out an R .
 — sir_I_clan

but I usually post long replies as well as long critiques ...
thanks for the R, rrrrrrr I will fix it now ... actually no, it is supposed to be thonged.
does it make sense?
sir I c(l)an ... type even faster
 — slancho

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