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Hostile Couple

Our problems.
Children hiding from a serial killer
behind dead trees in a forest winter,
hoping they’ll emerge from this night
more alive than the boughs that conceal them.
They cry tears that freeze
upon the moonlit snow
and cower at the sounds of
Our orgasms.
The screaming chainsaw that cuts
through the wind, splitting it in half and leaving
it to bleed amidst the trees.
It continues to roar
with pleasure while the clouds try not to listen
and the moon tries not to see
Our love.
The man who hides
his hatred behind a hockey mask,
unseen scars tasted by his tongue
as he licks his thirsty lips,
and smells the blood of the dying wind.
He smiles as he tracks the footprints,
basking in the crunch of the snow
and when he comes upon
the children hiding behind the trees,
he reaches
Our resolution.
Helpless beings
crying for mothers who cannot hear them.
The ghosts of the trees gather
and watch in silence
as the children hold each other.
The killer hesitates.
The sight of their arms
interlocked and their cheeks
absorbing each other’s tears
remind him of how cold it is alone.
His heart breaks as he turns
off the chainsaw
and the only sounds in the windless night
are the children’s retreating steps
and his cries of anguish
because he cannot bring himself to kill them.
-Dedicated to J.A.C.

22 Mar 07

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yep. i'll look at it. you can have verbal sex with me later.
 — bologna

the enjambment between stanzas is a forced affair. while it is commendable to add continuity to breaks. the attempt is more rape than procreation. no louder does it resonate than in the middle air of strophes three and four.

these enjambments represent an overall poetic voice that forgets itself and pushes harder than it should.

notice the word “bough” in line 5. ezra doesn’t snort black blow. neither should you. kill the world. or kill yourself.

much of your language tends to melodrama. and melodrama doesn’t transfer well into poetry as the audience gains a disingenuous self-awareness.

“and cower at the sounds of / Our orgasms.”

“as he licks his thirsty lips”

the hockey mask

“crying for mothers who cannot hear them”

ad infinitum

too much sap and calories.

your use of language is ornate at best.

“behind dead trees in a forest winter”

is a lousy way. and a cliché way. of expressing death death death.

consider something fresh.

you will notice much of your poem resides in this pottery barn feel.

it starts here. keeps starting. keeps starting. then it tumbles to conclusion.

it is setting setting setting done.

“They cry tears that freeze / upon the moonlit snow” fails.

but the image is workable. and requires more insight from the author. certainly you have an image here to work with. but what of freezing rain. what of bone snow. what of moonstone. there is a better way to say what you have said. that should be reason enough for you to look for it.

the chainsaw is worth it. but you should give that voice to the wind.

“chainsaw wind” and leave it at that.

there is a ruthless tone that wishes to emerge from strophe two. brevity could bring it out.

chainsaw wind splitting
trees in half. metal teeth
in wood grain. he grins

this hesitance to make the killer known will do you well. he should mimic the weather. or something. to such a degree. that his existence cannot be confirmed or rejected. consider that a killer.

strophe three. still. if you wish to take another route. falls flat. simply through your telling.

notice “his hatred behind a hockey mask”

the word hatred is an abstraction and abstractions should be avoided (unless you can wield them properly. in this case. you don’t). abstractions are letters combined that denote an intangible. happy. sad. hate. angry. furious. calm. are all abstractions. they hold little weight by themselves. they are not motion. they are unemotional emotion.

consider the same line. without hatred.

he licks his thirsty lips behind a hockey mask.

certainly this line connotes a hatred. as well as something more. an insidious nature. an unkilned figurine. and all without the word hatred.

replace abstractions with metaphors. similes. personification. imagery.

hate is a boiling apple.
happiness is a wedding bouquet.
love is a smiling beggar.

the final strophe loses all poetic voice and turns into prose with line breaks. there is too much story that needs to be told because the speaker thinks it needs to be told.

this poem should be under twenty lines. and it will be twice as good as it is now.

hostility. this scene of inability. needs to be described in terms that mimic inability. an inability for the audience to understand. that facet isn’t unraveled. not even approached. the poem squanders its greatest asset.

i suggest an earnest rewrite. the entire poem fails. but you have something to work with. the killer and his buzzing friend.

become greenspan. economy. it isn’t just morning coffee.  

since poets are fags. play games. try this one. try and delete lines at whim. combine ideas. see what you get.

i’ll look at a rewrite.
 — bologna

I love Bologna.
 — unknown

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