poetry critical

online poetry workshop


our time, falling into the sear,
the golden leaf,
the sheath that shrouds us in rust—
must we depart this mondegreen
of eels stretched between quiver slowed,
as we abide this flavus dance
to which my cheekbones erode?
pressed cold against the sloth
of your devotion,
would i wither,
spoon-drift on an ocean, nothing more
than a notion curled in the cradle
of your oily waters?
have i not sliced into you,
half afraid,
pushing back your purple vein
as you lay silky, naked, in the blade
of things to come—
posing in the window
stiff and gleaming, face to sun?
lest we neglect our stems
gaunched to a hundred yellow beds,
each pappus strewn to my breast,
your limbs in moon-ray rooting
to every genus thread—
and what of the clank and groan
of ballads thrown, the lily spillage and lore,
the blown bulbs and fountain pillage
that swells beneath the floor?
lo' the rale of restrain,
the whites of our eyes tipped out
in a portal of seep and strain;
disease cut into our arms and thighs
with the sly ink of mustard stains.
would my fists, pelting your chest
and its waxen plains,
prove a vain betrayal of my affection?
would your kiss, crashing into my mouth
like an axe coming down
between desire and rain,
explain the anguish of such certainty?
time will dip to drink again,
this phatic waltz, noxious weed;
our breath sodden with longing,
the milky latex dripping
from your sleeve.
i made your heart my garden,
the husk of you, hardened in my palm.
so many last days, so many yellows
loftily rephrased. our sighs,
sprouting from cracks in the sidewalk,
like dandelions;
treasures in decay.


21 Jan 16

Rated 9.5 (9.5) by 2 users.
Active (2): 10
Inactive (0): 9

(define the words in this poem)
(90 more poems by this author)

Add A Comment:
Enter the following text to post as unknown: captcha


some really nice moves in this. 47 -- 53, obviously... really strong, like currents finding the surface of a river.

a lot of talky parts in this, more like story-prose -- no word mystery in them, just interesting things to say. made it hard for me to keep reading, since the wording was so patriarchal and there didn't seem to be any spirit guiding this old-testament listing except, 'you know how it is'.

often times something like 42-46 works to set up a new musical tone at the end of a piece, to introduce the final song -- here, 47-53. here, it's not really even necessary, since 47-53 really exist on their own as a poem and are so strong that they make 42-45 seem a little precious.
 — cadmium

clank and groan

Word choice is what elevates this work from cliche. I see this as a follow up piece to your 'something yellow'...yes?
 — PaleHorse

hi mike, thanks for that.  I do see what  you're saying and I agree.  I'm very fond of this poem in a personal way, but I see how 'you know how it is' gets the better of it in parts.
true, the ending is the crown for me. thanks again for your insight. :)
 — jenakajoffer

thank you palehorse.  a follow up to something yellow, perhaps! I never thought of it that way but it's certainly along the same theme and inspiration. :D
 — jenakajoffer