poetry critical

online poetry workshop



Root of the Matter
jenakajoffer

that place we left unattended,
 1
like an apple tree dense with idle branches
 2
unbefriended leaves, the muse you planted
 3
my dream--
 4
 
 
our sighs, piggybacked on the words
 5
we send, and the snow, cast in seed of
 6
persimmon, the sticky kiss of fruit
 7
and the dark notes of my winter itch
 8
forcing their way through me
 9
 
 
I pull and pull until they come away in my hands
 10
like the wind I can hear moaning
 11
as your voice tunnels deep in the ground
 12
 
 
a slow tremble under cold flesh
 13
that feels like the strength of love
 14
 
 
a love I wish I could tend, your body
 15
covering mine like a clump of bearded iris
 16
that sinks into my thighs and nearly disappears.
 17

8 Feb 16

Rated 10 (10) by 1 users.
Active (1): 10
Inactive (0):

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



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

Comments:

Hmmm this is good, so real nice turns of phrase, but I'm having trouble finding you in the poem. I feel like you've come to rely on a certain set of...principles (?) in your writing and they've begun to contain you in your writing. I'll think on it more and see if I can find a better way of saying what I'm trying to
 — Known

this work has turned into a torture.  gutted, reversed and picked to its death.
i'm going to try and release it (me) as I continue working through it until it feels like 'home'.

I totally get what you're saying and I very much agree. I forced myself to keep it up and not delete it just because it's challenging.  that's why I'm back writing again, to work at it.

thank you so much for your comments, eb :D
 — jenakajoffer

no roots here

kunta kinti
 — unknown

i think i'd start with stanza two, a kind of romantic introduction, then let that follow by the now stanza one --

check which stanzas start with an evocation of an action, a verb space, and which start with abstractions talking about an ideal. i think that will show why the last stanza is so good.

words like 'unattended' form an energy coil which needs to be released. the spring in this one is released both in 'abandoned' and 'in idle branches'.

so, 'if that place we've left unattended, like an apple tree.'
and, 'dense with idle branches' covers 'abandoned'

if that place we'd left abandoned,
like an apple tree, dense with idle branches,
unbefriended leaves, the muse you planted;
my dream.
 — cadmium

Nice try kinawanalaya,

But true, no roots when it comes to me.
 — jenakajoffer

imagine yourself dancing your poem, using your arms to gesture each line -- folding your arms in and then opening them -- and, you can then see where you end up with your arms too tight at the end of a line, and how a little shifting can release them.
 — cadmium

Oh Mike thank you. I really appreciate that insight.
In lieu of Knowns comment, I feel what I've been struggling with is a million ideas in my head and I'm cramming then all into one poem, when there's enough food to feed a family. Abundance, not scarcity. ;)
Thanks again!
 — jenakajoffer

Yes indeed, I've been dancing with this for days. ;)
 — jenakajoffer

i've got to go downtown, but there's some other stuff to talk about about this one. one thing, do you ever count your syllables to see how many are on each line? not to set up a formal pattern or anything, but to see if you've let a concept/word give your line too many beats? that's another way of talking about that dance your poem thing.
 — cadmium

yes sometimes that is the case, mike, but rather than actual counting, it's more just sounds in my head--it's like i still have that metronome from my piano days ticking away up there, but it's old and rusty so sometimes it needs a good oiling. musical at heart though, i am.
 — jenakajoffer

you want to work on several levels as a poet. you need to sing out your sounds, yes, but you need to see at the same time what those sounds are echoing off of... that is, that the reader is on your mind too. and, you can use counting or anything at all to see objectively what you've done.

the point of being a poet is to make poetry. if it's just expressing and finding emotion then a shrink is probably going to be cheaper mentally.

when i say 'dancing the poem', i don't mean the floo-flaw that goes through our head when we write -- i don't mean it as a metaphor. i mean that you visualize yourself, and actually physically dance as a duncan kind of dance what the poem sounds like, in real space. now, most people are going to think that's too gay, too arty. but, poetry means taking the risk and jumping off the mountain and seeing if you grow wings. after a while, the more you give yourself to making a poem and not just complaining with words you couldn't say to his face, the winged horse always carries you over. you become a poet, not a pet.
 — cadmium

So...I'm still a pet?

I did start thinking about skydiving so maybe that will help.
 — jenakajoffer

you're someone's pet if you're writing to get a bone.
 — cadmium

If I could bone myself, I would. Haha, sorry I couldn't resist.

I make no bones about it. It's just writing for writing's sake and I needed to raise the axe once again. So, do the edits make an improvement?
 — jenakajoffer

there's typing for typings sake, to get off on your fingertips, but writing at all is to write in a pattern. and, even if you don't realize it you're still making waves in the social sphere. look at the comments on your piece, how they're about getting something from you. why not give something so strong in the first place that they can't think of anything clever to say back?
 — cadmium

Why would anyone be here then if nobody said anything?
I write in pattern quite frequently, my pattern, and my genius is that I don't need fingers or beads to do it. This poem here, it was a challenge for me, and that is rare. I am quite happy with the comments and feedback, it's much appreciated because it certainly helps me step out.

Don't start gobbling me, mike. Just leave it. Thank you for your help earlier.
 — jenakajoffer

you really get stupid about this jen. i post to make the poem and for the poem. even if you're too selfish to let go or your precious there are other readers here who'll maybe see what i'm saying because they too see the weakness in your writing... how you're just writing to show you're not dead.

you want to be a writer, you've got to read and write.
 — cadmium

There are no other readers, mike. I'm just here because I'm not dead. And neither are you.
 — jenakajoffer

Mike, jen is a way better writer than you.  accept it. move on.  I hope she never takes your shit advice.
 — unknown

LOL. cute kids.
 — cadmium

Now this is me. I finally got it to jive with my trueness.
All I needed was my muse to come back from vacation. ;)
<3
 — jenakajoffer

the car we left unattended,
 — cadmium

0.361s