poetry critical

online poetry workshop

Life without Parole

It’s visiting time, again.
You’ve offered to call him up on his cell
So that when he speaks, you can be captive
To his baritone voice. That sweet release
That only comes now, while you’re at a bar
Blunted in a glass of scotch like an inmate.
But he’s trapped inside his cell.
Jailed to a vow that prevents his release.
Shackled, ball and chain; this contrite inmate
Petitions for you to approach the bar
To hear his pleas. He longs to be captive
In your solitary chambers, again.
You seek to grant him release.
So like a missionary at a bar
You pay visit to his prison, again
Hoping he’ll be less like a captive
And more like that dormitory inmate
On a Disneyland animated cell.
But now he’s gone and raised the bar.
He’s no longer acting like a captive
He’s Hannibal Lecter, roaming his cell,
Hungry to taste the face of his inmate
Companion. And you can’t do it again,
For you’ve already squeezed off your release.
And now you are held captive
As you seek to pacify this inmate
Who sees you ‘tween his pen and his release.
‘Cause he doesn’t mind butchering again -
Because divorcing himself from this cell
Is the fastest way to get to the bar.
Suddenly you’re the inmate,
Disbelieving you wound up here again.
Because you had purposed yourself to bar
The prospect of love in an empty cell.
Yet being locked up is a sweet release
With this convict whose heart holds you captive.
In this guarded cell, you grab ahold of his bar
And let go of the release that holds you captive,
To share your sentences with this inmate again.

19 Feb 16

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

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

(1 user considers this poem a favorite)

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


A Scot Irish chick says she loves it so
 — unknown

The title alone gives me heart burn
 — sylvia

a lot of slide and release going on here. :-O
 — unknown

I'm sure you will appreciate the fact that this may take more than one or two comments to cover all my thoughts.

A dozen reads and each time something rings clearer, hits home or hits me in the face.
1-6 is such a crafty introduction. Alluring, suggestive in all its tortuous glory.

Lines 10-12 were the most gripping, stirring a somewhat empathetic, yet lustful response within me. You must've triggered something.

13-18 contain snippets of memory, visitations or photographs exchanged between them. I sensed a rescuer doing her work, or the perception of a rescuer, though there is no rescuer involved. Not anymore.

19-24 is where it gets chilling. I feel his power as the reversal of roles takes efffect, putting the antagonist in danger of losing control. Control of what? Self, love, laws, morals...

26-30 is a piece in itself that blows my mind in metaphorical genius.
31-36, well, how can that not make one (me) ache a little. The err, failure and shame it eludes to, for me anyway, as I delve into layers of past and meaning.

The tercet, well I have a couple of different feelings and resolves surrounding that. Not sure which one I like, for one is rather sad.

You killed this. I could never pound that kind of substance into a sestina.
 — jenakajoffer

I've never experienced a poem quite like this before.
Thank you :)
 — jenakajoffer

I've never written a sestina before.
 — PaleHorse