consorting with the enemy

October 31, 2008 at 6:38 pm | Posted in poetry, writing | 14 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,

for which the sudden penalty is death
just for a short while, Squires, she says
slow down you move too fast you gotta
a small bird twittering between your beating heart
and floating ribs

he coughs, the nurse looks up
from her Romance novel,
you’re bloody lucky old man,
she says and smiles

and your time has come and lifts
the pillow your time has come
right now,


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  1. I tagged this craft because I want to remind myself of why I wrote it. To demonstrate the difference between deliberate and meaningful ambiguity and pointlessly chucking empty metaphors around but that sounds so arrogant to people who already know, what they don’t realise is that you are learning it as you go along, play it by ear and so forth, perhaps though, the Penn and Teller Effect whereby,

  2. Oh and yes, this alternative titling thingy, whereby you break the rule of not commenting yourself, bloody hell. But as I was saying, not wanting at all to impose on your time, you may look away at any stage, oh no that’s right he says, i am the one who is supposed to move, insert link to tag soraya,

  3. Gosh I just nearly commented a whole rant about empty metaphors but, hell, I don’t want to take away from what is a fantastic poem here. It has a sting in the tail, from the feelin’ groovy lightness before. Craft, oh yes.

  4. got me with the scary ending ha ha but not at all funny i mean scary because on this magic carpet ride and then the rug gets pulled out from under
    and eery the sense of daylight in it
    happy halloween

  5. remarkably morbid in the most gentle manner. why do you always make me shudder?

  6. i liked it. alot. i thought the romance novel a sardonic touch of the vicarious. though i could be reading into that…. 😀

  7. …bloody lucky alright 🙂

  8. Lorelle at WordPress says be the first commenter. get the ball rolling! I like it when you, Paul, comment on your poems, it’s almost like it’s a featured reading and you’re giving us an introduction

    i love these 2 characters and their dance here and in other places (yes it would be nice if you gave us the links but it is up to us to pay attention and put the puzzle pieces together) .

    i will be sad to see her snuff him out but i understand why she will do it for him

  9. Are you saying that an act of euthanasia is an act of idealism? An act of romanticism?

    There seems to be an emphasis on the urgency of time throughout the poem. Interesting

  10. I was actually thinking of petite-morte and pillows as a metaphor for someplace soft and warm but that’s just me, Paul. I guess death is a fair reading, depends on your taste. I think it’s a vampire poem but the question is which one of them is the vampire?

  11. Yes I understood it like this. The petite-morte… With a spicy touch at the end, that leads to laugh. She speaks to the old man as she was doing to a little boy: a bit domineering, but not overbearing.
    Like a soft Arletty, bringing us to the climax of a a nicely packaged scorn.
    Thank you Paul.

  12. Ouch. That was, I won’t say sinister, more uneasy.

    I initially read it, like everone else here, as implying euthanasia, but on second reading I realise that it could be deliberately ambiguous. She could conceivably by bolstering up the pillow so he can better swallow his medicine, that being what it is time for.

  13. Hmmm … and here I was, thinking that she was simply about to suffocate him with the pillow …

  14. Morbid but I like it! Becos morbid makes sense to me….

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