Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bad Manners

Slipping down a fraying
rope
sliding down a shifting
slope;
I draw a breath and
try to
ignore the squalls that
howl through;

and you demand discussion
unwitting of the bludgeon

tucked away behind my teeth
rising
from its bloodied sheath.

Your fury and
contentions
weave the answers
to your questions


I know my brow is burning
as my whetted tongue
is churning;

I know enough
to cage it,
stifle and
assuage it

to stand between the pin and shell
and keep this rancor locked in hell.

You find me cold, unwilling,
a stoic
stump
who’s killing


still I cannot
argue -
ancient rages
mark you -
a brokenness precedes you
a history impedes you
from reaching what it is you seek.

A tear
rolls down
and sears
your cheek;

the wraith who wreaks
and wracks that place
I won’t allow
to wear
your face.

There is no solace
in my
silence


as I’m chewing up
my
violence.

7 comments:

Julie said...

One of the many things I love about your poetry, Joaquin, is how it makes me think. Of course, I love the voice, rhythm, and all of the elements of the structure that create it. But I love how it spins me off in so many different directions of thought. I'm sure I've told you that too many times already. But it's such a good thing. A lot of people can write poetry. You write poetry and also have a poet's heart.

Now for the details! I love those, too. The rope is fraying (not just a rope). The slope is shifting (not just a slope). The bloodied sheath, etc. But what really jumps out for me is

"to stand between the pin and shell
and keep this rancor locked in hell."

Not just a hand grenade...but again...standing between the pin and shell. Awesome detail. I love how the narrator seems to be trying so hard to remain composed and civilized, yet ends "as I'm chewing up/my/violence."

Karen said...

I hate it when Jules gets here first!! I just need to say - "What Julie said!" :-)

I will say that I love the details here and the feeling behind of holding back ("...the bludgeon/ tucked away behind my teeth", "stand between the pin and shell") that results in the barely suppressed rage "...chewing up/my/violence."

Your language, detail, and mood add up to one powerful poem.

Your poetry always surprises and delights me on some level, even when it addresses uncomfortable subjects like this one.

Wonderful!

RachelW said...

Such a dark path lies in this one. It reminds me a bit of the halloween story my 7 year old daughter wrote and brought home from school yesterday- dark and bloody.

Aniket said...

And I hate commenting after Karen and Kaye and Sarah. :P

"I know my brow is burning
as my whetted tongue
is churning;"

I am feeling the urge now... I'm feeling it. :D

Nevine said...

You capture human rage, and anger. "... a history impedes you/from reaching what it is you seek." Frustration. But these are rages, angers, and frustrations that, more often than not, we can control, but choose not to... at a great price. "There is no solace/in my/silence/as I'm chewing up/my/violence." Perfectly put. Very psychologically tense... and psychologically dark... and that's my favorite kind of dark.

Nevine

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

How perfectly you unfold this little drama. As if the "I" says in the beginning..."be careful, there is something dangerous in me. Are you sure you want my anger, answers, explanations?"

I know enough
to cage it,
stifle and
assuage it

Fantastic line telling us that the "I" is standing between the pin and shell - keeping things from exploding into a scene, from which the other person may not be able to recover...protecting the other person from your rage.

and these great lines (wish I had written them):

the wraith who wreaks
and wracks that place
I won’t allow
to wear
your face.

So poetically rendered.

This is multi-layered. I love this.

joaquin carvel said...

julie - wow - what an amazing thing to say - thank you. i'd hoped the details weren't overkill - glad you didn't find them to be!

karen - thank you - i liked the tension but wasn't sure if the delivery was overwrought - you made me feel better about that.

rachel - thank you - that's partly why i chose it - seemed to fit the season.

aniket - hooooold on.....no, nevermind - let it rip! good to hear from you. thanks!

nevine - thank you - though i usually like a little light in my dark (and a little dark in my light), this one didn't seem to be game for that.

k. - how great to hear "layered" - it's an older one, which i am usually less sure of, so you've greatly reassured me. thank you.