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proximity

by Button


i.
the poetry of space 
(aka proximity) 
tells its own story
and rewrites mine when
I cannot feel your breath
but can hear it--
 
there's a slight numbness when your skin kisses another's, 
a hesitation when you think, "This is where I belong
and breaking this moment would be like breaking myself in two--"
 
and yet, it would mean nothing-- you would still be gone
and I would be halved like a splintered tree, 
bark stripped away by lightning, naked,
and wanting. 
 
 
ii.
the poetry of longing lies 
in the mindful deprivation of lips, hands, skin; 
the slope of body to slope of body
to slope of bed. in the darkest parts of night, 
the deepness of space widens, 
enough to eat at my edges 
and the story is there, too, 
lurking in quiet ways that move me 
to loneliness. 
 
it is this sadness that lies in old memories:
the distance of one, two years and three, 
when your hands closed around mine and 
there was no poetry of space; it was of skin, 
of lips and hands and skin, time spent wanting
and having. 
 
in loneliness I find myself more distant from the thought of you, 
and that is more terrifying
than anything else-

 


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Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:59 am
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Morrigan wrote a review...



Hi there.

Lord, have you got words.

This is the kind of poetry that requires slow reading. I love your words and the pacing they provide. Your layout, too, is nothing to sneeze at.

I have a few small tweaks that might (perhaps) make your poem even better.

there's a slight (numbness) when your skin kisses another's,
hesitation when you think, "This is where I belong
and breaking this moment would be like breaking myself in two,"--

If you add "a" before hesitation and omit "like" in the last line, I think this stanza would be even stronger than it is. If you make the last line a metaphor instead of a simile, it will have more impact. As for the "a," I think that it would make the hesitation you speak of a choice of many kinds of hesitation, a certain, special hesitation, instead of your garden variety moment of hesitation (the "a" is less essential than omitting the "like"). Also, I think you should put the dash on the inside of the quotation marks, and omit the comma. It would have an even more "broken in two" feeling than it has now. The speaker's words are broken in two, not just the lines, if you'd do that (if that makes sense (am I just rambling?)).

and yet, it would mean nothing-- you would still be gone

I feel like "gone" isn't quite the correct word to use here. Perhaps "absent"? I don't know. It just doesn't feel correct.

bark stripped away by lightning, naked,

The comma at the end of the line causes me to pause where I feel there shouldn't be a pause. Take that comma out (unless, you're like, super attached to it or something (if that particular comma saved you from falling into a ravine, keep it in by all means (I really am just rambling now, aren't I?))).

the deepness of space widens,

Again, this comma is making me pause where I don't think there should be a pause.

it is this sadness that lies in old memories:

Does this sadness just lie? Or does it burgeon? Does it flourish? Does it weigh down the old memories? I feel like having sadness just lie in old memories is not a strong enough image. Does the sadness rest in old memories like dust on the attic floor? You could play with this so much. So do it.

I love that you end it with a dash (make sure it's the same length as the other dashes (just a friendly reminder from the typo police)).

I really did enjoy this. It was lovely.
My favorite lines were these:
the poetry of longing lies
in the mindful deprivation of lips, hands, skin;
the slope of body to slope of body
to slope of bed.


Beautiful. You have words. Lord, do you have words.




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Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:40 am
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Trident wrote a review...



Hi Persy, this is lovely. A few thoughts:

the poetry of space
(aka proximity)


This is lovely and the parentheses really work. I think the connection between the words "space" and "proximity" is a fascinating one to mull about. One almost contradicts the other, but not altogether. So you have these two ideas that want to connect to one other, but there's this lovely linguistic distance between them as well.

there's a slight (numbness) when your skin kisses another's,
hesitation when you think, "This is where I belong
and breaking this moment would be like breaking myself in two,"--


I am unsure of the use of parentheses here, however. They don't seem to be providing a use. Your sentence doesn't make sense without the word, like sometimes they are used for. It also doesn't have any illustrative purpose, where sometimes text is used to make pictures almost. I'm just not sure what their purpose is.

and I would be halved like a splintered tree,
bark stripped away by lightning, naked,
and wanting.


Some powerful imagery. And kudos for the metaphor of bark and skin. It's extremely effective.

the poetry of longing lies
in the mindful deprivation of lips, hands, skin;
the slope of body to slope of body
to slope of bed.


Again, well done. We have the abstract to be sure, but instead of just having a list of the abstract, you have it as a metaphor. And it really is an especially sensual image. This kind of poetry is really fun because the imagery it depicts isn't always clear-cut. In fact, for me it's this fanciful blur of sensual effects. It's exciting. (And I mean all this strictly in a literary sense haha; time to settle down.)

in the darkest parts of night,
the deepness of space widens,
enough to eat at my edges
and the story is there, too,
lurking in quiet ways that move me
to loneliness.


I think this is less powerful because we are falling into the darkness with the terminology, and not in a good way. I like bringing back the idea of space, but I think you can go about it better than "eating at edges" which is awkward and just missing the mark I think. The last three lines here can be dropped. They're not doing anything.

it is this sadness that lies in old memories:
the distance of one, two years and three,
when your hands closed around mine and
there was no poetry of space; it was of skin,
of lips and hands and skin, time spent wanting
and having.


The "years" thing falls short, unless you can get more specific. I LOVE the lines which refer to space no longer being there and then speaking of those body parts which would eliminate that space. After that, "time spent wanting and having" is losing me a bit.

in loneliness I find myself more distant from the thought of you,
and that is more terrifying
than anything else-


Blech. Trying to be profound, but not achieving it. It's imageless and it certainly doesn't have that beautiful poetic nature that you had so early. I wouldn't mind the return of "space", but you have to do it in a much more subtle manner. I mean really buildup the physicality of that space. Give us physical distance to show us the loss.

Nice one! Really good work, I can see your stuff growing.




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Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:22 am
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PenguinAttack wrote a review...



Nia!

This is very interesting to read set out like this. The difference in form, and in reading seems to have heightened some things for me. I'm really, really digging the first stanza now. And I do totally love the movement from space to longing, because it's just perfect.


I'm not sure how I feel about "loneliness" now because of the longing in the first line of Part 2. Because now I feel like it's obvious, but I might be looking too hard at that because I've already seen the rest. Again the repetition of loneliness then in the last stanza. Actually, thinking on that I believe I can totally agree with it. It feels right and I enjoy the feeling of continuity (and that loneliness does always repeat itself).

The ending is perfect. I know you felt like it wasn't final enough, but it definitely is. This is a soft poem about space and longing and waiting. Having that waiting at the end, the cut off with the dash just works, it speaks for the poem and agrees with it, pulling it into the circle of space and proximity. It is also less cluttered.

In fact, on the whole the poem feels less cluttered than it did. While I did love the repetition of skin and hands and lips, this way is much more focused and cleaner. And I still love the words and the sentiment itself.

This is a solid poem that speaks volumes and you should be proud of it at least a little. Writing during a transition of feeling about poetry, and your own poetry, is difficult. I think this shows you're slowly getting there. It also shows how helpful editing is, see why I love it now? ;)

Thanks for writing this, please continue to give me wonderful things to read and enjoy and discuss. There's nothing I enjoy more than a solid poem to analyse.

~ Pen.





The last of the human freedoms is to choose one's attitudes.
— Viktor Frankl