Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Poetry » Dramatic


Snakeskin

by Cspr


I look down at my body
and see discolored flesh.
My skin?
It’s marred,
with bruises that never fade;
razor cuts made by unsteady hands trying to shave
half blind;
circular scars on my knees;
hand and foot callouses;
bulging, blue river after downpour veins;
loose, onion paper skin
that sags and deepens into canyons and ridges;
and crows stand on my eyes, invisible.

My nails are sharp and jagged,
freshly cut into
cat points.

I take my hips in my hands and
it’s like ripping apart old pillowcases,
pulling off layers:
eternal marks
made inconsequential.

The skin over my hands comes loose and,
over bird bone and delicate blood piping,
is shiny pink.

With white hair comes scalp,
and slowly black locks return.

I chafe off the death that rests on the inside of my elbows,
fingertips.

My lungs regrow;
my breath returns.
My heart beats like a cyclist’s.
I’m calm as a child in the summer sun.


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
693 Reviews


Points: 5383
Reviews: 693

Donate
Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:54 pm
Audy wrote a review...



Cspr,

Hello again :)

I so much love the concept for this poem. The idea of shedding snakeskin, etc, I really do get this idea of reborn/phonexes from the ashes, kind of a new awakening/starting over - so that was pretty neat.

One thing that I'd like to comment on is the organization of the poem as a whole - on the one hand, I think your images are strong and shocking, but I'd like to think of it as a camera sort of panning over - and throughout the poem there's a lot of back/forth, erratic movement between the lines. You mention skin for example, and then hand to foot, to veins, to skin to eyes, and then nails (back to hands again) to hips to hair - etc. -- the thing about snakesskin shedding is that it's one continual movement. Plus, it just seems like the lines were laid out randomly without any kind of order. I would've even been fine if the "camera" (so to speak) pans down and then back up or something to sort of establish and emphasize the "reawakening" kind of idea, but it's just all over the place.

Another thing here:

razor cuts made by unsteady hands trying to shave
half blind;


and here:

I chafe off the death that rests on the inside of my elbows,
fingertips.



I'm not a particular fan of these break, it kind of breaks the flow of the poem for me. I can understand why you broke it in these places, it's a fairly soft or clean break, because it's broken there at a natural phrase, or where one might breathe or pause or add a comma.

It'd be interesting to see you experiment with hard breaks as well - (breaking the line where one wouldn't expect to break it - in otherwords, playing with enjambment/words) I think that would make the poem feel grittier/more raw, and we can really get the sense of the peeling/breaking.

Overall - an excellent poem. I especially love the onion layers and the idea and imagery here. I hope to see more from you. Best of wishes with your writing endeavors.

~ as always, Audy




User avatar
179 Reviews


Points: 11017
Reviews: 179

Donate
Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:36 pm
guineapiggirl wrote a review...



halloooo! Guineapiggirl here to revieeew!
This piece is awesome. Disturbing, but awesome.
All except for the last two lines. They feel different to the rest of it; the imagery you use is more random, unlike throughout the poem. I'd cut them and end it on my breath returns. Or change some of the imagery throughout. Personally though, I'd cut them.
Other than that, I think the whole thing is awesome!
I don't really have anything to suggest throughout it. All the imagery is amazing.
My favourite lines are:

I look down at my body
and see discolored flesh.
My skin?
It’s marred,
with bruises that never fade;
razor cuts made by unsteady hands trying to shave
half blind;

I take my hips in my hands and
it’s like ripping apart old pillowcases,
pulling off layers:
eternal marks
made inconsequential.

I really like the whole thing of this old person with a worn body ripping it off and being young again. I was worried for a minute in the middle that they were going insane and were going to scratch themself to death. I'm glad that didn't happen. What you've done is really nice and sort of metaphorical and stuff.
I think this is one of those poems that is perfect.
Bravo, well done. This is truly fabulous. I will go follow you now... :D




User avatar
541 Reviews


Points: 370
Reviews: 541

Donate
Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:12 pm
Lauren2010 wrote a review...



Hey Cspr!

I usually don't like free verse, as it tends to not have a great rhythm for me (I'm very rhythm and sound based in my understandings of poetry), but I really liked this one. It had a very nice pace going to it, and the broken/non-uniform stanzas worked very well for me. The content, as well, is so interesting and lovely for it being about someone shedding their skin, haha! I love what you did with it.

There were just a few places that lost me as I was reading.

I look down at my body and see discolored flesh.

I had a problem with this line as the first line, for some reason. I think it's because it doesn't fit the same poeticism the rest of the poem has (god that doesn't make sense). It just has a different feel for me than the rest of the lines in the poem, and even that stanza. Perhaps because it's describing two actions (looking down and seeing)? I don't know. xD

I take my hips in my hands and

it’s like ripping apart old pillowcases,

I can't decide how I feel about the spacing between these two lines. While I like the varied stanza length, these are the one ones that are single line stanzas. The first time I read through it I didn't like it, but the second time I kind of liked the emphasized pause between the two lines. But perhaps putting them in the same stanza would keep that feeling.

My heart beats like a cyclist’s.

And this was my last issue. The imagery here is inconsistent with what's going on in the rest of the poem, and the sound of "cyclist's" sticks out alongside the last words in the other lines of the stanza. They don't have to rhyme, obviously, but there's a certain amount of flow disrupted by how different it is compared to "regrow" "returns" and "sun". It knocked me out of the poem just before the end, which was unsettling as I really enjoy this poem and want to be immersed the whole way through!

Other than that, lovely poem! Thank you for making me enjoy free verse for the first time in way too long.

Keep writing!

-Lauren-




User avatar
662 Reviews


Points: 52441
Reviews: 662

Donate
Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:12 am
dogs wrote a review...



Hello Cspr, Dogs here with your review today! Ok interesting poem you have going on here, you use great imagery, which has been a constant problem in many pieces I've reviewed today, and expand upon an intriguing point. You opening is great, describing the wounds that you've delivered to yourself and how unrecognizable they are.

Lets dive in now shall we? So although your imagery is excellent, I believe you can make it so much better. What you need is more exciting vocab, I want to read some words that are so great it makes me oooo and ahhh while I'm reading it. "Razor cuts made my unsteady hands trying to shave" this is a large missed opportunity to use wonderful vocabulary to help create more imagery. If you're having troubles expanding your vocab uses, try looking up words in a thesaurus. It will help you immensely.

"bulging, blue river after downpour veins;"

Not sure what this line means, I think the 'after" part of it is confusing me. You need to clarify what you're trying to say to alleviate some confusion in the reader.

"freshly cut into/cat points"

I think you can do a far better job of describing your sharp nails. Are they jagged? They arn't even, describe what they look like more? Is decaying skin shoved underneath your nails? I need a bigger visual of this.

Now I don't get the line: "With white hair comes scalp, and slowly black locks return." considering you just mauled your hips instead of your hair/head.

Death that rests inside your elbows? What does that even mean? I get the fingertips part but not the elbows.

The ending is a very weak note to end on. So you just go from crazy "gaaahhhh gonna rip my skin off" to "ahahahahaha I love the sun!" Of course that is an extreme over dramatization but same general idea. I'm not sure how you should end this, maybe with you looking at the pain you inflicted and wondering whats wrong with yourself? Or how you're possessed by something to attack yourself. I'm not sure, you can figure something out I'm sure :). Let me know if you ever need a review, keep up the good work!

TuckEr EllsworTh :smt032





"I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul."
— Pablo Neruda