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An Experiment in Stripping Paint

by Morrigan

Take away everything unnecessary. 

Peel off your fake eyelashes,
Scrub away the foundation. 

Get rid of your jewelry: 
The elephant pendant swinging under your chin,
Four earrings of white gold,
And don't forget your rings. 

Strip the pomp out of your circumstance. 
Take the sway out of your hips. 
You do not need the high tinkling laugh to cover your nerves;
I won't be impressed by your large vocabulary anyway, 
So put down the dictionary. 

I want to see you without your computer and its gravitational pull--
If those people are your friends, they will wait for you forever.

just be with me

you don't need capitals or even
just curl up soft next to me in bed
while the morning unfolds cold around us

your skin is cratered
but it makes me think of the moon
you are a bouquet of thoughts all tied up 
in forehead wrinkles where anxiety has folded you
but don't worry
we are the same
without the varnish

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46 Reviews

Points: 204
Reviews: 46

Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:33 pm
LMJRayner wrote a review...

Hi Morrigan,

I loved the whole thing, you have grabbed the horns of style and meaning and thrown them to the ground becoming their master. Utilising single lines and lack of punctuation to emphasise a point and to highlight the words being said.

I lurched slightly at the idea of telling your loved one that she has a cratered face like the moon haha as poignant as that may be.

This was clever and well written, structure well thought out and the voice was clear.

I look forward to reading more of your works :)


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532 Reviews

Points: 1271
Reviews: 532

Sun Jul 26, 2015 5:25 pm
GeeLyria says...

So sincere<3 lol

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1239 Reviews

Points: 34882
Reviews: 1239

Sun Jun 28, 2015 3:51 am
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niteowl wrote a review...

Hi there Morrigan! Niteowl here to leave a super-short review on this fantastic poem for the Pagemasters! Schadenfreude and Fahrvergnugen ahoy!

Overall, I love this. The imagery is highly specific in some parts (like the elephant necklace), yet still so relatable (who doesn't want to be loved for who they are and not the "paint" they put on?).

I have just two suggestions:

1) I think the stanza with the computer should be moved to right before "just be with me". This makes the flow more natural. Right now, it's a bit weird to go from talking about physical traits to computers and back to physical traits.


You do not need the high tinkling laugh when you are nervous;

This line doesn't make sense to me as a reader. It strikes me as more of a flaw than as something to cover up a flaw. Or maybe not so much a flaw as a neutral trait.

Overall, this is so beautiful, I'm being pretty nitpicky. Great job as always and keep writing! :)

Morrigan says...

Thank you!

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198 Reviews

Points: 3
Reviews: 198

Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:55 pm
Dreamworx95 wrote a review...

Morrigan, this is a powerful poem that says so much about our society's obsession with the trivial. I love how evocative the title "An Experiment in Stripping Paint" is, and how well it reflects the content and theme of the poem.

There's irony in the line "I want to see you without your computer and its gravitational pull" - the irony being that one has to be on their computer to read a poem about the banality of being on a computer all the time.

My favorite line is "I won't be impressed by your large vocabulary anyway, so put down the dictionary." It speaks to the way writers often overuse the dictionary to make their writing flowery and detailed, but the reality is that clean and simple writing is taken for granted. I love the way the second half of the poem is stripped of capitalization and punctuation. The fact that this follows the line with the dictionary bespeaks the abandonment of shallow propriety as well as grammatical formalities.

The elephant pendant makes me think this is written for someone in particular.

One criticism I have is that the details like the false eyelashes, the jewelry, the makeup, the swaying of the hips make it seem as though the message is directed at individuals who identify as female. I feel that this potentially has a negative connotation about femininity.

Overall though, I really enjoyed this poem. I hope you found this review helpful.

- Dream.

Morrigan says...

Thank you for the thoughtful review!

I wasn't aiming it at people who identify as women, as I am a woman myself, and am a feminist. I'm glad that you pointed this out to me.

I did write it about a particular person, however, who is a woman, so I don't think I'll be changing it. But thank you for the thoughts!

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198 Reviews

Points: 3
Reviews: 198

Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:54 pm
Dreamworx95 says...

Duplicate post!

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Points: 2021
Reviews: 25

Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:29 pm
hunith says...

i love this, its great... keep it up.

The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.
— Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451