Friday, March 22, 2013

Poem: Joseph

I'd love some direction on this's another old one, edited, re-edited, and sort of hovering in uncertainty..I'm not sure if I've edited into complete confusion - just a collection of images that go nowhere. So let me sort of a gentle way. Thanks!


Mumble your prayers, father;
     I know
those hands call up lilies like songs.

Keep watch. Hold
    your almond-
eyes still. 

I wait on you.

Unsteady tonight -
    again my toes
       trace - awkwardly bright,
whore’s red and swollen
        cold -
along the crack between us
        that grows.


  1. I love the first half. Especially the opening triad. So beautiful.

    The second half is good, too, but the word whore jumps out at me and leaves the rest in comparative obscurity. And I'm interpreting it, after a few reads, as sort of a 'pray for me, St. Joseph, I'm breaking away' idea... is that what you had in mind?... or, since it's poetry, close enough? ;)

  2. Jenna, yes! sort of an intercession-y type poem..I'm glad it's see-able :) Do you think the word 'whore' is too much of a distraction then, I really want it to work, but I think I Feel closer to you on it - that it jumps out and sort of takes the reader out of the poem.

    Thanks :)

    1. Hmmm... I think the thing is, it's a strong word. If you want to use it, you might try strengthening the words around it to match, give it a little more context. Right now, it's the only overt clue that this isn't just a "gosh, St. Joseph, I'm having a rough day" prayer, it's a "save my soul, it's drifting hellward!!"

      So, you've got 'the crack between us/ That grows'... you might try something heavier, like 'the smoking fissure' or 'the abyssal cleft' (can you tell I'm an adjective fiend? :P) And earlier, 'unsteady tonight'--you could find a stronger word to replace 'unsteady'. 'Unstable tonight/ I lurch, my toes/ trace...' Brainstorming here, but you get the idea.

      Best of luck! I'd love to see the finished piece. :) In the meantime, have a blessed Holy Thursday!