Poetry
Comments 14

A Clever And Cruel Man – A Poem By Carol J Forrester #DVersePoets

You and your dim accuracy,
head lolled loose
eyes whitened and widened
till the pupils blink out.
Words come clipped,
ransomed love letters
read like shopping lists,
or obituaries.
Call this a grey life,
the air sucked clear
your mouth a pursed funnel,
but I
am the culprit.
Found the bruises of your hands,
like marble sponge,
cold as stone
the heat slipping over you
without warming.
In the well shade you sit
while I sink deeper, darker
for the waterline.
Come up spitting dust
and excuses.
Shoulder a shallow cloak
of indifference,
already the hem unpicked
by those grasping hands
always tapping
rapping
at the weakest point.
Feel them at my temples
tonight, tomorrow, today,
at the weakest point
always tapping away.

Ah, I’m really hoping I got this right. The five Samuel Greenberg charms that I used for my response are as follows: dim accuracy / grey life / marble sponge / the well shade / shallow cloak. I tried to emulate Greenberg’s abstract style (though not quite as drastically as he employs the abstract).

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Carol J Forrester is a writer and a history geek. Her debut collection 'It's All In The Blood' came out November 2019. She has a 2:1 BA degree in history from Bath Spa University, enjoys judo at least twice a week, and tries to attend poetry events around the Midlands when she can. Her flash fiction story ‘Glorious Silence’ was named as River Ram Press’ short story of the month for August 2014 and her short story ‘A Visit From The Fortune Teller’ has been showcased on the literary site Ink Pantry. Her poems ‘Sunsets’ and ‘Clear Out‘ were featured on Eyes Plus Words, and two of her poems were included in the DVerse Poets Pub Publication ‘Chiaroscuro’ which is available for purchase on amazon.Her poem ‘Until The Light Gets In‘ was accepted and published at The Drabble and her poem ‘Newborn’ was published by Ink Sweat & Tears. She has been lucky enough to write guest posts for sites such as Inky Tavern and Song of The Forlorn and has hosted a number of guest bloggers on her site Writing and Works.

14 Comments

  1. You got this more than right Carol and thank you for joining in- you have used the ‘charms’ so beautifully and added some sensational ones of your own so that it all blends so well. Goodness these lines have such impact!

    “ransomed love letters
    read like shopping lists,
    or obituaries.”

  2. What can I say, Carol? Sharp intake of breath… The image in the opening lines is disconcerting as is the atmosphere that stretches like dust and skin over the rest of the poem. These lines made me sit up:
    ‘Words come clipped,
    ransomed love letters
    read like shopping lists,
    or obituaries’
    and I felt the despair of someone in a loveless relationship, which was confirmed in
    ‘Shoulder a shallow cloak
    of indifference,
    already the hem unpicked
    by those grasping hands’.

  3. ‘Shoulder a shallow cloak
    of indifference’
    That’s a great line, so much inferred in a few words, it’s all a wonderful creation, very well done. I simply enjoyed it.

  4. Glenn A. Buttkus says

    This prompt really brought out some wonderful poems out here on the trail. Greenberg’s darkness, like Ginsberg’s lustful madness, overshadows all of our words and our attempts at emulating his troubled spirit. ‘Call this a grey life, the air sucked clear, your mouth a pursed funnel.” caught my attention.

    • Thank you Glenn. I’m glad to hear those lines caught your attention, it can be difficult to judge how well something will land when you’re writing, but I really liked that bit.

  5. I hear echoes of Poe in your poem about a tortured and fraught relationship. It is very potent and startling, great work!

  6. So much to appreciate here, Carol. I’m not going to pull out an individual image, there’s too much. The overall mood and intensity pulled me in hard.

  7. sanaarizvi says

    The charms are so seamlessly, so exquisitely woven! I loved every word! 🌹💝

  8. Late to the reading….apologies.
    The charms themselves disappear in the story of this amazing write. These lines most especially stirred my emotions;
    “Shoulder a shallow cloak
    of indifference,
    already the hem unpicked
    by those grasping hands
    always tapping
    rapping
    at the weakest point.
    Feel them at my temples
    tonight, tomorrow, today,
    at the weakest point
    always tapping away.”
    The repetition here of words, of consonants…so powerful.

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