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mlle Profile
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No replacement valves without receipt


(from a poem-request on "a love/lack or the inability to hold onto it")


No replacement valves without receipt

My love is an inkpot with a prior engagement
ring of crustacean pigment settled at the bottom
in a frown. My nib’s gone missing, my voice

is a rust mute fountain pen, no choice
verse flows to cool a sunburnt beloved’s
brow, no place to sail parchment sailboats.

The pawn shoppe appraised my lust—
the jewelry box with the locks worn off
for tuppins, said so in magpie scrawl.

My gloves were made by Shakespeare’s
father, surely. Who else could stitch so closely—
holding hands with roses, supple prosody,

quill fulfilling stage left fantasies. My ink-stained
palms applaud the cruel danseuse, a sparkling bauble
I’d drop inside an unstrung viola da gamba, and leave

behind a curtain after a salon and cigar. My love
is an instrument I let rot behind the buffet service,
grow to be forgotten amidst polite party chatter.

I received the invitation in sapphire ink,
but already pawned my evening
cloak for more paper, my night mind
must have someone lily-pale and patient
to confide in.
Jul/22/2010, 2:01 pm Link to this post Send Email to mlle   Send PM to mlle
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: No replacement valves without receipt


At first I think the poem says: my love is devalued. But last stanza suggests otherwise, that the poem's ruse is Penelope's, putting off suitors as long as possible. I think I prefer the latter angle, liking the wit of it.

About the prosody. Is the poem looking to work in sprung rhythm? That is what comes through for me. Slant rhyme, full rhyme, half rhyme, end-line outriders, but especially how scansion puts in the ear close attention to metrical stress and pause. This last I respond to most of all. It amounts to poetry's music.

The problem I may have with the poem would involve its objective corelative, the objects onto which it projects what it wants to say emotionally. Poetry can either push away or it can pull in the reader. I tend to the second choice, but that is only me.

Thanks for the poem. This thing is truly fun on the ear.

Tere
Jul/22/2010, 6:12 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
mlle Profile
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Re: No replacement valves without receipt


Tere, i think i overdecorate my 'histophile' 'generarchaic' interior pieces. this one is certainly guilty of that. it's rather like a sunday flea market of me being clever clever. i say this knowingly...

so knowing that through some garish-ness on my part, that there is a sense of 'i don't believe this narrator's initial statement' makes me very excited to go back in and hone more in that witty/Penelope direction.

thank you so much for your insights, i am really glad my imbedded rhymes work sometimes...

really glad to be here, best, jojo
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Christine98 Profile
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Re: No replacement valves without receipt


hi jojo,

The narrator seems to be saying the ability to love is 'all used up.' Dry, encrusted ink-well, rusted pen, jewelry box with locks worn off etc. Last 5 lines suggest all the passion is reserved for writing about love--as opposed to experiencing it:

...my night mind
must have someone lily-pale and patient
to confide in.


I like the digressive/free association quality of this. It's fun and, yes, clever. I don't sense any real emotional center. But maybe that's not the point. I also note this was written in response to a prompt as opposed to an impulse of the writer's.

Enjoyed,

Chris

ps: Love the line break here, engagement/ring

Last edited by Christine98, Jul/23/2010, 1:43 pm
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mlle Profile
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Re: No replacement valves without receipt


Christine, i'm really excited to go back in and find pinpricks of emotional center to expand upon. it's a privilege to have readers understand my narrative hopscotch-ing, really really a treat for me... however free-associative i am.

i have a lot to think about now with objective push/pull as Tere suggested in addition to what avenues i let myself be lead down. i really appreciate your close reading of my work. and i meant to reveal that i felt i was talking to Wyatt's "They flee from me," in the end, in my mind at least.

very best, jojo

Last edited by mlle, Jul/23/2010, 4:38 pm
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Terreson Profile
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Re: No replacement valves without receipt


You mention Wyatt and poem's prosodic intention makes sense. I almost said last night the poem has the sonnet's gestalt. And Wyatt being principally credited with introducing the Italian sonnet into English.

It always takes awhile to figure out a poet's frame of reference.

Wondering here. I think I get you are on the eastern side of the Atlantic pond. Ever checked out Millay's or Cummings's sonnets?

Tere
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Katlin Profile
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Re: No replacement valves without receipt


Hi Jojo,

Welcome to DM! (And thanks to Laurie for inviting you.)

I read your poem several times before reading any of the comments. My original impression was somewhat similar to both Tere's and Chris's regarding the objective correlative and the emotional center of the poem. I was also struck in the first read through by the number of adjectives you used, what you called the overdecoartive quality of the piece. During subsequent readings, however, I came to see that quality as part of the style you deliberately chose and executed.

I agree with Chris about the stunning linebreak in L1. I was hooked by these lines in S1-2:

"My nib’s gone missing, my voice/

is a rust mute fountain pen,"

My favorite lines in the poem are:

"The pawn shoppe appraised my lust—" (Nice.)

and:

". . . my night mind
must have someone lily-pale and patient
to confide in." (Surprising ending; good twist.)

I enjoyed the combination of serious and wit, the whiff of campy that doesn't overpower the poem. The poem held my attention through several rereadings and became more intriquing as I kept reading. Now I'm looking forward to your revision.

Thanks for posting and, once again, welcome.

 
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pjouissance Profile
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Re: No replacement valves without receipt


Hi, Jojo,

Nice change from our prosaic prose around here (I include myself)!

No replacement valves without receipt
(good title)

My love is an inkpot with a prior engagement
ring of crustacean pigment settled at the bottom
in a frown. My nib’s gone missing, my voice

is a rust mute fountain pen,
(I'd break the lines here with this metaphor which I like a alot)



 no choice
verse flows to cool a sunburnt beloved’s
brow, no place to sail parchment sailboats.
(very nice, new metaphor)

The pawn shoppe appraised my lust—
(outstanding)

the jewelry box with the locks worn off
for tuppins, said so in magpie scrawl.
(hmm? Locks worn off for tuppins? Maybe rearrange>)

My gloves were made by Shakespeare’s
father, surely. Who else could stitch so closely—
(excellent)

holding hands with roses, supple prosody,

quill fulfilling stage left fantasies.
(love the language. I'm starting to worry about the substantive message here though)


My ink-stained
palms applaud the cruel danseuse, a sparkling bauble
I’d drop inside an unstrung viola da gamba,
)ok, unrequited love for a dancer. This is a little precious)

and leave

behind a curtain after a salon and cigar. My love
is an instrument I let rot behind the buffet service,
(outstanding, Baudelairean)

grow to be forgotten amidst polite party chatter.
(the syntax of "grow" escapes me)(sorry, the Brit, "amidst" gets on my American nerves)

I received the invitation in sapphire ink,
but already pawned my evening
cloak for more paper, my night mind
(run-on)

must have someone lily-pale and patient
to confide in.
(Fab!)

Take care,

Auto
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mlle Profile
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Re: No replacement valves without receipt


sorry for the lag in replies, new friends!

Tere - yes i am a great admirer of Millay and Cummings and though i haven't looked upon their takes on sonnets recently i think they are certainly a resource/"mentor text" to be explored both past and future! and because there's no such thing as coincidences, one of the poems a recent teacher was most proud of me for was called 'A conversation with Edna St. Vincent Millay's Fatal Interview XI', a piece i wrote after borrowing an anthology from Laurie...it all comes full circle?

i'm a bostonish artiste.
i just realized the autoreferentiality of my salon-scene imbedded in this, my first poem-contribution to this salon! hee

*

Katlin - (Surprising ending; good twist.) / I enjoyed the combination of serious and wit, the whiff of campy that doesn't overpower the poem. The poem held my attention through several rereadings and became more intriquing as I kept reading. Now I'm looking forward to your revision.

i really appreciate you responding to my own worries about the piece's clever-clever factor. i'm glad to hear you enjoy it through the intentional camp(astiche) moments, and being told you're looking forward gives me all the more reason to revise. i'm very grateful for your time, multiple readings and thoughtful commentary.

*

Auto - thanks everso for the close reading. a real gift from anyone willing to do so. i'm excited to have it to consult while i go about my revision-spelunking and i appreciate your honesty, too, about where i lose you in language or preciousness. the pawn shoppe section i let go surreal/wild for the sake of half-images. and i must decide what to do with half-intended run on's in a sometimes grammatically correct piece. (that's often a problem for me, being newly converted to -good- enjambment in lieu of capitalizing at the beginning of a line.)

being told i'm Baudelairean will keep me on my toes. and i want to continue to earn such evocative newness in metaphors while maintaining familiarity.

hilariously, i come from a britophile household, and i myself studied in England at two points in my life, so i don't know when i'm being unintentionally european in my words anymore! 'amidst' may just be a knee-jerk word choice for me when i'm in pseudo-courtly poet mode. i wonder how many poems would pop up if i searched "amidst" in "My Documents" come to think of it. it's a small detail but it reminds me to make sure i've made decisions about every word.

thanks once more to all!
a very grateful, jojo

Last edited by mlle, Jul/28/2010, 10:19 am
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