Saturday, 30 August 2008

the advertisements

there is something serial about assembling limbs
accumulating fleshy prosthetics
scissoring legs off of bodies
peeling navels from stomachs
stretching anonymous skin across a book cover
serving up this woman's thigh or that girl's breast

it's like a reverse amputation
paring off the ankles in basement surgeries
knifing the hamstrings and unshut eyes
carving out unwanted identities
taking a scalpel to the neck and head
prepared like puffer-fish sushi to be free of any deadly person

they leave no stomach unturned or untucked
and the parts lay bloodless like a puzzle
so the king's men can keep a piece each
add to their skin-tone collector sets
cross-referenced by anatomy

the magazine racks are delis
the shutter a mortar
the page a snare
and the models are drawn and quartered

The prof's comments were, "This is clever, but it reads far too staccato for my taste, like machine gun fire, so that it accumulate as too much of a list and not enough of a flow." Staccato was my aim, however; any guesses why?


skatej said...

My guess would be that you're making the poem staccato so it's as cut up as the models, as hard and sharp-lined as the advertisers themselves. I could be wrong though...

The English Clergyman said...

Yay! Thank-you for 1) reading this at all, and 2) answering correctly! Now, the more important point is, does it work? Does it improve the poem at all, or is it just a cheap and unnecessary trick?

lois said...

You capture it exactly - the feeling I have in the line at the grocery store. The sadness/anger at how they are treating women's bodies. Your poem should NOT have a "flow". It is purposefully jarring. It should hurt to read it, just like it should hurt that no one cares about the models that are photographed. Sometimes professors just don't get it.

The English Clergyman said...

I'm just going to stick up for the prof here; usually she "got it" quite well. I think it is more a difference in taste, not semantic value.

Thanks, though, lois, for your contribution--and I don't mean that in a patronizing way--and I'm glad you agree with my style choices.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin