Smartly take on fatherly shame, watching
the dark clump mopping on the scalp,
perpendicular to the one thousand Egyptians
counting cotton, lips gummed
to the other's tongue. Tastes of silver
metallic crumbs of seed. Thrust deep
where a sliver lies, not on wood.
Taking two inches of a well worn skin,
peeling and snap back, where the shoulder hits
drywall. Plastering intimations of a back-thought smile
on the jack-hammering Pop. Nursing your eyes
on one who's not your mother.
Open the door a vein width to see:
the tasting of tamarind pods, filling the mouth,
harvesting from the stalk, plucking, drawing,
pulling 'til the sour hits the tongue.
The half-nude lips tuck flaccid, outlining
the bridge between caps. Sacking the metallic
acid onto the thousand cotton counting
Egyptians. Pitching his weight forward,
smacking shoulder into drywall.
You hear the Pop of someone who's not
Inch of space shows feet of the leg
wrapped around the back, deep dimples
above the cover of desire, showing by the sweat
dripping into the mouth fish-wide gulping
the saltwater, unable to drown. Not
on the tongue, the metallic acid lands splotched
on the thousand count sheets where eyeliner
piggybacks on cum, but sticks to the woman
who's not your mother.
Scenes of sin sips
on the sickest drop.
Wig of dark hair
rubs onto eyeliner-
cum stained thousand
count sheets that Egyptians
hand wove restlessly. Mummy
stiffness passes through
the man on top with the Pop!
of acrid metallic goop
webbing through air,
and wapping on the floor.
Where it camouflages
into oak-knot, dripping in.
Knocking with the door inched open, but instead on the board above the head, feathered down, flapping with bangs and change clanging, sweet as a bell. Drywall dust floats by fan and settles into goose bumped flesh. Crinkled hair down the back where fingertips sample shoulder blades and reach for scabs of crusted cum that was used as glue for the shredding tongue. Tampered treasures leave the Pop wilted and fizzling. Egyptian cotton wrapped under the glib stare of the eyeliner-clad woman who is not your mother.
Doors inched open don't always mean
enter. The dark Pop mopping evidence
from the thousand count Egyptian cotton
tasting the sweat and going down
on the floor of the oak, trembled stiffness
up his body. KY half-used, just bought
by his wife drained under the bed, squeezed
from the pores of the woman, not your mother,
but she knows doesn't she? Faceless taster
of her dessert, a bite taken out where the sweet
baked in, only leaves bitterness on the tongue.
I seem to always start my poems while sitting in my Women in Literature class where I am supposed to be learning about feminism and race and experimentalism, but I can't help but let my mind wander and jot all of these down. Even though these were maybe the darkest of the poems I wrote for the website, they came the quickest because sadly, I saw them so vividly.
The original I tried for a mix between image and abstract. Along with the rest of the poems, I couldn't help but play the words as much as possible. The "one thousand Egyptians counting cotton," was probably the first of the phrases I played with. Line 5 was one of those lines that were tight and had an image that I wasn't expecting. Line 6, I liked the assonance of seed and deep.
Revision 1, I started off thinking I was going to move through the poem using a list-like form, but it didn't really follow through after the first image. I think the reason these revisions turned out so differently each time was that I came into looking at them differently, instead of the same poem, using a lot of the same words and images, I had this image in my head and I wanted to describe everything. Anyways, Revision 1 I ended up showing an image that was still a little abstract, but one that I thought everyone could see clearly through the use of words like, half-nude, flaccid, and sacking.
Revision 2, once I read it through after writing it, the image of the fish definitely connected me to the thought that people in this situation are drowning a bit, but are unable to stop because that's how they live. Each first line, I try and show the space of the door opened just a crack, but images like deep dimples above the cover and sweat dripping into the mouth, make it seem as if you are right there in the room with them.
Revision 3, I wanted images that weren't that pleasant and I thought the form, with all the enjambments would help create that flash feeling. There are a lot of harsh enjambments, but your eye also moves down the page with the short lines and then the sound of phrases such as "scenes of sin sips" and the alliteration of webbing and wapping and then the internal rhyme of wapping and knot. I'm really not sure if wapping is a word, but I hear it in my head and it sounds nice for that onomatopoetic sound.
Revision 4 was another that I played with the sound of words together. With the alliteration of feathered and flapping and then with the assonance of bangs, change, and clang.
For reasons unknown, maybe I was done with this poem, maybe for now I've had enough, but I made it quit. The image. I wrote something that was over. There was no more of the man and woman on the bed, the scene that was the rest of the revisions. I made him alone and the only reason I could think of why I did that was because I was over it. Writing it out that many times, my mind doesn't want to play it out for me anymore. I did however, want to bring it back to the beginning with the word mopping and I liked the thousand count Egyptian cotton. That stuck through all of the revisions, and the taste of the bitterness on the tongue was that sense that usually should disgust and it doesn't until the last revision.