Levels of leg showing
the limp ways of the dead.
Skin bulging over the force
of attractiveness. Hugging,
chugging, running in the pumps.
Flash of white behind the red
frame of the mouth. An easily
opened orifice of closed eyes,
clenched toes, creased jeans.
The rub until the pop!
of the lips smacked together.
Nair hair legs shave fat
by sipping Stoli and soda
with a lime half squeezed
and discarded. Skin bulges
through fishnets home-made
with an Exact-o knife and ingrown
desperation. Arms, the scarf
in style. Flash the white
of innocence re-done. No show
of the cheap shot pink bundled
under five inch fabric, forbidden
to leave the house, but covered
with a smile.
Nair haired legs shaven of fat
just for a Stoli and lime. Squeeze and discard.
Skin bulges under beehive nylons,
re-designed with Exact-o knife
for "life on the edge." No honey
for the darling with the skirt above
the wrist. Five inch pumps crunch
hormone straddled lads. Mascara eyelashes,
Bacardi coated, hid the tooth long past
chipped on the PBR bottle and the left leg
three inches shorter than the right.
Legs shaven of fat by Nair
she keeps under the bathroom sink.
The Stoli locked behind a glass curio,
scared open by the skin bulging
through her bee-print nylons. Thighs
spilling in between band and skirt,
her fingers try and cover.
De-sensitizing calls return objections
that she's not a dog. Burning light
of a cigarette, reaches in to drop
the poison off on the doorstep
of her lungs. Equal parts oxygen and hydrogen
cyanide sit, waiting for her to open the door.
Nair haired thighs grow prickly,
pear cactuses sprout hard
into blue agave spewing Tequila
for the criminally wasted, burning
cyanide to shave the fat off
the population. Discharge rubbed
in skin destroys the complexion,
but no one cares with Bacardi coated
eyelashes and butterflies crawling
in their pants.
Nair hair legs shaved fat
by sipping Stoli and soda
with a lime. Squeeze and discard.
Thighs bulge through home-made
nylons, sliced with Exact-o knife.
Arms loop flaunted as the scarf
in style. Flashes of white makes one
think not of innocence. Five inch pumps
straddle hormone laden gents. Bacardi
make-shift mascara, coats eyelashes until
lights break on, come two a.m. and you see
who's lap you've been sitting on.
Tactically frightening was written the night after Halloween when all I was seeing was girls in skimpy clothing, running around like crazy and drinking. When I first wrote this, I had been reading Suzanne Lummis for my Discovery poet and she had all these images back to back, with no real structure to her poems, but the language held it up alone. In the original draft I liked the onomatopoeia of the pop. I thought zooming in on the legs would help my image a lot more because the legs were the one thing girls couldn't, but show off. Even though I was using Suzanne Lummis as a sort of inspiration for the original poem, I ended up reading a lot more Haryette Mullen and Rachel Blau DuPlessis and got into this zone of slipping a strong voice into each piece, with lines like "squeeze and discard" in revision 2. For most of the middle drafts, I kept the beginning since the leg was the most important, but I ended changing the ending each time. I kept going back and forth between image and feeling. The image that I showed in revision 1, was the girl with the short skirt unable to leave the house, but then revision 2, I wanted to try out giving the reader an image of a person who's a sub-character, but still give the tone of disregard and being blinded by something (i.e. the drink). I thought using the words beehive nylons, no honey for the darling and then an image of this redneck type boy who is a little rough, but it isn't noticed.
Revision 3 was my attempt at sympathizing with this girl. Showing her home, with the bathroom sink and the glass curio, gave her a more innocent feel. For these poems, I didn't mess with the form as much as usual. I had enjambments and end stops and a lot of caesuras, although in revision three, I have a lot less caesuras then revision 1 and 2, which gives the reader this sense of fulfillment at the end of the line once you do reach the period, or comma. Revision 4, I noticed was a larger picture, using the cyanide from the cigarette in revision 3, and then flipping to poisoning the population of the earth. This version also reaches outside of the spectrum of this girl with the image of the prickly pear cactus meeting the blue agave, birthing Tequila that's for messing with the girl's head and giving her the possibility to birth a consequence.
The draft that came last from this poem was one of the only drafts on the website that really gathered together a sentence from each revision I did. All of the lines I liked best for that poem, keeping with the form of really having no form, giving it an openness for anything could happen. The main difference I saw in the last revision was that each line couldn't necessarily stand alone, they fell off of a line ahead of it, keeping the rhythm moving down the page. This poem really had no metric structure to it either. It seemed to have overall iambic lines keeping with that rhythm.