Mummer's Dance

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Kenneth2816
Posts: 686
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

Mummer's Dance

#1 Post by Kenneth2816 » 12 Aug 2018, 00:11

I watched him whip my older brother with the gnarled branch of a pear tree,
stripped down to underwear ,

one hand held both wrists
so that he was half suspended,
twitching and jerking like
an unstrung Howdy Doody,

ratcheting the air with his feet
sliding on blood-slick linoleum,
he would keen and pirouette,
choking on his own snot.


I am six and he's pounding on my door,
cursing, yelling my name.

I dragged the toy box across the room piled it with books, stuffed animals
so he has to grunt a little


I hide beneath the bed,
patch over one eye,
rapier between my teeth.

When it would rain
while the sun was out,
all the old folks used
to say it was the Devil
beating his children

BobBradshaw
Posts: 843
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Mummer's Dance

#2 Post by BobBradshaw » 12 Aug 2018, 21:57

Excellent poem. You grab my attention from that remarkable opening. The passion rises like welts, the heartbreaking and horrific scenes memorable. Terrible poem all the way through... brings back memories... the authenticity is from my POV unquestionable...

Powerful language to that ending that extends the responsibility into the world around these brothers ...

Kudos

IndianaDP
Posts: 109
Joined: 24 Mar 2018, 16:53

Re: Mummer's Dance

#3 Post by IndianaDP » 13 Aug 2018, 02:18

I am blessed to not have experienced a violent childhood; as a result I find this story almost surreal. I think you have done a great job depicting the horrors of such a childhood, it helps me understand what others have endured, so good job; none-the-less, it is not the kind of poem I like to read, then I don’t like to watch movies with torture either.

meenas17
Posts: 462
Joined: 23 Mar 2014, 11:27

Re: Mummer's Dance

#4 Post by meenas17 » 13 Aug 2018, 15:03

Well written.
As Dale feels I do not like to read poems that depict torture.
It is beyond me.
meenas17

Michael (MV)
Posts: 1372
Joined: 18 Apr 2005, 04:57

Re: Mummer's Dance

#5 Post by Michael (MV) » 13 Aug 2018, 20:10

 
Hi Kenneth,


I notice the poem does not contain the word "father," or a familiar term - I find that effective.

Workshop-shared for your perusal & consideration   8)   Michael (MV)


I watched him whipping
with the gnarled branch of a pear tree
my older brother stripped down to underwear.

One hand held both wrists
so that he was half suspended,
twitching and jerking like
an unstrung Howdy Doody,

ratcheting the air with his feet
sliding on blood-slick linoleum,
he would keen and whirl,
choking on his snot.

I am six and he's pounding on my door,
cursing, yelling my name. I drag the toy
box across the room, pile it with books,
stuffed animals, so he has to grunt.

I hide beneath the bed,
patch over one eye,
rapier between my teeth,

and recall when it would rain
with the sunshine in the sky
the old folks used to say
the Devil is beating his children

 

Kenneth2816
Posts: 686
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

Re: Mummer's Dance

#6 Post by Kenneth2816 » 13 Aug 2018, 21:43

Thanks all. This was never going to be a great or even good poem. It's not barbarism solely for shock value though. I smile a little at "torture".

It was literally *nothing* to see kids in the neighborhood riding bikes with multiple welts on their legs, in various hues, to hear screams from the house mext door. Of course today, they would go to jail. Parents in that era grew up in the Great Depression, went through WWII. I've often wondered if my generation, who rebelled and protested in the 60's and 70's were anti authoritarian because of this

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