You Can't Rid a Room of an Elephant

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BobBradshaw
Posts: 1500
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

You Can't Rid a Room of an Elephant

#1 Post by BobBradshaw » 18 Oct 2019, 20:37

You Can't Rid a Room of an Elephant

by asking her politely to leave
anymore than you can tiptoe
around the subject of addiction
forever.

For now we talk of stocks,
grandchildren, the cost
of socks. When the elephant
glares at us we grow quiet

as a box of stamps,
and recollections of my brother
going face down into a Christmas punch
fly out the window.

She stares at my ivory pendant
ominously.
Behind that grey hill
my brother Joey mutters, "Holy cow,

why can't you leave me alone?"
--his voice trembling
like a kite in a stiff wind.
"I'm not high."

No one is callous enough
to ask about my brother’s breath,
which sours the air
like fermenting pickles.

Instead we slurp our tea, as if there
is no reason to be here
other than the afternoon
green tea.

"I'm not high," Joey repeats
emphatically--but the elephant trumpets
a dismissive snort,
our chairs swaying like buckets
of water in a quake.

Kenneth2816
Posts: 1178
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

Re: You Can't Rid a Room of an Elephant

#2 Post by Kenneth2816 » 19 Oct 2019, 02:37

Excellent . A perfect example of how to address the impact of addiction in the lived of s family through the use of poetry. This is an important poem and my #2 pick for IBPC

judyt547
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Joined: 17 Jan 2013, 19:46
Location: middle of the woods
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Re: You Can't Rid a Room of an Elephant

#3 Post by judyt547 » 19 Oct 2019, 03:37

Agreed. Well presented.

My only nit (and it's a suggestion, nothing more) is the first stanza. At the very least, not mention the 'addiction', let your reader discover it for themselves. Why is the elephant a "she"? (just curious) I'd be inclined to just keep the first line, lose the next three, and have the second stanza start with that first line, no matter what gender the elephant is.
in the second stanza it's a bit confusing (at least to me): "going face down into a Christmas Punch/fly out the window." Do you mean a Christmas Punch as in, punch bowl? Or a christmas punch as in, 'one to the jaw". What flies out the window? maybe "christmas punch/and then fly out the window"?"

I love the image in the last stanza.

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1500
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: You Can't Rid a Room of an Elephant

#4 Post by BobBradshaw » 19 Oct 2019, 20:52

Thank you, Ken...appreciate the nod.

Judy, thx for commenting. The first suggestion is one I'll think about. best

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Billy
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Joined: 22 Jun 2006, 10:56

Re: You Can't Rid a Room of an Elephant

#5 Post by Billy » 22 Oct 2019, 03:04

Hi, Bob, good poem about alcoholism and families often tip-toeing around it. I like the punch part, it is very clear to me.

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1500
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: You Can't Rid a Room of an Elephant

#6 Post by BobBradshaw » 22 Oct 2019, 04:48

Thanks, Billy

Michael (MV)
Posts: 1596
Joined: 18 Apr 2005, 04:57

Re: You Can't Rid a Room of an Elephant

#7 Post by Michael (MV) » 22 Oct 2019, 05:00

Hi Bob,

You Can't Rid a Room of an Elephant
even when it is crystal clear

😎

Michael (MV)

FranktheFrank
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Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: You Can't Rid a Room of an Elephant

#8 Post by FranktheFrank » 23 Oct 2019, 22:53

I think this is your best this month Bob.
Maybe another word for addiction,
something like affliction.

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1500
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: You Can't Rid a Room of an Elephant

#9 Post by BobBradshaw » 24 Oct 2019, 00:49

Thanks, Frank

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