Very effective, Bill. I enjoyed reading the comments to this and I almost wish you'd put nothing in the description box so I could have reacted to it without knowing what it was about.
I see someone who is so disconnected from reality and whose aggressive arrogance and hateful words strip down what it is to be human, hence the plastic hands (in other words the writer isn't real)
This poem reminds me of a guy I met recently on one of the poetry boards. He was saying that an African didn't fit the picture the writer was creating of an intelligent immigrant on the bus who couldn't yet speak English. The guy seemed to delight in saying things that were obviously off color and eventually morphed into a troll which was a shame since his poetry didn't bear the same voice.
I interpret this as a scathing rebuke, pure disdain for anothers choice of expression. There are an impressive number of aspects about this person's writing for which you have a highly corrosive comment.
I had to scan the other comments because quite honestly I didn't really get it. I agree with the coldness of it. It left me sort of wanting to turn away... like when you see something gruesome and you just need to look away. This review sucks! I'm goin' to read something else.
Goodness! You certainly did have an intense reaction. The comparisons of "pretty" with your images are extreme contrasts in some cases, such as the "leer" - a bit like saying the words are as pretty as a sharp stick in the eye. No question here: You certainly made your point erffectively. I liked best the comparison to the lurid novel, and also liked the last stanza - the plastic hands. I'm curious - what "pretty words" offended you? fred
Well this was interesting, and left a weird chill in the room,--I must add wood to my stove now.
All of the similes for your “pretty words” are images of things hollow, shallow, superficial , empty—all depict a sad inability, (or unwillingness ) to make a real connection to others. I get a feeling of sleaziness, cheesiness, squeamishness that lingers as each successive couplet advances this thought. ”as a leer that peels the person from the flesh” I liked this particularly,that the core is stripped away from the fruit somehow. We speak of someone “undressing –with their eyes”—peel off the exterior to imagine nakedness. Here, you go one step further, where the person leering needs/want only the flesh, there is nothing else gratifying.
The italicized repetitions serve to heighten the vacuity, with the robotic and simple prelude /response to each couplet, and the effect is chilling, somewhat like that insane talking doll (Chucky?) of horror movies. They also remind of a scratched record, the needle stuck in the same grove, --and again this colours the message of a senselessness, inappropriate affirmation from the “moron”
”because my plastic hands composed their lustrous forms”
I liked this final sardonic couplet, the premise on which the “moron” bases his reiterated proclamation. We know of course that the un-italicized thoughts and words are those of another,--you the author, and I think this dialogue-of-the-mind worked well in this poem.