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Death in Dust and Spiny Oaks

Author: Rokhal
ASL Info:    21, f, USA NW
Elite Ratio:    8 - 85 /71 /18
Words: 211
Class/Type: Poetry /
Total Views: 1458
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Death in Dust and Spiny Oaks

Red rivers and still drops
Preferred to straw-silk tears
Of black curds wrapped
In paper folds of hide;

Wine on splintered glass,
Or scarlet dotted tile;
Not warmed on stone,
To soak the lichen crust

Or shells enshelled in leaves
Hard lacquer, spine-rimmed bowls,
Blown sun-scent dust
On stiffened rabbit bones.

    Summer was Fair-time,
    Dust in the air-time,
    Sell the white goat time
    All must prepare-time.

Time to get rid of those scurs on him.

    Wrap-wrap the tape up and sit on his head,
    Saucer of cornstarch to hold off the blood.
    Gray gritty concrete, hard and cold
    Gold slotted eyes, broad and bulged.

I watched the sawsall and my father’s hands
Above the slick white fur
The whir through stunted horn—it’s fingernail
And the white bone,
And sponge red marrow,
Fingernail again,
And my wrist

A hole.
No tear--
My fingers crimped hard tight
Too hard, with such a firm tight seal.
Not like the goat’s raw stumps.

Or like so many, many rabbits.

I watch curds weep in summer air
And brush the peritoneum
With coated fingers, quivering steel
The loosened bowels fall;
Anticipate the loppers’ snap
And tear the head to free
Mahogany and amber for the heat.

Submitted on 2005-05-26 22:14:15     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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  Like the last commenting reader said, without a fair knowledge of some of these terms and visuals, it becomes a little less.

But less is fine, because I still got the image quite easily, and it was artistically done, painted bright and vivid and bluntly.

At the start of the read, I was skeptical about the topic and the lack of some sort of... "meat on the bones" as far as backing for the words goes...

But after reading a little bit further, I very clearly noted not only the "meat" under the words, but the meat described by the words.

I especially liked the mention of the Goat's eyes.

Eyes are important.

Thanks for the read,

| Posted on 2006-02-25 00:00:00 | by Sheakhan | [ Reply to This ]
  Difficult for one not raised on a farm to understand: curd? scur? And what does lichen have to do with slaughtered animals. Forgive my farming / ranching ignorance, but I had a lot of trouble understanding exactly what you're saying. Nevertheless, the language is extremely sparse and economical, and it's obvious that your imagery is stark and intense, even if my ignorance obstructs full communication.
| Posted on 2005-07-23 00:00:00 | by fredmelden | [ Reply to This ]
  Wow! I don't really know what to write. You really know/plan what you write... I agree mostly on what Shrink wrote. We all grow up different. So that leads us all to different paths. My favorite stanza was
"Red rivers and still drops
Preferred to straw-silk tears
Of black curds born
In paper folds of hide"
Just beautifull.
| Posted on 2005-06-29 00:00:00 | by Kay | [ Reply to This ]
  Wow! this was both a very difficult read emotionally but an easy, natural read poetically.
Actually Rokhal I would have felt a little better if there were some angst. However if you grow up on a farm and this what one does, I would expect that you become enured by it.
It is hard to think of a small young girl (what age did you begin to help?) Having stuffed animals in her bed and decapitating "bunny Rabbits"

But we all grow up with different experiences. This did not seem like a work in progress - It is very well done your use of imagery and your command of the language is exceptional.
I did not find the change in format a problem in fact it was informative and gave a break in the poem - Very nice! Good write!
| Posted on 2005-06-25 00:00:00 | by SHRINKSDR | [ Reply to This ]
  OK you obviously know all with what you did, and you must have grown up on a farm/ or rural area. I am both disturbed and fascinated by these tasks you had to perform, I'm not a vegetarian or animal rights activist, I'm more concerned about animal welfare, and must say, the image of the dull loppers really sickened me-I hope to god the animals weren't alive while you did that.

Onto the poem, yes, I think the context is necessary, it enhances the poem and makes it less confusing. It also gave me knowledge. :)
There's only one thing that slightly confused me throughout, the term 'curds'. It's the milk thing, but doesn't seem to go with the poem. Is there a different meaning? If so i think it'd be a good idea to refer to it in your description, so we know what meaning you're talking about.
or maybe I'm just a dumbass.

S1: Like how it opened, ties in nicely with the description provided.

'Blown sun-scent dust
On stiffened rabbit bones.'
I love these lines. Just evokes the image, this flows so nicely together. I'm surprised this is a work in progress.

Stanza four is an absolute fave, and very well conceived, because it offers a 'break' from the imagery and slight abstraction of previous stanzas.

Stanza 7 detracts a little bit, you use effective language, but it must be the continued repetition of 'and'. Maybe you could reword it somehow?

And the white bone,
the sponge red marrow,
And fingernail again,
And my wrist

yeah I think its just the one 'and' that needs to go, but I love how you get the sense of what's going on, until you get to,

'A hole'.

You have a very good sense of rhythm and flow with this piece.

'My fingers crimped hard tight'
this line seems a bit choppy, maybe remove the 'hard'?
cos 'hard' is written next, also 'firm tight seal' I think the 'tight' shouldn't be there, as it was already said in the preceding line.

The last stanza is absolutel beautiful, realy brings this poem full circle. This is a well written delightful piece really, without being too gory. ;)
I got the mood of getting a job done, routine, and the fascination that comes with it.

Thanks for the very interesting read.
| Posted on 2005-05-27 00:00:00 | by pennyroyal tea | [ Reply to This ]

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