Thursday, May 5, 2011

Early Purple Orchid

( But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them )

Unsure new lover grins
and name after name is lost
from her open mouth

Rooted in clean air of
the moon theatre
Ruined epiphyte

Is it how she unmakes the
bed? how she undresses
in the cold

Mimicry of wasp
and spider
Lost calling

She almost
holds his hand, almost
pulls back his hair
in her fist

Snarl deep-
throated aggregate
can't incant blue
exile in darkness

Her body is full
of empty chambers
trailing fingertips

maggot death stench
steeped in warm goat's milk
to make philtre

Barely touched becomes


Coral Carter said...

Line 14 15 16

Will Windhover said...

the almost, the whatnot
of the meltdown
of the character armour?

or the discomforting
defenses of desire?

Amanda Joy said...

They're my faves too CC ;)

Which whatnot Will?
I like orchids. :)

breathe in the night said...

Ophelia as the metonymy for the death of love, the shattering realization of irreversible passion unrequitted, even betrayed, by its object. Your poem contains some remarkable intimations of the futility, impotence, and desolation of the broken heart, which leads directly to madness in its desperation for realization, such as "maggot death stench/steeped in warm goat's milk/to make philtre", which is a stunning summation of the broil of desire, necromancy, insanity, and mortality. Eros is boiled alive in the hope of reversing cause and effect, of undoing reality itself. There are more and subtler intimations in your poem, "ruined epiphyte" being particularly suggestive of chthonian femininity as the underlying theme here, but I can't discuss them in length in this forum. Rhythmically the poem is a bit staccato and clumsy, though with a few adjustments it could be more lyricsl. The last word of the poem is the one I object to. The purpose of it is right and wonderful, but "whisper" is cliche in this instance. Look for a word or image which acts as a synonym for this delicateness you wish to impart. I enjoy your work, this one being especially evocative. Thank you.

bruce dorlova said...

so many almosts, evers, and nevers here. such corruption.

i love the way
each stanza
stands alone.


Jhon Baker said...


bruce dorlova said...

& tenderness.

Jé Maverick said...

It's good. I wish it rhymed. :P

Amanda Joy said...

You must have been using the wrong accent Mr Maverick. :)

Miss Jane said...

Well, Ophelia comes from the beginning Hamlet quote, no? This orchid series is fascinating. Being in love is much like living on air. Perhaps "Breathe" would like "whisper" replaced with "fissure". The maggot stench was almost too much for me, until I traced the Hamlet quote and realized it fit the subject.

Amanda Joy said...

Dang! keep losing my comment from here.
Again; I enjoy reading how many different floral enthusiasts like to claim their flower/fungi of specialty were the "dead mens fingers". I think they were orchis tubers ;)
Thanks you Miss Watercolourist.