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Black Ice

you are like black ice.          I could not have prepared.          my bone cracks on the cement where you cling         and you value the dishonorable face of this?          or have blinded your heart to the sight

your agenda desires my reaction as fodder for your mill,          my art as proof that you hold power you have not earned         “I did that! I did! Do you see? Do you see ME?”          I feel your sting through shrunken miles, but am disinclined to look.         can’t see you clearly through your venomous web and bloodstained armor          or your pout like the child, or your whine like the tire on the long, long road

yet the righteousness you claim under self-given mandate          still burns into my eye. and the flimsy cloak          you wear over dubious duality          only states the case against you          and makes one who you beg to look,          want to go back to you as crying child to give you what you needed then          and avert my gaze from today’s tantrum

I did not tattoo you with the harm you wear.         I do not expect you to see mine.          whatever you see in me after my slip,          if it fits your goal,          you, and all others with bloodstained armor, shall never hold credit for this.        all credit for what I show is mine.          my armor may be invisible to you, or unimportant.         no matter.          its weathered brown stains are my ancient blood,

not yours


16 thoughts on “Black Ice

  1. This would make an awesome song. It’s got a good angsty feel to it like a Trent Reznor rant. You repeat some phrases and I think that also lends itself to song lyrics. I am also drawn to the formatting and find it interesting. But I am wondering if I should be seeing some kind of shape referenced in the poem. Is it the crack the bone maybe? But I like the way it makes you read the words even if it’s not referring to anything in particular.

    • Actually, the formatting is more about the weird WordPress line-skipping business when trying to write poetry. I should probably go ahead and look up their ‘alternative ways to format poetry’ page, or whatever it is they call it, even though I don’t intend to write much of it. Anyway, thanks for reading this and for your input.

  2. This is great, Ré. You say you don’t intend to write much poetry. You must. This is one of the best poems I’ve read up here in the bloggosphere. There is such a tension and a powerful presence in both characters in the poem. Well done………..and you’ll get the hang of the spacing thing.

    • Thank you for this. It means a lot to me after having read some of your powerful poetry!

      Last night, after I published, I did go read the WordPress poetry page and I re-formatted this poem in my drafts, with the 10-space breaks as line breaks instead. I think it looks okay, but I realized that maybe my stubbornness was more because I liked the 10-space breaks. My sister thought the formatting added to it, too. But it is good to know that I have the future option of doing it in the more accepted way if I want. Thanks again for your encouragement!

  3. Very good. Two lines stand out for me because of the strong images and the emotion behind them, plus the original writing: the whine like a tire on a long road and ‘I did not tattoo you…’ Such strong writing.

  4. The metaphor – unseen, unseeing, unforgiving, relentless fate. The thoughts are as disjointed as cracked mosaic but I’m unsure of the picture they once described. I have to work at this one.

    But not the loveliness of “. . . your whine like the tire on the long, long road”, and “. . . I did not tattoo you with the harm you wear. ”

    Are you seeking redemption with this poem or am I missing something?


    • This is actually a very personal poem about a specific artist (and other artists like this one) who seem to believe that others aren’t opened up or in touch with their feelings (or pain), because these artists don’t recognize the different “language” others use, as being equally valid. This is about being told what I think and feel by someone who hasn’t the slightest idea, but still wants to ram the intricacies of their point of view, along with their self contradictions, down my throat; and then dismiss me and my decision to be polite, when I tell the truth. I have no desire to rant at an incomprehensible person, and also no desire to be trod on without response, so this felt like a truer angry response for me to send out into the world.

      I did worry that this poem was too specifically about this experience, but I thought it best to share it anyway, and listen to the comments. I admire your way with poetry, so I’m glad you found something in this one, and I thank you very much for giving it a read!

  5. I agree with Angela — there’s something about the fragmentation in the poem’s formatting that compels me. I see you said it’s not intentional, but it still might be something fun to work with. Sometimes the fragmentation works for me and sometimes it doesn’t.

    How are you feeling about it? I seem to remember you saying you’re not a big poetry person. But I second Single Malt Monkey: I think you should write more of it. 🙂 There is a lot of feeling in it, some incredible imagery (I found “my bone cracks on the cement where you cling” especially chilling), and just so much richness I want to see more of. 🙂

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Lisa! I do like to write songs, so maybe that and poetry are more related than I thought! 🙂

      I get what you’re saying about the fragmentation sometimes not working. Because I wanted to keep those 10-space areas, I put in a lot more punctuation than I had at first. I had hoped that it would create separations, or pauses, so the flow would make more sense. So the reader could read it the way I do. Maybe I should post this the other way, to see how readers think they compare? I’m thinking about that. Thanks again!

      • That’s amazing that you write songs — I’ve never tried that and feel like I’d be bad at it. 🙂 My favorite song lyrics are much like poetry, so I do think they’re related… but of course not all songs make great poetry or vice versa. It’s probably similar to the relationship between film and comics. 🙂

        I’d love to see the poem formatted the other way!

      • If you get the melody first, and you like it, song lyrics can be easier than poetry! I agree with what you say about lyrics and poetry being related, but not always the same thing. 🙂

        I’ll go ahead and post the poem the other way, and see what kind of feedback I get!

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