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Strangers and Other Lovers

a wanting girl I never was
heartless; no kiss or berry
ever tartless.  no books or poem,
no special recipe to prat about,
no marvel or harvest
left me speechless.
ever I bend waistless, an umbrella
looking downward as you turn
listless in the sun,
is all I would need
as long as you're arriving.
I want to taste your
any moment now sensations,
how they bring out the day's soft glint;
silky kir inside crystal
warming my meant to be coddled
cheeks and hollow,
a look and yearning of a just for me
whenever I need you, whenever I want
nightless, a trembling touch,
barefoot, flightless
slick dance on canvas
teeth ground to floury provenders,
near lovers if ever
imagined. whenever I crave
lushness, your fingers through my
wilder hair, lustness
ever keeps the clock drowning
darkness, a lesser way of saying
lifeless, late night syllables,
your heart appearing
frightless, the last crust of bread
ever artless, if no other way
to be loveless
than to appear by never quite
softened in my gaze,
alone in your lostness
more alive to me than ever.

29 Jan 16

Rated 10 (9.8) by 7 users.
Active (7): 1, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10
Inactive (5): 8, 10, 10, 10, 10

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I cannot stop reading this. It's augural in many ways like an Edgar Allan Poe piece, if only he wrote of love. It's rather unique and inventive, and captivating. It's fearless and flawless. It's daring and bold.

I start to critique the piece but can't because I get lost in the details. Lines 22/23; lines 9/10; line 41/42; line 50.

I love the aural ocean of gentleness woven throughout. But like an ocean it's so much deeper than the enveloping waves on the surface.

It's fair to say this piece has captured me, much like you, dear author, are captivated by the lost subject of your poem.

A look of yearning,  indeed.
 — PaleHorse

flawless.  I think you're being too generous.  You want to critique this, I sense.  You should, it probably needs a lot more work, but there is something I am going to take from you, and that is honouring it for what it is.  You do that with your poems often, whereas I cut the crap out of mine all the time, and maybe what started out to be the sense and the soul, might be left with just the chop of the storm; not the depths of the tide that forced creation.

The lines you mentioned as being lost in,
I'm glad.

Your comment is blushingly laudatory, thank you for your thoughtful and creative words. Your language has always impressed me :)

I wonder if this poem gives the feeling of underlying lack of passion,
or is it actively passionate?
does it feel the way it might feel after some time
when passion has been silenced?  

It can be difficult to embody the lost, but it's easy to find the treasure. :)
 — jenakajoffer

I like the internal rhyme and beat.

There is a lot of ness and less going on. It seems like there is only two choices and I can't (or don't want to) commit to either.

I can see this has been well worked on and is quite delicately presented. A lot better than some of your other recent work, Even so a lot of your metaphors are quite weak

...If you are interested in improving and not just writing and posting for a lark that might be something to work on.

 — PollyReg


ever I bend waistless, an umbrella
looking downward as you turn

i am presented with no cohesion here or even, any clue as to the intended image.

or here:

barefoot, flightless
slick dance on canvas (canvas/night/day - cliché and overdone)
teeth ground to floury provenders,

or here:

your heart appearing
frightless, the last crust of bread
never artless

i'm ick with heart anyway but 'the last crust of bread never artless?"

I would say the last crust of bread would be 'ever' artless due to the inability to make a sandwich with it...No? Yes?

 — PollyReg

I don't want to eat your teeth. I rated you a ten.
 — PollyReg

Hi Polls, ever grateful for your comments. I can understand why you might have a hard time cluing in; poems about writing (mine) can be obscure I guess. I'm willing to elaborate as the exercise in doing so will be good for me. It's all brain training.

Inspiration from a painter/paintings, gives me title, seduction and music,
Subject gives me stranger/lover/imagine, writer's block and lost--
when musing or creating musings, I often use two things in my metaphor/imagery:
Food and Love/romance.

What's real and becomes real is all what you make it, if you want it, if your mind can go there.
Waistless/bend/umbrella looking downward/listless, it's not easy to try and explain my images, but the inspiration is embracing the lost one (lost muse, listless in the sun), waistless makes me actually envision a figure when there isn't one (no tangibility only fantasy) like reverse psychology, and in the context of this poem, a slender female-- and like umbrella, some bend at the "waist" like beach  umbrella, which puts me at the beach dancing barefoot on the canvas of those paintings, and all I would need, is just that; the muse (the lover) will arrive.

I imagine being so passionate with someone that it makes your grind your teeth,
and the particles are floury as you knead into each other, rising and warm, and crusts of bread are the only art left as evidence--  I would totally feast on that. Yum.  I eat words for breakfast everyday but after an exerting night of ravishing my mind and muse; my lost stranger,  I'm pretty freakin' starving.

Ness/less, is the music and I already have a dance partner.  :)
Thanks so much for reading. Your comments are valid, helpful and appreciated.
I do want to be a better writer and this is how I practice.
Good catch on never artless, I was struggling with that one. :)
 — jenakajoffer

PS. I'm NEVER ick with heart.

Im careful how I use it, mindful of its lack of popularity/overuse/cliche,
But I think it's beautiful if used well.
 — jenakajoffer

Every strophe has its own intensity. I haven't read such awesomeness in awhile.
 — unknown

Trying to put my finger on something... before responding.  Read this days ago.  Will have more to say soon.
 — OldShoe

 — raskolniikov

Hey Jen,

Thanks for your reply. About the content now:

I guess I am not one hundred percent keen on it because I hate 'the nothings' in writing. An existential crisis in a poem  doesn't really do it for me.

If you are going to play with one though...

It seems to me that it needs to be done tighter than this. Less and Ness - It's all good but...

Coming back to the umbrella line/stanza because it is really the one that is bothersome to me.

ever I bend waistless, an umbrella
looking downward as you turn
listless in the sun,
is all I would need
as long as you're arriving.

the narrator is 'waistless' therefore, you are telling us that your 'I' is/will be non existant. Being non existant he/she cannot possibly see the subject listless in the sun, nor desire an unbrella (looking downward, or otherwise) - Wish/need is dependant on presence. Incidentally, looking downward is so clunky to me. Therefore as a metaphor/simile it's not working for your "I" or lack thereof and even if we remove it as a 'metaphor' the stanza itself becomes non existant - yes/no?

Thus, all we have here is an umbrella looking down. With no-one holding it. And for no reason. And yet, someone needs it?

Mate, if the world is just an umbrella (looking downward) I think I might want to do myself the knacker right now.

A wish for an object?  Here's what: An umbrella is always an umbrella, aint never going to be a bending woman. We know that. We hope we know that.

On the plus side, arriving is good and in some ways I like it. Something from nothing. The creationalist twist.

Even so I think this poem has come from a dark place. Very dark.
 — PollyReg

Damn it Polly. What a time for a frickin review. Chive on.
 — Known

chive on?

known, make sense when you talk to me, puhlease.
 — PollyReg

And you said your poem was about writing so another question would be this:

Is metaphor created by the writer or the reader?
 — PollyReg

I love the title.

I love L11 and 12

I'm still not fond of the teeth bit. (?)

And I like that this has a positive ending. Sort of. Positive for the subject?
 — PollyReg

Duh, Polly. The narrators vagina is an umbrella!
 — unknown

Hmmmmm.  I guess I didn't get that.

I think of vaginas as places of torrential weather.

It get's even more insidious. The plot thickens, so to speak.
 — PollyReg

I think metaphor transcends existential thought in poetry. What Jen does here is to take very disconnected objects and use them as a metaphor for how seemingly innocuous objects can affect the people or things around them.

As critics we have do decide if she succeeded in her endeavor. As poets we have to laud the approach, it's one of the more unique works here in recent memory. For me, I agree Polly that there is an inherent darkness to this piece, but not one of foreboding. More like linguistic Chiaroscuro. Light, coming from dark. What works for this piece, and in some ways hinders it, is that it takes multiple readings to full grasp the scene and the message.

But enough of my blathering.

Chive on Known, and polly too.
 — PaleHorse

Somewhere between half way and three quarters I lost your meaning. I mean that the write felt like a practice to me; trivial; masturbatory...like a preparation for something looming; the obvious sharpening here is unnecessary though. Yes we need to stay keen, but we also need to stay real. Perhaps I'm off track in which case rerail me please!

Polly's crits are either inconsequential or beyond me; I don't know which; sorry.

Honestly, despite my walk through your room moving and tossing crap around, you're an amazing writer jenaka. I mean it. You make me happy to have read you; happy to have found poetry at all. To many more love, many more...
 — Known

"Polly's crits are either inconsequential or beyond me; I don't know which; sorry. "

lol, can't they be both?
 — PollyReg

"use them as a metaphor for how seemingly innocuous objects can affect the people or things around them"

I may never be the same with an umbrella (looking downwards) again. eek.

What does this chive on mean?
 — PollyReg

nice feedback, I want to thank you guys for taking the time to share.

I do want to say heck yes an umbrella can be a woman. I like the inks comment about the vag, although not at all what I was implying with the imagery, it made me laugh and I appreciate the participation! Humour is always welcome in my pooh-korner.

People don't have fantasies or great stories because things have to make sense so I'm not going to grind the bones to make anymore bread :)

that said, you all have excellent points and opinions.  I'm sure it has many problems in that maybe it doesn't resonate with the reader on a universal spectrum.  Too novice? Too experimental? Too disconnected? Too obscure?

exactly. sometimes you have to be fearless and take risks.
 — jenakajoffer

Insidious? Darkness?
Sorry I missed that and I wanted to say how surprised I am to receive that impression. I'm going to ponder that for awhile.

Hey Polly remember we talked about Dean Koontz years ago? Well the Bad Place was always my favourite book too and now I'm wondering if you think of that when you say this is a dark place, so maybe it is but it's certainly not a bad place, haha. :)
 — jenakajoffer

The bad place is a good book, one of my favourites. My other favourite is "The god of small things" by Arundhati Roy. I'm eclectic in my tastes. Can't say that's what I meant by a dark place though. It's like this:

Try and imagine nothingness, and after a while you will likely freak yourself fully out. It is not somewhere that I would want to try and write from (whatsmore I don't think it would be possible - which is why this is a thunderous reach)

If our 'ness's' that we write about, were a carton of eggs, for example...and we decided we were sick of eggs and we were going to break every single one so as we could build a sausage diaroma. Afresh. New. Complete re-invention of the carton's contents.

The very last egg which contained our previous 'understanding of sausage diaromas' would be impossible to break. You can't break that last egg and still build that sausage diarama. It just cannot be done.

You may well have written your sausage diaroma but you will 'always' have your egg in it. See?

(lol, I am talking crap, now. crapness)

And I don't think of this (or you as a writer) as novice. The metaphors/images need work (the umbrella especially) - And, I'm super glad its not a vagina, OMG. I would have bet it was one though ;-) Mind in my crotch and all, lol

writing about writing is always circular. something like that.
 — PollyReg

You never fall short of creative images and funny sayings Polly. Thanks for the stories. I'm next touching my umbrella, isn't it a lovely vagina? I love that unknown! Hahahhaa
 — jenakajoffer

Polly why did you rate this 8?
 — Known

I didn't known. But I don't see how it is your business in any case. If Jennifer wanted to ask me, whatever.

What are you, like a rating vigilante or something?
 — PollyReg

Noooo I'm a curious member, I had thought it was this, it wasn't. You're given jen some heat I'm just asking why. You've objected to the poem and I still don't get why.
 — Known

I didn't rate it at all
 — PollyReg

No, I critiqued it as I saw fit.

That is not giving someone heat, at all. Alluding to ulterior motives in people that have differing points of view to yourself is something that is objectionable to me.

I explained myself clearly.  I'm not getting your point, as usual, snookums.
 — PollyReg

No, you hated instead hater.
 — Known

Here we go...

How old are you, known?
 — PollyReg

140, why?
 — Known

You are using the website for a different purpose to myself. I am interested in learning. I am not interested in whether the poet is 'nice' or not. You don't get that.
 — PollyReg

You act about 16
 — PollyReg

I'm interested in whether the writing is nice. You talkin about the writing and I'm not learning.
 — Known

I'm not going to argue with you on this person's poem. It's futile and pointless.

"You hated, you hater"  - What, are you in like junior high or something?

I don't need to be part of a cool girls clique on the internet, thanks.

If that is the reason that people are not allowed to have individual opinions on this website well then the website is well and truly already down the toilet anyway.
 — PollyReg

 — Known

lol, sorry jen, I missed your comment while I was arguing with known. Yup, that unk is funny. That's my favourite of the little fuzzies. Unknowns are like bubbles.
 — PollyReg

The entire  poem is an umbrella. Looking downwards. Wallace Stevens Blackbird poem Jenakajoffer style. :-)
 — PollyReg

Less is more

More or less

 — unknown

I keep reading the title this way: Lovers and Other Strangers. I like your tender side.
 — unknown

sensual, stimulating and lovely pushes in pleasure.
I feel the poem begin at 11. we learn that poems begin often where we enter a conversation.
I learned this from the book "the practice of poetry" I would high recommend. It is like one of my my holy grail of approaching poetry:0)

I felt like you were entering a conversation on that line 11. I also see a shift in the tenses. in line 11 it seems you was speaking in past tense. for example you can say "imagine. Whenever I craved lushness..."

the poem from line 1 to line 10 I feel is a different poem. It is a different subject. Perhaps two stanzas explore two humans senses can come after, and each one connected in some way to the dream and him and then perhaps connecting them in some way to that final stanza (line 4 to 10)

I really enjoyed your poem:0)
 — Victoriah

hi again polls, thank for the blackbird ref, that was cool. :)

i know that wasn't really Mor, but it wish it was.  he was always so cool with me, tried to be a jerk but couldn't because of the bacon fat.  it brings love to the table, it does.

hello unknown, i have a tender side, i guess i do. i'm the most tender in the middle.  If you read the title the other way, is it because it sounds better that way?  I prefer it Strangers first, then lovers, but they're both fine.  thank you for the comments.
 — jenakajoffer

the gentleman's handshake:

boy no mor
naming the piggys

open the farm
...and we smile

I don't know who mor is. Unknowns are just unknowns, really. For me anyway. You're welcome. I will have a look at your new poem when I get a chance.
 — PollyReg

Oh thank you Ruskie! I'm sorry I missed your comment. :)
 — jenakajoffer

whose ruski?
 — PollyReg

Rask. Ruskie is nickname for Russian. I'm big fan of Soviet. ;)
 — jenakajoffer

I feel guilty for not having read this sooner. one crit: 9/10 is tough.
 — sixtywatt

Guilt has no place here :)

So you think that line is tough? Like too long, exhausting? I know, it requires patience, as does the muse. Hehe.
 — jenakajoffer

Nice edit I think. Victoriah mentioned starting here and I like that idea now.
 — jenakajoffer