Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Naked&Afraid



He’s a nick in his cheek,
where dark skin drapes over sharp bone, beneath
hazel eyes on a yellowing field ---

“Tryn’a catch dinner.”

“Don’ tell em that,”
his wife, in technicolor stretch pants,
chides,

I want to reassure her, we’re all poor
in some way, & there is blessing in it
not all depending on us

“How they biting?”

“Not much”

A dead perch in his bucket
bellies up to catch some sun,
large dark eyes --- no longer moving

The deck creaks each time we shift
weight, boards buckled from alla’ storms,
too much heat, splinters & nails
held together by what we can’t see

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz – sploot
he casts out his line again, on neither side,
straight out

“They playin’ with me tho.”

“They tend to,”
we laugh at the truth, we won’t deny,
hungry flies bite at our arms, the pulse
point on our necks

raw as the nick in his cheek,
glittering sweat – bringing salt
to the picnic.

33 comments:

  1. we’re all poor
    in some way, & there is blessing in it... and there's so much that doesn't depend on us... really love the wisdom in this - the thoughts that spring from the encounter with that guy and his wife - i love when life speaks to us when we least expect it...

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  2. A story unfolding here, would like to see where it goes

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  3. The first stanza really grabs me. And I do love those technicolor pants. :) My other favorites are the dead perch in a bucket stanza, the one that follows it, and also the last two. Great sound throughout.

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  4. This piece has such character, the dialogue really nails the scene down. That last line wow! Profound piece =)

    mindlovemisery

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  5. A vivid picture here...and so true we are all poor in one way or another. And yes, they play with a person for sure, just like life does - each day we live.

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  6. There is a blessing to be poor to some extent.. the way you pain the persons in this piece is excellent.. love those technicolor pants..

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  7. Wonderful scene - the characters so vividly portrayed - the lines 'we’re all poor
    in some way, & there is blessing in it
    not all depending on us' so beautiful

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  8. This has a rich core of depth to it--well thought, ewell written. Great read. >KB

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  9. Indeed, there is a blessing in it although, when having such a hard time, it seems more hard than a blessing. But his wife in her Technicolor pants is right there with him - fish do play with you and oh, those wretched flies! A very patient rendering of this story.

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  10. A vivid metaphor, X-Man, riveting in its detail, in its realistic ambiance. Just boils up my rancor over the 1% that own & rule the world. Life is a pond, & rewards are fewer than fish in it most of the time. Nice job, really enjoyed it.

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  11. We are indeed a ll poor and that should make us humble, or at least humbler. I am glad I do not have to rely on what I catch for my dinner though.

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  12. Vivid and wise. A snapshot of life.

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  13. So much symbolism in this poem, telling me so much more than what is written on the page. My favorite line is: "glittering sweat--bringing salt to the picnic." The idea that every living thing depends on each other is shown over and over again through the act of fishing as well as satisfying the insect's hunger.

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  14. Funny fuss around flies 'The deck creaks each time we shift ' ~ many characters get the voice, so it's become real play with dialogs and contrasts 'before and after bites' ;)

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  15. Beautiful writing. I like the layers under the story, your descriptive style, the line about poverty, as well as all the other lines. Really enjoyed this salt of the earth.

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  16. I want to reassure her, we’re all poor
    in some way, & there is blessing in it

    The journey can indeed be hard in many ways, but through it there are blessings. Sometimes those big fish do play with us...Oh, I do not like those biting flies..they make me swell up.

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  17. Great freeze frame.. I agree with a previous comment.. would love to know where the story heads.

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  18. A wonderful story, indeed--the riches in poverty all depend on perspective.

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  19. Ah.. a life of youth in river front fishing with cane polls for me..
    and the jagged faces of lives of elders lived hard and well..
    soft hands are mine then.. and finally the callouses of life
    come.. and TG the heart is no longer hard.. as love
    is the fish i catch for now..:)

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  20. the situations, the characters, the dialogues and the scenes make for an interesting read...

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  21. Coming for a quick visit, i would have known this writing is you my dear, any place anywher no one writes as you do XO, some day I will be back

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  22. Beautiful day to be able to laze around casting lines! It is not so much making more perch catches but being there in the open. Especially with someone dear to share such moments. Thanks for sharing X!

    Hank

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  23. Life is made of moments, as I always realize when i read your work--moments where we come face to face with our connections to others (man or fish) and our mutual helplessness which we somehow turn into the means to get by. As always, vivid, insightful and immediate writing.

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  24. I'm wondering if the nick in his cheek, which you mentioned twice, suggests that the fisherman himself is the "fish" who has recently been caught (since you describe the wound as raw). This, of course, makes me feel like there's another story left untold.

    Again, I just love this:
    "He’s a nick in his cheek,
    where dark skin drapes over sharp bone, beneath
    hazel eyes on a yellowing field"

    "drapes over sharp bone" is such a gorgeous way to describe a face, especially when what you're really saying is that you think it's kind of ugly.

    If the cheek really is the centerpiece of the poem, you did a good job drawing attention to it with your awkward wording in the opening line. I read this several times and got hung up on "He's a nick" every time. It's such a strange way to have chosen to say this. I think you did that on purpose.

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  25. I love this. I was a great fishing fan and know just how our imagination runs as we think we can 'outwit' the fish. I could really feel the pesky flies too.

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  26. I agree with mia -- I was unclear of whose nick and what meaning -- and read it twice. And also I did not understand the "all poor" line.

    But I love the style and potential -- the use of words is great. But if it were clear to me (an unskilled poetry reader), it would have been so much more fun.

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    Replies
    1. If we understood everything, there woul dbe nothing left to explore.

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  27. love the way that dead fish "bellies up to catch some sun." Wonderful snippet of a story in this!

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  28. perch are fine eating.... when I was a kid we would go down to the break-wall on lake erie - we'd catch a big stringer of sheep-head and carp - we'd never eat them and that lake was too polluted and poisoned back then... We'd always offer our stringer of fish to someone less fortunate and they'd be glad to take them home.

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  29. Such wonderful attention to detail and you just let me hear that line flying out. I enjoy fishing now and again. We live by a river but, sadly, due to the drought, I think they had to rescue the trout upstream (water from Tahoe) and take them somewhere safe.

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  30. I love the way you use dialogue to create the backdrop and then that sort of carries the story- and we are all poor in some way, truth. I especially enjoyed "technicolor stretch pants. I might have a few of those, a great description. ;)

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  31. I heard this in a redneck, southern voice for some reason. Probably not PC, but that's the voice my head used.

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  32. you've an ear, an eye ... and a pen, each finely attuned ~

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