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 Posted: Fri Dec 10th, 2010 05:53 am
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kris
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Deathbed

 
The dog gave up on me weeks ago
Knowing I was a goner
She turned her back to me with a sniff
Never again to gaze at me with deeply shepherd eyes.
 
Lying in my own bed (thank God, it’s my own bed!)
Waiting for each and every system to check out
I give up on myself.
 
Who could deny the loner is a goner?
How long, O Lord? How long?
 
Doris thinks I’m still a person.
Would you like a shave? she asks.
Why not? I say. It’s been a while.
 
I’ll do this the old-fashioned way
Mug and brush of badger hair.
No eye of newt? I ask
Then remember I supply my own.
 
Circulation guttering
The lather warms me to my toes
Not yet blotchy blue
Though soon enough.
 
Straight razor deftly held
(No chance that she would cut my throat!)
Swath mown then the flick of a wrist
Ridding the razor of detrital stubble.
 
Best shave I ever had, I say
And realize I mean it.
I feel the smile I cannot see.
“Thank you, Mr. Joe.”
 
Tomorrow she will tell me
To let go, that my angel has come
To take me home
And I will almost believe her.

Last edited on Sat Dec 11th, 2010 03:59 am by kris

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 Posted: Fri Dec 10th, 2010 09:37 pm
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timmy
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Kris: 

Watching my Dad the last couple of his days...well, your writing has it by the throat and won't let go.

Even with his Alzheimer's and pending explosion of his aneuryism, something in the back of his eyes knew it was time (even if he didn't).  The body doesn't lie.

"no chance that she would cut my throat"...is a terrific image and line

timmy 

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 Posted: Sat Dec 11th, 2010 03:58 am
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kris
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Thank you, timmy.

"The body doesn't lie." Such a truth, in any context.

More than seven years later, and I'm still learning from an experience I was privileged to be part of. 

Warm regards,

kris

 

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 Posted: Tue Dec 14th, 2010 04:39 pm
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in media res
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kris,

St. Joseph: Patron Saint of a Happy Death.

"Doris thinks I’m still a person." A painful line. And a loving line. Nice combo.

"The lather warms me to my toes" Oooooooooh. How true.

Only line I have some question about:

Ridding the razor of detrital stubble.

I always read poems aloud.

Though I liked the play of several combinations of the percussive sounds in DeTriTal sTuBBle and each word ending with a lingering "L" sound. But it still seemed unnecessary. And the repetition of the "R" sound in Ridding the Razor also is works.

Only word I question is "detrital." Jumped at me as unnecessary. Or there may be a better word. Maybe because it is three syllables instead of two throwing off the rhythm of the line. Is there a 2 syllable word available?

I am quibbling, I know, and I apologize. But it kind of poked me a bit.



best,

in media res
.

Last edited on Wed Dec 15th, 2010 02:13 pm by in media res

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 Posted: Wed Dec 15th, 2010 12:44 am
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kris
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You certainly zeroed in on my trouble spot, in media res. I had wanted to say effluvial, then looked it up to make sure it was what I wanted to say--and it wasn't! In fact, I've had the wrong definition in my head for years! So then I was trying to think up a word that meant what I wanted to say, which is kind of the flotsam and jetsam of physiological processes, and detritus was the best I could come up with, but it's not right. I'll think about using no adjective at all, but I sure would love to think of the word I thought effluvial meant. Anyway, you have a good eye, and ear!

kris


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 Posted: Wed Dec 15th, 2010 05:05 am
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kris,

Going to bed, but checked in.

Stubborn is what stubble is. Just damned stubborn. There is always a spot or two, especially as one gets older, that just is so damn stubborn. Just when you think you are done shaving and you rub your hand over your face, especially if you are in a rush, you go, "Damnit!" (or goddamnit.) "Not that spot(s) again." Just sheer frustration. Not necessarily anger.

It is not the right word for your poem. But if there were a combination of stubborn and what you are looking for....

Also, I think it works alone without an adjective. But keep searching. It must be out there.

Maybe "damned" stubble. "Goddamned" would give you two syllables. But that may not be your character's words. I don't know. (Never heed suggestions from a tired man!)

Good night.

IMR

Last edited on Wed Dec 15th, 2010 05:06 am by in media res

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 Posted: Wed Dec 15th, 2010 06:28 pm
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timmy
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"stubborn" is not the word you want.  The hairs are not releasing from the razor...much as life does not release.  "Stubborn" is not  the word.  

Listen, I don't want to beat this to death, but I watched my Dad for the better part of three days...he DID NOT WANT to die.  But he didn't know it. He would not release his spirit, his soul.  He became mean, and I watched him rip the IV out of his wrist; the blood was spraying around, and I have never been able to capture that moment...I might be wrong, but I think this is the same moment in your poem and you have attached it to the hairs of the razor.  My dad's moment was at the other end of the spectrum.

Look up a short story called, "Shaving"...it tells the story of a son who is responsible for shaving his father b/c the old man can't anymore, due to cancer.  Similar moment to this poem.

Life "clings"...you want a word in that vein...those other words you are throwing around are too "clinical"...

IMR:  You are uncanny...sometimes ;)

timmy

Last edited on Wed Dec 15th, 2010 06:28 pm by timmy

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 Posted: Thu Dec 16th, 2010 01:13 am
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timmy,

I totally agree with your assessment of the poem. And, I've always been uncanny!


best,

IMR

Last edited on Thu Dec 16th, 2010 03:28 pm by in media res

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