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Thread: Sweet Manhandling

  1. #1

    Sweet Manhandling

    Spring mists, vanilla essence,
    Sheets of silk and dimmed light,
    You drooled, I unrobed, we began.

    When you pricked me
    With needles and sharp pins,
    Did I not bleed?

    When shoelaces choked
    And hands dislodged my throat,
    Did I not retch and gag?

    When you lashed and hit
    With belts and horse whips,
    Did you not see purple welts?

    When lavender candles melted,
    Oozed and burned hair and skin,
    Did you not hear my scream?

    Bruises, wounds, pregnant burns,
    Smearing blood and stripes of red,
    You orgasmed, I faked, we ended.
    Last edited by miyako73; 04-25-2012 at 02:32 PM.
    "You laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same."

    --Jonathan Davis

  2. #2
    Justifiably inexcusable DocHeart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miyako73 View Post

    Spring mists, vanilla essence,
    Sheets of silk and dimmed light,
    You salivated, I unrobed, we began.

    When you pricked me
    With needles and sharp pins,
    Did I not bleed?

    When shoelaces choked
    And hands dislodged my throat,
    Did I not retch and gag?

    When you lashed and hit
    With belts and horse whips,
    Did you not see purple welts?

    When lavender candles melted,
    Oozed and burned my skin,
    Did you not hear me scream?

    Bruises, wounds, pregnant burns,
    Smearing blood and stripes of red,
    You orgasmed, I faked, we ended.


    Gulp. This truly strikes a cord over here, but that's just an autobiographical remark.

    I have questions. Are the various maltreatments our speaker undergoes metaphors, or do they refer to experiencing real physical pain in the course of sexual play? If the former, I easily understand the faking of the last line. If the latter, it makes me wonder why such events are allowed to unfold when they are not enough of a turn-on. Were they performed inefficiently?

    The words are carefully chosen in this poem, the "dislodging" of the throat and the "pregnant burns" being my favourite. Consider coming up for some alternatives with "orgasmed" and "faked" - in fact, consider creating a whole new stanza with these two extremely strong concepts, which contrast violently.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    Best,
    DH
    Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine...

  3. #3
    Hehehe, Doc. When I write, I nurture, kill, wound, heal. I become a priestess, a beggar, a prostitute, a wife. My poetry is bipolar. It is so because I reject blatant voyeurism and godly eyes in poetry. "I" and "you" are more empowering in my reading and hearing.

    This particular poem is an influence of the S&M documentary I accidentally tuned in on HBO. With poetry, I don't need to don leathers complete with chains and whips. For me, writing about it is enough to act on a fantasy. Talking about melting candles above skin is painful too.

    Maybe my sensitivity is what makes me rely on metaphors when silence fails to subdue my manic thoughts.
    Last edited by miyako73; 04-25-2012 at 03:59 PM.
    "You laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same."

    --Jonathan Davis

  4. #4
    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    What I really love here is how you begin with such sensuousness and the promise of the erotic before nosediving into something that's anything but either, and is actually a bit disturbing. I love the ambiguity of the tone; the speaker isn't really letting on what she (I'm assuming she) thinks about the "abuses" being perpetrated. Everything is asked with a straightness, like it was a police interrogation. So us readers are in a bit of suspense about whether this is consensual, enjoyable S&M, or something that's crossing the line into actual abuse, and, if it's the latter, much like DocHeart noted, we're prompted to ask why it was allowed to continue. I love how the last line echoes back to the end of S1, but I agree that a change of words is needed here. How about simply:

    "You came, I faked, we stopped."

    The pronoun/monosyllable verb combo makes it even more direct and powerful. I might also change "unrobed" in L3 to "stripped" to keep the monsyllabic verb pattern (I don't think there's anything that can be done about "began", unless you change that to "start", which might not be a bad idea...). On a final note, there's something approaching a 3-beat pattern here and I would work to make it more regular as it gives the lines a stringent monotony which enhances the dryness of the speaker's tone that contrasts so well with the harshness of what's being described. In most lines it would be easy to change, eg: "Oozed and burned hair and skin," becomes "Oozed and burned my skin".
    "As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being." --Carl Gustav Jung

    "To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due." --Neil Gaiman; The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists

    "I'm on my way, from misery to happiness today. Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh" --The Proclaimers

  5. #5
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    I quite liked this one, I would try to add some critique but Morpheus and Doc said everything I wanted too.

  6. #6
    Something's gotta give PrinceMyshkin's Avatar
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    It's a searing, strong poem throughout and there is so much to conjecture about in that last line; where, it seems to me, the object of all this sadism triumphs, but in such a masochistic way, or as if each now has provided the other what he/she wanted and they have no more reason to have a relationship.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman View Post
    What I really love here is how you begin with such sensuousness and the promise of the erotic before nosediving into something that's anything but either, and is actually a bit disturbing. I love the ambiguity of the tone; the speaker isn't really letting on what she (I'm assuming she) thinks about the "abuses" being perpetrated. Everything is asked with a straightness, like it was a police interrogation. So us readers are in a bit of suspense about whether this is consensual, enjoyable S&M, or something that's crossing the line into actual abuse, and, if it's the latter, much like DocHeart noted, we're prompted to ask why it was allowed to continue. I love how the last line echoes back to the end of S1, but I agree that a change of words is needed here. How about simply:

    "You came, I faked, we stopped."

    The pronoun/monosyllable verb combo makes it even more direct and powerful. I might also change "unrobed" in L3 to "stripped" to keep the monsyllabic verb pattern (I don't think there's anything that can be done about "began", unless you change that to "start", which might not be a bad idea...). On a final note, there's something approaching a 3-beat pattern here and I would work to make it more regular as it gives the lines a stringent monotony which enhances the dryness of the speaker's tone that contrasts so well with the harshness of what's being described. In most lines it would be easy to change, eg: "Oozed and burned hair and skin," becomes "Oozed and burned my skin".

    Being literal makes a poem as shallow as what you read on bathroom walls. I always think hard before using or excluding a word.

    "came" is more literal than "orgasmed". The latter can be mental, emotional or sexual. The former is purely sexual.

    The same thing can be said with "unrobed" whose meaning is more poignant than "stripped." Besides, "unrobed" is not commonly used, and it adds a punch to the unsual theme.


    The absence of "my" in "oozed and burned hair and skin" also implies that his hair and skin get burned too, and I also scream not out of pain but fear.


    "we ended" in the last line is a loaded statement. "we stopped" is just that- stopping the act. The former also means ending the fantasy, the suffering, the relationship or even both lives (since there's choking involved).

    My idea of flow is the connection of emotions and images and how it feels not the monotony of rhymes and syllabic count and how it sounds.
    "You laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same."

    --Jonathan Davis

  8. #8
    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miyako73 View Post
    My idea of flow is the connection of emotions and images and how it feels not the monotony of rhymes and syllabic count and how it sounds.
    I wouldn't be so quick to discount the expressive power and possibility inherent in rhymes, rhythm, and sound. You're dismissing the foundation that poetry was built on. Even the imagists who emphasized the "flow and connection of emotion and images" were very conscious about the internal rhythms and echoes in their work.

    Personally, I just don't agree with some your assessments of the dictional choices. EG, "came" is in no way more literal than "orgasmed." The former is a sexual metaphor that is more commonly used for non-sexual matters, the latter is literally sexual and could only be metaphoric for something non-sexual (but would unlikely be read as such in this context). Likewise, I don't know how "unrobed" is "more poignant" or uncommon (or why uncommonality is even desirable in lines of such semantic and syntactic simplicity and directness). Finally, stopped and ended are practically synonymous. I don't see how one is more "loaded" than another, but, hey, it's your poem.
    "As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being." --Carl Gustav Jung

    "To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due." --Neil Gaiman; The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists

    "I'm on my way, from misery to happiness today. Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh" --The Proclaimers

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