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I am cupped by smoldering darkness:
crisp blue shaddows cut from technological light
merely sharpen the raw edges of an ink-mute night.

Jaw askance, and teething on your distance,
I rest my head against a padded velvet; late evening,
gentle mawed, mouths me, mocks and preens me.

Pale hand, cradling an unlit cigarette,
lies dormant at my side: loitering and dumb,
a false pearl layed on a black oysters tongue.

You have not called
and I
cannot write
with words which will not run.

"All the darkness in the world
cannot put out the light
of one candle"

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The following comments are for "Blackwell"
by hazelfaern

Brim-full of emptiness
I'm hugely impressed with this one - you seem to have a great talent for conveying listlessness in poetry, which seems such a difficult thing to do gracefully. In lovesickness, or screaming anger, say, there's all that obvious meat to get one's teeth into. But here, you've had to pick up the little barely-there touches, like the blueish screen-lit shadows which only throw an empty room into sharper, more lonesome relief. I'm thinking now of your 'Somewhere Else', which was also memorable for the way it recreated the dithery disconnection of an unremarkable, unsatisfied afternoon. Here, you've done it again: written a poem absolutely, richly full of absence.

( Posted by: MobiusSoul [Member] On: December 18, 2005 )

Hazelfaern/ A Void
Jennifer- I join in saying this is quite beautiful in its understated manner.

Believe: "shadows" must be typo.

Moments well captured and represented...


( Posted by: Bobby7L [Member] On: December 18, 2005 )

sweet j, been so long since I read your words.

I'm with lucie that teething on your distance takes the cake. and eats it. and bakes another one. yeah. I want a piece.

and I quite like the tongue/run rhyme. that caught me. the whole wind-up of the piece, in fact, had such a nice sing-song type thing happening.

overall, though... it feels a little... what?... dramatic? there's some kind of a feeling of this sad moment the narrator is having being wrung out and hung out. I'm left with a feeling of "... yes? and then... what?" I feel like I crave some motion, some reflection, something more than ornate words, which you're very skilled at. something that reveals more. something seems hidden, here. and of course it's the poet's prerogative to keep it that way, but-but-but... my feeling is: why go halfway? dive in! show us!

feel free to discard all this at will.

oh. and oysters. should be oyster's.

love shar.

( Posted by: ark [Member] On: December 19, 2005 )

Responding to Blackwell
Wow. Funny thing to think I was uncertain enough about this poem -- I posted it around 6am -- I'd decided I was going to unpost it if it hadn't hit the front page by the time I woke up the next morning (well, morning for me, which is a bit late considering my schedule).

Yet, there it was and I had such unexpectedly generous and heartening comments, too.

Lucie ~ Yes! Thank you for getting this and responding so eloquently to what I was trying to say. The mute quality of stasis is exactly what I was trying to describe.

Caitlin ~ I was blown away by your comment. I posted 'Somewhere Else' such a long, long time ago and the idea that you not only managed to stumble across it, buried as it is in deep history, but remembered it strongly enough to make an apt reference here left me feeling incredibly flattered. Truth is, I think both poems took a very similiar path in being written -- I wasn't sure either had much value when they landed on the page and then I wound up micro-editing both (is this how this feels? is this how this feels?) until I felt they'd reached a point where they might be interesting enough to share.

And I realize 'meaty' is an innocent metaphor (and one I've used on occasion, myself), yet I find it ironic to think that this vegetarian might have a slight aptitude for sinking her teeth into meatless subjects, lol. Vegetable souffle and existential dissonance, anyone?

Shara, who I adore ~ I never discard your comments. And I think you're absolutely right, although I'm unsure what I could add or alter to make this poemlet more profound or less melodramatic. I may have to put it on a metaphoric shelf, for the time being, until I can see it more clearly.

( Posted by: hazelfaern [Member] On: December 22, 2005 )

Holy crap. This is good.
How do we write about... absence? About negative space? About not being able to write? Gadz, that's hard. How do you, J, write so beautifully about it? Moment poems... my favorites. Snapshots of being. This is... well... I'm going to screw up telling you how much I like it.

All the startling, scary yet subtle images of the narrator being inside some creature; which late night surely is. The "padded velvet." Being "mawed," and "mouthed" and "preened." Hand inside a seemingly giant oyster. The padded velvet. The raw edges. I don't want to imagine a particular image (and so I don't), but there is a feel of a creature, a girl, caught in the center of something, in the "technological light," but surrounded by something very, very *animal* and breathy. The monitor's glow is almost the fire that holds it back.

And the term, "ink-mute." Perfect. I'm jealous. I guarantee I will steal it. Leads to the other lapses; the unlit cigarette "loitering and dumb." A "false pearl." Again... so nice. So lovely that you ketp it unlit; no fire in this moment, except from the monitor... which isn't doing anything but casting the shadows. Making them harsh; "sharp," "raw."

"You have not called
and I
cannot write
with words which will not run."

It's all about the words, aint it? And they never run as far as we need them to.

If the cigarette is a false pearl, this poem is not. As beautiful and well-turned a work as ever I've read. Made my heart hurt, which is great.

I don't understand the title, though. Other than that... pure and lovely.

( Posted by: andyhavens [Member] On: January 4, 2006 )

Titular Metaphor
Well, A, half the reason behind the title should be there in the opening line "I am cupped by {...} darkness".

Blackwell is a play on both inkwell and lampblack. I wanted to highlight the idea that the poem's narrator is stewing in something as thick and permeating as ink, as complex and simple as "black light".

But I also liked the alternate meaning of well... as in this feels dim, empty, stoppered, but, otherwise, feels ok. In this black well, I'm black yet well. Black lit well.

Am I making any sense?

I'll consider the double spacing idea. Maybe.

( Posted by: hazelfaern [Member] On: January 5, 2006 )

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