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This year the city fenced
with spring, in slender darting thrusts
of rapiered sun.
And each fendente pierced the hearts
of clouds which rose like dragonsí teeth
to bleed their fierce impassioned deaths;
to pillage tulips from their beds
and ruin lilacs barely yet in bloom.

Now though, a tardy summerís come
to sprawl through our steaming streets
like a thick-thighed whore.
Too heavy, brief and loudly sung
for tact or lilac perfume,
she booms in the trash cans, purrs prostrate
down the heaving sweat-wet sidewalks.
Greases a sunset butter-thick
across my wilting brow
and turns white shirts to sodden rags
like meek surrender flags.


She was all the cold-long a mere myth
but she's tithing vengeance now
for my pallid disbelief
in winterís passing.
She's daring me with lilac eyes
and glowing thighs
to shiver;
conjure snowfall.

So I close my eyes to hear
in my mindís hot ear, the swirling sighing
of a silenced snowblind city.
Of laden branches shifting slump
and chilblained childrens' muffled shuffle,
booted, belted, crystal-melted,
icy-specked of hair and moist of nose.

And the slick shush-tick of chains on unplowed roads.

But my fesh no more believes in this
than December did
in the mucoid melt of August.
So Iíll lie at the seasonís sun-struck feet
or languish, limp and ravished, in her sea
til winterís warriors return
to slay this summerís indolence
and turn tideís tables on her tyranny.



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Comments

The following comments are for "This year the city fenced"
by MobiusSoul

leaving me breathless
What can I can say? This is a fantastic piece, the descriptions are vivid, evocative and ultimately inspiring, the language leaps off the page and trips off the tongue. Not any one stanza left me bored, there was at least one sit-up-and-take-notice excellent line in each. I'm whole-heartedly impressed.

Shannon.

... I'm assuming the random question marks are a typo of some kind. Or am I being thick?

( Posted by: AuldMiseryGuts [Member] On: June 28, 2006 )

Auld - ectopic punctuation?
Hmm... this site sometimes does odd things to the formatting, but I'm not seeing any extra question marks in my browser's version. (I have however just picked up the typo in the final stanza - will fix soon.)

Lit.org quirks aside, I really appreciate the praise. Wondered if this piece was a bit self-indulgent... tend to over-egg my language when I'm not sure what my message is. Then again, maybe the need to have a message is half my problem...

( Posted by: MobiusSoul [Member] On: June 30, 2006 )

Hot Time, Summer In The City
Really enjoyed this poem. While contemporary, it has a feeling of "old-fashioned" lyricism which is lush and refreshing. I think part of why I say this is some of the language - "rapiered," "fendente" (don't know that word), "pillage," "chillblaned."

I particularly liked "...to sprawl through these steamy streets/ like a thick-thighed lover." Very nice.

Also, the last 4 lines of the 2nd stanza.

All sorts of good stuff in this poem.

Checked my dictionary - couldn't find "fendente."

( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: June 30, 2006 )

Gomar - ignorance freely admitted...
I believe it's Italian - a old-fashioned fencing term for a downward-thrusting movement. I tried to look it up, but since I know squit about fencing, I could have got the interpretation utterly wrong. Seemed a good word, however, and I'd like to get it right, so if anyone fences or speaks Italian, please chip in!

Thank you for reading, and for liking the parts I liked...

( Posted by: MobiusSoul [Member] On: July 1, 2006 )

fendente
It means a blow, or hacking stroke - more like a chopping cut.

It is awfully dense with images, but they're all spot-on. It works, and well, though I appreciate your nagging feeling that it should be in support of a worthy overall point. As it is, it's an ocassional piece, one we all feel, every summer and winter.

Still, you made us sweat.

( Posted by: johnlibertus [Member] On: July 14, 2006 )

JohnL - fencing tips
Thank you: that sounds like what I had in mind for 'fendente', so I think I'll keep it. And did I want to make the reader sweat? Yeah, that's a good reaction - I'll settle for that! Thanks as ever for taking the time to read and comment.

( Posted by: MobiusSoul [Member] On: July 17, 2006 )

Windchime, nice to see you!
And many thanks for the comment. A little over-lavish, I fear, but fun to write. This summer, though, is post-Renaissance, verging on the post-apocalyptic (damn you, fiendish global-warming!). It's one of Lautrec's women, or perhaps one of Lucien Freud's - all cellulite, bodily fluids and hyper-real, too-hot flesh. I remember summers like Dega's dancers. Where did they go, I wonder?

( Posted by: MobiusSoul [Member] On: July 23, 2006 )





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