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Jenna collected bleak, broken dolls.
Snatched back from dumpsters, yard sales, consignments.
Blind socks full of rags.
Bare, pink plastic torsos.
Porcelain tea-cup heads, mapped with vein cracks.
Hair torn out, fingers chewed,
faces bleached, headless.
Smelling of powder, soap, sweat, paint and dirt.

She put them on shelves
in the light of her window.
Paired them up. Match-made them.
Gave each a place.
Made sure they were dusted
and nestled in families.
Sang them to sleep at night.
Smiled them awake.

Easy, so easy, to love what is broken.
No fear of failure.
No future of doubt.

They're already ruined,
her cracked, shattered babies.
Do anything to them,
she'll still be
their saint.

------
______________________________________________

I blog irregularly at TinkerX. I'm also on Twitter. @andyhavens, go figure.


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Comments

The following comments are for "No pressure"
by andyhavens

Creepy Andy...
This reminds me of goth poetry, subject matter that is, and the character of Wendy on the Addams family. Creepy cool, and layered with various possibilities. Blessings to you and yours;-)

( Posted by: TheRealKarmaTseringLhamo [Member] On: December 17, 2007 )

Cracked
First Andy, This is an exquisite poem. The attention to detail hurts me. The alliteration and assonance and rhyme/near rhyme is enviable. You also never used the "the" word. Kinda hard to do in a work such as this, I think. I thought of this as a parable in a way, except you personified it by "Jenna." I can't quite make the connection unless she is personal to you. It also reminded me of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" by Burton. He is kind of a genius in his field. Maybe there is some "Rudolph" in here too, the land of broken toys. There is obsession in this. You seem to be an unaffected observer of all of Jenna's actions, except you followed her into the sanctom of her home. She cares for things unreal. Your observance though is loving broken things. A comfortableness with hurt. I guess I am overextending. Your inspiration? *scratching head* Summa cum laude.

charlie

( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: December 18, 2007 )

Charlie's details, Lena's blessings
Charlie/Lena: Thanks for the comments. Creepy? Yes, of course. But as examples of anthropomorphisms often do, it asks (I hope) the question: why love an unbroken doll?

It is, Charlie, a parable. There is no actual "Jenna" in my life. As to why name the main character... I believe that much of what we do in real life is often so deeply linked to metaphor that our actions have more significance as reference to meaning than they do as simple action. By naming the main character, she becomes a "real" person (within the narrative of the poem, anyway), and her actions -- while metaphoric to me, the writer/reader/narrator -- are meant to embody something that is quite realistic.

Does that help?

Also, yeah... hard to go without "the." There are a bunch of "them"s and "they"s... but it's hard to not have any articles or pronouns. I do eschew them where possible, though. I have yet to meet a poem where going through and figuring out how to say something with many fewer "the"s, "and"s and "it"s ends up hurting the piece.

( Posted by: andyhavens [Member] On: December 18, 2007 )

hummm
brain couldn't help replace dolls with "people" and their chewed fingers and tea-cup heads with less obvious- maybe emotional- disfigurements… it made me think about the countless well-meaning people I have known, particularly as a kid, and my characteristic suspicion/ cynicism of their motives, “we’re only trying to help” they’d say, and I’d think “yeah, but who?” … not that the Jenna’s of this world are bad, probably even they aren’t aware of their motives, and we’re all probably guilty of her yearning or sainthood to some degree… so… yeah… hummm… thanks for this, Andy, a thought provoking write.

( Posted by: AuldMiseryGuts [Member] On: December 18, 2007 )

Aren't we all half dead, Lucie?
We're born with one foot in the grave. In my case, the other was in my mouth.

( Posted by: andyhavens [Member] On: December 20, 2007 )

No pressure
This is such a beautiful piece. There's a kind of quite peace with the ambiguity at the end- is the poem applauding she who loves the ugly and discarded? Or does it admonish her for taking the easy road and loving only those who have no choice but to love back (I read the Velveteen Rabbit at a very impressionable age)? A little of both, I suppose, which is why we don't talk about it. Thank you for going there. Chuck Palahniuk wrote a short story ("Cora Reynolds") about a similar character, a true bleeding heart for the broken inanimate.

( Posted by: DameSansMerci [Member] On: June 3, 2008 )

Palahniuk... sweet.
Thanks, Eleanor. I love Chuck, so that's a neat comparison as far as I'm concerned.

Yeah... it's a hard contrast between good and bad enabling. Are you caring for something broken? Or keeping it broken with your caring?

Beautiful yet scary in ambiguity.

( Posted by: andyhavens [Member] On: June 3, 2008 )





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