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I test my feet
over hot slices of remembered stones.
Their black notes choose to whisper
as I run away from ashes.

The air spreads
like a grey swing.

My eyes go away and come back
to hit my dry forehead
from which I have just wiped
an evening with pallbearers.

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The following comments are for "19th June"
by difficulty

difficulty/ Juneteenth
I'm familiar with Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, to celebrate the actual emancipation of all slaves, coinciding with the actual end of the Civil War, rather than the relatively ineffective Emancipation Proclamation. I follow the local celebrations with interest (via newspaper- how quaint!) As a pale blue person I have yet to attend any such function, although in Delaware the occasion does receive significant attention.

I like this, I feel this, I believe I basically understand this. Thank you for posting it.


( Posted by: CocoaHill [Member] On: July 25, 2008 )

hot stones and grey air
There are some great images here; a lot which seems barely-graspable, but makes instinctive sense.

The first stanza (as desvelado notes) is a very economical, effective way of describing the process of mentally testing a painful memory. I wonder why their black notes 'choose' to whisper? As if the memory has sentience? An independent power over the writer? Curious.

The cried-out eyes which 'go away and come back' form another oblique image with a lot of heft and sense in it. To nit-pick, this stanza seems a bit crowded with me/my/I... could you clean it up a bit? E.g.

My eyes go away and come back
hit a dry forehead
just wiped clean
of an evening with pallbearers.

Just a thought. Good poem.

( Posted by: mobiussoul [Member] On: July 26, 2008 )

19th June
I wrote ‘19th June’ a few days after cremating my aunt. The title came a year later, as I revised it. I did not know where my images would take me, but the predominant emotion was an awareness of mortality and a terrible fear and angst about everything hitting a ‘dead end’. The hot stones whisper ominously about our turns, and I try to escape by wiping my evening with pallbearers.

Cocoahill, I am touched that the images worked for you. I did not know about Juneteenth, so thanks for the piece of information. Desevaldo, thanks. Moibussoul, thanks for editing my poem. I would like to retain the changes (with your permission).

( Posted by: difficulty [Member] On: July 28, 2008 )

I got it
In the end it made sense, the beginning was way to abstract until the last line. That is done to great effect.


( Posted by: BWOz [Member] On: July 30, 2008 )

having not long ago
attended a funeral of my own, those last four lines rang especially true. there is a strange admixture of guilt and relief here, in which exhaustion is the defining characteristic… highly piquant and evocative work this, taut and finely nuanced. a pleasure to read you again.

( Posted by: AuldMiseryGuts [Member] On: July 31, 2008 )

Thank you BW.As I said earlier, I did not what I was writing until I finished writing the poem. The begining was abstract for me too. Shannon,I was waiting for you to read the poem. Thanks

( Posted by: difficulty [Member] On: August 11, 2008 )

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