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[i]Ö but when I became a man I put away childish things.
For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face.
Now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known.
And now abideth faith, hope, love - these three, but the greatest of these is love.[/i]


Iíve put away my love for you
like other childish things.
Yet canít grow up
into aloneness
fast enough: my bones feel pliant
green and frail,
outstretched of strength.
My sinews ache
with sudden grief, with growing pains.

With pains,
which do not fade
but put out limbs exuberantly
to fill new space;
Which smash the glass
and rake my ribs
and bruise my bloodstream.

I worked so hard
to vanish you:
shook out the sheets and swept the floor,
scraped off my skin the residue
of traitorous affection.
I opened veins
and shaved my head,
I cauterized raw nerves
and drowned our children.

Yet still the doorbell rings
and on the porch lie severed remnants
dredged from the midnight river,
bloated-pale and appalling and accusing.

Theyíll track me down unceasingly
these small brutalities, these dead betrayals.
Forensic science will note my guilt:
it's etched inside my lungs.
Your atoms are still everywhere.
I breathe them.


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Comments

The following comments are for "Atoms"
by MobiusSoul

from the midnight river
Ghostly, this. Made me think of an indie film on the things that we either posses or allow to posses us.

Letting go is always the final expedient.

I read this as letting go of youth, of all the things that made us the happy people we once were (or could have been). Guess that goes hand in hand with love.

( Posted by: toscano [Member] On: February 13, 2011 )

gives me the creeps
Good stuff! I don't want to know this part of 'you' though so I'll not invite 'you' for coffee. Really well written.

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: February 13, 2011 )

of growing
Much like the subject matter of the poem, the actual piece struggles and eventually does grow in the sense that, full recognition is achieved.

I believe you have to know how the 'thing' works before you can modify it or even 'fix' it. Finding yourself is one thing, knowing how to fix it, will take a life span.

I really enjoyed this. For me, it hit close to home.

( Posted by: pablowilliams [Member] On: February 13, 2011 )

Also
"bruise my bloodstream." My favorite line, by the way. Thanks again for sharing this.

( Posted by: pablowilliams [Member] On: February 13, 2011 )

Caitlin's Atoms
Caitlin,
Good to peruse your voice again..It's been a while..
You put us right there..up close and personal.

Real is best, as here.

( Posted by: Bobby7L [Member] On: February 13, 2011 )

Valentine




Put this in her Valentine Card and I think she will take the hint.

This would be a classic Dear John letter

If its true that what you write or read (see on TV) shapes your life this needs an X rating

Thanks

Eric

( Posted by: Fairplay [Member] On: February 13, 2011 )

atoms
Powerful and intoxicating... there is a brutal gentleness to this piece if that makes sense..

my warmest
bob

( Posted by: TheRedCockRoach [Member] On: February 13, 2011 )

A brutal gentleness
Francisco - Thanks for the perceptive comment and for appreciating the atmospherics... I let them get a little out of hand perhaps: there's nothing like a broken heart to bring out my hyperbole gene. (Next post will strive once more for the truthful minimalism I basically admire!) It is indeed a letting go of youth which goes hand in hand with each successive failure of human relations... I grow older so much faster than I grow wiser...

Pen - Glad you stopped by. 'Well written' from you has meaning. And Bobby too: 'Real'. Always best. Indeed.

Pablo - I doubt I'll ever 'fix' myself... just keep applying splints and bandaids :) I too loved 'bruise my bloodstream' - it perhaps goes some way to capturing the sheer physicality of heartbreak.

Eric - thanks for reading... I fear we're past Valentines by now...

Bob - 'a brutal gentleness': I love that. There's a line from a Brian Patten poem: 'As much as hate, tenderness is the weapon of one/ Whose love is neither perfect nor complete'. I can seldom end a relationship without recalling it.

( Posted by: mobiussoul [Member] On: February 13, 2011 )

Yes, God Talks to us...
Indeed, the Bible is the source for a whole lot of everything I write, and your quote of 1 Corinthians 13 is my very favorite passage in the Bible. I am attempting to connect your quoted passage with the poem, it will taKE My feeble mind a lot of overtime to do this, I think. Incredible work, I am sure the knowledge I receive from this will be well worth the time and energy invested.

I can never help but reading 1 Cor 13 without always continueing to verse 35 of Chapter 15, usually on the very next page. If this does not fire the imagination of any Poet, I feel sorry for them.

( Posted by: veebdosa [Member] On: February 14, 2011 )

Atoms...
This is very curse (in a good way) and dark (in a good way) to the point that I want say "quit teasing me like this, stop reading my mind..." kind of thing.

Just a couple thoughts:
S2 -- "Which smash the glass/and rake my ribs/and bruise my bloodstream." I would drop the first "and" to use a comma. And bloodstream doesn't seem to fit with bruise. Maybe just say "blood", because bruised blood seems more sinister and painful.

S3 is superb! "I worked so hard/to vanish you:" I think "banish" would read better than "vanish". But that is just a PP thing for me, Superb stanza.

S4: "Yet still the doorbell rings/and on the porch lie severed remnants..."

I would drop the "Yet", start with Still, the doorbell rings..."
the next line seems backward to me. It is smoother to my ear to read it as "Severed remnants lay on the porch, dredged..."

All in all, very strong metaphor throughout to describe very bold emotions of being crapped on by someone who obviously cared little about the writer's well being; and the best thing is that you don't slip into weak "woe is me, feel sorry for my poor emotional spirit..." type of angst.

Final stanza, yep, a full body blow there.

Well done

BW

( Posted by: BWOz [Member] On: February 14, 2011 )

Lucie, Veeb & BwOZ
Lucie: Lovely to see you. 'The reflecting on the relating'. Nice. (To say 'you have a way with words' would of course be stating the obvious!)

Veebdosa: Having no religion, the bible is for me a man-created work of art like any other. It contains some fine poetry, in it better versions. The source/prompt for this poem was not, therefore, some deep spiritual epiphany; merely the much-quoted line about putting away childish things. With age and the accretion of failed hopes, I put away more and more of those childish things (naivety, foolishness, openness, wonder)... for better or worse...

BwOZ: 'very curse' or 'very terse'? Great malapropism!

S2... the extra 'and's are usually a rhythm thing, for me. Bobby7L is forever insisting on their excision :) Likewise 'bloodstream' rather than 'blood', although I agree the latter may be a stronger image.
S3... doesn't the mob 'vanish' people? That's what I was going for here. Not a crime-fiction reader, so I may have the terminology wrong.
S4... you may be right about the 'yet'.

Many thanks, overall, for the thoughtful reading. And you aren't the first to counsel 'Don't get angst, get angry'...

( Posted by: mobiussoul [Member] On: February 15, 2011 )

Wow
Once I started to realize what this is about, I found it quite stirring. And what an ending! How does one react to this? I imagined it as a letter left stuck to the fridge, wondered what it would be like to find it, read it, grasp it . . .

( Posted by: manatee [Member] On: February 16, 2011 )

Manatee - of fridge notes
Doesn't Charlie have a monopoly on Fridge Notes? His are so great, I wouldn't dare infringe. Although I can't recall his ever being as dark as this. I love your interpretation: there's a great film-noir moment to be had in the discovery of such a fridge note, and in the discoveries which might follow...

( Posted by: MobiusSoul [Member] On: February 16, 2011 )

Williamhill
Ha! I bet I did have Charlie's fridge notes lurking in the back of my mind, influencing my interpretation. Glad to be reminded of them . . .

( Posted by: manatee [Member] On: February 17, 2011 )

Darn atoms!
WOW! This was a strong, powerful and chilly read! Loved every word! This one stanza had me going:


"I worked so hard
to vanish you:
shook out the sheets and swept the floor,
scraped off my skin the residue
of traitorous affection."

Damn! YOU'RE GOOD!!!

Nae
TGIF!!

( Posted by: nae411 [Member] On: February 18, 2011 )

Like other childish things
I nearly missed this, thanks to a link in Majestic I was not deprived this time.

As you are possibly too aware it takes a lot for a non-rhyming poem to grab me. This piece has a lot, and despite the fact that most poets will analize and think 'I would alter this or that' (which is exactly the feedback I crave for), in this one I found the flow, poetic licence,and use of narrative fitted perfectly.

The theme and title combine to leave you blaming the very 'matter' of exsistence and time itself for every mental and physical pain encountered!

I'm not sure of your job but your poetry excels the mixture of a scientist and poet and has something that is always unique.

Kudos,

Ivor

( Posted by: ivordavies [Member] On: April 23, 2011 )

Ivor and Nae
Thank yous to you both. Nae, sorry I missed your comment many weeks back: just been too busy (international move, general life-recalibrationÖ)

Ivor, itís always extra-pleasing to get an unprompted comment months after posting. I must get back on lit.org when my life simmers down and I have some time for (non-commercial) writing. Iím sure thereís good stuff on the site again, and familiar faces too. Oh, and I guess the weirdly-physical relationship between physical and mental experience is an intermittent preoccupation of mine... whether my profession influences it or not, Iím not sure. Iíve always wanted to write more science-poems, but theyíre never any good.

( Posted by: mobiussoul [Member] On: April 23, 2011 )





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