Tuesday, September 08, 2009



Fragility's the curse of age -
unsteady hands that shake with rage,
slow moving feet, decaying brain
Simple pleasures are a strain -
to read fine print, to turn the page.

You leave the house to find the cage
that once confined is safety's gauge.
Old bones rattle one refrain,

The arms cant lift, nor mind engage,
you're staring down the seventh stage
with parchment skin and gnarled vein.
Bedroom mirrors mock your pain.
There's nothing left that can assuage


David Duff said...

I think I prefer this one to the one above which is, I feel, slightly over-written.

"fine-tremored hands", "impendent rage","tortured vein", for example.

Also you seem to miss the metre on this line:

"Beloved pleasures become strain".

This one has simplicity adn is all teh more effective and affecting, er, in my opinion, of course.

Lo said...

Thanks, David. All of my rewrites end up overwrought and purple for some reason. I need to learn to leave well enough alone, I think. That's the trouble with workshopping - you put it up and everyone tells you what's wrong with it and you listen to them because of course they know better than you and you change it and ta-da - overwrought and purple.

Usually I come to my senses and revert back to the original - I'll keep some color and lose the rest.

I appreciate the stop-by, tho. I think this is the first time anyone who actually liked Paglia has talked to me. :)


Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm an equal opportunities 'liker'!

On the business of poetry which, as in so many other things, I speak and write with absolutely no experience, I have a copy of "The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen", edited by C.Day Lewis, which you might find useful (as well as moving) because he has printed the changes and amendments that Owen made as he composed. It was in paperback, published by Chatto & Windus in the '60s and '70s and I'm sure you would find a copy via the ever excellent 'abebooks'. It is very revealing to see the way he changed this word or phrase to something else.

Also, I remember being rather taken with some art expert or other who said that one of the most difficult things for a painter to do - is to stop! So, you are not alone.

Anyway, I did like the first poem and I would like, with your permission, to publish it on my blog. My other reader will love it!

Lo said...

"Stopping" is hard, I agree. That's why there's yet another version posted.

I'm honored that you'd print this on your blog. I will say "yes" and "thank you" with one condition imposed - that the poem be removed after a week or two or three.

I'm undecided if I'll ever send this one around to publishers - but on the off chance that I ever start submitting to journals again I'd like for my newer stuff to remain "unpublished," and since blog publishing counts as "published" I don't generally leave them around the Internet for too long.

I'm glad you liked it - I hope your other reader feels the same.