“Perception
” by crazygitar

Hold me close and
whisper your true self.

Squeeze.

Disguise your words
and hide their meaning.

Squeeze.

Swell in from nothing,
make your presence clear
while you seep in
with heat and pain.

Squeeze.

Empty the vessel
of all it contains.
Let it accompany
its true companion.

Squeeze.

3 thoughts on ““Perception
” by crazygitar

  1. I’d like to preface with an apology, these will be kind of short or bullet pointed as I am starting my after degree program this past week, thanks and feel free to ask me to expand on anything I have the weekend off so I should be able to respond and elaborate!

    -sensuality, there is such a closeness in this piece.
    – sensual evolves into erotic as it progresses
    “Hold me close….true self” is sensual and close, soft, warm, a lover’s touch.
    “Seep in with heat and pain” has a hot, sexual and erotic feel. And climaxing with “empty the vessel of all it contains” an extremely erotic and sexual eruption.
    – the “vessel” also has a spiritual connotation in my mind which gave a second reading of perhaps a ritual right of passage or acceptance/baptism of sorts (granted still an extremely emotional and heated one)
    – having friends who have gotten tattoos I immediately tied many of the lines to the experience both physical and emotional of receiving a tattoo. (ie, pain, closeness, erotic sensuality)

    To me the strongest stanza is “swell…..heat and pain” the line breaks are both powerful and meaningful along with incredibly strong imagery that is both deep and concise.
    Continuing with the analogy of the tattoo, the needle as a true companion brings forward an interestig comparison to a relationship, someone close who can bring pain and beauty in equal parts. Dealing you pain while you simultaneously love them more.
    Finally, the only things that I could see to recommend editing is relatively minor. Removing words such as “and” at the end of lines may deliver a more powerful punch ie: “hold me close// whisper your true self” the line break feels like a natural “and” in this sense.
    Overall this piece was a wonderful read that expressed the complex relationship between pleasure and pain without becoming grotesque or rude. Excellent metaphor and a good read!

    Cheers!
    Andrew

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  2. I’ve been thinking about this one for a few days now. The imploration poem:
    “DO THIS! Here’s why! DO IT! It’s essential! HERE, DO IT!”
    feels familiar to me. Almost like a modern song. Intro -> Verse – Chorus -> Verse, etc.

    So what do we have here? An action, “Squeeze.” The speaker implores the reader or some unknown object. The action is then grazed against by the “verses,” which function as other implorations. (Sorry, I’m making up words.)

    Implorations: Get close and communicate, whisper to me (whisper what?) whisper your truth (what truth? why the implication of fear of the truth or timidity or hesitation to be upfront?); “Disguise your words and hide their meaning.” Truth resonates and bounces off of this new named concept of deception. As if to say, “If you can’t tell me the truth, lie to me…” (…I’m reading into that though. Adding my own understanding. I don’t feel that’s a justified assumption. Anyway, continuing.); swell in, seep in, make your presence clear, seep in with heat and pain (…) ; empty the vessel, let it accompany its true companion…

    So, what? What is this…It’s a communication from one thing to another—speaker to object. There is a closeness that opens the poem, a connection, that seems to get further and further away as the poem goes on.

    The poem moves from true communication to symbolic (“disguise”d) communication. There are complex ideas of emptiness and vessels and squeezing (I’m thinking about how a hand is a vessel, but when you squeeze it tight into a fist it is no longer a vessel, it has emptied; how that could relate to what the poem is doing/saying.)

    The poem initially, to me, was very clearly a simple sort of lovely image of P1 imploring P2 to hug P1 tighter and let P2’s pain and fear and whatever flow over into P1. e.g., “I’m here for you, let it all out.” I was convinced the poem was that and overly-simplistic and simple and simple.

    But, I’ve let me imagination run away with your words.

    Now P1 is begging to be beaten by P2, or P2’s fist is the speaker.

    “HIT ME!” or “HIT HIM!” Disguise the root cause of this pain, don’t make it about solving, make it about relief. “Swell in from nothing” -> “Empty” your chamber, let your “SQUEEZE”D fist “accompany its true companion.”

    I don’t know. And that’s the biggest problem with the poem for me. It’s a little too ambiguous. This could be helped by a title. If my theory about the punching and implied violence is correct, perhaps a title like “Black Eye”—or something that refers to violence, but doesn’t give anything away—would help clarify your intentions. I was thinking about cliches that apply to violence; some clever and subtle variation on “the pen is mightier than the sword” (something that says something a sword is simply more useful/appropriate than a pen) might go a long way to subtly shading the poem with just the right light.

    If I’m wrong, which is fine and likely, it would go a long way to correcting my (& the readers’) thinking about what you’re specifically writing about.

    The poem would be serviced by less ambiguous word choice and tighter metaphors. I often fall back on this concept when critiquing poetry, but truly believe that the metaphors of good work play off of one another: the “disguise” in line 4 could/should relate in some natural and intellectually/emotionally satisfying way, at least, to the metaphor or idea repeated in lines 3/6/11/16, if not to the image of the vessel or the swelling. Related concepts like swelling and seeping reflect appropriately off one another in the third stanza, but their potential strength is muddled by the ambiguous nature of the object implied in line 7.

    It seems like the object (O1 in line 7) changes (*YOU* “swell in”) without much fanfare later in that brief stanza (seemingly: still O1 in line 8, then O2 in line 9. (I don’t know.))

    Either way, my point is that there’s a little too much withheld from the reader.

    I would love to see this poem after a second (or third) pass.

    Great work!

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  3. Interesting. Strong sexual themes from this poem. I like the deceit the partner senses… Accepting intercourse and ejaculation “empty the vessel”. The squeeze interruption every stanza started awkward for me but tied in beautifully. Great work!

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