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Old 08-21-2018, 12:58 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Join Date: May 2016
Location: England
Posts: 2,264

Hi folks,

'West' is indeed Fred West. I was about 22 when he was arrested and remember being really disturbed by the idea of him and Rose as this ultimate dysfunctional family, who seemed to embody and magnify all the unknowable corruption of the adult world that I was just entering. He said something along the lines of what I've got in the poem. I think it was an interview from prison and he was trying in a way to desperately justify himself to his children and separate how he wanted to remain for them from what the world had learned he was. It was something like 'when you lot went to sleep, that's when my other life started'. I found it very chilling.

Other than that I think, as Ann said, I'll let you all bring your own pomegranate seeds into this one. Oh, me and my sister really did eat pomegranates with a sewing needle.

John - 1 out of 29 isn't bad I suppose.

Jim - Thanks. I suppose 'none of it makes a difference' is the sense there. Glad you found it fascinating.

Andrew F - a whiff of the underworld, yes. And associative memory. Thanks.

Aaron - I'm pleased you like it. I prefer 'make up your bed' which sounds more delicate and caring rather than without the 'up' which sounds more of a chore.

Hi Matt - I'm glad you like it. If it works emotionally without knowing exactly what's happening then I'm happy with that.

John - I get exactly your point. I'm not ready to give up the opening though. I like the feverish music of it too much, and I feel like it's oblique enough not to be straight confessional autobiography. I don't want you to feel like you can't say whatever you want about a poem of mine. I respect your opinion hugely. Thanks.

Ann - West is there more for atmospheric association than specific autobiographical linkage. He may be too much. I'm glad some of this works for you.

Mary - hyphen added. Thanks! I am leaving it alone for now. I've genuinely looked and tinkered and played with it, but it does feel done, for better or worse.

Thanks all.
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Old 08-21-2018, 03:24 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is online now
Join Date: May 2013
Location: England, UK
Posts: 2,704

Hi Mark,

It occurred to me when I read this

velvet jacket spilling
cellophane fetish.

that switching it round might sound better, even though it likely loses your meaning (which was opaque to me),

velvet jacket fetish
spilling cellophane.

I suggested it when I first posted then thought better of it and edited out. So anyway, here it is again, just in case it appeals.

- Matt
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Old 08-21-2018, 10:15 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Join Date: May 2016
Location: England
Posts: 2,264

Hi Matt,

When I hear the lines in that section as I have them, I hear a sense of spitting out the rhythm and rhyme with the combination of soft and hard consonants in this order:

flushed and panicked
tore my pockets
velvet jacket
cellophane fetish

It doesn't work for me the other way.

Thanks though.

Edit: I wrote my long response in a rush and understated, I think, how much I appreciate the positive words about this. Thanks all, really.

Last edited by Mark McDonnell; 08-22-2018 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 08-22-2018, 05:28 PM
Jan Iwaszkiewicz's Avatar
Jan Iwaszkiewicz Jan Iwaszkiewicz is offline
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia
Posts: 2,496

Ditch 'West' Mark, it is unnecessary and limits a fine poem.

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Old 08-22-2018, 06:37 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Join Date: May 2016
Location: England
Posts: 2,264

Ok Jan, you convinced me. Enough people had an issue with it, and even Mary thought it 'a puzzle' and that it referred to a direction.

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Old 08-22-2018, 08:30 PM
Mary Meriam's Avatar
Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: usa
Posts: 7,091

The poem works fine without West!
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