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Unread 06-27-2019, 03:57 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Staffordshire, England
Posts: 3,046

Hi Jim,

Isn't it 'slimy' not 'slimey'?

I wonder about 'Lares' rather than just 'angels', say. I had to look it up. Not that there's anything wrong with looking things up, but I wonder about the purpose of one fairly obscure, very specific classical reference in a poem otherwise devoid of them.

I'm not sure about the opening line. Do the creatures really 'wonder why' people don't like them? They speculate that it's because of their appearance, but then later they describe entering homes and heads uninvited and leaving people drenched in sweat and contemplating their own death, so it seems unlikely they would be confused about why they are disliked. I suppose there could be a sort of irony to the first line, but it isn't really working for me. I think it's a weak opener.

I also think, for a creepy songlike poem like this, the metre could be more consistently dadaDUMdadaDUMdadaDUMdadaDUm.

These lines are e.g

It’s the ears at the back of our heads, one supposes.

but we only have legs where our hands should have been.

we jostle each other surrounding your bed
impatiently waiting to enter your head.

But many aren't, to my ear, and they make me stumble a little and it breaks the spell.

PS: I remember John Whitworth posting a similarly themed poem a while back and I sent him this stupendous Pogues track with lyrics. He never replied, bless him

Sit Down By the Fire

Sit down by the fire
And I'll tell you a story
To send you away to your bed
Of the things you hear creeping
When everyone's sleeping
And you wish you
Were out here instead

It isn't the mice in the wall
It isn't the wind in the well
Every night they march out
Of that hole in the wall
Passing through on their way
Out of hell

They're the things that you see
When you wake up and scream
The cold things that follow you
Down the Boreen

They live in the small ring of
Trees on the hill
Up at the top of the field

And they dance on the rain
And they dance on the wind
They tap on the window
When no-one is in
And if ever you see them
Pretend that you're dead
Or they'll bite off your head
They'll rip out your liver
And dance on your neck
They dance on your head
They dance on your chest
And they give you the cramp
And the cholic for jest

They're in the things that you see
When you wake up and scream
The cold things that follow you
Down the Boreen

They live in the small ring of
Trees on the hill
Up at the top of the field

They play on the wind
They sing in the rain
They dance on your eyes
They dance in your brain

Remember this place
It's damp and it is cold
The best place on earth
But it's dark and it's old
So lie next to the wall
And cover your head
Good night and God bless
Now fuck off to bed
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Unread 06-27-2019, 09:57 AM
Jim Hayes Jim Hayes is offline
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Kilkenny, Kilkenny, Ireland
Posts: 4,919

I love the Pogues Mark and your post is a worthy addition to the genre.
There is great merit in your comments, as per usual, and not to justify my choices, but perhaps to outline my thinking;

Lares belong to old Roman mythology, they had specific duties, they were gods of the hearth and were charged with protecting the home and all in it. I didn’t think they were that obscure, in so far as I remember Wiley Clements, Golias, writing about them here some while back. I quite like them in context as they are more mysterious than angels, and abandon their duties in this instance.

I wanted an introduction that allowed me to hang the grotesqueness on and yet convey a sense of normality from N and cohorts, i can see what you mean, and I will give some more thought to it.

Yes, a regular funereal beat would be effective I agree, more to do perhaps and thanks for looking in.

All best

Oops, and perhaps ‘slimy’ is correct

Last edited by Jim Hayes; 06-27-2019 at 10:00 AM.
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