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a brittle woman leans on her walker

she scans the shelf
of price reduced books
between the bottom of her soiled green pants
and the top of her yellow socks
there is a bright white patch of pencil thin calf
offset by a confluence of spider veins
and a half dollar sized brown mole
with a dense thatch of thick oily black hairs
is there a man
i wonder
who knows that leg
like a map of the united states
known it since she was
young and firm
and they rocked the bed
what lies
has he told you?
I want to know
putting my wristwatch in my pocket
i ask her the time
just to hear the sound of her voice

4 Sep 06

Rated 8.5 (7.6) by 6 users.
Active (6):
Inactive (11): 1, 1, 1, 4, 6, 7, 7, 8, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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oh, i love this. i love the woman and the relationship and the ending. l15 made me the teenager in me smile. there's always room for revision, but I'll give this a 10.
 — livella

 — unknown

 — unknown

 — unknown

Very nice but punctuation would be helpful.   Not fond of line 8 - ewwwww
 — Isabelle5

Hmmmm, how did you know it was the size of a half dollar? Line 8...so we've
got a confluence of vericose veins, moles and a thatch of thick oily black hairs, all within the width of a pencil? That is one crowded white patch of calf.
oops my lunch just came up on me.  I didn't like the pretence of asking her the time, and hiding your watch. I wish you would have asked her something else. I guess I didnt' much like this because I got the feeling you didn't much like her.
 — mitchl

i love it...especially l19-21.
this is definetley being added to my list of favorites
 — Cherish

Add punctuation, and I'd give this a 10.

 — MEB


Fuck you and your pedantic shortcomings.

 — unknown

Very good.

Reminded me a lot of the poem 'Toads' by Phillip larkin

If you havent read that you should.
 — Caducus


Fuck you and your inability to be grateful for a good rating.

 — MEB

I like your perspective. It made reading this poem very enjoyable.
 — wanderlusted

I hope everyone asking for punctuation realises that it is a TECHNIQUE NOT TO use it.

 — unknown

rhyming is also a technique, but when used without purpose is pretty pointless. i have no opinion really, but i would love to know is what the purpose of small caps and lack of punctuation was here?
 — unknown

Oh, I know it's a "technique", but that doesn't make it a good one, and that doesn't make me like it.
 — MEB

"brittle" connotes snippish or sharp; I think "fragile" or even "delicate" fits better.
Night before last, Justin, the doorbell rang at 9PM.  Not expected.  I called through the door "Who is it?"  "My car's broke down.  It is overheated.  Can I ask you for water?"

Opened door: it's a burly foreign man.   "Please, I thank you if you can give some water.
I have an old lady in the car ninety years old.   Can you help?"

Well, I took the chance.  She might've been Ma Barker.  But there in the car was an old withered woman.    We looked at the radiator.  Not too hot.  Let it cool.  Then the woman, an American, spoke up "Could I perhaps use  your bathroom.  See, I have a bladder problem."   Yeah, right.  Ma Barker would say just that.

So I left the swarthy Egyptian to put water in his clunker's radiator, and walked Ma into my home.   She had a sweet voice,  did not soil the guest bathroom, and she, it turned out, was not a decoy for a team of home invaders.   "Oh no! I"m just an old lady.  My name is Joan.  I'm originally from Boston!"

everybody knows: invaders don't come from Boston.  Only stranglers.   I guided her out and to the car again.  They were ready to go.  "God bless you sir" said the the Egyptian.  "Thank you" said Joan.     I can see, Justin, why you wanted to hear the old woman speak.   They often have a grace afforded by age, wisdom, acceptance and peace inside.  I hope it's really Ma Barker next time.
 — netskyIam

wonderful poem
 — elodious

the totality wins out over the occasional awkward wording
 — poetbill

Gack!! shivers run along my spine
 — lonelymime

you know, she might have been looking for one of her books -- the scholarly work she finished so long ago and which is thought worthless by smug little shits of well-haircut yuppy spawn poets. it's just so evil to think that your picture of her that you're giving us has anything to do with her hard-fought reality or future.

now, had you put it in a cheap paper-back bookstore in phoenix, with some musak on the box and a couple of her girlfriends watching you so that they can rib her about her 'boyfriend', that'd be a thing -- probably, if you could pull this off in writing, you'd find so much reality in her that someone like unknown would call it 'crap', but the rest of us would see you as pretty sensitive and a good writer.
 — trashpoodle