Between the Structure

There is no comfort
in this partitioned place
you’ve allowed me to inhabit.

I breathe through clay
trying to find
a caricature of humanity that pleases
me.

Laughter tastes like ash,
but it’s the only freedom
allowed here.

I laugh until my throat is raw,
convulsing, finally wheezing,
in the space I’ve partitioned for me. 


This poem was inspired by the prompt given over at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads: Flash 55. In addition to the 55 word limit, Kerry asked us to consider part of the film Samsara, The Angst of Sagazan, for our work. 

28 comments:

  1. Great title, Rommy. I can feel the emotion of this piece, especially the claustrophobia of the clay and the taste of ashes.. A really interesting response to Sagazan's performance.

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    1. Claustrophobia was one of the first strong feelings I got from watching the video.

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  2. WOW. The most fantastic poetry is coming out of this prompt!

    I love this:
    "I breathe through clay
    trying to find
    a caricature of humanity that pleases"

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  3. I read the poem, and heard the mad laughter, the urge to explode out of a too-small space... Then I read it again, while listening to your chosen song, and oh my goodness! This is perfect--melodic madness, finding its place in the spot the world has assigned to it, and realizing that it is not enough.

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    1. LOL, I thought long and hard about the perfect song. Yes, the protagonist has gone mad within the confines the world has put in place.

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  4. I like how you captured images from the video and gave it a voice. Thanks for posting.

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  5. Laughter tastes like ash,
    but it’s the only freedom
    allowed here.

    I literally have goosebumps!!

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    1. Yay! I love it when writing does that. :)

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  6. The constricted lunAcy of the video is perfect in your words

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    1. Thanks! I think the short format was a wonderful help with creating this piece.

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  7. You took holf of me and let me partake in your laughter. Well done

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  8. Wow! An in-depth response, and I like the inclusion of the mad laughter.

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    1. There was something in the performance that implied a manic sort of laughter, so I went with it.

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  9. Replies
    1. I'm glad that it elicited a strong response. I'm glad to say I'm not in a dark place like this, but it was a powerful exercise to explore these feelings.

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  10. There is almost an elegance to this despair and suffocation,as sense and sensation break down into a crystallization of panic and pain-- similar to the suit of the artist in the clip, his original tailored appearance giving way to pure chaos--really fine, delineating writing, Rommy.

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    1. Thanks! I wanted there to be a complete breakdown by the last line, but I also wanted to get across the idea that it came about as more of a coping mechanism against what the protagonist felt was suffocating them.

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  11. Well done Rommy! Lots of emotion in this piece!!

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  12. I really like the title, Rommy, and the lines:
    'I breathe through clay
    trying to find
    a caricature of humanity that pleases
    me.'

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    1. I was quite happy with that stanza.

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  13. This truly captures the spirit of that video!!

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    1. Thanks! This was a challenging prompt, but I'm glad I took it on.

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  14. I don't know how I missed this! You captured, for me, how often society puts us into boxes of their own design, especially women. The frustration of having to live that way, the realization that whatever you do the real you will never be seen. The final straw, the saddest part is the resignation you write about the acceptance of the box. Very powerful piece, Rommy!

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    1. Thanks Sharon. I'm glad that it resonated so strongly.

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