Monday, November 27

A draft, I repeat, *only* a draft.

For months, he'd been pulling a bag along
with him, his new-found friend

at first it grew slowly,
and then after a while
accelerated, and grew more and more rapidly
until it was cutting off
the lifeline.

Left him
to dangle
between shuffling in his bed
of thin cuttings of soft paper
bundled into a ball, a
cocoon, a coffin already made
for himself. I remember

the days we didn't need
to worry about the bulldog
clips on the cage, because
he wasn't going to
crawl up the chimney, not today,
and cleaning would only disturb.

I remember holding him, a baby
again awkward in
my hands, fragile. I remember
massaging the fur, slowly, so
slowly, circling, urging him to
warm up.

We passed him between us, his
last minutes, seconds, nano-seconds
between the family. My turn

I took him to the radiator,
kneeled down, prodding him,
waiting for him to wake up, warm up,
stop pretending to give up on me.

©Katy Murr 2006


(Don't slaughter me if you think it's crap, I know there's a lot more work to be done, it's only the sketches of something at the moment.)

Few things about it:

What do you think of the stanzas? Reckon I should try to regulate them? I tried to keep it so the line-lengths and the stanzas vaguely represented what I was talking about, or pushing at.

The repetition of 'remember' - perhaps I'm pushing this a bit, and it should be more subtle?

'accelerated, and grew more and more rapidly' I especially don't like this line, I like the repetition which strings it together, but overall, it seems weak: the language ought to be a lot more specific, I think.

Oh, and incase you're wondering, it's about a hamster. & yes, he did indeed climb up the chimney.


rowena said...

Wow this confused me. I really thought it was about a person. A hairy person, albeit, but a person nonetheless (first impressions can be misleading).
I like the stanzas, though the line "accelerated..." stood out to me too as a weak point. Why not cut it off at "grew"? Makes it sharper. Also think about making "until it was cutting off/the lifeline" one line- the break is a bit too dramatic for my taste, though it might just be my personal preference. I wasn't sure about "prodding" in the last stanza, either. Seems a bit, I don't know, playful for what is essentially a death scene. Try a more tender verb, like stroking. Otherwise a nice piece, and not nearly so bad as you make it out to be. I like the way you use breaks in lines to convey meaning- very clever.
Sorry for such a long post!

Katy said...

That's not long, you should sample my long rambling emails! But thank you, it is helpful, and I shall get back to you when I've worked on it a bit?