Cover Me With Lace Not Bruises

26 Dec

Hello here is my poem that I would like read in February in the theme Lace & Love. I know it is super long which may be a problem, but please give me feedback if you think so or about any phrases you don’t like or any bits you think I should definitely keep….

Her past is frozen like the path she chose
Cold numbing her mind freezing her emotions raw
Like closed doors slamming hard enough to crack holes into souls
With pain now remaining inconsoled
Anger piercing through blood veins
As she see straight through jagged edges into painful memories

So distant, but the brokeness is like a bully
It doesn’t leave her alone no matter how much she begs the unknown
Her words want to say something
That doesn’t need the pain relief of alcohol
But the waver in her voice silences her innermost thoughts
From most people

And all she can do is turn off the light in her eyes and cry
It hurts as the reality of this love shatters illusions
Like picking out a thorn from tender flesh
The fantasty of it overcame the reality of it
Its more painful to get it out than to live with it

She’s trying to keep warm with a thin lace shawl
She wrapping it over her arms to cover the bruises
But it barely covers her heart
As she tries to make mindless excuses
About why he didn’t mean to hurt her so bad
It was out of his character, out of his nature
Reasoning recycling itself into a little pill that is easier to swallow

She wonders if she could wrap up his heart with lace, beads and ribbons
And maybe beautify ugly lies which come from within his walls
Which shoots out of his castle like an arrow of revengeful taunts
Bitterness, hatred of women and all sorts
She can pray that the blood from her wounds won’t seep and stain her clothes
In stains that will never come out but leave her scared

Her mind flows from honesty and lies and back again to truth
Yet she’s already been given the seeds
Which grow tall over her head into trees
Whose leaves cover secrets of conviction
That she doesnt want to see convincing her
That this was meant to be

No one’s loved her like he does
No one’s even known her like he has
It must be true love
She waited for this to make sense to her but it never did

She was disobedience in the act
Every doubt he saw in her he took as fact
She suffered under his tyrannical rule
The slow death of his constrictive words
Telling her don’t do that, do this
And don’t wear that, wear this

For her self-esteem was a sugar cube in a river of rage
And she was dissolving faster than anyone could rescue her
She gave everything, her dignity, her self-worth, her possessions
Just to have him love her
But like a cupid’s tip dipped in poison he really did depise her

And forcefully he hammered that into her brain like she was thick
And needed it to be broken down a bit
Like a mental game twisting and turning it to fit into his ideology
On constant repeat
Until the words that she would speak were not hers but his

She would ask him why he wanted her to change
And he would say
Why would I want you to stay this way
She tried to be unrecognisable
She did
But it is really hard to maintain
Someone else’s face
So she was torn inside like lace on a factory line
She had no idea what she’ll end up like
Yet she felt safe with him while bungey jumping from the the highest building
Crazy to others but it made sense to her

She became like a bad actor not knowing character
So she was destined for failure but all wrapped up in an all inclusive package
Which she was too naive to know included silence and threats and violence Screams as loud as it gets
With hands raised with rage
Until finally she was quieted
Looking at the face paint that her bruises made
And feeling the bumps and the hills across her face

She would have still have dinner on his plate bang on 8
In preparation for his stomach to feast
Hands moulding food into continental dishes
Like different cultures were coming to eat
With tastes as sweet as french kissing perfectly painted lips after young wine
As they would dine she would slide the fork between her teeth as she eats
And as the metal and bone collide , he would become enraged inside
Starting spitting scriptures how she never listened to him
And how she was in rebellion
And hence the food would hence remain untouched, unloved

He reacted to her like a germ in the night
Locking her into isolation
He had a disease called hateful punishment
That would creep up his veins though his skin to rape her
Don’t tell me married people can’t get raped

He used to pull her on a string like a toy engine
Had her running like it was the end of the world at 6pm
And the clock hands were never her friend
Because it would jump away from her in the wrong direction each time
Before she could explain herself to him
Leading to accusations that were as racy as prostitution
And as long as wrinkles on a tired face

She thought she saw through edge lace hearts into his bleeding heart
Which made her feel like a doctor trying to save the bloody thing
Which beats her into submission and is too seemingly like a heart transplant
Where one has to die for the other to live

She sees stars and light being scattered
As her lace shawl is placed across the sky
To try to highlight the days and the times
When her love didn’t seem so far away
Lost in the ocean
As the moonlight seems dimmer to her gaze
Something once so beautiful
Now she doesnt see beauty anywhere

All she his is his face as he is annoyed at her
Bickering in a never ending theory of arguements
She’ll say “Why do you dethrone me pubically”
He’ll say “Why do I never feel your there for me”

But yet she took the supporting role
She was the lighting guy iluminating his life
She was the sound guy making so all the wires were connected so what came out was right
She bought the props, designed the stage, made the customes and put everything in place
She was the tea and coffee girl and the personal chef
And when everyone left she cleaned up after his mess
Yet all he would give her is his worst performance

Nonsensical and desperate she will say show me in words how much you love me
He turned his back
She sighs slowly
She is mad at herself for believing him
And mad at everyone else for not being him
Not believing them when they tell her
Everything he didn’t tell her

But he had the papers he owned her
Unlike a trophy wife where you win her fair and square to showcase her beauty to unknown stares
But more like a sorry attitude
That you want to discard, but your just hold on to because your used to having it around

She looks out into the starry sky
And finally see the pain through someone else’s eyes
He was like a piece of art that no one understood
But her, but now she chooses to admit she’s no art critic
And instead of persuding others he’s misunderstood
She finally admits she never really got it

She rips the lace shawl from her shoulders in two
To expose the bare skin
Which tells a story to others about where she has been
Police men looking, writing her story in a little note book
Like they understand the pain she’s been it
And asking her to cut off all promises made to him
Like curcumcision

She cannot win as her life is interwined in him
But like a patched quilt with their lives on it
It stays unfinished
In a ghost filled home, deserted and barren
Until it’s truly finished

She wonders if love can be transformed into light
That goes faster than the eye
That way he would not be able to stop it pentrating his insides
She wonders if love exists outside of time
Cause as little girl her fantasies would defy gravity
Now as a woman in love gravity pulls her down into black holes of confusion
Barely breathing she’s buried under a black sky which punctures her atmosphere leaving her to die

She can’t leave he’ll be destroyed
She can’t stay she’ll be destroyed

By Sacha Wise

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6 Responses to “Cover Me With Lace Not Bruises”

  1. Matt January 4, 2013 at 12:43 am #

    Wow, OK. The last couplet is very nice. Sums it all up very well.
    There is some wonderful imagery and some fantastic lines in here. The stanza that begins ‘She thought she saw through edge lace hearts’ worked nicely. Other lines I liked were;
    Until the words that she would speak were not hers but his
    She became like a bad actor not knowing character

    She wonders if she could wrap up his heart with lace, beads and ribbons
    And maybe beautify ugly lies

    The fantasty of it overcame the reality of it

    all she can do is turn off the light in her eyes
    But the waver in her voice silences her innermost thoughts
    From most people
    Generally though there is just FAR too much stuff here to be workabe as one poem. You have so many images which you work out, you’ve got the beginnings of enough material for a book of poetry on this subject! It does not all need to be in this one poem and in fact destroys the effect of this poem by diluting its content.
    An example on this point –
    ‘She would ask him why he wanted her to change
    And he would say
    Why would I want you to stay this way’
    – I reckon this just about works as a poem in its own right. It says most of what you’ve said in four pages and actually says more for its concision.
    Likewise –
    ‘She’s already been given the seeds
    Which grow tall over her head into trees
    Whose leaves cover secrets of conviction
    That she doesnt want to see convincing her’
    – with a bit of work, here is, I think, the 2nd poem for your domestic violence compilation.
    There are more –
    ‘But yet she took the supporting role
    She was the lighting guy iluminating his life
    She was the sound guy making so all the wires were connected so what came out was right
    She bought the props, designed the stage, made the customes and put everything in place
    She was the tea and coffee girl and the personal chef
    And when everyone left she cleaned up after his mess
    Yet all he would give her is his worst performance’
    All of these examples illustrate fantastic images and analogies on the same subject – sounds like the start of a book to me. But definitely not one poem. Its just too much. If you’re gonna do a poem that long, make it a narrative, rather than a string of images which essentially make the same point.
    One more thing that I would say is that many of your images are quite cliched. In the first stanza we have a path to follow and closed doors – both cliches. There are many more throughout, if you read through I’m sure you’ll spot them. I’m not talking direct cliches here, rather images that have been explored too often that you don’t add anything to – what was nice about the image of the tree I listed above was that it was quite different and was not necessarily an image usually attached to this subject matter.
    So there we go – my advice – dismantle this poem, take lots of poems from it, start a collection. You clearly write very well on the subject, you get the point across beautifully, you just do it several times. There are lots of poems here. Write them.
    To go back to a line I liked at the beginning of this massive bloody essay –
    All she can do is/
    Turn off the light in her eyes/
    Add another five syllable line and you’ve got a lovely haiku – so much stuff to be had from this one thing!

  2. Sacha Wise January 6, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    Hey Matt this feedback is much appreciated! Thank you for your encouraging words I think a collection may be in order definitely 🙂 Another problem I would have had is how would I memorise such a long poem?! lol! So I’m definitely going to take your advice alongside other mouthy poets’ to condense the strong bits. With the help of other mouthy poets and yourself here is the version I have so far. Please do comment if you think I should have let some lines in or taken some out…. or anymore improvements I could make.

    Closed doors slamming hard enough to crack holes into her soul
    So distant, but the brokenness is like a bully
    It doesn’t leave her alone no matter how much she begs the unknown
    Her words want to say something that doesn’t need the pain relief of alcohol
    But the waver in her voice silences her innermost thoughts from most people
    She’s trying to keep warm with a thin lace shawl
    She is wrapping it over her arms to cover the bruises
    But it barely covers her heart
    As she tries to make mindless excuses that denies the bad
    Speaking words that were his not hers
    No one’s loved her like he has
    No one’s even known her like he has
    It must be true love
    She waited for this to make sense to her
    While he convinced her with scripture
    She was disobedience in the act
    Every doubt he saw in her he took as a fact
    She became like a bad actor not knowing character
    Looking at the face paint her bruises made
    And feeling the bumps and hills across her face
    She would still have dinner on his plate bang on 8
    With tastes as sweet as the anticipation of French kissing
    Hands moulding food into continental dishes
    Metal and bone collide, he becomes enraged inside
    Hatred overcoming love in a race of pride
    Don’t tell me married people can’t get raped
    Her lace shawl is place over her eyes
    Where she can only see bits of light in the darkness of where she lies
    So before the light gets switched off completely
    She rips the lace shawl from her shoulders in two
    To expose the bare skin, policemen looking
    Asking her to cut off all promises made to him like circumcision
    She’ll say “Why do you dethrone me publically”
    He’ll say “Why do I feel your never there for me?”
    She wonders if love could be transformed into light
    That goes faster than the eye
    That way he would not be able to stop it penetrating his insides
    She would be like superhero trying to rescue him
    Cause as a little girl her fantasies would defy gravity
    Now gravity pulls her down into black holes of confusion
    The concussion has gone to her head
    And she is too dizzy to consider her future
    Now she despises freedom
    Battling with demons under her duvet
    Her voice sounds to her like a foreigner
    But it tells her it will love her more than any man couldn’t
    In a language she never before understood
    All she had to do is look into her own eyes this time
    And believe herself instead of someone else’s lies
    And that is the only way she will find freedom
    When she is alone

  3. mouthypoets January 6, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    Hey Sacha,

    Mouthy is about professionalism and approach as well as talent and I would just like to say: the way you have appoached writing, editing and applying feedback is amazing. And for me this kind of dedication is the most important thing when it comes to great writing and performance. I am so excited to have you in Mouthy!

    Onto the poem…

    Firstly, I would love to know what you want to achieve?
    How do you want to make your audience feel?
    What could finishing this poem achieve for you personally?

    I can say more when I know what you want from the poem. But overall the language and narrative are definitely getting clearer and this is a fantastic second draft. Here is some feedback to get us onto a third.

    LOVE
    -You clearly have an innate relationship with language, it flows in a rapid and emotional way which is exciting and a great starting point. Forcing emotional integrity on a piece is much harder than enforcing structure! (Though I am biased as I work the same way emotion then structure.)
    -Great yet simple lines that resonate truth with be:
    “She waited for this to make sense to her
    While he convinced her with scripture”

    NARRATIVE
    -There are two characters in this piece, I think it might help make the narrative clearer for you writing it and the audience receiving it if you have them present from the beginning…This wouldn’t take much, e.g.

    Closed doors slamming hard enough to crack holes into her soul
    He’s so distant, but the brokenness is his bully

    This also personifies the woman’s feelings as the perpetrator, making them feel more real. It is just a suggestion though so feel free to take or leave it (likewise with all my advice).

    QUESTIONS
    -Is there a reason why you have chosen not to use stanza’s (aka paragraphs?) because this might help you refine the narrative even further. Each stanza should contain a chunk of the story, i.e. stanza could introduce the past, stanza two could introduce the present… or whatever you want! But this will enable the reader to have more breaks to take in the information and make you know the difference and movement between each section of the story… does that make sense?
    -Playing around with line breaks might also help make your line stronger, because a lot of the time your concept is great, but the wording is weak e.g.
    “With tastes as sweet as the anticipation of French kissing”
    could be
    A sweet taste:
    the anticipation
    of a French kiss.

    Now the line itself is reflecting the anticipation. The layout of your piece and enhance what you are trying to say by making you and the reader consider it more. Line breaks also mean you can use less words to say the same thing, just like I have done in the example above. Here is an example of where line breaks could cut your word count and make what you are saying more powerful…

    “Where she can only see bits of light in the darkness of where she lies
    So before the light gets switched off completely
    She rips the lace shawl from her shoulders in two”

    becomes…

    Bits of light in the dark
    where she lies.
    Before it’s switch off
    She rips the lace in two
    from her shoulder

    CHALLENGE (if you think it will help)
    -Could you give this poem stanza’s but each stanza needs to have the same number of lines and each line needs to be roughly the same length?
    -I have also noticed some redundancies in your work, here are some exercises that might help you address them… https://mouthypoets.wordpress.com/2012/04/

    I hope this is helpfull, please always feel free to challenge any feedback I give, I want to be as helpful to you as possible so let me know what kind of feedback works for you and what doesnt!

    Debris

  4. Ste January 7, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    Sacha! Firstly may I say your performance of this poem at Friday’s session was fantastic. Long poems don’t feel so long when they are read with such passion. I could really notice the tweaks you made from the original draft, too. It felt a lot stronger, a lot less cluttered. I could tell you’d worked a lot on the ending, too. The revision you’ve posted on here since then is great and looks a lot more manageable – especially as you’ve admitted the original would’ve been a nightmare to memorise!

    I agree with pretty much everything Debris has said above, especially on the stanza front. It may not seem necessary because you will be performing it as a spoken word piece and no one in the audience will see how it is laid out on paper, but in terms of figuring out how you will perform it the layout will make a lot of difference. Separating it into stanzas will help you no end when it comes to memorising it, too – that way you can take it a step at a time as you practice remembering the first stanza, then the first and the second, then the first three stanzas, and so on until you can drop the whole poem off the top of your head.

    To reiterate some of the comments from Friday, I thought the line “Don’t tell me married people can’t get raped” was powerful enough in its own right that it may be more effective read with less aggression. Certainly it worked aggressively, but I think it was Ioney who said the nature of rape dictates shock on its own? This is true and personally I might read this line slightly more subtly, with a brief pause so that the audience has a moment to really understand its impact and take it in. But it is up to you and I often think that your own gut instinct on how to read a line is important in helping you deliver it with conviction.

    My only other comment is that one of my favourite parts has gone! The gory image of the woman as a doctor trying to save the bloodied heart I thought was fantastic! The wording felt like it could’ve been better at points but I thought that mirrored the nature of the gruesome makeshift transplant. That and “He used to pull her on a string like a toy engine” were two of my favourite bits which you have taken out, but I am sure you have your reasons.

    Also got to agree with Debris on the fantastic approach you are bringing to the table. It is not always easy hearing people’s critique of your work, let alone taking it and applying it to your new drafts with such sincerity. Your attitude is admirable.

  5. mouthypoets January 8, 2013 at 1:54 am #

    Great ending. I just read this aloud to myelf and it made so much more sense and felt really powerful – I’m really sorry that I couldn’t have have been there on Friday to hear it from you, can’t wait til I do!
    I really like this and the ending ‘and that is the only way she’ll find freedom when she is alone’ is great. love it!
    The only image that’s confusing me at the minute is that of the circumcision? Am I missing something obvious? It just jarred a bit as I was reading it

    Matt

  6. Sacha Wise January 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    Thank you everyone or your invaluable feedback. Seriously helpful and practical advice that is helping me grow as a writer. I really appreciate it.

    Debris thank you for sharing your expertise… I have applied some of your improvements as it definitely made the poem better. And I have taken up your challenge to take away redundancies and put the poem into stanzas. 🙂 Some of your structuring suggestions I will definitely work on with other poems so I can keep learning about how to use structure in a poem.

    The answer to your questions is I want the audience to understand the nature of the domestic violence cycle and to have an insight into that world and the thought patterns that keep the woman trapped in it. I would like the audience to feel pain with both characters in a sense also. Personal achievement would just be the ability to speak about such things regardless of what comes out…

    Ste-Thanks for the positive comments… everything is a bit it’s raw state performance wise (as I’m sure you could tell!) but yes also agree that that line about rape when said by itself was powerful without any emotion and then a pause is definitly how I would like to do it. I’m excited to begin to think about different way to perform the poem. I have also included the line about a heart transplant back into the poem for you 🙂 but I will put the toy engine one into another poem, as Matt said earlier it’s just too much for one poem!

    Thank you Matt for your comments. Much appreciated. To explain the circumcision bit when I was writing it I thought about circumcision to describe her feelings as it is physically cutting a piece of yourself off which is very painful and bloody.

    Also I had the imagery in mind of circumcision being a promise between God and his people which is a covenant which is supposed to be reflective of marriage according to the Bible. The policeman is asking her to cut off all the promises she’s made in marriage which is the covenant between her and God ultimately. I hope this makes more sense and it comes across now… give me feedback if you don’t think it works.

    Here is my 3rd draft…. I look forward to hearing feedback if you think it has improved or not.

    Closed doors, shutting out memories
    But cracking holes into her soul
    So distant, the brokenness is his bully
    Protecting himself like a used condom

    She’ll say, “Why do you dethrone me publically?”
    He’ll say, “Why do I feel like you never there for me?”

    Her words want to say something
    That doesn’t need the pain relief of alcohol
    But the waver in her voice isolates her
    Destruction from most people

    Looking for warmth in a thin lace shawl
    Wrapping it over her arms to cover the bruises
    But it barely covers her heart
    Her breath is cloudy with excuses

    She remembers speaking his words not hers
    “No one’s loved her like he has”
    “No one’s even known her like he has”
    “Who else would want her?”-It must be true love

    She waited for this to make sense to her
    While he convinced her with scripture
    She was disobedience in the act
    Every doubt he saw, he took as a fact

    She became like a bad actor not knowing character
    But looking at the face paint her bruises made
    And feeling the bumps and hills across her face
    Still, with dinner on his plate bang on 8

    Hands moulding children out of dumplings
    French kissing with lasagne
    Waiting for passion to heat up in the oven
    Ready for when he came home

    But he would aim words like nuclear weapons
    Battering emotions until they became slaughtered
    Spitting out anger of himself unto her to teach lessons
    Don’t tell me married people can’t get raped

    Hatred overcoming love in a race of pride
    Lace shawl placed round her neck and over her eyes
    Fighting him for bits of light in the darkness
    Before she’s switched off completely

    She rips through lace, to expose the bare skin,
    Policemen looking
    Like they understand the pain she’s been in
    Asking her to cut off all promises, like circumcision

    She knows his heart was broken from a while ago
    She’s like a doctor trying to save the bloody thing
    A heart transplant
    Where she has to give him hers for him to live

    She’s asking for love to be transformed into light
    That goes faster than the eye
    Penetrating his insides
    She could be like superhero rescuing him

    Cause as a little girl her fantasies defied gravity
    Now gravity pulls her into black holes of confusion
    The concussion has gone to her head
    And she is too dizzy to consider her future

    She can’t stay she’ll be destroyed
    She can’t leave he’ll be destroyed
    Choices she’s been trying to avoid making for 5 years
    And it’s not easier to make 5 years later

    Making her despises freedom
    As she is battling with it under her duvet
    Her voice sounds to her like a foreigner
    That’s trying to lead her somewhere

    Embracing her like she wished he would
    But asking her to look into her own eyes this time
    Instead of believing someone else’s lies
    That is the only way she’ll find freedom, alone

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