Dead Elephants Smell If Not Thrown Out With The Bins on Thursday

26 Dec

Uber anxty first draft – feedback geuinely would be appreciated on this one –

Starlight peeks through the skylight slit,
illuminates the plastic bags on my bedroom floor
and sends me slowly insane. Once again,
the IKEA chair is a dumping ground for laundry like
dead elephants and there is still no desk here,
no Japanese floor mattress, wood beam support
dream memories of Eve or anyone else I brought cups
of tea to most mornings. There’s pleasurable pain like
aching gums in photos sellotaped to unpainted walls
but where’s the gain in slurping my sour sixteen soup
and crying over the stains on the carpet?

Matt Miller


3 Responses to “Dead Elephants Smell If Not Thrown Out With The Bins on Thursday”

  1. mouthypoets January 6, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    I absolutely love it! For a first draft as well, I am loving it. Mainly the sense of narrative and character in such a short space of time and you have done it all through amazing specificity; plastic bags, IKEA chair, photo’s sellotaped, unpainted walls etc. etc. I don’t even know what sour sixteen soup is but my brain is searching for options!

    This specificity enables for the abstract nature of the references to build characer and their decent into madness.

    Seeing a piece from you that is just a pocket of time, feels really exciting, I feel like I have never seen it before. And the ending, I love it, so simple, such a small movement/concept/image but it works within the overall movement of the poem (for me anyway).

    Also, the title is awesome.

    -“Starlight peeks through the skylight slit,” feels like it is working to hard, like you are trying to illiterate and be wordy: what are you actually trying to describe here? Illuminates continues that feel of superfluous language and these lines are important because they are what sends the protagonist insane… what is it and why does it turn him in sane? Your verbs and describing words need to be charged with purpose, with a reason for insanity, right now they don’t feel like they have a purpose.
    -Line endings: how and why have you chosen them, some feel a bit random, particularly “like” and “again” (and again feels like a super cheap rhyme particularly as insane and pane are also kind of weak words and they are all drawing attention to each other).

    I hope this helps!

    • Matt January 6, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

      Aha, it made me laugh that you picked on ‘again’ as a cheap rhyme, and here’s why –
      usually, this is something I’m masssively guilty of, or certainly was a few months ago. Ironically in this case I had not even spotted it as a rhyme at all – it wasn’t what I’d attempted. Probably because I’ve not read this aloud to myself.
      I couldn’t sleep and switched the light on and wrote what I saw – that’ll be where the whole ‘one moment in time thing’ comes from -it’s all it was ever intended to be. I’m gonna go back over all your feedback, I feel it’s fair and workable. I was uncertain of this piece and if I’d done it in the day it’d have never made it up here I’m sure – I’d have had it down as too self-involved and anxty, so – I’m glad you liked it!

  2. Simone Estridge January 7, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    I enjoyed this piece, I feel it has a lot of strengths in terms of being honest and realistic about the untidy room – to being so out of this world with alluding to the dead elephants. Dead elephants are so random but somehow it works.
    I think the first line needs reworking. I was struggling to say it lol – I think you need a first line a bit more punchy, I get the vision and the concept of the 1st line but its a bit too wordy.
    Loved the line “wood beam support dream memories of Eve or anyone else I brought cups of tea to most mornings.”

    Great work! 🙂

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