neal pike sst10 first draft

17 Dec

changed my idea as i wasnt a hunred percent behind my orginal idea
im insead going for a piece about light and light sensitivity its very rough and would apprcieite feedback but heres my first draft.neal

Even when I bind my eyelids
shut, a platoon of light

rages then dances
on the floor of my retinas

I pull then push my duvet
into a lightless igloo away

from a light that
is skulking underneath my door

its only a small light
so I shut my eyes again and try

all I see is trent reznors
personal army of white lights

tattooing themselves onto
the magnolia of my eyeballs

the only thing left to do
that isn’t cutting my eyeballs out

with a tin opener is to
wish all the lights out

then forever live
in a lightless universe

but where I would be
without light?


3 Responses to “neal pike sst10 first draft”

  1. beccyseaside December 22, 2015 at 7:16 pm #

    Hi Neal, I really like this, the image that stuck with me on Friday is the idea of light having a kind of dancefloor on your retinas, but there’s so many catching ones.

    The idea of light being an army or a tattoo and wanting to ‘cutting my eyeballs out’ describes pain without actually talking about pain or saying anything hurts, which I like, and the whole poem has this ambiguous feeling like, yes it’s about wanting to hide from light on the surface of it, but it could be about wanting to hide from all sorts of things, and again I like that you don’t make it explicit if this is the case.

    The only thing I’m not sure about is the last stanza, it feels to me like it jarrs with the rest of the poem, which is so beautifully ambiguous and descriptive, so that statement feels like a kind of anticlimax. Maybe it would be better to sort of say that without saying it, if it makes sense? Or maybe at the end imagine that the speaker does find a way to ‘wish the lights out’ which is a kind of menacing image in itself? Just ideas though, thanks for sharing this 🙂

  2. MouthyPoets December 27, 2015 at 2:05 pm #

    Hi Neal,

    I enjoyed the form you use here, and your line breaks really help lead the reader down the page. (e.g eyelids/shut is a great choice)

    ‘The magnolia of my eyeballs’ is my favourite line. And ‘that isn’t cutting my eyeballs out with a tin opener’ was surprising and strong…
    The main thing I think you could consider in re-drafting is the amount of times you use the word ‘light’. I’d actually consider taking out all instances of the word light ….
    In my opinion, you don’t need to use the word ‘light’ in order to be writing on the theme of light, it can be implicit. Your audience will be aware of the theme anyway, so they will hear the poem with the theme in mind.
    It could be really exciting to not know for sure what it is that is causing the narrator so much pain, to let the audience wonder what is ‘skulking underneath the door’; dancing ‘on the floor of my retinas’, ‘tattooing themselves onto the magnolia of my eyelids’ …
    I know this is a bit of a drastic suggestion, I think it might work, although it would need a bit of a re-write as simply taking out the references to light may not quite achieve the necessary impact. Do feel free to take or leave! I really enjoyed reading.

  3. MouthyPoets January 1, 2016 at 6:09 pm #

    Hi Neal, I agree with what Hannah’s saying – I think even beyond ‘light’ there are a few places where you could describe what’s happening more indirectly. I know this will be because you are trying to avoid getting too carried away with metaphor and losing meaning! But I think there’s room to be a little more playful in some of the description. I really like the fact that you chose to write it in couplings which feels like blinking. Katie

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