neal pike sst10 draft 2

3 Jan

so heres my second draft would like feedback on the flow of it and length of stanzas and do all of them work im still unsure about the last stanza and some of the words seem abit weak to me but i cant quite figure out why yet

Even when it’s time to bind eyelids
shut at night memories and images of fire

rage then dance
on the floor of my retinas

I pull then push my duvet
into an igloo of blankness

its only a small dot
I shut my eyes again

as pale silllohoutes
tattoo themselves onto
the magnolia of my eyeballs

all I want to do
is to cut my eyes out

with a tin opener
leaving shavings

of eye skin
on my bedroom floor

then forever live
in dark world

without my fingers flicking
through books

aided with a dot
of power

but where I would be
without light?


One Response to “neal pike sst10 draft 2”

  1. MouthyPoets January 4, 2016 at 10:50 am #

    Hi Neal

    Loving this as always, feels like you have approached the work from a new angle which I really like. I know you are struggling with this draft so I have tried to give you some really clear guidance/examples and challenges that I hope will help! As always, take and leave whatever feels most helpful!

    -‘I pull then push my duvet
    into an igloo of blankness’ … I love the way you play with my expectation here, I really think it is going to say blankets, but of course in the set up I kind of know you mean both blankets and blankness and the softness yet uncomfortability of the way they sit with each other visually on the page and in the sound of the poem work really well on a number of levels.
    -The concept of sleep as the binding of our own eyelids, I definitely very often feel this way, that I am forcing myself into rest, tying myself down to not be in my life anymore in a way.
    -Really nice to see you working with a much shorter piece and using more consistent line/stanza lengths, I think it has created a really interesting scaffolding for this piece.
    -The visceral power of the imagery is really nice – cutting the eye out with the tin opener, I think I audibly reacted to this line when you read it in the last Mouthy session of the year!
    -I love the image of the shavings of eye… albeit discussting.
    -I like the way you zoom in and out of your body, I think it really reflects how it can feel when you are drifting in and out of disrupted sleep.
    -I like the use of sleep and the body as representing darkness, or at least this is how it felt, like life is light and fire and sleep and our bodies are dark and we want to retreat into them sometimes but it can be hard/difficult/scary… this felt powerful and true and like a message I think a lot of people could connect with. But it also felt dangerous which I think brought an interesting edge to the writing throughout.

    -Really not getting the ending?
    -Even… really interesting word to start on but I feel it is contributing to the lack of clarity which is kind of my overarching criticism of this piece. How attached are you to this word? Can you cut it (you will see I have done in my examples in the suggestion section)
    -I really don’t understand the ending… is it finished? What is happening here? Would actually be really helpful to have you explain it to me before I give feedback on that particular part.

    1. CLARITY
    I found the images and general sense of the piece quiet hard to follow. I wonder can re-lineation help with this? + I also think adding some connective words like ‘binding MY eyelids’ here and there would help give a bit of clarity which I personally like to have as a reader but as you know comprehension is quiet important to me as a reader, a lot of other people feel less attached to that so as always it is your choice! I have played with the piece below really thinking about both of these things so go through and have a look at the subtle changes I have made…

    2. Redundancies; if your eyes are bound are they not shut? // ‘The magnolia of my eyeballs’ can just be ‘magnolia eyeballs’ this kind of phrasing I feel is a bit of a spoken-wordism that we do to try and maintain flow but I personally propritise economy/clarity of language (it is something I too do a lot but try and push myself not to). // Do you need to say Dark world or can you just say dark because you have already created a little world for us in your bed?

    3. LINEATION. Firstly, you cannot have one 3 line stanza in a poem of couplets (you can, but I feel in this case it is not justified and you don’t usually work with consistent lines so I really want to challenge you to). Then, I want to ask – what is your lineation principle? I quiet like the initial principle you set up of breaking the line on a verb and then either contextualising or moving that image in the start of the next line – I have tried to push that initial principle by playing around with the piece… + taken out redundacies and tried to tighten up/add a connector to make what is happening clearer…

    When it’s time to bind my eyelids
    at night, memories and images of fire
    rage then dance on the floor
    of my retinas.

    I pull then push my duvet
    into an igloo of blankness.
    It’s only a small dot.
    I shut my eyes

    again, as pale silllohoutes
    tattoo themselves onto magnolia
    eyeballs – all I want to do is cut
    them out with a tin opener

    leave shavings of eye skin
    on my bedroom floor
    then forever live
    in dark

    without my fingers
    flicking through books
    aided with a dot
    of power

    (Didn’t do the ending cause I am not sure I get it yet)

    4. Punctuation… There is very little here, is that deliberate? Again, I feel this makes the images quiet difficult to digest? Again, I have toyed around with adding some above for clarity’s sake.

    Great work Neal – as always, loving your commitment to craft and pushing yourself forward and I can’t wait to see this piece grow even more!

    Debris x

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