Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Virginia in a Box

Virginia in a Box

Shadows fret on her face
like the pigeon-wing mosaic
at her feet, and she's forgotten
the sound of her name.

What she remembers is elegance,
pearls at her collarbone
and the smell of jasmine, cupped
in the palm of the calla lily's curl.

She recalls dew
on the weeping lantana's leaves
and how dawn trailed through his hair
that summer morning.

But daylight's last stroke
has left her dissected - Virginia

in a box with her wishes
and the song of the ocean,
lost to an abandoned lover's chest.


  1. hey, Ero. first two stanzas rock--damned awesome. it's probably a personal thing but the "dissected...is" inversion bugs me. wouldn't touch the first two stanzas (unless you've got more to add), they're "right" to me.

  2. hiya Matt-o!

    Point taken with dissected/is... dissected remind me of frogs in 9th grade anyway.

    I'm thinking about "shadows play" too... I've only heard those 2 words together a few thousand times.

    And I think I'm lacking something in the transition between S2 and S3 - and the ending is a flop.I think I'll need another between 2 and 3 for transition, and a better ending.

    Anyhoo, thanks much Matt, glad the first two strophes work for you. Now to work on it some more!

  3. didn't even catch "shadows play"--I guess since those 2 stanzas run so damned smoothly, but there's thousands of words to put there, although of course I'd probably end up putting "shadows trumpet" & then write about ritz crackers. Stanza two is delicate & just about perfect. Really cool idea & I see the box as a reopening into of herself, self-release & present awareness, bridged from memory, completion. This is so intimate that the word "lover" really stands out, like a Mc Donalds arches rising up out of this crazy field.

  4. trumpeted eh? Now I've got "Puttin on the Ritz" running through my head!

    I was hoping to come across with the feeling of her coming out of a mental haze, sort of a reawakening of sorts.

    The line "Virginia in a Box" is required in the poem but this box/painting is also part of the inspiration. Have a look, and you'll get the "dissected" thing I have going on. Thank god this challenge doesn't end till mid-August - I've got these ideas, but can't quite seem to work them out coherently today. Pisses me right the hell off!

  5. Heh, the painting doesn't do much for me. What about something along the lines of a music box/jewelry box thing. Virginia could be the little ballerina that spins around to the music when the box is opened. Hey, I just got home so I'm not really in the mode yet....lol

  6. lol, that most definitely is not the face of a ballerina. I'm gonna stick to my present theme, I just need to work out a kink or two in the ending :)

  7. ahh. dissected is fine--I like that, but just the structure of "dissected...is Virginia" dissected in a box, yes, absolutely, opened not to find the sound of her name intoned but viscera & guts as a mirror. sorry I can't ramble on more but am going over Gin's playscript

  8. I do like the addition. Sorry my own idea sucked!

  9. Matt, can I add you to my links over there -------->

  10. sure can. I was gonna add you last night but had just found out how to add & had added a bunch when I remembered & refound yours & was too lazy to go back to something "workish". Writing poems is a bitch? isn't it? I mean something you want to do well & keep looking at--it's harder than painting, because if you stay away from a painting for a couple hours & come back, you can see the flaws & correct them--but with words it's something other & hidden, discovery to be made before certain dates

  11. hmm, I think we both deleted your double post, and ended up deleting them both :| Sorry!

    I think I like Dissected better too... but I'm not all about having this guy try to save her... She's lost, and he's a memory. Yep, gotta work on this ending some more. Thanks Matt, for all your input, it's really been helpful!

  12. Nettinous said:

    actually like "dissected" more than scattered. it's just that "is Virginia in a box" comes off old-sounding to me. To get around that, how about if the lover is trying to get into the box, to get open the box to pull out his beloved. "his Virginia in a box"--of course saying "his" woman is a little chauvanistic or whatever, but I think it might work

    there, now I feel better lol!

  13. heh!
    I'm a guy, so goddamit he saves her! :P
    I love those first two stanzas. The rest'll come. Am in literary mode today after "proofreading" or whatever Ms. Finch's play, which reminded me of me trying to write a few years ago, seriously, and all that editing (except I've never revised as much as completely rewritten) I did back then. Wrote tonight, ok-ish, I guess, and have something else in my head but gots to discover it first

  14. Does the play totally rock!? I bet it does. Glad you wrote... I have been piddling since my last edit on this piece. I think I need to let it sit a while - give it time to come to me the way I want it to be.

  15. I had a parched throat after reading those first two stanzas. No suggestions here (I'm admittedly quite clueless when it comes to dissecting poems, even my own. Sigh.), just thirsty and waiting for the final version. ^_^

  16. Welp - this is it (I think) lol. Hope it doesn't disappoint!

  17. are all of your poems here?

    I seem to remember not the name but a feeling of one you wrote a while back that blew me away. I read it on moontown. what was it?
    sorry for being so vague.