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20th SEPTEMBER 1946

I hid amongst your clothes.
Amidst the muffled silence and the silky fall
Of your dresses and your Persian shawl
And basking in the heady scent of
Rose and jasmine, and your talc,
I lay within, and on, my scented catafalque,
Safe within my certainty that you and I
Were destined for eternity.

I lounged about like King Farouk
Lost in the aisles of a foreign souk,
This bizarre bazaar where angels are
This citadel – my Ritz Hotel –
So far from Norman Bates Motel
This sentient isle of daffodil,
This magic land that cast a spell
This sorcerer’s dive, this infidel cave,
A perfect place for me to live
My whole life through – a ne’er do well.

But one September afternoon
With no warning nor a sign
I heard a rushing sound so strange
And felt my body rent and tear.
It plucked me from my homely lair
And introduced me to this antiseptic air.
I grasped and gasped at its perfume
So unlike my comfy room.
Then as my eyes began to stare,
Adjusted by my pupils widened stance,
I saw a vision in the gloom
Glanced now in bleary watered eyes
But then in sharpest focus'd light
As if my brain had brightened from the sight
Of shooting stars and meteorite.

I saw a woman in that room
More perfect than Madonna’s bloom.
She looked at me with wondrous eyes
And smiled a smile that tantalised.
I looked at her complete surprise
As if she’d waved a magic wand
And pulled a rabbit from a hat
Or indeed a cat or rat.
But No! This squawking bundle
Was a screaming brat
Of marbled skin and blackened hair
Like a mewling puking human jumble,
A squamous screeching jangled muddle,
Emerging from some hideous jungle.

What followed then was just etcetera.
She’d wrecked my previous raison d’etre
And bundled me, unceremoniously,
From her fragrant balcony
And out of its fenetre.

So now my fantasy was gone.
No more the eerie humpback’s song
Or sounds that lingered in the distant gloom
No more the beat - my mother’s heart -
Or laughter in the swirling dark.
No more the gurgle through the chord
That tied me to my mother’s side
Nor that damn Mozart’s harpsichord
That she played so loudly in the night.

So now I’m real and I need some food,
I’m not those cats that feed on scraps
Nor dogs that howl for a hunter’s moon
But a real life boy with constant needs
So feed me now or I’ll scream and scream.
Don’t think you’re done, you’re not the Queen
You’re in it now ‘til I’m a teen.
“You’re not done yet,” I’ll yell and yell
“Give me all you’ve got or I’ll unleash hell”.

But wait, this mother gave me life.
In fifteen minutes with my Dad
She turned his fecund thoughts into a lad
She magic’d blood and bone from nothing more
Than an ice cream cone - well
That’s what she called his erogenous zone -
She even filmed it on her ‘phone for a bet –
Or, she would have, but it was 1946
And her Apple I-phone hadn’t been invented yet.
So the earliest photo I have of me
Is on Bournemouth beach at about half past three
One November afternoon in 1948
With spade and bucket in the sand and
An ice cream cornet in my hand and
An ice cream moustache about my face -

A magnificent specimen of the human race.

Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Last few words: 
NOTES: King Farouk - the last full king of Egypt Ritz Hotel - One of the best hotels in London Norman Bates Motel - see "Psycho" film directed by Alfred Hitchcock “unleash hell” In the film “Gladiator” Maximus says “At my signal – unleash hell”
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content

Comments

I write long pieces too... glad to read one here on Neopoet.

I think that your Piece here needs some division more than stanza breaks, that would make it more readable, would give the readers of your work a pause to let your written images catch up.

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Raywhitakerblog.wordpress.com
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I will have a look at this - I agree that it's a big mouthful and breaking it up into easier chunks would help.
Will

author comment

your poem made me feel breathless, as if spiraling down from a great height! I feel a little dizzy from this excellent read. I didn't understand all of the references, but I got the main idea. great work!

*hugs, Cat

*

When someone reads your work
And responds, please be courteous
And reply in kind, thanks.

If there are any particular references you need comment on please let me know. Some poetry is universal but it can also be embedded with cultural references and usage which might seem obscure.

author comment

If there are any particular references you need comment on please let me know. Some poetry is universal but it can also be embedded with cultural references and usage which might seem obscure.

author comment

what are: catafalque, squamous, raison d’etre, fenetre, ?
despite stumbling over these few words, I found the rhythm and flow of this piece to be rather melodic.

*hugs, Cat

When someone reads your work
And responds, please be courteous
And reply in kind, thanks.

catafalque = pronounced cat-a-falk "A catafalque is a raised bier, box, or similar platform, often movable, that is used to support the casket, coffin, or body of a dead person during a Christian funeral or memorial service" - At first sight the use of this word in a poem about birth does not seem to fit BUT it is followed by the line - "Safe within my certainty that you and I were destined for eternity." As an embryo I have no idea that I will soon be born so as far as I am concerned I am there for eternity and in that context lying on a catafalque which is associated with death is not so incongruous bearing in mind that, as a Christian, I will die but live for eternity - (By the way I don't claim to be a Christian but I will soon be borne and live within the Judeo-Christian tradition albeit that I will have no say in the matter until I am old enough to think for myself).

Squamous = pronounced skwa-mus = "Squamous cells are thin, flat cells that look like fish scales, and are found in the tissue that forms the surface of the skin, the lining of the hollow organs of the body, and the lining of the respiratory and digestive tracts."
This word needs to be read in the context of "marbled skin and blackened hair like a mewling puking human jumble,a squamous screeching jangled muddle" - all the words support each other and describe that moment when a baby is pulled yelling and screeching from its mother, just after the chord is cut and (traditionally) is held by its heels upside down wet and bloody, and given a smack (if it isn't already yelling) to let it know that its time to start living in the real world.

Incidentally - you probably spotted the use of the words "mewling and puking" in this context being a direct take from Shakespeare's "Seven ages of Man" speech from "As You Like It"

Raison d'etre - French for "reason to be"
Fenetre - French for "window"

author comment

for taking the time to lead me step by step though this amazing poem. I learned a lot. I greatly appreciate it :)

*hugs, Cat

When someone reads your work
And responds, please be courteous
And reply in kind, thanks.

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