Monday, May 10, 2010

Paper-Okie Hands

Create anew these old and tired veins running thick with dust,
course fresh blood to quench aching hands.

Cold, crackling, paper-Okie hands.

This is no graveyard ground in to bury spent roses,
petals gone to rape like violent waste,
thorns like bones like blackened bleeding
bent and felled into the earth!

Warm streams instead for planting,
tending veins;
grow a field of lilies
not made for red
or flowering for the hands
that will lose for them virginity.


  1. It's like a prayer turned to speculation on flowers and love. Eclectic, yet the images work together like a bohemian fashionista's wardrobe. And that's probably the last thing you wanted me to compare your poetry to, but there you go. It's intended as a compliment.
    I love the line "petals gone to rape like violent waste." It's so extreme and evokes a real reaction because of the strength of the language.
    I like the second half of the same stanza for the same reasons, and the alliteration only adds to the effect.
    The phrase "paper-Okie hands" makes me think immediately of Grapes of Wrath, and even the colors of the images it stirs up don't match with the rest of the poem to me. It's very weird. But I don't think that would be the case for most people.
    How does a flower lose its virginity? (nice tie back to the "petals gone to rape" reference though)
    Actually, as I write this I'm kind of getting a better overarching idea of what the whole poem might be about, instead of just analysis of bits and pieces. It seems to be the contrast between purity and love, and tiring, aching, soul-breaking lust. A struggle and desire to become clean and be made new because the red and dirt and death makes hands ache.

    But that's reading into it a lot. I dunno. I feel like my opinion of this could change a thousand times without ever becoming concrete. But this one is really really interesting. Powerful imagery.

  2. Flowers don't, but often do. Lilies and roses especially.

    You found my original intent. And here I thought this would pass as one of the commentless, odd ones.