Saturday, 13 February 2010

Hearts out

OK, back to TFE's writing tasks it is then. We have a visitor from afar for the next few days so I won't be around here much and I'm putting up my homework early. The one due for Monday had a brief something along the lines of 'take Valentine's Day as your starting point'. So I did. I started with Valentine's Day...and I came up with this:


Oh boy, are you not sick
Of being good?
Do you not fancy
A defiant waltz down
To the tackiest shop in town
There to pluck clean out
The brightest, gaudiest heart
Caress its velvet sections
Then take it home
To bed for good?

And once you're safe
Back inside
Do you not want
To write your own name
In big looping letters on the envelope
Add a splash
Of something scent
Then watch as you both
Dance down to disgrace
In the mirror's light?

And with a pen gripped
Do you not long
To fill the quiet page
With bursting symbols
Lines of mood and travesty
Then push it all firmly
Into its red holder
Seal it forever
With the longest, fullest
Wettest kiss?

RF 2010



Totalfeckineejit said...

Never been to Afar or met anyone from there.Hope they are house-trained!

Great insight into the sending of Valentine cards! Does not
'Dance down to disgrace
In the mirror's light?'
Have a graceful poetic verve about it?

Jeanne Iris said...

Rachel, this is grand! The sexual innuendos associated with writing are reminiscent of, dare I say... Yes I will... ol' W. S. himself! Loverly!

Poetikat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Poetikat said...

Try this again:

Those three questions are pretty in-your-face—which is just how I like 'em! Well done, Rachel!
I went round and round 4 shops today trying to find a card that was anything but trite or nauseating.
I finally found one that didn't make me gag.
Great poem! Loved it!


Liz said...

Ah-ha...yes, indeed! to all those questions...liked the alternative implications too! Happy love day!

Rachel Fox said...

Ah well, TFE, off into Monday maze we go...just a little early.

Jeanne - as good as William Shatner? Really?

I did write another poem after this, Kat, a sweeter, lovier, more Valentiney one. But I'll save that for another time.

Liz - it just kind of overtook me this one. You know how it is...years of demented half-thought thoughts all coming out in one splurge...or several splurges.


Moira said...


Rachel Fox said...

Thanks Moira. I put it down to all the Meat Loaf we've been listening to recently (flashback central...'On a hot summer night...' and all that). But there are other influences too.

Argent said...

Loved it! I failed miserably - didn't get himself a card, did I? He got me one though, so he's 1-0 up now.

Rachel Fox said...

Now, now,'s not a competition...
Good luck with a creative solution to the score card though.

A Cuban In London said...

There's a naughty undertone in the poem which I love. It's somewhat subversive and I like that kind of poetry.

'Do you not fancy
A defiant waltz down
To the tackiest shop in town
There to pluck clean out
The brightest, gaudiest heart
Caress its velvet sections
Then take it home
To bed for good?'

Oh, yes. Did it thirteen years ago and still going strong. :-) Mind you she was not in the tackiest shop in town! :-D

Greetings from London.

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, I think it's about lots of things...and only one of them is couples in longlasting love, Cuban! It's really much more about love vs sex, the relationship with the self, the physical relationship with the self, desire, what you can buy, what you can't, twisted thoughts, untwisted thoughts, misery...hell, it's about everything (as always).

Rachel Fox said...

But obviously I only realised all that once it was out (and not before). And that sounds like an innunendo too if you listen right.

Niamh B said...

As always Rachel, a pleasure to read, lovely

Titus said...

Loved this one! Especially;

"The brightest, gaudiest heart
Caress its velvet sections
Then take it home
To bed for good?"

Worked on every level, great read.

Rachel Fox said...

Niamh - a sweetheart you are! But lovely...really? Not dirty? I feel used...

Titus. Yes...I did think of lots of soundilikes with gaudy...bawdy, sordid, tawdry...but by then the poem was pretty much formed and in motion. Maybe another time.


Rachel Fenton said...

Ha - made me smile this did!

Anonymous said...

Hi Rachel
Just wanted to how much I like this, it acknowledges how the tackiness appeals to us all even though we don't like to admit it:-)
And thank you for your comment on my poem. It is really helpful to have someone say something other than that they like like it. And i do agree, on re reading it was too predictable, in fact I nearly included stuff about his tea making skills which I removed, it was hard to articulate something subtle about why you love someone in spite of the things that drive you crazy. I may attempt another version.
Also wondering, reading previous posts, why "bang bang" rhymes are somehow considered not real poetry, you are the second person i have read recently who implied this, I read Susan Hill 'Howards end is on the landing' and she somewhat dismissively referred to such poetry as 'verse'.
thanks for sharing
crazy field mouse

Rachel Fox said...

Rachel - and your flowers make me smile every day now!

CFM - so much to say...when I started writing poems I wasn't involved in any kind of poetry scene at all (not even online) and therefore I had no prejudices, no group mentality, nothing...I just read and wrote. I had studied literature at school and uni but really my relationship was just with the words (not any theories). When I started to send poems out to poetry magazines and the like I was really shocked by some of the attitudes I came across (this isn't allowed, this is frowned upon, this is naff etc) and in some ways for all the talk of freedom of expression I would have to say poetry can be one of the most repressed and hypercritical worlds I have ever come across (partly to do with the kinds of personalities attracted to poetry I think...some of them might already be shrieking 'what's wrong with hypercritical?'...well, depends how it's done...). For a while it really bothered me but then I have kind of talked myself round...I write and I am involved in poetry (to a point) but I deal with the people who seem to me to have a good attitude and philosophy. I suppose this is how everyone behaves really. Blogs like TFE's appeal to me because they are open and welcoming to all...they really are about freedom of expression and that's a priority for me. It's still the words that matter.

Be seeing you around no doubt. And I did like your poem. The way you used the numbers worked really well...made it memorable.

And I wrote quite a lot about people being snotty about 'verse' a while back...there are poems on my website in the 'writing' section.

the watercats said...

beautiful :-) also love the lines;
'dance down to disgrace in the mirror's light'... hot!

Uiscebot said...

Buy me a heart from the tackiest shop in town!

Red Bird said...

I've only "heard" you read your poems a few times but in this one, I could hear your voice so clearly... like you were here in the room reading it to me... it's wonderful!

willow said...

"big looping letters on the envelope"

Love the way this feels on the tongue.

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks guys - lovely words all round. I've written very little with any sexual content really (partly to do with my occupation -small child care - and partly to do with where I read poems most regularly - folk clubs aren't big on sex) so it's been nice to go somewhere different with this.

And Willow - originally I had 'loopy letters' thinking of the double meaning of loopy=crazy...but it just didn't sound right and so 'looping' came in instead. I think it was one of the very last minute changes.
As for the tongue...I suppose I could have had a line about licking the envelope too...oh, it could have gone on forever!


Pure Fiction said...

The rhythm in this is brilliant - I'm with Red Bird on this one - I can hear it being read out loud. It has an almost defiant, in your face quality that really works too.

Sorlil said...

I like the big looping letters and the bursting symbols!

Rachel Fox said...

PF - thanks so much. Sometimes I do wonder what I'm up to but maybe the voice is one of my strengths has been mentioned before. In fact when Sorlil reviewed my book (back here) she said "Having read the collection right through I'm convinced that Rachel Fox doesn't live on the east coast of Scotland but has smuggled herself into my house through her book. So strong is the personality and voice in these poems that reading them is like having her recite them to you in person."

Hi Sorlil - look...I've quoted you!


Karen said...

Rachel - Here's a question: How many of us who have always been "good" would love to "waltz down to the tackiest shop in town" and go from there? You've a jaunty defiance that tickles me! Great adventure...of the mind!

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks Karen...a mind adventure is what we're after when we write isn't it?

I've probably been more bad than good overall so I have plenty of background knowledge. These days I sometimes find keeping up the 'respectable parent' business quite tricky and I'm sure that's another thread to this poem!


Dominic Rivron said...

Good one. I was and I did but I to my chagrin, forgot. I was reminded. Too late...

Sorlil said...

Wow being quoted!! Better watch what I say :) I meant it, you really have a strong, distictive voice that comes through in your book.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I think somebody is breaking out here Rachel - good for them.

Rachel Fox said...

Well put, Weaver, very well put.