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I have neglected to sew my mouth shut,
and spiders have delivered
nourishment through the drool
of my sleep. It is the third day
of my fast.

The boils on my calf smolder,
carbuncles of pus erupting
like Hawaii in June,
raining lava on the beach.

I will strive to dream
in green and blue –

purled in soot and curled
in a ball to marinate
amidst the sulfur and exhaust
rising through the floorboards
to the nest below my bed

– until I expire.

It's warm in the smoke,




It's warm in the smoke,
purled in soot and curled
in a ball to marinate
in the sulfur and exhaust
rising through the floorboards
to the nest below my bed.

It is the third day of my fast.
I have neglected to sew my mouth shut,
and spiders have delivered
unsought nourishment through the drool
of my sleep.

I will strive to dream
in green and blue
until I expire.


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Hi Wj
some very nice sonics but, for me, it falls flat on the final line. Any way to return to the smoke/fire image?
Alternatively ...


I have neglected to sew my mouth shut,.................just because it’s such a arresting line Smile
and spiders have delivered
nourishment through the drool
of my sleep. It is the third day
of my fast.

I will strive to dream
in green and blue –

purled in soot and curled
in a ball to marinate
in amidst the sulfur and exhaust...........................too many ins
rising through the floorboards
to the nest below my bed.

– until I expire.

It's warm in the smoke,



Best, Knot


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Thanks Knot, I agree with your point about the final line, and the too many ins.

I've been trying to move away from meaning and toward feeling in my writing, but when I try to finish a poem, I often end up still trying to shoehorn in some meaning to wrap things in a bow. I think I need to just write until I don't want to write anymore, and not worry about having an "ending" to the poem.

I may add more to this to improve the ending.
I've done an edit on this, adding a stanza and using basically all of your suggestions, they were very helpful, thank you, Knot!

I really like the structural change you made, I don't usually use devices like that, but I think it's interesting.

I'm not 100 % sure of the ending, I have it ending with a comma because I like that it implies the narrators thoughts continue from there, but I'm not sure if that really translates it may be better with a period, or ending with no punctuation at all.

Would appreciate anyone's thoughts on that, or anything else about the poem.
Hi Wj,

This is my first read of this.  I like it very much, but have one hesitation: the line about "This is the third day of my fast."  Everything else in the poem is so surreal that this line seems out of place.

I repeat: I really like it, whether that line stays or goes.  I don't have strong feelings about the final comma.  Not sure it does what you want though.
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Hi Wj
I like the added verse, the proximity of 'calf' to 'fast' (though perhpas cut the opening 'the' and swap 'rain' for 'raining'?
Or even Lava rains on the beach)   Not so keen on 'carbuncles', anything more volcanic?
pyroclastic flows of pus ?

I think you could cut the 'will' (L10)

For me 'until I expire' has become a weakness. I think the piece reads a lot better (final comma or not Smile ) without that line.


Best, Knot

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