Fine China
#1
Fine China

Fine China is my Love;
fragile, delicate,sensually serviceable.
Although I worship her
I do not put her on a pedestal.
I keep her locked in a cabinet,
that is where she needs to be.
Letting her out on special occasions
so my guest might enjoy her.
They each treat her according;
to their personalities and
their own predilections:
some gentle, some rough.
She acquiesces to each demand.
After all have had their use of her
we adjourn to another room,
leaving her naked, alone and soiled.
Later, they depart, but no goodbyes,
or a thank you for her
flawless performance.
Afterwards when we are alone
I draw her bath of soapy hot water.
Stroking her, then plunging her in
her edge breaking the water’s surface. 
Baptized I lift her out reborn again;
her sins washed away, a virgin once more.
I dry her carefully, gently, lovingly,
feeling the raised design on her surface,
like goosebumps on enervated skin.
Then, stacked neat all in its place,
I once again lock the cabinet door
until the next time.


©2005, revised 2021
How long after picking up the brush, the first masterpiece?

The goal is not to obfuscate that which is clear, but make clear that which isn't.
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#2
(06-28-2021, 07:09 AM)Erthona Wrote:  Fine China

Fine China is my Love;                         do China and Love need capitalization?
fragile, delicate,sensually serviceable.      maybe just "fragile, yet sensually serviceable"
Although I worship her
I do not put her on a pedestal.
I keep her locked in a cabinet,
that is where she needs to be.             this is where it gets interesting to me, that "where she needs to be"
Letting her out on special occasions     I let her out...
so my guest might enjoy her.
They each treat her according;        ?
to their personalities and
their own predilections:
some gentle, some rough.
She acquiesces to each demand.
After all have had their use of her
we adjourn to another room,
leaving her naked, alone and soiled.
Later, they depart, but no goodbyes,
or a thank you for her
flawless performance.                       I don't think "flawless performance" needs to be another line
Afterwards when we are alone            this whole section to end of poem is marvelous
I draw her bath of soapy hot water.
Stroking her, then plunging her in
her edge breaking the water’s surface. 
Baptized I lift her out reborn again;
her sins washed away, a virgin once more.
I dry her carefully, gently, lovingly,
feeling the raised design on her surface,
like goosebumps on enervated skin.
Then, stacked neat all in its place,
I once again lock the cabinet door
until the next time.


©2005, revised 2021

This piece reminds me somewhat of the Victorian pornography I once read in an old 60s anthology called The Pearl.  Especially, what can I call it except "the bath scene"  Wink
But it's also an odd bird, because the particular fetish, fine china, seems so dead to me as a fetish object that the poem has an otherworldly quality (in that anyone could lavish this much thought about it).  Finally, I kind of wanted some drama, maybe a liine or two about a broken piece?   

A few notes and nit-picks above.
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
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#3
Tim,

Yeah thanks for the catch on the caps, I will correct. Don't know how that semi-colon got in there but good catch.

" I don't think "flawless performance" needs to be another line" agreed. Thanks again.

Great catches all, will correct.

Thanks,

dale
How long after picking up the brush, the first masterpiece?

The goal is not to obfuscate that which is clear, but make clear that which isn't.
Reply
#4
.
Hi Dale,
like the idea, but it doesn't seem sensual enough. I'm not convinced that the narrator is as passionate as they claim.
Also, slight stumble over whether FC is plural or singular. 'Her' suggests singular, but then what is a single piece of china that would be enjoyed by 'many'?

I agree with TqB that L2 could be trimmed, similarly L26.

I think you might (given the title) cut fine china from the opening line.


My love is fragile,
sensually serviceable.

...................................................wouldn't mind a bit more physical description

kept in a cabinet,
where she needs to be.

on special occasions ................ might you hint as to what 'special occasions' means (to N)?
that my guest might enjoy her. ... should 'guest' be plural?

I unlock/release her ...


The subject seems to want something a bit more formal (another demonstration of N's control/power).


Best, Knot


.
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#5
(06-28-2021, 07:40 PM)Knot Wrote:  .
like the idea, but it doesn't seem sensual enough. I'm not convinced that the narrator is as passionate as they claim.

I was thinking along similar lines after posting my previous comment; narrator seems a bit too detached.
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
Reply
#6
Knot,

Thanks for the guest catch, it should indeed be plural. Also I like cutting the first line, good idea. I will give thought to your other suggestions.

Thanks,

dale

Tim,

"I was thinking along similar lines after posting my previous comment; narrator seems a bit too detached."

It had been my experience (as a therapist, or the-rapist, for twenty years + years), that people with fetishes often act detached as it is part of the discipline, especially with the sadist, which this is alluding to in the poem. It's all about being in control; control and power is from where the pleasure stems, not the sensual pleasure of it. In this, the person demonstrates his mastery over the subject by allowing others to use "her". That's at least what I had in mind. There is no breakage, at least physically, because that is not from where his pleasure comes. He does like to baby her as that makes the mental pleasure all the much greater when he allows her to be used. The whole set of China is her, her body if you will. So it is plural (someone asked about this). So those are my rationales, I am not saying they are correct, but that is my thinking behind this. Maybe the poem does not work, or I need to refine it somewhat, but it was never intended to be sensual, at least not physically.

Thanks for your thoughts,

best,

dale
How long after picking up the brush, the first masterpiece?

The goal is not to obfuscate that which is clear, but make clear that which isn't.
Reply
#7
(06-29-2021, 12:36 PM)Erthona Wrote:  Knot,

Thanks for the guest catch, it should indeed be plural. Also I like cutting the first line, good idea. I will give thought to your other suggestions.

Thanks,

dale

Tim,

"I was thinking along similar lines after posting my previous comment; narrator seems a bit too detached."

It had been my experience (as a therapist, or the-rapist, for twenty years + years), that people with fetishes often act detached as it is part of the discipline, especially with the sadist, which this is alluding to in the poem. It's all about being in control; control and power is from where the pleasure stems, not the sensual pleasure of it. In this, the person demonstrates his mastery over the subject by allowing others to use "her". That's at least what I had in mind. There is no breakage, at least physically, because that is not from where his pleasure comes. He does like to baby her as that makes the mental pleasure all the much greater when he allows her to be used. The whole set of China is her, her body if you will.  So it is plural (someone asked about this). So those are my rationales, I am not saying they are correct, but that is my thinking behind this.  Maybe the poem does not work, or I need to refine it somewhat, but it was never intended to be sensual, at least not physically.

Thanks for your thoughts,

best,

dale

Makes sense and is perhaps that "otherworldly" sense I get about the narrator.  Otherworldly to me that is.  The poem definitely brings out his power trip.  He is a loving procurer.
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
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#8
.
Hi dale,
I had thought coercive control, but happy to defer to your expertise. However ... Smile
"the person demonstrates his mastery over the subject by allowing others to use "her""
Are the 'other' actual 'others' and not elements of his personality?
And, if not, this line
After all have had their use of her
taken together with
"It's all about being in control; control and power"
seems to lack what I would, amateurishly, describe as the necessary narcissism.
Would something like
After I have allowed them to use her/the use of her
be more ... 'correct'?
Similarly,
She acquiesces to each demand.
seems to allow her too much agency.
Later, they depart, but no goodbyes,
or a thank you for her
flawless performance
And wouldn't he want, or indeed expect, to be thanked, for
his authority to be acknowledged?


Still troubled by 'I worship her' and 'sensually'.


Best, Knot


.
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#9
Knot,

"seems to lack what I would, amateurishly, describe as the necessary narcissism."
Sadist, while self-centered are not narcissistic.

"And wouldn't he want, or indeed expect, to be thanked, for
his authority to be acknowledged?"

He might, except the line is about her. Not being thanked is just another way of treating her as an object, thus another way of humiliating her. Ultimately all metaphors are false, so there is not always going to be a direct one to one correlation. Characterizing "China" as the slave in a Sadomasochistic relationship is just a way to examine that relationship without the emotional triggers. 

"Still troubled by 'I worship her' and 'sensually'."

"sensually serviceable" is there primarily for the alliteration, although I believe it is still an accurate description. I think the "China" can be sensual. I would refer you to definition #3 of sensual:

"arousing or exciting the senses or appetites."

In terms of the "worship," he counters this by saying, "I do not put her on a pedestal." What I meant by that was that he does not really worship her, as say in the mode of the "Courtly Love Tradition," but rather he worships the relationship that brings him pleasure. Thus, he does not put her on a pedestal. To paraphrase the Bard, "he comes not to praise her, but to humiliate her.

Thanks for the good conversation, always a pleasure,

best,

dale
How long after picking up the brush, the first masterpiece?

The goal is not to obfuscate that which is clear, but make clear that which isn't.
Reply
#10
(06-28-2021, 07:09 AM)Erthona Wrote:  Fine China

Fine China is my Love;
fragile, delicate,sensually serviceable.
Although I worship her
I do not put her on a pedestal.
I keep her locked in a cabinet,
that is where she needs to be.
Letting her out on special occasions
so my guest might enjoy her.
They each treat her according;
to their personalities and
their own predilections:
some gentle, some rough.
She acquiesces to each demand.
After all have had their use of her
we adjourn to another room,
leaving her naked, alone and soiled.
Later, they depart, but no goodbyes,
or a thank you for her
flawless performance.
Afterwards when we are alone
I draw her bath of soapy hot water.
Stroking her, then plunging her in
her edge breaking the water’s surface. 
Baptized I lift her out reborn again;
her sins washed away, a virgin once more.
I dry her carefully, gently, lovingly,
feeling the raised design on her surface,
like goosebumps on enervated skin.
Then, stacked neat all in its place,
I once again lock the cabinet door
until the next time.


©2005, revised 2021
I was rather gorgonized by the poem. Much of its effectual metaphors are tactile, beginning with the line "I draw her a bath of soapy water"; I love "like goosebumps on enervated skin." Much too often poetry enlists ocular metaphors, and it is refreshing to experience tactile references. I do feel, as others have noted, that the narrator betrays the "sensuality" of the relationship by his/her seeming detachment. It was a pleasure reading, thanks for sharing!
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#11
(06-28-2021, 07:09 AM)Erthona Wrote:  Fine China

Fine China is my Love;
fragile, delicate,sensually serviceable. I would remove either delicate or fragile (redundancy)
Although I worship her
I do not put her on a pedestal.
I keep her locked in a cabinet,
that is where she needs to be. you can shorten this to where she needs to be.
Letting her out on special occasions
so my guest might enjoy her.
They each treat her according; you state "each," so I am assuming there is more than one guest?
to their personalities and
their own predilections:
some gentle, some rough.
She acquiesces to each demand.
After all have had their use of her to match the submissive tone of the last line, I would reword this to perhaps make her seem like a disposable object
we adjourn to another room,
leaving her naked, alone and soiled.
Later, they depart, but no goodbyes,
or a thank you for her
flawless performance. I think you can put "flawless performance" in the previous line rather than breaking it.
Afterwards when we are alone
I draw her bath of soapy hot water.
Stroking her, then plunging her in "plunging her beyond the water's surface"
her edge breaking the water’s surface. 
Baptized, I lift her out reborn again;
her sins washed away, a virgin once more. again.
I dry her carefully, gently, lovingly,
feeling the raised design on her surface,
like goosebumps on enervated skin.
Then, stacked neat all in its place, "stacking her neatly in place"
I once again lock the cabinet door
until the next time.


©2005, revised 2021

Something about this poem hits especially close to home, not as someone who's experienced physical trauma or abuse but as someone who feels like the "back-up" friend or someone who is taken advantage of, momentarily treated kindly only so others can get something from me. The juxtaposition between the narrator's supposed "love" and "gentleness" for the china doll and the way he actually treats her, as a disposable object for social flaunting, is consistent throughout the piece. However, the last ten lines or so seem a little ambivalent in tone - the narrator seems to violently force the doll under the water to wash her, then "carefully, gently, lovingly" stroke her. I suggest changing the diction of the line "plunging her in... the water's surface."
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#12
I don’t see a second or third layer of meaning in this. Which is not a bad thing. Just an observation.
The poem is literally and figuratively about fine China, but tells an everyday story in an interesting way.
I’ not sure about the “baptised” bit, as it seems to be just lazily following on from a bath of hot water and is not connected otherwise with the rest of the poem. But otherwise enjoyable.
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