Friday, May 27, 2011

Combatwords, May 27, 2011: Frauds, Forgeries, Disguises and Impersonations

Combatwords, May 27, 2011: Frauds, Forgeries, Disguises and Impersonations

Before we can be, we must impersonate being. You wanted to grow up, so you drank that bottle, smoked that pack, filled that womb; cashed that check, wore that suit, inked that notebook, claimed the way was past the gas station—no, the other gas station—whatever. What's wrong with you? Why the small disguises? You could have impersonated an heir to the Xanax fortune, but instead you played it safe. Instead of claiming your own writing, you could have hyped your notebook as the next Voynich manuscript. You fool, you fool.

Combat Expiration: 12am PST, 5/30/2011

Critique Expiration: 12am PST 5/31/2011

Bonuses/Penalties: +2 if posted before 6pm PST 5/27/2011, +1 if posted before 12am PST 5/28/2011, -1 if posted by 6am PST 5/31/2011, -2 if posted by 12pm PST 5/31/2011

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  1. Bonebreaker

    I went to high school with Mark
    Later, he ran an art gallery
    He sold signed Chagalls and Matisses
    All painted by Paul

    When the FBI found out
    The told Mark he could do time
    Or wear a wire because
    Paul was the guy they wanted

    When they met, Paul asked Mark
    If he had ratted him out or not
    Mark said he hadn't. Good, said Paul
    Otherwise I would've called my bonebreaker.

    The FBI arrested Paul for making a threat
    Paul said he was just joking - and anyway
    He hadn't committed any crime - It's not illegal
    To forge a painting.

    It's only illegal to sell it.
    My friends and I all followed this story
    In the morning newspaper.
    No one knows what happened to Mark.

  2. Sleight of Fin, Claw, Paw, Antenna, Wing

    These aren’t hawk eyes, but spots on a moth’s wing.
    Another insect, an imposter wasp with an ersatz sting.
    This serpent’s no coral snake, despite its coloring.
    Before I enter the bar, I pocket my ring.

    Some deep-sea fish dangle glowing stalks as bait.
    A squid squirts ink to cover its escape.
    The cuckoo’s eggs are hatched by feathered strangers without complaint.
    Foundation hides the blemish on my face.

    A blowfish inflates itself with air to disguise
    the slightness of its girth. Cats’ fur stands on end. Likewise,
    a collared lizard’s frill will serve to amplify its size.
    A girdle does its best to diminish mine.

    A buck shows off its rack while it crosses the glade.
    Roosters shriek and swell in a barnyard parade.
    Peacocks strut with fans proudly displayed.
    An honest man has never gotten laid.

    A pitcher plant’s a sweet death trap for flies.
    A possum will convince you that it’s died.
    A croc looks like a log when it shuts its eyes.
    A man may stand for truth, but nature lies.

  3. Blue Rabbit

    The gentle pulse of crickets

    Stuffed blue rabbit on your pillow

    You’d kicked off all the blankets

    I stood there, trying to decide if

    I should tell you or

    I finally undressed and slipped

    Beneath the sheets beside you in the bed you stirred

    And made a little sound I laid my palm upon your scalp

    And in your sleep, I saw you smile

    I stroked your golden hair you murmured

    No. Still smiling

    No. In the dim light cast

    By the electric alarm clock’s

    Incandescent dial. You smiled and no

    Is what you said I know

    I’ll never sleep again.

  4. aluminum loony bin

    none of us there
    are our ourselves
    after all
    that's why you're there
    and if you are who you are
    you never go home
    you have to stay
    on dayroom couches without color
    next to marco who smells
    of burnt tomato soup
    who picks his nose
    describes the subtle nuances
    of each delicate new masterpiece
    to emerge from his nasal passages
    with the zeal of carter
    opening king tut's tomb
    before wiping these snotty sarcophagi
    on the arm of the couch
    next to laqueesha
    who towers over me
    enfolds me in soft pillows
    of ivory soap scented flesh
    calling me
    her scary little white girl
    she laughs at my scars
    and tells me i would be beautiful
    in africa

    we march in place

    this is not a place to get well
    this is not a place to get well

    and i lie
    because getting out of here
    is all that

    after a while i was so over-medicated the empty spaces between the frame and cables and the outer skin of my body became filled with a thick sludge made of mucus sloshing around and at night they made the air gelatinous and turned on the magnets in the floor and i woke one morning having peed myself all itchy skin and sour embarrassment eating holes in my teeth as the nurse tells me over and over it's alright it's okay these things happen and i am full of rain just as it opens holes in the waves

  5. It is a terrible place to be is like a rape of the whole of your being where you have no control, and it goes on and on....*hugs* for you x

  6. bonebreaker / onyxsupersonics: a fun story, but i don't know if putting this into poetic form added that much. it feels promising...i just want more. definitely a cool premise. +1 for premise.

    Sleight of Fin, Claw, Paw, Antenna, Wing / rToady: a good rhythm, and i liked the juxtaposition between the natural and unnatural elements (e.g., foundation, girdle), so +2 the rhymes weren't too much in my face reading it silently, but it might be too much aloud. not sure about the bait / escape rhyme, but i'll leave that to the purists, but maybe an abab rhyme scheme might have offered more choices...kinda feel the aaaa rhyme gets overpowering, almost veers into shel silverstein territory, but maybe that was your intention. -1, so overall +1

    Blue Rabbit / rToady: this worked for me a lot better, and is the best of the entries this week. a real stunner that had me hooked from the first line. creepy without being explicit and somehow, that's much worse. like when a murder happens off-screen. the careful repetition of "no. still smiling / no. in the dim light cast." breaks the rhythm just right, like checking to see if someone is watching before catching that quick feel. a great poem. +3

    aluminum loony bin / me: ok, poetry isn't coming easily now. even so, i was so disappointed when i re-read this again the next day. i wanted to post anonymously and say "ok, we get it, you're crazy. can't you talk about anything else?" fuck, this feels self-indulgent and the loony-bin shit has been done by plath and better (loony bins were more fun then, now it's just pills and daytime television...where's the romance in that? i want to be jean seberg to warren beatty in lilith. instead i get 350 lb born-again sweaty guys who talk about their aunt keisha's church picnic). so for not pushing myself harder, -10.