Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Finger Knife

It's the fever place
and the fracture fall,
with a strip of lace wrapped around it all.

A dusk-gone door
and a small cool hand,
with the worst of it in a silk-knot band.

Coo coo
sings the cage bird
melancholy-sweet,
coo in the morning while the whole house sleeps;

Coo coo
sings the soft throat
coo brings the cat,
the silent little calico the sugar man keeps.

It's the bent porch rail
and the dahlia bloom,
with a candle and a snuffer set in every room.

It's the sugar man's house
with his child-bride wife,
claiming each one edge of the finger knife.
_____

image by SueAnn, in connection with dverse poetics.

21 comments:

Laurie Kolp said...

Great rhyme and rhythm. The ending blew me away.

Brian Miller said...

very cool rhythm to this....the rhythm of the first two and last two stanzas is enchanting and the break of them in the middle works great as well...the finger knife and the child bride both are a little haunting for me...ha, lots of fun shay

as always, great to see you. smiles.

Cloudia said...

I'm a sucker for a compelling simple rhyme scheme concealing something slightly sinister like a cats velvet claw paw
SO SHAY!


Aloha from Waikiki,
Comfort Spiral

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Lynn said...

I can see it all.

Mama Zen said...

Damn, this is creepy!

Anna Montgomery said...

Like Bluebeard meets A Sentimental Journey with style only you can bring. Your work always strikes the target with emotional accuracy.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

You sure know how to weave an edgy tale.....the ending blew me away, too.

HermanTurnip said...

Very reminiscent of any number of Tom Waits songs. Great job!

hedgewitch said...

This brought the bumps on the arm, and the hairs moving on the back of the neck for me--from the first alliterative and perfectly metered lines to the last grim image, it is one tight piece of night-blooming fear breathing out of the shadows, making you think that chair in the dark is alive. If this were at my place, it would definitely have the 'all hallows' tag--but I don't think I could come close to the grue you bring here with one sweet little sip of belladona tea.

myheartslovesongs.com said...

can you get any fucking better?...don't answer that! i'm depressed enough already. you are SO GOOD i can't stand it!

Daryl said...

even i, a jaded reader, was moving in time to the rhyme ... post Halloween scary-ish

Shawna said...

I love your tag "without benefit of sanity."

Good for her. How could she have a shred of sanity left after he'd stripped her of her childhood and innocence like that.

I'd never heard of a finger knife; I found an imagine online, and it's rather terrifying actually.

The first two stanzas are my favorites. Horrifying, but extremely well-written. I think he beats and rapes her, wrapping it all in the illusion of love. He might have even killed her, and her spirit has come back for vengeance. It's a good thing she's held on to that small, sweet voice so that the sugar man, and his cat, will walk right into her knife.

The candle and snuffer are a nice representation of how he has put out her light and also how she plans to put out his.

Shawna said...

I found an image, not an imagine. ;) Sorry for the typo.

RMP said...

That was a fun read. I enjoyed the rhyme and the two refrains in the middle. Usually the phrase is "Poor Putty Cat," but in this case...

Grandmother said...

The last stanza is positively chilling. Be afraid for the child-bride, be very afraid!

Behind the Smile said...

Enjoyed reading your poem. It caught me and I kept reading left wanting more...Thank you. Came by from dVerse Poetics.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

dizzy from reading this - thanks.

Margaret said...

Fractures, fever, and a finger knife? These are chilling images that can't be covered up with strips of lace and silk! Like a bird in a cage stalked by a creature that means her harm is the man with his child-bride? ... Chilling!

wordcoaster said...

Wow--just wow. Ditto to all the praise said already with a gold star and a cherry on top.

Sara said...

The play on words was fun to read..."fever place and fracture fall"

As you know, I enjoyed the rhythm and even the break because of the coo coo...I liked the line, "coo brings the cat," It made me smile.

Whoa! The ending was different. I felt like I went from skipping loudly through sunshine puddles to tiptoeing carefully through dark shadows:~)

Shawna said...

I love your sound, rhythm, and rhyme in this piece. This line grabs my ears today: "the silent little calico the sugar man keeps"

It was this the first couple of times I read it: "It's the fever place and the fracture fall"

Your mastery at selecting and combining just the right words gives me chills.