View Full Version : Then This Will Stand Proxy

William Haskins
11-04-2015, 05:10 AM
There's a different poem
I want to write,

not that I know its title
or what words it will contain;

it's mostly just a monster
chewing sideways through my brain.

I find that such abstractions
resist a match to language

and languish in the shadows
of the beastliest of breasts

to hold their breath for echoes
of a beating human heart.

But this is no way to start.

Aulaeum tollitur.

Aulaea premuniuntur:

I want that it would
sing like choirs who,
in their fevered ecstasies,
raise the gaze of
stained-glass saints.

(Hypocrite! Hack! A parlor trick.
I always do this.)

Aulaeum tollitur.

Aulaea premuniuntur:

I want that it would
brush against your face
like a single strand
of flaxen hair freed
by a summer breeze.

(Sentimental discursion!
Such cheap manipulation.)

Aulaeum tollitur.

Aulaea premuniuntur:
(this time honestly)

I pull myself apart,
piece by piece,
bit by bit,
what hurts
what hates
what loves
with great
what curses
what cries
what laughs
at dead skies,
what curls
in a ball
what spits
what claws.

Bit by bit
I stitch them
together and
make for myself
a faceó

that you may look
upon me true
before you look away.

Aulaeum tollitur.

11-04-2015, 03:30 PM
William I love this. And boy do I relate. Thank you. I wonder if you really need "this time honestly"? I ask because to my read, the entire thing is honest, honesty not being homogenous, ever. And so the absence of a parenthetical phrase in that third position might make the contrast clear (I almost want to say) more honestly.

Not even a minor quibble; just a question. Thank you for the poem.

B.D. Eyeslie
11-04-2015, 04:37 PM

11-04-2015, 05:23 PM
I love the curtain lowered and raised to reveal a different style, a different player, a different attempt to get the voice.

This is beautiful. When the place holder in your brain is this relatable and moving, I hope you don't think of it as stand-in.

11-04-2015, 07:14 PM
This makes me smile, not that I should be grinning at your pain, ;) , but it's beautifully sharp. Much enjoyed the read.

11-04-2015, 07:29 PM

11-04-2015, 08:35 PM
Very much a "this is the heart and mind of this poet, this is what he would like his poem to do" and as such it is very good!

William Haskins
11-04-2015, 09:32 PM
thank you all for reading.

11-05-2015, 12:31 AM
It was the "with great struggle" that got the tears rolling. As ever, Will. As ever.

11-05-2015, 06:54 PM
I love this. Well done, William. It's relatable and familiar, but uniquely your voice.

The rhyming, pacing, alliteration are all exactly as they should be.

And not to argue with a critique, but to offer another opinion on a subject mentioned, I like the parentheticals in each instance.
And that the pace picked up, that the lines got shorter, that it was so full of raw emotion right after the last set (this time honestly) to me was genuine and very effective.

It's an emotional and beautiful piece, William.


William Haskins
11-06-2015, 08:25 PM
thanks, stew.

the self-recriminations are integral, for sure.

11-06-2015, 10:33 PM
I completely agree that they are. It's subtle, but highly effective.

11-06-2015, 11:55 PM
I'm coming back to make a more thoughtful post, because this one deserves more than just my blathering.

Overall, your subtle and not-so-subtle rhymes really made the poem move and moved me through the cadence of the piece. I loved the irony in "resist a match to language." The abrupt, "But this is no way to start." was quite effective to set the tone. Discontentedness, mentally scratching out words that don't fit. I can't quite pinpoint why, but the mouthfeel of "this" at the end of "I always do this" just feels perfect. How do you do that with such a nondescript word??

An ex- once told me, "Mujer, tu alma esta libre, como tu pelo al viento." and if I didn't want to punch him in the teeth so badly, I would have appreciated the sentiment. Your lines caught the appreciation, not the teeth punching.

The last stanza, well, I already said how much I liked that one. Adding this to my poetry bank. Thanks for writing it.

William Haskins
11-07-2015, 02:29 AM
thank you, sara. your support means the world to me.

11-09-2015, 08:40 PM
Hey! I read this before the weekend, then went out of town & offline. But the beauty of this poem stuck with me and now, here on Monday, I'm checking in to let you know I really enjoyed this. Agree with Perks & others - this proxy is bona fide!