Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mouth Torn With Sorrow

The Sun, the unrelenting eye
seeing all beneath it as fodder
burning until the feeling dies
with the last whiff of smoke~

Inside, still and brittle obsidian;
mouth torn with sorrow,
but still I walk, climbing high

These thousand stone steps
of the Temple of the Sun
scaled but for one reason~

Your kiss is a black stone knife
and my heart where it will rest
to never again be touched by
faint tremors that caress this valley
under the blazing Sun's burning eye.

Thank you to Charles Gramlich of Razored Zen for allowing me to use the title of this one. He had it laid out as part of a list of possible titles for his newest book, and when i saw the line I just could not get over the emotion it conjured within me.

As you see it made a great prompt. Each line speaks it as the underlying thought, I feel--though perhaps others could have made better use of it than what I have done. Still, I feel my effort was in good spirit and to the best of my abilities... only reflection and my editing process will tell me for certain.


ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

I dunno. I like it.

I'd probably just take out the "is" as in
The Suns is an unrelenting eye,

Sort of go,
The Sun, unrelenting eye...

But that's just syntax, I guess.

I must say you're a hell of a better poet since that work vacation in Arkansas.
Like our lady prof said to a very fine poetess at graduate school,
"I think it's time you got a rejection slip."

Hell, I did. Sent to Atlantic Monthly. Yep. I got my slip. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Very nice. I love what you've done with the line and how it fits in with the theme and rhythm of the poem as a whole. This evokes much of the same kind of feeling that the line originally evoked in me when it occurred.

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Omg, Eric! What a wonderful surprise to see your comment! Thank you!

SO sad and yet so good to see that people can use it as motivation.

I cried as though the spill were at my doorstep as it insidiously chokes life.

Mouth Torn With Sorrow is a great line. All it takes is a phrase to inspire a burst of exhuberance. It's so wonderful to see you again. It's evident your sabbatical offered rekindling, Eric! :))

boneman said...

don't be sure you'll ever see the success or failure.
Vincent saw next to nothing for his efforts, even discovering that at one time, a landlord he had bartered a painting for sleeping quarters had taken his painting and fastened it to a tree for his nephew to shoot arrows at for practice.
Then again, there's the author of To Kill a Mockingbird (to kill a mockingbird) who actually got an award for her writing...(to get an award for her writing) which had to be nice even if Bush junior hung it on her (had to be nice even if b...BANG!)...oh look. Another book on killing mockingbirds...

If you make a hit for now, that's great! Anything more is just icing on the cake.
Oh? Are we having cake?
(are we having cake, are we having cake are we having cake)
danged mockingbirds...

Lana Gramlich said...

Very cool, hon. I thought that title sounded familiar. ;)

eric1313 said...


No more editing, I should have edited out the line at the end about editing... I wrote it, posted it, then took about 5 passes at it editing and re-writing before anyone asaw it out there, which was good as it was not like this when I first laid it out.

I have an Atlantic Monthly slip too! My prof told me to send out and I did. Only got ripped up one time, the rest were either form rejections, or those wonderful hand written ones that folks like us down in the unpub'd wastes live for.


Thank you for the use! Man that was super cool of you to say so.

Glad to here we were on that same page with that thought. The line was just brutally honest to me, thus I made sure to keep editing and re-writing until I had something of equal value to show for it.

no problem. Was glad to read your script work as well.

It's a tragedy.... yet again... how many times in my yet youngish life have I seen oil spills like this destroy life on a vast scale? Too many.

But at least we have inspiration. That is our blessing as well as sometimes our curse.

Are you always this supportive? Rock on man.

Crazy how most great artists are not recognized until they are gone and it's the vacuum they leave behind that makes people take note. Always thought about that. Painters, writers and musicians too.

Thank you all for your comments, it's a pleasure to get back to you all.

eric1313 said...


LMAO.... pardon the text/net speak but it fits well.

He's cool as heck for letting me use that line like a prompt. A teacher he is and glad I know you both.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

No more editing?

Yeah, you can get into a snit about it. Norman Mailer, deciding that he had to do a whole lot more of editng one Seconal night, went to the printers at Putnams, tore out the chases and began almost rel-editing on stone.
And he wouldn't quit while the book was aready on the way to final press.

Even the great sometimes go nuts about editing.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mate love this too !!!

eric1313 said...


I did follow your suggestion though... Made sense to me.

Yeah, I do that a lot you know... not on Norman Mailer's level with the presses ready to receive me, but in my own way. Hitting "publish" is just my way of beginning the editing process. The idea that people will see it gets me going on saying what I mean, and eliminating what is not needed or what I just not true... as long as I can recognize those things, that is!


Thank you again!

Seems like you are telling me it's OK for me to stray outside the careful little boarders I have drawn for myself. I think you are right. I'm just trying not to think about it too much so that I can do it. Over thinking is the worst enemy I have.

Thanks, all of you.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

And still, I am something of an asshole and want to nitpick not at the poem here, but the one on current blog, just on top, "Waves and Smoke".
I think I'll throw in my comments on Waves and Smoke here instead of on your blog today.


Yes, I agree with Charles. Some wonderful images.

But I'm so old -school, so yesterday; I still uses semicolons and cry for punctuation.

Your last three lines:

we'd drown in the cinders
if not riding the smoke
the waves

Oh how I want a comma after smoke.

Or oh, how I want a smoke now that I am am almost out of both smokes and commas myself. Raymond Souster, a poet even older than me--is he dead?--told me I too needed to use more commas in my poetry to keep images from running on.
...But then it don't read quite as as clean when you put in the comma, do it?
Lawrence Ferlighetti would probably kick my ass.
He don't use punctuation at all.
But Wallace Stevens, probably just as good, uses 'em.

I don't know.
Maybe you're right. Maybe all that was needed was a line break and white space.

Oh hang it all. Some wonderful images, like Charles says