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Night never ends here -
the thin blue line
a stranger packs in his bags
before losing his mind;
the scratch behind our eyes
that keeps us moving
down the highway.

It is a jail cell at three a.m.,
the warden playing cards,
whiskey wetting his dreams
where a spark lays waste
to a family left behind;
the backlight of a slum,
a thousand rooms of winter
and water leaking in a lightbulb
over your head.

It is midnight in a foxhole,
the strafe of friendly fire
like a flashlight to beat
the weary-wounded
into watching for a sign;
the last drink festering on formica
six inches of crushed tafetta
wearing out its welcome
on a barstool called home.

It is dawn in the mortuary
last night's pickings
carved up for christmas
special delivery to no one
who will care;
and the silent mourning bedlam
left thinking on the drainboard
carted out for the trashmen
to haul away
and sell.
NaPoWriMo 4/11/12
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:iconleeannekortus:
LeeAnneKortus Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Wow!! :wow:
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:iconscarlettletters:
Scarlettletters Featured By Owner May 10, 2012  Professional Writer
Thanks very much!
Reply
:iconjust1ofamillion:
just1ofamillion Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2012  Student Writer
The images you created in this poem are so gorgeous and each is unique but it still has that flavor of loneliness that ties them all together. The word choice and flow are great, but it's not so over the top that there isn't that little story, that humanity that I can recognize, in each of the stanzas. I think my favorite image is the "six inches of crushed taffeta/wearing out its welcome/on a barstool called home."
On a slightly more nitpicky note, apparently you spelled taffeta incorrectly. Not much of a big deal but just so you know :)
-Charlee
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:iconscarlettletters:
Scarlettletters Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Writer
Thanks! I did not even notice!
Reply
:iconcuincyboy:
cuincyboy Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2012
Awesome. Well written
Congrats
Reply
:iconscarlettletters:
Scarlettletters Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Writer
Many thanks - I appreciate that very much!
Reply
:icondrakora5588:
drakora5588 Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012
Interesting...
Reply
:iconscarlettletters:
Scarlettletters Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Writer
Thanks.
Reply
:icondrakora5588:
drakora5588 Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012
:D
Reply
:iconqueenofquills:
QueenOfQuills Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012  Student Writer
Great imagery - has a great rhythmn as usual :D
Reply
:iconscarlettletters:
Scarlettletters Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Writer
Thanks. I am glad you like it.
Reply
:iconrosecs:
RoseCS Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012
Beautiful!
Reply
:iconscarlettletters:
Scarlettletters Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2012  Professional Writer
Thanks very much - I am glad you like it!
Reply
:iconrosecs:
RoseCS Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2012
:clap::happybounce:
Reply
:iconvillenueve:
Villenueve Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Fascinating! :huggle:
Reply
:iconscarlettletters:
Scarlettletters Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2012  Professional Writer
Thanks! I am very glad you like it.
Reply
:iconrakaseth:
Rakaseth Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wonderful poem; I very much enjoyed the unique imagery you conjured up. One thing that I might suggest is in the stanza that starts with "It is a jail cell at three a.m.," it might work better if you rephrased it to the time first, then the place: "It is three a.m. in a jail cell". This would match up the rhythm of the rest of the opening lines.

Also, when you say "wetting" in the third line of the second stanza, do you mean "whetting"?
Reply
:iconscarlettletters:
Scarlettletters Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2012  Professional Writer
Good suggestions - thanks!
Reply
:icontherainbowsshadow:
therainbowsshadow Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I love your imagery :love: :clap: :)
Reply
:iconscarlettletters:
Scarlettletters Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2012  Professional Writer
That is very nice of you - thanks!
Reply
:icontherainbowsshadow:
therainbowsshadow Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You're totally welcome :nod: :)
Reply
:icontransienttophat:
TransientTopHat Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2012  Student Writer
Though there are times I'm having trouble picturing the literal imagery (such as the end of the first stanza), this poem ultimately works. Overall you've done a beautiful job of depicting and unifying this broad scope of events.
Reply
:iconscarlettletters:
Scarlettletters Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2012  Professional Writer
Many thanks! Yeah...sometimes my metaphors get carried away.
Reply
:iconmrwootton:
MrWootton Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2012  Professional Writer
This has some really great imagery and lines!

I am left feeling that it could be tighter. As an exercise, try editing each stanza down by half. Don't hold yourself absolutely to that goal, of course, but I think you'll like the result...
Reply
:iconscarlettletters:
Scarlettletters Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2012  Professional Writer
Yeah...could use some editing. Thanks!
Reply
:iconobsidian-nightfall:
Obsidian-Nightfall Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2012  Student Writer
A brilliant return to form to the kind of high quality, thought-provoking and beautiful poetry I have come to expect no less from you. Good piece.
Reply
:iconscarlettletters:
Scarlettletters Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2012  Professional Writer
Many thanks. it is a style I want to get back to, but seem to be struggling with...
Reply
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