Friday, July 02, 2010

Steganography II

II.

I was told to wash my hands
before coming in. They looked
clean to me, but I learned

why they call it gray water,
and that sterility has a scent

––no, an odor–– like
formaldehyde, but nothing
like formaldehyde; of

preservation, of keeping
the natural course of things

at bay. We have never been
particularly good at talking
about death, but if I am

a new self, given seven
years to shed (even now,

my sunburned shoulder peeling
in ragged bits, broken skin
on my damp palms raised

and white from scrubbing),
are you?


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10 comments:

1sojournal said...

Nathan, I like this poem a lot, just can't pin down the exact why of that. Perhaps the teasing sense of a glimpse of something not quite mentioned but there all the time. I like the concept of sterility having an odor, that is like, but not like. Lots of little tangents, and yet a focused movement toward an already accepted destiny.

Elizabeth

twitches said...

"...of keeping
the natural course of things

at bay."

Fantastic lines, felt like the heart of the poem to me. Love the lyrical language here.

Cynthia Short said...

"Seven years to shed"...I just love the idea of being "reborn" avery 7 years...good read here!

sharplittlepencil said...

Seven years was also the time span between Years of the Jubilee, in which all debts were forgiven in the ancient Middle East. That's a skin shedding I think we could all latch onto.

Also, not to get too religious here, but your definition got me thinking, the Revelation of John was written in code to get it past that Roman soldiers. That's why it's filled with so much outrageous imagery; cryptic.

This moved me. Thanks. Amy

貴寶 said...

It takes all kinds to make a world.............................................................

Deb said...

I've tried to write about that 7-year-renewal myself, but this is fine.

I like the idea of having to be cleansed (and secents/odors -- using embalming fluid to say so much -- and to sting the nose) before coming into contact with the mysterious text, and how that text could be so many, many things.

d
http://stoneymoss.org

Tumblewords: said...

Intriguing, fascinating and nicely poemed. A fine read with a lingering sense of processing. Nice.

Paul Oakley said...

Wow! This is amazing, Nathan! I particularly liked these words:

an odor,,,/,,, of / preservation, of keeping / the natural course of things / at bay.

毓er曹妃sf炳hd張jtr珠 said...

安安!剛開始玩這個,來這裡逛一下^^............................................................

童雅 said...

Seeing is believing.百聞不如一見............................................................