snowball in hell.

The death of the hand
that is upset,
it’s like the yellow hills
amid the oceanid-eyed
that hunt for the ghosts
they want to strangle;

I was traced beside the clock
a ship of blood
in our arms; the root-child
criss-crossed to the mirror;

In a sea I go down
whispering in slight dark
think I am a snowball
in hell; I am a barbed leaf
in the debris.

I make myself empty
of your words; they float
on my bones

onto the teeth of Atlas
with heaven whoring on his shoulders
so much for the moon swallowing the sun
to magnolia fields raped from
first seed, to the sea glass shattering
upon my hands.

© 2020 lucysworks.com All Rights Reserved.


Reposted for the dVerse live poetry reading.


66 thoughts on “snowball in hell.

    1. Oh, thank you so very much Misky! “Snowball in hell” is a lesser known phrase, one that was actually used in Elliott Smith’s, “Don’t Go Down.”

      I am not sure where it originated from for sure, but I had to snag it for this piece. So glad you enjoyed my poem, I thank you so much. ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A snowball chance in hell is a well known phrase for my generation. I’m just a wee tad older than you. It seems the first recorded instance was in 1880 by George C. Gorham at the US Republican National Convention referring to Grant and the South. I hasten to add that I’m not that old.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I did too Misky. You don’t need to whisper. It’s the whispers that brought chaos. Each night when the sky fills with dark is followed each day by the light that cleanses. Truth light and love are not quiet. They are like wild horses demanding for the air to move on their face. Lingering words turn the mouth sour. It was the rank of distaste I once swallowed at the first kiss. I tasted it. It’s not for me. I prefer a white wine. But each cheese has its pairing. I thought marriage meant I’d get to see the menu. I giggle in delight of the show. It is truly a gift. I unwrapped it once and I still have it it’s pretty and it admirable and I take it out to look at once in awhile. It reminds me what I great story I am. And I don’t have to read in the dark. I can see the effort on the pages. Its one chapter in a book. A ring composition of different character and role. It is a delight to know such cleverness still exists with such strength and an awesome moment to know that peace and light are always there even so in the months and years that the video made in times of hushing truth and gagging light

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I had not known that! That is so interesting. I think I’ve heard of “A snowball chance…” but never just as “A snowball in hell.”

        The history there is intriguing, though. Thank you for enlightening me. ❤️❤️❤️

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I like the music and the way you write, but feel entire stanza’s themes are lost because of your focus on stacking one figurative object upon another with no relief.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Although my opinion, I think the relief would take some points away from the piece itself unless timed and worded right.

        Now, if you must excuse me, I must use this advice for myself.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, take it into consideration, but try not to lose your originality. Your poetry seems like its written from the dream world ‘zone’, with the words and rhymes more important than a clear real world picture: like an arty movie that doesn’t have a clear storyline.
        You can write practical poems too; or provide explanations/topic notes for the more abstract. .

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Putting the words out will eventually help someone at some point.
    And therefor it is brilliant what you do, even if you don’t know what it is about or can’t tell for sure.
    Maybe confused or scared of it sometimes? If not that would be great, but either way your words inspire and show me pictures and little visions or movie like scenes.
    The snowball in hell represents how it sadly still feels a lot of the time on this earth due to some things some people have done or do or what makes it still running. When some people think about hell, they think about fire and endless pain. But ice can burn like fire and so instead of melting, as some might think, the snowball turns into a ball of ice. Hard, cold and when thrown, deadly or at least hurting a lot. And like snowball or iceball, it shatters leaving some fronzen water, snow and ice behind. Only that the narrator or what you felt or feel, won’t stay a snow or ice ball, not in this story. The snowball in hell shows how cold this earth got and also how messed up the world is. When you look “closer”, the snowball can always melt and turn into water again. And since we all need water, it might be good to be a snowball in hell, since the snowball hold life. ❤ 💜
    It is just horrible to feel like one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, thank you so much for your kind words. I really needed to hear it today. 🙂

      I love your analysis, and you’re very correct about how it can be germane to the state of the world. I enjoyed seeing how this resonated with you. I think you got the whole essence of the poem captured perfectly here:

      “The snowball in hell represents how it sadly still feels a lot of the time on this earth due to some things some people have done or do or what makes it still running.”

      I wanted to delineate that hopelessness and pain due to the actions of others, what they say, and what they (sadly) continue to do. It can even hit close to home with people we know or people we are related to, how their actions contribute to either a progression or decline in the world itself or humanity.

      Thank you so much for your thoughts and feedback. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “the root-child
    criss-crossed to the mirror;”
    What a great description. One for an anomaly that is imbued with great challenge but great influence.
    It was good to see you to today at dVerse live. I’m shocked at how young you are. You have an old soul. Love that chair! I must have missed the link to your youtube. Will you please post it again?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So many vivid, dark images. And so unusual and creative!
    “they float
    on my bones

    onto the teeth of Atlas
    with heaven whoring on his shoulders”

    But the rolling of a soul into darkness where there doesn’t seem a way out is very powerful. And that also makes me point out there there is a lot of movement in the poem, too–though the narrator seems at the mercy of it, or adrift.
    And the darkness of nature, too–perhaps the way the ancient Greeks and Roman saw it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “onto the teeth of Atlas
    with heaven whoring on his shoulders”
    This line stands out for me. These days, there is much more than the weight of the world on his shoulders, like the heavens piling on.
    I try to hear your voice behind your poems as I read them, and I have to say that seeing/hearing you read this one gave it the needed impact.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, thank you so much Ken. I try to do that with others’ poems and poetry as well, and since dVerse gives that opportunity, I’ve been able to now visualize just the right amount of impact that different authors have intended; it’s quite the experience. I’m glad you can hear the needed impact as I read it! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I enjoyed hearing your read on the recorded link earlier! Sorry I missed it live, but it was great hearing you read this one, it is full of brilliant imagery and wordplay. I especially liked the last stanza and “so much for the moon swallowing the sun,” such a great line! Snowball in hell is a perfect title. A great one to repost!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sometimes I need an antidote to all the typical yuletide cosiness – and ‘Snowball in hell’ really does this for me. Great to hear you read as well – thank you Lucy ❄️ 🖤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Someone who is sick of the Christmas spirit too? Yes! 😄 I’m glad my little poem of hell could be the antidote. As much as I love the holidays and their warmth, cosiness, I need a break from it too. Thank you, Ingrid, for your lovely words. ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Swarms of feeling here, a verbal synesthesia of the drowning, strangling maelstrom of the time. As an undersea farer, I wrote this in my logbook: “it’s like the yellow hills / amid the oceanid-eyed / that hunt for the ghosts/ they want to strangle”. And if it’s difficult to see which cross the poem is bearing — what hill, which crime — the nails are just as real for the sea glass shattering in hand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Brendan, thank you so much. I feel honored.

      The cross this poem bears is the duplicity the narrator sees in humanity; a constant cycle of things never changing, staying the same. “the nails are just as real for the sea glass shattering in hand” is an excellent way to interpret it. Thank you so much for your thoughts and feedback! Much appreciated. 🙂

      Like

    2. Very true Brendan. Pain is pain. Things are in essence what they are. Im not sure it begs the question which hill. Atlas and he’ll suggest an sense of other worldliness. It’s when those two meet on shoulders that the heaven become real. They become just the heavens. You’re post Brendan is A clever image evoked in a room of poets where words can be snowballs, flung. A snowball is just a snowball. But we still give it a name. Names are important especially in the world of fiction and myth. So thank you everyone for sharing. Be well

      Liked by 2 people

  9. It was great to hear the voice behind the words, Lucy, and I love where the old saying took you, into the darkness and the unforgettable lines:
    ‘In a sea I go down
    whispering in slight dark
    think I am a snowball
    in hell; I am a barbed leaf
    in the debris.’
    What stood out for me as you read, and on reading your poem this morning, was the amazing image in the lines:
    ‘I make myself empty
    of your words; they float
    on my bones
    onto the teeth of Atlas
    with heaven whoring on his shoulders’.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m sorry I missed the live event, but I watched the video. It was great to see and hear you step up to the recitation. Lots of poets get nervous. My theatrical background prepared me for every level of performance and recitation. I simply disagree with the reader who criticised your writing style. Can you image someone telling that to e.e. cummings? I liked the lines, ” I make myself empty of your words, they float on my bones.” Your style is still a work in progress, just follow your heart as you tumble through the darkness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Glenn. That means a lot.

      I think every bit of criticism helps me grow as a writer so I am happy when I receive it. I do understand your point of view and as always, I am grateful for your thoughts and feedback. Thank you so, so much. ❤ ❤

      Like

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