Odalisque.

Euphoria in daddy’s hand,
a sunset thrashed, fleeting my bones
how the sun is between his fingers
eunoia is my ghost when
the daylilies dance; 

vena summer,
your daughter is of near-madness
but you still say it’s okay,
that you know she is twisted 
like the green Apalachicola River
to Chattahoochee 
the coldest
in winter’s suicide
the trees feign 
my ghostly leave
don't push me
a cigar runs through my blood
beer runs through grandpa

good thing we were both born near summer;
if it’s child-born, don’t kill it
the cold will do just fine
but he with shadows nurtures me, holds me,
as my bones spit into wineskins,
as I rage at my body
I rage at the Odalisque in my head
when she pulls me back; daddy, we share bloodstreams
and you’ve carried me more than I could myself.
In my bed
alone, I hate myself
for how I’ve treated you; pink blossoms jet-lagged
in my memory, across the paper streets,
I hate how I’ve treated you
so, I rage
I rage at the Odalisque in my head
when she pushes me further.

© 2021 lucysworks.com All Rights Reserved.

Written for the 6/22/2021 dVerse prompt: “Your challenge today, should you choose to accept it, is to pick ONE of Hemingway’s quotes to be inspired by and write a poem. Do NOT use the quote in your poem, but please do include the quote on your post page somewhere, with Hemingway’s name as the source of inspiration. For bonus points, please say a few words about the experience of writing to an idea from the mind of Papa Hemingway.”

Being against evil doesn’t make you good. Tonight I was against it and then I was evil myself. I could feel it coming just like a tide… I just want to destroy them. But when you start taking pleasure in it you are awfully close to the thing you’re fighting.
–Islands in the Stream (started in 1950 but published in 1970)

It was interesting writing to this quote. I feel I could resonate with it, and how I envisioned this poem originally, it went off-track and it turned into an apology. I don’t think of the quote with my father, but when reflecting on myself and my own emotions, sometimes I am my own worst enemy.

Hope you could enjoy this piece.



Categories: Poetry, Prose

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

43 replies

  1. Hi Lucy! I just love this piece! Its so beautifully penned! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I had to look up odalisque. In light of what it means and what you write, it sounds like incest of one kind or another, and if it is to hear a victim apologizing to an offender who chose to exploit brings exponential sadness to this reader. If I’m totally off-base in my interpretation I am the one who is sorry.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Beautifully penned isn’t at all my reaction. This is more like a jagged wound, bleeding. And after all, wasn’t it Hemingway who said “Writing is easy; just sit down at your typewriter and bleed”? Your use of the word eunoia and your title are sharp brilliance. And the ambiguity of the rage fits the quote wonderfully and disturbingly. Bravo.

    –Fireblossom

    Liked by 4 people

  4. There’s no way we can’t carry our parents in the shadows of our words — I so loved the ghostly intimacy here. The relation may be gone but there’s still the shimmer of eunoia. Well done Lucy – B

    Liked by 3 people

  5. As always, deep and thought provoking. I also appreciate how you said how you’d initially envisioned the poem, and then it became something else in the writing. I find writing is a process, a journey of unforeseen twists and turns that would drive any decent GPS to distraction! The final destination in writing isn’t something us humans can simply program. But ain’t it a welcome surprise when you do get there?

    Liked by 3 people

    • That is definitely the way it is sometimes. You thought you seen the road, but there’s really more further up you didn’t even initially visualize. It’s a welcome surprise for sure! Thank you so much for your thoughts and feedback.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Mad love for the rage and hate you brewed here in your poem Lucy!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I really like what you did with this prompt Lucy! … and the rage in your head goes on and on!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. This is a fascinating and deeply thought-provoking take on the prompt, especially when you say at the end ‘I don’t think of the quote with my father, but when reflecting on myself and my own emotions, sometimes I am my own worst enemy.’ I’ve been learning a lot about how when we feel hate it is often because we don’t forgive ourselves. We punish ourselves even when there is no need for any apology.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. The human mind is something like a pool of memories, of actions we have taken against others – sometimes in favor and sometimes not. This particular bit stands out for me as it’s beautiful in its agony and strength; “pink blossoms jet-lagged in my memory, across the paper streets, I hate how I’ve treated you so, I rage I rage at the Odalisque in my head when she pushes me further.”💝💝

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Another brilliant piece of writing.. you are epic !!!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Lucy,
    A mad cornucopia of tumultuous emotions, all undercutting the persona’s attempts to come to grips with her past, muddying the present, and turning her into a “wineskin” of rage. Mesmerizing poetry.
    pax,
    dora

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Fascinating write! I am reminded of Hemingway’s style reading it!! Cheers, Lucy!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. The rage in this poem smoulders. Will it ever go out?

    Liked by 3 people

  14. the lingering feeling here is so vivid, tender, and quite haunting at the same time.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Stunningly crafted narrative, Lucy, as ever. An undercurrent of sinister meets all the passion of living. I love the choice turns of phrase, the whole of the opening stanza, and:

    “but he with shadows nurtures me, holds me,
    as my bones spit into wineskins”
    “we share bloodstreams
    and you’ve carried me more than I could myself”
    “pink blossoms jet-lagged…
    across the paper streets.”

    Gorgeous imagery, very filmic. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Powerful poem, there is a lot to unwrap in that. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

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