Scrambling fingers

Searching for holds in my flesh

With the thoughts of lust in mind

Tearing, tossing, molesting

Holding, inserting

Until no patch of skin

I “ruled” was free from sin

Author: Jack Bennett

Born in Torbay, living in Bristol. One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.

9 thoughts on “Desirable”

  1. Hi Jack,
    Nice work here! Do you mind if I give a little critique?
    There’s an unsettling darkness in this poem that gives it a writhing life, and I like that. It’s got power in it. You’ve got some particularly evocative phrases โ€” “scrambling fingers” I find both visual and tactile; most of the list of actions are precise and stirring; and in particular your final couplet is both triumphant and ominous at onceโ€”the rhyme makes it ring like a bell and provides a sort of auditory relief and release, but the fact that the triumph of this is rooted in molestation is disturbing. Nice juxtaposition.
    There are a few things that restrain the poem’s power unnecessarily, though, IMHO.
    1 – “Searching for holds in my flesh” feels like too much of a mouthful when almost everything else is short and trochaic. Maybe try some sort of alteration, like “Seeking holds” or “Seeking a hold” or even “Hooking” or “Hooking into” or simply “Hook”, which would enhance the threat and the feeling of discomfort, and would eliminate close repetition of “hold” in the poem.
    2 – “With the thoughts of lust in mind” tries to tell me what is being thought rather than evoking/showing it. I don’t believe it. And while you could try to replace it with something like “lusting, tearing,” etc., I think it works just fine (in fact beautifully) if you delete the line entirely and trust the rest of the poem to bear the weight of lust.
    3 – I think your list (“Tearing, tossing, molesting / holding, inserting”) is almost perfect; but “molesting” seems to tell me too much what I should be reading; it doesn’t trust me enough: the discomfort of the other words around it (tearing, hooking if you use it, tossing, inserting) should be enough to evoke molestation without it being said. Possibly, too, “holding” is a little gentle in comparison to the others. What about “restraining”?
    4 – I’d also get rid of the quotation marks. Not needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow.. I don’t think I’ve ever recieved such a lengthy comment before! I’m amazed ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for taking the time to analyse the poem and tell me your honest opinion of what works and what doesn’t. I’ve taken a good long read and I think you’ve raised some good, solid points here. I don’t particularly like rewriting bits of poetry but I will take all of this into account when I create more. You have my utmost respect! Thank you very much, hope you have a good day!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy to help out where I can. And I like discussing craft, so anytimeโ€”and feel free to do the same on my own work if you like!

        Liked by 1 person

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