The Butcher's Guild

The Butcher's Guild

A Poem by Travis Gibson (poetic heroics)
"

beauty standards

"
gather'd round the chopping block,
we recite our critic's code:
none left unjudged, none left unjudged
pointy opinions hang like hooks, waiting
for the latest hollowed carcasses

stalking beauty's narrow marketplace
our guillotine stares slit necklines
painted, bloated botox heads are kept;
one by one imperfect bodies get toss'd
a pile of rejects (for the butchering)

limbs & trunks are chopped into quarters
splayed across top-shelf magazine covers,
then dumped in the brine of collective thought
the female anatomy preserved in pickled pieces...
*Hottentot Venus in glass

in this pitiless house of slaughter
our necks are fixed to perfection's peak
wounded lambs fall to the lure of a blade
hack'd & stitch'd psyches roam about, bloodied
just slabs of meat, scrutinized by butchers

© 2019 Travis Gibson (poetic heroics)


Author's Note

Travis Gibson (poetic heroics)
This was a stop and go kinda write... I hope my difficulties whilst writing it doesn't out shine the overall message I was going for. Thank you for
reading. Your honest thoughts are welcomed.

*Hottentot Venus is a reference to Sarah Baartman... if you are unfamiliar with the name, I encourage you to research her.

My Review

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Reviews

Interesting poem with a fresh style. I really liked the third line. Nice work 👍

Posted 1 Year Ago


Travis Gibson (poetic heroics)

1 Year Ago

Thank you... Your review is appreciated.
Anjeline

1 Year Ago

You're welcome
It is brilliant, the way you use the butchering metaphor so effectively here. You get across both sides of the metaphor vividly -- felt like I was in an actual meat house, while seeing slabs of human body parts swinging on hooks. I've heard the "like a piece of meat" sentiments many times, but never have I seen it so powerfully depicted as in your poem (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 2 Years Ago


Travis Gibson (poetic heroics)

2 Years Ago

Thank you, Margie... I actually struggled with this piece for that very reason. Didn't want to overd.. read more
barleygirl

2 Years Ago

Your depictions are so vivid here, the "piece of meat" connection was only a slight background blip,.. read more
Powerful writing with violent imagery. Exploitation of those deemed imperfect sickens me. Treating people as though they were nothing but meat to be butchered. There for others to feed on. We all have a soul and true beauty is found inside the heart not in outward appearances. Your lines really cut to the quick.

Chris

Posted 2 Years Ago


Travis Gibson (poetic heroics)

2 Years Ago

"True beauty is found inside the heart." So very true... I hope one day we as a society will come to.. read more
Chris Shaw

2 Years Ago

You are more than welcome.
The opening stanza is such a sledgehammer of a draw to the reader. So well described, so sinister and blunt. In this flowing freeverse you capture the sad sentiment of exploitation that those with money and power exact over vulnerable impressionable women.

Posted 2 Years Ago


Travis Gibson (poetic heroics)

2 Years Ago

I'm glad you found this so affecting... your words describe perfectly the tone I was attempting to m.. read more
https://www.sahistory.org.za/people/sara-saartjie-baartman - I did as suggested and researched Sarah's tragic history.

'... wounded lambs fall to the lure of a blade - hack'd & stitch'd psyches roam about, bloodied - just slabs of meat, scrutinized by butchers .. ' The latter undoubtedly paid for their services..

Your writing is as finely laid as any I've read for years: words, phrasing, meter and all. Whilst yes, the outer case of your thoughts is metaphorical, the core of it is far, far more. You've made this an analysis of Man's perception of what looks and emotions have become - and Lord knows what will happen in the future! Butchering is THE word, the cutting away, the hanging flesh left to be what it never was intended.
Horror through and through. Why do we stand before magnificent ancient trees and weep or laugh over their beauty, yet.. create monsters out of humankind?

Posted 2 Years Ago


Travis Gibson (poetic heroics)

2 Years Ago

There are indeed monsters among us... it's an unfortunate truth I am coming to face as an adult. I .. read more
Good metaphor here. Yes, we do scrutinize people as if they are slabs of meat. It is unfair to judge in this way because the outer shell reveals nothing of the inner soul. Well written. Lydi*

Posted 2 Years Ago


Travis Gibson (poetic heroics)

2 Years Ago

Thank you, Lydia...we have devalued the inner soul in today's society. Hopefully, one day that will .. read more
yes... unfortunately image making and attaining and keeping occupy the lives of many .. i think of those who make the rules .. directors, fashion and show designers ..hookers, pimps ... pornography everyone .. and worst of all models .. stick women .. thinner than Barbie .. impossible .. men have little clue as to how all that functions to destroy women's self image ..smooth write .. i sensed no struggle .. theme crystal clear and important ... there is a better way to live and breath isn't there?! ;)
E.

Posted 2 Years Ago


Travis Gibson (poetic heroics)

2 Years Ago

Yes, there's is indeed a better way to live... hopefully we can all come to an agreement on just wha.. read more
Einstein Noodle

2 Years Ago

hmmmm how about live and let live ;)))))))))
you would never know you had trouble with this...it is smooth as silk...the point well taken, what do we do?
we judge harshly and we only look too often at beauty or not that is on the outside...the real beauty is within...
but in this day and age people have to live up to some dumb standard that often is too hard to obtain.
This write has me riled up because i feel so strongly about this topic...
j.

Posted 2 Years Ago


Travis Gibson (poetic heroics)

2 Years Ago

I understand your emotion regarding this topic. I too find myself struggling with the impossible sta.. read more

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Added on June 11, 2019
Last Updated on July 23, 2019
Tags: butcher, beauty, Women

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Travis Gibson (poetic heroics)
Travis Gibson (poetic heroics)

Oblivion's edge, OH



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Been here for some time... My work is my life. Read and I hope you enjoy. I will return the sentiment. more..

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