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A Poem by Phibby Venable

 
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My formal room without drapes
or the disquise of conformity
is a broad accusation of sullen
discomfort..
My dog lolls there in need
of a loincloth & bath.
I can't be bothered with details.
My walkway is a lover's lane of
overgrowth
The gutters sag down to conspire.
My weed eater has a switch
that hides from my hand.
My daughter deals cards & hopes
she will never become me.
I put out birdseed for a phoenix.
I feed my garbage to the rats outside
so they will stay there.
Right in the middle of my new resolutions
I see the sun with the grin
of a village idiot
I am distracted by shiny things.
I frolic when I should stomp.
Even now my thoughts linger
without proper attire
I have drifted into thinking
of the rarity of blue birds
Where are the honeybees?
How do I memorize my number
if I never call myself.
I smell fresh baked cookies
all over this house.

© 2008 Phibby Venable


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Featured Review

This poem really hits home. "I can't be bothered with details...I'm distracted by shiny things", oh my, do I understand that. But aside from my "me too" reaction, this poem has such a perfect (hate that word but it applies) structure. Pulled from sentence to sentence, feeling to feeling, introspection to appreciation, this poem is about women universally, not just one woman. Women everywhere have this conversation with themselves. Thanks for letting us see yours.

Posted 16 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

So many stellar images in this one....the sagging gutters, the dog in need of loin cloth...the daughter dealing in cards and hopes. Incredible poetry.

Posted 15 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

It's simply beautiful. I adore this entire poem: the flow, the images, the persona...it made me think of myself as a little girl. I thought princess at first, and such a lovely princess with her rampant imagination and lifestyle, without the spoils of a true princess within stone walls!
Again, marvelous.

Posted 16 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Great poem! Everything you mentioned in here hits home so well. Wonderful job.

It reads so smoothly and seamlessly that it feels like it was spoken to me. Terrific diction and nice touch with your chosen form.

"How do I memorize my number if I never call myself" is a beautiful line. All of these seemingly mundane observations came together to form a very nice poem. (:

Posted 16 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Thanks Emily [Burns] for sharing this with me.
Like everyone else here, I am poetically envious of what you've created because this spoke to me so much, and intrigued me and overwhelmed me with emotive entertainment.
Is our narrator despairing or proud? I can't tell. They give off a vibe of preserved inner child delight...and seem glad not to be a conformist i.e. to be different.
"My daughter deals cards & hopes
she will never become me." - these feel like perhaps the most revealing lines, the big clue. I see a sullen teenager, embarrassed by their mother's refusal to be 'normal' or 'cool' and live in reality. Is the narrator sad about this lack of empathy, or merely being self-deprecating? Again, I can't tell.
Seriously, I know everyone else has already said it, but I want to echo them in praising how wonderful this poem is. Each line/couplet holds up by itself as a slice of happy reader escapism. They made me smile.
[please don't be insulted if this is meant to be a poem of grim despair...the imagery is too enchanting to cry over is all...in a few places I felt we were in the presence of someone bordering on paranoia
"The gutters sag down to conspire."
"My weed eater has a switch
that hides from my hand."
but mostly it seemed like attributing life to inanimate objects/settings in a warm way]

Overall, great poem. Really glad to have read it.

p.s.
"or the disquise of conformity" [disguise?]

There were a few places where I wasn't sure if lack of a full stop/some form of punctuation e.g. semi colon was deliberate or not -
"proper attire"
"bluebirds"
"overgrowth"
"village idiot".





Posted 16 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This poem was just bombarding me with images. So much was going on, but in some way they all fit together. This was amazing and I don't think I have the talent needed to properly reveiw this. This was off the charts.


Posted 16 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is endearing a piece as I've ever read...
i need to come rea your work all over again
the oddly juxtaposed thoughts create a certain nuance we can relate to
familar reflection and projection of thoughts and passage

Blesssssssssssssss



Posted 16 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I have never seen a dog in a loincloth, I wonder how it would hang. lol cool meandering poem.

Posted 16 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

The mental leaps in this one are like fireworks exploding.

First here, then there, then there.

Blue, green, sprakly, soft, breezy, loud.

And then the aroma of fresh baked cookies to finish the reader off.

You don't play fair.




Posted 16 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

Sounds like utter boredom with everything familiar and grounded. Just waiting for it all to be swallowed up by the accumulation of all those things that will never melt away, or gnawed to dusy by the increasing rat population. But still there is that childhood comfort warmth and innocence of baking cookies, perhaps a walk in the park would help, take a thermos of tea or ice and lemonade the cookies and a pull up some cool green grass, kick off the shoes and rake your toes through the grass.

Ta Em for the send

Posted 16 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Well, I found myself wondering what the poet behind this is like as I read this. I have never felt that feeling so strongly. Who is behind this poem I wondered? It is strange to have read so many poems here and never felt that, or felt it as strongly, before. There poem has a relaxed sense of contentment about it. I was enchanted by the idea of feeding phoenix birds. And I like 'even now my thoughts linger without proper attire'. Great stuff.

Posted 16 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.


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Added on July 13, 2008

Author

Phibby Venable
Phibby Venable

abingdon, VA



About
http://youtu.be/25XE-BHGvWI http://youtu.be/B2klgDKMUq0 I live in the mountains of Southwest Virginia. Although my passion is poetry, I recently published a novel called, Women of the Round Tabl.. more..

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