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Exit Wounds

for Poppy's Prompts Challenge.

By Mesh ToraskarPublished 4 months ago 1 min read
16
Exit Wounds
Photo by Alessandro Viaro on Unsplash

A/N: Words used - 'Patchwork' and 'Exit Wounds' (modified from Bullet Holes).

*

Instead

here’s today, jump, trust me there’s no

parachute. Only fresh snow sizzling

in your mouth. Your body was made,

then made to float. Don’t

‎ ‎

worry. I know you asked for a throat. Here’s a

page to speak into this morning. To

empty into tomorrow. Strange what a page

can do to a page. Use it to prove how

you come from a history of quilters

‎ ‎ ‎ ‎

whose paragon is patchwork.

Because now when you walk into a bar in your raw

denim jacket, the joke’s on them. That you knew

how to love all this time & someday, you will.

That a gun pointed at the heavens must

clench the bullet tight before it can

speak. Strange what a mouth can do

‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎

to a mouth. How in front of a doctor/god

you become an unreliable

historian. That you can cut through the fog.

(Fog: to name something only to watch it disappear?)

That you can stop. You can be nothing

& still living. Hey, you, yes you - did you see

how the a-bomb opens up so high and wide

‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎

enough to gather our leaving.

Don’t worry. No one will remember

how you are beautiful

only with your hands tied at the back, your body

the night sky shimmering

with exit wounds of every

‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎

misfired word.

*

Here's the brilliant challenge -

surreal poetry
16

About the Creator

Mesh Toraskar

A wannabe storyteller from London. Sometimes words spill out of me and the only way to mop the spillage is to write them down.

"If you arrive here, remember, it wasn't you - it was me, in my longing, who found you."

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Comments (10)

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  • Harbor Benassa2 months ago

    I love the image of the denim jacket and the way you oscillate between more nebulous concepts and concrete images.

  • Daphsam3 months ago

    Every word and every line, so powerful and thought provoking. "How in front of a doctor/god you become an unreliable historian. That you can cut through the fog." Great lines!

  • Mackenzie Davis3 months ago

    K, how much do you know about photography? I love how perfect your photos are when blown up as big as the featured images. Just gorgeous. I could stare at this one for hours. Also, hi, how are you? This essay is massive. *** My dearest God, this poem is revealing just how skilled you are at enjambment. You were experimenting with it in "tell me something good," if I’m remembering that right. But let me tell you something. Every poem that you use such enjambment in, rather than placing the line breaks so they are enhancing the flow but not adding a layer of extra meaning is a masterclass for me. I am SO motivated to start experimenting more with enjambment, and holy crap, these most recent masterpieces of yours have some truly beautiful examples. I think I sighed and groaned like ten times reading this 1 minute poem. What a place to start, eh? And prepare for some "wows." And a lot of "wows." "Instead" — wow. Okay, my favorite opening to a poem. Instead of WHAT? But then, we realize oh, we have just been born. This is life, new, your life being created (you = the reader and perhaps the author but I never assume). Instead of what? Instead of nonexistence. Instead of pre-life. Instead of death (kinda). Born from the snow? I love the concept of sizzling snow in your mouth being a sign of a hot mouth, one that contains fire or weapons. But without a throat, it’s like a gun without a trigger. "Only fresh snow sizzling in your mouth. Your body was made". Then the question: What is "life" a metaphor for here? Goodness. What a question that is. "Your body was made, then made to float." Okay, so not necessarily a true, literal birth. "Floating" is existing but not acting. And what is snow, too? Snow could be purity. White is definitely purity. Snow is cold, winter is death, snow could be a hard, pure truth. I have no proof besides knowing your work, but here is what I think in sum: That it’s the birth of language. "Snow sizzling" is language emerging. Perhaps emerging only in the brain. "Don’t worry. I know you asked for a throat." So we can’t speak yet, but we can write. We can fill and empty pages to frame our days, our life, and link our pages like quilts until we understand our place in the world, and then perhaps we will be able to speak at last. Language is a hard, pure truth. It is proof of existence, of weight and burden of being, yet being out of reach from so many real, pure things. And language without speech is half a prison. Half a life. (Sorry I’m rambling.) "Strange what a page can do to a page." This is a motif in this poem that floored me. Not quite yet, this was the set up that intrigued me first. It’s an image I can’t contend with fully but that I know. It’s another way of saying "funny how words change words, how meaning alters understanding." It’s that feeling of reading a stanza and understanding the preceding one with utter and surprising clarity. It’s today spilling into yesterday. Page 2 into page 1. "you come from a history of quilters whose paragon is patchwork." — Contradictory beauty here. WOW. It’s an ideal built on fixing mistakes. Someone’s highest, shining example of, well, life, is to fix and cover up mistakes to extend an object’s utility/life. Coupled with the previous lines, it’s like the act of being silent and floating, while thinking and writing, is something that is built on fixing mistakes. Observing flaws and righting them on the page, stitching the pages together until they work. Perhaps until you can speak, finally, or turn it into raw denim, no patches. Learning before the mistake is made. 
BUT THEN you say "that you knew how to love all this time." So, okay. Wow. It’s more than just fixing mistakes, it’s loving. Like the act of patching is an act of care, of love, for the object. It’s not exactly fixing a wrong thing, but correcting a loved one to be better, to transform, even. Perhaps patching so well that it is raw denim, made new. Clenching tightly before speech — wow. That is a concept! The literal image I’m getting is one of trauma, the fear before speech. Thinking about it, I’m getting themes of the transience of words, of meaning, of how these things are subject to change with the onslaught of newness, always. Like a patched jacket, it’s never the same as it was if you keep repairing it. And same with people. They’re never the same as they were yesterday, even. There is no such thing as the present. The pages you filled before you spoke, they’re the proof that you’re always changing. It’s always more than it is on the page. "Strange, what a page can do to a page." Pages will grow. Into patchwork quilts. And what’s beneath the patches? Holes. Bullet holes? "Because now when you walk into a bar in your raw denim jacket, the joke’s on them. That you knew how to love all this time & someday, you will." I thought I didn’t know exactly what this meant but now I think it’s obvious. THEY think you’re better for having no patches. That your denim being unmarred and raw/pure (hi, snow, you’re back), is a sign of your "actualization" and new found identity. But no, the joke’s on them. Here’s the hard truth: You know what love is. It’s not this appearance. It’s the knowledge of patchwork, the invisible kind, the future acts of it, that encompasses true loving acts. "That a gun pointed at the heavens must clench the bullet tight before it can speak." First of all, I love this metaphor. it’s gorgeous. It’s…beyond me in the best way. Wow. Secondly, this reveals what you said before about love. If love is patchwork, then a bullet flying to the heavens would be the opposite of love, wouldn’t it? It’d be the cause of a hole that needs patching, a wound that needs healing, a hurt that requires love. A bullet flying to the heavens would create stars, if stars are holes in the night fabric. But do they need patchwork? Is that the ultimate theme of this poem, to accept the holes without patching them? No one wants to patch up the night sky. At least, no one except the sun. My favorite part: "before it can speak. Strange what a mouth can do to a mouth." Do I need to explain why that’s so perfect? It’s the revelation of the first set up, the "Strange what a page can do to a page." There, it was the changing meaning, the future onto the past. But now, it’s the cause and effect. The words changing the person himself, not words affecting words. Slight difference there. It’s more about the shapes of the mouths, the kinds of bullets, perhaps, and the sizes of the holes (the mouth is a hole too). A snide word would cause another’s mouth to change shape into hurt or anger, each shape a different hole to patch. "How in front of a doctor/god you become an unreliable historian." — The transience of words, the changing of the person, the holes in memory. "That you can cut through the fog." Holes in the fog would allow visibility. Light would shine and refract, but air would clear it up. So many ways to interpret the holes. It’s like they aren’t just a bad thing. Not good thing, solely, either. A mixed bag, just as mistakes are learning experiences. Bad experiences make the person. Holes can create clarity, even if you need to patch them up. It would be the complete erasure of the holes that would invalidate that experience. "You can be nothing & still living." This goes back to the opening stanza, floating. Back to sizzling snow in the mouth — "the A bomb opens up so high and wide enough to gather our leaving" — the speaker seems to have some kind of power here. The collected heat from not speaking exploding like the A bomb, causing everyone to leave. Or perhaps, this bomb is someone else’s power, their explosive words, a misfired BOMB that either kills all or causes them evacuate. Given the following lines, I’m inclined to think the latter. Though I like the parallel to the opening stanza and connection to a hot mouth. Instead, it’s mismanaged power through words, causing a binding of the hands, like someone being executed by a firing squad. But their body looking like the night sky instead. Now I see some cosmic themes here, if the stars are bullet holes, who is attacking the universe? Is the speaker finding solace with this truth? That in order to rise above, there must be exit wounds? "misfired word." Now that really captures the metaphor, doesn’t it? This is the season for your warfare and words themes to emerge in beautiful poetry like this. Utterly amazing. It also indicates that there is a worldly desire to injure people verbally, to see them helpless and bound and being shot at. That the world finds it beautiful. Does the night sky find it beautiful? I don’t know if I can fully summarize all that I’ve said here. It’s magnificent. And sorry about the length. I swear, they keep getting longer!

  • Suze Kay3 months ago

    This poem is supergorgeous. I love how you play with the tension between existence and permanence. I love how you play with the concept of language as violence. And overall, I love how you play with words.

  • Wonderfully evocative. I feel as though I want to linger over every line, word, phrase & ponder the fullness of its meaning to me. (But I'm still way behind on notifications, so....)

  • Poppy 4 months ago

    Ahhhh I don’t even know where to start!!! I think I’ve said before that you have such a gorgeously unique writers voice but I need to add onto that and say I find yours and Mackenzie’s writer’s voices really similar (still unique) which I love. Okay now I have to reread this to comment on the specifics! I’ll probably end up copying and pasting the whole thing😂 “here’s today, jump, trust me there’s no parachute. Only fresh snow sizzling in your mouth.” Omg what are brilliant start!! I can’t put into words why it’s so perfect but it is. “That a gun pointed at the heavens must clench the bullet tight before it can speak.” A👏🏼maz👏🏼ing👏🏼 And then “strange what a ____ that can do to a ____” being repeated but changed is so masterful. “You can be nothing & still living.” That hits deep. “Don’t worry. No one will remember how you are beautiful …” That might be my favourite part^ and the way it leads into the perfect ending!! Consider our socks officially blown off😂

  • Use it to prove how you come from a history of quilters whose paragon is patchwork. I loved these lines the most. Your poem was so poignant and intense!

  • Wow! Fascinating take on some of the word prompts... "How in front of a doctor/god you become an unreliable historian. " I take a list along, to manage my flea sized attention span.

  • Paul Stewart4 months ago

    Damn, Mesh. You brought your A-game again to this challenge. This is incredible. Love the formatting. love the bracketed bit about fog. The strange what a ---page can do to a page and mouth can do to a mouth bits. A great thought-provoker!

  • Nice words. 🎉🌹

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