Monday, July 13, 2009

Entry #103

by Joaquin Carvel

You came over extra early
to surprise him when he woke
but the bed was made – unlike him -
so you stepped out for a smoke

and you couldn’t help but notice
speculating where he’d go
by the trash, the empty bottle
of a ’64 Bordeaux

he’d once told you he was saving
for that sometime special night
and your final drag was shaky
knowing something wasn’t right

so you dialed up his number
heard it ringing from inside
and you found it in the kitchen
on the counter, right beside

broken bits of silver ribbon
and a scrap of shiny paper -
fighting hard to draw a breath
it all vanished into vapor

as you glanced into the basin
and discovered in the sink
an upended crystal goblet
with a foreign shade of pink

telltale lipstick in a crescent
like a smile, near the rim -
you could barely see for crying
but you piercingly saw him -

and stumbling in stupor
of revulsion, hurt and ire
you tore off and threw his necklace
and discovered that a fire

smoldered still in glowing cinders
in the hearth, and seeing red
found an earring on the carpet
which (of course) explained the bed….


From the freeway, in the rearview
dusky plumes began to dawn -
like exclamation points that
both his house and you were gone -

in your ear he was a sparrow
on your neck, an albatross;
love may cast a
blinding brilliance
but in vino,


Laurel said...


Love it! Great title, too. The great details ('64 Bordeaux and the earring) liven up the story and the pace of exposition is just right.

Add another body to the pile, Gotta a headcount yet?

Karen said...

I was waiting for your entry -- knew it would be one of my favorites, and of course, it is. Your pacing is always just right and the details -- silver ribbon, shiny paper, earring on the carpet, phone ringing in the other room, plumes of smoke in the rearview mirror, and more -- carry a whole tale in so few words. Poetry: the best words in the best order. Joaquin's poetry: the best, just the best.

Katherine Napier said...

Ah, a well told tale that just so happens to also be poetic. Very entertaining.

Sonia said...

I especially like the way you have rhymed words to tell a tale.

JR's Thumbprints said...

It's not always easy making the second person narrative work, but you've done it quite skillfully.

laughingwolf said...

very well done... all of it! :)

Catvibe said...

Well Joaquin, yours is the first of the poems that makes my favs shortlist because you simply rock, and you rock hard. This was awesome, loved it! Best murder yet.

Hoodie said...

Wow, so difficult to tell a good story with rhyming poetry but you did it superbly.

My favorite line:
in your ear he was a sparrow
on your neck, an albatross;


Two thumbs way up.

Beth Harar said...

Very nice job. I'm picky when it comes to poetry, but really enjoyed reading your entry.

Meghan said...

LOVE it. The visuals are indeed stunning and I really feel for the character. Wonderful job!

Aniket said...

Okay, this is hands down the best in my book!

Like Karen said you are best at what you do. It’s like you have a whole genre of your own. It’s unlike any other poetry. You tell a story with subtle humor lingering in even the darkest of scenes and always leave the reader smiling. The catchy hum-able tune catches you from the start and never dies/slows out. The syllables are just in the right places for the perfect highs and lows.

Absolutely perfect.

I lovvvhhhed it!

You sir are most definitely getting my vote!

@ laurel:

Aye Aye Captain! Thrown another body to the bunker. The cargo is getting too heavy! :D

Ryan said...

This is the best I've read! Absolutely amazing. Really like the rising dusky plumes like exclimation points. What a vivid and resounding image.


Mona said...

I love the last stanza of this narration. how well it reflects the irony in the tale!

BernardL said...


pjd said...

Joaquin, simply exquisite. The meter is pristine, the rhyme professional and complete. The images chosen tell the whole story, and we see it unfold as if we are indeed the MC. My favorite lines: an upended crystal goblet\with a foreign shade of pink

If you wanted to tighten it up, I think the "he'd once told you he was saving" and the "telltale lipstick in a crescent" stanzas could be removed without losing any of the story or its impact.

This is one of my two favorite poems out of the 103 entries I've read so far. Brilliant.

Deb S said...

Beautifully done!

JaneyV said...

Wonderful narrative. Exquisitely told.

Chris Eldin said...

Wow. I mean WOW!!!!!!

The meter, the story---so, so brilliantly written. I really like this a lot, and I can imagine how you labored to get this one to be perfect. Your efforts are well worth it!!

Terri said...

Ditto to everything that's been said here already; the tempo, the rhyming, the story, visuals, all of it wonderful...
and I have to say: the title? Inspired! LOL!!!

jason evans said...

The whimsical quality of the verse was an intriguing match with the pain and angst. Very creative.

High marks for pacing.

Jaye Wells said...

Very well done! I really enjoyed this one.