You have captured the essence of how adolescent bonds sometimes carry the weight of their own destruction. The juxtaposition of camaraderie with the pangs of jealousy is well-told using the symbolism of crabs; pincers may leave less damage than hard shelled words. The only suggestion I have is to change the arrowhead to an image borrowed from the crab experience itself. As it is written, the arrowhead does not fit anything else in the poem. From experience, there are fine points of the pincers that sometimes break off and fester in a palm or a finger.
I'm very lazy - as usual. I promise that I'll write you a detailed comment at some point.
Right now, I just want to let you know that this is the single best poem that I've ever read on this website. You are an incredible writer and I've been seeing you outdoing yourself more and more lately.
Congratulations on having such wonderful artistic abilities, my friend. :)
Larry, that is exactly the essence of the adolescent bond that I was trying to capture. Thank you for understanding it so clearly. I recently went through a falling out with a friend I've had for more than 10 years. I wanted this poem to show how I could've guessed that our friendship was doomed from the beginning because of her attitude toward me as adolescents on into adulthood. Her love for me was ever balanced by her jealousy of me, and in the end, jealousy won. When our friendship was tested in the past year, she sided with those who wished me harm. Now I am making the healthy decision to end our friendship, though it hurts my heart.
I agree with you that the arrowhead is out of place. I'll research a better metaphor.
Jordan, thanks friend for the amazing (and immensely undeserved) compliment. I'm flattered to receive a nod from a great poet like yourself :)
5 years ago
There is so much sadness in this verse which was beautifully written I must say. I've had the same friend for over 40 years and...yes we've had a few run ins along the way. Jealousy is a funny thing you know but...is it envy this friend feels towards you? for I think there is a difference. My friend married early on where I stayed free. She was envious of this freedom while secretly I envied her stability. We never spoke about it back then, rather we just drifted apart but...finally we did work it out and I'm really happy to say I still have this friend who went through high school with me. We did go through so much in our earlier years and that held us together in the end. Not saying it will work out the same but...you have been friends for 10 years so maybe it's worth having another look at things before severing all ties?
As for arrowhead...what about 'dead mans fingers' the part of the crab you DON'T eat?
Dead man's fingers may not "flow" as well as arrowhead, but it does fit better with the poem. I am open to suggestions! If someone can come up with a better metaphor that still has some flow to it, I'd appreciate it greatly.
Hellon, I have a handful of friends that I've had for more than a decade. Most of them have done things over the years that would be unforgivable if our bond wasn't so strong, but we pulled through the rough patches and have remained like siblings. This friend, however, has not been a good friend to me perhaps throughout our entire career as friends. It just took me a long time to realize it. I am afraid she may not deserve to have me as a friend since she does not know how to be a friend herself... but you are right. There is hope for the future and it would be great if we somehow made amends after some time has passed. As of now, I am still too hurt.
5 years ago
Thumbs up for penning a beautiful piece of poetry. Your detailed descriptions are so awesome, and I feel that you are a great novelist because you capture the essence of moments, not the general atmosphere/mood, but the nuclear essence!
I don't favor long pieces, but this was like no other. I can totally relate to this, but I'm not like you, actually I was like your friend. I tried to change myself, but it was so hard.. Oh.. your piece is making me confess everything, lol, anyway...
I was in a school for students higher in social class than me, and jealousy killed me sometimes. It really does. It's really frustrating, believe me. I just wanted my friends' cars, houses, phones, even.. parents! I felt I was a sorcerer in my room, just thinking of shining stuff that I don't have, while others (who are no better than me:ARE THEY BETTER THAN ME?) do ... and wishing for evil deeds................................
I really feel sick of the old me. I think I have changed now because I understood life and materialism more. Thanks God.
Way to go Jane, I see myself somewhere in this piece. Really beautiful.
Is it too selfish of me to rejoice at the fact that you posted a poem? Even if it's that heartbreakin'?
I feel like, this poem, somehow took me back to last summer when Anas and I would spend the happiest of our days together and how our relationship was ruined because of jealousy. It's a long story and I was too hurt too, felt better when we broke up but oh well. You just made me remember those times and sigh. So heavily, I tell you.
Now enough about my teenaging babble... What I like about you and all your work is the way you see details, the way you see lots of emotions, meanins in details. The way a bucket of cracking shells and pincers might mean to you, the way you personify everything, sometimes unintentionally, but it still works for me. And oh, how you remember sitting together, talking, laughing, giggling and those tiny things that almost perfected your friendship, but again, there was her jealousy, doubts and fears of you becoming better and brighter. It is damn saddening for me to hear that, I remember one of my best friends and I had a falling out once too, it sucks... Ok, I'll forget about my history for now, god this comment is just invalid.
'staying alive to suffer ten more minutes.'
I don't know if I'm wrong but this does sum up what you were feeling towards this friendship, right? I like the way you put things here in such a way that seems, for the first instant, spontanious and so raw. Then one digs deep, they turn out to be symbolizing something!
At some point, I too feel slightly jealous of you, you know that? You're a kind person and a wonderful writer and God knows what else you are while I don't really know you. So, it's partially your fault. Stop being perfect. BUT to whoever wishes you harm, here is a big slap on the face for them! That person lost so much and she will realise it, I promise. You're a star, so just keep twinkling. ;)
Jeez, I was tweeting about wrecked friendships last night.. was that you in my head? was that you? ..
5 years ago
by The Prince
This is an interesting and melancholic piece, mixed with heavy feelings of nostalgia. It's lovely to read something new from you.
'We ventured to salty waters on stony shores
and caught red crabs in knobby finger-bones,
chilled by wet winds that blew (how they blew)
in the dead of winter - in the staleness
of an old year.'
Very simple language here, yet very effective. This piece is like something I'd envision. It's heavy on feeling and not too verbose in delivery. The one thing I didn't like here is the bit in parenthesis, which is kind of unnecessary. It's distracting, and I don't think the narration needs any kind of distraction, especially for such a weighty piece.
The second stanza is lovely and heartwarming. And the sentiment at the end is really nice and relatable.
I usually don't like foretelling in poetry. 'I could tell jealousy would ruin us' almost spoils the poem, and I'm left thinking do you actually NEED the third stanza? Does it offer anything? I don't think so, because the tonal shift when you introduce the two personas paddling into the water is just brilliant. Really admirable. You could remove the third stanza without much being missed. I mean, if you want it there to hit home the change in tone, you can keep it, I'm just not a fan of how it's kind of singled out. Do you know what I mean?
I love the abruptness, I love the chaos in the language that comes out of nowhere, like you're venting and letting every word fire out of you at the screen. 'Our pedal brakes did not work.' is a great ending, because the tone shfits again to a more contemplative voice from the narrator. The short sentences are effective, and it's around here the beauty of the piece really kicks in.
From then on, there's not much I don't like apart from the word 'nemesis' (it connotes images of a superhero or something, haha)
'when I needed you to curb your sullenness
and remember my love for you,
you failed wholly and regretfully.
You failed me and you knew'
is a little too telling, a little too much of an afterthought, because it feels like youre undermining the imagery that actually drives your piece.
'Now I'll cut you out like an arrowhead,
and I'll burn you until you're cooked through,
and I'll walk away alone.'
This is a fantastic end, but I'm left thinking of how some of the bits during the story are kind of disquieting, distracting. Let your beautiful grasp of imagery drive your pieces, it would so much more poignant.
I have been too harsh here, really, Jane, because this is an amazing piece and I am nominating it, but I have only made suggestions because it is what I feel. I also feel that this poem is strong, poignant and idiosyncratic.
Jealousy is ugly - this poem is not.
5 years ago
Loved this piece silvershoes. I am confident this will win. Added to favs :)
Wonderfully wonderfully written Jane, there is something very magical in this poem it's totally captivating, and one I can totally relate to. For me what makes this poem so strong so poignant is that it seems to be from the soul, not some topic or contest that springs to mind, no this is dragged up from your guts, from your past, something that seems to have been residing within you waiting to gush forth, I get the feeling it's been cathartic for you? a cleansing. For me they are the best, they burst forth like a song writer who writes his best song ever in like 5 minutes and looks back and goes shit that was ok, suffice to say this poem evoked strong emotions from me as well... congrats on a great poem. Ok I better stop now I'm dribbling
I don't know what to say, really. I'm blown away by this poem!
The title caught my attention at first. I wondered what the "Crabs" reference was you were talking about. I didn't notice that it was in the friendship section when I saw the title and I thought :O it must be someone who caught crabs from having sex but then I realised when I went into the poem I saw the background colour I knew I was wrong lol. I must say when I read a poem I don't usually pay attention to the genre as much as I the title. The title is what normally draws me in.
I don't think I have read a poem about a friendship breaking down as metaphorically descriptive as the one I have just read. The images and everything you have written here was as though it happened and I felt like I was there with you at the beach. I think many people will be able to relate to this piece not of course exactly everything about it but the fact that a friendship broke down. I don't think anyone who is here hasn't lost a friend in one time or another in their life. At the moment I have this friend who I feel quite distant from which saddens me because of the feeling of where it is heading.
It must be hard to have known this person for so long and then have them ruin the relationship over jealousy. You said in the poem that she sided with those who would do you harm but honestly if this is what she did I wondered if she was a true friend to begin with. I think you will miss the part of who you thought she was, maybe not her entirely.
The poem makes me also think, I am sure there are reasons for her jealousy but it makes me wonder what they are. She must not have had confidence in herself if she let her jealousy ruin her with you (maybe she's jealous because of that sexy voice you have lol) I actually can hear you say the poem out aloud in my head after that thread where we recorded our voice.
I am really in awe of this write, you are one talented amazing poet.
Im not a great commenter because i talk too much, but i just wanted to say how much i loved this piece and the pictures you painted, i got engrossed in it straight away and when i finished i just went back to the top and read it again lol
I haven't read much of your writing as yet, but i think thats about to change :-)
but, I'm really in awe... not too often we meet these poems.. that hit you so hard. you choke on what to say.
you're a clever writer jane.
you are a mixture of nostalgia, sweetness and
and tenderness. when you pour your heart on paper. it always reminds me that you're so much more than a pretty face.
You jane, you are the whole package.
You got a pretty soul too.
Amazing write, I can't find words. really.
I wanna read this out loud to everyone.
5 years ago
I don't think you understand the effect you have on people with some of the things you write, Jane. This is so catchy and inspiring. I love your overuse of descriptions, painting a perfect picture for everything. The beauty here is in the details... just wow.
And I must say, this is the only poem I've seen with so many long, well thought out comments. You bring it out in people!