We had to try

by Ben Pickard   Jun 17, 2020


I tangoed to your fractured guitar,
and you placed your
naked body beneath my broken heart.
I tried to breathe through every passionate gasp
that teased with dust and ashes
while you never gave up on the blood
that clogged the arteries of our cursed union.
We picnicked in the setting sun
and pretended it wasn't getting darker.

Quiet, now; it is night-time.

--

Ben Pickard 2020

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  • 1 month ago

    by Em (marmite)

    Hi Ben, nice to see a new piece from you. Sorry I've not been around much as of late but as you know I'm doing course after course so once I've done work I just want to sleep but then can't lol anyway enough of my blabbering and on to this wonderful piece.

    The title if I'm honest made my heart ache because it's like a story of my life though I'm the only one that has to try, no one else seems to bother unfortunately. Though because it uses 'had' it seems as though this phase has gone and either things didn't work out or worked out better than you could have expected them to.

    The first 3 lines drew me in big time... It makes me imagine you dancing to someone's broken guitar although I feel the guitar is use for something else and that a 'naked body' is basically a pure soul beneath your broken heart so as to allow them to 'fix you'. The imagery is immense.

    The next four lines again are filled with excellent imagery and it makes the mind wonder.... Wonder why 'every passionate gasp that teased with dust and ashes', wonder 'why they never gave up on the blood that clogged the arteries of your cursed Union'. I feel that the first 2 lines cry out that this particular 'love' has lasted a long time and things, like in most relationships, got a bit 'heavy' and you felt as though even though you loved this person dearly that you couldn't breathe with the heaviness this love had in your heart and mind and the last 2 sentences here I feel as though the 'blood' represents love here and that this person never gave up on you and the union of your togetherness even if it was the easiest thing to do for both of you but what I know of you you don't seem to be the 'giving up type' either.

    These last 3 lines make a perfect piece and also make it like everything is perfect as you 'picnicked in the setting sun' like many couples do even when it was getting too dark, you 'pretend it isn't' and why might I ask... Is this because things are 'perfect' or is it to mask the actual 'darkness of your relationship?' The last line makes me believe that this is your mind your talking to as though to say 'listen up here, it's might time now so I want to sleep' but to your dismay it doesn't allow to sleep which adds to your confused state.

    Hope this all makes sense hurt my interpretation.
    All the best as always.

    • 1 month ago

      by Ben Pickard

      Perfect sense, perfect comment. Thanks, Em.

  • 1 month ago

    by Daniel

    I too, found this quite raw. I adore the first line the most. It's beautifully evocative. This poem has many layers for such a short piece, and I think that's a pretty difficult thing to accomplish. The romanticism and vulnerability of the first line, followed by, what I honestly consider the weakest part of the poem:

    'and you placed your
    naked body beneath my broken heart.'

    The reason is because 'placed' doesn't carry the image as strongly as it could, and as a result, I don't...believe it? I feel the poem is stronger without being taken away so abruptly from the beautiful image in the first line, which would actually connect better into the image of 'breathing through...'

    The language loses its softness here:

    'that clogged the arteries of our cursed union.'

    And it's clever. It's almost a snap back into reality from the abstract, dreamlike beginning. Great language choice.

    You end the poem with a simple couplet & closing line. I love the image of the couple's blissful ignorance. Or maybe not that, but the infatuation with each other, followed by the only line of the poem in which I can imagine being said out loud. It's almost a 'wake up'.

    As I said Ben, this poem has so much more in it than on first glance. It beckons to be reread. Beautiful.

    • 1 month ago

      by Ben Pickard

      Wonderful comment, Daniel. Thank you for reading and for your honesty.

      Ben

  • 1 month ago

    by Rania Moallem

    omg. This gave me chills. I hope someone nominates this. I'd love to read it when I sign in for a couple of days! The word choice is very original and fresh. It's yet so raw and scratches the heart of those wounded. I was mostly caught by the title..i felt it might be something to relate to but then I liked that it really sums up the emotions of the poem. Maybe knowing that it won't work but still worth the chance..The ending is so clever and heart breaking. I am jealous of this poem in a good way, because I can relate and because it's a killer. Seriously those last 3 lines are wow.

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