Thirteen Squared

Remember all the lies, belittling stares, derisive laughter, heat of scarlet shame, a wake that followed after
preserved in ink, the aspic of the literati picking on the bones of every poet at the feast?
You hoped they’d disappear, stuffed-shirted corpses, gilt with attitude and privilege, but no, their breath still lingers,
the cloying scent of poets’ flesh and words they picked and ate with painted nails, bejewelled, ringed and bony fingers.
And after our annihilation, verses were preserved for their derision, books with broken spines displayed
for all to see. We did not die, we blossomed in their blood, a miracle of life and poetry;
we hid our blowflies’ eggs between the lines, beneath their skin, intending to perplex them for eternity.

Kim M. Russell, 13th April 2020

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads NaPoWriMo Day 13 Play it Again in April 2020: 13 is Poetry

On Friday 13th April 2018, Magaly asked us to choose thirteen words from an extract from Diana Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale and use them in a poem that is a deliberate celebration of metaphor. I thought I’d square the prompt by writing in lines of thirteen syllables.

I’m merging this prompt with Kerry’s Skylover Wordlist, sourced from Dylan Thomas’s poetry collection Deaths and Entrances, from which the thirteen word is ‘lie’.

20 thoughts on “Thirteen Squared

  1. This is marvellously well done, Kim. The tone of satirical cynicism is right on point with so much that we see going on around us during this crisis. The notion of the ignorant picking apart the poetry of artists is never far from the truth in any time frame.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. = 169 syllables, Good Job !!
    But then I had 230;
    (10 x 9) + (10 x 4) = 90 + 40 = 130
    Now, poor fellow, “we hid our blowflies’ eggs between the lines, beneath their skin…” That must have been worse than having Scabies.
    ..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is just exquisite. It’s amazing how inventing a form, as you did with your thirteen syllable lines, is always a heady challenge, and one that often works to dig out the best from our brains. Aslo as you did here. I really enjoyed the pictures you created with your metaphors, and the tone is delightfully sly. I love “…gilt with attitude and privilege, but no, their breath still lingers,/the cloying scent of poets’ flesh and words they picked and ate with painted nails, bejewelled, ringed and bony fingers…” So real i can see those fingers!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “We did not die, we blossomed in their blood, a miracle of life and poetry;
    we hid our blowflies’ eggs between the lines, beneath their skin, intending to perplex them for eternity.”
    What powerful lines!

    Liked by 1 person

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