Monday, March 1, 2010

60. Being cast down


Draft 1 - Prose
Such a delicious word, slough.

His taut, lithe snake shakes an iridescent skin from its shoulders, watching as it ripples free, the full length of his sensuous curves; the discarded layer, encrusted with minute pebbles, floating with a flick, to the cool overhang of a nearby fig tree. The silkiness of the discard, caught mid-stream by the blink of an attendant eye, pausing the projection running in his self-obsessed mind. He is fascinated by his dejected progress along the wharf, his mind’s eye styling an image of a young man, forsaken and cast aside.

Slough of desponds.

A vibrant ripple beneath a stiff white, cotton Gloweave. A fine swishing as the fabric catches momentarily between the slender angularity of his hips and his wrist. He slumps onward through the mental figment of a marshy slough of despond, the dark despair of a guilty conscience forever trudging.

She would regret this.

Draft 2 - Verse
Such a delicious word, slough.

Self-consiously fascinated
by his dejected progress along the wharf;
his mind’s eye styling an image of a young man,
forsaken and cast aside.
His taut, lithe serpent within
shakes a self-righteous skin from its shoulders,
watching as it ripples free, the full length of his sensuous curves;
the discarded layer, encrusted with sweat droplets,
floating with a flick,
lodging in the overhanging bough of a fig tree.
The silkiness of the discard caught mid-stream
by the blink of an attendant eye;
pausing the projection running in his self-obsessed mind.

Slough of desponds.

A vibrant ripple released
beneath stiff white, cotton fabric.
A fine swishing, as the swatch
catches momentarily between the slender angularity
of lithe hips and fine wrist.
He flumps onward through
a mindful figment of a marshy slough of despond;
the pink funk of a queruous conscience forever pouting.

She would regret this.

6 comments:

Joan Elizabeth said...

Are you meant to have to read something a couple of times to get it? I'm happy doing that with poetry but generally not with prose ... but I don't read literary prose ... perhaps that's why.

Julie said...

I toyed with chopping this into verse because the language was so densely worked, and the self-consciousness of the character had to be reflected in the text and that made the text pretentious.

I will work on that in a sec and post it up to see if tomorrow that makes any difference to how YOU approach it. I suspect that if it was structured as verse you would be reading purposefully for hidden meanings.

I rarely read other than "literary" prose - in book form.

Turning into my night for taking on board suggestions and reworking things. Uncle Kevin must have lent me his hairshirt ...

Julie said...

Need to say, too, that as I reworked this last night, I could see the impact that seeing Colin Firth in "A Single Man" on Sunday had had on me. He spent a lot of time consciously aware of his own progress - an out-of-boy consciousness.

There is one more word that I want to change this morning ...

Joan Elizabeth said...

Yes written as poetry I do approach it very differently. I expect metaphors and hidden meanings and it doesn't matter if I don't understand it all. It has been interesting seeing it both ways.

Regarding my comments, I am trying use them as way of me understanding the writing process as much as providing feedback .. just sweep them aside if they don't gel with you.

Perhaps I should dump one of my blogs and do RIFFs too so the boot is on the other foot.

As for Kev, Tony does seem to have him rattled.

diane said...

Too deep for me at this time of night when I am mourning the death of my computer.

Julie said...

Yes, I heard about your sad loss,Diane, and how you have to go begging, cap-in-house ...

Joan, don't let the commenting weigh upon you. I am branching out in my own inimitable way with my writing style. There will be transitions that are obvious everysooften, like this week. I did a course last weekend, which I am midst documenting on Plumbing.