Clock Watchers In The Woods

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Jonnie Falafel
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Clock Watchers In The Woods

Postby Jonnie Falafel » Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:45 pm

A poem about embarrassment & Alzheimers

Cloth ears? Her ill fitting teeth?
What did granny just gabble
at the gathering?
The voice above the rabble
Stopped the chatter and the babble,
Granny said there are cock
suckers in the woods.

Everyone looks nervous,
coughs and shuffles, muffles giggles.
Talk shifts to the weather;
Mother squirms and wriggles,
smiles politely, tugs his tresses
then to avoid his guesses,
whispers sotto voce,

Granny said clock watchers.
She gabbles often garbled.
What she mutters hardly matters
since she's lost her marbles.
Dad, who'd be watching clocks
or washing socks
this late at night?
She uttered sucking cocks.
What's it mean?

Whisked away swiftly,
unjustly and unwilling,
fluster and kerfuffle,
A tug-o-war to bed -
tuttering and trilling,
But to no-one in particular
he said -
Christ that little fucker's
on the subject of cock suckers
and he just doesn't seem to
want to let it go.
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lizzytysh
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Re: Clock Watchers In The Woods

Postby lizzytysh » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:17 am

Oh, I can't WAIT to read Helen's comments on this brilliant poem of yours, Jonnie!
For me, your numerous word plays bring both humour and poignancy... and rhymes everywhere 8)

In its almost, yet nowhere near, nonsensical way, it builds to tell a profound story... profound from its beginning... and sad at the end.
That she waas taken away, as though a child misbehaving and taken to bed.
The day will come when some would give anything to have her and her muttering gabbling babbling back.
No need for embarrassment, yet people often can't seem to help themselves.
Compassion rules.
This is a perfect poem regarding Alzheimers... that more people, every day, especially the Baby Boomers here, are getting.
Thanks so much for this, Jonnie.

Did you mean she said [vs. he said] in your last verse? Or was he the one who made her go to bed, perhaps grandfather?
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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Jonnie Falafel
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Re: Clock Watchers In The Woods

Postby Jonnie Falafel » Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:41 pm

I can see now there's an ambiguity there that I must correct somehow! I can see how you arrived at that conclusion.... The subjects are granny and grandson... it's the grandson who draws attention to what Grandma said to the embarrassment of his parents and those assembled.. out of the mouth of babes!
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lizzytysh
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Re: Clock Watchers In The Woods

Postby lizzytysh » Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:54 pm

ah... okay... I'll re-read it after you get it adjusted.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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lizzytysh
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Re: Clock Watchers In The Woods

Postby lizzytysh » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:27 pm

By the way, I love your choice for a title.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
Cate
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Re: Clock Watchers In The Woods

Postby Cate » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:17 am

:)

I always suspected that the woods were a much more interesting place then they appear.

I love the humour and family intimacy in this Johnny. I don't know if I read the way you intended it to be read but it does follow for me. I'm not sure if you've avoided italics or " " during speech to make it more open for the reader to interpret but if you wanted to add clarity, that might help.

here's what I read and admit I might have it all wrong from the original intent, but it's how I read the story and it made sense.

Cloth ears? Her ill fitting teeth?
What did granny just gabble
at the gathering?
The voice above the rabble
Stopped the chatter and the babble,
Granny said there are cock
suckers in the woods.


I love the phrase 'cloth ears'. I read the whole first stanza as if the narrator ( a child) is speaking to me or inside of his head. The last two lines I think move away from the internal and have been spoken out loud by the child during the party.


Everyone looks nervous,
coughs and shuffles, muffles giggles.
Talk shifts to the weather;
Mother squirms and wriggles,
smiles politely, tugs his tresses
then to avoid his guesses,
whispers sotto voce,

I think that boy and Grandma have become co-conspirators here in unintentionally awkward utterances.


Granny said clock watchers.
She gabbles often garbled.

What she mutters hardly matters
since she's lost her marbles.

Dad, who'd be watching clocks
or washing socks
this late at night?
She uttered sucking cocks.
What's it mean?


I read it as - the pink being what Mom said, the purple being what the boy thought and then blue being what the boy says to his Dad. I felt like he'd given up on Mom for rational responses.

Whisked away swiftly,
unjustly and unwilling,
fluster and kerfuffle,
A tug-o-war to bed -
tuttering and trilling,
But to no-one in particular
he said -
Christ that little fucker's
on the subject of cock suckers
and he just doesn't seem to
want to let it go.


I think that it's the boy that's been whisked away and I think the last spoken part is by dad - who doesn't want to here the word cock again (outside of his own bedroom) for quite a while.
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lizzytysh
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Re: Clock Watchers In The Woods

Postby lizzytysh » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:30 pm

Thanks for this, Cate. Good takes. I had grandma being whisked away, as being 'just too much' for 'polite' company.
I hope that Jonnie will clarify if your take is right... and, if not, clarify it for us [which maybe he's been working on].
Your suggestions/ideas help, too.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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Jonnie Falafel
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Re: Clock Watchers In The Woods

Postby Jonnie Falafel » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:50 pm

Cate, that's exactly how it was in my mind. The impetus came from my own embarrassment as a boy when I declared my cousin Barry "sexy" because he wore an open necked shirt! Of course I had no idea what this meant, but I knew from adult reaction I'd said the wrong thing!. It stays with me to this day. A friend of mine who's father had alzheimers was embarrassed by her normally reserved dad when he declared to a whole day centre "she sucks my cock!"... I am going to institute speech marks I think.
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lizzytysh
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Re: Clock Watchers In The Woods

Postby lizzytysh » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:59 pm

Good on you for getting it right, Cate!
After Jonnie inserts the quotation marks, and I re-read his response to you here, I'll re-read the poem.
[Also don't have time right now ;-) ]
Thanks, Jonnie!
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
Keizer
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Re: Clock Watchers In The Woods

Postby Keizer » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:19 am

I really like the poem as it is, with the reader needing to make the shifts in narrative voice and don't think it needs quotation marks.
I also like the ambiguity in the last verse. Conflating granny and the child in the act of being bundled off to bed, suggests that granny is being infantalised by the embarrassed adults.
Thanks for the poem, Jonnie.
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lizzytysh
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Re: Clock Watchers In The Woods

Postby lizzytysh » Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:10 am

That's how I took the last verse, Keizer.
Have seen that very thing too often... not necessarily being bundled off to bed, but just the interaction mode, period.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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Jonnie Falafel
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Re: Clock Watchers In The Woods

Postby Jonnie Falafel » Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:46 pm

Yes Lizzie, I've witnessed people with dementia whisked away to prevent eembarrassment too. So if there's an ambiguity here, I think it should stand. :D
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lizzytysh
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Re: Clock Watchers In The Woods

Postby lizzytysh » Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:46 pm

:D
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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mat james
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Re: Clock Watchers In The Woods

Postby mat james » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:09 pm

I always suspected that the woods were a much more interesting place then they appear.
Cate.

Hahahahahaha :lol: :lol: :lol:

MatbbgJ
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.

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