Editing poetry: So much potential, or so we used to say

I suppose that there are penalties associated with being one thing or another, with making any decision. Perhaps some would say consequences, but penalties is possibly more apt in this case. The title of this piece comes from a line in the Nine Inch Nails song ‘The Warning’. This is a complicated piece with a lot going on. I hope that doesn’t spoil it.
Don’t sweep up too many crumbs
When you coax the broom across the floor
Trying to find a compromise between
Dancing and stepping
Achieving neither
If you show up the housemaid
She will shut you in the cupboard
With a sputtering candle
You can stare at the heavy iron hinges
So cheaply made, so extravagant in the replay
The silk flowers all thread and lifelessness
Little porcelain dolls with scars drawn on
Price tags still on the soles of their shoes
Tiny vinyl boots and bags
Accessories of an accessory
When you close your eyes
They are writhe and war
With polite smiles
They eat each other’s tails
Set aside the plastic fruit in plastic lunchboxes
But do not forget
That in here you are safe
From hurricane and storm
From profit and loss
The blinding fluorescence
That slants under the iron door

via Editing poetry: So much potential, or so we used to say.


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