Thursday, 9 June 2011

Reading Between The Lines - FridayFlash

Your deportment plumb-line straight I note

Every detail of you traced in my mind like a line drawing

How the lines of experience crisscross your face like a delta of dried up tributaries

Your aquiline lineaments pressed, recessed and shrouded into geological strata

Parallel lines, fault lines

Hard lines on a hard life

Contour lines countenancing

A fish caught on a longline with abated breath.

Once set early in your timeline

A ton of lines given to the pipsqueak, seeking to press all rebelliousness from you like a juice reamer, until the pips squeak

Lined up outside the headmaster's office to await further correction

His three-line whip cubed as cat o'nine tails

Laying it on the line, thick with a trowel

Trying to make you toe the line

To tread the line of least resistance

A life lived by tramlines

Guidelines on a leash

The pre-written storyline awaiting your signature on the dotted line

You learned pretty fast to draw your own line in the sand, one which saline tears could not efface

Your base camp baseline

Your shored up shoreline

A line which no one could cross

Without battle lines being drawn up

Alignments, geometric and confederate

Lines of attack, lines of asymmetry

Front line salients and invulnerabilities

You hole them plumb beneath the plimsoll line with your low blows and rabbit punches

Blindsided sightlines, they wanted to believe in you

Clotted lines of command, they were desperate to follow you

Everywhere lies behind enemy lines

To all bar you, piercing clarity as to your throughline

Crystalline clear conscience

Borderline psychotic

Preternatural cunning, ley line intuitiveness

The lines you fed your allies

The consummate actor who knows his lines like the back of his hand

And the life lines on the palms to boot

Friends bought your command performance hook, line and sinker

Until you would extend them no further lines of credit

And their lifelines ran out

Over-extended supply lines

As you cut the line on them

You lined them up for execution

They withered and perished in the line of 'friendly' fire

Still crediting themselves acting in the line of duty

Corpses and carrion picked clean all along the line

Flatlined them flat broke

As you lined your pockets with dead men's silver, your neck ringed with their gold teeth

For you the bottom line is all

Somewhere along the breadline the penny dropped for these paupers

And they drew a line under their misery

Disinclining ever to become ensnared in your traplines again.

Down the abandoned line

The decline set in

As your waistline spread

Your sleek aerodynamic lines

No longer streamlined by toned sinew

As your self-discipline dissipated

Once your rush of adrenaline could no longer be maintained

Unable to bear the loadline of your thrill seeking

Putting your life on the line time after time

Nor through the lines of cocaine you snorted

The amphetamines you mainlined

Pipelined direct to your hardened heart

The sclerotic arterial lines

The body's looming deadline

Life's killer punchline

But just so we don't have our lines crossed, there can be no misunderstanding

You bust my bloodline as unforgivingly as my noose bursts the blood vessels in your face

My aborted lineage terminated by you

Ushered prematurely across the finish line into death

Now it is you I have dangling at the end of my line

Hoist on a gantline

Plunging neckline put in, rather than on the line

Gasping, hissing down your hotline to the devil

Your new line manager for eternity

He stands second in line behind me, for the defilements I will wreak

On-line with my camcorder streaming your pain to the world

Maybe a headline in tomorrow’s newspapers

Before your very permanent deadline


618 words, 86 lines, 85 'lines' (1 phonetic)


Mari said...

Interesting wordplay. To me it reads more like a poem than a story that seems to have been fun to write.

Larry Kollar said...

I thought it read like a poem as well. Interesting story"line" of a cruel person and the vengeance wrought…

John Wiswell said...

Certainly more poetic and than prose-like, which is fine. My favorite part was how you played with two linked sounds in two different words in so many lines, like "the LINEs you fed your alLIEs."

Anonymous said...

very beautiful, like a love poem, but i could have done without the death at the end. Is it ok to say that?


Sonia Lal said...

I've never read a poem quite like this (clearly, I need to read more poems!). I liked the story you told and how you play with the words.

Linda said...

Wondermous wordplay, you must have had tremendous fun with this. Looking for limnline, though ;^)

I do like the ending, a finality to the circularity above. Peace...

Unknown said...

My hat is off... Bravura wordplay. No way I could have pulled that off.

Anonymous said...

I've read this twice and could carry on all day and still find something new. It is really very good. Yes, more poem than prose, but it tells a story and is inventive and structurally intriguing. Too many good bits to single out, but I think needs to be viewed as a whole anyway to appreciate what you have built here.

Simon K said...

Brilliant piece. Best I've read for a while. The repetition comes over like a cross between a song and a hammer. I'd love to hear this one read out.

And this one ...

"The pre-written storyline awaiting your signature on the dotted line"

- choice!

helen said...

I liked the world play and the poetic feel of it all.

Helen said...

l Iiked the world play and the poetic feel of it all.

Li said...

Must poetry and prose be mutually exclusive? I don't believe so. I too think it would be delightful to hear this read aloud.

Deanna Schrayer said...

Wow Marc, this is fantastic! I read it "poeticly" too, and it becomes more and more chilling the deeper into it we read. Outstanding work!

Unknown said...

Damn you and your titles. I went back and tried to read literally between the 'lines' and see if there was some other hidden narritiave. Then I did it again and again with a couple different combinations...

But aside from my wanna be Davinci Code hero moment, I loved the wordplay. I admire people who can take a little thing like this and stretch and stretch it to its max.

Sulci Collective said...

No Michael, between the 'lines'... :-)

Michael Solender said...

geometric wizardry here.. fine flow

Thom Gabrukiewicz said...

I disagree that this is "poem-like." It stands on its own and is simply wonderful in its scope and flow. Aces.

Lou Freshwater said...

I loved reading between these lines. The internal rhyme rock it, too.

Icy Sedgwick said...

It's amazing how many lines criss cross our language, isn't it? Very rich piece.

Chuck Allen said...

This is definitely one of those to be read more than once to find all the little details. Very creative.

Mandy K James said...

Very skilful and cleverly done. I echo everyone else.

I do have two ideas what it is about I'd like to know if I'm close. One is the system (capitalism), the other is a war criminal. :)

Tony Noland said...

Richly poetic, as always.

Adam B said...

There is always something to learn from your work each week. This is another outrageously clever piece.
Adam B @revhappiness

Anonymous said...

Interesting poem layout and use of words - nicely done

Liras said...

I do love the layout of your lines. :)