Großmutter und Kind

Hello, interested reader. The following poem resulted in my banning, for a period of one month, from PoetryCircle.com.
I can only assume they misread whom it was the protagonist endeavours to lure to his world?
I would appreciate any thoughts. Dean.

1

The Nana has the same
few grey among dark
as her granddaughter
has loose and sparse
foundation fur. Both share
the unconscious nudity of long time
naturalists. The child’s
nipples make shadows
above the abacus
ribs like an adult woman’s, and
when she squats to collect her
iPod, dropped off the earphone
from Oma’s’s tangled elbow,
I see her neatly folded like the
edges of fine cuts of veal.

2

Is the longing that she lights in me so wrong?
I’ve set a trap to get her near the van
with the music I have heard her mention,
I play it so that when she is alone
her interest will be channelled my direction.
I have alcohol and sweets, a omnibus
of Verse, a smile, and the barest
beginnings of an erection

for the tarpaulin
to block the afternoon
locals… Strolling
the copper ground underneath
the pines, here she comes, summer on
her square shoulders and grandchild
-free, to ask casually
if it is Stravinsky I am playing.

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10 thoughts on “Großmutter und Kind”

  1. I don’t know, Dean. I’m a bit squeamish about the word genitalia anyway. I see clearly where you go with the poem in the end, but I come out of it feeling a bit like the governess in The Turn of the Screw; a paranoid Victorian – though you’ve clearly set us up there! Guess that will mean nothing unless you’ve read the book. I don’t consider myself a prude, but I think art can survive without obvious references to kids’ private parts. Otherwise, I like your writing a lot.

  2. yes, i think the ban odd, regardless of how john k feels about the subject matter, pc.com publishes a wide example of cuss and imagery exploring deviancy of sorts and i’m wondering if there’s more to it than veal

  3. just remembered: PC let me off with these lines:

    I approach the age of meditation,
    admiring the girls. An Aschenbach; a man
    that haunts the swings, looking for love;
    offering rides, slides; anything
    you want. Refined. A gentleman, really.

    This is from a stanza from one of my long poems (meditations). Maybe they missed it or didn’t get the reference.

  4. The poem’s artistic value, i guess, is what distinguishes it from the mere expression, promotion…etc of harmful or ‘immoral’ ideas:

    ‘to ask casually
    if it is Stravinsky I am playing.’

    has the classic touch of TS Eliot. I remember the original version (you’ve made changes), & i think it’s the girl you (the narrator) want (or am i wrong?). But, whatever:
    Only the reader is potentially lured into the dark world of your caravan. & it’s up to us if we want to go all the way. Well done for having the courage to post this.

  5. I can’t tell who initiated the ban, Mark, can’t access the forum section either, only the general Frontpage…seems I have found, rather quickly, the edge of their envelope!

  6. Thank’s John, Peter, Mark; your comments are the sort of mixed reaction I expect the gatekeepers of PC.com experienced. It is a provocative piece…

  7. Freedom of expression is one thing but with that comes responsibility.
    I have referred many people to this site and some, I know, would think this too much.
    I can’t in all conscience refer them now, and that is sad.

  8. Yes, I remember this from the old site and felt that momentary confusion as to the ‘object of desire’, but reading all the words on the page solved it plain enough (‘grandchild-free’). It think maybe it was those ‘cuts’ too close to the bone, perhaps, even though the context ‘naturalists’ would justify any such observation. I always liked the poem, the ‘erection’ was a joke so slyly ‘raised’!

  9. hi Dean:
    ‘grandchild-free’ gives it away; but i had to read twice. PC (apt initials!) might have missed it because you seem to lure the reader into believing it’s the child you long for.
    Regardless: I like the poem, & I intensely dislike the idea of banning any literature – ‘literature’ in the narrow sense: I exclude racist pamphlets, say, designed merely to promote stupid or hateful ideas that have nothing to do with art.
    I’m surprised that poetry circle have done this. I think i could stomach it more if they’d banned you for good; but a month is insulting. It says: we’re giving you a month to think about what you have done. So much for the freethinkers of PC!
    Do you know who made the decision? What have you had to say about it? What will you do?

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