Parfitt

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ray miller
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Parfitt

Post by ray miller » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:28 am

was known as pizza head, his sticky-out ears
bracketed a face of blackheads and spots,
but after games in the showers we leered
and winked at his enormous cock.
Jealous, of course, and bitter because
it was like God mocked both him and us
and you couldn’t have one without being the other.
Would women ever discover Parfitt?
Perhaps when the topping had been ate,
the base might please an exotic palate.
Puberty was purgatory, a cankerous bud
oozing out of me on to handkerchiefs,
flannels and toilet seats, it fouled the sheets
that mum would change and wash each week.
It was dark unwelcome hair that started
to curl up in my groin and armpits -
it was wishing I was and wasn’t Parfitt
and a musky scent hung in the street
where Jane lived, hoping for a glimpse
of legs released from white cotton socks.
It was showing off in front of birds,
a blush, a stammer, it was all but words.
Last edited by ray miller on Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Parfitt

Post by twoleftfeet » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:11 am

A very difficult topic to handle, Ray, but I think that you've managed to pull it off.

I can't really see anything to pick at, but for the sake of critting:

Perhaps when the topping had been ate,
underneath might please an exotic palate.


- I was expecting "the underneath" to match "the topping". Would "the base" work? ("tripods" and all that..)

cankerous bud
- I struggled with "bud", tbh.

Great read, that resonated with this reader.
Geoff

I don't recollect any Parfitts at my school - probably because the showers were way too cold.
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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Re: Parfitt

Post by Ros » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:26 pm

Enjoyable read, Ray. I felt this stood out as awkward and with the wrong stresses:

Perhaps when the topping had been ate,
underneath might please an exotic palate.

Agree with Geoff that a bud oozing is, well, weird.

Ros
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Re: Parfitt

Post by David2 » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:06 pm

Very good. My only quibble is the same one that Geoff and Ros have. (I really don't like that "ate", but perhaps that's colloquial round your parts. Geographically speaking, I mean)

I might remark that puberty was, indeed, a bugger, but that could be misconstrued.

Cheers

David

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Re: Parfitt

Post by ray miller » Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:04 pm

Thanks, Geoff, Ros, David.
twoleftfeet wrote:A very difficult topic to handle, Ray, but I think that you've managed to pull it off.


Marvellous, Geoff. Thanks especially for the pizza base, that's great.
Would a bud not ooze? I could use growth, I suppose.
Puberty is wasted on the young.

I really want the poem to end on "wishing that I was and wasn't Parfitt" but I don't know whether to cut the lines after that entirely or work them in further up.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Parfitt

Post by Antcliff » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:48 pm

Enjoyed this, Ray

Those awkward years. Will return to this.

One point (so to speak). Without wishing to go into too much detail, is this right?

"and winked at his enormous cock."

I wonder if you were winking at each other upon seeing it...rather than winking at it? (Did it wink back?)

Seth
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Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
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Re: Parfitt

Post by Cliff » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:46 pm

An excellent and somewhat surprising read, Ray. No crit-matter to offer - Unique subject with such a precise cut to the language leaves little to critique!

Certainly a successful poem, and a very worthwhile read!

~ Cliff
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Re: Parfitt

Post by Travis » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:58 pm

ray miller wrote: I really want the poem to end on "wishing that I was and wasn't Parfitt" but I don't know whether to cut the lines after that entirely or work them in further up.
I vote for the latter. My favorite part is:

Puberty was...
a musky scent hung in the street
where Jane lived, hoping for a glimpse
of legs released from white cotton socks.
It was showing off in front of birds,
a blush, a stammer, it was all but words.
There's only one rule in street and bar fights: maximum violence, instantly. (Martin Amis, "Money")

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Re: Parfitt

Post by Macavity » Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:02 am

It was showing off in front of birds,
a blush, a stammer, it was all but words.
I think that ending is ok - though maybe the 'blush/stammer' thing is theatre - and is 'it was all but words' a little familiar with Hamlet's 'words, words, words' .

it was wishing I was and wasn’t Parfitt
The plain writing of that, the expression of ambivalent frustration, the coupling of narrator and Parfitt feels a stronger concluding realisation.
and a musky scent hung in the street
where Jane lived, hoping for a glimpse
of legs released from white cotton socks.
Agreed. Don't lose those lines.

' pizza head' - kids just don't muck about with being pc!

cheers

mac

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Re: Parfitt

Post by Elphin » Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:30 am

Hello Ray

An interesting read. I wish Geoff hadn't said you "pulled it off" - in fact not that i am prudish but that whole section didn't work for me. It takes the poem away from Parfitt and his/the writers pursuit of women/Jane.

If it were me (and it's not) I think I would go from the line about woman discovering Parfitt to the lines on Jane and then end as others say with wishing you were and we're not Parfitt.

Mostly agree with the others specific points too.

Difficult subject well handled

elph

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Re: Parfitt

Post by twoleftfeet » Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:05 pm

Elphin wrote:Hello Ray

An interesting read. I wish Geoff hadn't said you "pulled it off" - in fact not that i am prudish but that whole section didn't work for me. It takes the poem away from Parfitt and his/the writers pursuit of women/Jane.

If it were me (and it's not) I think I would go from the line about woman discovering Parfitt to the lines on Jane and then end as others say with wishing you were and we're not Parfitt.

Mostly agree with the others specific points too.

Difficult subject well handled

elph
Elph,
My choice of words is, I think, entirely in keeping with the piece. :)

I agree with Travis about retaining the current ending.
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

ray miller
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Re: Parfitt

Post by ray miller » Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:28 pm

Thanks all.
Seth - winked at in both senses, I suppose, but mostly conspiratorially.
I'm still not sure about the ending - I like them both!
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Parfitt

Post by David Smedley » Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:56 pm

Ray, I liked this tale of angst and such.
Puberty was purgatory, a cankerous bud
oozing out of me on to handkerchiefs,
flannels and toilet seats, it fouled the sheets
that mum would change and wash each week
It was an exercise to imagine the different excretions, and the orifices they could be emitted from to stain such a varied list.

Something that struck me as slighly off was the use of the words cock and then later white socks, it made me think of the age of the person using both of them. cock seems a more grown up word.

Enjoyed the whole..D

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Re: Parfitt

Post by twoleftfeet » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:59 am

David Smedley wrote: Something that struck me as slighly off was the use of the words cock and then later white socks, it made me think of the age of the person using both of them. cock seems a more grown up word.
DavidS,
I think N's voice is that of an adult looking back.
Anyway, I don't see a problem with the word "cock".


I've just remembered that, when I was a walking zit growbag I took sulphur tablets to "clean the blood".
You can't go wrong with brimstone! (I declined the offer of fire)
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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Re: Parfitt

Post by ray miller » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:44 am

David Smedley wrote:Ray, I liked this tale of angst and such.
Puberty was purgatory, a cankerous bud
oozing out of me on to handkerchiefs,
flannels and toilet seats, it fouled the sheets
that mum would change and wash each week
It was an exercise to imagine the different excretions, and the orifices they could be emitted from to stain such a varied list.

Something that struck me as slighly off was the use of the words cock and then later white socks, it made me think of the age of the person using both of them. cock seems a more grown up word.

Enjoyed the whole..D
Thanks David S - the secretions in that passage are all the same, same orifice too. As Geoff says, it's an adult looking back. By puberty "cock" was probably the most used word. Not really getting your point about white socks.

Geoff - and did the sulphur tablets work? Did you just smell like bad eggs?
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Parfitt

Post by twoleftfeet » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:55 am

ray miller wrote: Geoff - and did the sulphur tablets work? Did you just smell like bad eggs?
Yes, they worked! (It could have been psycho-sematic, of course). They came in clear plastic bags, just like sweets -
in fact they looked like love-hearts!
Bad eggs would probably have been an improvement on normal BO.
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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