Shawna at Rosemary Mint offered the following words for her Monday Melting: tremble, prickly, lurch, asparagus, blackout, copper, scaly, smudge, skewer, sift, membrane, slaughter. She also linked to some of Margaret Atwood’s Poetry. Girl without Hands, especially the last stanza, inspired this piece.


“…you can’t hold it,
you can’t hold any of it.”
Margaret Atwood from Girl Without Hands

No Margaret,
I shall stay away from your
If I am to be touched by
one that knows me —
knows what has happened —
then I want to feel it.
I want the prickly, trembling
meat must experience
as it is skewered and set
on the flames.

There must be feeling to
accompany the touch,
else simply sift me
through the membrane of
toss me out with the chaff
as was desired of Peter;
assign me to polish
the smudges from the
scaly copper skin of the
Dragon of Judgement.

Allow me to feel the
of the one that knows,
connection and meaning.
 denial of contact would
be torturous —
rather, blackout my vision
and leave me to lurch blind
with the ignorant
herds, blissful to the


Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

39 responses to “Touch

  1. Shawna

    I love this and would have never in a million years considered the comparison: “I want the prickly, trembling feel dead meat must experience as we skewer it”

    But this is my favorite: “I shall stay away from your girl. If I am to be touched by one that knows me, knows what has happened, then I want to feel it.”

    I like the eyeballs being gouged out as well. Really nice surprise for me at the end. 😉

  2. This is GOOD, Mark, dark but in a deep thought provoking way! I liked this part a lot…”else simply sift me
    through the membrane of


  3. leahJlynn

    Brilliant use of words and very metaphoric. I enjoyed this.

  4. Whew. Intense, Mark. Intense. 😉 LOVE that first sentence!

  5. That ending is dramatic, and jolting.

    coal (fireblossom)

  6. You are growing your poetic self in leaps and bounds, aren’t you? This is quite something. As disturbing as it is, this is my favourite of your poems that I have read.

  7. strong images in this..esp. liked the..the membrane of
    existence…the tossing out with the chaff and the scaly copper skin of the Dragon of Judgement…

  8. want the prickly, trembling
    dead meat must experience
    as we skewer it and set it
    on the flames

    dang i just love that bit there….leave me as an ignorant lamb before the slaughter is a great end as well mark

  9. poemsofhateandhope

    Powerful stuff Mark- quite a combination of words to weave together, yet you’ve constructed something that speaks about friaility, lack of confidence, or maybe something darker, not wanting to be touched in case it awakens something…dark and raw…the imagery defo played to my dark side..(stu mcp)

  10. Must be something in the air about asparagus today. This poem had a dark yet somewhat seductive undercurrent to it.

  11. hobgoblin2011

    really nice assembly of the prompted words. Very cool read. Thanks

  12. Some heavy stuff and great lines in this one, Mark. Like over-cooked steak (you started it!); a little tough, but still steak. In other words, darn good writing!

  13. Yikes… the thought of meat still sensing being skewered…shudders. Some fabulous imagery all through this Mark.

  14. So often, others want to “take care” of things for us. I feel your poem because I too want to touch, to deal with my own life events. Love the phrase Dragon of Judgement and the skewered meat next to the asparagus. Yes, I do feel this poem.

  15. Andrew Kreider

    So many strong images here, Mark. This is very striking. For me, “there must be feeling to accompany touch” occupies the heart of this poem. Thanks for a great piece!

  16. Very dark, but very powerful…I like it!

  17. Potent images, it didn’t feel like an assembled piece from prompt words, nicely done.

  18. Intense and engaging imagery. Spoke to me of alienation and a desire for belonging.

  19. The sensation of taste and texture of that which is cooked (unusual in poetry) seems to be a thread in several poems today. This poem rifles through disturbing images but ultimately is a poem about the divine connection with life and event to be experienced regardless of joy or horrors. The experience is value enough. Interesting and very thought provoking piece.

  20. Uneven Stephen

    Cool poem. Echoing some comments above, I really enjoy the tone and imagery of these lines:

    “I want the prickly, trembling
    dead meat must experience
    as we skewer it and set it
    on the flames next
    to the asparagus”

  21. This very powerful, viscerally tying together so many dimensions of what seems more than sadomasochistic pleasure/replusion. There’s a desire for transcendence that orarches many of the images of cruelty, I think, pulling it together, as you say, into meaning.

  22. Amazing! Love the prosaic asparagus next to the flame followed by the poetic membrane of existence. The emotion grows to the point of blackout–excellently crafted.

  23. Excellent poem for carnivores! I am very impressed with how you used the words!

  24. ooh, very creepily wonderful… I don’t know if you’ve read Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale, but this piece took me right back to that book.
    haunting imagery, great piece!

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s