Some Poems Brimming with Negative Emotions

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  1. Robin Layne profile image73
    Robin Layneposted 14 years ago

    Wesleycox has inspired me to share some of my poetry on the forums, not to mention create more Hubs that continue my series on personal experience love stories with poems. On one of his threads he expressed some strong negative emotions in a good poem, and someone thought it was about his experiences in the service, I believe. That made me want to share the following poem, which combines the military imagery of a man "over there" with the emotional struggles of a woman on the homefront.
    Let me know what you think, and if the subject, style, or imagery of the poems I post in this thread remind you of any of your own that you think are worth sharing, you may post it here or provide the link.

    No Youth-in-Asia
    by Robin Layne

    I have no skin;
    I don't know when
    (perhaps once in my sleep)
    the enemy shaved it off and hung me
    upside down
    outside a town
    whose name was strange upon the tongue they've severed.

    If you touch me
    I will scream.
    Don't think that I'm a dem-
    on or I do not want a friend;
    It's just the raw nerve end-

    The circles will not leave me;
    What I have been I see always ahead.
    I am sorry
    my smitten tongue slips out such gloom.
    Should I hide within my room
    and hope the searing sleeps?
    Ever on the cross and never resurrected,
    called to get a vision
    at the altar I just weep.

    A man in this torment asked to be shot
    And was,
    But woman that I am,
    only my writhing body hangs between my little child
    and Hell.

    I realize it's melodramatic, but when I go through hypersenstive periods, that's how things feel. I want to know if the poem is understandable, what you think it's saying, and whether the style and title work, in your opinion. Once people have posted answers to these questions, I'll give more on the poem's background. I put that off to see how well it stands on its own.

    1. Beata Stasak profile image81
      Beata Stasakposted 14 years agoin reply to this
  2. wesleycox profile image70
    wesleycoxposted 14 years ago

    This is very good Robin, I think you are talking about a lost soldier and the pain the woman feels. 

    By the way, AEvans was completely wrong about the inspiration for my poem. 

    My poem is not about going to war.  My poem is about the loss of my love and the dissolution of my marriage.

    Thank you for mentioning me and I am glad that I have inspired you to write your poems as they are very good.

  3. Robin Layne profile image73
    Robin Layneposted 14 years ago

    Actually, I wrote that one a long time ago, as with most of my poetry. You inspired me to post it, not to write it, lol. Yes, I understand that your friend was mistaken about the subject matter of yours. But it was that mistake that made me think of this one.

    Now I will tell you that the soldier story is true. I heard it in a group at an international Christian ministry. A man shared that when in Vietnam, his company came across a man the enemy had skinned and hung up, and they had cut out his tongue. It is just as my poem describes it. Later, I identified with the skinless man when I was hypersensitive. "It's just the raw nerve end-ings." I usually don't cut word in half at the end of lines, but the bluntness felt right in this one and provided a semblance of rhyme. I believe it helps the idea of being cut.

    I've fiddled with the idea of making a collection of poems called "Skinless," but it hasn't really come together. I'm liking combining poetry with prose that puts it into more of a context, and to that end I'm making a zine called "Turtle Soup: On Finding My Voice" at this time. "No Youth-in-Asia" is one of the poems in it.

    What did you think of the title? It has a double meaning, just as the poem deals with two people. Do you think it's too "cute" for serious subject matter? It pretty much just came to me when I wrote the poem, and it clicked for me.

  4. wesleycox profile image70
    wesleycoxposted 14 years ago

    The title.  I completely missed the double meaning.  I focused on the actual words and didn't put it together for uthenasia (?)

    I actually don't know what that word means off the top of my head.

    1. Daniel Carter profile image64
      Daniel Carterposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      This is WAY good stuff, Robin.
      Man alive, keep 'em coming!

      The double entendre in the title is brilliant suits it perfectly.
      The idea of being skinned and all those exposed nerve endings is an extremely powerful metaphor for the skinning alive of the mind--the suffering.

      LOVE IT!

  5. Robin Layne profile image73
    Robin Layneposted 14 years ago

    Thank you, Daniel!

    Wesley, euthanasia is mercy killing. The skinned man somehow indicated that he wanted to be put out of his misery, so a fellow soldier shot him.
    I was not a youth in Asia like him--nor could I afford to be euthanized, like he was. I might have been in so much emotional pain that I wanted to die, but for the sake of my child, who had no one else, I hung on and took care with my life instead of walking in front of a truck or something.
    Fortunately, I have not felt that kind of pain for a long time.

  6. Robin Layne profile image73
    Robin Layneposted 14 years ago

    Is there really no way to cut something out of Word and paste it on the forum? It's a hassle to retype something, especially when I go from a computer file instead of hard copy. I don't feel like making a hub out of this--at least not right now. "Depressing poetry" doesn't sound like a good topic for one.

    This next poem deals somewhat with Wesley's poem's subject matter. I don't think it's brilliant. I wrote it as a teenager. But at least it's short. I originally titled it "The Demon Inside of Me" (I have a flair for the dramatic), but didn't want people to think I was actually possessed.


    He brews, he shouts, he kicks about
    and strikes back at the air,
    He cares not whom he mars with words,
    He has no room for care,
    With infinite impatience waits
    for one thing that doesn't please him,
    then the entire world he hates,
    the fire of rage, who can ease him?
    What makes him so vengeful?
    Perhaps it was he fell
    from a spot he thought he well deserved,
    an important place in hell.
    Where is this thing, where does it live?
    It's hard to bear, but true:
    This "demon" lives inside of me,
    It's only exterminator:

    The change of title also saves a possible surprise for the end, when it answers where this thing lives.

  7. cindyleedavis profile image58
    cindyleedavisposted 14 years ago

    ok, your writing on the skinning someone alive is a little eerie
    when you first read it, (it reminded me of Peter being hung on the cross upside down) was that on purpose?  be glad that the negative emotions are only coming out in writing and no other way.
    It is ok to write with negative emotions, as long as you don't live in them. However, I do like writing in positive emotions much better. As far as anger is concerned, we all have anger "demons" inside of us; I like your choice of words to describe
    anger. It is very appropriate. Keep writing.

  8. Robin Layne profile image73
    Robin Layneposted 14 years ago

    Thanks, Cindy. Hmm, well, I don't know that I was trying to be eerie, whatever you mean by that. If you read my explanation above, I was describing a real event I heard about. And since I was speaking of suffering damage, not of inflicting it, there's no problem about the emotions "coming out" outside of the writing. As for the anger poem, I really was acting out some of those out-of-control things; that was the point. I didn't want to, but the rage came out. Did you read Wesley's poem on the other thread? He described anger with more graphic pictures than my poem "Anger" did.
    And yes, I do write positive poems, too, plenty of them, and mixed positive and negative. But a lot of the times I write poems it's for catharsis. When I'm happy, I'm more likely to do other things, like sing or write songs, or hug people. I just wanted to be more specific with this thread, inspired by what Wesleycox posted.

  9. profile image0
    philip carey 61posted 14 years ago

    It's quite good, Robin. I'm going to read some of your other stuff.

  10. privateye2500 profile image41
    privateye2500posted 14 years ago

    The beginning:
    I have no skin;
    I don't know when
    (perhaps once in my sleep)
    the enemy shaved it off and hung me
    upside down
    outside a town
    whose name was strange upon the tongue they've severed.

    If you touch me
    I will scream.
    Don't think that I'm a dem-
    on or I do not want a friend;
    It's just the raw nerve end-

    The beginning immediately made me think of Africa and what is and has been going on there for so long.  After that, the poem changes and I got lost because of the vision i had given to it.  My own meaning to the *visual*

    so...for me - it was confusing; like changing the channel in the middle of a song.

      Of course going back and re-reading it - it fell together somewhat better for me - taking out what i had *thought* its meaning was...the meaning that just popped into my head.

    for me, poetry isn't something i want to have to re-read to understand; to *get* the point...  if this is somehow *Wrong* in the poetry world, oh well....

    you asked for opinions and that is mine.

    for me - to say - buy a book of poetry - it has to **f~l~o~w~~ and this didn't flow for me.

    Best regards, M/

  11. Beata Stasak profile image81
    Beata Stasakposted 14 years ago

    Your poem resonates in me and made me think about the person I loved who suddenly died in my arms. I have to admit I do not concentrate on words or style, I just 'imagine' the poem and listen to it as a wonderful piece of imaginative music. I believe there is no bad or good poem, just poem who 'talks to you' and you can relate to and one you don't.

    I would like to share my poems with you: … onnections

    I have also started to write short stories:

  12. pioneer_writer5 profile image57
    pioneer_writer5posted 14 years ago

    Wow! You speak to me. When I read your work, it took me back to a dark time in my life. The dissolution of my marriage.  Feelings of torture and pain rolled over me, and I remember how close to the edge of oblivion I was. It was the fact that my loss was a shared one (with my children) that kept me just teetering but never falling in.


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