PLACEBO HUSBAND

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PLACEBO HUSBAND

Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:27 pm

Started out to be backseat driver wife talking to husband at the wheel... Took a detour somewhere between pen and paper.  What do you see?  All suggestions appreciated.  Dewell

PLACEBO HUSBAND

Hat askew left, rakish,
Monochromatic attire,
Madison Avenue smile,
Nodding politely to the cashier,
Exact change for yogurt,
I thought him an ideal husband.

Not so, explained his wife
When he crumpled a fender
Backing out of the parking lot.

She said he is:
A harmless placeholder with a
Weak will offset by stubbornness.
A poor man with rich taste who
Has a past not worth hiding and often
Mistakes his shadow for himself.

She thinks of him as her future EX,
But he probably wouldn't survive
Without her prodding, nagging
And giving him his daily placebos.

Dewell H. Byrd

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Dewell, I really messed with your poem.

Post  Pat on Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:05 am

I don't have the same form you do with caps on each line, but here is how it came out.  Just consider it as another way.  I tried to weed it. Hope I didn't change your meaning. I'm not sure about the title.  This is HER point of view, her reality.  At the end, I wonder if he is on a big antidepressant.  Also, I thought of James Thurber and his couples.  I always laugh at those.  Big women, little guys.  Guys are always thought small by their wives.  The guys often have the last say and have fascinating inner worlds.  I have not read one of his short stories in a  long time, but oh, how memorable.  Because your wife-person thinks she knows it all and presents things as so-so, I went for 4 line stanzas.  Forgive me if I totally messed up here.  I'm just playing with your poem.




PLACEBO HUSBAND

Hat askew left, rakish,
Monochromatic attire,
Madison Avenue smile,
Nodding politely to the cashier.

His wife takes a different view.
She sees him as a harmless placeholder

with a weak will,
offset by stubbornness.


She tells me he is a poor man
with rich taste, has a past
not worth hiding and often
mistakes his shadow for himself.

Her picture is of a future EX,
But she wonders how he’d survive
Without her prodding, nagging,
giving him his daily placebos.

Dewell H. Byrd

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Re: PLACEBO HUSBAND

Post  Karen on Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:02 pm

I like this viewpoint, Dewell.  If I didn't know, I would first think the writer female.  And I do mean that as a compliment.

Like Pat, I want to batten down the hatches.

The stanza about the crumpled fender threw me.  I'm pretty sure the wife is telling us about a past event.  I don't think it's something that happens in real time in the poem.

Idea.  Omit that stanza.  Stanza 3 is a one-liner "She said he is" (no colon).  Then the next 2 stanzas are a list of his faults and shortcomings.  Which reveals HER great weakness.  Pettiness.

Good one, Dewell.
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Dramatic situation

Post  tsukany on Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:06 am

Dewell

I suffer from an unclear dramatic situation.  The "I" in the poem throws me.  It was difficult for me to place all three parties in the same place.  Why is the persona talking to the wife?  Was the husband able to hear all the ranting?

It seems that Pat's version has focused the players in the poem down to two.
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She bit the hand that fed her

Post  Ben Johnson on Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:34 pm

Dewell,  I like the thought process you introduce. You have the he and she and nails how different thinkers we are.  What about introducing each with something like He saw:  She saw: and from there go into their descriptions and points of view.
Todd has a point about getting too many characters involved in the poem. It can distract from the point you are making. Good poem.

Ben Johnson
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