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African violets

by Bradd Howard

"Violence is never the key"
maybe I don't want to open anything.

maybe I just want to kiss your bruise colored lips
and watch the welts bloom all over your body.

your eyes were the color of violets
and looking into them I know that violence is not far behind.

we claw at air and each other
trying to climb one another, to conquer
trying to see who will be the one to stand
at the top looking down

knowing we just barely survived.

06/24/2005

Author's Note: for garrick

Posted on 06/24/2005
Copyright © 2020 Bradd Howard

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Rula Shin on 06/24/05 at 06:25 PM

""Violence is never the key" maybe I don't want to open anything" - what an intruiging way to open, very suggestive of what is to come, the desire to conquer, the fulfillment of the basic will to power, "maybe I just want to kiss your bruise colored lips and watch the welts bloom all over your body" - the imagery is very well done, I especially like the paradox image of "blooming bruise" which contains a duality of opposing poles, love and hate, beauty and ugliness, growth and descent. Despite the state of mind of the subject, I find a voice that does not attempt to justify or to make excuses. There is only the surrender to this basic urge without any glorification sought, "we claw at air and each other trying to climb one another, to conquer" and the notion that even "knowing we just barely survived" cannot change the instinct for "violence" when the ache of beauty becomes much too much to bear...where the violet manifests into "violence...not far behind". That's what I saw. This is a well written poem with a tone that reflects the very blindness of our human nature. Nicely done!! :-)

Posted by Morgan D Hafele on 06/28/05 at 10:47 PM

amazing! the second stanza, "...kiss your bruise colored lips" holy crap! it took my breath away. wonderful piece! thank you for sharing.

Posted by Karl Waldbauer on 06/29/05 at 06:12 AM

Is this about sex or is it about life? Oh well, it doesn't matter since they are so inclusive of each other anyway. Wonderful work here, Bradd.

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