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the Flowerstains

by Steven Kenworthy

the flowerstains are a family who are not afraid of diving. the flowerstains
are a family who are not afraid of living.


on any given day they are taking everything and giving everything
they are fighting every temptation to sit still
they are scared to die while still verymuch alive

inside the mind of a flowerstain is a thing of pain and joy
every good gift has a giver and receiver and sometimes, the best
ones are nightmares had when asleep. sometimes awake,
sometimes you have to grow from misery.

inside the heart of a flowerstain is a knife embroidered with
love. people will use a weapon like tough love
to put you in your place and then you could maybe learn how to actually
burn.

they are all well versed in measuring a chest's beating.


you don't take a flowerstain to the game and not have a heavy
breathing time. you don't have to have your hands all over the body
but maybe just have your feelings in the air mixing with theirs and
seeing where that goes.

11/30/2008

Author's Note: they crash in fields...not so much like burning planes


i realize this poem will generate very little popularity, but it means so much to me.

Posted on 11/30/2008
Copyright © 2020 Steven Kenworthy

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Anne Engelen on 11/30/08 at 09:00 AM

Thank you for making me feel understood. Your poem was able to do this while so many, even the ones closest to me never could. It's a great feeling to find it here in your words.

Posted by A. Paige White on 11/30/08 at 06:18 PM

The first line of this harked back to your author's note in Glaciers, to me. I enjoyed this most for filling in the spaces of inspiration to a previous work that I found so very timely to what I was living at that moment. "nightmares had when asleep. sometimes awake, sometimes you have to grow from misery." Like birthing babies, some of our deepest joys are pain filled at the inception of imminent arrival. My favorite line, "they are all well versed in measuring a chestís beating." so wonderfully primitive in dualistic imagery. The tarzan-like and the heartbeat of the still, living as a measurement. I love it all, Worthy.

Posted by Laurie Blum on 11/30/08 at 09:12 PM

You delve into the dichotomy of personality with an artist's touch... Ahh to be a Flowerstain. This actually could be a series of poems.

Posted by Nanette Bellman on 11/30/08 at 09:46 PM

sk, you are a pure genius. you really are. you're talented beyond your years. "people will use a weapon like tough love to put you in your place is my favorite line.

Posted by Christina Bruno on 12/01/08 at 03:33 AM

Sk, you have done it again. pure brilliant, profound, and meaningful. i haven't met a flowerstain yet, who are they?

Posted by Anita Mac on 12/01/08 at 04:11 AM

This is stunning. I'm only the 32nd person to say as much. Seriously, though... It's just scattered enough to fit perfectly. Flowerstain... love it.

Posted by Laura Doom on 12/01/08 at 12:13 PM

Hmm - edgy stuff. The Flowerstains, it seems, could go either way, but invariably choose neither*. The dichotomy of paranoid epistasis...that's what I like about this kind of writing - the reader can get it right or wrong and it still both makes sense and is beyond reason :)
Living and diving - intriguing variation on a bipolar theme (perhaps).
*I try to ignore author notes

Posted by Meghan Helmich on 12/01/08 at 01:47 PM

i agree a lot with rachel's first comment. i feel like there's a lot here that i'm just not picking up, but it's there. sometimes your author's notes add so much.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 12/02/08 at 03:32 PM

I have pressed many a flower, flat and still and dried to a feather touch - you have added another dimension to my preserving of flower and color and taken me into abandon and no fear of what petals might do along the way. Well done.

Posted by Frankie Sanchez on 12/02/08 at 11:12 PM

every good gift has a giver and receiver and sometimes, the best / ones are nightmares -- this is an amazing truth. i am better for reading your work.

Posted by Tony Whitaker on 12/05/08 at 04:57 AM

Flowerstains, never to look the same, to me, again. Wonderfully poetic!

Posted by Megan Guimbellot on 12/07/08 at 08:08 PM

I've been away from your library for far too long!! you've been busy crafting deliciousness while i was away....you never disappoint, this is as stunning as always.

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