GloPoWriMo Day 11: In the Style of Marvin Bell’s The Dead Man Poems

Painting house in the snow

The Old Woman With No Cat #1

1. About the Power of Perspective

the old woman with no cat
rests her right hand on her hip looks out the kitchen window
      and stares down the street
she shifts her weight and rests her left hand on her hip
looks out the kitchen window
      and stares down the street

this window lacks perspective on back pain
      or so thinks the old woman with no cat


2. More About the Old Woman and Perspective

the old woman with no cat is making bread
it occupies her entire morning it’s slow to rise
slower than her hip joint rising
slower than her left knee
the old woman has no perspective on what’s
      under the sofa she lost sight of that
      years ago
the knee won’t bend
she lost her car in a carpark once
knees couldn’t care less about bread
she holds the boule up to the kitchen window
the house across the street vanishes
      behind its breadth

this boule is bigger than a house
      or so thinks the old woman with no cat


Experimental poetry in the style of The Dead Man poems by Marvin Bell. Image from Wikioo: The Cat-eyed House by Ashtabula Harbor (1893-1967) Public Domain. #1 is inspired by Writers’ Digest PA Day 11: Power (of perspective in this case), and #2 Napowrimo Day 11: Big. ©Misky 2022 Shared with #amwriting #glopowrimo #napowrimo on Twitter

24 responses to “GloPoWriMo Day 11: In the Style of Marvin Bell’s The Dead Man Poems”

  1. Oh wonderful!!! I really love this poem. Perspective … yes. And catlessness. And knees. And I had to look up boule. Another new word today along with skerry.

    Like

    1. Thank you! I had to look up skerry. 😂

      Like

  2. Your last bit reminds me of Father Ted.

    Like

    1. Funny thing, I’ve never seen it on telly.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was going to say, everybody needs a cat, but your last line jogged my memory.

        FT used to be required viewing before we went to the pub on a Friday night.

        Like

        1. The cats around here fight as if it’s Moggyadishu … and then they get flattened by cars as they try to flee.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. We have two here. He is large, mostly asleep, and interested only in mice and food. She is small and mean.

            Like humans, really.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Rentokil on legs.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d forgotten about The Dead Man Poems, but I’m very grateful to you for writing this OUT-friggin’-STANDING reminder. Your catless, achy old lady is perfectly portrayed, and (even though I, too, had to look up boule) now I’m even more envious of your effort (and success) here, Misky. WHAMMO!

    Like

    1. I am a newbie to The Dead Man poems, and I’m grateful to Barbara_Y for the introduction. I might be obsessed with them now. I love that Bell says no one should read more than one a day, or perhaps a few lines at most. Thanks for reading it, Ron!

      Like

  4. I’m a woman with two cats, which puts me at an advantage. I know that pain, though.Love this, Marilyn!

    Like

    1. Thanks so much, Kim!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this! It’s all about where you’re standing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is indeed, Xan!

      Like

  6. This is so quirky, I love it. It’s such a great idea to define someone by something they don’t possess. Works really well.

    Like

    1. ps: If you’ve not read The Dead Man poems, try to find time to do so. The link is https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/marvin-bell and the poems are at the bottom of the page.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. I will.

        Like

  7. Wow. I simply love this.
    There’s something particularly wonderful about this line:
    “knees couldn’t care less about bread ”

    Heading over to read some Dead Man poems now. Thank you!

    Like

    1. Thanks, De! Glad you like it.

      Like

  8. Lovely piece lit with humour and pathos. The repetition in the first stanza – ‘rests her right/left hand on her hip’ succinctly speaks of chronic pain and the boule play in the second of an eccentricity that the solitary develop when they don’t have a cat for perspective.

    Like

    1. Thank you, Peter. I’m finding these an entertaining challenge.

      Like

  9. Way to Dead! Great conclusion

    Like

    1. Thanks, b. I’d worked on this one off and on all day.

      Like

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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

%d bloggers like this: