The Cleave Poetry Webzine [ISSN: 1758-9223]

Cleave poem by Phuoc-Tan Diep

In submission on September 22, 2008 at 5:13 am

Steak and red wine

_______________The sirens whine-flames flash
_____and lights slice through smoke-
heavy with the smell of steak
shrouding bodies littering the ground-
charred at the edges.
__The policeman stalks a straight line-
I swallow, I gulp
_____________________I wobble,-
______________booze on my breath-
red wine
______________and guilt in my guts-
trying to conceal burnt meat.

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    1. Phuoc-Tan,

      Your cleave is wonderfully triple! Both sides have a meaning of their own both of which merge into the third.

      Only someone who has tried to do it will appreciate what an accomplishment your poem is! You’ve certainly employed the features of the cleave to good advantage, including the word “cleave” so appropriate to butchered and charred meat.

      When used well, the cleave poem can express dark and disorienting feelings of dismemberment and psychic splits. Its form also lends itself to Alice in Wonderland nonsense and playfulness. When not used well it seems just another gimmick.

      You’ve used it very well indeed! Diana


    2. Thanks Diana
      this one had about 6 months of gestation!

    3. This is one of the most interesting creations I’ve read all year. Its unique, vivid and a story poem. Love it.

    4. it’s new format for me but I think of it as two viewpoint in one – though it can be read as two separate poems, though I rather not try to think what it all means

    5. brilliant in form and content — a chef of words

    6. jeez. this is very intricate, i may just have to go try one of these myself right about now. imagine if there was some rhyming element to this, that would be a piece of work, indeed!

      wonderful idea. glad i came across it, this may be the impetus i need to get the juices flowing again. Thank you my friend.


    7. cleAving it
      —for k. m. ryan

      imagine—being able
      forgetting—to do
      doing it—doing it now
      writing it—cleaving it
      intuiting it—the hyphens
      now—your guides

    8. Mr. Diep…fantastic! Well done, Sir. Peace be upon you. D.C. Massey

    9. Thank you for all who have checked out this cleave poem.
      Trying to create 3 poems in one is not that difficult, it is great fun and pushes my mind further, increases my poetic skill.
      I love the way the individual poems are synergistic and how a word can mean multiple things, which is what I love about poetry in general.

      As for rhyme, check out this cleaved limerick:

    10. Hey bro, nice one.

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