Monday, January 22, 2007

The Poem as Autobiography

If I say my father made me stroke his dick
when I was five, would you believe me? If I say
he didn't make me stroke and suck his dick, would you
believe me then? And if I say I wished he did,
would you applaud my honesty, or condemn it,
though I've said nothing while saying something of it?


Rob said...

Well, you're getting to the heart of the matter, Jee, as regards a reader's response to poetry.

Do you need the last line? You maybe do - just an initial response.

Jee Leong Koh said...

Hi Rob,
thanks. Yeah, I'm not sure about the last line either, whether it should go, or change.


Larry said...


I do applaud your boldness, and yet - I don't see you striking a balance here between the boldness and the neccessity to be bold. In contrast to normal gay sex (or straight sex for that matter), incest and child abuse (I'll use this term technically without attaching judgemant for the moment) touch upon very deep tabboos and have great personal implications. To see them used in what seems on the surface to be a flippant manner is jarring, and the totally elusive position you take gives it that flippant feeling. The question of poetry as biography does not demand a shock to demonstrate it, and one looks for another justification but doesn't find it.

On a workmanship level, I think rhyme would add a lot, and give the bald language some needed contrast.

Also, I was bothered by the addition of "and suck" as you repeat the proposed confession.

I don't really see the point of the second question at all. The third question with its final line I actually find quite thought-provoking.

All the best,