“Resentment – the Terrible Spites”

Resentment  – The Terrible Spites

You can die by inches
as well as
feet. You can die even
by centimeters.
When you swallow
a sword, the trim blade’s
width can slice ribbed
gullet, currette deep
gorge, and spike all that climbs up
from that crooked choke
with bile.  Take care, take
care; if you would not fall/
gall/gash yourself again, you must learn
to digest cold steel.


Here’s a draft poem which is my very late (and rather grim) offering for dVerse Poets Pub’s Open Link Night, hosted by the wonderful Natasha Head.  I am also linking to Imperfect Prose (though it’s not prose) hosted by Emily Wierenga.  

Check out dVerse for great online poetry, and check out my books:  Poetry, GOING ON SOMEWHERE, (by Karin Gustafson, illustrated by Diana Barco). 1 Mississippi -counting book for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms, or Nose Dive, a very fun novel that is perfect for a pool or beachside escape.  Nose Dive is available on Kindle for just 99 cents!

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48 Comments on ““Resentment – the Terrible Spites””

  1. Mary Says:

    I hear you! Resentment can eat a person alive. And yes, I think sometimes a person must learn to digest cold steel for one’s own good, as the alternative is bleak!

  2. apshilling Says:

    a tough lesson to learn
    but when explained with a sword in the throat

    i’m all ears and tonsils

    and tears


  3. brian miller Says:

    ugh…one reason i gave up sword swallowing at a young age…smiles…resentment though will tear you up…and spill out into everything…hard stuff…

  4. Jody Lee Collins Says:

    reminds me of the Scripture about ‘not letting a root of bitterness take hold.’ “It’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” they say.

    hmmmmm….keep it far away from me Lord. Grim but spot on Karin.

  5. janehewey Says:

    oooh, are you warming up for Halloween? Seriously, this one cuts, really cuts right in. Resentment is painfully powerful. cold steel. so very perfect. curette – i had to look it up- is a gorgeous word.

  6. A very tight write for resentment. It has an edge!

  7. claudia Says:

    ugh…grim write indeed k. – hope things brighten up soon for you..and yeah…sometimes it’s just centimeters or even millimeters..

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks – it’s not really autobiographical! Though I certainly know the feelings. But thanks, Claudia. I am hoping to have some kind of break soon from work, but not quite sure when that will be!

  8. grim but true…must learn to digest cold steel….very taut, very sharp…enjoyed it much..thanks..

  9. Loving the ‘grimness’ ~ coldly dark

  10. hobgoblin2011 Says:

    outstanding. Love the atmosphere, the lines, the language used and the placement of the phrasing. Great read. Thanks

  11. festivalking Says:

    lol! its grim alright… but I like! 🙂

  12. Pat Hatt Says:

    Ouch, that would be sharp and hurt coming out haha, but yeah have to learn to stomach it and keep on going.

  13. ayala Says:

    Resentment is a poison that destroys….

  14. My first thought was..its perfect for Halloween ~

    Resentment in the form of sword or cold blade ~ I like it K ~

  15. Steve King Says:

    Yes, resentment allows the the resented to continue controlling the resented. Sometimes it’s best to swallow hard and move on. And grim is okay

  16. hedgewitch Says:

    Sometimes grim is just realistic. It’s valuable to me that the poem internalizes the pain and not externalizes it–comes to grips with it, even if that means cutting deep into the fingers(or gullet.) An especially wise offering, k.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks so much. So nice to hear from you and hope you are resting up, or at least clearing away some of what accumulates with a steady pace of posts. For me, it’s a bit like amyloid plaque! That never shows in any of your work, but I hope you are having a nice break. k.

      • hedgewitch Says:

        Laughing at the plaque! It is indeed insidious. I’m mostly just tired, and as you know, there’s a good tired, when you write almost automagically, and a bad tired, when you don’t care if you ever write again–this one is sort of in between. But I am really enjoying the break, and getting some things done on other fronts. I would never be too tired to read your poetry though, I hope.

  17. Sagacious and engaging work, one I will come back to.

  18. PJF Sayers Says:

    Karin, you have defined resentment all too well here. Dark, but engaging write.


  19. Myrna Says:

    First of all, wish my drafts were half this good. Secondly, yikes – this the best description of resentment I’ve ever heard. It does cut out our insides. Don’t want to swallow that knife.

  20. Nourishing resentment, un-forgiveness are definitely self-destructive. Well-expressed, Karin.

  21. I like the idea of internalizing steel. I could use a steel gut these days. Haven’t sorted why I’ve had gi problems for a year..tests yield nought – diagnosis is nerves, anxiety. Probly just old age, I’m guessing! I like the metaphoric use of this. Sharp and properly angled.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks. And now to unasked-for medical advice: I am close to people who’ve had to give up gluten and found that it made a huge difference digestively. They had eaten it for years with no problems and did not think of it as an issue, but found that it really helped with this type of thing! So sorry that you have discomfort. k.

  22. Morbid and garish–I rather like this nicely woven little tale. Would not want to be swallowing anything that sharp, whether literal or figurative! Well penned.

  23. poemsofhateandhope Says:

    F**kin love this! Some real bite here Karin! But a good message…anger/spite can come back to bite you…to cut the hand that wields the sword….I know it well…this is a BEAUT!!!!!

  24. Ravenblack Says:

    Yes, the discomfort — why does one do it? Such awful suffering to self. Very well expressed in the poem.

  25. tara Says:

    “You can die by inches” – honest, true, grit spoken here.

  26. i love the gentle yet firm caution, “take care, take care”…

  27. your topic rings the bell loudly to too many.
    powerful talent.

  28. danadampier Says:

    Wow, I love this poem! I also have swallowed that sword before, but hope never to do it again.

  29. oludascribe Says:

    Resentment aint no picnic basket . It’s like picking up a hot prong intending to clobber the person over the head but ur skin in burning away while the person is not arriving at all ;having fun wherever it is they are. This was nice.

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