She had lips in her palms
and, as a result,
could not speak and do at once, and neither
very well,
and whenever she held hands with anyone,
they thought hers clammy
or kissing,
until sick of it,
she excised the lips,
stick too.

But then her palms held only
peeled throats (winnowing to wrists),
that, though speechless, gagged
so raucously, that she held her hands
to her sides at all times thereafter,
often as fists.


A poem of sorts in 80 words for Mama Zen’s prompt Words Count based on a film (Le Sang d’un Poete) by Jean Cocteau. 

Explore posts in the same categories: poetry, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

11 Comments on “Scrape”

  1. I love how you took those disturbing lips and used them as a metaphor.. Silence or silenced, closed fists the signum,

  2. hedgewitch Says:

    A frightening series of images, as so often the surreal is, drawing as it does on the subconscious, its darkness and fears and the cruelty of the human condition, both given and received. The visuals are immediate and stark and the brevity makes for a lance-like impact, taking the message through in a piercing sort of way–as well as being very tactile,(I am seeing stigmata) with lips and stickiness and the closing off a fist always is–really a brilliant take, k.

  3. Mama Zen Says:

    Oooooh! That is creepy. I love it.

  4. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    This is an excellent work of surrealism, Karin. I especially admire the second stanza. It is very well conceived.

  5. This is so good that I don’t even know where to start. The idea of lips on hands brings up all kinds of possibilities. Hands that close, dialogues being cancelled out, handshakes as forced silences… the list goes on. Thanks, I loved this.

    Greetings from London.

  6. Yes, how awkward it would be and your closing is perfect, truly…fists. 🙂

  7. Wow! I can’t choose a favorite part, because I love all of it, but I will say you wrote a killer ending.

  8. M Says:

    elegantly surreal, and food for horror movies. Stephen King would be proud. ~

  9. At first, I imagined what her palm–her mouth–would feel like while she held hands with someone new, and felt terrible for her. Then I started thinking of people who must communicate using sigh language, and hoped… If they can do it, and their words are always silent, this speaker will probably find a way, too… The alternative is too sad… and a bit infuriating, too.

I'd love to hear from you!

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

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: