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A Little Viper

by John G.Hall 

Posted: 30 April 2004
Word Count: 102
Summary: A little confession....

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A Little Viper

A snake rolled in a glass cage days spent
remembering bathing on a hot rivers bend
slid back his white fangs into their jaws hilt.
Evergreen skinned, he warmed my ice age.

I was the curious kid eating fresh worm fillet,
childhood approving the earth's acquired taste.
Then suddenly gripped by fear the snake buried
himself, loose fitted skin dipped in sharp gravel.

Later my penknife bared I cut free a bloody
serpents relic, to me a stony coiled root pulled
from Medusa's scalp, my single sharp tooth folded
back inside its Swiss case, my manhood wetted.

John G.Hallę2004

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Comments by other Members

tinyclanger at 14:35 on 30 April 2004  Report this post
John, a piece which I think is like a iceberg. More under the surface than on the top!
I find it sensual and stimulating - the first created by the voice, the rich 'almost' air that it has. (is that complete nonsense? best way I could think of to express it!)
The second by the images, the depth and the work I feel I have to do to follow your path. One that I think I'l revisit and ponder on more...

roovacrag at 15:54 on 30 April 2004  Report this post
great one my friend.
Snakes are cold and to touch, your fingers go into the flesh.
I too remembered these at school. still shudder.
Well done
xx Alice

miffle at 19:21 on 01 May 2004  Report this post
John, I like the density of the language in this very much and also find it a 'mythical' poem of sorts too - especially the last verse with it's echoes of the Epic (of slaying / heroic actions) and reference to Medusa.

You say 'a little confession'... and it makes me think that you too could be 'A Little Viper' (?) in your killing of the snake OR do you cut loose some skin (?) I wasn't quite sure what exactly was happening in the last verse (?)

'he warmed my ice age' - awakened it? Seems so, in the second verse for sure where you journey back in time, perhaps, and eat 'fresh worm fillet'... (?) 'childhood approving the earth's acquired taste' I liked very much.

'Swiss case' 'penknife' brings it up to the present again for me... 'my manhood wetted' - sense of more to come ? Like an appetite unsatisfied. Wondering about Lawrence' snake poem now - perhaps will go and re-read. No sense of shame here, however, for what man has done to the snake - though not boastful either.

Have you purposefully left some apostrophes out?

Enjoyed it, Miffle


whoops - 'its echoes' :-)

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