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Laurel D. Mattingly

Nervous Me

Little nubbin
gnawed on
dirtily curled
into sweat
nasty fists.
Wrists now
dressed up
in blinding me
Such a sight
as i sicken
knowing i've
that shivering
grin...once again.
And my skin's
slickly stinking,
scratching and
out loud!

February, 2001

Laurel D. Mattingly's Questions:

Does this poem thoroughly transmit the author's unease with herself?

Is there too much alliteration?

Sorry, but I couldn't help but feel the absence of a setting, without which my comprehension was almost nil. I felt that a child, an uncomfortable child was being described, but no where, why or when. Being extremely minimalist may have been the goal, but why?
Ben Copito
USA - Fri Feb 23 20:17:28 2001

To quickly respond to the author's questions - Yes I get the sense of insecurity, and no not too much alliteration. This poem is indeed minimal, but the author shows us a tiny world slammed full of anxiety through personal symptoms of nervousness. Although I may bite my lip instead of chew the fingernails, this poem truly captures the waiting, anticipating, gnawing, wanting, and dealing with nervous anxiety. Bravo - I've read it four times.
USA - Sun Mar 4 02:15:43 2001
I got a definite sense of nervousness to the point of insanity. The mental image was more powerful than simple nervousness. Is the "blinding white" the white uniforms of asylum attendants with a straight jacket?
Beth Bishop
USA - Fri Mar 9 18:24:29 2001
I get the sense that you are trying to describe your nervousness or shyness. However in the absence of a setting and in the mix of tenses I really find it difficult to make any sense of how the poem develops or where it is going. A certain amount of ambiguity works well in poetry. IOt gives the reader room to respond on his own individual terms, but total inscrutability leads to no reaction at all. I would really like to know what you are trying to say here. There are poems that are almost incoherent but the imagery is vivid or the metaphors consistent or the lines interesting in their sound. You have some interesting images and lines blut trying to put them together fais me.
USA - Fri Mar 16 19:54:56 2001

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