Conundrum 2
Patrick Faller

Great piece. Some beautiful lines here, as always. I really noticed the music in this piece, loads of sneaky little internal rhymes: dust/crushed, chipped/brick, hand/doorjamb/slammed. Adds a beautiful momentum.

I think you should make it shorter, and focus a bit more. There are disjointed elements you call up and, I think, don’t see through. For example, the comic with the man lying in cherry blossoms. You drop that detail, and then kind of just move on. Drill down on the core elements you want to include, maybe interrogate why you want to include it with each move you make. Even from the start, I like the two questions you open with, but when you jump to “Chipped brick pinches them,” I was unclear what “them” is. The moths? The leaves? Then we have fingers, back to leaves, then the explanation of broken fingers, then the drifting apart of the couple. Then we get:

I meant what we did was like stoking a fire.
We were becoming like months to the flame.
Not months — moths. We were becoming like moths to the flame.
Like moths crushed by desire.

What is it that the couple did? I’m uncertain, perhaps the roleplay mentioned previously?

I do like the feeling of grappling with something in this poem that comes from all the questions, and some self-conscious moves like ‘that’s not what I meant,’ and ‘how to put it…’ But I do feel somewhat left out of the under girding of the story.

I would also pull back in a couple places, specifically “Our distraction cracked your bones” and “moths crushed by desire.” Too abstracted, I think. I’m not sure I’m convinced by the confusion of month/moth. Interesting, not something I’ve seen before, but still felt a little…forced? At least, it stuck out at me. Not sure, but you might be able to make it work.

I’m interested by the numerical 2 in the title. I’m assuming 2 alludes to the couple in the piece, but it’s not evident to me why you opted for a ‘2’ rather than a ‘two.’

This is getting excessively long! I hope something in here is useful. I appreciate your consistency with Fresh Darlings! You are a huge asset around here.

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