This exercise posted here in part from: Mbarker exercise: FINISH THIS POEM

How would you complete this poem? (Aside from the obvious answer of “I wouldn’t complete it. It’s dribble!”) By the way, I did have a title for the poem as well, which I include with it, though there is not much insight into the poem from this title. So feel free to come up with your own title. Change it anyway you want. This is an exercise. Nothing more.

Yours, etc., Jackson

There on the cloistered balcony he sits, draped in a hairshirt robe with matching slippers, eyes blurred by the pillow primordial, by the visions of brown study, lips even now burning from the coals, potted as a sun-baked fern, feeling his thoughts through quill-calloused hands.

This statue depicts Saint Bartholomew, an early Christian martyr who was ALLEGEDLY skinned alive. If you look closely, you’ll notice that’s not a robe that he’s holding. It’s actually his dissected skin hanging around him. This statute is by Marco d’Agrate, c.1562.

My response:

There on the cloistered balcony he stands

draped in a robe falling gracefully above his uncovered hands

eyes unshuttered by a small dull blade,

lips forever burning from unsent screams

his nightmare captured forever in marble and stone

a tribute to God a horror to some.

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