Sunday, August 22, 2010

virgin villanelle

White Man’s Overbite


He was a god below the neck,
if you gently overlook
the overbite that used to peck.

Lip-scarred in a Navy wreck,
front teeth like a grappling hook,
he was a god below the neck.

His kisses perforated heck,
ubiquitous bewildered look,
the overbite that used to peck.

Bow-tied lisp we can't forget,
he only stood five odd foot.
He was a god below the neck,

elevator shoes danced on deck,
stepstool or telephone book,
the overbite that used to peck.

Smoked too many cigarettes,
sadly, one lone Oscar took.
He was a god below the neck,
the overbite that used to peck.



Tess Kincaid
August, 2010



Okay. I admit it. I am a Tenth Daughter virgin. This is my very first time participating in The Tenth Daughter of Memory. The instructions this time around were to write something inspired from the phrase "below the neck". This great blog is not new, but it's new to me, so hop on over and check it out! I found the origin of the unique blog name particularly interesting. It's also my virgin attempt at a crazy villanelle poetic form, which ended up being a lot of fun, actually.

I love-love Humphrey Bogart. He truly is one of my film noir favorites. But, in every kissing scene, I cringe when he comes at the leading lady with that can-opener-mouth of his. They say he had to stand on risers in the scenes to kiss Lauren Bacall and Ingrid Bergman. Cute.


63 comments:

  1. overbites, chinlessness, skinny lipped men in movies or elsewhere...make me cringe too.
    the romantic lead demystified!!
    love that...thanks

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  2. Do not go gently into that good night

    Rage, rage against having to write a villanelle, that's what i say lol. You're a bolder woman than me, Willow, they drive me crazy. The only one I ever finished was about my dog!

    Meanwhile, I loved this.

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  3. What a wonderful idea for a blogging meme, I love this prompt - and your poem is chillingly brilliant. Villanelle is a marvellous and engaging form, you pulled it of excellently :)

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  4. Love those villanelles! The photo took a while to appear, but your great descriptions led me to suspect it was Humphrey! I use this poetic form in one of my classes to demonstrate resonance. The students whine a bit at first and end up with some wonderful verses.

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  5. bogie's a keeper...great tribute. And the water's fine over here, glad you finally jumped in!

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  6. Great subject choice, good writing!
    Are you one of those girls that say they are a virgin?

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  7. Villanelle I love, but only when it is written by another or YOU! Theees Theeeng is out of my league, as is many theeengs....

    And...I would also stand on a phone book...like a swamp bird, on one leg (to keep from falling down, of course!)

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  8. I'll never be able to watch Bogie the same way again.

    "We'll always have Paris. And your damned peckety-peck-peck-peck overbite!"

    "This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Just don't peck at me."

    Hah!

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  9. I love the villanelle form. Now is there some way to fit Gregory in here?

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  10. Suki, I thought of Gregory, with all these pecks!

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  11. Perfect peck! Welcome aboard. And that's big from me since I'm not a great lover of poetry but loved this. I never really understood old Bogey's charm but yep, must have had something below the neck that drove the ladies wild!

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  12. Thanks, Baino! This was fun! :)

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  13. fresh and revealing of another piece of you.

    clicking over to The Tenth Daughter now...

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  14. I thought this poem was great and quite funny. That overbit and short stature....we all have our crosses to bear.

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  15. But he got the girl, sometimes, maybe more than some men would. All man with an interesting face, some would say, me included.

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  16. Hilarious! And a well-wrought villanelle too.

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  17. well, the man sure could hold a gal.
    your cringe made for such a good laugh. thanks for that!

    "He was a god below the neck"
    "His kisses perforated heck"
    Ooooo man that is ridiculously good.

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  18. So funny that a man with such charisma can have a flaw that glares so much. I'm also impressed with your first try at a villanelle.

    I'm going on to the website... thanks for the link.

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  19. bogie was no fogie...he oozed charm like no other--great photo and wonderful writing--here's looking at you kid!--good luck on the 10th daughter!!c

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  20. Liza, yep, even if his kisses were a bit overbite-ish, he knew exactly how to hold a woman! (even if he was standing on a step stool) ;^)

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  21. Thinking of Gregory....hmmm.....that is how you did this so well!
    Tis not an easy form ....
    does not go gentle above or below the neck...and not too many would even attempt it!
    Here's the link:

    http://wellswarren.wordpress.com/2010/08/23/sermon-629august-22-2010/

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  22. Thinking of Gregory....hmmm.....that is how you did this so well!
    Tis not an easy form ....
    does not go gentle above or below the neck...and not too many would even attempt it!
    Here's the link:

    http://wellswarren.wordpress.com/2010/08/23/sermon-629august-22-2010/

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  23. I think it works better at TKR.

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  24. Coming to think of it... I confess I never noticed his overbite...

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  25. Another new form of poetry. You did beautifully. Crafted Bogey in a concise yet artful manner.
    cmom
    http://www.countrywifecitymom.com

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  26. love it, love it...and I love Bogart too... his voice, wonderful voice...they just do not have actors like this anymore...this piece of poetry is a keeper indeed...bkm

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  27. Willow, this poem is astonishing.

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  28. Really enjoyed this, willow. 'Bogie' is an all-time favourite with us, too. Of course, he wouldn't have made it today, with those looks. Far too much character.

    And you're right about the villanelle form. It is a lot of fun.

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  29. Dear Willow, At the risk of sounding patronising, which is most certainly not my intention, your poem is masterful. I have so enjoyed it and your accompanying image is perfect. More, please!

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  30. Willow,
    Love Villanelles, don't take the time to do them often enough. I guess I was paying too much attention to Becall to notice Bogies short comings.
    rel

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  31. Excellent!

    I've never tried a villanelle. Not sure I could pull it off.

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  32. Thanks for the link, FireLight, I'll check it out!

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  33. Bogey was evidently a charmer all right, and if you believe his leading ladies from the past, his overbite was completely ignored. I greatly enjoyed this Willow, even though I had to google villanelle to understand the process.

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  34. To me he was a god above and below the neck. Love your poem!!

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  35. Oh no Willow this is another thing from your mysterious fun filled world. I have never heard of this.I don't think I am up to that challenge in poetry writing yet. Got a lot to learn.
    QMM

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  36. With that amazing voice, all the lip twitching, the small man swagger, I never noticed the overbite! An old restored movie house ran The Maltese Falcon. I think a relative of Chandler was there for the introduction. Wonderful to see HB on that big screen. Improbably enough, he mas made for it.

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  37. The Maltese Falcon is one of my personal HB faves. I own a copy and watch it often.

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  38. Oh this is great! I'm going to have to try this form one of these days. I think it's good discipline (NOW, before I've actually tried it LOL).

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  39. oh but for being new to 10 DOM you did marvelously willow...a trying form that you pulled off marvelously...

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  40. Actually this Poem has such a rythme I imagine it a Song......You ever heard Linda Thompson? My Minds-Eye has her singing the lament.

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  41. I like the dialogue of those movies but no to the kisses. You so captured this movie hero...good job!

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  42. Tony, yes! I can most definitely hear Linda Thompson singing these as lyrics, gentle and quirky!

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  43. Hi! Willow,
    Hmmm...I'am not familiar with "villanelle poetic form
    your use of this style is very nice...indeed!

    Omg! (Laughter!) I seen Bogie and that was all it took...Just one look!(As a matter of fact, that was one of his wife actress Lauren Bacall, many nicknames.)

    Unfortunately, all the "things" that you point-out about him (Bogie)I have read too...Therefore, it must be true!

    Thanks, for sharing!
    DeeDee ;-D

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  44. I never noticed Bogart's overbite -- his demeanor kept me concentrated on "the man." -- barbara

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  45. fabulous - (and love the 'can-opener' mouth). good luck with 10th daughter of memory, your poem will blow them away. i am thinking about entering someday, if i were as brave as you...

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  46. Too funny...I have the same feeling about Clark Gable...ewwww...

    Well done!!!

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  47. Dear Willow: This form of poetry about as challenging as engaging in a kiss with claw mouth. Honestly! That's a riot. Must be that "je nais sais quoi" which drove the lady's nuts. I believe Humphrey, as a baby like a Gerber baby; his mother was an illustrator. Heard he had a temper! The older man and tough guy/bad boy syndrome must have been the attraction for Lauren. How tall is Lauren? He is a definitely an iconic screen image; I'd definitely do a Bogie, I mean roll a Bogie, what were you thinking?"Don't Bogart that joint my friend" which means dont slobber over the joint, wonder if the over-bite produced that effect~:)

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  48. This is FABULOUS! I love it!
    :-)

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  49. Good job with the Humphrey Bogart villanelle--& what a clever way to treat the prompt phrase you were given!

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  50. oo I felt like I was in a 20s movie, brilliantly written xx:)

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  51. I will never look at Humphrey Bogart in the same way again (no idea he was so short, for starters!) Fun villanelle, well done!

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  52. Bogart was a master, a small-G "god" if there ever was one.

    (Looks like I picked a bad time to take down my Gregory Peck profile icon, though, dunnit? If I'd only known!)

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  53. Above and below the neck Bogart was amazing.

    Glad you found TTDoM

    moon smiles

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  54. I love this! It's so playful and the form works perfectly with the content.

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  55. Who doesn't love Bogey, tin can mouth and all?

    Fun poetry.

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  56. I think it's the woman who made him sexy: Lauren. She could make any man sexy with a look. Love the guy, but I can't say I'd wanna kiss him.

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  57. Always liked Bogey - didn't love him. Then for a number of years in another city we had a neighbour who sounded exactly like him. Unfortunately I had a little falling out with said neighbour after he approved a hack job on my front maple tree so his satellite dish would word. Now Bogey just makes me think of him. sigh

    Excellent villanelle!

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  58. oops typo! "... so his satellite dish would WORK..."

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  59. I see what you mean! But he must have been standing on a ladder for this pic! Maybe she was sitting. But all that aside, imagine the breath!

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  60. Stafford, yep, Bacall was definitely doing the limbo here!

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  61. I just learned of the villanelle at ds's Third Story Window ...and here I see it again...but used so humorously! Such fun bits about HB:) Your talent impresses me :)

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  62. Love it. Like Jeff, I'll never be able to watch another Bogie film without focusing on that overbite. So funny.

    Peck it again, Sam.

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  63. Never heard of this form of poetry, so I'll have to look it up. Whatever the rules are, you rocked it, though. I've only done 10DOM once...but it was great fun. I'll be back once the beginning of school chaos is over. Good luck in the competition.

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)