With a kind of dim accuracy,
dull estimation of an
to the victim’s eyes, jealousy
is not a green-ey’d monster
but a super-subtle friend
The victim continues with a smile
of painted mirth;
the mind gives birth to wild imaginings
which may/may not be true
it hardly matters now:
The matrix has you.
Crossing canyons subsumed by
solitudes, wish for
spiritual songs to heal your heart:
to heal this jealousy, this torment
for we’re not ever jealous for the cause
but jealous for we’re jealous.
Shun Iago’s subtle poison which
he would pour in your ear, just
run: there is no cause, or if there is a cause
it should be simply to save your own life,
in realising your own worth, for jealousy’s
an ignominious end: a living death.
About this poem
I wrote this poem for dVerse Poetics: The charms of Samuel Greenberg. Our host, Laura Bloomsbury, introduced the poems of Samuel Greenberg, an important American poet of the early twentieth century who died tragically young and unknown. His work was later pilfered/plagiarised by Hart Crane.
In the poem ‘The Pale Impromptu,’ Laura describes the two-word phrases which feature in the poem as charms strung on a charm bracelet. She then presented us with the following challenge:
Your challenge is to take FIVE (no more or less) from these 21 ‘charms’ and string them together in a poem with style and word length of your choosing:
Dim Accuracy; Candle salve; Consumed moon;
Eyes jealousy; Fouls deviation; Grey life;
Hearts brow; Lucid farrows; Nulling marrows;
Painted mirth; Pale heat; Palmed rose;
Pearls from tissue; Pellucid quest; Royal flesh;
Skulls of saints; Slime pigments; Spiritual songs;
Solitudes wish; Times chant; Yellow dreams;
At first, I was uncomfortable with pilfering another poet’s words. But the phrase ‘Eyes jealousy’ got me thinking about Iago and so I went on to do a double pilfer, from both Greenberg and Shakespeare. All of the highlighted words are either one of the five ‘charms’ listed above, or lines from Othello (albeit adapted to fit the story I am telling here).
Othello quotes adapted for this poem
‘O beware, my lord, of jealousy!/It is the green-eyed monster, which doth mock/The meat it feeds on.’ 3.3.167-169
‘a frail vow betwixt an erring Barbarian and a super-subtle Venetian,’ 1.3.356-358
‘They are not ever jealous for the cause, But jealous for they’re jealous.’ 3.4.160-161
‘Good God, the souls of all my tribe defend/From jealousy.’ 3.3.178-179