Tiger Lust by Allan Gould


Fixing the wrongs
Your hanging corpse swings through time
To think just once
When my blade blinded
Your oppression;
Salvaged womanhood
And then
After soup and rice I walked away.

Fixing the rights
I see your earth filled paradise
Each year. I carry the flowers in season.
I find words somehow
But watch them wither into bitter thoughts
Blown far like a yellow silk handkerchief
Toward the mouth of the azure.

In war you scorned my loss
Disillusioned me deeper into that chaos
In war you tangled up the enemy
As I removed his head with a single swipe
And since our war is over
As no one retreats nor charges
I find a peace as restless as an ocean.

A tiger possessed your flesh
A desire trapped you in that house
Twelve gates deep you watched your father
Wilt under such force and the brothers
Who stood like stone columns around
Collapsed before tiger lust.
Revenge meant nothing but closure.

3 Responses to “Tiger Lust by Allan Gould”
  1. joyinbeauty says:

    “In war you scorned my loss…”

    Well said.

  2. dougstuber says:

    “and the brothers
    Who stood like stone columns around
    Collapsed before tiger lust.”

    Thw line “who stood like stone columns around” is made unclear and a
    touch awkward when followed by “Collapsed before tiger lust” as it leaves
    the reader wondering if the brothers stood around and then collapsed,
    or stood in a round circle like stone columns then collapsed.

    It’s a great poem, but this stanza leaves me befuddled. Is there a way you
    can help me figure this one out Allan?

    • allan8gould says:

      Hi Doug, perhaps if it read ‘Who stood like stone columns around – Collapsed before tiger lust’…Phonetically I don’t think its that awkward in that ‘around’ creates a resonance and ‘collapsed’ a gentle sway forward. ‘around’ was meant to create a slight suspension of sound before moving carefully into the next line ‘collapsed’.
      I think you’re right, the semantics are a bit fuzzy, hence the dash and I would even add a coma after ‘and the brothers, . They stood around her by the way. The Tiger poems are interpretations of Korean folktales. This poem is an interpretation of The Tiger Priest. It might may things clearer. Thank you for pointing that out Doug, much appreciated.

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