When he speaks plain truth to himself, not often that is,
He whisper-tells that when he twists door handles, enters,
Rooms chill into icy, stony-silent, thin air.

But his deliberate shuffle awakens low-register murmurs,
Piercing, hot hissed hums.
Air full, no, fat.
Like him.

44 word quadrille for today’s dVerse Pub

25 thoughts on “Murmurs

  1. I love this line: “Piercing, hot hissed hums.”

    This scares me. I think it’s about a child molester.

    1. Oh, dear. I didn’t mean to scare. It’s about a very, very heavy man whenever he goes out in public and the reaction he elicits. I was thinking about heart murmurs and heart beats and life and how we take moving about (and disappearing) in the world for granted.I was trying to get at how a reaction of murmuring can be as painful as loud roars.

  2. This Quadrille has a great shape for its content. I love the sibilance in the first stanza, which creates a chilly tone, and the phrases: ‘whisper-tells’ and ‘Air full, no, fat’. Somehow I picture a very tall, thin man, like Slenderman, a little creepy.

  3. the murmur of fat shaming – some lovely verbs to accompany the movement of the fat man

    1. Thank you, Laura, for your comments. I appreciate that you understood the theme as I’ not certain I was as specific as I should have been. Thanks again :))

  4. I must say this is incredibly powerful! The tone and the images both describe the man and his personality. I can picture “his deliberate shuffle” and how it “awakens low-register murmurs.” Beautifully executed.

  5. Got the sense of a person being rejected by society but couldn’t tell why until I read your comment. Have you heard of Roxanne Gay? An obese woman activist.

  6. Ouch. A beautifully understated snapshot of how viciously those “piercing, hot hissed hums” can slice into a person. I love the sly insight of “not often that is,” and I can feel the heart-sinking anticipation of walking into those rooms and their “icy, stony-silent, thin air.” As I said, ouch.

    Beautiful, Jo. You’re going into those dark, honest places, and it’s so powerful.

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