Left Unresolved

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀You and I have unfinished business!
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀—Kill Bill: Vol. 1

⠀⠀⠀⠀You wished for further time with me? I guess
⠀⠀⠀⠀we know which game you hope to use it for:
⠀⠀⠀⠀you and I have unfinished business.
⠀⠀⠀⠀Put back on your armor, then. I’ll undress
⠀⠀⠀⠀and wait for you to play it one move more.
⠀⠀⠀⠀You wished for further time with me, I guess.
⠀⠀⠀⠀What wasted elegance! What vain finesse!
⠀⠀⠀⠀It’s not as if we’d whole new rounds in store.
⠀⠀⠀⠀You and I have unfinished business.
⠀⠀⠀⠀My turn now? Playing by house rules, yes,
⠀⠀⠀⠀although rules haven’t mattered heretofore.
⠀⠀⠀⠀You wished for further time with me, I guess.
⠀⠀⠀⠀I’ve had enough. I want to acquiesce,
⠀⠀⠀⠀but you would rather settle some old score.
⠀⠀⠀⠀You and I have unfinished business.
⠀⠀⠀⠀Should I resign? I’m not as good at chess
⠀⠀⠀⠀as you, and even worse at open war.
⠀⠀⠀⠀You wished for further time with me? I guess
⠀⠀⠀⠀you and I have unfinished business.

prompted by Out of Standard with Izy

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13 Responses to Left Unresolved

  1. wkkortas says:

    Now I loves me some villanelle, and this is nicely done–smooth, and no odd quirks of tone or jumpy narrative. Fine stuff, indeed.

    • Thanks. The relationship itself and its progression down wasn’t quite smooth nor without its own odd quirks and skips. But like any game even when poorly played probably was pretty consistent in its strategy, so maybe that helped write this one for me.

  2. nice job on the enjambment on the first line and then the refrain I love creative moves like that.

    • Thanks. I still don’t enjamb as well as those who’ve worked with me on my writing the most the past few years, but their influence is maybe more obvious there than on maybe anything else (except on love of verse form, an obsession also witnessed here).

  3. isadoragruye says:

    Hello! I very much enjoyed your take on my prompt. This poem has a clever, clever narrator. “Put back on your armor, then. I’ll undress” and “I’m not as good at chess as you, and even worse at open war.” are among my favs. Thanks so much for participating in the out of standard. Viva la!

    • Thanks. Although most of my own writing remains non-prompted, PAD prompts this past April got me addicted to writing in response to prompt. I’ve only recently discovered your site, and this was a delightful first prompt for me to dip a toe into the toad-infested waters.

      • “toad-infested waters” smacks of “the engenderings of toads” in The Duchess of Malfi. Oddly enough I think that goes well with your reference to Kill Bill: Vol. 1.
        I admire and respect poetic forms a great deal. But I adore content and creative allusive word play far more. It’s just where I’m ‘at’.
        Nor did I learn to play chess by the ‘book’–yep, I like being out in far left field. It agrees with me.
        I love your use of the refrain, especially for what it does to one’s perspective. Oh no, I’m not letting go–yet. We have things to discuss…..

  4. Kay Davies says:

    How did I know it was a chess game? I have no idea, as I don’t understand the game at all, but something in your tone told me. I enjoyed this so much, especially being able to figure it out, and because you handled it so splendidly.

    • Chess players would call me a wood pusher, from what I recall of watching play in the park. The thing is, as I say, I’m even worse at games when it comes to relationships – there, I don’t even know how all the pieces move.

  5. lolamouse says:

    Villanelles are so difficult to execute well, and you’ve done a fabulous job! The repetitions echo the moves in a chess game.

    • Thanks. I did hope to keep the underlying thread running through, like the player who keeps saying “I’m losing, I’m losing” while waiting for the next move. But then rather than use the natural back-and-forth of the villanelle form to switch sides, instead to use it move by move like “my move now what do I do” then “his move now what will he do” sort of feel. Obviously the real game went a whole lot more of those moves than I cared for it to have gone. Yet still never found closure.

  6. I don’t know if I could even succeed with this poetry form and you have rocked it. I love the refrain…It is so effective!

    • Thanks. I happen to be of the belief that anyone who writes poetry can write a successful villanelle, and that most of those – yours included – would succeed better than any of mine. The form’s repetition and movement can reflect so many of our very natural responses.

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