Vol 10 No 1 (2018)
Narratives and Poetry

Practice makes Perfect

Jessie Demone
Athabasca University - MAIS
Published May 4, 2017


If I put myself in the shoes of a reader of this poem, I might start with the line “where the lines cross,” noting the symbolism for direction and movement, yet stopped, stuck somewhere in between. This feeling of stagnation is reinforced with the line “the breeze blocked by a sheet,” for everything is shut off, everything is shut out, even the wind, the air. The only sign of life are the flies buzzing around a light, which while alive, can often be found circling the dead. The use of “Rorschach patterns” describe the shape of the blood on the ceiling in more literal terms, but they imply the interpretation of a past (both good and bad can be read) that led the woman (she) in the poem to this point. As the poem concludes, it builds momentum with “ashtrays overflowing” and fireworks shooting out, perhaps symbols of celebration of her failure, in missing and not poisoning herself or perhaps the building of climax indicating the high the woman is about to experience. The last line of the poem reads “she missed the vein, again” which circles back to the title, “Practice Makes Perfect” alluding to the notion that we aren’t meant to hurt ourselves, that we must work at it in much the same way we have to work at loving ourselves.