Posted by: janetleigh | November 9, 2007

Deadly glance


Deadly glance

Sinister one-eyed jack
could out-stare
fresh killed eyes open
with keen precision,

if looks could kill –
his arrows of ice


Photo by Pivi


  1. Excellent use of alliteration. That K-sound really stabs.

    Especially in combination with that i-assonance.

    I like :)

    I appreciate the feedback I get from you, reluctantscribe. It’s always nice to know that something works and the reasons why..:)

  2. tremendous.

    Wow. Thank you for that, Jak..:)

  3. I posted a comment yesterday. Still do not see it. Hmm…is it due to moderation or did I do something wrong while posting.

  4. Hmm… looks like there is no moderation. I see my reply above right away today!

    Let me give it another try.

    Loved the lines

    “if looks could kill –
    his arrows of ice


    “Arrows of ice”….beautiful! And the enjambment works great here.

    Glad to be back in touch, Janet. And what a fortuitous slip of the finger/mind, indeed to have typed Janet instead of Maureen! Indeed.. who knows what lies latent in our sub-conscious!

    Do keep in touch.


    Hi again, my good friend..:) And, thanks for all your kind comments. I’m glad to be back in touch, too, and I certainly do look forward to our exchanges here, Sanjeev, and on your very interesting, eclectic blog Tasty Morsels of Life, of which I must leave a link for my dear readers to check out. It’s weird how I’m learning more about you now, through your blog, than I ever knew “back then” on RAP. You are a very talented man, indeed..:)

  5. I second that:

    “if looks could kill –
    his arrows of ice


    is great.

    I’m glad those lines resonate for you, Anna. I feel like I’ve struck gold..:)

  6. i’d rethink “if looks could kill” – somewhat cliche. just a thought. hope you’re well.

    Thank you for your thoughts, Scott, but I think I’ll keep that ol’ cliche since the majority seems to like it enough. And, it’s not like you haven’t used them yourself. But – out of curiosity – what would you use instead that would convey the very same sentiment and be short and sharp?

    Anyone can jump in here.

  7. Wow, this one is like a look into death row. Intense.

    I think your comment shows we all react to poems in different ways; you’re having a strong reaction to it, while others may merely tip their hat in my general direction. I prefer your reaction, Sara..;> Thanks for sharing that wow with me, Sara..:)

  8. I am going to mention this poem on PWB.

  9. i only hesitate on “if looks could kill” perhaps cliche.

    other than that – fine and crisp. you have an elegant, subtle, sexy style.

    see ya here and there.

    It pleases me to know you think I have an “elegant, subtle, sexy style” Scott, but now I’ve ruined everything by throwing in a clunky cliche *grin* aarrrghh. But you still haven’t told me what you’d replace it with, Scott. *wink* How about “if eyes could kill” or, “if eyes had knives” or “if lives were knives” or “if kill had a look” or…. [fade to ad infinitum] C’mon, help me here, Scott. You started it. *wink*

    BTW, how come you don’t start sentences with a capital letter? I thought you were a teacher!
    (Just kidding :)

  10. ooppsss commented on this twice…sorry.

    just noticed your comment back to me. please – no need to get testy. i simply feel “if looks could kill” is cliche. if you find cliche in my work – please highlight each example.

    my hat is tipped.

    Hi, Scott. Re-reading my comment to you, I can see why you thought I was being a smartass. I forgot the smilie. I was alluding to your usage of the word on your cute little post entitled Cliches…(“,) and again in your telling of how you raked a “hugest” pile of leaves to play in, “these cliched autumn activities..” Trying to be cute without a smilie will always bomb in New Haven. ;> And honestly, there won’t be any doubt if I’m being testes. heh heh You could familiarize yourself with my playfulness, is all..:)

  11. Thank you for your response. I’m glad we’re good. And yes, you still have an elegant, SEXY, subtle style.

    best wishes.

  12. Hmmmm……

    Janet, if I may be so rude and answer your question to Scott (“what would you replace ‘if looks could kill’ with?)…

    Is there anyway you could describe this person’s gaze? What do his eyebrows’ look like? Especially in combination with his eyes? Perhaps like something sharp? Like an icicle? Scissors? A stalactite?

    Or perhaps his cold glance is brief like the flick of a kitchen knife? Or a surgeon’s scalpel? (One wrong move and it could bring death).

    If you want to change it, though, you still should try and keep the K-sound in here, because that works really well.

    These were just some impromptu associations. I must admit that whenever I rework a poem I do try to weed out all the clichés that have crept in. Someone once told me that it’s the job of the poet to come up with new metaphores that can then become clichés in their own right (if they are good enough).

    Having said that… Sometimes familiar phrases work well within a poem, because the poet plays around with them. And I think that’s what you do here successfully.

    Kind regards,


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