20 June 2006


            Dental Check-Up

            The week before my
            appointment, I abstain from
            coffee, upgrade my brand
            of toothpaste,
            and religiously brush
            the most difficult crooks
            and crannies of
            my teeth,
            regretting chocolates
            and other recent
            sins.

            Now I open my mouth,
            peer hard into the bathroom mirror,
            move my tongue from
            side to side, self-
            examine, anxious
            and guilty.
            Doctor, forgive me,
            it's been too long
            since my last
            confession.
posted by Gilbert at Tuesday, June 20, 2006

8 Comments:

Blogger MB said...

Gilbert, I was enjoying this one (definitely can relate), until the last two sentences. I think they feel a bit too obvious. I'm afraid I don't have a solution to suggest. I do see that you are bringing the poem (and analogy) to a close with them. Part of it may be that the strength of the poem's analogy lies in the fear or apprehension that it is true, not necessarily that it is true. So to say you've failed sort of pokes a hole in the buoyancy of the poem. Do you understand what I'm trying to say? Also, the last sentence is the first time you ever speak to the doctor and hence it is a bit jolting and shifts the focus of the poem. I'd love to see you work on this further, though. I wouldn't drop this one. Too much fun.

March 04, 2006  
Blogger Gilbert Koh said...

Yes, I understand ... You're saying that the "I" may not yet have failed the "test" with the dentist. Thanks .... I will stare at the last part of the poem again and see what I can do.

March 04, 2006  
Blogger sigmund fraud said...

Along those listed sins, I give up smoking too...

March 05, 2006  
Blogger Gilbert Koh said...

Reposted with minor edits.

June 21, 2006  
Blogger MB said...

Oh, Gilbert, I just (just!) got back from the dentist! Reading this in that light is very amusing!

I remembered this poem, but had forgotten my previous response to it. And I can't tell in what ways you edited this. I was all set to suggest, this time, until I read my previous comment, that you consider eliminating the last sentence and leave it hanging with the thought of confession. Hm.

Happy flossing! ;-)

June 22, 2006  
Blogger Gilbert Koh said...

Edited again, MB. I figure if I just keep messing around, I'll eventually stumble on the perfect way to end this poem. :)

Hope you had a good day with your dentist. :)

June 22, 2006  
Blogger MB said...

I figure you will, too. I trust you to find what's right for you!

I had a good day with the dentist, all things considered, yes, thank you. Just a cleaning, which is never "just" to me, of course.

June 23, 2006  
Blogger Bluesky_Liz said...

Funny, next to facing God, I think the dentist is the next dreaded person.

June 23, 2006  

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