Cheap love in Whitechapel

This is a poem I wrote today, when I was thinking about steampunk literature and national poetry day (which is tomorrow). I'm a fan of Jack the Ripper legends, and I guess you can tell by the story. It's a very dark side of steampunk, even when slightly lit red. I hope no one takes offence of this steampunked description of Londons East End, 1888.


Cheap love in Whitechapel

Hidden behind gloomy glasses
Darkened by the smudge-edged skies
Coal-dark eyes light up the night
Gently making the fluidum boil
Pressure makes pistons come to life

Croaking cogwheels on the cobblestones
The coach comes to a grinding halt
in a steamy alley where a whore
is haunted by sharp shards of fog.
The top-hat bends over like a doomed chimney
Shading her soft, soot covered domes
The glorious tower´s rising to the
Pumping beat of her brass heart
and the gracious clicking of her gears

He´s in control.
Hissing steam´s slipping
Into the gas-lit alley
From his rusty iron face

Mean metal comes from under his cloak
Making mechanical moves like clockwork

A crack, a dry click
Boiling oil drops on the street
The automaton ends her life

Put another tuppence in.

Comments

  • I like it!--mostly though. I'm afraid I don't care much for these two lines:
    Mean metal comes from under his cloak
    Making mechanical moves like clockwork
    There's only subtle rhyme in the rest of the poem, and I don't feel the "cloak" and "clockwork" go well together. Their rhyme is too... obvious. There's good built-up though, with all those words starting with an "m". I'd replace "like clockwork" with something like "in the gloom" or perhaps "in the soak".
    The glorious tower´s rising to the
    Pumping beat of her brass heart
    and the gracious clicking of her gears
    I very much like these lines. The "brass heart" I think is a beautiful steampunk phrase! "And the gracious clicking of her gears"--the line itself sounds like clicking when read aloud. Excellent!
  • It doesn't rhyme in the common sense of rhyme at all, because my English is not good enhough for that. I use the old alliteration a lot instead.
  • There may not be rhyme, but the poem certainly has rhythm--which I think is almost more important.
  • Yaghish wrote:
    A crack, a dry click
    Boiling oil drops on the street
    The automaton ends her life

    Put another tuppence in.
    I very much like the end, especially the last line. I think it's grimly clever.
Sign In or Register to comment.