Original poem reprinted online here: "Deadbeat's Recipe for Lamb" by Jay Baron Nicorvo
Originally read: December 22, 2012
More information about the Poet: Jay Baron Nicorvo
"This poem works by subtext -- what's the subtext -- I don't know, a formulaic idea of a deadbeat deconstructed through a recipe."
So after reading this again, the shifts in tone on the first read is still surprising to me. I think it's the whole end-stopped line where I'm forced to stop and think of every image in its own personal context. The first half of the poem has violent action (imagery): "cleave limb from limb. / Hack as if at air. / Always cut to the quick." This is just a sample. There's is violence, but there's a subtext of anger -- uncontrolled unknowing anger then the shift.
"soft as seaglass from the sea's forge, / strain in weak like", or "Hear the letting-go of cartilage." Still somewhat violent, but the language has changed. The "s" alliteration seems to add a preciseness to the poem -- there's still violence but not chaos in the lines.
However, by the end of the poem (and reading this again), the poem depends on this subtext -- an understanding of anger transitioning to the calm, however, no feeling is actualized in the poem -- only thought up by the reader (or rather me).