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Old 05-28-2017, 10:56 AM   #676
greenmountaineer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlwaysHungry View Post
I like this one. But the syntax in the final stanza seems slightly awkward. I think the overarching idea is terrific.
You're right. The "who" is too distant from "Hermione."
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Old 05-29-2017, 04:00 PM   #677
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All You Need Is Love

They moved John's shrine to Central Park
when Ono said she couldn't sleep
for all the faithful noise they made,

the wailing and gnashing of teeth
and singing to a hollow sky
hallowed be his name.

I scream, you scream,
we all scream for ice cream
in the Walmart checkout lane

until we see this is the body
and this is the blood in an alleyway
from the best of the Paparazzi

for which we pay our money
to hurry home and read.
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:38 AM   #678
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Chaz Whipple's Epiphany

"Or is it?"
Tom Brokaw


Chaz Whipple, Newark's Taco Bell king,
cursed New Jersey politicians
whose minimum wage laws cost him that Lincoln
as creamy as the swimming pool wife
next door in her backyard bikini
he dreams of while goading the dog.

Time to go in to his widescreen TV,
scrape the sole on one of his wingtips,
give the old lady's "Shit-Zoo" a biscuit,
and pour two fingers. Hello, Jim Beam.

"More than a medieval king would have"
he says to his red satin sheets,
wide awake at 2:15
jumping over his 200th fence,

one step ahead of 200 sheep
when Chaz suddenly falls asleep
who dreams that a shepherd who found him lost
lays him down on a fresh bed of straw
when Chaz's fleece, once black, turns white
as a lamb but now has some juicy fat.
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Old 06-02-2017, 07:06 AM   #679
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Bakker, J. 07407-058
DOB 01/02/40
Caucasian, AB Negative
Cell 42, Beta Tier

In the beginning was the word
from your former reach around girl
that sound-bite slapped your wife's mascara
before the day they took away
your televangelic voice
when white haired ladies stayed up late
for phone sex through your toll free line
who heard while on hold The Ark Park hours
that on a Sunday opens late.

Breakfast is served at oh-five-thirty.
Your job in the laundry awaits.
Tonight you'll read your bible again
until the screw boss rattles "Lights Out"
on your bars with his baton
after which your cellmate Jake
spills his seed into the toilet.

You dog ear Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John.
Jake's found the way, and so have you
to fall asleep in your Slough of Despond
out of which in forty-five years,
with good time thirty may you shake
your mud-crusted soul to cover some ground,
spread some seed and take out your hoe
though not in Eden you once thought was yours.

Last edited by greenmountaineer : 06-02-2017 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 06-04-2017, 08:56 AM   #680
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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

The fridge was full, the carpets clean,
and five subscriptions to magazines
lay sleeping in the parlor,
never having been opened,
except on the way from the mailbox
to the top of the Danish coffee table.

The Lexus in the garage was as polished
as Janice who shined in her mirror,
rubbing ointments into her cheeks
she bought at Saks or perhaps Bergdorfs

while she hummed selected portions of
La Bohemme whose Mimi, she thought,
was so romantic to die when poor
and in love which she has two tickets for.

Last edited by greenmountaineer : 06-14-2017 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 06-06-2017, 05:12 AM   #681
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ishtat View Post
I really like the basic idea of this one but possibly a little light pruning might help here and there. Most of all consider perhaps substituting the word 'talk' in the second line with something else. The poem is substantially about non-verbal, perhaps emotional communication, 'talk 'restricts it to verbal which is maybe detracting from the whole piece?

One or two other tiddly issues but not important.
On Women's Primordial Language

Their language is different when women,
sometimes not speaking, sit with other women
before the fire: silent faces may pray
to Yhi for their men away
that they not suffer another tribe
and return with the morning light.

But languid tears can stream other reasons:
husband Adoni, her Sunset,
who takes Kaddee in his arms at night,
Burnu, about to undergo
the Tossing Ceremony as a man
to join them when they hunt again,
and then there is Ingar, her little crayfish,
Kaddee suckles before the fire

by which she wants to cry out their names
in joy as women toss grizzle to evening's
paws that softly touch the ground
to lick remaining fat from fingers,
curl at the women's feet to nap
and await assignment of their name.

Last edited by greenmountaineer : 06-06-2017 at 05:20 AM.
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Old 06-09-2017, 06:51 AM   #682
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The Ballad of Adrien and Julian

Each one of them had one good eye,
and one plus one made two,
although not much else added up
in nineteen forty-two

when both of them had tried to join
an almost holy war
denied to them. Instead they chose
to wear a uniform

of simple brown Franciscan cloth
unlike their smarter frères
who didn't dress like mendicants,
professing God's affairs

with eager seminarians
"to think therefore I am"
who joked that two novitiates
thought more like "Sam I Am"

because they couldn't comprehend
the Blessed Trinity
or Summa Theologica,
much less infinity,

since Adrian and Julian
who never earned degrees
spoke mostly monosyllables
like yes or no or please.

So one became chauffeur for them,
the other sacristan
when not the abbott's janitor,
valet, or handyman.

Nor would their abbot let them row
the boat they built for fun,
"for vows included poverty
until the battle's won"

he reprimanded both the twins
who knew obedience
and charity towards everyone
displaces arrogance

but vowed to have their pennies spent
on Sundays during Lent,
on other days a venial sin,
to buy banana splits

they ate when some came after church
to see the smiling grace
of simple joy in come what may
with syrup on each face,

but by the new millennium
they'd seen enough of life
that Julian succumbed one day
and Adrian that night.

Their other worldly colleagues came
to honor both the twins
a late spring day as dawn began
while one played violin

and one sang when the morning broke
as blackbird like first bird
first sang a monosyllable
of Love that was the Word.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/15/us/15land.html
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Old 06-11-2017, 04:38 PM   #683
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The Devil in Miss Jones

Miss Jones is a home economics teacher
who recalls her once hot body
that could have been pierced one summer night
with another Black Russian under her belt
while she waited for Daphne's HUNGRY HEART
on the boardwalk in Ocean City,

but BORN TO BE WILD stayed in the needle
blue because her soul was as white
as yesterday's sheets on Mother's bed
who takes the chairlift up at seven.

Ring! Ring! It's Raúl. Tweety sings
like a love bird in the living room
where the lights are dim, a beer's on ice,
and a glass is on top of a doily.

Her left shoulder devil's a friend tonight
who's trumped the angel on her right
as dawn creeps through Venetian blinds
after her Dos Equis Don Juan left,
unknowingly having left behind
a cufflink keepsake she takes to class.
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Old 06-11-2017, 05:15 PM   #684
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
The Devil in Miss Jones

Miss Jones is a home economics teacher
who recalls her once hot body
that could have been pierced one summer night
with another Black Russian under her belt
while she waited for Daphne's HUNGRY HEART
on the boardwalk in Ocean City,

but BORN TO BE WILD stayed in the needle
blue because her soul was as white
as yesterday's sheets on Mother's bed
who takes the chairlift up at seven.

Ring! Ring! It's Raúl. Tweety sings
like a love bird in the living room
where the lights are dim, a beer's on ice,
and a glass is on top of a doily.

Her left shoulder devil's a friend tonight
who's trumped the angel on her right
as dawn creeps through Venetian blinds
after her Dos Equis Don Juan left,
unknowingly having left behind
a cufflink keepsake she takes to class.

how you merge high class language and structure with eroticism is beyond me

however the erotic is a side note

the rest is the emotional rollercoaster
where you have these things described as the devil
the "impure" thoughts and the desire to do these forbidden things
and finally the seal breaks
and it's not death and doom
the keepsake is a nice touch
a reminder to "live life"
as opposed to impressing ones self
for the sake of another

just makes you realize how powerful indoctrination can be

leaving the poem on the keepsake to me leaves a feeling of pleased enlightenment as opposed to self revulsion and a sense of failure

I like the revision I remember vaguely another iteration somewhere in this thread
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As a favour to Tsotha
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Old 06-12-2017, 07:44 AM   #685
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
The Devil in Miss Jones

Miss Jones is a home economics teacher
who recalls her once hot body
that could have been pierced one summer night
with another Black Russian under her belt
while she waited for Daphne's HUNGRY HEART
on the boardwalk in Ocean City,

but BORN TO BE WILD stayed in the needle
blue because her soul was as white
as yesterday's sheets on Mother's bed
who takes the chairlift up at seven.

Ring! Ring! It's Raúl. Tweety sings
like a love bird in the living room
where the lights are dim, a beer's on ice,
and a glass is on top of a doily.

Her left shoulder devil's a friend tonight
who's trumped the angel on her right
as dawn creeps through Venetian blinds
after her Dos Equis Don Juan left,
unknowingly having left behind
a cufflink keepsake she takes to class.
Quote:
Originally Posted by todski28 View Post
how you merge high class language and structure with eroticism is beyond me

however the erotic is a side note

the rest is the emotional rollercoaster
where you have these things described as the devil
the "impure" thoughts and the desire to do these forbidden things
and finally the seal breaks
and it's not death and doom
the keepsake is a nice touch
a reminder to "live life"
as opposed to impressing ones self
for the sake of another

just makes you realize how powerful indoctrination can be

leaving the poem on the keepsake to me leaves a feeling of pleased enlightenment as opposed to self revulsion and a sense of failure

I like the revision I remember vaguely another iteration somewhere in this thread
Thanks, tod. Many poems in this thread are revisions as you noted. I'd like to think the revisions are better than the originals.

I think the greatest satisfaction I have is when a reader feeds back to me what I intended to convey. Your comments do exactly that.
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Old 06-13-2017, 08:42 PM   #686
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In memory of the Orlando massacre a year later:


Last Call

And then the shots rang out.
Harvey was kissing Frank
whose mother, Alice, in the neighborhood,
when Harvey and Frank were ten years old,
made the sweetest lemonade
on hot summer nights under the streetlights
after a game of Hide 'n Go Seek
with Jane, Suzy, Harvey, and Frank.

Harvey's cell phone rang out in unison
with other phones composing a dirge
from loved ones who watched the breaking News
at Eleven concerning "Pulse,"
the name of the club where EMT's
felt for such but heard only ringtones:

"YMCA" the Village People,
"The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,"
and "Tears to Heaven" by Eric Clapton,
a requiem Amadeus
would have penned if he could
to ring at a funeral mass.

Last edited by greenmountaineer : 06-14-2017 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 06-15-2017, 06:35 AM   #687
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The Tony Award

Willy hears cash registers ring
when store doors swing out or in,
although he'd rather hear some clink
in his cup by his favorite subway grate
not far from Broadway's theatre district
where he walks with hands in torn pockets
on his way to his favorite alley
to feed on a customer's disappointment

Tony will give him who washes dishes
after the dinner crowd leaves for Les Mis
that's all the rage with all the critics
because it won the "Antoinette Perry
Award for Excellence," known as the Tony,
the theatre crowd after the play
will toast with Harvey’s Bristol Cream,
flutes of champagne, and Beaujolais.

Last edited by greenmountaineer : Yesterday at 12:12 PM.
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Old 06-17-2017, 07:51 AM   #688
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Isolde's Lament

How now, Isolde? she mutters to herself,
to take his note as sweet and thereby shelve
it in thine heart as would a maiden swayed
or play the wife who waits 'til peace is staid
among all men? Ah, dear girl, thou shalt wait
forever that were true, because the fate
of men means kill each other in the name
of God, more property, or merely fame.

His note I fear was but a facile lie
he'll write another poor wench by the by
while horse awaits that's trained to set the pace
according to its master’s creep or haste.

'Tis settled then, Isolde. If there be shame,
thou hadn't kicked his balls that he not game
some other lass the nuns give counsel free.
Why, even Father Patrick prays for thee.
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Old 06-19-2017, 09:22 PM   #689
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Knock, Knock

There is no knob on the other side,
nor hole to insert a key,
but here I am behind my door
beside myself while wondering
who or what it might be.

There is no spyglass where I can squint
the one eye that the other might see.
Knock, knock. Oh my God, I hear it again,
a spirit, if not a her, or a him.
Knock, knock. Who's there? Do I dare let it in?
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Old 06-21-2017, 10:51 AM   #690
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Dani and Esther

Dani opens a window to summer
where there are morning men working shirtless,

felling trees at the edge of the forest
to season for heat in December,

and there's musk in the air when they see her
because their sweat has more than one reason,

although tonight next to her cottage
at dusk when Venus is rising,

Dani will gather oxeyes for Esther
who's filling lady lock cookies

to bake and savor with Lady Grey tea
and a roaring fire out of season

that Dani will start for her anyway
when Esther begs Dani please.
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Old 06-23-2017, 10:15 AM   #691
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State of the Art

Redemption's no longer in vogue.
There was no Adam, we are told,
whose finger had no reason to ask
why he's reaching but can not grasp
a phantasm on a ceiling in Rome.
Eve is merely a palindrome.

The portrait artist paints us
as splat across his canvas,
The poet’s plainsong howls the absurd.
godd is the newest four letter word,

and Hamlet, the musical comedy,
has the prince clipping Horatio’s wings
while singing “It’s earth that has more things
than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
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Old 06-25-2017, 04:56 PM   #692
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Annie

She clutches a black and white photograph
of a pure white lacy two year old
as if it were a daguerreotype

from the Gilded Age of wrap around
porches on fine Victorian houses
and maple trees on Maple Street
she once saw in a magazine.

But four flights down the walk-up tonight
prowling around near the street
are dog pack boys in alleyways
with bitches they’ll pay to be in heat

as a midnight raggedy Annie stows
under her pillow a thirty year old
daguerreotype and goes to sleep.
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Old Yesterday, 02:03 PM   #693
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A Short Systematic on Mercy, Life, and Death

Inspired, any novice poet might
smell mercy in the dung a beetle leaves
beneath the sand that larvae weather light

or praise the dog that with its nuzzling grieves
the dying by whose side it lays in bed.
There’s much to learn in how a dog bereaves.

A sparrow will regurgitate the dead:
grasshoppers, crickets, whatever preyed
upon for hunger begging to be fed.

Let’s see how we as species are displayed
with our free will: though instinct marks our brain
as animal, we seek no accolade

within this land of Nod as sons of Cain
who enter towers spewing waves of flame.
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Old Yesterday, 02:39 PM   #694
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
A Short Systematic on Mercy, Life, and Death

Inspired, any novice poet might
smell mercy in the dung a beetle leaves
beneath the sand that larvae weather light

or praise the dog that with its nuzzling grieves
the dying by whose side it lays in bed.
There’s much to learn in how a dog bereaves.

A sparrow will regurgitate the dead:
grasshoppers, crickets, whatever preyed
upon for hunger begging to be fed.

Let’s see how we as species are displayed
with our free will: though instinct marks our brain
as animal, we seek no accolade

within this land of Nod as sons of Cain
who enter towers spewing waves of flame.
That's very impressive, GM. I have a few small quibbles -- At the end of the first stanza, I am not sure what is meant by "sand that larvae weather light" -- it may be intentionally ambiguous, but I had to stop and scratch my head.

In the second stanza, I believe that you want "lies" and not "lays" -- "lays" is transitive. I think that you are using the word "bereaves" incorrectly. From the context I think you mean that the dog has been bereaved.

In the third stanza, the second line is shy one syllable. It also begins with a trochee (GRASShop-per) instead of an iamb, but my main man John Keats does that all the time. I might suggest that you add a syllable thus:

grasshoppers, crickets, or whatever preyed

The final line of that stanza has very murky syntax. It sounds at first blush like the hunger is begging to be fed (and not the whatever? It took me a moment to arrive at that conclusion.)

You have a nice volta with the advent of line 10.

Last edited by AlwaysHungry : Yesterday at 02:45 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 09:05 PM   #695
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Thanks for the input, AH. It’s always helpful.

The word “weather” is used as a verb. (Merriam Webster). Full Definition
transitive verb
1 : to expose to the open air : subject to the action of the elements
2 : to bear up against and come safely through <weather a storm> <weather a crisis>
“Light” is the direct object.

That said, I may change it to simpler language. I don’t mind a little
scratching of the head but not that early in a poem.

I’m a bit embarrassed about leaving out the “or.” It was there in an earlier
draft. I tinkered with it and forgot to put the word back in. I gotta stop
speed reading when I’m editing a poem for the umpteenth time. Thanks
for catching it.

You're right about bereave. I have to change that.

I’ll wave the white flag and change “lay” to “lie” but can’t resist the following
excerpt, again from Merriam Webster. It gave me a chuckle:

Usage: lay has been used intransitively in the sense of “lie” since the 14th century. The practice was unremarked until around 1770; attempts to correct it have been a fixture of schoolbooks ever since. Generations of teachers and critics have succeeded in taming most literary and learned writing, but intransitive lay persists in familiar speech and is a bit more common in general prose than one might suspect. Much of the problem lies in the confusing similarity of the principal parts of the two words. Another influence may be a folk belief that lie is for people and lay is for things. Some commentators are ready to abandon the distinction, suggesting that lay is on the rise socially. But if it does rise to respectability, it is sure to do so slowly: many people have invested effort in learning to keep lie and lay distinct. Remember that even though many people do use lay for lie, others will judge you unfavorably if you do.
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