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Old 07-18-2017, 08:24 PM   #251
KatieJones
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If I missed someone else saying this, I am sorry but could the mosquitoes hum?

My objection to twang would be that it has a onomatopoeic tendency that doesn't jive with the noise I want my ear to hear when I think of mosquitoes. When I read twang I hear a singular noise that fades quickly not a persistent buzz or hum.

Just a thought. I love the gnats too. They encapsulate why I don't like camping.
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:30 PM   #252
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
I've been thinking about "twang" and "buzz" and any other one syllable word to describe the sound of a mosquito. It occurred to me that there may be no such one syllable word to describe the prolonged sound of an approaching mosquito that translates well into a poem. Frankly, "twaaaaaaaaaaaaaaang" or "buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz" is much more accurate (usually followed by an abbreviated "slap.")

So I wonder what's wrong with coining a new word? Poets after all are known to streeeeeeeeeeetch and sometimes break the rules.
now there's an invitation for innovation, mer!
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:59 PM   #253
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trixareforkids View Post
Personally I like twang, maybe because I sometimes have one , but also because of its connotations to country, it's consonance with twilight and the linkage to the "accent" of the various insects.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieJones View Post
If I missed someone else saying this, I am sorry but could the mosquitoes hum?

My objection to twang would be that it has a onomatopoeic tendency that doesn't jive with the noise I want my ear to hear when I think of mosquitoes. When I read twang I hear a singular noise that fades quickly not a persistent buzz or hum.

Just a thought. I love the gnats too. They encapsulate why I don't like camping.
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Originally Posted by butters View Post
now there's an invitation for innovation, mer!
I think the sound is like zzzzzzztttt...or maybe that's the sound the bug zapper makes. Can y'all tell I don't camp?
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Old 07-21-2017, 12:01 AM   #254
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angeline View Post
I think the sound is like zzzzzzztttt...or maybe that's the sound the bug zapper makes. Can y'all tell I don't camp?
I camp. I think it might be fair to say that mosquitoes murmur, although perhaps that sounds too benign. Sometimes they whine, when they are doing reconnaissance runs near your ears.
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Old 07-21-2017, 01:01 PM   #255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlwaysHungry View Post
I camp. I think it might be fair to say that mosquitoes murmur, although perhaps that sounds too benign. Sometimes they whine, when they are doing reconnaissance runs near your ears.
ha, they always remind me of little bi-planes running hot on their engines as they make that incredibly annoyingly-pitched noise right by my ears. as they avoid my hand slapping at them.
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Old 08-20-2017, 12:21 AM   #256
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Embittered Stew

Those dreams that woke me
sweating, breathing hard
my chest constricted till
throwing off covers was
the least I could possibly do
to suck in enough air

fingers twitching, gripping at sheets,
nipples scraping, aching
as if nothing would soothe them
again, except your lips.

A million cars were wedged
between you and I,
all inching forward in a painful
parade past crazily rotating
blue and yellow lights,
blaring demented clowns.

You offered to rescue yourself
as if I had braved the
traffic for nothing, your
inconvenient wait my fault
somehow, again.

You were not too tired to scold,
to point up some shortage
some personality disorder
that fit in with the laundry list
of others, to be strung like beads
on our old abacus.

I choked down my bile and took your blame--
even for that which wasn't mine to bear--
to save our fragile peace.
You binge on electronic entertainments,
while I, I dream still of your hands,
or perhaps someone else's, to squeeze
my breasts, to stroke, to smooth
to suck and lick and soothe
the loss of days apart.

I've not waited enough, I see--
must wait still longer, till you beckon me,
as if I were a piece of marinating meat,
stew in my juices, to be done just right.
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Old 08-20-2017, 08:18 AM   #257
AlwaysHungry
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Where to begin? The image of the million cars is both intriguing and inscrutable. That stanza and the stanza that follows are puzzling -- "You offered to rescue yourself"?. The rest of the poem is clearly a lover's lament. Your poems are often of a confessional nature, and occasionally they seem cryptic because they comment on events as if the reader had been there.
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Old 08-20-2017, 08:27 AM   #258
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I found the imagery and story pretty easy to follow

woman has wet dream

wants her lover to fix this shit now!

has to go to work

guy tells woman if she doesnt get here soon will beat his dick like it owes him money, make her feel guilty and responsible for the god damned traffic

anxiety levels are peaking all that stress to try make it
to satisfy both their urges

he watches telly leaving woman sexually frustrated to all hell

dreams of another lover that isn't a douche
accepting that life sometimes kicks our libido
in the soft parts for daring to dream

But she knows the the waiting will eventually
blow her mind and body to pieces.
But she damn freaking tired of waiting
wants her god-damn relief

god-damn now
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Old 08-20-2017, 08:35 AM   #259
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will post somw thoughts on this tomorrow
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Old 08-23-2017, 08:19 PM   #260
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My comments are in parentheses.

Embittered Stew

Those dreams that woke me
sweating, breathing hard
my chest constricted till
throwing off covers was
the least I could possibly do
to suck in enough ("of a sigh" instead of "air")

fingers twitching, gripping at sheets,
nipples scraping (percale like concrete), aching
as if nothing would soothe them
again, except your lips.

A million cars were wedged
between you and I ("me," grammar Nazi; between is a preposition to be followed by the objective case. This also should be the first line IMO; the stanza flows better that way.)
all inching forward in a painful
parade past crazily rotating (“in a/painful parade past rotating/ sounds better to me with the alliteration of the hard consonant “p” without "crazily")
blue and yellow lights,
blaring demented clowns.

(The next two stanzas are powerful; I’m not sure the last one was necessary.)

You offered to rescue yourself
as if I had braved the
traffic for nothing, your
inconvenient wait my fault
somehow, again.

You were not too tired to scold,
to point up some shortage
some personality disorder
that fit in with the laundry list
of others, to be strung like beads
on our old abacus.

I choked down my bile and took your blame--
even for that which wasn't mine to bear--(I don't think you needed to write this line. Read it without it. I don't think its inclusion changes anything.)
to save our fragile peace.
You binge on electronic entertainments,
while I, I dream still of your hands,
or perhaps someone else's, to squeeze
my breasts, to stroke, to smooth
to suck and lick and soothe
the loss of days apart. (the memories of days departed.)

I've not waited enough, I see--
must wait still longer, till you beckon me,
as if I were a piece of marinating meat,
stew in my juices, to be done just right. ?


Given my view of the last stanza, I wonder if a different title would be better.

Good poem, Mer, as so many of yours are; if this is autobiographical, I’m sorry.

Last edited by greenmountaineer : 08-23-2017 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 08-23-2017, 11:43 PM   #261
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Mer this is a painful poem to read and that's good because it's engaging my emotions. The subject alone makes it powerful and the narrator comes across as emotionally tortured.

I think the poem would be even stronger if you cut back on some of the descriptive language. For example instead of "between you and I" (or "me" as gm correctly points out), you could just say "between us." And the image of "Blaring demented clowns" is such an apt metaphor for the blue and yellow lights, why say "crazily"?

I think you could cut back anything that is not essential to the poem, especially where you're sort of repeating (crazily and demented say the same thing, for example). Losing any excess words can only strengthen what is already strong writing.
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Old 08-25-2017, 02:07 AM   #262
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Thanks much for your comments, AH, Tods, gm, and Ange. You made very good comments - I need to work on it quite a bit. Alas, the semester is upon me and free time is winding down fast.
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:56 PM   #263
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Last Mo(u)rning

She lay delicate, brittle, dried
Gone

Gone from me only if I forget the touches
the embraces,
gestures
her kiss a peck, timid but warm.

She wrote down the words,
her story not hers alone. She spoke for many,
tethered me with knots made of letters,
syllables wound into the carpet weave of my history,
what makes it my own.

Blood may be thicker than water--
without words it is thin,
flowing with no clear purpose
away as much as to.

And so she lay, immobile
a symbol now.

Then came the stranger--
not close nor distant, simply strange--
doing his job: packed her
into a bag, with care,
and zipped the flesh
safely in,

as dreams, hopes, wishes,
love, hate, anger, compassion
everything
escaped like the last bit of vapor
through the zipper's metal teeth.

And only now, so many years too late,
I've found the questions I should have asked.

in memoriam
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Old 09-12-2017, 11:06 AM   #264
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This homage of someone close to you was very moving, Mer. I thought the poem could have begun with the stanza, “She wrote down..” inasmuch as the poem soon makes it clear what the prior lines describe.

"Then came the stranger......
through the zipper's metal teeth"

Very powerful
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Old 09-12-2017, 11:47 AM   #265
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I liked this much better on a second reading, the title annoyed me at first and I couldn't get past it. English (and I understand Chinese ) is rich with homonyms and double meanings which are great for puns and double entendres but is sometimes overdone. I'd suggest just a name as title or perhaps Gone - the mo(u)rning is revealed in the poem.

Once past the title, it is a strong and evocative poem but could be tightened with judicious editing and a bit more punctuation, and consistency with capitalization at the beginning of lines. My suggested changes are in red, I'd also suggest removing the 3rd stanza and the "And" at the beginning of the final stanza as I feel it interrupts the flow.
____________________________________________________[

She lay delicate, brittle, dried,
g
one.

Gone from me only if I forget the touches,
the embraces,
gestures
her kiss a peck, timid but warm.

She wrote down the words,
her story not hers alone. She spoke for many,
tethered me with knots made of letters,
syllables wound into the carpet weave of my history,
which makes it my own.

Blood may be thicker than water--
without words it is thin,
flowing with no clear purpose
away as much as to.


And so she lay, immobile
a symbol now.

Then came the stranger--
not close nor distant, simply strange--
doing his job: packed her
into a bag, with care,
and zipped the flesh
safely in enclosed??,
not sure about line break here
as dreams, hopes, wishes,
love, hate, anger, compassion,
everything
escaped like the last bit of vapor
through the zipper's metal teeth.

And only now, so many years too late,
I've found the questions I should have asked
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:55 PM   #266
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlwaysHungry View Post
I camp. I think it might be fair to say that mosquitoes murmur, although perhaps that sounds too benign. Sometimes they whine, when they are doing reconnaissance runs near your ears.
..
I never hear the little bastards
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:28 PM   #267
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I worried about the title as well, Piscator - well on the fence, so changed it, albeit a bit differently than you suggested.

I also took much of your other advice, though the blood stanza stays for now. I think it's important, as it talks about my belief that blood is not enough of a bond, words and history add meaning and depth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piscator View Post
I liked this much better on a second reading, the title annoyed me at first and I couldn't get past it. English (and I understand Chinese ) is rich with homonyms and double meanings which are great for puns and double entendres but is sometimes overdone. I'd suggest just a name as title or perhaps Gone - the mo(u)rning is revealed in the poem.

Once past the title, it is a strong and evocative poem but could be tightened with judicious editing and a bit more punctuation, and consistency with capitalization at the beginning of lines. My suggested changes are in red, I'd also suggest removing the 3rd stanza and the "And" at the beginning of the final stanza as I feel it interrupts the flow.

Thank you for your reading and thinking about it - I appreciate your feedback.
____________________________________________________[

She lay delicate, brittle, dried,
g
one.

Gone from me only if I forget the touches,
the embraces,
gestures
her kiss a peck, timid but warm.

She wrote down the words,
her story not hers alone. She spoke for many,
tethered me with knots made of letters,
syllables wound into the carpet weave of my history,
which makes it my own.

Blood may be thicker than water--
without words it is thin,
flowing with no clear purpose
away as much as to.


And so she lay, immobile
a symbol now.

Then came the stranger--
not close nor distant, simply strange--
doing his job: packed her
into a bag, with care,
and zipped the flesh
safely in enclosed??,
not sure about line break here
as dreams, hopes, wishes,
love, hate, anger, compassion,
everything
escaped like the last bit of vapor
through the zipper's metal teeth.

And only now, so many years too late,
I've found the questions I should have asked
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:33 PM   #268
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
This homage of someone close to you was very moving, Mer. I thought the poem could have begun with the stanza, “She wrote down..” inasmuch as the poem soon makes it clear what the prior lines describe.

"Then came the stranger......
through the zipper's metal teeth"

Very powerful
Thank you, gm - I appreciate your reading and commenting. I've made a change to the starting lines but not as much as you suggested, although I'm still thinking about it. The someone close to me was my mother. When she couldn't see anymore, I read back to her the family history she had written - her early years were beyond sad, and I had to stop reading it aloud, it was too hard.
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:44 PM   #269
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The Last Morning

She lay delicate, brittle, dried.

Gone from me only if I forget the touches
the embraces,
gestures—
her kiss like a peck, timid but warm.

She wrote down the words,
her story not hers alone. She spoke for many,
tethered and wrapped me in with knots made of letters,
syllables woven into the net of history.
She made it my own.

Blood may be thicker than water—
without words it runs thin,
flowing away as much as to.

And so she lay, immobile,
only a symbol now.

Then came the stranger—
not close nor distant, simply strange—
doing his job, packed her
into a bag, with care,
and zipped the body
safely in,
as dreams, hopes, wishes,
love, anger, compassion
everything
escaped like the last bit of vapor
through the teeth of the zipper.

Only now, so many years
too late, I hear the questions
I should have asked.
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:17 PM   #270
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i see you've adjusted this already, mer, further down the page,
but here are my thoughts on this version anyway, dunno if any of it will help but just wanted you to see your poem through my reader-eyes and i've tried to address it as a poem without the personal connection to it you obviously have
Quote:
Originally Posted by legerdemer View Post
Last Mo(u)rning
needs a different title; although i see what you're doing there,
from an outsider's perspective it's a distraction.for the sake of the poem, having read through it and thought about it, i'd have probably opted for something like Rose, or Violet; it'll never work for you unless that was your grandmother's name, but for the purpose of the poem (its purpose other than its personal one for you) it would tie in.


She lay delicate, brittle, dried
Gone
opening line - rather than the bald statement, you could use a visual such as a faded-to-brown/crumbled dried flower, or something else that encapsulates the essence of 'delicate, brittle, dried. As it stands, i'd suggest you add a period end of L1.

Gone from me only if I forget the touches
the embraces,
gestures
her kiss a peck, timid but warm.
how about dropping Gone, L1, allowing it to carry over from the first stanza, and dropping 'the touches' down to begin the next line, allowing 'forget' to complete a thought as well as it continuing into the next? i'd also try making that line into 'the touches, embraces, gestures,'. i also have trouble meshing the word 'peck' with 'warm', since 'peck' speaks more to me of beaks and their cool, hard quality. i get the birdlike movement it encompasses, though, and its history of being associated with kisses.

She wrote down the words,
her story not hers alone. She spoke for many,
tethered me with knots made of letters,
syllables wound into the carpet weave of my history,
what makes it my own.
hmmn, once again, i like what you're saying but not how you're saying it - this is a deliberate placing of family history on paper, yes? whilst 'wrote' has a certain implied drive behind it, a word like 'set' feels more deliberate,
more solid, more lasting.... not sure how well that solidity would then mesh with the carpet-weave imagery though i love the colours that incorporates. 'bound words to paper'? not right... 'laid words to paper'? dunno. something that binds the deliberate nature of the act with the tethering, something along the lines of this below, though it's only a suggestion of an idea and may veer too far from the imagery you want to hand us. think the main thing is to find that thing to bind the ideas without mixing the metaphors too much:

With pen and page she framed The Story -
not hers alone but hers to weave;
so many coloured threads
knotted, tethering history in
syllables and words,
making it my own.


Blood may be thicker than water--
without words it is thin,
flowing with no clear purpose
away as much as to.
flows rather than flowing, perhaps.
one aspect of that phrasing bothers me, though, and that's the viscosity/opacity aspect of thin blood v water. the word 'clear' sets up a small confusion in me - like it's suggesting it needs to be thicker to have purpose, yet the thinner water is more naturally clear. just thinking aloud, mer


And so she lay, immobile
a symbol now.
ok, what i take from this is she has created enough purpose by her actions of writing down your blended histories that she has created a stillness, no longer needing to be moving, something completed.... i feel this needs to be linked back to your opening lines, somehow, using the symbolism of whatever you choose, dried flower, whatever.

Then came the stranger--
not close nor distant, simply strange--
doing his job: packed her
into a bag, with care,
and zipped the flesh
safely in,
wonders if italicising or capping The Stranger might work. not sure about L2 there - reads as the idea of what you want to convey but doesn't, for me, read the best for your write. though i don't think 'antiseptic' is the right word to tie this in, it needs something that'll convey the strangeness they bring into the house.
quiet, cool, efficient, dry, professional, proficient... dunno, something. perhaps the plastic/rubber gloved hands as they perform their tasks? it also feels like you need the word 'plastic' in there somewhere. overall, i get the impression of someone/thing, acting in an automatic manner, disconnected from the emotional swamp, coming in to clean and tidy in a quick, discreet manner - the final act of housekeeping, or a caretaker. ALSO, using 'his' makes them less strange, more human.

i'm reading some conflict of tense between 'doing his job' and 'packed/zipped'. although this IS set in the past, by using 'doing' you bring The Stranger's actions into the present - and i think that works better for the visceral nature of how their actions are impacting the narrator, more immediate, even as a memory, since the N will recall that memory as a reliving of it in the moment. SO, i'd go with 'packs/zips'.

by sealing your grandmother's remains in the airless plastic environment, it's like an act of preserving the symbol, the dried, brittle, delicacy - and ties directly in to the image you begin with... in my head it's like taking a faded-almost-colourless rose, so brittle and delicate, perfume a memory remembered only by those who smelled it when it was a fresh bloom, and placing it in a plastic bag or glass frame


as dreams, hopes, wishes,
love, hate, anger, compassion
everything
escaped like the last bit of vapor
through the zipper's metal teeth.
'escape', to preserve tense. feel it needs a break between 'escape' and 'like the last...', so a '-' and maybe drop 'like'. my real problem is the word 'bit' in that line - have trouble equating the solidity of 'bit' (that small bite of sound)
with the gaseous, ethereal quality of 'vapor'. having said that, the word 'bit' DOES fit in so well with the bite-y quality of the metal zipper teeth, so there's a conundrum still don't think it works best when vapor-linked, though


And only now, so many years too late,
I've found the questions I should have asked.
is there some way you could link the escaped vapor to the filling of your mind/mouth/lungs with questions you can now never ask? something about clinging to your tongue, the sum of questions too late to ask... that kind of thing

in memoriam
what do you feel this adds to the poem, mer?
k, hope you took this with the spirit intended - my looking at the poem and not the personal emotional impact on you as its narrator. thankyou

EDIT: had to return to this to say this whole piece really feels about colour - its ebb and flow, its source, its exchange... how the lady who died gave up all her colours into the threads/knots, fixing their dye with her words, for posterity, and as her gift of colour to the N.

Last edited by butters : 09-13-2017 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:10 PM   #271
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I liked many of Butters' observations. I'll try my hand at it now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by legerdemer View Post
The Last Morning

She lay delicate, brittle, dried. I would rather the poem be less "instructive" to the reader, not spell out quite so firmly that this is a person who has died. In this line, I would prefer to see the adjectives first:
Delicate, brittle and dried she lay.


Gone from me only if I forget the touches
the embraces,
gestures— I'd try inverting here, too: Only if I forget the touches, the embraces, gestures is she gone
her kiss like a peck, timid but warm.

She wrote down the words,
her story not hers alone. She spoke for many, A bit redundant. A story she spoke for many
tethered and wrapped me in with knots made of letters, Nice
syllables woven into the net of history.
She made it my own. Too "instructive."

Blood may be thicker than water— The use of cliche seems heavy-handed. Could you make the reference more oblique?
without words it runs thin,
flowing away as much as to.

And so she lay, immobile, Here it is again. How about just She's only a symbol now.?
only a symbol now.

Then came the stranger—
not close nor distant, simply strange—
doing his job, packed her
into a bag, with care,
and zipped the body
safely in, These four lines seem prosaic.
as dreams, hopes, wishes,
love, anger, compassion
everything
escaped like the last bit of vapor
through the teeth of the zipper. Not prosaic, very compelling.

Only now, so many years
too late, I hear the questions
I should have asked. This stanza seems prosaic and anticlimactic, after the zipper image.
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Old 09-15-2017, 06:30 PM   #272
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hiya AH - even 'Delicate, brittle, dried. /Gone' would work. Not quite so much a statement as incorporating 'she lay' by allowing the reader's mind to fill in some of the gaps themselves, wherever that takes them. get a reader to invest in the poem by connecting like that, they tend to like it more simply because they have then engaged with it on a personal level.
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:22 AM   #273
AlwaysHungry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butters View Post
hiya AH - even 'Delicate, brittle, dried. /Gone' would work. Not quite so much a statement as incorporating 'she lay' by allowing the reader's mind to fill in some of the gaps themselves, wherever that takes them. get a reader to invest in the poem by connecting like that, they tend to like it more simply because they have then engaged with it on a personal level.
Roger that.
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:23 PM   #274
butters
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anyone care to take a stab - or thick slices - at this, please do. not entirely sure how much of a poem i can make of it, just needed to get some of the dreams out of my head to make room, yanno? this was just a snippet of last night's

traveler

so often the dreams
share the same theme
no matter how varied their content

destination
the need to be someplace
known or unknown

confusion lies
in the journey
because everything's changed

like:

step into a train
straight from the street
no place to buy tickets
no rails, no signs...
and no wish to be on the train

step off in a mall
where fines are being issued
handed out to a queue of non-compliants
and a ten dollar charge
to the girl who wants
to ride her scooter
(in the mall, not in the street - i asked,
cross to think a child had to pay
to play in the street)

or:

discussing growth-rates of chickens
as i walk through a zoo
that's really just a field
with two hard-back chairs
where we sit

where a bird
half the size of a bull
just as black
regards me closely -
so close to me i think it will touch me
with its huge, shiny beak

only the cow's falling out of
- what? -
(dream didn't show)
turns into a giant egg as it drops
an egg i have to bind then stitch
a long, thin strip of cloth about
until it's covered -
cosy

and still i don't know how
to get to where i'm going
or even where is
let alone what to do
when i get there
-----------------------------








i should remove the word 'cosy' since that isn't a truth of the poem, more an image that suggested itself as i was writing it down

somehow 'wound and bound' is now pecking at me

Last edited by butters : 09-16-2017 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:44 PM   #275
butters
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actually, just moments from this morning's dream between 8 and 10 am. shudda got up at 8

and if anyone's concerned about my mental health, i think it's having crazy dreams that keeps me sane in my waking hours. tired, but sane.

so c'mon, help me make a poem from it? i'm way overdue and if i don't start writing soon the dreams will only get stupider.

thanks in advance,
PST

(PST? ask adrina)

Last edited by butters : 09-16-2017 at 11:48 PM.
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