Eratosphere Forums - Metrical Poetry, Free Verse, Fiction, Art, Critique, Discussions Able Muse - a review of poetry, prose and art

Forum Left Top

Notices

Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Unread 01-23-2019, 10:52 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
Distinguished Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 4,069
Default The Worm on Wheels

Whatís with this bout of dread? This freak-attack?
Yes, just like that, while you are walking back
to 7th Ave to catch a train downtown
to get in hours, maybe, of study time
or something and avoid Li-ling, itís like
all of creation wants to drop a dime
on you, like everybody has a mic
or pinhole camera. What about that clown
with wild mustachios? Or maybe her
rocking the lace and kohl? A vamp voyeur?
They all just freak you out as you go down
the stairwell to the subway. You have learned
to trust these sinking feelings; you have earned
the right to be completely paranoid.

Miffed, in a way, to find the platform void
of superspies, or anyone at all,
you sigh impatiently. You shrug. You pace.
You canít help reaching down to touch your gun
just to be sure itís waiting, just in case.

What noise is on the stairs? Footsteps and voices
resound like music in a music hall.
They say that life depends on choices, choices.
The violent things we do canít be undone.
You canít just kill because of a suspicion
Ďcause, then, you would be killing everyone.

Four guys come round the bend in white shirts, ties
and black dress-pants like Mormons on a mission,
and there are bulges in their pockets. What,
pistols or rolled-up Holy Writ? Your gut
insists these dorks are killers in disguise.

All smiles and meekness, coming close to you,
the tallest asks Is this the northbound track?
The one to Cloisters?

The one to Cloisters? What you gonna do?
Offer directions? Run like Hell? Attack?

. . . . .

Seeing him go for gun or Gospel,
you blow his brains out. Brother Whatever
flaps and flops flat on the platform,
and you run up the rails, the rat-road, to darkness
with impious utterances, pistol-replies,
whizzing around you. The white-shirts had really
come there to kill you!
come there to kill you! Covert among
the pitch-smutched posts that part the express
from the local line, you look toward the station:
the three still standing are standing there staring
at what must be merely murk to their eyes.
A fourth joins them, a female rocking
taut fatigues. She tells them off,
orders them after you. They all jump down
and run toward you between the rails.

Left-eye asquint, she seems somehow
to draw a bead through the dust and darkness.
Instantly a Heckler is in her hand,
and bullets bite the beam that hides you,
graze your hair. That harpy can discern
game in the gloom! What a gifted killer!

You, death-dodger, dance in and out
among the trusses, move till you find
a concrete barrier to crouch behind.
The shots stop then, but the stone starts shaking:
the 1 is coming, the worm on wheels.

Your foes, it seems, have formed a schemeó
they rush you firing round after round
to force you from your defensive position.
Thatís a lot of lead! Dislodged, you can only
retreat up the tracks. The train is right there
honk-honk-honking, its headlights blinding. . .

Dude, are you dead? Doh! You escaped
by leaping over to a little ledge
next to the tracks. You were not quite another
train-tragedy. They tried like Hell
to do you in, but you didnít die.
The future is yours now. The future is yours.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Unread 01-24-2019, 01:39 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 3,701
Default

Hi Aaron,

I think my favorite line here is this: "The violent things we do canít be undone." But the whole is its usual rollicking self. This I thought was the most radical departure from pentameter: "flaps and flops flat on the platform."

Cheers,
John
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Unread 01-24-2019, 07:51 AM
Daniel Kemper's Avatar
Daniel Kemper Daniel Kemper is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: California
Posts: 702
Default

I'm out of time. Always pushed these days, but love the transition in form at the .......... from loosely-rhymed IP to A-S. The A-S gusto seems to fit the combat action nicely.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Unread 01-24-2019, 08:20 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
Distinguished Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 4,069
Default

Thank you, gentlemen.

John, I know the switch from iambic pentameter to Anglo-Saxon is abrupt, so I understand your wanting the "flaps and flops" line to be iambic pentameter.

The formatting I use for the Anglo-Saxon verse is different in the MS (it's just too much trouble to reproduce at length here):

Seeing him go
Seeing him go for gun or Gospel,
you blow his brains out.
you blow his brains out. Brother Whatever
flaps and flops
flaps and flops flat on the platform,
and you run up the rails,

. . . . .

Daniel, thank you. The switch from IP to A-S alliterative verse is one of the ways I have tried to deal with the potential monotony of the "long poem."

Thank you both,

Aaron

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 01-24-2019 at 11:17 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Unread 01-24-2019, 08:35 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 3,701
Default

Hi Aaron,

Yes, I felt like an idiot after reading Daniel's comment. I saw alliteration but missed the shift to the Anglo-Saxon form. Other readers might ,so I like your idea of formatting, which I find crisp and effective. It will indeed keep the thing moving along.

Cheers,
John
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Unread 01-24-2019, 11:17 AM
Allen Tice's Avatar
Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY USA
Posts: 4,198
Default

Aaron, Iím going to steal this, every word. The truest poetry is the most faining. So said the whispering bandit from Wheelbarrow Parva. Or maybe not soís youíd be able to tell. No, I wonít after all! I will just lean back in my theater seat and sigh like Boanerges. It does resemble something though. Lots of fun. Keep it up. Fear not.

Allen
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Unread 01-24-2019, 12:21 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
Distinguished Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 4,069
Default

Thank you, Allen. I will do my best to finish the novel in the same spirit. Thank you for your kind words--I was in a bit of a slump thus far this week, and you have pulled me out of it, I think.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Forum Right Top
Forum Left Bottom Forum Right Bottom
 
Right Left
Member Login
Forgot password?
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Statistics:
Forum Members: 7,959
Total Threads: 19,415
Total Posts: 248,610
There are 148 users
currently browsing forums.
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Sponsor:
Donate & Support Able Muse / Eratosphere
Forum LeftForum Right
Right Right
Right Bottom Left Right Bottom Right

Hosted by ApplauZ Online