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Old 08-04-2017, 06:55 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is online now
Join Date: May 2013
Location: England, UK
Posts: 2,180
Default In which I post another basement poem

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It was a basement

It was a basement
It was the history of a basement

It was the history of abasement
based in a basement

One did not choose amusement.
One did not choose.

One was not embraced.
One was encased.

It was a basement.
It was an embarrassment.

I say it with a kind of amazement,
it was a maze.

It was not meant.
It was a basement.
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Old 08-04-2017, 07:42 PM
Mike Lane Mike Lane is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Delafield
Posts: 684

Hi Matt,

I probably shouldn't say this.

But I love this.

Every couplet.

Well done.
More. More.


Take care.
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Old 08-04-2017, 08:26 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 881

Yeah me too. The couplet format is perfect for the word gymnastics. I'm beginning to feel right at home in this basement of yours.

It reminds me a bit of one of my favorite Beatles lyrics "Blue Jay Way". Do you know it? It's a strange song about waiting for someone to come and they're late because they're supposedly lost in a terrible fog. The song repeatedly says, "Please don't be long for I may be asleep". As the song comes to an end a kind of mantra begins: a repeating "Don't be long" that quickly morphs into the isolating "don't belong".
This poem plays with words in a similar way.

This one strikes me as the cover poem (or perhaps the crowning poem) for your basement poems, no?
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Old 08-05-2017, 10:17 AM
Malcolm Thom Malcolm Thom is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 10

Hi Matt,

I thought this was really well done.
I really love how you've accomplished a wonderful mixture of playfulness and seriousness, looseness and tightness, surface and depth...
Like Jim notes, it invites the reader to attend to nuance while repaying that attentiveness and seems like a perfect opening (or closing) poem in a series. Opens the basement door and I'm looking down the stairs...

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Old 08-06-2017, 09:46 PM
Kyle Norwood Kyle Norwood is offline
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 283

I like the first three lines so much that I wish I liked the rest more. "Basement" and "embarrassment" seem too far apart sonically.

OK, here's a rather radical suggestion: take out stanzas 3-5. Stanzas 1-2 plus 7-8 have a haunting unity that stanzas 3-5 only dilute.

Just an idea. If the suggestion doesn't work for you, just ignore it.
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:22 AM
Matt Q Matt Q is online now
Join Date: May 2013
Location: England, UK
Posts: 2,180

Mike, Jim, Malcom, Kyle

Many thanks. I'm pleased this has gone down so well. I was a little unsure about it.

Mike, good to see you. This is from my NaPo thread this year, which was basement themed, so there are more on this theme to come, and I've posted a fair few already.

Jim & Malcolm, yes, possibly the opener (or closer) if I ever get around to assembling all these basement poems.

Kyle, I am less satisfied with S3&4, probably due to having less "word gymnastics" as Jim calls it. I do like the embarrassment/basement thing though; I think the consonance of the 'b' and 's' sounds carries it. (It might sound different in US accent, I guess).

Thanks again all


Last edited by Matt Q; 08-07-2017 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:40 PM
John Riley John Riley is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 3,356

Matt, I like this as well. I've read it several times the last few days and am impressed at how it suggests so much. At how it continues to open up. It could mean everything, it could mean nothing, and either way it works. I like this poem.

Good work,
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