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Old 05-16-2018, 12:47 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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Default Anesthesia

Anesthesia

xxxxxO, what shall I wear to the surgery
xxxxxthat goes with this garb of foreboding?
xxxxxPerhaps something slightly stoic
xxxxxlike that fedora my father gave me
xxxxxThe same one his father donned
xxxxxstanding stiff in front of the camera obscura.


No.
I will go gowned as I am,
scared of nothing,
fearing shadows.
I will lay low,
suspicious of the sweet
Ambrosia of unthinking.

She has come for me now
robed in Eucalyptus vapor,
a bit forlorn and pouty-lipped,
hypnotic stare and wild white hair,
hovering ever-near, in the negative light,
her porcelain arms outstretched
as if to lift my caged senses up
to where I cannot know.

I said I would go but now
I’m helpless and don’t know
for sure if I said yes or no.
(Am I lost?)
I am going now
(though I am already lost)
We are all counting down...
There is fire in my throat...
My arms are gone...
my legs too...
and everyone is waiting
so I must go to you.

here
the ghost is here

you are not lost

only words are

here the ghost is here

come over here

and stay as long

as you will

you are not lost

here the ghost is here

with you the ghost

is not lost the ghost is

you and you are not lost

you are here

and not aware

of anything

but hey
when were you ever aware of anything

who is that there
standing still

that handsome face
who wears the fedora
he is dead now over a year

now dear boy
fresh from the stars
my little sleep sponge

I must be going
I can see the wind
blowing through you

I need but just another breath
to inhale my illusion and vanish
through the grey arbor wrapped
in grey wisteria over there in the mist.

do you see

do you now
you see the place
down there
where all is lost


Plummeting through a plume of black dust
past and present split and I can see
everything and nothing is out of place
except that my eyes hurt
and my voice will not speak

I’m back
xxxxxxxxxxI’m back


mouthing dry grey words to the scrubs
in post-op, their backs turned.
I wait and stare, stare and wait
and then I sing to her:

xxxxxO, what shall I wear to the surgery
xxxxxthat goes with this garb of unreal foreboding?
xxxxxPerhaps something slightly stoic
xxxxxlike that fedora my father gave me.
xxxxxThe same one his father donned
xxxxxstanding stiff in front of the camera obscura.


where are you

where


My head above the pillow
Lying there on the metal bed,
I finally find the words
To ask for ice cream
and the crossword puzzle
I left behind.
x
x
x

Last edited by Jim Moonan; 05-18-2018 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:59 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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As luck would have it, I clicked "post" prematurely.... I was preparing it for posting but had planned on doing it tomorrow morning, shortly before going under the knife.

I will be somewhat out of commission for the next 2-3 days but if all goes well, when I return, I would expect it will be poked around quite a bit.

It's just a little homespun "projection therapy" in preparation for the unknown... Ha!
x
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Old 05-18-2018, 04:12 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Hi Jim,

There's an ambition here that I can't help but admire. Some of the 'greyed-out' section reaches a genuine hypnotic feeling of being submerged. But I think a lot of the language feels like you're playing with poetry: you're writing poetry the way you think it should sound from what you've read of it and so the voice is inconsistent. Of course Eliot's voice was inconsistent. 'He Do the Police in Different Voices' after all. But bits of this feel like a sort of a toy version of bits of The Waste Land that you're not ready for (few of us are).

However.

'now dear boy
fresh from the stars
my little sleep sponge'

pulled me up short, because it's utterly beautiful. So, do more of that, whatever it is. Don't try to be epic. Be miniature. You have a poet's soul, which lots of people who write more 'competent' poetry don't.

Hope you're well.
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Old 05-19-2018, 08:25 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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(From a hospital bed, watching the wedding)

Thanks for commenting
Yes to all of that, Mark. You have said it enough to me in crits so that you could preface it by saying, “as I’ve said before...” : )

The lines you liked are the lines that felt the best, most natural coming out.

You're a good teacher. Not too bad a poet, either : )

I’m a slow learner. I will get it.

Last edited by Jim Moonan; Yesterday at 09:12 AM.
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Old 05-19-2018, 09:24 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Jim,

What Mark said. I agree, the "dear boy" passage is gorgeous. That is poetry.
I think anesthesia permits a lot of disjunction, so you could experiment with slashing away at this if you like. Hang on to your original if you do play around with it. Maybe you don't need much of a frame now.

Cheers,
John

PS Get well soon.
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Old 05-19-2018, 10:08 AM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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Jim, I mean what I'm about to say as a positive. I'm not being an ass when I say this reads like the notes for a poem you're noodling around with. I have a huge file called "fragments" that is full of passages such as this. I dip in and out of it all day when I have time to write. Mark pointed out a brilliant fragment. Everyone can't do that. It struck me that starting with

She has come for me now
robed in Eucalyptus vapor,
a bit forlorn and pouty-lipped


would be a good hook.

All the stuff about the fedora is the sort of thing we write when we're working on getting to the good stuff.

I can't buy into the gray lettering but there is good stuff in that passage. It does have an Eliot feel and you can fix that.

In short, I think you're still working up stuff you can shape into a fine poem. It isn't nearly there yet but patience.

Get well.

John
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Old Yesterday, 09:35 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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Thanks John and John.

It's in my nature to find something good to take away from all the poetic debris. That both of you (and Mark) found lines that struck you as beautiful gives me plenty to be happy about.

John I., anesthesia is indeed a worthy conceit to write about, I think. In hindsight (I'd actually written this passage before I was anesthetized (I've been anesthetized before but don't remember ) In hindsight I could have written that interlude much differently. It was a blankness, an absence of thought with surreal entry and exit). I do like poems that give off a sense of disorientation because it is in that confusion that things can come suddenly clear and distilled. I just can't get there yet : )

John R., your comments are always full of a personal wisdom that drip with good perspective. A stepping back. I could not agree more (again in hindsight) that much of this poem is fodder/fragments to be revisited.
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Old Yesterday, 12:36 PM
Felicity Teague's Avatar
Felicity Teague Felicity Teague is offline
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Hi Jim,

I'm sorry you're in hospital at the moment; I hope everything's going well and you'll be out soon.

I find I get on very well with this piece when I play it out in my mind like a theatrical performance. That involves summoning up a few scenes and characters, which is something I like to do. I particularly admire the woman of 'wild white hair' and the grey-text ghost is pretty cool. I'd be tempted to edit the whole thing to make a drama out of it, but of course that's up to you <(:-)

Best wishes and ice cream,
Fliss
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