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  
Old 12-02-2018, 03:39 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
Distinguished Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 3,869
Default The Doughboy and Director Eight

1.4

For years you had been living like a poor man
with stoners in a dorm at NYU.
Now you have silk sheets, square meals and a doorman,
Massimo, to say Good morning to.
Exulting in your new, mature, high-rent
milieu, you take the 28th St arc
westward to 9th Ave, enter Chelsea Park
and head toward the agreed-on monument.
Of all the art that New York keeps outdoors
you love this soldier cradling his gun
the most. A doughboy slogging through a trench,
he goes on fighting, fighting World War One
(which was, they said, the war to end all wars).

Close to this moral statue, in a shady
corner, sitting on a wrought-iron bench,
what seems to be a harmless, homeless lady
is digging through a stroller filled with stuff—
trash bags, glass bottles, last week’s barbecue,
a swaddled doll and, here and there, French fries.
You sit beside her, greet her with your eyes,
and she responds with,
and she responds with, “Took you long enough.”

She is, in fact, your handler in disguise,
Director Eight, who took control of you
after Director “Uh-Oh” One’s demise
a few months back. An amiable shrew,
she tends to tease you in a loving way,
and you tease back. It’s great. But not today.
Too much is imminent. All urgency,
she starts right in:
she starts right in: “The weathermen agree:
a hurricane will hit New York dead-on
two days from now, this Tuesday, right at dawn.
Starting this evening, all the boroughs—Staten
Island, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan—
will be evacuated. Local Bureau
personnel will move upstate until
the worst has passed, but you, our little hero,
will stay behind and ride the storm out.
will stay behind and ride the storm out. Shrill
chatter keeps telling us the World’s Most Wanted,
Stavros Canard, has surfaced and, undaunted,
plans to hit New York. The odds of him
making a move with everything shut down
and no one left here to impress are slim.
All the same, someone must remain in town—
that’s you, my friend. Have fun.”
that’s you, my friend. Have fun.” Then, like the haunted
mom of a lost newborn, she lifts the doll,
gives it a kiss and chucks it on the chin,
ignoring you. Your one-way chat is done.
You move along, marveling at the Fall
colors—pastels beneath a silver sun.

A storm to end all storms is moving in.

. . . . .

L39 "chatter" for "reports"
L49 "move along, marveling at" for "shuffle off, admiring"

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 12-03-2018 at 09:19 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-02-2018, 10:41 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
Distinguished Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 3,869
Default

Aaron, I find the word "reports" in line 39 an uninspired word-choice. I think you can do better.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-02-2018, 10:41 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
Distinguished Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 3,869
Default

Thank you, Aaron. I think I will go with "chatter" there.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-03-2018, 05:37 PM
Bill Carpenter Bill Carpenter is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 2,211
Default

A sequel to Mr. Either/Or in the works? Hot diggety!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-03-2018, 06:27 PM
Jayne Osborn's Avatar
Jayne Osborn Jayne Osborn is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Middle England
Posts: 5,645
Default

I MUST finish reading Mr. Either/Or before you get much further on with this, Aaron.

It's gripping stuff and I'm really enjoying it. (I'll bet you even dream in IP!)

Just wondering whether you might consider tweaking this line:You shuffle off admiring the Fall, which needs a comma after ''off'', I would suggest, to avoid the ambiguity with which it could be read.

I'm reading ''admiring'' as four syllables, which I wouldn't normally do. Maybe something along the lines of:

You shuffle off, approving of the Fall
colors—pastels beneath a silver sun.

Or perhaps,

You leave, appreciating all the Fall
colors—pastels beneath a silver sun.

... or something, to smooth that line a little. But, actually, ''shuffles off'' doesn't sound right; the ''harmless, homeless lady'' would walk off in that fashion, keeping up the pretence of her disguise, rather than our man.

(I want to pre-order the next book, please!!!)

Jayne
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-03-2018, 06:43 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
Distinguished Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 3,869
Default

Thank you, Bill and Jayne.

Jayne,

did you notice that some of the language for the "doughboy" bit was stolen from your armistice poem? Thanks for that. I will fix the ambiguity in the line you point out tonight.

Best, best,

Aaron
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-03-2018, 09:18 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
Distinguished Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 3,869
Default

Jayne,

I have revised "shuffle off, admiring" to "move along, marveling at".

Thanks for pushing me,

Aaron
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-04-2018, 01:34 AM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 5,571
Default

Aaron, I enjoyed this very much. I love the characterization of the handler (harmless, homeless lady). The narrative in pentameter sounds natural, the rhymes and other sonics are delightful, and the story kept me reading. It sounds like it’ll be an exciting tale.

By the way, this phrase: “The weathermen agree” reminded me slightly of this Auden sentence:

What instruments we have agree
The day of his death was a dark cold day.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-04-2018, 02:16 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
Distinguished Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 3,869
Default

Thank you, Martin. I had not thought of Auden's Yeats Elegy there, but I am always happy to be reminded of that poem.

Thanks again,

Aaron
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: 7,933
Total Threads: 19,589
Total Posts: 253,142
There are 192 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