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  #21  
Old Yesterday, 10:18 AM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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Michael, I like the subtle ambiguity of “I made him beg for discipline” or some variation of it, more than “They’ll hear him beg ...” which seems to come out of the blue.

The interlinked stanzas are ingenious. It reminds me of your poem, “Sketches from Route 1,” in Spenserian stanzas, where the last line of each stanza becomes the first line of the next stanza with a variation each time. It’s also like a crown of sonnets, but especially hard with ovillejo stanzas.

On first read the orange skin baffled me. But now I know what it alludes to, and I think it’s OK to make such a reference.

Last edited by Martin Elster; Yesterday at 11:30 AM.
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  #22  
Old Yesterday, 10:23 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Hi Michael,

I like it! It builds up to a great cathartic ending: even if we've already guessed the guy's identity by that point, we're gleefully waiting for the reveal. The relentless quality of the form seems to add to that.

I'm not sure I get the 'Lord' idea of the revision. I'll throw my hat into the ring on the 'skin' line. May as well.

How about 'I'll peel away the orange skin'
Like he's an actual orange! It's violent and weird - could it work?

Last edited by Mark McDonnell; Yesterday at 10:33 AM.
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  #23  
Old Yesterday, 07:30 PM
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Martin Rocek Martin Rocek is offline
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Hi Michael,
I like "They'll hear him beg"; it is perfect with the "tapes", and a nice reference to another tape.

Mark's suggestion is intriguing and macabre. Maybe go full Maenad here; that would add another layer.

Thanks again for the read,
Martin
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  #24  
Old Yesterday, 08:24 PM
Curtis Gale Weeks Curtis Gale Weeks is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Cantor View Post
1001 Ovillejos ... Revision 1 - changes in blue.

In bed they’re all the same, but still
.....I will
keep freedom as my final goal,
.....control
whatever forces might debate
.....my fate.
I know just how to hide my hate
and focus on the here, the now,
be governed by my slave girl vow:
...I will control my fate.
The flow of meaning seems a bit off in this S. for me. I don't see how the statement beginning with "but still...." follows from the notion that In bed they're all the same.

She's thinking about how they're all the same in bed, which seems to me to be a kind of freedom even so. So keeping freedom as the ultimate goal as contrast or contradiction doesn't fit for me.

The with fists clenched white of the preceding S. does kinda set up this "escape," of the thought of freedom, as the final goal...but not quite, because S1 doesn't actually set up the prison. The men aren't described at all; thus, their imprisoning isn't set up. We have to take it as we bring it to this poem, an assumption of imprisonment. Even that S's final line is like a freedom showing through the dark clouds of her enslavement. We have this admission of varied poems and varied sex in contrast to the men who are all the same. So, she's already a bit freer in comparison, right?

Yes, I've just spent many words only in the effort to describe my largely ineffable impressions, heh.


In bed they’re all the same, but still
.....I will
know freedom as my final goal,

--something like this at least contrasts that unending sameness of knowledge/experience of the men with some other knowledge or nugget of thought. Don't know that this would be an ideal revision; but I hope my meaning comes through. (Of course, this sets up the reuse of "know" later to potential revision; but I digress.)

Putting "know" there might also ease the movement into that word "debate," as I'm iffy on that word. For a moment or two I played with the thought of

.....control
whatever doubts might consecrate
.....my fate.

--although I think with this I'm straying too much in my fancy and away from the ideal meaning this S. conveys. For another moment or two I played with the idea of putting "conjugate" there, if only to suggest conjugal things....but my mind does wander much.

Maybe "forces" is not on the mark, if debate is kept. I'm not sure what, about that line, throws me a smidgen.

Last edited by Curtis Gale Weeks; Yesterday at 08:28 PM.
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  #25  
Old Yesterday, 08:57 PM
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Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is offline
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Michael, I really think this poem is the first stanza. The others seen to unnecessarily explicate what was said so well in the first, which gets a lot of mileage on the Ellington principle: We have to find a way of saying it without saying it. In other words, the other stanzas say it.


RM
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  #26  
Old Yesterday, 09:04 PM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is online now
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Jayne and Ann - Ann's right. But, just to complicate it, I've changed it again, to "You'll hear him beg for discipline." Seemed a bit more personal. Dunno.

Martin Elster - thanks for remembering "Sketches from Route 1". The 9-line Spenserian stanza I used there is a favorite of mine, particularly for lightish verse - it's a nifty, inverwoven rhyme scheme, and the extra foot on the last line gives you a little ta-da kick at the end. The interlocking stanzas is a techno-nerd compulsion.

Re "They'll hear him beg...", I've toned that down a bit to "You'll hear him beg...", but I think I need it to support the "tapes" reference.

Mark - the "Lord" reference circles back to S1. Not sure how well it works.

I'm still thinking on "I'll peel away the orange skin" - I'm not married to the existing line - but my feeling is that it's too unsubtle, and steps on the final line. I'd like the end to have a whiff of subtlety up to "This fool will make me rich."

Martin Rocek - thanks for the support on the "beg for discipline" line. I suppose that one of these days I'll write a poem where all the critters agree, but it hasn't happened yet.

See my comments to Mark above re the ending.

Curtis - I appreciate the amount of time and thinking that went into your crit, and it's almost embarrassing to say that I can't agree with any of your suggestions.

Quote:
The flow of meaning seems a bit off in this S. for me. I don't see how the statement beginning with "but still...." follows from the notion that In bed they're all the same.
I don't share your problem with this. The men are all the same - schmucks. And she hates them all. I think you're bringing a level of thinking and interpretation to this that neither the slave girl nor I are going for.

Sorry, but I prefer "keep freedom". I think it sounds better, and I'm not even sure if "know freedom" is grammatically correct as you use it. It seems awkward.

And - sorry again - but "whatever doubts might consecrate" simply wanders too far into philosophy and too far from the simpler language I'm trying to use for the slave girl. "Consecrate" belongs in a different poem. And "conjugate" definitely won't work.

Rick - I've always said that if everybody likes a poem I wasn't trying hard enough - but you weren't supposed to take me seriously. Seriously - I hear you - and I like the original (first stanza only) very much. This was an attempt to go larger, broader, and more topical. And play with the form. And what I gave up (only to some extent, he says, grudgingly) is what you point out.

Last edited by Michael Cantor; Today at 07:44 AM. Reason: Stupidity
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  #27  
Old Today, 02:19 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Quote:
Mark - the "Lord" reference circles back to S1.
Yes, I feel a bit dim in not connecting the two now. But maybe they are too far apart for the link to work. And 'The Lord' strikes a very different note for me than calling someone 'my Lord'.
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  #28  
Old Today, 03:31 AM
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Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is online now
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I think that now you've introduced the notion of tapes and drama and given the go-ahead to my take on the goings-on, perhaps you could allow him to "whimper in his orange skin". There is little less lordly than the slave of an accomplished dominatrix...

(Good grief, I actually contemplated adding an emoji to the foregoing; I wish I weren't enjoying this so much...)
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  #29  
Old Today, 09:53 AM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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I like “you’ll hear him beg.” I also like Ann’s suggestion of “whimper,” or maybe “whimpering.”

whimpering in his orange skin
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  #30  
Old Today, 12:40 PM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is online now
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Okay, guys - "whimper within his orange skin" it is - it takes a few metrical liberties, but I think it works - it sneaks in a nice internal rhyme - and if anybody bitches about reversing the first foot here only, I have some standard bullshit about using it to signal the end of the poem. Thank you Ann, thank you Martin, thank you Mark, thank you all.
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