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Old 06-10-2018, 06:22 AM
Matt Q Matt Q is online now
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Default Queuing

In the Post Office queue, two days before Mother’s Day

I confess, I watched him as he stood there
quivering, his silvery nakedness

hidden only by a thin overcoat. His eyes, flat
and translucent and, of course, a little watery,

seemed melancholy as fish eyes
so often do. Being located, as they were,

on the sides of his head, they took in
the whole room: the humans each

in their own bubble, trickling
toward the counter, and I,

the only one staring.


------
S2L2, removed comma after "translucent"
S3L2 was "so often do; and being located, as they were,"

Last edited by Matt Q; 06-14-2018 at 11:40 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-10-2018, 09:52 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Here is a poem on that most British of words "queuing." It's pretty tight. I would only suggest cutting "I confess, I watched him as" off the top and starting with "He stood there . . ." That way the closing lines about the speaker staring and no one else noticing are more interesting and the emphatic final line would be justified.

Maybe:

He stood there quivering, his silvery nakedness

hidden only by a thin overcoat. His eyes, flat
and translucent, and of course, a little watery,

seemed melancholy as fish eyes
so often do; and being located, as they were,

on the sides of his head, they took in
the whole room: the humans each

in their own bubble, trickling
toward the counter, and I,

the only one staring.
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  #3  
Old 06-10-2018, 12:12 PM
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Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
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Please don't hate me, but ... queueing. Sorry.

I like the alice-in-wonderland quality of the observation of the fish-footman pension-drawing coffin-dodger that this creates for me.

.

Last edited by Ann Drysdale; 06-14-2018 at 02:01 AM.
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Old 06-11-2018, 12:58 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Matt,

I enjoyed the poem and the thread.

Cheers,
John
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Old 06-11-2018, 01:50 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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Paradigm sets the stage for seeing. The Post Office, two days before Mother's Day.

Two things stand out for me in this one: first, that you were the only one (apparently) in the queue that took notice of such a strange "fish out of water." It makes me pause and think he might be forming his own Escher-esque opinion of you (he can see you with his fisheyes
Second, the placement of this as being two days before Mother's Day. I don't know quite what to make of either, other than to say it has your characteristic observational, understated yet hyperbolic feel. I like it.

x
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:45 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hmm. I think the fishperson was sending a package or at least a card to his mother. But it was going to be late.

Cheers,
John
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Old 06-12-2018, 04:07 PM
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Jan Iwaszkiewicz Jan Iwaszkiewicz is offline
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Hi Matt,

Twice my response has been eaten by the gremlins of the ether or by my ineptitude I naturally choose the first.

In one sense with fish as metaphor we have a member of the raincoat brigade at the back of the queue with his warped desires putting him beyond the pale of humanity.

In another we have surreality, a feel almost that this is an ekphrastic piece.This reading is coloured by by my viewing of Australian artist, Andrew Finnie's work who "With the premise of taking Hugo Ball (1886-1927), German artist and author of sound poem ‘Karawane’ (1916), on an enlightening journey through art history, Andrew Finnie features the curious announcer of the nonsensical Dada art movement in a series of digital paintings. Appropriated scenes pay homage to some of the world’s best-known artists including Vermeer, Mondrian, Degas and Caravaggio."

Whichever reading is taken we come to the question of timing and place allowing for the vagaries of the postal system the timing is last minute and the place shows that no matter where we are the maternal tie is there. The insertion of cold fish/pervert into this scene of children's duty is startling is there meaning beyond the shock value? The play on your nom de plume.

I am in the queue waiting for enlightenment.

Regards,

Jan
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:23 AM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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I like this. Fish and their eyes have always fascinated me. I used it in a poem recently.

I'm not sure about the use of commas in S2. Should there be one after "and?" "His eyes, flat/and translucent, and, of course, a little watery"?

Should the semi-colon be a comma? (Just asking)

I guess to use "their" as you do in S5 is a good way to avoid the gendered pronouns but it seems out of place after "each" which locates it onto one at a time.

I've been slowly, oh so slowly, working on my German by reading through some Walser poems. He has one about fish, it ends with a fish image, that intrigues me as does yours.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-13-2018, 03:50 PM
David Callin David Callin is offline
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I like this, Mark.

Did he arrive by bicycle, I wonder?

And do you recognise your own piscine qualities in him, I also wonder? I note the somewhat dismissive reference to humans, as though they were a different species. And I'm guessing that you're there for Mother's Day posting too.

That reading enhances the experience of the poem for me. Without it, it's just charmingly surreal. (No bad thing.) With that reading, it's quite touching.

I'm probably way out with that reading.

Cheers

David
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:22 AM
Jason Ringler Jason Ringler is offline
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I like the title "queuing" with this poem. I'm not sure you need have post office or mothers day, that's up to you. Really cool perspective you present here.
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