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  #11  
Old 08-13-2018, 08:42 PM
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Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is online now
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As to craft... the slant rhymes are very good. Almost to breaking point. I like that.

RM
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  #12  
Old 08-13-2018, 09:44 PM
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I got “hardball” right away yesterday on the first read. It was “scrubs” that didn’t work for me.
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  #13  
Old 08-13-2018, 09:50 PM
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Daniel Kemper Daniel Kemper is offline
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Poetic prejudices disclaimed: I generally don't like slant rhyme. I don't find fault with its execution here. There's a little confusion on the line "He was that close". Actually, it works nicely both ways- that close standing near and that close to hitting something vital. If you want to focus in only on the meaning of he was standing that close, you might have to go to the line before it. I think the "Here" is what sets readers off the track. Also, the "I kept quiet", though perfectly in place could be sacrificed if you can think of some verbage to help clarify. Maybe also instead of he pointed to his side, Here/like from you to me he was just that close or somesuch.

Titling it "Unloading" is intriquing (actualy from you unloading your groceries, but who can resist the unloading a gun pun), but the potential goes largely unrealized.

I love the expression, "trouble of the kind that might come back" -that and ending this on a perfect rhyme do give a nice punch.
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  #14  
Old 08-13-2018, 10:33 PM
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R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
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Daniel, I had another title, but decided on "Unloading" before I posted it here. Neither Sr. nor I do much "unloading" in conversation. He's a vet my age with a throat to navel scar (he rarely wears a shirt in hot weather), but he doesn't talk about the war other than getting drafted right after high school and Job Corps.
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  #15  
Old Today, 10:01 AM
John Jeffrey John Jeffrey is offline
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I'm late to the shooting, I know, but this one has been skulking at the back of my brain since I first read it. I like it a lot, love a story told without much being said, but there are a few little things that keep tripping me as I read it.

S1L1 - Right off, "In the drive" threw me. I've never heard it phrased using "in" before. (Maybe it's a regional thing; if so, then it's fine.) I've heard, "During the drive" and "On the drive home/over/etc.," though they would both add a stress. Maybe "In the car" or "In the truck"?

S1L2 - If he's wearing scrubs, I'd go with "the shirt" instead of "his shirt." It's minor, but I think it helps understand that they aren't his clothes. (Actually, I think with scrubs it's called a "top," but that might be jargon that these guys wouldn't use.)

S2L1&2 - Lots of images and dialog crammed in here. Too much, I think. I understand these are men of few words, but that makes your job a bit harder. Right off, I don't think you need to say "He pointed to his side" because we know that from the damage (two ribs and the liver) and the fact that he lifted his shirt, so maybe use the freed-up iambs for clarity around the "He was that close" phrase that readers have questioned.

Presumptuous, I know, but here's sort of what I mean
...
He lifted up his shirt and showed me where
It entered and came out. “Broke these two ribs
And nicked my liver.” I kept quiet. “Here,
And here.” He grimaced. "He was so damn close."
S2L4 - The "then" looks too much like padding. You should drop it. There would only be nine syllables in the line, but you'd still have 5 stresses, and the comma would act nicely as a caesura in place of the dropped unstressed syllable.

Also, I think this sonnet would improve by only having two stanzas: the octave for the ride with the son, and the sestet for the summary of the relationship with the kid and his old man. The other breaks don't serve any purpose in this poem and the narrative is improved without them.

Love the sestet, quiet and tough. And I really like the slant rhymes (scrubs/ribs!). Guys like this, they can't be bothered with perfect rhymes anyway.

John J
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  #16  
Old Today, 10:58 AM
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R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
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John, "drive" is short for driveway. I like what you say and will ponder.
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