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Old 06-21-2018, 02:52 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Default Estrangement

Rev. 2
Gothic

Not sloughed off beside the gleaming lake,
nor collected piece by ambergris piece
to auction off at the Fat Fairy bazaar,

but lurking, shifty-eyed behind my picture,
and in the oak stairs longing for their creaks,
and in my synapses that old Magyar

cries out for bacon cheeseburgers and fries,
the comfy couch in lieu of exercise.
He permits the mirror but demands surprise.

***
Rev. 1

Gothic

Not sloughed off beside the gleaming lake,
nor collected piece by ambergris piece
to auction off at the Fat Fairy bazaar,

but lurking, shifty-eyed behind my picture,
and in the oak stairs longing for their creaks;
in my very synapses that old Magyar

still exerts some sway: he begs for fries,
the comfy couch in lieu of exercise;
he permits the mirror but demands surprise.

***
L5: changed period to semi-colon
L6: Deleted "Indeed"

***

Original
Weight Loss

Where did it go, all that extra me?
It feels like it should be sloughed off and left

in the old railyard. If I could gather it,
would there be a Fat Fairy market for it?

No doubt—eager capitalist she would be—
she’d short the stock and buy a lot of teeth.

But no, it’s more like I’m a hermit crab
trapped beside the old shattered shell.

This new frame’s tidier and healthier,
but all the pictures show a jolly body

which housed a self that handled one more beer,
that never shamed me over choosing French fries.

At night, I look for my evaporated
self, to desublimate it back to flesh,

and sew that ambergris quilt of skin to me,
so I can stop seeing myself as Anna,

fresh off the train, saw Karenin: as one
whose ears stuck out more than I thought they did.

***
Condensed couplets into sestets, back to couplets.

L10: that --> a
L11: that --> which
L13: that --> my

Last edited by Andrew Szilvasy; 06-26-2018 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 06-21-2018, 02:55 PM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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Andrew, maybe "Weight Loss" would be a better title, because it sounds as if you are half missing the weight you used to have.

Susan
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Old 06-21-2018, 03:06 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Susan,

I like that suggestion. And it brings in the language more. Duly taken.

Editing in to say that it's not been that dramatic, but dramatic enough to produce surprise, when the weight first came off.

Last edited by Andrew Szilvasy; 06-21-2018 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 06-21-2018, 04:40 PM
Rick Mullin's Avatar
Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is offline
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This is good. I especially love the ending. I'm not sure about the super direct title "Weight Loss". Not that I have an alternative to suggest.

I decided to trim down when I saw my 60th birthday coming up. It actually worked. I definitely think you capture a weirdness to it here.

One result of losing weight for me is that my wedding ring fell off somewhere along the line... I just noticed it missing one day. I tried to write a poem about it and failed.
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Old 06-21-2018, 07:29 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Hi Rick,

I'm glad you like it. I'll think about a different title. It may be too direct. It's an improvement on what I had.

Funny, I've had the same problem with my wedding ring, and lost it for over a month. It could be a really powerful poem, if done right.
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Old 06-21-2018, 08:34 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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(I've always measured my weight not by weighing myself but by the amount of daylight I can see between the ring and my finger when I push up on the ring from the bottom. Seriously. I'm not kidding.)

I like this. I remember not long ago hearing a program on NPR/This American Life of people who had lost significant weight and struggled with their new-found outward image because their inward image remained the same.

The last three couplets are where the poem becomes larger in context and I can feel where you're going with it, but don't think you've come up with the right words. The images are good, though and take the poem deeper to where the self becomes... I don't know... ambiguous or something (I can't find the words )

I wonder, too, if the couplets are preventing the poem from unfolding the way it should. I think it reads better if you group the lines into three stanzas of six lines each. Just a thought.
x

Last edited by Jim Moonan; 06-22-2018 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 06-21-2018, 09:54 PM
Jason Ringler Jason Ringler is offline
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Very interesting poem. Imaging a fat fairy. You've got some great images. The ending is my favorite part.
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Old 06-22-2018, 09:49 AM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Hi Jim and Jason,

Thank you for your suggestions.

Jim: Thank you for your suggestion to put them into sestets. I think I'm going to take you up on it and see what people think. It is how the poem naturally unfolds, and thanks for making that explicit to me.

What is it about the wording in the final couplets that doesn't work for you?
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:46 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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Andrew: "What is it about the wording in the final couplets that doesn't work for you?"

The imagery is good and I can see the darkness taking over (and hence your thoughts) but I feel you are straining to say what you can say more directly, I think.

It may be just me not being able to stay with the movement of the poem as it heads towards it's deep end. I like where the poem is going as it moves along. It has a kind of reverse metamorphosis (?) vibe going on. Once I understood the meaning of a couple of words (desublimate and ambergris) I got a sense of the macabre beginning to take shape but then was confronted with the analogy of Anna and Karenin. The combination of those things just had me questioning what happened.

My primary concern, though, is that you leap, finally, to the Anna/Karenin analogy to end things. I had a bit of trouble visualizing you visualizing yourself as Anna visualizing Karenin as you in your newest physical state. It might be worth it to explore another route to making things come to an end. Exactly what or how, though, I don't know : ) It may be a more powerful ending if you remained personal in your struggle with transformation rather than drawing Anna Karenina into the image. Again, others may laud it. It's not out of the question that even I may laud it if I think more about it : )

I hope what I'm saying is clear. I don't know that it is.

Thought: Do you need the commas in S3L2?

I like the sestets, but then I would...
x
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:37 AM
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Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is offline
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Hi Andrew, I'm having trouble understanding how the images you use cohere in this poem. What does a railyard have to do with a market and fat and a shell? Also, the voice of this poem seems to be pontificating and trying too hard to be a poem, when perhaps it's prose broken into lines. The basic rhetorical structure isn't fresh somehow:


Where did it go

If I could gather it

No doubt

But no


Sorry if this is harsh. I just feel you could do so much better if you dug a little deeper into yourself.
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