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  #11  
Unread 07-08-2020, 11:20 PM
Daniel Kemper's Avatar
Daniel Kemper Daniel Kemper is offline
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Andrew!! Sorry to disappoint, I wrote this for compensation (after work, before I picked up my kids. I post it now that they're going to bed).

Game Hen

The taunting taste, but only taste, of thin,
but aromatic broth; the slowing spin
that flows behind the spoon; the basil's sighs,
the pepper's hiss; the basting breasts and thighs
that hypnotize: just where should I begin?

By gently lifting thighs and pressing in
to test the readiness, this will have been
designed to please the taste it amplifies,
the taunting taste

The salt is concentrated on the skin.
I risk a nibble, pause and rest my chin
against my palm, and slowly meet your eyes.
And wait. You flinch with mild surprise
and part your lips to show me where to pin
the taunting taste


~Nothin could be finer than critiques from Julie Steiner-- Hi again! I think we cross-posted yesterday before I had to dive into work. First, yeah I'll swap the pronoun to make the person consistent. A casualty of cut and paste and trying it both ways before posting. It seems to have caused inordinate difficulty for you. Second, methinks...
Time like A blah
Time like B blah
Time like C blah-extended
is as simple and sensible as it gets. C'mon, now you. Clear, and a clear variation for a grieving outburst.
But to travel through it dully...
It's time.
Time like tide pulls. - grammatical, plain, simple
Time like wind wears. - grammatical, plain, simple
Time like tornados tears us all away from shelters we call paradise. - grammatical, simple but this time no potential object is held back and the pressure built up in the first phrases gets released. All on theme. I think you are trying to hard to make something that's not there.

I am still revising; learning lots by how everyone processes it.

A Sterling, Hey:

For grief, everyone says, "But the [lost one] still lives on inside you." Don't' they? But is that true? That's the metaphysics of the poem. Pointedly, can love be eternal? That's the point; that's the question. If it is, then even when the beloved is gone, the love and the lover should live on. So yes, should not memory be the equal if those things are true? The speaker tests the idea and finds it wanting. Not sure where it came off the rails, except I do get I'll need to give a little more grit to keep the reader interested in the question.

I kindof like your idea of what to spark the memory, rather than leave the (two) shots until the end... Chewing on how I might use it.
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  #12  
Unread 07-10-2020, 12:02 AM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Kemper View Post
Time like tide pulls. - grammatical, plain, simple
Time like wind wears. - grammatical, plain, simple
Time like tornados tears us all away from shelters we call paradise. - grammatical, simple but this time no potential object is held back and the pressure built up in the first phrases gets released. All on theme. I think you are trying to hard to make something that's not there.
Yes, I'm trying hard to make PUNCTUATION that's not there. Why isn't it there?

Punctuation was invented for the same reason turn signals were invented--because other people aren't mind-readers. If you want me to read

Quote:
Time like tide pulls time like wind wears time like tornados tears us all away from shelters we call paradise.
as if it were punctuated

Quote:
Time like tide pulls. Time like wind wears. Time like tornados tears us all away from shelters we call paradise.
then you should really punctuate it that way.

"Pulls" and "wears" can be either transitive or intransitive, and when they are followed by nouns rather than by punctuation, they sure as hell look transitive:

Quote:
Time, like tide, pulls time like wind wears time, like tornados--tears us all away from shelters we call paradise.
Don't like the way I punctuate it when I'm left to my own devices? Then don't leave me to my own devices!
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  #13  
Unread 07-10-2020, 08:42 PM
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Andrew Mandelbaum Andrew Mandelbaum is offline
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The language choices here lean into the wrong kind of purple-ish tone that results in the reader feeling more the narrator's love for his depth of feeling than any living autonomous other. I don't suspect that of you personally but that is how the style plays out with the subject for me.
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  #14  
Unread 07-11-2020, 09:54 AM
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Daniel Kemper Daniel Kemper is offline
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All~ revision posted. Improvements, but some new failings too... The thoughts and feelings so far have been great. Thank you all.

Hi again Julie,

To use or not use rules-- and when: That's the question. To sharpen mourning I chose a run of spondees and no punctuation. The simplicity of meter should lend itself to simplicity of structure. There might be a stumble at first read, but as I always say, poems are like songs or symphonies. It can take a run or two to see what the composer's doing. After which it should run smooth enough.

Except perhaps for the first draft's bad choice on tratTORia/TRATToria, there's control and deliberation of sound, sense, and flow-- to include grammar. (Even the bad choice was a precise construction.) The variation introduced has a clear start and clear end of both grammatical and metrical variation. The point? It's a controlled artistic choice, not a flaw in construction. Not a mistake in punctuation. Not an after-the-fact rationalization.

Tastes vary; non disputum. I only say it should not be read as failed punctuation; though for you, I accept that it might be read as a failed artistic choice.

{I was thinking of Faulkner-- a single run-on sentence-paragraph that was about a page long which was about someone running away. His idea was to make the reader as out of breath as the character.

Andrew- nicely put. Really nicely put. Here's where I'm trying to get with this character and scene. And where I'm not trying to get. Please let me know where you see the poem first started it's slide off the path.
It's about the man and the metaphysics of love. It's not about the beloved. Because he attempts to solve the problem: Can love be eternal? Is there "twuuu wove"? (Dante was chastised by Beatrice b/c he failed to stay chaste and wait for death to be with her. ) If you love someone forever, it should mean after they are gone. If the only thing that made them different from the rest of the world was that love, then that should be all that's needed. --This is kindof where the poem slides, I guess, distinguishing between a maintained love and simply being in his own head. Tough line to draw.
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  #15  
Unread 07-12-2020, 05:35 PM
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Andrew Mandelbaum Andrew Mandelbaum is offline
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I didnít read the separation here as death. It changes it a bit, if so, but still I donít buy true love as stable enough to maintain the type of accuracy and apprehension of the other when it is removed from interaction with the other and left only with the reflections and imaginings in the primate brain of the beholder. I donít propose materialism here just the lack of love in a monologue. Now grief and death are a more complicated matter but I think one would have to question Beatriceís love as a selfish business to find use in such demands. Why? What a tiny view of love to think it couldnít remain as terrible and beautiful as it was just because a totally other love was attempted in between.
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  #16  
Unread 07-12-2020, 06:27 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is online now
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Daniel,

Where this works is where you're letting you talent for specificity shine and don't get in the way with the overt metaphysics.

First, I'd dump the whole first stanza. If you don't want to do it, I'd move it maybe after the first stanza. I know it upsets the anadiplosis, but then it separates the first two "It's time"s in a way that might make the ending stronger since the binding would be more interspersed. Ultimately, the second stanza is inviting whereas the first is a bit of a slog.

I think you have adjectives in S2 (rosy, mottled) that really only feel there to fulfill the meter. It's elsewhere, but those struck me (on an initial read) as the most obvious.

I like S4 until we get here:
Just what became of this
relationship was our paradise,
the restaurant that used to feel gourmet
What do you say when love outlives a kiss,
the imperfections it cannot replace?
I get the cleverness with the half rhyme at the end, but it doesn't entirely land for me. I do think you can get away with it, but not with what you've got before, which feels clunky.

Ultimately I think you have the bones of a really good poem, and your revision process is about drawing it out, snake-charmer style.
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  #17  
Unread 07-12-2020, 08:47 PM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Like Andrew M., I'd personally prefer for the poem to go a little lighter on the eternal love means eternal monogamy, so I guess I'll have to resign myself to celibacy for the rest of my life vibe, which suggests that the narrator is more depressed by that than by the loss of the individual he claims to have loved. As Andrew said, "What a tiny view of love to think it couldn’t remain as terrible and beautiful as it was just because a totally other love was attempted in between." The narrator seems to be forgetting the traditional "Until death do us part" or "So long as you both shall live" loophole in most marriage vows. And Jesus pretty much said that marriage is irrelevant to people who have died, anyway (Luke 20:27:36). But that's not the poem you want to write, and narrators can be wrong about stuff.

I agree with Andrew S. that the first stanza could really be cut. I find it rather abstract and dull. (And the fact that I disagree with some of its premises doesn't help. Okay, I'll shut up about that now.) I think the poem would be much more interesting if it started with the new stanza about the waiter, and then slowly dropped clues to let the reader solve the puzzle of why the narrator is here alone. (Speaking of that stanza, though, "rosy hands" strikes me as an odd detail for a heterosexual man to notice about another man. I'm distracted by wondering why the narrator says the waiter's hands are rosy. Sunburn? Psoriasis? Some sort of quality that the narrator deems unmanly?)

I would suggest cutting the bad-food stanza, too, because it makes it very hard for me to take the narrator's Deep Thoughts seriously: "Not only am I struggling to come to terms with the death of my beloved, I can't even get any authentic Italian food around here!"

The unpunctuated run-on sentence about time would be brilliant if it were actually having the effect that you say you want it to have. Personally, I read it over and over and still couldn't suss what you meant until your explanation put the periods in. (BTW, Faulkner's run-on sentences have commas, parentheses, semicolons, colons, and quotation marks to help the reader parse them. So maybe you could meet me halfway and use commas instead of periods after the verbs?)

Last edited by Julie Steiner; 07-12-2020 at 09:05 PM.
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  #18  
Unread 07-14-2020, 06:40 PM
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Daniel Kemper Daniel Kemper is offline
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Morning Andrew (M)
I like that you are engaging the poem philosophy v. philosophy. Interestingly, it seems most poets intuitively regard a disagreement in philosophy as a deficiency in poetics. The poem isn't restricted from or to death, just absence that provokes musing on the absolute. As it happens, spoiler alert: it's one chapter in a work. It happens to get resolved. (Connects with recent serial posts.) It is intended to be the obligatory, "all is lost" scene. In other news, Beatrice might have been selfish, indeed. But there it is for philosophical contemplation.

--I want to be very explicit here about something. I see that poets in particular, perhaps people in general, strongly tend to reject metaphysics, but I do not see that as an exoneration of my poem. There is a way to bring it in, but I haven't found it yet.-- It does seem to make more worthwhile conversation than merely commas and diction.

Hey Andrew (S)!
[specificity v. metaphysics] - I get you. I really do. But the reason I want to write this poem IS the metaphysics. Let's face it, even the most sensual love poem cannot hold a candle to the real event; therefore, I often want to enrich the physical with the metaphysical.

[dump first stanza.] - I was somewhat chagrinned that my poem got longer with revision. [{if not} move [to become 2nd S] [{as is S2=inviting; S1=slog} --Somewhere I have to state the problem.

[rosy, mottled] - Dammit. Outed. revised. Also blew it on a missing "that" in S3L7 "that was our paradise"

[bones] - The one thing we control in this life is whether or not we choose to try. And I'll continue to try on this one. One last round of revisions. Then I'll let it slide, keep working and repost again in a couple weeks. {I'm hanging on to it's counterpoint- when times were good - for now}

~sorry to delay my replay (GF back in town... )

Julie, I've run out of time. More later, my friend.
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  #19  
Unread 07-14-2020, 11:41 PM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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No worries, Daniel. It's clear that you're happy with the run-on lines as they are. We can stop arguing about it.

I will note that when you revise the poem without keeping a record of the lines you've changed, it becomes much harder for people to say, "No, wait, I liked S3L4 the way it was before!"

I do like the change of the waiter's hands from "rosy" to "sweaty," since the narrator is also sweating by the end of the poem.

cynnicism --> cynicism

Last edited by Julie Steiner; 07-14-2020 at 11:44 PM.
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  #20  
Unread 07-16-2020, 08:06 PM
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Daniel Kemper Daniel Kemper is offline
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Hi Julie,

Love your keen-edged intellect and the gravitas of heart that puts some weight behind the blade.

As iron sharpens iron...

I knew it was some loss to remove previous versions; however, it was just too bulky. There's better ways to handle the whole deal, but on this occasion, this will have to do. Sometimes previous versions are enlightening, sometimes blinding.

I'd hoped the unreliable narrator would come through concerning the final stanza. He's not sweating; he's weeping. Though a waiter's hands frequently sweat as part of work, there's no cause for the narrator's sweat-- he didn't even start drinking yet. And he drops the defensive, "I guess." Tips on how to better deliver are certainly accepted...

This is part of a larger work I'm trying to complete, and it does deal significantly with homosexuality, but this isn't that place, and not the character.

oh, p.s. --loved the nod to Jack Handy. Guffawed out loud--blew whiskey out of my nose!
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