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  #11  
Unread 08-02-2019, 04:26 PM
James Brancheau James Brancheau is offline
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I think you can clean up the charged/void stuff, but it's the wrap-up close that seems too neat. Bruised sky I've done, and actually got away with it. This seems a quick write. Anyway, fine moments, but I don't think it's there yet.

Added: I should have said that I don't think it's quite there yet. Other than the two areas I mentioned above, I enjoyed this quite a bit. And I do like the idea of wanting to go back to that first experience. Maybe it's not a new idea, but it's fertile ground. Anyway, just my take, fwiw.

Last edited by James Brancheau; 08-03-2019 at 01:28 AM.
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  #12  
Unread 08-03-2019, 11:26 AM
Jake Sheff Jake Sheff is offline
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Mark,

I like this poem of adolescent awakening, a sort of disillusionment; the dream is over. "Bruised and magic sky" -- this middle world, between heaven and hell.

I like the repetition of bruise -- it's got enough space between use one and two that it hits the ear like thunder (rather than a broken record). The repetition of "magic" was less conspicuous, but it's there and effectively so.
Auden says "the ear likes repetition." ("The eye novelty," in The Dyer's Hand.) I think Marlowe's plays do that well -- "policy" comes up in one of his. Muldoon does it well today; repeat words to a strange effect.

I love your short sentences: "Indulgent" (to describe the night); "The lips. The smoke."

I agree with Nemo on the strength of this:

"This, I thought, was for me
the heavy self dissolved
in a liquid world."

But I think this part too is true:

"Years later, maybe every drink
seeks connection to that first."

It signifies the power of beginnings, the power of firsts. I don't know -- one of life's mysteries, not easy to explain or obvious.

I like this poem immensely. Any representation of adolescent experience always reminds me of the sudden awareness in Genesis that "we are naked."

Cheers,
Jake
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  #13  
Unread 08-07-2019, 02:24 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Hi Matt - I see that, yes. But to suddenly adopt that structure would feel mechanical. It seems a cliche in itself, structure-wise, possibly.

John - not sure if you were joking ha. Suspect you were.

Hi Andrew - I'm not too keen on that as a cut. What is it about free verse, I wonder, that makes you want to avoid anything too familiar and straightforward? That's interesting.

Nemo - thanks for the good words. Yeah, I suppose I want to tell a quick and resonant story at the listener's ear, as quick and vivid as the memory and revelation itself. Glad it's working for you.

Mary - thanks. They were mushroomy times!

Max - cheers. I don't have that association. Only the idea of being 'weighed down'. Though, oddly, in Scotland a pint of bitter (ale) is a pint of 'heavy'.

James - hi! I've tried to freshen a few things up. It came quite quickly yes. Glad you see some good stuff here.

Jake - Thanks for your very thoughtful crit, I'm happy it's working for you.

(Btw I wonder why people keep calling you Jeff? But if you embraced it, spooneristically you could be 'Jeff Shake'. Which is a cool name!)


Revision posted

Tried to not mess too much, but just to get back into the zone, the memory place, to freshen up some language. Thanks all.


I'm off on my hols for a week! Will be on a Spanish beach soon. I'll try to find some culture, too, if I'm able ha. Be good!
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  #14  
Unread 08-07-2019, 03:06 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Mark,

Yup, that was my little Proust joke.
Just reread this and still like it. Id put a comma after years later.
Enjoy your hols!

Cheers,
John
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  #15  
Unread 09-08-2019, 02:29 AM
annie nance annie nance is offline
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As I read initially, I also immediately thought “cliche alert!” when I read that the sky was the color of a bruise. But when the bruised sky showed up again at the end, it seemed to come full circle, and fit just right.

This line:

“the heavy self dissolved”

throws me a bit me a bit, makes me want to read it as “the heavy self-dissolved something ...” and I want to line break to be “the heavy self/ dissolved in a liquid world.” But maybe I just need to get over it. Lol

Annie

Oh, and also... I love the description of the girl “sullen and smoking in a puffball skirt”. Was she smoking cigarettes, or was she smoking hot? I think she was both!

Last edited by annie nance; 09-08-2019 at 02:33 AM.
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  #16  
Unread 09-08-2019, 09:56 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is online now
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I like this a lot, Mark. My thoughts are noted inter-text.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark McDonnell View Post
Drinking (Rev)

Fifteen. First time drunk
and the sky the colour
of a bruise. My cousin's wedding
I think. I had my eye
on an older girl, sullen
and smoking in a puffball skirt.
I staggered but she smiled.
I kissed her and she laughed
between drags of her Silk Cut.
Peach scent, ash, and the pulsing I'd leave this out and revert to the original. I think you're overdoing it a bit.
night charged. Indulgent.
Champagne rewired circuits
and
soothed a static hiss
I never knew I had. The static hiss is a big improvement over filling of the void.
What elixir! Bubbles popped
through sleepy kisses, through
Motown
, warm blood[,] and
the air was Christmas magic. This seems slightly off to me, since the experience being described does not strike me as Christmas-y, which I associate with wholesomeness and family. And I would save "magic" for the ending.
This, I thought, was for me
the heavy self dissolved
in a liquid world.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxYears later
maybe every drink seeks
lost connection to that first.
The lips. The smoke.
The bruised and magic sky. I prefer the final four lines of the original draft.



small changes/additions.



Drinking

Fifteen. First time drunk
and the sky the colour
of a bruise. My cousin's wedding
I think. I had my eye
on an older girl, sullen
and smoking in a puffball skirt.
I staggered but she smiled.
I kissed her and she laughed
between drags of her Silk Cut.
The night was charged. Indulgent.
Champagne rewired circuits
and filled some void
I didn't know I had.
What elixir! Bubbles popped
through sleepy kisses and
the air was Christmas magic.
This, I thought, was for me
the heavy self dissolved
in a liquid world.
Years later, maybe every drink
seeks connection to that first.
The lips. The smoke.
The bruised and magic sky.
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  #17  
Unread 09-08-2019, 11:47 AM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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I'm in recovery and take addiction seriously but that doesn't stop me from enjoying this poem. I feel the present being talked about in the poem although the focus is on the past. Something is unsaid and leaving it unsaid is what makes it vibrate for me.
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  #18  
Unread 09-10-2019, 03:39 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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annie - she was smoking cigarettes, but probably the other too. Fifteen year old me full of wedding champagne would have certainly thought so. Thanks.

Roger - glad you like it. You make some good points, especially about the 'overdoing it' line. I'll bear them in mind if I ever do anything with this.

John - that means a lot, thanks. Good to see you.

Thanks for all the help folks. I didn't expect this one to be pushed back up, so let it slide now. Cheers!
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