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  #1  
Unread 09-05-2019, 08:31 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Default The Rumble in the Rubble

The Rumble in the Rubble

Your buddy Orin,
Your buddy Orin, . . . . the unerring orator
of Armageddon,
of Armageddon,. . . . has gone and gotten
atop a raised,
atop a raised, . . . . rebar-encrusted
concrete shard
concrete shard . . . . and is shouting shaming
words at the world:

words at the world: . . . . “Woe to all you
heedless humans!
heedless humans! . . . . You hoped to rule
earth forever.
earth forever. . . . . Your arrogant faith
soon will, surprise!,
soon will, surprise!, . . . . be proven foolish
when the time arrives
when the time arrives . . . . for your total extinction!”

So the guy yawps
So the guy yawps . . . . to your ears only
over and over
over and over . . . . for an hour or so.
You try both to tug
You try both to talk . . . . and talk him down
but give up soon
but give up soon . . . . and gaze at the gritty
billows hovering
billows hovering . . . . above the debris.

When the dust settles,
When the dust settles, . . . . you see soldiers
with Sig Sauer
with Sig Sauer . . . . assault rifles
moving among
moving among . . . . mounds of concrete.
Whose army are they?
Whose army are they? . . . . Under whose orders?
What’s their objective?

What’s their objective? . . . . To judge from gestures,
the grizzle-bearded
the grizzle-bearded . . . . guy out front
in urban fatigues
in urban fatigues . . . . urging them onward
must be in command.
must be in command. . . . . Their movements are centered
on your tactless companion
on your tactless companion . . . . who, tall atop
a projecting peak
a projecting peak . . . . like a preacher’s pulpit,
is holding forth.
is holding forth. . . . . They are hunting him.
Rifle rounds
Rifle rounds . . . . could already have killed him.
It seems they want him
It seems they want him . . . . safely captured.

Glad you strapped on
Glad you strapped on . . . . your Glock again,
you draw down, loose lead,
you draw down, loose lead, . . . . leap for cover
behind a bank
behind a bank . . . . of backstop bleachers.
Some grunts repay you
Some grunts repay you . . . . potshot for potshot.
The gunplay might well
The gunplay might well . . . . have gone on a while,
but their sergeant orders,
but their sergeant orders, . . . . “Cease and desist!
A random ricochet
A random ricochet . . . . could ruin the one
we need alive
we need alive . . . . a little longer!”

Inspired by his words,
Spurred by his words, . . . . you sprint and spring
onto the slab
onto the slab . . . . where the soothsayer
is still hollering.
is still hollering. . . . . You hug him, hold him.
The guy going,
The guy going, . . . . “God won’t do it,
but the Weird will,”
but the Weird will,” . . . . you walk together,
with your arms around him,
with your arms around him, . . . . over the rubble.
The Word says Christ
The Word says Christ . . . . crossed the water
on foot like magic.
on foot like magic. . . . . Well, man, you make it
a quarter mile
a quarter mile . . . . across crumbled concrete
before your foes
before your foes . . . . figure they’d better
try tackling
try tackling . . . . their target somehow.

When they start circling you,
When they start circling you, . . . . cinching you
in a ring of men,
in a ring of men, . . . . you wrap your right arm
around the prophet
around the prophet . . . . and pop off shots
with your left. Just look at them:
with your left. Just look at them: . . . . leaping, dancing.
Poor bastards
Poor bastards . . . . can’t blast you back!

That’s how it happens—
That’s how it happens— . . . . you hugging Orin,
them trying to trap you
them trying to trap you . . . . and retreating shot
until you carjack
until you carjack . . . . a Cabriolet
and drive off downtown
and drive off downtown . . . . through doomed everything,
with the seer falling
with the seer falling . . . .asleep beside you.

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 09-06-2019 at 11:14 AM.
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  #2  
Unread 09-10-2019, 07:35 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Aaron,

Sorry it's taken me a while to get to this - busy last weekend, then catching up. I think I almost prefer your Anglo-Saxon verse to your rhymed passages. It crackles with energy. No real nits, though I believe you could make some of your hemistiches longer - "try tackling," for instance, could be "try to tackle."

Cheers,
John
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  #3  
Unread 09-10-2019, 08:19 AM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
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Hi Aaron,

My main experience of reading this was that it was hard work given the formatting. I was pulled diagonally back and forth trying to read it, which made it feel a little disjointed and jerky -- I think this was exacerbated by the short lines that John points out. I'd suggest formatting it with both hemistitches on the same line, with some white space to mark the caesurae.

Your buddy Orin, . . . . the unerring orator
of Armageddon, . . . . has gone and gotten

When I have more time, I'll try to come back with more specific suggestions, but meanwhile here are a couple:

So the guy yawps on
So the guy yawps . . . . to your ears only

'on' giving alliteration with 'only'. Do you need 'So'?

the grizzle-faced
the grizzle-faced . . . . gorilla out front

or something other than 'guy' which is rather bland/vague in terms of imagery ("goon" might be another option). Also "grizzle-faced" for the alliteration, assuming you're happy that it does the same as "grizzle-beared".


best,

Matt

Last edited by Matt Q; 09-10-2019 at 08:48 AM.
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  #4  
Unread 09-10-2019, 08:27 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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I like Mattĺs suggestion of putting both hemistiches on one line.

Cheers,
John
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  #5  
Unread 09-10-2019, 11:31 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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What Matt said. Especially the hemistichs (as I suggested to you in person).

HwŠt! We Gardena ......... in geardagum,
■eodcyninga, ........ ■rym gefrunon
hu ­a Š■elingas ......... ellen fremedon!

Get out your maroon Henry Sweet (1881, Clarendon Press), or lesen Sie Klaeber and Fremedon!, baby, like you were like Raymond Burr.
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  #6  
Unread 09-11-2019, 01:57 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Thank you all, gentlemen.

I ran a poll of formats for the alliterative verse sections, and more people came down on the side of the step-by-step arrangement (though there was a substantial and vocal contingent that supported the format you suggest).

In the end, I decided to keep the step-by-step format because it 1.) is more dynamic and 2.) places more emphasis on each half-line.

Best,

Aaron
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  #7  
Unread 09-13-2019, 12:25 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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We Gardena ....... disagree.
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