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  #1  
Unread 10-07-2019, 07:14 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Default One Against Hundreds

Revision:
One Against Hundreds


'Amok' blurs by:
'Amok' blurs by: . . . . . mere minutes after
stalking a sentry,
stalking a sentry, . . . . . strangling him,
and filching his fancy,
and filching his fancy, . . . . . fully-auto
assault-rifle,
assault-rifle, . . . . . mere seconds after
scaling the wall
scaling the wall . . . . . and squeezing through
a gap of rot
a gap of rot . . . . . where the roof begins,
you, bare-naked
you, bare-naked . . . . . but for your boxers,
stand, raw-footed,
stand, raw-footed, . . . . . with rats on a rafter,
surveying the scene.
surveying the scene. . . . . . You see beaucoup
gomers with rifles
goons with rifles . . . . . ranged around
a lone bare bulb.

a lone bare bulb. . . . . . In the relentless light
their grizzle-bearded
their grizzle-bearded . . . . . boss is bellowing
at your friend Orin,
at your friend Orin, . . . . . “The fifth sign, the fire
that thrives on water—
that thrives on water— . . . . . where and when
and how will it start?”
and how will it start?” . . . . . Stubborn in the face
of ornery authority,
of ornery authority, . . . . . Orin answers:
“Soon enough you
“Soon enough you . . . . . will see for yourself
what I have witnessed,
what I have witnessed, . . . . . though you won’t want
to see it then.”

to see it then.” . . . . . Incensed by this,
the guy winds up
the guy winds up . . . . . and wallops Orin’s
left ear hard.
left ear hard. . . . . . Your huge friend staggers,
takes a knee.

takes a knee.. . . . . Torn between
red rage demanding
red rage demanding . . . . . an immediate rampage
and neutral prudence
and neutral prudence . . . . . nagging, outnumbered,
you will be quickly
you will be quickly . . . . . killed while killing,
you wince and worry:
you wince and worry: . . . . . what should you do?


Original:
One Against Hundreds


Much blurs by:
Much blurs by: . . . . . mere minutes after
stalking a sentry,
stalking a sentry, . . . . . strangling him,
and filching his fancy,
and filching his fancy, . . . . . fully-auto
assault-rifle,
assault-rifle, . . . . . mere seconds after
scaling the wall
scaling the wall . . . . . and squeezing through
a rotten gap
a rotten gap . . . . . where the roof begins,
you, bare-naked
you, bare-naked . . . . . but for your boxers,
stand, raw-footed,
stand, raw-footed, . . . . . with rats on a rafter,
surveying the scene.
surveying the scene. . . . . . You see beaucoup
goons with rifles
goons with rifles . . . . . ranged around
a lone bare bulb.

a lone bare bulb. . . . . . In the relentless light
their grizzled-bearded
their grizzled-bearded . . . . . boss is bellowing
over and over
over and over . . . . . at Orin, “Come now,
fess up: the fifth sign,
fess up: the fifth sign, . . . . . the fateful fire
that thrives on water—
that thrives on water— . . . . . where and when
and how will it happen?”
and how will it happen?” . . . . . His heated grilling,
after a long while,
after a long while, . . . . . elicits this answer:
“Soon enough you
“Soon enough you . . . . . will see for yourself
what I have witnessed,
what I have witnessed, . . . . . whether you want to
or not.” Annoyed
or not.” Annoyed . . . . . by non-compliance,
the guy winds up
the guy winds up . . . . . and wallops Orin’s
left ear good.
left ear good. . . . . . The lug staggers,
takes a knee.

takes a knee. . . . . . Torn between
red rage demanding
red rage demanding . . . . . an immediate rampage
to save your friend
and neutral prudence
and niggling prudence . . . . . nagging, outnumbered,
you will die quickly,
you will die quickly, . . . . . killed while killing,
you wince and worry:
you wince and worry . . . . .:what should you do?

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 10-10-2019 at 09:10 PM.
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  #2  
Unread 10-08-2019, 02:06 AM
Ann Drysdale's Avatar
Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is online now
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Okay. When did the sweatpants become boxers? Have you altered The Talk in relation to my query on the Faster Faster thread?
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  #3  
Unread 10-08-2019, 06:27 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Oh, Ann. You are right. I revised the sweatpants to boxers. Sorry--been crazy busy lately. I need to get those earlier threads caught up. What do you think of this? What can I do to make it better?
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  #4  
Unread 10-08-2019, 07:17 AM
Ann Drysdale's Avatar
Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is online now
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Thank you, Aaron. I was worried lest you found my nit-picking irritating.

I think, though, that, for the sake of freshness, you may have to leave the pulling-together of the whole draft till a bit nearer the completion of the work. Let the narrative roll and listen to the occasional well-meant "yes, but..." until the literary equivalent of post-production.

I am one who often, while reading a book, will suddenly cry "huh?..." and track back to find where something doesn't fit. Importantly, most of the time I am proved wrong (except with Jefferey Deaver, who has, among other mysteries, a location scout armed only with a wrench who eventually shoots someone with it... and a woman whose slacks change to frocks at the turn of a page).

I have gone back on that basis once or twice as these pieces have progressed. It took me a long time to start feeling for the story but it's taking shape for me now (though I wish I could like Li-ling; I often want to slap her - that's not a suggestion that you chould change her, it's a measure of her viability as a character).

I am trying to piece Savannah together - is she handicapped? I've searched for details since I found her described as "spastic" and am still wondering what I've missed. Have those details been thread-pruned?

And that "despite" in The Talk still bothers me.

As you can see, I trip on little things which others will leap over. I apologise for that.
.

Last edited by Ann Drysdale; 10-08-2019 at 07:23 AM. Reason: I put in a word ("for") I thought I'd written and hadn't.
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  #5  
Unread 10-08-2019, 07:30 AM
Matt Q Matt Q is online now
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Hi Aaron,

Nicely done, with an appropriately cliff-hangeresque close.

Do you need:

...........................................where and when
and how will it happen?”

The nature of his question seems implicit in what precedes, even within the context of this piece -- and more so in the context of the book -- and it's also a little flat in terms of sonics and word-choice in comparison to the rest of the poem. Anyway, it could be cut and the poem doesn't seem to be affected.

Another thought, "guy" could be "oaf"? it's less generic and would alliterate with "Odin".

the oaf winds up
the guy winds up . . . . . and wallops Orin’s

best,

Matt
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  #6  
Unread 10-08-2019, 08:49 AM
Max Goodman Max Goodman is offline
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The sentry is dispatched in two words. That's bold, and I'm still with the poem, confident that it is going to reward me with an experienceable scene when the real show starts.

The bare bulb and the grizzled beard are cliches. It may be intentional that you're trafficking in them, for a reason that's above my head. I'd like surprising details that make these goons unique (in addition to, if not in place of, those familiar details).

I read "over and over" more literally than the poem wants me to, and I get the goon repeating those 22 words multiple times. Maybe a period after "at Orin."

"Non-compliance" feels off-register. More important, it's empty; I know why the guy's annoyed.
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  #7  
Unread 10-08-2019, 01:07 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Hello, all. Thank you for commenting. I have posted a revision that, I hope, takes care of your concerns.

Best,

Aaron
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  #8  
Unread 10-09-2019, 04:24 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Aaron,

More crisp, fun, lively narrative. I do have one question; in these lines, I miss the syntax connecting "you will be quickly" to what precedes it.

Torn between
red rage demanding . . . . . an immediate rampage
to save your friend
to save your friend . . . . . from further suffering
and neutral prudence
you will be quickly . . . . . killed while killing ...

Cheers,
John
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  #9  
Unread 10-10-2019, 09:08 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Thanks, John. I have cut "to save your friend from further suffering". Is that sentence clear now?

Best,
Aaron
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  #10  
Unread 10-10-2019, 09:36 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Aaron,

Yes, that clears up the syntax for me!

Thanks,
John
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