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Unread 07-18-2020, 06:39 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 4,391
Default The Scene

The Scene

It’s me there desperate at the intersection
blubbering,”Sweetie, no. I’m not a prick,”
and her, my boo, my spiritual connection,
deaf to me in a taxi. Loud on brick,
a green graffito says (I shit you not),
“Uh-oh, you hate me, and I think you’re hot.”

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 07-18-2020 at 07:06 PM.
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Unread 07-18-2020, 07:10 PM
W T Clark W T Clark is offline
Join Date: May 2020
Location: England
Posts: 133


I appreciate the darkly comic tone of this. When faced with such a short poem I focus on every single little word, to see if each fits and is needed by the poem. In l1, the "there", I feel is only there to fit the metre. Consider "It's me desperate at the intersection", to me the line loses nothing but metrics, and in fact, if we think of "desperate" as two syllables, then you have just pentameter, so problem solved. I don't like l3 at all. I have a hatred of the phrase "my boo", and "my spiritual connection" (even used in this semi-self-mocking semi-earnest context), comes off as clichéd and not very satisfying. It also jars for me against the strange surrealism of the final couplet.

Hope this helps.
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Unread 07-19-2020, 08:45 AM
Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY USA
Posts: 4,814

Au contraire, I like L3. And the entirety.
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Unread 07-19-2020, 11:56 PM
Yves S L Yves S L is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: London
Posts: 17


I think this verse is working on its own terms. The one thing standing out for me in this short verse is whether "Uh-oh" reads too much like unforgivable metrical filler.
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Unread 07-20-2020, 03:46 PM
Tzemach Aryeh Tzemach Aryeh is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Macedonia, OH, USA
Posts: 147

Without L5-6, this little tale has been told a million times. The fundamental question is whether the graffito (and form) offer the reader enough to redeem that much dead weight. For me, it doesn't.

I don't think the usual solution will work for this poem, though; the abstract, impersonal tone suits its humor. Rather, I'm hoping to see more flash and flow in the form and final image.

I think the enjambment of L1 and feminine end rhyme of L1/3 detract from the punchline. I also think a few anapests would help, but the biggest challenge for me is that the meter and rhymes seem a little forced. For example, attractiveness doesn't appear until the final word of the poem, and then is rhymed with a phrase that doesn't really add anything to the poem's message.
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Unread 07-20-2020, 04:20 PM
Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY USA
Posts: 4,814

A million times or more. Yes. The interest in this poem is two-fold: its technique, and the light it casts on the narrator. As we know by now, authors don’t exist any more, only texts do, including text narrators. If one has an interest in the putative life of the narrator, however fictional he appears, then this has that secondary interest—unless one doubts that the narrator has any reality—an option, I suppose. Oddly, I was able to verify that the author physically exists, and that his shadow maps very closely onto the poetic shadow cast by the narrator in this poem. It then becomes a question of liking or disliking the narrator or caring about him. Perhaps that might in some small way be a function of narrator’s skill, or even his wits, his history, or “heart”. To return to the matter of technique: every poem is different, and therein lies the friction point. I won’t damn with faint praise. Rather, praise with faint damns (that are very real, since the narrator may be a better person than the author might have been on occasion). This is an ouch poem. Nothing new there, unless it says ouch to its no doubt jaded audience. Does it ouch you? Will the busy narrator find time and gumption to peer at others?

Last edited by Allen Tice; 07-24-2020 at 09:38 PM.
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Unread 07-25-2020, 03:20 PM
Tony Barnstone's Avatar
Tony Barnstone Tony Barnstone is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 687

Personally, I liked the poem quite a bit. I thought the contrast between slang and metrical form made for a bit of extra interest and wit, the alliteration and the tone shift from "boo" to "spiritual connection," inverted parallelism of deaf and loud, etc., all added a bit of craft for the reader to enjoy. Small, but fun.
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