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  #1  
Old 06-24-2018, 12:50 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
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Default Plumbing

.
Plums, again
.

Forgive me
I took them
unthinkingly
and did not

even notice
the ripeness
or temperature
of their flesh

or the juice
that trickled
stickily
down my chin

Forgive me
I have bought
more plums
and cleaned

the fridge
and scrubbed
the juice marks
from the floor

Forgive me
I have asked
forgiveness
before and fear

I am now
revealed
as a habitual
plum thief

I am afraid
that a light
has extinguished
within you

as when a fridge
door closes


.


-----

In a last minute tweak, I changed the ending to the below, but I have now reverted back to the original.

Forgive me
I am afraid
that a light
has extinguished

within you
as when
a fridge
door closes

Last edited by Matt Q; 06-24-2018 at 04:10 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-24-2018, 01:19 PM
Woody Long's Avatar
Woody Long Woody Long is offline
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Matt —

Funny & well crafted.

S7 - I'm not sure about how well the N's fear as expressed here fits the rest of the poem. It's difficult for me to articulate what I feel. Maybe something like: In life there is guilt (for what one does) and shame (for what one is). And sometimes a mix of the two. The reader's interpretation will hinge pretty much on this stanza.

Anyway, you might consider, S7L3 (in context):

...
before and fear

I am now
revealed
as a compulsive
plum thief


Somehow that seems more poetic (or pathetic) to me.

Or maybe some other tinkering with this S. It is the most telling stanza in characterizing the N.

— Woody
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  #3  
Old 06-24-2018, 04:02 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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You? A plum thief? And a repeat offender at that? Just when you think you know a person...
This is brilliantly light-hearted, aided by the easily digested, punctuation-free format. No nits. (plum pits).
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  #4  
Old 06-24-2018, 04:30 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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This is funny. I feel like you could call it 'The Second Note'. I've seen lots of parodies of the WCW plums but they're always variations rather than sequels!

Then again, I do love Tom Leonard's Scots one so much...


Jist ti Let Yi No

(from the American of Carlos Williams)

ahv drank
thi speshlz
that wurrin
thi frij

n thit
yiwurr probbli
hodn back
furthi pahrti

awright
they wur great
thaht stroang
thaht cawld
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  #5  
Old 06-24-2018, 05:48 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is online now
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Hi Matt,

I especially like the fridge door closing at the end. It reminds me of the last shot in John Ford's The Searchers, of John Wayne standing outside as the door (and the film) closes on him. There I think you've done something that WCW hadn't done yet.

Cheers,
John
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Old 06-24-2018, 05:56 PM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is offline
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Let me speak out for all of those incredibly stupid and uneducated individuals (including me, of course) who did not realize that this was essential a play on - a parody - whatever you want to call it - on a William Carlos Williams poem, and consequently wasted their time in evaluating and commenting on it as if it was an original poem.

And thanks to Mark for blowing the whistle. (I'm curious whether Woody and Jim recognized the original - and assumed everyone would - or joined me in the dunce's corner.)

As an original poem, I thought it was so-so - ran on too long and lacked real madness - but as a parody I don't like it at all. There's a reason the original was only three stanzas. Yours is much longer and adds nothing.

General Request: if somebody is going to post a parody, I think it's only fair to indicate that up front. Otherwise, you have jerks like me wasting their time barking up the wrong tree, not to mention using awful metaphors.
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Old 06-24-2018, 06:16 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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The problem, too, is that this poem is too often parodied. Currently, it's running its course as a Twitter meme at the moment with some good ones.

And it's hard to beat Kenneth Koch's "Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams" as a parody.
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Old 06-24-2018, 06:25 PM
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Woody Long Woody Long is offline
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WCW's poem is much parodied. One is here. My favorite is here. Both of them approximating the structure of the orginial.

What I like about Matt's poem is the character of the N. Sometimes I perceive WCW's N as in-your-face obnoxious. (At other times I'm enjoying the delicious plums.) Matt's N seems to be wracked by guilt or OCD or something & hence does go on and on. That, at least, was how I interpreted the difference in length. Not to every one's taste perhaps.

Cross-posted with Andrew S.

— Woody

Last edited by Woody Long; 06-24-2018 at 06:33 PM. Reason: cross-posted with Andrew
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  #9  
Old 06-24-2018, 06:26 PM
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Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is online now
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Unfortunately have to agree with others that the poem isn't working as a parody.

I do like the repetition of "forgive me"—it begins as an echo of Williams' not quite sincere "forgive me" but, through the repetition, becomes something different, something genuine and desperate. Or, at least, it has the potential to, but I don't think what surrounds it achieves that.

I can imagine, hazily, a version of this poem that works not as mere parody but as an original poem, but you've got to find it.
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Old 06-24-2018, 06:53 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
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Woody, Jim, Mark, John and Michael,

Thanks for your comments.

So as usual, I'm trying to wrap something serious in something comic, or at least mix the two. I'm thinking that perhaps the serious isn't coming across here. Still, I'm pleased that you all seem to have enjoyed the comedy, Michael excepted.

Woody,

It's not so much 'compulsive' as 'thoughtless' that I want to communicate. That said there may well be a better word than 'habitual'. I'd say that in life, and especially in relationships, there's always a fear of being exposed as unloveable, unacceptable -- or at least, it's very common.

Jim

I am. I'm ashamed to say it, but I am.

Mark,

Thanks for the Scots version. I'd not seen it before.

Michael,

Sorry, I'd assumed the poem was famous enough -- also because it has been parodied widely on social media -- that everyone would know it. It hadn't occurred to me that someone might not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Cantor View Post
but as a parody I don't like it at all. There's a reason the original was only three stanzas. Yours is much longer and adds nothing.
I don't know if 'parody' is quite what I'm doing here (or what I'm aiming for, anyway), insofar as my target is not Williams. I'm not really trying to send him or his poem up, but to use it as springboard or something like an extended metaphor or a backdrop or something. I'm also not trying to "add" anything to Williams' poem.

best,

Matt
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