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Old 06-14-2018, 02:00 AM
Ann Drysdale's Avatar
Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Old South Wales (UK)
Posts: 4,460

I prefer the title that appears with the poem. I see that as the actual title, the single word being merely intended as a marker on the Eratosphere "menu".

Last edited by Ann Drysdale; 06-14-2018 at 02:18 AM.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:55 AM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Location: England, UK
Posts: 2,825

Aaron, Annie, Jim, John I, Jan, John R, David and Jason,

Many thanks to you all for reading and commenting.


Thanks for the suggestion. Yes, as it stands I think the final line on its own places too much emphasis than is ideal given what currently precedes. I'm interested in the idea of not having the N in view at the beginning, though undecided. However, losing the first line would also allow me to have a stanza break after "seemed melancholy as fish eyes" which would be nice since it emphasises the shift from apparent simile (his eyes are like fish eyes) to identity (his eyes are fish eyes). On the other hand simply cutting what you suggest seem to bring the quivering and silvery nakedness in too soon. I'd like a first line of relative normalcy. So I'm not sure what/how to move forward. But, you've got me thinking, so much thanks for that.


I confess I was bullied by the spell-checker. I typed 'Queueing', it objected, and I googled "Queuing" found it in a dictionary, was a little surprised but figured it was after all possible I was fallible and rolled with it.

(If anyone else is unhappy with the spelling I suggest they and form an orderly queu behind Annie).

Jim & John I,

In the UK Mothers Day is on a Sunday, when no post is delivered. So, the Friday before is your last chance to post anything, so the Post Office was busy that day. Whether that was a factor in fish's presence, he didn't divulge. But I did wonder.


Ah, I really hadn't anticipated the fish-as-dirty-old-man angle. More the idea of someone/thing looking strange (like a fish out of water!) and no one noticing, or choosing not to look. I guess the nakedness and the raincoat give that impression. Maybe I should dress him differently. I wanted a long coat as a poor disguise for the fish, so he could blend in.

John R,

I hadn't really thought about "their", but yes, I am using it in a gender-neutral singular sense. I could use "in his or her bubble" I guess, but I'm not sure how well it goes with non-specificity of "humans".

Yes, that line in S2 is heavily comma-ed. I've taken one out, but I'm not sure it's right to. What I mean is something a bit like this:

His eyes, flat and translucent (and, of course, a little watery), seemed melancholy as fish eyes

So I had bracketing commas where the brackets are now, but also bracketing commas around "of course" like so:

His eyes, flat and translucent, and, of course, a little watery, seemed melancholy as fish eyes

Which I think is correct but maybe not, and yes, it does look a bit crowded.

The semicolon in S3 is there two join two sentences, because it want to make clear that "they" refers to eyes. Maybe I'm better with: "seemed melancholy as fish eyes / so often do. Being located, as they were" or "so often do. And being located, as they were". I've gone for the former.


He did indeed have a bicycle clip around the base of his tail. I do like your reading.


I'd thought that specifying a location and a time might help the reader form a specific image. Also, with them, how have a suggestion as to why the fish might be there, which seemed to add something.

Thanks again all,


Last edited by Matt Q; 06-14-2018 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:37 AM
John Riley John Riley is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 3,989


I don't have the first version to compare it against but I like this. Not sure how much it's changed. I like the prevalence of hesitation and specific explanations dropped in. It tells us so much about the narrator.

Good one.
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:42 AM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Location: England, UK
Posts: 2,825

Thanks John, and sorry, I forgot to list the edits. They're there now. All I've done is lose the semicolon + "and", and that one comma.

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Old 06-14-2018, 03:12 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Join Date: May 2016
Location: England
Posts: 2,446

Hi Matt,

This has that wonderful mix of matter-of-fact weirdness and inexplicable melancholy that you excel at. If I were going for a Hollywood style pitch I'd say Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by way of Tony Hancock.

Enjoyed this.
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