Eratosphere Forums - Metrical Poetry, Free Verse, Fiction, Art, Critique, Discussions Able Muse - a review of poetry, prose and art

Forum Left Top

Notices

Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Unread 09-20-2019, 08:45 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 4,327
Default The Talk

The Talk

Home after violence and a long, dark drive,
you find lit candles on the countertop
and Li-ling at the table. In her lap
your girl, despite a navy stocking cap
and matching cotton onesie, just won’t stop
screaming like it is Hell to be alive.
So once again your friend, his fingertips
electric with some sedative mystique,
touches her, soothes her. She emits a coo,
yawns and is off to La-La-Land, and you
remove her. Now the three adults can speak
at ease of imminent apocalypse.

After you blab awhile about the quake
and combat, Li-ling gives it to you straight:

“No way we’ll settle things as deep as fate
tonight. I know, though, that this age feels late,
and what’s approaching has the power to shake
Creation. Still, not all events are fated.
Maybe there’s wiggle-room. The only way
to thwart the end, I figure, is to keep
Orin alive. He has to die, he said,
for our whole race to be exterminated.
We’ll guard him well.”
We’ll guard him well.” There’s nothing more to say.
The day has drained you all. You go to sleep,
you and Li-ling in your colossal bed,
Orin recumbent on the hardwood floor.

. . . . .

Waking, you hear his resonant voice proclaim:
“Behold, all round, the wicked liquid flame!”
But, by the time you get some sweatpants on
and run into the living room, he’s gone.
Cussing, you dash, half-naked, out the door.

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 09-22-2019 at 11:48 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Unread 09-21-2019, 03:44 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 4,952
Default

Hi Aaron,

Yup, nicely done. I think you might get more comments by posting slightly longer sections - these short passages are harder to get a handle on. Or I may be wrong. Anyway, I think I'd write apocalypse and Creation, thus reversing your initial caps.

Cheers,
John
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Unread 09-21-2019, 10:39 AM
Max Goodman Max Goodman is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Posts: 1,587
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Isbell View Post
I think you might get more comments by posting slightly longer sections - these short passages are harder to get a handle on. Or I may be wrong.
Dunno that you're in doubt about how best to post, Pooch, but since the topic's been brought up:

For me, shorter is better.

I'd find it helpful to know straight off that the posted stuff is a section of a longer poem. Here, Li-ling clued me in right away, but there have been times when I haven't realized until late in a section that I shouldn't regard the beginning as a beginning. A recap of what came (just) before might also be helpful.

But there may not be anything you can do that would draw more comments from me (which likely means that you're better off without them). As this time, I'm often at a loss with sections of your longer poems; there's rarely anything in your language that jars me, so without a whole poem to react to, I often don't know what to say.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Unread 09-21-2019, 11:17 PM
Mark Stone Mark Stone is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 356
Default

Aaron, Hi.

1. I find the story difficult to follow, since I don't know who the "you" is. Is "you" supposed to be me, the reader? Or is it one of the other characters in the story? If the latter, then it would be easier for me to follow if you gave that character a name. Also, in the last two sentences of the first paragraph, there seems to be a point of view shift, from the “you” (in the second to the last sentence), to a general narrator speaking in the last sentence. This is also a bit perplexing. In short, I’m just having trouble following who is talking to whom in the poem.

2. I don’t think “despite” is the correct word. My dictionary says this word means “without being affected by; in spite of.” To me, it doesn’t sound right to say the girl was screaming in spite of the fact that she was wearing a cap and a onesie. My guess is that she was screaming for a reason unrelated to what she was wearing.

3. I’m not sure what “this age feels late” means.

4. I like the sound of “the wicked liquid flame.”

Hope these thoughts are helpful. Best wishes,

Mark
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Unread 09-22-2019, 11:40 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 4,327
Default

Hello, John, thank you. If the comments come, they come. I'm not worried. I just need to post a new section of the thing here every week. It's like going to church for me. It helps for me to have the sections go public.

You are right, I will switch "Apocalypse" to lowercase and "creation" to a cap.

Max and Mark, thank you for commenting. Yes, this is a section from the sequel to my second-person epic "Mr. Either/Or." Eratosphere does not lend itself to workshopping longer works but I don't care.

Mark, "you" is an ambiguous pronoun, referring sometimes to the singular and sometimes to the plural. There is that switch here from one to three people, but I am careful, I think, to always clarify to whom "you" refers.

Sometimes, yes, the narrative does shift from the perspective of "you" singular (Zach Berzinski) to an omniscient narrator.

Thank you,

Aaron
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Unread 09-22-2019, 11:46 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 4,327
Default

Mark, also, "this age feels late" is clear enough, I think--lots of people feel as if we are approaching the apocalypse. Our popular culture is obsessed with the apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Unread 09-25-2019, 01:35 PM
Allen Tice's Avatar
Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY USA
Posts: 4,503
Default

I still owe you a noble obol. "Wicked liquid," now that's way over the mantelpiece.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Unread 09-28-2019, 04:36 AM
Ann Drysdale's Avatar
Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Old South Wales (UK)
Posts: 4,896
Default

I take the word "despite" in relation to the baby's being dressed navy as a nod to the fact that the parents have decided to go against the pink convention.

I got there after having read it several times, at first wondering why her being dressed in navy should have made her less likely to scream.

Despite?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Unread 09-30-2019, 05:53 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 4,952
Default

Hi Aaron,

Just a quick note to say I'd be reluctant to write "screaming like it is Hell to be alive," instead of "as if," but I think that colloquial grammar is partly the point for you. And it does make the piece feel zippy.

Cheers,
John
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Forum Right Top
Forum Left Bottom Forum Right Bottom
 
Right Left
Member Login
Forgot password?
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Statistics:
Forum Members: 8,017
Total Threads: 19,927
Total Posts: 255,090
There are 186 users
currently browsing forums.
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Sponsor:
Donate & Support Able Muse / Eratosphere
Forum LeftForum Right
Right Right
Right Bottom Left Right Bottom Right

Hosted by ApplauZ Online