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  #1  
Unread 07-26-2019, 11:51 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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Default Lovelife

x
This Place (v.6)

Each morning reveals what the night retrieved
in a tidal flow of phantasmagoria meant to deceive.
Like one of those inescapable dreams where no one
believes me or cares enough to rescue me
from a burning building, trapped between fire
and water. So I stayed put and prayed I would wake,
if only to start over again in morning
when all would reveal itself to be untrue.

This place is like a dream gyre to nowhere
and sleep the vessel that ends where it began:
groggy in the wet grass across the river, unaware
that the dream crossing took me there.


---------------
x
Obsolescent Dream (v.5)

I scream across the turning table:
the vinyl cackles, the song slips,
the needle scratches, the arm lifts.
rutted in grooves I'm swept
in constricting circles --
a dream gyre to nowhere,

where I will wake
find myself
in the wet grass
across the river
unaware that the dream
crossing took me there.



___________
x
Obsolescent Dream (v.4)

I skate across the turning table.
The vinyl crackles, the song skips,
the needle scratches, the arm, too soon,
lifts. My residue collects in grooves,
the corners of my mouth, my eyes--
revolving in the concentric circles
of my dream gyre.

Yet it found me once: a piper's tune
that whistled between my eyes,
suspended in my ambered memory.
And, being able to play tricks,
I might find myself
in the wet grass,
across the river
unaware that the dream
crossing took me there.


___________
x
Obsolescent Dream (v.3)

We skate across the turning table.
The vinyl crackles, the song skips,
the needle scratches, the arm lifts.
our residue collects in grooves,
the corners of our mouths, our eyes--
trapped in concentric circles
of a dream gyre.

Yet it found us once: a piper's tune
that whistled between our eyes,
suspended in our ambered memory.
And, being able to play tricks,
we might find ourselves in the wet grass,
across the river, unaware
that the dream crossing took us there.

Edits
S1L5 was: "caught in the narrowing circle of the dream’s gyre."
S2L1,2 was: "Yet it finds us, this fluid thrum that leads / beyond our machinations."
S2L3 was: "could it be we might find ourselves"
S1L4: "slip" was "drift", "collecting" was "gathering"
S1L5,6 was "trapped in the dwindling circle of the dream's gyre
S1L1: was "We will not survive ... "
S1L4-8: new line breaks, tweaks to phrasing, etc.
S1L4: "Our residue" was "Gunk"
S2L3 "suspended" was "lodged"



----------
x
Obsolescent Dream (v.2)

The vinyl crackles, the song skips,
the needle scratches, the arm lifts.
The days drift like sand blown
through reeds, playing us,
our silly song spun and done.
Yet it will find us.
Our misplaced notes,
growing dissonant into crescendo,
will become melodious, sculpted
by our cambered memory.
And when it appears done,
this fluid thrum, this love of life,
would it be beyond our imaginations
to find ourselves in the wet grass,
unaware that a new one has begun?


Edits
New title
x
x


---------

x
Lovelife

The vinyl crackles, the song skips,
the needle scratches, the arm lifts.
Days dwindle as they sift, like a fist
of sand, between the fingers.
Youth, adulthood, old age —
and in between each, more songs
sung until our day is done.

Yet it will find us -- if we find it.
It will lace our warbled notes, each to each,
weaving our dissonant sounds to breach
our crescendo, meld it into harmonious cascading laughter.
It will be with us as we climb, rung by rung.
It will leap where we do, run where we run to
and away from. It will stick like sweet sap
to our ambered memory that would shake with fear
without it and flood the future with it.
It sometimes, too, is angry.

And when it appears to be done --
the lightness of laughter, the weight
of blood sweat tears, the fluid thrum of the heart --
all turn to silence; like deep forest stillness.
But in the quiet of the end, it slips through the hedge
and there, in the wet grass, a new one has begun.
x
x

Last edited by Jim Moonan; 10-08-2019 at 03:20 PM. Reason: salvage
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  #2  
Unread 07-26-2019, 11:58 AM
Allen Tice's Avatar
Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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I think I like this better than you like my “Untitled”. A bit wordy in spots. Might return for more critique.
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  #3  
Unread 07-26-2019, 03:32 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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x
x

I'm noticing this is a bit leaky... Making some small edits to plug what I can plug.
x
x
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  #4  
Unread 07-26-2019, 05:01 PM
Max Goodman Max Goodman is offline
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FWIW, the sand image doesn't rise for me above the cliche. The music images are fresher.

I don't know what the frequently mentioned "it" is. I'm not certain the poem intends me to know. FWIW, that distances me from the poem.
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  #5  
Unread 07-26-2019, 07:33 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Jim,

I don't think this is your best poem. "Ambered memory" is kind of interesting, though I might remove the -ed.

Cheers,
John
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  #6  
Unread 07-26-2019, 07:56 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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x
Allen: I think I like this better than you like my “Untitled”.

I doubt. It.
I do find your poem largely incomprehensible, but I care more about the language you use, which is rich enough to allow me to see beyond the incomprehensibility.

Thanks, Max. The sand through the fingers is cliche, though I had hoped my phrasing around it would help occlude it from being overly so. I think there's much to cut to sharpen and clarify what the poem is trying to address. Yes, the "it" is unnamed. I am hoping it can be deduced. Though It is mentioned in the poem.
x
x
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  #7  
Unread 07-26-2019, 08:14 PM
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RCL RCL is offline
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It seemed to me that "it" referred to Lovelife, per the title--until the gardening metaphor of the last two lines. Too specific to mean it, love, is reborn?
__________________
Ralph
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  #8  
Unread 07-27-2019, 04:13 AM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
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Hi Jim,

There's something rather general and abstract about this poem. It's very low on specific concrete imagery. Where does this take place? Anywhere? How much of this could I draw? If I made a short film of it, what would it look like? How would I represent ambered memory, the future being flooded, a crescendo being breached, and so on. I'm also wondering at the end-rhyme here, which I also think may be constraining your word choices. There's also something slightly odd to me, about this use of end-rhyme in free verse. Like maybe this wants to be a metrical poem instead? I wonder if you might bury the rhymes more in the lines rather than focus on end-rhyme. This would also give you more freedom to place them where they more naturally land.

The vinyl crackles, the song skips,
the needle scratches, the arm lifts.
Days dwindle as they sift, like a fist
of sand, between the fingers.
Youth, adulthood, old age —
and in between each, more songs
sung until our day is done.

The opening two lines give me concrete imagery. I can/hear see a record-player, the needle jumping on the vinyl. I think that love is being compared to a record playing, which means, I guess, that that it starts and ends? The arm lifting suggests we're at the end of a love affair, the skipping, perhaps, that it's an abrupt ending. That songs occur throughout the stages of life might suggest a series of romantic loves, assuming youth means adolescence and young adulthood and not childhood. Or maybe love isn't romantic love. Or maybe it's an LP, and we're getting a number of songs in our lifetime, and the record ending is death?

There's something rather strange about the visual image of a fist sifting between fingers. 'Sand' seems an easy reach if you're looking for time imagery. Plus it's hard to see how sand fits in with any of the other imagery. Currently I'm seeing records and a record-player, so sand seems to come from nowhere.

"our day is done" is another easy reach, a stock phrase.

Yet it will find us -- if we find it.
It will lace our warbled notes, each to each,
weaving our dissonant sounds to breach
our crescendo, meld it into harmonious cascading laughter.
It will be with us as we climb, rung by rung.
It will leap where we do, run where we run to
and away from. It will stick like sweet sap
to our ambered memory that would shake with fear
without it and flood the future with it.
It sometimes, too, is angry.

The 'it' has that opens this stanza has no clear referent. Maybe it is 'lovelife' as per the the title. Maybe it's love for life? Or maybe it's just love? If it's 'love', maybe 'Yet love will find us" would make that clearer.

I'm finding this stanza rather abstract and general. Possibly in part because I'm not entirely clear what 'it' is, which means that each 'it' statement becomes somewhat vague in my mind's eye. Possibly in part because I'm assuming that 'it' is love, which is an abstraction. I like the tactile image of sap, its stickiness.

I read L2-4 as saying: love will bring harmony to our disharmony. I can't quite follow, "weaving our dissonant sounds to breach / our crescendo". What is "our crescendo" here, and what does it mean for it to be breached. Love prevents/breaks down/breaks into our crescendo? (I'm wondering if 'breach' is a case of forced rhyme here). Much of what follows is very general ('climbing', 'running') and/or abstract 'memory', 'fear', 'future'. 'shake' seems an obvious verb choice to go with 'fear'. It's hard to find specific concrete images in this stanza.

And when it appears to be done --
the lightness of laughter, the weight
of blood sweat tears, the fluid thrum of the heart --
all turn to silence; like deep forest stillness.
But in the quiet of the end, it slips through the hedge
and there, in the wet grass, a new one has begun.


So, one romantic love affair ends, a new one will begin? I don't know. Do romantic love affairs end quietly, do they leave one with an inner silence? That's not always been my experience. Or it's just the silence of a song ending? Again some obvious reaches here, I think: "blood sweat tears" is another cliche. Forests being still, stillness being deep.

best,

Matt
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  #9  
Unread 07-27-2019, 06:57 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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x
Hastily deconstructed revision posted -- a desperate move to distance it from the garbled, grandiose cacophony of the original. Where are the metaphor police when you need them? Hoping it is now, at least, more interesting; better than bad...

-----

Revision removed. I'll try again.
x
x

Last edited by Jim Moonan; 07-27-2019 at 05:13 PM.
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  #10  
Unread 07-27-2019, 11:48 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Well, i do tell people there are no poetry police. Don't know about metaphor police though.

Cheers,
John
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