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Old 02-16-2018, 04:10 PM
Ken Brownlow Ken Brownlow is offline
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Your edit has strengthened the poem.

My nit with that stanza is still biting, I don't think you need to reference both WW2 and Manhattan, the second reference is a distraction, Manhattan may have been part of genesis of the poem but it isn't needed now, at least not for this reader. Stay in San Francesco, and just use the plane the book and WW2.

Only one person's opinion.

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Old Yesterday, 06:28 AM
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Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is offline
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Location: Northern New Jersey
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Thanks Ken and Kevin,

The references are foggy. I do, indeed, intend the salt white tower to refer to Coit Tower.

The novel is Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan. But knowing that is unimportant.

I appreciate your engagement in reading this one.

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Old Yesterday, 11:05 AM
David Callin David Callin is offline
Join Date: Jun 2014
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It's allusive and intriguing, Rick.

Is the epigraph a genuine San Francisco reference? I have actually been to SF, so I get the Coit Tower reference.

"Harsh yammer" makes me think of Whitman - but I'm being influenced by "yawp", aren't I?

I'm not sure what to make of "the woman’s halfpipe / in Pyeongchang" - nothing, so far, but I haven't googled Pyeongchang. Or, indeed, halfpipe.

Somehow, before you told us what the novel was, I was thinking it might be Gravity's Rainbow - I'm not sure why, it just came to me.

I'm not getting the significance of section IV at the moment. That must be why I think you could very creditably finish with section III. Once I understand section IV I expect I'll change my mind.

Not an easy read, I think, but a good one. I think section III is terrific.


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Old Yesterday, 11:14 AM
John Riley John Riley is online now
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: North Carolina
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Stanza 3 is the poem, without the character/oblivion couplet. (I can't believe as talented as you are you do not see that the ending couplet reminds one of an evangelical message card imploring a sinful teenager to be saved.) The first stanza, with it's reference to Kerouac, is pretty much what any vaguely literary guy will say about time in San Francisco. It reminds me of when I was there at eighteen and couldn't rest until I found City Lights. The Olympic reference is a distraction and what do scientists have to do with anything? I suppose if this is primarily a poem about your thoughts and things you did in San Francisco this comment is no help. If not, the last stanza's statement about no longer fearing silence can be incorporated into the previous stanza and made into a poem with the same title that says so much more in fewer, better words.

Hope this helps.
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Old Yesterday, 05:43 PM
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Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is offline
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Location: Northern New Jersey
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Thanks David,

There is a clock on a church steeple in China Town with the epigraph written around it.

I, too, get Whitman with the "yammer".

I hesitated to name the book. Gravity's Rainbow works perfectly, though it's set mostly in England.

I may condense IV into III

Hi John,

Yes, I should have let this one sit a while longer before bringing it here. It's kind of a journal entry. I think there may be a poem where now I have four... It will likely be stanza III with some of IV.

The Kerouac reverence is simply reporting. You will remember the alley between City Lights and Vesuvio Cafe is Kerouac alley. That is where the guy tried to pawn an icebox door off on me. It's more like he proffered it as a means of saving my soul.

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