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  #1  
Unread 06-15-2021, 01:08 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is online now
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Default Outside

Outside the world is ending

I’m following a YouTube trail, and suddenly
the sea is lapping dog-like at my door.
What have I absorbed these medial months,
these YouTube years I’ve not been here,
the ice-caps melting all around me?

Meanwhile my health’s still shot
and you still don't ring. My sponge
is full and overflows – and oh, the mess
of it, and who will wring me now?

I open up the front door, toss
the sea a stick; it brings it bobbing back.
Some things can still come back, it whispers,
some things can still come back.
.

---------------
S1L1 "when" -> "and"
S1L3 "medial media months" -> "medial months"

Last edited by Matt Q; 06-24-2021 at 08:31 AM.
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  #2  
Unread 06-15-2021, 11:45 PM
Cally Conan-Davies Cally Conan-Davies is offline
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FABULOUS

Cally
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  #3  
Unread 06-16-2021, 12:50 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Matt,

Not my favorite of yours - I preferred “Letter.” Would you like a comma after meanwhile?
My aunt had a dog who was very good at Throw. The dog would run, pick up ball or stick, and sit. It was kind of cute, but tiring.

Cheers,
John
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  #4  
Unread 06-16-2021, 12:10 PM
Jim Ramsey Jim Ramsey is online now
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I like the structure that brings the ending back to the beginning. I like the play of ring with wring, although the hint of love lost makes the poem itself get lost awhile. I like the image of YouTube as a vacuous quest that takes us away from real life. I'm not sure about the ending, though. It's very serious in tone compared to the body of the poem which has many humorous touches. Plus, the ending lacks images unless we count the word whisper, and then it doubles down trying to give itself more weight.

Brainstorming an alternative ending:

Her eyes are eager for another go and fetch,
her muscles quiver to sustain the game.
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  #5  
Unread 06-16-2021, 12:54 PM
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Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
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I can't see the sea as having eyes or muscles; that is what underlines the power of the lapping presence. It's the inevitability of the return, the again-again of it, that brought the image alive for me.
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Unread 06-16-2021, 01:34 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is online now
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Hey Matt,

I like it. This feels like we are revisiting your basement alter-ego and his hermiting. I used to have a fantasy when I was little and lying in bed, that there would be great floods and our house would go floating off and basically become a boat. The fantastical nature of the poem reminds me of a darker version of those kind of imaginings. I wondered if “the ice-caps melting” ties it into the real world of environmental concerns too specifically and something like “the waters rising” might work better. It has slightly biblical echoes that might work with the similarly biblical “my sponge / is full and overflows” (I’m guessing this is a play on “my cup runneth over”). Of course, you might want your imagined apocalypse tied to these very real world concerns.

All the punning here is great: “absorbed” and “ring/wring”.

The ending made me think of two things. The Stephen King novel “Sometimes They Come Back”, which I haven’t read but whose title I've always loved. And the line from Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City”: “Everything dies, baby, that’s a fact / But maybe everything that dies, someday comes back”.

They are pleasing reference points, at least for me, because they both seem to hold, like the ending of your poem, an ambiguous mix of the hopeful and the slightly troubling.
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  #7  
Unread 06-16-2021, 02:40 PM
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F.F. Teague F.F. Teague is offline
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Hi Matt,

I like this too. I think you could remove a comma, after 'shot'. Otherwise, not much in the way of critique. There's some attractive alliteration, great imagery, hopeful ending. I feel for the N.

Best wishes,
Fliss
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Unread 06-16-2021, 10:30 PM
Phil Wood Phil Wood is offline
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hi Matt,
N. is self-absorbed, an internal melodrama. I like how that filters and transforms the outside world. Neat sea thread with 'sponge'. Not sure about the alliteration cluster emphasis of L3 and for a soundscape would have liked an m in S3, but mutters does not deliver the romance of whispers.

enjoyed

Phil

Last edited by Phil Wood; 06-16-2021 at 10:56 PM. Reason: punctuation
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  #9  
Unread 06-17-2021, 01:44 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Oh, I do like your longer internal title! Sorry, I must have missed it to begin with. I think it's very nice. I don't find your wordplay here very appealing, sorry again. I think I'd prefer a different poem with less ring-wring or medial-media to it. To each his own!

Regards,
John

Last edited by John Isbell; 06-17-2021 at 07:29 AM. Reason: !
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  #10  
Unread 06-17-2021, 07:02 AM
Jim Ramsey Jim Ramsey is online now
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Hi Matt,

I want to post a new critique of this piece, having reread and reconsidered. Ann Drysdale points out the importance of the eternal lapping suggested in the last two lines and she's right. In my hurry to churn out critiques I was careless and did not read well enough. Looking back on what I had to work with, the author italicizing the lines, making them otherwise stylistically different from the rest of the poem, apparently there wasn't enough for me to see the obvious. Also, I now see the middle stanza as crucial to the poem. The piece works a bit like a sonnet with an argument and turn. Another thing: maybe there's a touch of rueful humor in a spot or two but I erred in reading the tone. Now, in the spirit that even bad suggestions can lead to good ideas, I give you a new thing to think about. The Ssss's in the last two lines give us sea sounds, but another onomatopoeia like "lapping" or reuse of "lapping" might enhance the image.

All the best,
Jim
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