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  #1  
Unread 02-12-2019, 09:31 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Default Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)

It’s morning. You are talking to Li-ling.
Well, she is talking. You are listening.
She won’t stop using that detached, ungentle,
hyper-factual tone of hers:
hyper-factual tone of hers: “. . . You see,
there would be a detectable placental
effluvium, the hormone hCG,
issuing from the, maybe, embryo
lodged in the lining of my uterus. . .”

You cut in,
You cut in, “Whoa. Hey, call me sentimental,
but kill the hormone-talk. Just say you pee
on something and it answers Yes or No.
Alert me if there's business to discuss,
and we'll debate the, well, you know, the ‘It.’”

“Alright, if I can find a store still open
in spite of Alfred,* I will buy a kit
and test my urine for Gonadotropin.”

“Outstanding. Then go catch a train or bus
to Scranton, maybe, or somewhere upstate.
(But, hey, like, call me right away if you
are preg, and we’ll talk over what to do.)”

That should have settled it—except Li-ling
insists that she will not evacuate
like everybody else who has a brain.
She is, of course, in charge of conservation
for the Met Museum’s Asian wing,
and she will spend the whole damn hurricane
just making sure her art does not get wet.

Yep, you have lost this fight. For all the threat
of flood and gale and utter devastation,
Li-ling, who may be carrying your child,
will stay in town. Just great. You will have her
to worry over when the wind goes wild.
O life was so much simpler when you were
a free-and-easy loser bachelor.

. . . . .

*Alfred is a hurricane.

. . . . .

S2L4-5 were:
Later, if there is business to discuss,
we will discuss the, well, you know, the ‘It.’”

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 02-13-2019 at 05:48 PM.
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  #2  
Unread 02-12-2019, 10:30 AM
Martin Rocek's Avatar
Martin Rocek Martin Rocek is offline
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Aaron,

after multiple reads, no nits--perhaps I am too drawn in by the story. I find the "sentimental" talk of pee and business to discuss hilarious. Given Li-ling's obvious independence, would she put up with N's attempts to boss her? She is clearly ready to ignore them, but she doesn't seem to be bothered by them--not just the order to evacuate, but "we’ll talk over what to do."--I don't believe that she will be listening. She will be deciding.

The passage fleshes out N in not the most flattering light--which is not a complaint.

Anyway, thanks for the read!

Martin
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  #3  
Unread 02-12-2019, 04:19 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Thank you, Martin, for picking up on the subtleties of the passage (and the humor). You are my ideal reader.
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  #4  
Unread 02-13-2019, 03:00 PM
Max Goodman Max Goodman is offline
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One nit. The guy's funny talk sounds funny. "if there is business to discuss,/we will discuss" sounds stilted in avoiding contractions. Elsewhere his diction is more casual, which feels right.
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Unread 02-13-2019, 05:48 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Thank you, Max. I have revised those lines to make his speech more consistent:

Alert me if there's business to discuss,
and we'll debate the, well, you know, the ‘It.’”
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  #6  
Unread 02-13-2019, 08:57 PM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is offline
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Keep it coming. No nits - just looking forward to the next section. I love Li-Ling's hyper-factual voice.
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  #7  
Unread 02-14-2019, 01:35 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is online now
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Hi Aaron,

Anything with Gonadotropin is going to draw me in. Possibly the first time that word has featured in a poem. I also like these two lines:

and she will spend the whole damn hurricane
just making sure her art does not get wet.

But hey, I liked the whole thing.

Cheers,
John
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  #8  
Unread 02-14-2019, 10:05 AM
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Jan Iwaszkiewicz Jan Iwaszkiewicz is offline
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It is good Aaron and it is fun and still open/Gonadotropin is a delight.

Jan

Last edited by Jan Iwaszkiewicz; 02-14-2019 at 10:59 AM.
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Unread 02-14-2019, 10:31 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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Being as critical as I can possibly be, this is great. Sorry. That's just my opinion. Does it have to be so great?
It's thoroughly entertaining and literature of the most excellent degree. (I've said it all before.)

Fyi, I retract my concerns about the dialog in a previous installment (2 ago). As I absorb more and more dialog from sequence to sequence it becomes something of a non sequitur. If that's what I mean : ) Or perhaps you're getting better and better at it. As you go through final edits of the whole project I would focus on that. It's icing on the cake. You can't do without it.

Excellent.
x
x
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  #10  
Unread 02-14-2019, 05:32 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Thank you very much, gentlemen. I am glad this section is being received so well.
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