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  #1  
Unread 09-29-2019, 07:38 AM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
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Default Cautionary

WARNING (reverting to original)

I know this man. I would advise against.
Oh, he looks fine. A little worn, perhaps.
He hides his scent quite well, his subtle taint
is tinted, hard to spot. His life is cracked.
He’ll tell you that. But slow. He drips it out.
He hopes you’ll see him as some broken vase
pieced back together: beauty held by grout,
pale flowers nurtured by his sad malaise.
Don’t fall for this. You'll start to think the sun
shines through those cracks. But you don’t know him yet.
I’ve seen his dreams, and I know what he’s done.
He wants your love. He’ll take what he can get.




WARNING (R1)

I know this man. I would advise against.
Oh, he looks fine. A little worn, perhaps.
He hides his scent quite well, his subtle taints
are
tinted, hard to spot. His life is cracked.
He’ll tell you that. But slow. He drips it out.
He hopes you’ll see him as some broken vase
pieced back together: beauty held by grout,
pale flowers nurtured by his sad malaise.
Don’t fall for this. Don't think that sunlight gleams
out from his cracks. You just
don’t know him yet.
I’ve dwelt inside his dreams. I know his deeds.
He looks for love.
He’ll take what he can get.

------------------------------
Alternate L11:
I’ve seen dreams, and I know what they mean.

L3/4 taint/is -> taints are
L9/10 "You'll start to think the sun / shines from those cracks" -> Don't think that sunlight gleams / our from his cracks"
L11, "I've seen his dreams, and I know what's he's done" -> "I've been dwelt inside his dreams. I know his deeds".
L12, "He wants your love"->"He looks for love".

Last edited by Matt Q; 10-05-2019 at 03:54 PM. Reason: Typo, thanks John.
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  #2  
Unread 09-29-2019, 08:44 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Matt,

Yes, this is pretty crisp. Your punctuation reminds me a bit of Hemingway, which can't be bad, and is the main thing I experience here beyond the plot. In the penultimate line, I think you want "I know."
On balance, I quite like your use of the phrase "the sun shines out ...."

Cheers,
John
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  #3  
Unread 09-29-2019, 08:44 PM
Martin Rocek's Avatar
Martin Rocek Martin Rocek is offline
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Hi Matt,
is this a companion piece to the "Mature content" poem you posted earlier? The ending suggests that. It seems clear to me that the man N warns about is N himself, which makes the poem disturbing and sad.

I wonder why you use slant rhymes for the first four lines and then switch to exact rhymes for the last 8.

BTW, of course you shouldn't pad this, but if there are any ideas that you are playing with, I think this would make a fine sonnet.

Thanks for the read, and I hope that these comments are some use.

Martin
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Unread 09-30-2019, 04:36 AM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
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John and Martin,

Thanks for commenting.

John,

Thanks for flagging the typo. And yes, I guess it'd shine out of that crack too ...

Martin,

I guess it can be seen as a companion piece. I wrote them pretty much at the same time. In both, as you point out, the close relates to what the N will settle for. And also, I've just realised, they both feature an 'inner light'.

On the rhyme, there's also a slant in rhyme in the L5/7, at least in British English, where vase/malaise is a consonant rhyme only, like rhyming 'Mars' with "days" (/vɑːz/and /mæleɪz/). I'd thought that in US pronunciation, "vase" rhymed with "race", and malaise still rhymed with "days", so that while the rhyme is then assonant, it's still slant (/veɪs/and /mæleɪz/). Though googling now, I see that in some people do in the US say /veɪz/, and New York was mentioned as a place where this pronunciation is used, so I guess it's a true rhyme for you?

thanks again both,

Matt

Last edited by Matt Q; 09-30-2019 at 04:42 AM.
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  #5  
Unread 09-30-2019, 04:49 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Matt,

To my knowledge, I've yet to hear /veɪz/ in the US. Which doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
I like Martin's idea that the N could be referring to himself in this poem. Of course, you don't have to have intended that for that reading to be available.

Cheers,
John

Last edited by John Isbell; 09-30-2019 at 04:50 AM. Reason: To my knowledge
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  #6  
Unread 09-30-2019, 06:08 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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x
Sometimes I read the first and last lines of a poem to see if they cohere. In this case they do to the degree that one could argue that's all you need.
But I thoroughly enjoyed everything in between. The wording, tenor and rather tangolike rhythm of the whole is a delight, and in particular this:

He hides his scent quite well, his subtle taint
is tinted, hard to spot. His life is cracked.


The melding of "taint" and "tinted" is just plain magnificent, as is the multi-sensory effect the two lines produce.

I, too, felt the symbiosis of this and your "Mature Content" poem. The speaker here does seem to be revealing himself, as others have said. But that's neither here nor there. In fact, I think each poem does better standing on its own rather than leaning on the other.

Much enjoyed.
x
x
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  #7  
Unread 10-02-2019, 03:02 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
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John and Jim

Thanks for your comments

John,

Thanks for coming back on the pronunciation. I'd not come across /veɪz/ either. As I said, I found a discussion about its pronunciation on a language forum where someone said they'd heard it in the New York area, but even if so, it does seem to be rare.

Jim,

I'm glad you liked it. I do think they work on their own. Though I guess if I'd posted this one first, the previous one might then have seemed a little darker.

-Matt

Last edited by Matt Q; 10-02-2019 at 03:11 PM.
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  #8  
Unread 10-04-2019, 02:37 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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I too enjoyed this poem. The series short declarative sentences and sentence fragments in the opening lines helps to convey the sense of brokenness and fragility in the N., and of no-nonsense realism in a dance with emotional need.

The craft is clean throughout, including the use of enjambment and rhyme/off-rhyme. I did wonder about what Martin mentioned, regarding the expectation of near-rhyme set up in the opening lines, switching to nearly always exact rhyme, but as you point out the contrasts are much less with English pronunciation. For me, “against” rhymes with “fenced,” so grated a bit with “taint.”

I like the sounds ofscent-taint-tinted, but bringing in the olfactory there was for me a distraction. Would “chinks” be a good alternative? That would go well with the later image of sun shining through the cracks, and it would preserve the assonance with “tinted.”

I like Martin’s idea of making this into a sonnet with a closing couplet, if something occurs to you that would blow the poem’s socks off. But it’s certainly fine without toeing the sonnet line(s) as well.
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Unread 10-04-2019, 05:54 AM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
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Andrew,

Thanks for your comments. I've posted a revision.

Given that three of the first four pairs are slant, so I've introduced a slant pairing in the last four lines, making six of the eight pairings slant. The last line seems to benefit from a full rhyme, so I change the L9/L11 rhyme.

Yes 'against'/'taint' is very close to a full rhyme for me, being assonant and also consonant on the 't' sound. I've change 'taint' to 'taints' which seems to bring it even closer. Does that make it sound any closer for you?

I also changed "he wants you love" to "he looks for love" since that former is less personal. He looks for love, not specifically love from this "you".

I'm personally not seeing an issue with scent and tainted, though it's useful to know that it distracts you. Tainted things (e.g. meat) will often have a particular smell.

best,

Matt
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  #10  
Unread 10-04-2019, 07:47 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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x
I don't know if "taints" works as well as the singular "taint". I prefer the marvelous mixture of taint/tinted left intact. It encapsulates the essence of the man.

The changes in L9-11improve the poem, IMO.
The change to the final line ("he looks for love" vs. "he wants your love") I'm not sure about. I liked the original. Don't know that universalizing his search to the abstract helps.

There is powerful self-loathing that this poem may or may not have, depending on whether one hears the speaker and the "he" as one and the same. I like to think they are. It makes for a more complex interpretation without any extra thought : )
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