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  #1  
Unread 10-01-2019, 10:39 PM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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Default Maya in Two Movements

Maya in Two Movements

Daylight

Each ray of light is speaking fluent sun.
The asphalt’s skin secretes the oil of noon
and packed crust dusts my shoes. The air dries vapor
on my face, whose aspects mime the moon
like ghostly watermarks on pallid paper.

I am an acolyte of light that brings
me to the brink of dark, where sunlight hangs
precariously balanced, or I’m benighted.
At dawn the first bird sings, the way that things
which always are have always been requited.

Twilight

A woman in a yellow dress
seated on a fountain’s edge
outside a station at dusk, her face
imbued in passing with the body’s
dream of perpetuity in rest.


REVISIONS 10/4:S1L4 was "features mime" and L5 had "pallid"
S2L4: comma added after "sings"
part 2 had "Nightfall" as its title
10/4: reverted to original in S1L4, and changed "pallid" in L5 to "backlit"
10/7: changed S1L4 to "aspects" from features" and S2L5 pack to "pallid"

Last edited by Andrew Frisardi; 10-07-2019 at 01:53 PM.
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  #2  
Unread 10-02-2019, 12:40 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Andrew,

I like this a good deal.
So, nits. For me, I'd change the word pallid in movement one, I find that line somehow less convincing than the rest and I think it's that word. In movement two, I'd maybe say "at a fountain's edge," even though you have at again later, and I'd love to find a one-syllable synonym for body at the end.
Anyway, yes, very nice stuff. Thanks for the read.

Cheers,
John
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  #3  
Unread 10-02-2019, 04:39 AM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
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Hi Andrew,

I like it, and enjoy the imagery and playful word-choices. The light 'speaking fluent sun', 'benighted', 'perpetuity in rest' and the moon face. Ignoring the title, the N's preference for twilight in the first part seems to be linked to a yearning for death in the second (a dream of perpetual rest).

Thinking on the title: Māyā connotes that which belongs to illusion, dream, the transient, impermanent changing world that masks the permanent and unchanging. The poem makes references to the permanent and unchanging at the end of each part ("things which always are", and "perpetuity", "(the state of being at) rest"), though in the second part this is a dream. Daybreak (or possibly night) requites these permanent things, and at nightfall the body dreams of unchanging-ness. Night is sometimes equated with Maya, and sun(rise) with truth and the dispelling of its illusion. So here the N is preferring illusion, I think. Or perhaps some time in the fading light where illusion and truth mingle. I guess I could even read the close as saying that the the unchanging (atman) is itself a dream, though maybe it's only a dream to those subject to night's illusion.

I'm with John on "pallid", I think, possibly because it as descriptor that would normally be used of a face and it's being used on something that's metaphorically standing in for a face, if that makes sense? Is there something more paper-related or moon-related you could use? "cratered paper" maybe?

I wonder a bit about the connection between the watermarks and the vapour drying. The features of the face resemble the moon in that they resembles watermarks on pallid paper. But the features of his face (presumably) aren't a result of the vapour drying, though on first read this seems to be suggested, since vapour drying might also leave watermarks.

It could just be me, but I'm having difficulty parsing the first sentence of S2. Is it saying: "I'm either an acolyte of light that brings me to he brink of dark or, if I'm not that, I'm benighted (confused about what I am / someone overtaken by darkness)"? He's one of these two things, but not both. That's my best bet.

I guess it could also be "Sometimes I'm an acolyte. At other times I'm benighted". In which case 'acolyte' is an oddly temporary state, presumably only occurring at dusk. Or it is it, "I'm an acolyte of light that brings the me to the brink of dark, where, if the sunlight doesn't hang precariously, then I'm benighted (confused / overtaken by darkness)".

Not that it makes a big difference to comprehension given the line-break, but I think there'd normally be a comma after 'noon', since what follows is an independent clause.

-Matt

Last edited by Matt Q; 10-02-2019 at 05:24 AM.
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  #4  
Unread 10-03-2019, 09:39 AM
Mark Stone Mark Stone is offline
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Andrew, Hi.

1. I wonder if the movement names would sound better if they sounded more similar. What comes to mind is “Daylight” and “Twilight.”

2. I like the sound of “brings/brink/dark.”

3. I wonder if “first bird” should be replaced with the name of a specific bird, since a specific bird would be more visualizable than the generic “bird.” I did an Internet search on birds that sing, and here are five that would supply the trochee you would need to replace “first bird”: songbird, robin, sparrow, blackbird and magpie.

4. I am troubled by “things which always are.” First, LL9-10 are close to being beautiful, but having the “that” and the “which” together creates a bit of clunkiness for me. Second, the phrase “things which always are” is vague. I think it would be better to put something specific in its place. Perhaps something like:

At dawn the robin sings the way that things
which ring of love have always been requited.

5. I am AOK with the last word in L14 having two syllables, since, for me, the “dy’s” in “body’s” functions as the first syllable of the next line.

6. I note that there is no verb in LL11-15. If you wanted to have one, you could add one to L12 in a way that would give L11 and L12 matching meter. Here are a couple of ideas:

A woman in a yellow dress
is seated on a fountain’s edge

A woman in a yellow dress
sits coyly on a fountain’s edge

These may not fit with your story, but they illustrate my thought, I believe.

Best wishes.

Mark
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  #5  
Unread 10-03-2019, 01:05 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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“Blah blah blah” in line one— gosh, I could borrow that and say I got it from you anytime anyone asked. Quick, smudge it up before some advertising person rips it off. (It’s exactly happened to me, and did I get pissed!)

Allen

Last edited by Allen Tice; 10-03-2019 at 01:10 PM. Reason: Smudgery
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  #6  
Unread 10-03-2019, 01:17 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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To Matt Q and anyone else, consider throwing a tarp over the gem I mentioned in line one. Disguise it, Frisardi will understand. See my previous post. There’s no joy in looking like you swiped a line from an advert, when the advertisement has your actual words instead.
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  #7  
Unread 10-04-2019, 01:17 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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Thanks, John, Matt, Mark, and Allen. I've made a few changes based on your comments.

John and Matt: You were right about "pallid" in the first movement. I was aiming for the sense of heat exhaustion there, so I put "languor" instead of "features" in the line before it, and changed to "empty," which I think works for face, paper, or moon. Also, Matt, the change is meant to address your question about the vapor drying and the facial features. What do you think?

I think, John, I am going to leave the preposition at the fountain in the second part, since I am picturing a fountain that has a wide ledge, which the woman is sitting on. "At" the fountain's edge gives her more distance from it, but I like the suggestion that she and the fountain are not so distinct.

Matt, I like your take on the poem's meanings, and would only add that as I am seeing it, maya is illusion but at the same time it is revelation of reality. The poem comes from that interplay. I especially like all the possible interpretations of the first sentence in S2, the ambiguity of which seems suited to the subject.

Mark, great idea about changing the title of the second movement. Much better that way, and thanks for the suggestion. I'm leaving the bird generic since in my experience, waking up to the first bird song is never accompanied by the thought of what kind of bird it is. It just seems like birdsong breaking the silence. I also prefer "things which always are," as a way to refer to perennial or perpetual experience.

I went back and forth about leaving out the predicate in the second part of the poem, but in the end decided I like it better without a verb, since it leaves things less determined, like the woman and the twilight.

Allen, I have no idea what you are talking about but I guess it is good.

Best,

Andrew
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  #8  
Unread 10-04-2019, 08:49 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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Andrew, I guess you missed my first post about your poem, which I altered because I felt that a phrase you use in line one is good enough for an unscrupulous advertising agency Eratosphere lurker to steal. So, after I thought of that possibility (which happened to me some years ago, courtesy of a German automobile maker's American advertising agency), I obscured my reference. You are in Italy and that's a time zone explanation. I know the odds seem small that some corporate worm will steal one's words, but it's annoying when it happens. Imitation may be praise, but it doesn't buy my victuals.

Yes, it is praise. You can guess the wonderful words, I reckon.
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  #9  
Unread 10-05-2019, 02:21 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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Thanks for the clarification, Allen. I suppose the line could work for an ad for sunglasses. :-)
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  #10  
Unread 10-05-2019, 09:02 AM
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Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is offline
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Gorgeous, Andrew. One of the finest poems you've posted here, and you've posted many fine poems here.

I don't think "empty" is an improvement on "pallid". It's an awkward way to say "blank", the natural world, and so feels meter-driven. And I did like the alliteration, though I see the issues with "pallid". "Empty" also has too much philosophical baggage of a sort I'm not sure you want. And the "ghostly watermarks" show that the paper isn't empty anyway.

The choice to leave the second part a sentence fragment is a good one.

No other nits. Find the right word for S1L5 and send it out.
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