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Passions in Poetry

Let me be with lightning

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Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


0 posted 11-11-1999 12:21 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions  View IP for Brad

Let me be with the lightning,
And the sounds of cars that crash,
The voices of men, drunk, screaming at each other,
And the glow of storm anger and silhouette,
The dark stench that rises from the asphalt
And the steam that fills this city wide sauna.

Let me be with the lightning,
Alone, with a Scotch bottle and a shot glass.
The warm drops on my face,
Sweat on my back and neck and
My one ringed finger beckoning
For one strike on the gold.

Let me be with the lightning,
And not have to hear your tears,
And excuses and pleas for understanding,
And incoherent, contradictory reasons for life and
Loneliness and exile, and separation and lies,
and culture and fear and pride and showing off,
And -- language -- and love and --
Let me be with the lightning.


[This message has been edited by Brad (edited 11-11-1999).]
© Copyright 1999 Brad - All Rights Reserved
hoot_owl_rn
Member Patricius
since 07-05-99
Posts 11105
Glen Hope, PA USA


1 posted 11-11-1999 10:32 AM       View Profile for hoot_owl_rn   Email hoot_owl_rn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit hoot_owl_rn's Home Page   View IP for hoot_owl_rn

I love to be able to rip this one in shreads, but I believe it to be by far the best posting I've seen of yours to date.
My critique: a fantastic poem my cohoret in crime.
Well done

------------------
Alis volat propriis
(She flies with her own wings)
jenni
Senior Member
since 09-11-99
Posts 511
Washington D.C.


2 posted 11-11-1999 11:02 AM       View Profile for jenni   Email jenni   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jenni

brad--

wow. this is an incredible poem. by the end of the third stanza, the speaker's desperate, frustrated, savage cry to just break away from everything and LIVE is almost palpable. the line "let me be with the lightning" is a stunning, wonderfully evocative phrase, worthy of repeating, and repeated here to powerful effect. the elemental things and sensations in the city detailed in the first verse (sounds, voices, screaming, anger, stench, steam) are contrasted beautifully and perfectly by the higher-order abstract constructs in the third verse (excuses, pleas for understanding, reasons, loneliness, exile, separation, lies, culture, pride, language, love), the sheer weight of which can, indeed, induce all that anger and ugliness back in the first verse, and make one want to rip them away in one bold stroke. (you might want to reconsider the use of tears and of fears in the 3rd verse, especially fears, as being more elemental, but i see where they can contribute very much to the speaker's frustrations.) very, very, very well done.

my one criticism... i thought the line "the warm drops on my face" in the second verse was a little muddled. at first, it reads like warm drops of scotch on your face; i think, though, it might mean rain? or sweat? rain is never mentioned otherwise in the piece, although it is suggested by the lightning (as well as by the use of the word "storm" and the steam in verse 1). if you intended rain, perhaps you could simply say, "the warm rain on my face"? same comment if you meant sweat. if you meant drops of scotch...well, this gives, in my opinion, a much different feel to the piece, a gross, drunken bellowing in the night, as it were, rather than a bold, "barbaric yawp". (and with drops of scotch on your face, i think you can just forget about trying to get lucky, lol. ) i hope you won't say that it's meant to be ambiguous, scotch or rain or sweat or even something else, open to differing interpretations... that's exactly the kind of thing your speaker is trying to escape, and i think it would take away from your theme here. in the words of a famous poet... "just an opinion."

this is still an amazing poem, though, brad, an interesting and universal theme uniquely and powerfully expressed. bravo!
jbouder
Member Elite
since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


3 posted 11-11-1999 12:41 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Brad:

This poem has an incredible momentum, particularly in the first and last stanzas. You communicate defiance, anger and fear beautifully (and the need for escape in the second stanza ... weakness too, perhaps?). Excellent work.

------------------
Jim

"If I rest, I rust." -Martin Luther

Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


4 posted 11-13-1999 10:49 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Thanks for the responses and all the nice things you've said.

Ruth,
I hope this only your favorite of the ones you've read so far.

Jenni,
You've got a point. The idea is to have someone in the middle of a Summer lightning storm. The drops are huge rain drops but I specifically wanted to avoid the use of rain because I though it would imply a certain coolness. It was inspired by a fight with my wife over cultural differences.

Jim,
Thanks. In many ways, I was trying to model this poem on songs like 'Stairway to Heaven' or 'Freebird'. I'm glad it seemed to work for you.

thanks to all,
Brad
Systematic Decay
Senior Member
since 09-15-99
Posts 1312
That place with padded walls a


5 posted 11-13-1999 11:36 AM       View Profile for Systematic Decay   Email Systematic Decay   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Systematic Decay

Brad....the imagery in this one is wonderful...I especislly liked the second stanza....it had a feeling of hopelessness in it....but a quiet hopelessness, unlike the rest of the poem.

------------------
Thinking is just what a great many people think they are doing when they are merely rearranging their predjudices.


Poertree
Senior Member
since 11-05-1999
Posts 1413
UK


6 posted 11-14-1999 05:03 AM       View Profile for Poertree   Email Poertree   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poertree

Brad

I liked this as well, mainly for the clarity with which it conveyed a picture of a desperate man, bare chested, slouched in a dim room in a hot humid Asian ? city with lightning and artificial light slashing through the window and reflecting off the film of sweat on his skin. Then the rain drops of his face kind of spoiled the "dim room" image so he has to be at a street pavement table outside a bar or something?

Anyway, whatever, wherever, the atmosphere came through incredibly vividly, in fact so vividly that I begin to wonder whether or not my vision was maybe being supplemented by throwbacks to movies of tough men drinking in hot humid Asian cities. The Deer Hunter springs to mind and, dare I say it, some of the Bond films! I guess this means that the poem succeeds in terms of imagery.

I particularly liked the way the poem seems to build. First the background (not much on the individual himself), simply the desperation and tension around him. Then in the second stanza a lull in the tempo, and the physical description of the man - what a passing observer would see. Then, dramatically, in the final stanza his mind and thoughts. It seems to me that this final verse is all about tempo. A gradual build up by starting with longer phrases and fewer breaks (fewer "ands"). Then the speed builds as the individual becomes increasingly frustrated till we reach the line "and culture and fear and pride and showing off" which is almost breathless in its crescendo. Then worn out, miserable and exhausted his thoughts falter and revert to drunken slowness trailing out into a rather pitiful "and ...." And in the final plea I can almost hear the unspoken words "Oh for God's sake just leave me alone let me be ... let me be with lightning ...."

I would be interested to know if all that is what you intended?

Philip

[This message has been edited by Poertree (edited 11-14-1999).]
roxane
Senior Member
since 09-02-99
Posts 519
us


7 posted 11-14-1999 12:32 PM       View Profile for roxane   Email roxane   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for roxane

i just got to read this one now, as my obligation is often to those topics which do not receive the attention that they should. i really liked the last stanza. the feeling of wanting to escape, the emotions that the narrator is running from, i suppose, all climax there. it is an awesome poem.
hoot_owl_rn
Member Patricius
since 07-05-99
Posts 11105
Glen Hope, PA USA


8 posted 11-14-1999 06:03 PM       View Profile for hoot_owl_rn   Email hoot_owl_rn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit hoot_owl_rn's Home Page   View IP for hoot_owl_rn

Since I've only read 4 to date Brad, I don't have a wide variety to choose from, but to date, this is my favorite
jamaicabradley
Junior Member
since 11-04-1999
Posts 39


9 posted 11-14-1999 08:35 PM       View Profile for jamaicabradley   Email jamaicabradley   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jamaicabradley

I really like it...I was full of images and feelings by the end. It reminded me of the end of a long night in vegas, feeling pretty low. I thought the whole poem flowed very nicely, there was a rythem there and everything was left to the imagination. I enjoyed this very much, thanks.
-jamaica
Lolita
Junior Member
since 11-09-1999
Posts 42
Buffalo, NY, America


10 posted 11-15-1999 09:11 AM       View Profile for Lolita   Email Lolita   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Lolita

Brad, I have read one of your other poems but this one spoke to me the most. It nearly shouted my head off! After I read the poem I strted to see an image of you as a 1940's private eye, sick of the world. It was strange but kind of exciting.
Iloveit
Senior Member
since 09-02-99
Posts 1168
NM


11 posted 11-15-1999 12:14 PM       View Profile for Iloveit   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Iloveit

brad this is good really good, so clearly you let us see....wow, let me be with the lightening, just that image says so much and then you lead the reader even further, ...*sigh* and yep, know just how you feel....wow
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


12 posted 11-17-1999 02:46 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Thanks to everybody who replied.

Philip,
That's exactly what I was shooting for. It's nice to know that I sometimes get it right. Except, Trevor hasn't posted here yet.

Lolita,
Are trying to say I'm a private Dick?

Iloveit,
This is the one I was talking about earlier. I'm glad you like it.

Roxana,
Won't touch that one.

Brad
Seoulair
Senior Member
since 03-27-2008
Posts 776
Seoul S.Korea


13 posted 04-26-2008 04:15 PM       View Profile for Seoulair   Email Seoulair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seoulair

This is wonderful poem. And one of the poem that I could sense strong emotion, the deep cry.

I read as the struggle between the speaker's [GREAT ARROGANCE] and [mundane reality].
Repeatedly "Let me be with lightning" did not lift up the spirit and the ending one sounded like begging.  

Indeed very emotional.
Of course always good poem.
 
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