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


0 posted 11-05-2008 11:27 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions  View IP for Brad


The sense of citrus, of tobacco mixed:
Her hair, still damp, had just been washed.
Her white skin always lotion-drowned,
With too many cosmetics to do anyone any good,
Hid from the dawn while a bright orange skirt,
Too short--or not--on the tatami floor,
Fluoresced near a broken window.
Her pale legs, thin, barely capable
Of supporting a body moved across the room.
Left and right, the sound of thighs on silk,
Like a scythe pruning graves, searched for something
Entombed, unexcavated. Toast carefully placed
Around painted lips, she opens the door and sees
The skirt still there on the matted floor.
© Copyright 2008 Brad - All Rights Reserved
Not A Poet
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since 11-03-1999
Posts 4427
Oklahoma, USA


1 posted 11-06-2008 11:32 AM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

Good to see you writing again Brad. I always like the way you can put words together, ths time included, but I'm afraid this one just went right over my head. I expect others smarter than me will come along and dig deeper into it and you'll eventually enlighten us.
viking_metal
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since 02-02-2007
Posts 1337
In a Jeep, Minnesota.


2 posted 11-07-2008 10:12 AM       View Profile for viking_metal   Email viking_metal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for viking_metal

This seemed to get stronger from beginning to end. Really Really hit home for me. I'd do a depthy critique but I'm afraid I don't have the knowledge to do such things...

Really made me think of similar morning afters in my life. Excellent write.

Some people fall in love and touch the sky, some people fall in love and find quicksand.

hunnie_girl
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since 06-18-2006
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3 posted 11-10-2008 05:52 PM       View Profile for hunnie_girl   Email hunnie_girl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hunnie_girl

hmm i could put a picture in my head to this poem. i could smelll what you were describing. very great write!
Krysti
moonbeam
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4 posted 11-13-2008 04:38 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

I haven't got time to do this justice right now Brad, I'll try and return late tomorrow or Saturday.  As usual you have juxtapositions which verge on the incredible, and in this case maybe even the surreal.  And also as usual your syntactic structure is, er, challenging in places.  And I'm sure you have a good reason for the metrical chunkiness and prosaic tone of L4 after the, relatively, lyric smoothness of L1-3, but I can't quite see it yet.  The sudden scythe/grave thing is a real jolt too; a very interesting image in fact.

Back soon I hope
Edgewise
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since 03-23-2008
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Chicago


5 posted 11-14-2008 01:06 AM       View Profile for Edgewise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Edgewise

Why the capitalization of the first letter of the first word of every line?  Why the prolific commas?  Content is good, punctuation strikes me as odd.  
Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


6 posted 11-14-2008 04:01 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Pete,

Thanks. I'm pretty much writing everyday--just not CA stuff. I squeezed this one in. I suspect the first line threw you off though. Sorry about that.

vm,

much appreciated

hunnie,

glad you saw it, it's not always easy to do with some of the stuff I write. That would be my fault, not yours or other readers--I got lucky on this one.

M.

Always appreciated. L4 was an attempt to break what I saw as a kind of monotony of style. What other problems do you see? The first line? Nobody's perfect and I'm often blind to my own faults.

Edge,

On beginning caps:

I'm not sure why you asked that question. There's a minor controversy on whether the traditional use of caps should be kept or jettisoned. I have no opinion on this. As a result, I tend to alternate (when I can remember whether I used caps or not on the last poem).

On comma usage:

Yeah, I can be erratic. I'm always open to suggestions however.

Here's what I was thinking:

L1: adjective equivalency (probably doesn't work but that's what I was thinking)

L2: parenthetical

L4: parenthetical and also wanted a definite marker on the style shift that M. points out

L5: parenthetical though I see the problem with the prepositional phrase. I don't know, I hear a difference if I don't put "on the tatami floor" with "too short". Not sure why.

L6: parenthetical

L7: oops!

L8: introductory, parenthetical

L9: emphasis

L10: adjective equivalence

L11: introductory, absolute

At any rate, it's always good to bring this stuff up and always good to look at other options.

Thanks to everyone.
chopsticks
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since 10-02-2007
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7 posted 11-15-2008 10:19 AM       View Profile for chopsticks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for chopsticks

Hi Edgewise, Maybe this will help ( It is the poet’s choice ).

Also, capitalize the first word in a line of poetry (even if it doesn't begin a new sentence)—unless the poet did not capitalize it (as in the second example below):

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage, against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas

in time of daffodils (who know
the goal of living is to grow)
forgetting why, remember how - e.e. cummings

serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
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8 posted 01-12-2009 04:54 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I wanted to read something really good today, and this is what came to mind.

It's really difficult to write honestly from that "dishonest" place in our mind, and this one is a savoring of such a thing.
oceanvu2
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since 02-24-2007
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9 posted 01-13-2009 10:29 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi -- Per Chopsticks, capitalization of each line, or not, and punctuation eccentricities are the province of the poet, not the reader or the critic.  What you see is what you get.

For an insight into how capitalization and punctuation may be used, one need only look at the unexpurgated work of Emily Dickinson.  I cite her, because her early editors "cleaned up" her chosen modes of poetic expression to fit what they thought was "right."  Had nothing to do with that Emily Dickinson, the poet, thought was "right."

It's a non-issue.

On the poem, I think it is one of the most successful Brad has shared.  It combines immediacy and the mysterious.  I printed it out when it was first posted and stuck it on my wall to "think" about it.  

In retrospect, this was my falling victim to the "poem-as-crossword-puzzle" syndrome.  Lord knows there's enough of that to turn one away from poetry entirely.

I've revised my mantra from "Poetry moves people" to "Poetry engages and moves people."

This does both.

Best, Jimbeaux

Best, Jimbeaux
GoGore
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since 01-05-2009
Posts 11


10 posted 01-16-2009 01:49 AM       View Profile for GoGore   Email GoGore   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for GoGore

The first line is quite engaging really, found it refreshing.

I'm a staunch defender of originality, this one I would gladly stand guard over.

Great poem.
Go.

chopsticks
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since 10-02-2007
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11 posted 01-16-2009 09:06 AM       View Profile for chopsticks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for chopsticks

“ Hi -- Per Chopsticks, capitalization of each line, or not, and punctuation eccentricities are the province of the poet, not the reader or the critic. What you see is what you get.”

I agree with Ocean. Neither have ever ruined a poem for me, it’s the content that counts.
turtle
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since 01-23-2009
Posts 491
Harbor


12 posted 01-23-2009 03:11 PM       View Profile for turtle   Email turtle   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for turtle

Hi brad,

I like this, but I noticed a couple things that might need attention. The second sentence (lines 3 -7) is a bit of a run-on. It might work better to break it up into shorter sentences. The next sentence might be clearer if reworded for proper punctuation For example:

"Her thin pale legs, barely capable
Of supporting a body, moved across the room."

As for capitalizing the first letter of each line; in structured verse it is a choice entirely up to the author. In free verse, I believe a poem should either have no punctuation, or should be punctuated and capitalized grammatically.

Turtle
synthetic
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13 posted 01-29-2009 04:15 AM       View Profile for synthetic   Email synthetic   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for synthetic

I leave for about a year and a bit, and I am welcomed home with this puzzle - Haha.

To be very forward, I did not understand the poem at first glance. But I believe that is the actual gift of this piece: you convey from my understanding a simple enough occurence with such eloquence that it spins the reader about and leaves him/her dumbfounded. As I read it over with more care and patience, it began to paint itself out; it quickly became one of those pieces that allows you to break away from your reality for a brief but longlasting moment and daydream... I enjoyed it.

There might be a few things that are "off" in regards to the syntax, but the essence of the poem masks it very much.

Take care
Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


14 posted 01-31-2009 08:05 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Turtle:
quote:
"Her thin pale legs, barely capable
Of supporting a body, moved across the room."


Me:
quote:
Her pale legs, thin, barely capable
Of supporting a body moved across the room.


What results from these changes? I'm curious what people think or rather how they react.


turtle
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since 01-23-2009
Posts 491
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15 posted 01-31-2009 10:02 PM       View Profile for turtle   Email turtle   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for turtle

Hi Brad,

I suppose if you mean: does the meaning change? Probably not.
As a reader though the thought flows smoother when the adjective is
placed before the subject, where it is traditionally placed. Otherwise
I have to glance back and see what it is that is thin.

Now that I look at it though, what I wrote isn't much better than your
original. As far as syntax, it would make more sense as:

Thin, barely capable of supporting a body,
her pale legs moved across the floor.


For me as a reader, this is clearer, flows better and I can read
and understand your meaning without hesitation.

Now. As far as legs moving across a floor and not the feet, that
might be another matter.

turtle
chopsticks
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since 10-02-2007
Posts 870
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16 posted 02-01-2009 10:11 AM       View Profile for chopsticks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for chopsticks

“ Thin, barely capable of supporting a body,
her pale legs moved across the floor. “

Trutle, that is mighty close to a dangler.
turtle
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since 01-23-2009
Posts 491
Harbor


17 posted 02-01-2009 01:18 PM       View Profile for turtle   Email turtle   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for turtle

OMG, are we going to go back to high school english here? An adjective, in normal syntax, is placed before the noun subject it describes, unless the sentence is modified by an adverb.  Thus, "thin" placed after the "legs' it describes is incorrect. It's not my fault this is incorrect I didn't invent English.

I really don't care how you choose to write, I'm just saying that the syntax is wrong, according to what I've learned.

http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:b9m3ALm       UOyAJ:www.englang.ed.ac.uk/people/assocadj.pdf+adjective+syntax&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=4&gl=us

"English adjectives are held typically to have the following characteristics,among others. In syntactic terms, they are typically pre-modifiers (‘attributes’) of a nominal, e.g. a beautiful picture, recursively so, as in a beautiful small picture; or they are predicates (e.g. this picture is beautiful). In both functionsthey are themselves amenable to pre-modification by degree and other adverbs (e.g. very small, exceptionally beautiful), thus demonstrating their property of being heads of adjective phrases. And they are typically gradable, e.g. smaller, more beautiful etc. In semantic terms, typical adjectives are ascriptive: they denote ‘a property which is valid for the entity instantiated by the noun’ (Ferris 1993: 24), such that beautiful expresses a property of the picture. And finally, typical adjectives are said to be intersective: a beautiful picture is a member of the intersection of the set of pictures and the set of beautiful objects (Siegel
1980)."

Chopsticks,

“ Thin, barely capable of supporting a body,
her pale legs moved across the floor. “

Thin
barely capable of supporting a body,
and her pale

are all adjectival descriptors associated with the legs they describe.

There is no such thing as an "almost dangler" either it is or it isn't. In the example below the adjectival phrase is placed before the wrong noun and misconstrues the meaning of a sentence. This is an entirely different problem that I don't think is at issue here.


http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2008/02/syntactics.html

"Here’s an example of a problem involving syntax: “Tail wagging merrily, Bertie took the dog for a walk.” As the words are arranged now, the tail is attached to Bertie, not to the dog. Let’s put the tail where it belongs: “Tail wagging merrily, the dog went for a walk with Bertie.”

This common error, called a dangler, involves putting a word or phrase in the wrong place so it describes the wrong thing. You can find a lot more examples of screwy syntax in “The Compleat Dangler” chapter of my grammar book Woe Is I."


Turtle

[This message has been edited by turtle (02-01-2009 03:17 PM).]

chopsticks
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since 10-02-2007
Posts 870
The US,


18 posted 02-01-2009 04:02 PM       View Profile for chopsticks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for chopsticks

“There is no such thing as an "almost dangler"

Turtle, you are so right , but I think we were mighty close.

Yesterday I was mighty close to my sister's house and I almost stopped in to see  her.
  


turtle
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since 01-23-2009
Posts 491
Harbor


19 posted 02-02-2009 12:00 PM       View Profile for turtle   Email turtle   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for turtle

Chops- Ahhh! so that's what you're talking about.

Funny thing about "her" When used in the context of a sentence like your last post:

"Yesterday I was mighty close to my sister's house and I almost stopped in to see her."

"her" is a pronoun. But, when used to show posession: Her house, her dog, her pale legs.

In these instances "her" is an adjective.

I can only guess that she is spending too much time in her house with her dog and that is HOW her legs got pale...lol
chopsticks
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since 10-02-2007
Posts 870
The US,


20 posted 02-03-2009 08:25 AM       View Profile for chopsticks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for chopsticks

“I can only guess that she is spending too much time in her house with her dog and that is HOW her legs got pale...lol “

I don’t talk about your mama, so don’t you talk about my sister .

 
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