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sambyfield Profile
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Brunswick Portrait


Rain, late in the day, pink light
behind bushel clouds. The tram
seems in a hurry, hell bent, burrowing

    past the corner bar which throbs
    with bass and conversation.

Someone hurls words from a holden.
Graffiti gathers against the walls
of the Thai massage parlour,

    which is probably a brothel,
    upstairs windows blocked

by stained curtains, dodgy men
lounging in the doorway.
The city’s dormant smells

    latch onto moisture, rise; dog
    and garbage, stir-fry, petrol.

A mother and son
lock their brick-a-brack shop door,
another day done, walk the long street

    home, in no hurry, fat drops
    beading in their hair.


Last edited by sambyfield, Dec/3/2008, 1:07 am
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Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Brunswick Portrait


Sam,
Brunswick tells me it is probably Australia, if memory serves me right. If not, sorry. The atmosphere was good. Glad to see you again. BTW, where is Terreson? Zak

quote:

sambyfield wrote:

Rain, late in the day, pink light
behind bushel clouds. [I like this description. I always wondered how one would describe such clouds.] The tram
seems in a hurry, hell bent, burrowing

    past the corner bar which throbs
    with bass and conversation. [Good description though I wonder about the noise the tram would make.]

Someone hurls words from a holden.
Graffiti gathers against the walls
of the Thai massage parlour,

    which is probably a brothel, [Interesting that the narrator would pause to doubt.]
    upstairs windows blocked

by stained curtains, dodgy men
lounging in the doorway.
The city’s dormant smells

    latch onto moisture, rise; dog
    and garbage, stir-fry, petrol.

A mother and son
lock their brick-a-brack shop door,
another day done, walk the long street

    home, in no hurry, fat drops
    beading in their hair.



Dec/4/2008, 6:18 pm Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
SallyMaria Profile
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Re: Brunswick Portrait


This one makes me smell the streets. Ordinary things become exotic, have color. A very good write Sam, the only thing is that I think it should be "bead" instead of beading?

Thank you for the good read,

sallymaria

Last edited by SallyMaria, Dec/6/2008, 11:15 am
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dmehl808 Profile
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Re: Brunswick Portrait


Hi Sam--it is good to read you and feel like I can offer suggestions--perhaps we can meet again as friends in this halfway point that Tere has graciously offered. I see a nice use of form (the 3 and 2 alternation, and a concentration of sound control--consonance and alliteration.

Rain, late in the day, pink light
behind bushel clouds. The tram
seems in a hurry, hell bent, burrowing [how about hell bent in a hurry--ditch burrowing?]

    past the corner bar which throbs
    with bass and conversation.

Someone hurls words from a holden. [not sure about hurl so close to hurry and burrowing might be overuse of this sound--or proximity]
Graffiti gathers against the walls [gathers is weak and passive--there is alternately aggressive, furtive/criminal, monetary aims mixed with the artistic in graffiti painting]
of the Thai massage parlour,

    which is probably a brothel,
    upstairs windows blocked [rather than blocked--how are they blocked--papered--painted--say how]

by stained curtains, dodgy men [dodgy for sound--but the meaning? so almost comical as a descriptive--something more concrete--are they hustlers, dealers, bouncers, paramilitary, pickpockets, down and out street people?]
lounging in the doorway.
The city’s dormant smells [how can a smell be dormant exactly? subtle? Latent? because it's part of a combination harder to identify but on its own quite distinctive like vomit or piss?]

    latch onto moisture, rise; dog
    and garbage, stir-fry, petrol. [ah, so these are the smells--if you identify here, you don't need to generalize above?]

A mother and son
lock their brick-a-brack shop door,
another day done, walk the long street [another day done...it's a common thought, but and again useful as a sound echo --done with son, but lots of what appears to be lazy writing here. I think you have a good impressionistic description with sound control to beef it up, but what's lacking is import or something to isolate or heighten this description as meaningful--metaphor, layering to provide subtext added to the narrative, or compression, rhythmic syncopation or unique word choice or wordplay to provide a driving music and density to the form.]

[I know this may be seen as a harsh crit from someone who hasn't talked with you in a while, but it's the most helpful I can be and offered in good faith for what I perceive to be lacking. This is the kind of poem I try to locate and write myself--we are both travelers...and I'm sharing my own frustrations and techniques I use in attempts to overcome them in my own work via this critique. If it doesn't apply or translate--my apologies]

    home, in no hurry, fat drops
    beading in their hair. [more of this--this is the kind of detail I as a reader (and writer) am looking for--fat drops though might plaster the hair rather than bead in it?]

Someone who does something I very much admire and am aiming more toward myself lately is Ted Kooser--lately an american poet laureate who writes very accessibly and is agrarian--from Nebraska. He uses metaphor to heighten impressionistic description--his book, Delights and Shadows has many examples. like this one: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/in-january/


Last edited by dmehl808, Dec/6/2008, 3:02 pm
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sambyfield Profile
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Re: Brunswick Portrait


Thanks for the comments everyone, with hindsight i'm less convinced this one is any good, it reads more as an exercise in atmosphere than something with real guts to it. Will see if it evolves.

And good to see you here Dave, I'm all for clean slates and appreciate the offer.

sam
Dec/7/2008, 6:15 pm Link to this post Send Email to sambyfield   Send PM to sambyfield
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Brunswick Portrait


You might want to reconsider, Sam. To my eye this has much more than atmosphere, as you put it. I remember some of your China poems and the way they had for fleshing out city and rural scenes through the dynamic in play between people and things, people and places. In other words the poems had the ability to create a kind of tension in texture of the moment.

I hope I am making some sense. Anyway, you have a talent for giving poetry texture. And a talent for giving yuour poetry a certain tension. The present poem may not be up to your standards yet. But it is of the sort I am talking about. And it ain't a shabby effort.

Tere
Dec/9/2008, 12:03 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
aticama Profile
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Re: Brunswick Portrait


City’s, color, texture, emotions. I have always loved them, their taste, their smell. I just visited a half dozen around the world, and the fondness came back.

Thanks for the trip. berto


---
Censorship is the last desperate tool of the weak minded and verbally compromised. aticama@comcast,net
http://american-horse-enterprises.com
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