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Zakzzz5 Profile
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Untitled AB1


he grips
the edge of
the gritty table

wonders what
dark road
your strange eyes
rode down

what anxieties
you'll lock
behind the green
door

Every stranger
is a stranger
to himself first.

Subtext
("Oh, please,
let's not
get too serious."

"Alright, I
won't write.")

---

Last edited by Zakzzz5, Dec/4/2008, 6:33 pm
Dec/4/2008, 6:31 pm Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
dmehl808 Profile
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Re: Untitled AB1


gripping the edge of the gritty table and talk of roads somehow brings to mind Raymond Carver for me--maybe the minimalism too of the collection, What We Talk about When We Talk about Love, specifically. If you haven't ever read this, I would recommend it, and maybe his poetry too. I know that it's untitled, but what does AB1 refer to--nothing?



he grips
the edge of
the gritty table

wonders what
dark road
your strange eyes [immediately I wonder who the speakers are--who is this your especially, as I get a sense of the he-- but what is the relationship between the two--are they acquaintances, lovers, friends, strangers? Is it the eyes only that are strange or what--what brings these two together in other words?]
rode down

what anxieties
you'll lock
behind the green
door [why is the door green? Envy, fertility, random chance--ie the door was simply green? In a poem this short even the letters, and their sounds, not just the freight of the words matters, eh?]

Every stranger
is a stranger
to himself first. [so, acquaintances: they are strangers--one is a traveler (from the road)? Still we wonder what brings them together, don't we? happenchance, but of what import is their meeting--we aren't told--only that it has an impact on the one of the three--one surmises that there is the speaker, the he, and the stranger, but how does the speaker know the thoughts of the "he?" what does it matter whether the stranger reveals himself, his essence to these other? It would only matter if there were some underlying relationship, a passage of time that allowed distance between the relationship, perhaps. I'm not sure the proverbial wisdom of stranger to oneself first is enough to carry the weight of the poem, at least not without more imformation as to the import of this, Zak--so we move on to the "subtext"]

Subtext [I almost feel like I'm getting rebuked in advance for my critique....this is a metafictional technique which brings us out of the dream of the poem--it's selfconscious--what I as reader am looking for is more clues as to the import of the meeting, so this rather frustrates me, and as I say seems rather like a rebuke of irony and cynicism for me just wanting to read and make meaning out of the poem...]
("Oh, please,
let's not
get too serious." [but perhaps it's part of the meeting spoken by one or two of the players?--I get internal editor of the speaker though]

"Alright, I
won't write.") [sounds like the speaker/author talking--I'm wondering if the conceit of he should be replaced by I--in other words are there only two players, not three?]

If I were to suggest anything it might be to come up with a title that helped to deambiguize the narrative, or maybe to add a middle to the beginning and end following S2 but before S3. There just isn't enough here for me to be satisfied. Never would I suggest "not writing." Rather write more. That might involved trust--I understand. Dare to.
Dec/6/2008, 2:14 pm Link to this post Send Email to dmehl808   Send PM to dmehl808
 
carolinex Profile
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Re: Untitled AB1


Hi Zak,

I'm glad to read your post. I like that you are experimenting though this one doesn't yet excite me. This seems more like an intellectual poem, a 2008 question and my bias is toward poems that allow more entrance. My sense is that this poem is questioning the act of writing poems at all.

Caroline

 Untitled AB1//a poetry friend recently tried to convince me of why titles are not needed. (He didn't succeed, I like titles, though they can be hell to come up with.) This seems like some way to file the poem so you can find it later. If every poem were untitled how would you find them?


he grips
the edge of
the gritty table

wonders what
dark road
your strange eyes//I wonder what makes them strange, can you describe this instead of using tell?
rode down

what anxieties
you'll lock
behind the green
door

Every stranger
is a stranger
to himself first.//this seems very familiar, from some movie or book. The idea though might be worth building on more and I also wonder if you can describe this same idea in images instead.

Subtext
("Oh, please,
let's not
get too serious."

"Alright, I
won't write.") //This ending feels sort of cut short. Some people like poems that are about writing. I do only when it gives me enough extra to ponder. This feels almost like the poem is about the narrator holding back, saying, I'm not going to answer anything you might start to wonder about. This could also be questioning the act of writing.



Last edited by carolinex, Dec/6/2008, 5:37 pm
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Terreson Profile
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Re: Untitled AB1


Subtext alone is worth the price of admission. The chuckle was immediate and involuntary.

On the other hand, I am not sure I know what the poem is after, its objective. And so I can't speak to means. The writing, so far as it goes, is strong in image making, which seems to be deliberate and speaks to an intended affect. But, again, I think I need more text to work on.

Tere
Dec/9/2008, 12:12 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Untitled AB1


Dave,

Thanks for your careful critique. Yes, perhaps this poem is not as centered as it should be. The "rebuke" was actually -- I had a certain poet in mind, a young one, who is into postmodern writing and who typically dismisses most of my stuff, even when it's half good. Actually there are two or three I encounter who typically dismiss anything with any overt meaning. They embrace the newest of the new. Sorry I can't respond point by point to you, but rest assured I read your critique, and find it helpful. Zak
Dec/12/2008, 8:19 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Untitled AB1


Caroline,

Yes, the poem has shortcomings. I'll try to do better. I actually am not questioning writing, but questioning some particular critics, as I explained to Dave above. Obviously I missed the mark. So the poem needs to be rewritten. Yes, "every stranger is a stranger first" seems weak now because it does seem very familiar. It needs a newer environment. That is a significant failure of the poem. I wholeheartedly agree. Thanks for your other comments. Zak
Dec/12/2008, 8:22 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Untitled AB1


Terreson,

Good to hear from you. Yes, I think the stanza, the 4th about the "stranger" kills the poem. Too familiar. Needs more evolution, as you suggest. Good insights. Thanks and be well. Are we going to have a Christmas party here? Zak
Dec/12/2008, 8:25 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 


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