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Zakzzz5 Profile
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The Three Friends --- Rev. 1


The Three Friends -- Rev. 1

They are standing in the snow
statues frozen in argument
the Wyoming sky stark
ground iced underneath their feet.

We were returning from Baltimore
in the dead of winter
the husband driving, the wife
and best friend in the back seat.

They were making love back there
so the husband stopped
the car got out the three
of them to talk in the frigid air.

I never knew how it
was resolved the best
friend got off in Laramie
I caught a bus in Missoula.

-------------------------------------
The Three Friends ORIGINAL

They are standing in the snow
like statues frozen in argument
the Wyoming sky stark
ground iced underneath their feet.

We were returning from Baltimore
in the dead of winter
the husband driving, the wife
and best friend in the back seat.

They were making love back there
and so the husband stopped
the car got out the three
of them to talk in the frigid air.

I never knew how it
was resolved the best
friend got off in Laramie
I caught a bus in Missoula.


Last edited by Zakzzz5, Dec/7/2012, 11:38 am
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36064 Profile
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Re: The Three Friends


Z---


a very nice action sequence which few readers could resist.


and i felt that cold.

i especially liked the adult close:



I never knew how it
was resolved the best
friend got off in Laramie
I caught a bus in Missoula.



bernie
Nov/8/2012, 12:00 am Link to this post Send Email to 36064   Send PM to 36064 Blog
 
vkp Profile
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Re: The Three Friends


Wow.... The use of the first person narrative is brilliant. You never mention a fourth person, and yet the "I" makes it evident that there is a fourth, a hitch-hiker / witness to the drama, sitting in the front seat beside the husband, watching the whole play unfold. The drama is as chilling as the wintry setting for the poem. Or maybe more so.

But maybe the N is not a hitch-hiker. He says "we were returning from Baltimore" as if the group is acting in concert. But then, why not "Four Friends?" Curious.

I like it.

vkp
Nov/11/2012, 1:57 pm Link to this post Send Email to vkp   Send PM to vkp Blog
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: The Three Friends


36064 (Bernie!!!),

I appreciate the read. I still remember how cold it was. Of course, the narrator is never truly yourself, but this is based on our drive back from AIT in Baltimore in the dead of winter. Westerners coming back home on leave before going to Vietnam. Loverboy was a Wyoming cowboy, and the driver, from Montana, also wore a cowboy hat. Besides myself there was another passenger, a 17-year old who got off in Minnesota. This could probably be a short story. Maybe flash fiction.

Thanks again, Zak

quote:

36064 wrote:

Z---


a very nice action sequence which few readers could resist.


and i felt that cold.

i especially liked the adult close:



I never knew how it
was resolved the best
friend got off in Laramie
I caught a bus in Missoula.



bernie



Nov/12/2012, 11:10 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: The Three Friends


vkp,

The narrator was there but was not an intimate friend like the other three. There is a huge backstory to the events, too huge to cover in a short poem. There was the potential for tragedy, or at least for bathos. No one is certain when something like this happens that the participants will make the right decisions -- and the narrator would know what he knows partially by the tension in the air I suppose. Thank you for reading and for the encouraging comment(s). Zak

quote:

vkp wrote:

Wow.... The use of the first person narrative is brilliant. You never mention a fourth person, and yet the "I" makes it evident that there is a fourth, a hitch-hiker / witness to the drama, sitting in the front seat beside the husband, watching the whole play unfold. The drama is as chilling as the wintry setting for the poem. Or maybe more so.

But maybe the N is not a hitch-hiker. He says "we were returning from Baltimore" as if the group is acting in concert. But then, why not "Four Friends?" Curious.

I like it.

vkp



Nov/14/2012, 6:27 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: The Three Friends


Hi Zak,

The poem paints a stark, compelling scene on several levels. Not for the first time when reading your poems, I am reminded of Raymond Carver's poetry. Do you know it? He is known for his short stories, but poetry was his first love. I don't think his poetry has received the recognition it deserves.

The only line I'm not really sure about is:
"in the dead of winter."

I know that you know that's a cliche and yet you've used it anyway, deliberately. I think I would like the line better if it read:

We were returning from Baltimore
dead of winter
the husband driving, the wife
and best friend in the back seat.

For me the abbreviated "dead of winter" would work with "the Wyoming sky stark" in S1.

The final stanza is good; I like the lack of resolution the N and the reader are left with.
Nov/24/2012, 9:03 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: The Three Friends


Katlin,

Your alternative might be an improvement but it's still retains the cliche, which is the biggest objection I've encountered on both sites. It's problematical for me because I also write fiction, and I've encountered that objection here and there with my fiction. It's problematical because Stephen King uses a lot of cliches and gets away with it. I'm not sure about others, but I'm going to research the issue a little bit. In fiction, it is a fact that people think in cliches, and so if you are doing internal monologue, your are depicting what the person would be thinking, and in fact, that person would be thinking in cliches. Anyway, I've gone off the track a little bit, and hopefully you will indulge me. I think there is a peripheral relationship on this topic with poetry. I've begun to think of options. The fact is the back story is that we had driven through a terrific blizzard through the Dakotas, just terrific, where baby's had to be transported from stuck cars to other vehicles and where people had to sleep in the booths and the floor in isolated truck stops. Lover boy and the wife were getting cozier all this time. When the incident happened, the blizzard was over, we had driven through it, but now it was a frigid winter we faced. I'm beginning to get some ideas. Perhaps I'll change the words soon. Not sure it will be an improvement. Thanks, Zak

Potential substitutes:

"in the blue days of winter"
"in the blue freeze of winter"
"in the eye-freezing winter"

BTW, I know Stephen King is considered a hack, and I don't consider him a A-list writer. I only use him as an example of what is accepted, and successful in the marketplace. He's not Hemingway, nor is he a Dylan Thomas.

quote:

Katlin wrote:

Hi Zak,

The poem paints a stark, compelling scene on several levels. Not for the first time when reading your poems, I am reminded of Raymond Carver's poetry. Do you know it? He is known for his short stories, but poetry was his first love. I don't think his poetry has received the recognition it deserves.

The only line I'm not really sure about is:
"in the dead of winter."

I know that you know that's a cliche and yet you've used it anyway, deliberately. I think I would like the line better if it read:

We were returning from Baltimore
dead of winter
the husband driving, the wife
and best friend in the back seat.

For me the abbreviated "dead of winter" would work with "the Wyoming sky stark" in S1.

The final stanza is good; I like the lack of resolution the N and the reader are left with.





Last edited by Zakzzz5, Nov/25/2012, 7:20 am
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Katlin Profile
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Re: The Three Friends


In fiction, it is a fact that people think in cliches, and so if you are doing internal monologue, your are depicting what the person would be thinking, and in fact, that person would be thinking in cliches.

Zak,

Ah, I get what you are saying and see how this would translate into poetry, especially in dramatic monologues, but also in a first person narrated poem like this one. Yes, "in the dead of winter" is something the N would have said/thought at the time of the incident, and maybe even today thinking back on it without wearing a poetry thinking cap.

What you write about the back story to this poem is compelling.
Nov/26/2012, 11:33 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Maria Divina Profile
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Re: The Three Friends


Hi, Zak

How are you doing?

I've enjoyed reading this poem more than once - the way you are able to communicate so much in few lines is amazing.

Yes, I can tell you have a flair for recounting stories and memories with poignancy and conviction.

Just a few minor suggestions.

I think the word 'like' in L2 actually weakens the image - maybe you could lose it.

How about being more specific as regards the time and say which month, imply the year, something like that. And do you really need 'and' in s3?

You're not using much punctuation so perhaps you could even get rid of the periods at the end of each strophe, and even the only comma. The strophes don't all have to have the same number of lines.


I look forward to a revision, if you do decide to edit, and to reading more of you.


Maria





Last edited by Maria Divina, Dec/2/2012, 3:28 pm
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queenfisher Profile
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Re: The Three Friends


dear zak

very atmospheric

i can feel the dead of winter - smoky breath, gloves, fur coats (artificial i hope!) & all of it - including the frigid air & the action warming up! very cinematic - reminds me of doc. zivago - it has a russian air!

sorry for the haphazard comments! but i did get right into the scene!
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Re: The Three Friends


Maria D.,

I think you are right about losing the "like".

The "and" in S3 is simply the vernacular. I'm thinking writing the "natural" sound may not work in poetry. I had not answered because I was thinking about your recommendations. And I have to continue to think on it. I get stuck between writing narrative and writing poetry. Thanks much, Zak


quote:

Maria Divina wrote:

Hi, Zak

How are you doing?

I've enjoyed reading this poem more than once - the way you are able to communicate so much in few lines is amazing.

Yes, I can tell you have a flair for recounting stories and memories with poignancy and conviction.

Just a few minor suggestions.

I think the word 'like' in L2 actually weakens the image - maybe you could lose it.

How about being more specific as regards the time and say which month, imply the year, something like that. And do you really need 'and' in s3?

You're not using much punctuation so perhaps you could even get rid of the periods at the end of each strophe, and even the only comma. The strophes don't all have to have the same number of lines.


I look forward to a revision, if you do decide to edit, and to reading more of you.


Maria








Last edited by Zakzzz5, Dec/7/2012, 11:35 am
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Re: The Three Friends


queenfisher,

Glad you liked it. Yes, it was very cold, and so the protagonist -- the virtual guy -- should feel it!!! Thanks, Zak

quote:

queenfisher wrote:

dear zak

very atmospheric

i can feel the dead of winter - smoky breath, gloves, fur coats (artificial i hope!) & all of it - including the frigid air & the action warming up! very cinematic - reminds me of doc. zivago - it has a russian air!

sorry for the haphazard comments! but i did get right into the scene!



Dec/7/2012, 11:40 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: The Three Friends --- Rev. 1


To my mind the poem is begging detail and texture.

Tere
Dec/8/2012, 2:24 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: The Three Friends --- Rev. 1


Something about that "like" was bugging me. Glad Maria suggested dropping it and that you did.
Dec/12/2012, 7:02 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 


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