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Bernie01 Profile
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Manhattan Nocturne


Revision #1

Morning. White bandage
across the city.

Men sweat like stevedores,
my wife burns gold
as the Metro Goldwyn lion,
eyes with violet mascara.

A plastic Dorothy Perkins
rose set in a water glass.

Windows gap like missing
teeth.

14th Street pool.
Swimmers tint green;
a beach ball sinks under
the splintering dive board;
a silk scarf scented
with sunscreen oil opens
into claustrophobic air;

I haunt package stores,
melancholy street lights
coming on; merchantmen
lock-up. My mind drifts,
names gone, dates gone,
what remains in a year?
a faint outline of things.

The cities uneven breathing,
a patient in a silvered
iron lung.





Original:

The 14th Street swimming pool
at Amsterdam Avenue, late July.

The water hot, colorless and old;
water wings drift to the deep end;

men sweat like stevedores, my wife
burns gold as a lion, eyes traced
with violet mascara.

In a tenement hallway, a gang boy
wears a soldier’s cloak dyed purple.

The dresses of young girls blow out
like regatta sails.

Old people lean over sills
and casements, windows gap open
like missing teeth.

The heat makes me dizzy; a mirage
of store front signs, the butcher
shop windows steam, the owner sips
ice water from a pitcher and fans
with a folded newspaper; the cleaner
and discount store ready to burn.

Dusk spills quietly over the city;
busses slow and empty.
The night delicate and shapeless.

My mind drifts away, names gone,
dates gone, what remains in a year?
The faint outline of things the way
a man sees without his glasses.

I have lost everything and cannot
write a poem. I haunt package stores,
the buttery street lights coming
on to silhouette passing apparitions.
 


Last edited by Bernie01, Feb/3/2013, 12:30 pm


---
Fall

Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
Jan/4/2013, 9:12 am Link to this post Send Email to Bernie01   Send PM to Bernie01 Blog
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Manhattan Nocturne (lost my password, opened new account)


Hi Bernie,

I deleted your first posting of this poem, which I had read but not commented on yet. My first thought about the original was that it felt incomplete and not quite cohesive, that the whole was not greater than the sum of the parts, so I'm glad you've expanded the city scenes and put more of the N into this revision. Adding more images expands the panorama of the poem; adding more about the N helps to focus POV, the who behind what's being seen, and seeing, more than any of the other senses, is important in this poem.

From the many telling images you've assembled, several really stand out for me: the water wings adrift in the deep end, the dresses that blow out like regatta sails and the buttery streetlights.

I don't know what to make of that last stanza in which the N claims he has lost everything and cannot write a poem--at the end of what is shaping up to be a very fine poem. Will have to think on that some more.

 
Jan/4/2013, 10:12 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Bernie01 Profile
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Re: Manhattan Nocturne (lost my password, opened new account)


K---




thanks for looking at this one and for fixing my account.

i'm flirting with this verse:

My mind drifts away, names gone,
dates gone, what remains in a year?
The faint outline of things the way
a man sees without his glasses.



thanks again.


bernie




---
Fall

Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
Jan/4/2013, 2:58 pm Link to this post Send Email to Bernie01   Send PM to Bernie01 Blog
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Manhattan Nocturne (lost my password, opened new account)


Bernie,

Adding "I haunt package stores" strengthens the last stanza, and I like that stanza you are flirting with. It emphasizes the importance of seeing in the poem, both literally and imaginatively, as well as through memory, which helps me understand why the N cannot write a poem.

Very cool watching this one develop.

Jan/5/2013, 8:48 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Manhattan Nocturne (lost my password, opened new account)


You've got a poem in hand, Bernie. Pathos comes over clean and honest. Each strophe builds naturally up to denouement. Scene-slinging persuades me. Poem has problems but they are few. So reluctant to go there for fear of putting you off poem's vector. S3 is where I know I'm committed.

Tere
Jan/15/2013, 7:44 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
queenfisher Profile
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Re: Manhattan Nocturne (lost my password, opened new account)


hi bernie

you can certianly write a poem!

a very good account of 14th street

esp like the lines:

my wife
burns gold as a lion, eyes traced
with violet mascara.

what a picture!

The dresses of young girls blow out
like regatta sails.

i think i've read that similie elsewhere in your poem - the regatta sails - perhaps one of your fav?!

The heat makes me dizzy; a mirage
of store front signs, the butcher
shop windows steam, the owner sips
ice water from a pitcher and fans
with a folded newspaper; the cleaner
and discount store ready to burn.

Dusk spills quietly over the city;
busses slow and empty.
The night delicate and shapeless.

great heat description - totally identify!
the last two lines sets up the atmosphere to what is to follow.

buttery street lights...very nicely indicative of the mind drift & seeing without glasses.

enjoyed!

Jan/16/2013, 2:34 am Link to this post Send Email to queenfisher   Send PM to queenfisher Blog
 
Bernie01 Profile
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Re: Manhattan Nocturne (lost my password, opened new account)


Queenfisher---

it is especially helpful to me when a reader mentions what they like and don't like in any poem of mine; i use those comments to help build a revision and to develop my own sensibiity.

thanks very much for your review of this poem.


bernie

---
Fall

Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
Jan/17/2013, 12:08 am Link to this post Send Email to Bernie01   Send PM to Bernie01 Blog
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Manhattan Nocturne (lost my password, opened new account)


Bernie,

Nice poem but there were parts I liked more than others. I kept the ones I liked, and tweaked a few little articles to have it flow with what I had chosen of the poem. Please disregard anything that doesn't help. I kept what I liked. Zak

The 14th Street swimming pool
at Amsterdam Avenue
water wings drift to the deep end;
my wife burns gold as a lion, eyes traced
with violet mascara.

In the hallway, a gang boy
wears a soldier’s cloak dyed purple.
The dresses of young girls blow out
like regatta sails.
windows gap open
like missing teeth.

At a storefront the owner sips
ice water from a pitcher and fans
with a folded newspaper

Dusk spills quietly over the city;
busses slow and empty.
The night delicate and shapeless.

My mind drifts away, names gone,
dates gone, what remains in a year?
The faint outline of things the way
a man sees without his glasses.

I have lost everything and cannot
write a poem. I haunt package stores,
the buttery street lights coming on



quote:

Bernie01 wrote:

The 14th Street swimming pool
at Amsterdam Avenue, late July.

The water hot, colorless and old;
water wings drift to the deep end;

men sweat like stevedores, my wife
burns gold as a lion, eyes traced
with violet mascara.

In a tenement hallway, a gang boy
wears a soldier’s cloak dyed purple.

The dresses of young girls blow out
like regatta sails.

Old people lean over sills
and casements, windows gap open
like missing teeth.

The heat makes me dizzy; a mirage
of store front signs, the butcher
shop windows steam, the owner sips
ice water from a pitcher and fans
with a folded newspaper; the cleaner
and discount store ready to burn.

Dusk spills quietly over the city;
busses slow and empty.
The night delicate and shapeless.

My mind drifts away, names gone,
dates gone, what remains in a year?
The faint outline of things the way
a man sees without his glasses.

I have lost everything and cannot
write a poem. I haunt package stores,
the buttery street lights coming
on to silhouette passing apparitions.
 



Jan/17/2013, 10:37 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Bernie01 Profile
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Re: Manhattan Nocturne (lost my password, opened new account)


Zak--

love it when someone suggests a revision. i know it takes time and concentration and there is always the worry that the proposed revision will offend a thin skinned poet.


no thin skin here. i should belong to the world wrestling association...LOL.

i like your revision, much cleaner and faster than my version. this poem has a dozen lines that can be flipped, dropped or added with no impact on that core poem---a man in some throes of mental deteriorization.

still struggling.

thanks again.


bernie

---
Fall

Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
Jan/18/2013, 11:28 am Link to this post Send Email to Bernie01   Send PM to Bernie01 Blog
 


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