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ineese Profile
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Best Laid Plans


The cream light toward evening
waiting by the end of the pine
for lavender scents

a package arrives with the Danube plates
you ordered before you passed. Small cut edges
filled in the shape of small thumbs

my sinus condition will never clear up.
And now that the funeral is over,
even the aromas that change from day to day
no longer matter.
 
I had a gift for you as well. Emerald. A man's ring
cut in gold.
It remains in the box that feels like the back of a caterpillar.

The decision to remove my watch
along with all my jewelry means the end of feeling
cold.

A car backfires across the road.
A terrier barks. Small bombs going off
to keep me alive.

I turn around for home,
to raspberry tea working its whistle
around the room

plan the same thing tomorrow,
the next day. Until I stop checking
the calendar, the horse barn for thinning straw,
the footprints outside the storm cellar.

You've been reduced to a visit.
A choice of peony, magnolia.

Last edited by ineese, Feb/16/2013, 6:54 pm
Feb/15/2013, 10:11 pm Link to this post Send PM to ineese Blog
 
Bernie01 Profile
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Re: Best Laid Plans


Kathleen---

Danube plates...

immediately, right or wrong, the sense of foreign intrigue---The Third Man, for example.

a bomb?

my favored construction style is an image followed by something very, very human:

my sinus condition will never clear up.

a personal, human detail; allows the reader to catch his/her breath.


a clearly advancing narrative:

And now that the funeral is over,
even the aromas that change from day to day
don't matter.

I had a gift for you as well. Emerald. A man's ring
cut in gold.
It remains in the box that feels like the back of a caterpillar.

The decision to remove my watch
along with all my jewelry means the end of feeling cold.



here again, that personal detail that makes the narrative the more vibrant for being owned by someone.

and the close? what are you going for there?



bernie




---
Fall

Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
Feb/15/2013, 10:57 pm Link to this post Send Email to Bernie01   Send PM to Bernie01 Blog
 
ineese Profile
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Re: Best Laid Plans


Bernie,

Yes, the close felt weak to me.
As if I drifted off from what I was
trying to say. It was supposed
to reveal getting back to the reality of
those places we keep looking
for people even though we know
they are gone but hoping for
some small comforting sign.

The plates--show and date me, I know
I am old-fashioned. Very German
I believe. My heritage.

Any thoughts on strengthening
that ending, or paring it down
are appreciated and thanks for
reading!

Feb/15/2013, 11:57 pm Link to this post Send PM to ineese Blog
 
Bernie01 Profile
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Re: Best Laid Plans


Kathleen---

is the narrator angry with the deceased person of the poem?

when i find myself uncertain i try to state what i want just as you did in your crit response, in other words, plain english; later, i try to add somethng poetic, something lyric, something carried by an image.

here are some thoughts:


You've been reduced to a visit.
A choice of peony, glads

A car backfires across the road.
A terrier barks. Small bombs going off,
to keep me alive.

I turn around for home,
An apology to the dead.

Normal creeps back,
the calendar unfolds eventless,
the same thing tomorrow,
and the next day.



Here is an odd, speculation on death---

Implications for Modern Life

By Matthea Harvey

The ham flowers have veins and are rimmed in rind, each petal a little meat sunset. I deny all connection with the ham flowers, the barge floating by loaded with lard, the white flagstones like platelets in the blood-red road. I’ll put the calves in coats so the ravens can’t gore them, bandage up the cut gate and when the wind rustles its muscles, I’ll gather the seeds and burn them. But then I see a horse lying on the side of the road and think You are sleeping, you are sleeping, I will make you be sleeping. But if I didn’t make the ham flowers, how can I make him get up? I made the ham flowers. Get up, dear animal. Here is your pasture flecked with pink, your oily river, your bleeding barn. Decide what to look at and how. If you lower your lashes, the blood looks like mud. If you stay, I will find you fresh hay.

“Implications for Modern Life” © 2007


good hunting.

bernie

---
Fall

Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
Feb/16/2013, 12:58 am Link to this post Send Email to Bernie01   Send PM to Bernie01 Blog
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Best Laid Plans


With first strophe I was prepared not to like the poem. Not that the strophe is superfluous or uneccessary. First line, however, strikes me as a bit of a cliche, as does "lavender scents".

But all of a sudden the poem finds itself and I am thoroughly convinced. Of what? Of its moment maybe. Images work. Poem has kinetic energy. But what is really disarming is the truth of emotion. Poem's emotion cuts me a little, kind of like a paper cut does. With a sharp sting. S3 sets the tone. S8 reads like a coup de grace. That is exactly how it reads. Makes me think of a bull delivered the stroke that puts him on his knees.

This is quite a good poem.

Tere
Feb/17/2013, 5:20 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
ineese Profile
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Re: Best Laid Plans


Bernie,
I can see why you would ask that and have been contemplating re-wording that line. I like the poem/reference you gave. Thanks!

Tere, Opening lines are difficult for me, anyway.
Its hard sometimes to grab the reader esp. in this day and age. Hopefully, the entire poem like you said will be given a chance and I'm glad you did. Thanks for pointing out strengths and what you saw in this.
Feb/19/2013, 2:23 pm Link to this post Send PM to ineese Blog
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Best Laid Plans


Hi Kathleen,

Good title. I know what Tere means about the first stanza, but you can't just drop it; it sets the tone but in a way that does not overly foreshadow what's to follow. What follows is a moving, believable description of grief. I find your writing about loss to be real and effective, and loss is a difficult subject to write about well. So easy to come across as sentimental, nostalgic, but you don't. The details in the poem keep it grounded and close to the bone of grief. I like the ending, find it devastating in its simplicity.

A few possible tweaks. Perhaps drop the first "around" in this stanza:

I turn around for home,
to raspberry tea working its whistle
around the room

Perhaps drop "the" before "footsteps":

plan the same thing tomorrow,
the next day. Until I stop checking
the calendar, the horse barn for thinning straw,
the footprints outside the storm cellar.





Last edited by Katlin, Feb/23/2013, 7:20 pm
Feb/22/2013, 8:47 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
ineese Profile
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Re: Best Laid Plans



Katlin

Thank you so much for the input,
actually I changed the title
to the 2nd line.
Of all the poems I've been working on in
the past month, this is my favorite.
Feb/23/2013, 2:34 pm Link to this post Send PM to ineese Blog
 
vkp Profile
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Re: Best Laid Plans


Ineese, This works so well to squeeze an utterance of shared anguish from a reader's lips -- it is real and it is painful.

There is a lot here that I really like. I thought I'd mention this:
quote:

The decision to remove my watch
along with all my jewelry means the end of feeling
cold.

A car backfires across the road.
A terrier barks. Small bombs going off
to keep me alive.


The first of these two is, to me, a moment of exquisite denial, so wonderfully drawn. The second -- it's the "to keep me alive" that is so subtle in its evocation of deep pain and loss. When sorrow feels like death, the heart shocked into beating by a loud noise outside is something to be grateful for.

vkp
Mar/2/2013, 3:53 pm Link to this post Send Email to vkp   Send PM to vkp Blog
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Best Laid Plans


ineese wrote:

The cream light toward evening
waiting by the end of the pine
for lavender scents [This is unusual. The cream light is waiting? Still, somehow it does work for me. In fact, again oddly, it comes on stronger as I read the rest of the poem.]

a package arrives with the Danube plates
you ordered before you passed. Small cut edges
filled in the shape of small thumbs [Again, somehow the "small cut edges" comes on stronger as I discover this is at least partially about a funeral.]

my sinus condition will never clear up.
And now that the funeral is over,
even the aromas that change from day to day
no longer matter. [This is wonderful how you tie in your (the narrator's) physical condition with the fact of the funeral. It shows a maturity here that I like.]
 
I had a gift for you as well. Emerald. A man's ring
cut in gold.
It remains in the box that feels like the back of a caterpillar. [Good simile.]

The decision to remove my watch
along with all my jewelry means the end of feeling
cold. [Don't quite understand this, not on a rational level, but do understand it in the poem.]

A car backfires across the road.
A terrier barks. Small bombs going off
to keep me alive. [I like.]

I turn around for home,
to raspberry tea working its whistle
around the room [Yes.]

plan the same thing tomorrow,
the next day. Until I stop checking
the calendar, the horse barn for thinning straw,
the footprints outside the storm cellar. [The poem deepens here. It also comes home more.]

You've been reduced to a visit.
A choice of peony, magnolia. [For me the ending is ambiguous. But what it does is it forces the reader to try to come to terms with the physical descriptions provided throughout the poem, and also with the emotional content of the poem. This as the reader reads these last line. Zak
Mar/15/2013, 11:56 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 


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