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Times When I’ve Screamed


Times When I’ve Screamed

At Basic Training, the first night after a day
Born in hell, marching all day, being yelled at,
Shorn of all our hair. Someone screamed in the night, and other voices
Comforted. “It’s all right, buddy.”

Another time, I was out of the army,
Back from Vietnam, in a fight with a heavyweight
Outside a bar in Caldwell, Idaho. He had me down,
Was behind me clawing at my eyes. Struggling
To escape, a scream escaped from inside of me,
Quite startling me and my enemy.

When else did I scream?
When was I born?
Jul/1/2013, 6:10 pm Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Bernie01 Profile
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Re: Times When I’ve Screamed


Z---

wonderful poem, as personal as it is provocative. gripping and visual, subtle like a surgical opening into the viscera.

i thought for sure the narrator would hear someone shout, it's OK as the fight unfolded in Idaho.

but no, a much, much better ending:

To escape, a scream escaped from inside of me,
Quite startling me and my enemy.

When else did I scream?
When was I born?



this is a wonderful and organic use of the interrogative ---a form i generally dislike.

the poem has your patented race horse speed and thirst for simplicity --- a veneer, in this poem, masking very deep feelings with wide implications.

that english lady who recently wrote me a note about my use of the word barkeep. in my poem about Bournemouth, England.

not english, she said.

agreed. i said i wanted something a bit fresher than bartender---and i reminded her of the dame edith sitwell poem---


i mention it now because that poem also illustrates a rising desperation your narrator feels...


the tone, the urgency, the sheer depth of feeling and genuine uncertainty. and Dame Sitwell's poem is 90 years old!

excellent poem.

shop this one. see what an editor or two might think.

bernie


Four in the Morning

by Dame Edith Sitwell

Cried the navy-blue ghost
Of Mr. Belaker
The allegro Negro c ocktail-shaker,
"Why did the c ock crow,
Why am I lost,
Down the endless road to Infinity toss'd?
The tropical leaves are whispering white
As water; I race the wind in my flight.
The white lace houses are carried away
By the tide; far out they float and sway.
White is the nursemaid on the parade.
Is she real, as she flirts with me unafraid?
...











  

Last edited by Bernie01, Jul/1/2013, 10:12 pm


---
Fall

Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
Jul/1/2013, 9:52 pm Link to this post Send Email to Bernie01   Send PM to Bernie01 Blog
 
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Re: Times When I’ve Screamed


Bernie,

I appreciate the good words. Yeah, I read the comments regarding the barkeep/bartender. The place in the poem was probably the barkeep type. Outside they have an iron anvil half the size of a car. The place was called "The Anvil" and many a head got cracked on it. I'm not a big guy, and escaped only because of some high school wrestling experience.

Bernie, I appreciate your advice to try to market this piece. My problem has always been an unwillingness to devote the time to do it. I've always had contending activities, attractions, for my time. It would have been nice to have been rich, where you could leave all the paperwork to an assistant. Who knows, maybe some day I'll wake up and realize I should do it. Zak



quote:

Bernie01 wrote:

Z---

wonderful poem, as personal as it is provocative. gripping and visual, subtle like a surgical opening into the viscera.

i thought for sure the narrator would hear someone shout, it's OK as the fight unfolded in Idaho.

but no, a much, much better ending:

To escape, a scream escaped from inside of me,
Quite startling me and my enemy.

When else did I scream?
When was I born?



this is a wonderful and organic use of the interrogative ---a form i generally dislike.

the poem has your patented race horse speed and thirst for simplicity --- a veneer, in this poem, masking very deep feelings with wide implications.

that english lady who recently wrote me a note about my use of the word barkeep. in my poem about Bournemouth, England.

not english, she said.

agreed. i said i wanted something a bit fresher than bartender---and i reminded her of the dame edith sitwell poem---


i mention it now because that poem also illustrates a rising desperation your narrator feels...


the tone, the urgency, the sheer depth of feeling and genuine uncertainty. and Dame Sitwell's poem is 90 years old!

excellent poem.

shop this one. see what an editor or two might think.

bernie


Four in the Morning

by Dame Edith Sitwell

Cried the navy-blue ghost
Of Mr. Belaker
The allegro Negro c ocktail-shaker,
"Why did the c ock crow,
Why am I lost,
Down the endless road to Infinity toss'd?
The tropical leaves are whispering white
As water; I race the wind in my flight.
The white lace houses are carried away
By the tide; far out they float and sway.
White is the nursemaid on the parade.
Is she real, as she flirts with me unafraid?
...











  



Jul/2/2013, 5:39 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Bernie01 Profile
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Re: Times When I’ve Screamed


Z---


got Milk?

the commercial of a few years ago. got time for a forum---? i rest my case.

an important part of the writing process is clubbing, workshopping, sharing, studying form and technique, on line Forums---and yes sending work to zines.


the poem about jane kenyon, if she can continue to write with little control over her bowels and english poet Julia Darling in enough pain from breast cancer to knock down a horse---but still writing---what excuse do we have?

time, money. nope.


End

Julia Darling


Eventually, I was placed on a bed like a boat
in an empty room with sky filled windows,
with azure blue pillows, the leopard-like quilt.

It was English tea time, with the kind of light
that electrifies the ordinary. It had just stopped raining.
Beads of water on glass glittered like secrets.

In another room they were baking, mulling wine.
I was warm with cloves, melting butter, demerara,
and wearing your pyjamas. My felt slippers

waited on the floor. Then the door opened
soundlessly, and I climbed out of bed.
It was like slipping onto the back of a horse,

and the room folded in, like a pop up story
then the house, and the Vale. Even the songs
and prayers tidied themselves into grooves

and the impossible hospital lay down its chimneys
its sluices, tired doctors, and waiting room chairs.
And I came here. It was easy to leave.



plenty of rejection, so what else is new?


bernie

   



---
Fall

Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
Jul/2/2013, 11:52 am Link to this post Send Email to Bernie01   Send PM to Bernie01 Blog
 
queenfisher Profile
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Re: Times When I’ve Screamed


dear zak

your poem takes us right into the heart of the matter & in the first few lines we get a pretty clear picture of army life:

At Basic Training, the first night after a day
Born in hell, marching all day, being yelled at,
Shorn of all our hair.

three lines & the army life in the barracks comes alive! that is talent!

& the psychological trauma & comraderie:

 Someone screamed in the night, and other voices
Comforted. “It’s all right, buddy.”

its all there in the first stanza - a realistic glimpse of army life.

& then what frequently happens with ex-armymen - the fights they get into.

really like the very expressive lines:

To escape, a scream escaped from inside of me,
Quite startling me and my enemy.

the last line is intriguing as the logical question would be:

when else did I scream?
when I was born?

instead of:

when was I born?

i wonder why you ask that?



Last edited by queenfisher, Jul/4/2013, 2:18 am
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Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Times When I’ve Screamed


Bernie01 wrote:

 Z---


got Milk?

the commercial of a few years ago. got time for a forum---? i rest my case.

an important part of the writing process is clubbing, workshopping, sharing, studying form and technique, on line Forums---and yes sending work to zines.


the poem about jane kenyon, if she can continue to write with little control over her bowels and english poet Julia Darling in enough pain from breast cancer to knock down a horse---but still writing---what excuse do we have? [Bernie, I appreciate your concern and encouragement, but I fear you may have misunderstood me. I never have any trouble writing poetry/or prose. I had trouble finding time to write prose when I was working full time. For me, these workshops, Delectable Mnts and TCP, suffice. The "trouble" -- as I see it -- is finding or "making" the time to engage in printing stuff out, and sending it out. Or searching the net, and crafting the proper introduction for each mag. I find it tedious, and would rather spend my time writing new poems or new prose. It's a choice. In one-hundred years we will all, most of us, be dead and forgotten. So why should it matter. I could probably engage you in a lively discussion about all the other wonderful things there are to do besides spending hours sending out poems to magazines.

Those people you mention, people probably incapacited like Stephen Hawking, are exceptional people. Praise is earned by them. But they also aren't in a position to be engaged in alternative and fulfilling activities using their full bodies and full strength. For their poetry's sake, I guess their condition is a blessing. Zak]


time, money. nope.


  

Julia Darling


Eventually, I was placed on a bed like a boat
in an empty room with sky filled windows,
with azure blue pillows, the leopard-like quilt.

It was English tea time, with the kind of light
that electrifies the ordinary. It had just stopped raining.
Beads of water on glass glittered like secrets.

In another room they were baking, mulling wine.
I was warm with cloves, melting butter, demerara,
and wearing your pyjamas. My felt slippers

waited on the floor. Then the door opened
soundlessly, and I climbed out of bed.
It was like slipping onto the back of a horse,

and the room folded in, like a pop up story
then the house, and the Vale. Even the songs
and prayers tidied themselves into grooves

and the impossible hospital lay down its chimneys
its sluices, tired doctors, and waiting room chairs.
And I came here. It was easy to leave.



plenty of rejection, so what else is new?


bernie

   



Jul/4/2013, 12:11 pm Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Times When I’ve Screamed


Hi Zak,

I like this poem; it’s clean and clear like stream of fresh running water. Poem strikes me as honest and specific, no false bravado. Although the N is speaking mainly for himself, I think the poem says something bigger about masculinity and what it means to be a man in our culture. The last S in particular, especially because the lines are presented as questions, really brings that theme home. I was surprised and comforted myself by the fact that “other voices” responded in a reassuring way to the scream in S1. Poem also strikes me as original. I can’t remember ever having read a poem on this subject.

Thanks for posting, Zak. I enjoyed spending time with your poem.
Jul/9/2013, 8:53 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
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Re: Times When I’ve Screamed


queenfisher,

Thanks for the kind words. To your question, comment, about the "When was I born?" The reason for that choice is because it's obvious that is another time when we scream. If I ask, "When I was born?" that would be too direct, and too obvious. When was I born adds another dimension to it (for me, anyway), and has the added effect of "distancing" the question, making it less personal. The poem is already too personal in terms of the narrator. Anyway, that was the mechanism by which I came to that end. Much appreciated. Sorry for the late reply. Zak

quote:

queenfisher wrote:

dear zak

your poem takes us right into the heart of the matter & in the first few lines we get a pretty clear picture of army life:

At Basic Training, the first night after a day
Born in hell, marching all day, being yelled at,
Shorn of all our hair.

three lines & the army life in the barracks comes alive! that is talent!

& the psychological trauma & comraderie:

 Someone screamed in the night, and other voices
Comforted. “It’s all right, buddy.”

its all there in the first stanza - a realistic glimpse of army life.

& then what frequently happens with ex-armymen - the fights they get into.

really like the very expressive lines:

To escape, a scream escaped from inside of me,
Quite startling me and my enemy.

the last line is intriguing as the logical question would be:

when else did I scream?
when I was born?

instead of:

when was I born?

i wonder why you ask that?




Jul/18/2013, 6:13 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Times When I’ve Screamed


Katlin,

You say you've never read a poem on the subject. Possibly you are right. I know Bukowski writes about the shady side of life, but maybe not so much about this slice of it. Then there are the war poets who go directly at combat poetry. You are right, this is directed slightly off-center, not exactly bourgeoisie, not exactly full-throated war poetry. Anyway, that's sort of how I see it. I wrote a poem once about buying a handgun, for traveling at night down the back roads of Southern Georgia and I never got any hits on it, so I withdrew it. I guess there is a certain boundary for certain poems. I'm sure that would be a long, tedious and exhaustive, and maybe fruitless discussion. Thanks, and sorry for taking so long to respond. Zak

quote:

Katlin wrote:

Hi Zak,

I like this poem; it’s clean and clear like stream of fresh running water. Poem strikes me as honest and specific, no false bravado. Although the N is speaking mainly for himself, I think the poem says something bigger about masculinity and what it means to be a man in our culture. The last S in particular, especially because the lines are presented as questions, really brings that theme home. I was surprised and comforted myself by the fact that “other voices” responded in a reassuring way to the scream in S1. Poem also strikes me as original. I can’t remember ever having read a poem on this subject.

Thanks for posting, Zak. I enjoyed spending time with your poem.



Jul/18/2013, 6:22 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
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dear zak

i understand your point about distancing yourself from the question & making it less personal - a good device - i've learn't something! thanks!

in the world of poetry i think time hardly matters! ours is a timeless world!

i'm reminded of a ghazal, a love song sung by a pakistani singer - the literal translation doesn't sound great - but the original is beautiful:

Life is a prisinor of time
only the moments we spend together
are free, don't lose these, my love,
& repent for a life-time!

would love to read that poem of your about buying a handgun - sounds interesting & intriguing!
Jul/19/2013, 2:32 am Link to this post Send Email to queenfisher   Send PM to queenfisher Blog
 
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Hi Zak,

I don't recall your poem about buying a handgun, but like queenfisher I'd love to read it. If you don't want to post it here, in a critique forum, perhaps you could try Chalkboard & Billboard or Ateliers?
Jul/20/2013, 8:21 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
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Re: Times When I’ve Screamed


Thanks for the comments and the poem you posted. I'm sure it would be an experience to know that poem you posted in the original. I went back to look at the gun poem, modified it a bit, and might post here later. Debating it. Zak

quote:

queenfisher wrote:

dear zak

i understand your point about distancing yourself from the question & making it less personal - a good device - i've learn't something! thanks!

in the world of poetry i think time hardly matters! ours is a timeless world!

i'm reminded of a ghazal, a love song sung by a pakistani singer - the literal translation doesn't sound great - but the original is beautiful:

Life is a prisinor of time
only the moments we spend together
are free, don't lose these, my love,
& repent for a life-time!

would love to read that poem of your about buying a handgun - sounds interesting & intriguing!



Jul/20/2013, 12:52 pm Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
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Katlin,

I don't think it was here where I posted that poem; probably at the other site. Modified it a bit. Will look at it again in a few days, and maybe decide to post. Thanks for the feedback. Zak

quote:

Katlin wrote:

Hi Zak,

I don't recall your poem about buying a handgun, but like queenfisher I'd love to read it. If you don't want to post it here, in a critique forum, perhaps you could try Chalkboard & Billboard or Ateliers?



Jul/20/2013, 12:53 pm Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
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quote:

I could probably engage you in a lively discussion about all the other wonderful things there are to do besides spending hours sending out poems to magazines.




like reading up on buddhism. bernie will never understand. sorry bernie. i do like the discussions. thrive on them in fact. but none of it is the kick. all necessary. not sufficient.

coming to the poem.


quote:

Zakzzz5 wrote:

Times When I’ve Screamed

At Basic Training, the first night after a day
Born in hell, marching all day, being yelled at,
Shorn of all our hair. Someone screamed in the night, and other voices
Comforted. “It’s all right, buddy.”



this is so real and so gripping that i don't really have anything but praise. after a day born in hell. wow. shorn of all our hair. no identity but as part of the m/c moving when told. but it's the break at voices that's the real thrill. like queenie said you bring the barracks to life here. that leads me to another question. how much of this is a personal narrative? are you talking about an N who could hv been in nam, who could also have been in a fight at idaho? when was i born? that's an epic question. it's almost like a puzzle that you need to find an answer to. another thing. sometimes when people are coming to, doctors/ coaches ask them plain questions like what's your name and what's your date of birth etc to check for damage. i think the last two qs can be tht sort of coming to. or at least a struggle to really really understand N's experiences, collective experiences.

thanks for this man,
arka


quote:

Another time, I was out of the army,
Back from Vietnam, in a fight with a heavyweight
Outside a bar in Caldwell, Idaho. He had me down,
Was behind me clawing at my eyes. Struggling
To escape, a scream escaped from inside of me,
Quite startling me and my enemy.

When else did I scream?
When was I born?



p.s. w/ the idaho story, we also have a repeat of vietnam image. here the heavywieight is the aggressor, in nam it could have been N. interesting and complex. no easy resolution.

Last edited by arkava, Aug/8/2013, 10:54 am
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