Runboard.com
You're welcome.
Community logo






runboard.com       Sign up (learn about it) | Sign in (lost password?)

 
carolinex Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Kitchen Window (edited)


(I changed the first stanza, and took out one line from the former last stanza and added one stanza at the end. Thoughts?)

v2:

Mama taught me how to cook:
hot water cornbread, boiled ham hocks,
garden-fresh green beans.
I filled their kitchen
with the smell of Southern fried.

Washing dishes, looked out the window:
the man who brought wood charged too much,
!@#$! Who do you think you are?
The boss men tightened in a circle,

tied a noose around his neck and the rope
to the back of a pick-up truck.
Take him away!
Dragged him down the driveway.

I watched the dust cloud, looked down
at a pile of bones, hollowed holes for eyes
in the soapy dishwater. The broken glass
wasn't broke, but spotlessly clean.

Swore that moment I was leaving Arkansas,
never coming back.

He follows me, night driver,
like a screwdriver that stabs
my eyes, hollow as the white night.

v1:

I was cooking their dinner
the ways I learned from Mama:
hot water cornbread, boiled ham hocks,
garden-fresh green beans, filled the kitchen
with the smell of Southern fried.

Washing dishes, looked out the window:
the man who brought wood charged too much,
!@#$! Who do you think you are?
The boss men tightened in a circle,

tied a noose around his neck and the rope
to the back of a pick-up truck.
Take him away!
Dragged him down the driveway.

I watched the dust cloud, looked down
at a pile of bones, hollowed holes for eyes
in the soapy dishwater. The broken glass
wasn't broke, but spotlessly clean.

My work was cooking, scrubbing dishes
pushing a broom. Swore that moment
I was leaving Arkansas, never coming back.




Last edited by carolinex, Jan/29/2009, 1:49 pm
Jan/17/2009, 7:36 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
Terreson Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Re: Kitchen Window


Damn, Caroline! Talk about going to the roar. I'm curious as to what inspired this in you.

Prosodically, I can find no faults. Line rhythm is controlled. Meter is tight. Language is fittingly terse. Images clean. And yes and yes again to the penultimate stanza. I am not sure it can be improved upon. What else strikes me is the straight-forward narrative line. No tricks.

(As an aside, maybe you haven't noticed my message, mostly intended for you, in the Changes to the Board thread. Ateliers is now a forum visible only to the member list, with no unidentified guests. This way, if you still want, you can play a little more freely.)

Really a good poem in hand here.

Tere
Jan/18/2009, 4:42 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
carolinex Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Re: Kitchen Window


Oh thanks Tere! I know the subject is dicey and surely there will be nits by others.

I have one question for you. Can you tell I am referring back in time?

Sally wrote a poem that made me what to try to write a few of my friend's stories. I had for years wanted to do something in her words, like an oral history recording, because she was so good at telling her stories, but she got old and then totally disinterested, last year she died. So I had to piece together what I remember of her story (and my memory is not so hot) with my imagination.

Then there was an exercise to write for someone who can't and she immediately came to mind.

I didn't notice. Sorry, I've been so tunnel, with my need to limit computer time. I'll go look around a bit...

Jan/18/2009, 5:26 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
Terreson Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Re: Kitchen Window


Yes, Caroline. Past tense is clearly established with the last stanza.

Tere
Jan/18/2009, 5:33 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
carolinex Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Re: Kitchen Window


But I mean that I am referring to going on 70 years ago. Do you think I need any more reference to that?

Last edited by carolinex, Jan/18/2009, 6:18 pm
Jan/18/2009, 5:46 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
Terreson Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Re: Kitchen Window


Nope. Time line good to go.

Tere
Jan/18/2009, 6:53 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Patricia Jones Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Re: Kitchen Window


I agree with Tere...the timeline, past is clear to me. Your poem made me go looking for one I am not sure I have ever posted...but similar in message in a way.

Really enjoyed, Caroline.

Pat

---
"Don't you worry--I ain't evil, I'm just bad".
~Chris Smither~
Jan/19/2009, 1:03 am Link to this post Send Email to Patricia Jones   Send PM to Patricia Jones
 
carolinex Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Re: Kitchen Window


Thanks much you two. This poem got slammed by someone on another forum so it helps to have your perspective.

I feel I can count of you Tere for your honest thumbs up or down.

I made one change to the first stanza. I was trying to avoid starting the poem with "I", but seems maybe smoother that way...

Last edited by carolinex, Jan/27/2009, 3:01 pm
Jan/21/2009, 3:31 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Re: Kitchen Window


Caroline,

I would be interested in knowing why your poem got slammed on another site, but I don't really want to know. What we do here is what matters to us. The poem is interesting; this type of thing is known to people who care to know; but I've encountered a lot of people who don't want to think about these things. "Hey, they say, Obama's been elected. All that stuff doesn't matter anymore, right?"

Interesting how people carry these memories around with them. It's transmitted to other generations, too. In this context, I just read a snippet by Andrew Young about Obama. He said Obama got the label without the scars. He had not really suffered like Blacks from his generation. I might add that Obama also didn't have it transmitted to him by his parents. His Black father died in Africa, and he was raised by whites. But then he did immerse himself in the ghetto in Chicago, didn't he? And married a Black woman. You've unleashed the torrents of our perceptions. Sorry for hijacking your poem. It just triggered some thoughts. I may come back and erase all this dither. See what you get by writing this poem? Zak

quote:

CarolineX wrote:

I was cooking their dinner
the ways I learned from Mama:
hot water cornbread, boiled ham hocks,
garden-fresh green beans, filled the kitchen
with the smell of Southern fried. [No problem. When you go to washing dishes, though, it makes me wonder why you go there, except that you need that vehicle for the imagery in the soap suds, and maybe because the protagonist has to be standing there to watch what happens outside. Or does it really happen somewhere else, and the protagonist is imagining again, and seeing part of it in the soapy water?]

Washing dishes, looked out the window:
the man who brought wood charged too much,
!@#$! Who do you think you are?
The boss men tightened in a circle, [In the visible version, N***** is blanked out so I wasn't 100% sure that was the word. The "boss men" can be figured out from having watched "Cool Hand Luke." Generally speaking, though, don't we refer to the "boss man" in singular, and so that reference to the passle of them would be something else? Is she washing dishes for the overseers on a work farm? This was a little unclear for me, because of the plural "boss men."]

tied a noose around his neck and the rope
to the back of a pick-up truck.
Take him away!
Dragged him down the driveway.

I watched the dust cloud, looked down
at a pile of bones, hollowed holes for eyes
in the soapy dishwater. The broken glass
wasn't broke, but spotlessly clean.

My work was cooking, scrubbing dishes
pushing a broom. Swore that moment
I was leaving Arkansas, never coming back.


v1 beginning:

Cooking their dinner how I learned from Mama:
hot water cornbread, boiled ham hocks,
garden-fresh green beans, I filled the kitchen
with the scent of Southern fried.



nullnull

Last edited by Zakzzz5, Jan/24/2009, 11:31 am
Jan/24/2009, 11:30 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
deepwaters Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Re: Kitchen Window


Caroline -
I like the simplicity of the language here, one of those cases where it contributes to the authenticity of the poem for me. nicely done.

one question I have: what does this mean?
I watched the dust cloud, looked down
at a pile of bones, hollowed holes for eyes
in the soapy dishwater.


thanks for the post.
-shab
Jan/26/2009, 12:43 am Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
carolinex Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Re: Kitchen Window (edited)


Your response makes me want to write a short essay Zak. I'll get back to that soon. Pulled my shoulder so needing to keep things concise. Or maybe it doesn't matter what I think about all that, just that the poem stirred a lot of ideas is good.

Somewhere in the control panels you can turn off the swearing filter to get the word instead of ****

It was actually just one person who had a problem with the poem.

Hi Shag,
The sink imagery was meant to express how it affected her to witness.

Thanks for commenting.

Last edited by carolinex, Jan/29/2009, 1:51 pm
Jan/29/2009, 12:51 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
SallyMaria Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Re: Kitchen Window (edited)


Hi,

Was just wondering if you had thought of putting " My work was cooking, scrubbing dishes/pushing a broom." as your first
sentence.
Feb/1/2009, 1:01 am Link to this post Send Email to SallyMaria   Send PM to SallyMaria Blog
 
carolinex Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Re: Kitchen Window (edited)


Sally--

Then skip the Mama taught me line?

Wondering what you think of the last stanza I added?
Feb/1/2009, 5:20 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 


Add a reply





You are not logged in (login)