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Looking for Rusty [Note: Tempororary title]


Looking for Rusty [Note: Temporary title]

The day General Tucker withdrew
military assistance from Laos, the day he
withdrew. Hmong soldiers rested,
the day Harriman had Kennedy's
ear, the day he grew disturbed,
the ominous gathering of geese,
somewhere the flock took wing.

The day the North Vietnamese
refused to leave Laos,
and the Plain of Jars; what year,
nineteen sixty two,
six years Rusty still had,
six years, supposing he
died in sixty eight, which
wasn't clear at all.

Nothing was clear. Ambassador
Unger held hopes, the Pathet
Lao had sixteen thousand men;
in Bangkok Unger sweated and
Minister Thanat held no confidence
Harriman would protect Thailand.

In July fourteen nations signed
a protocol of happiness
and neutrality for Laos; the
geese returned, the field
mice scurried about, no eagles
raided fields, no blinded
peasants prayed.

Nothing was clear,
three years or five
before John waded through
the flooded fields along
hedges and dikes looking
for Rusty, three years
before Rusty died in another
war that sprang, was birthed
in Laos.

Last edited by Zakzzz5, Feb/15/2009, 5:59 am
Feb/15/2009, 5:50 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
ChrisD1 Profile
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Re: Looking for Rusty [Note: Tempororary title]


hi Zak,

This is a very fine poem, I think. It has a forward moving energy and seems to sweep up or pull in, everything in its path, including Rusty. A jumbled, botched series of events, gaining momentum and causing destruction. Thought these lines were most striking:

"six years Rusty still had,
six years supposing he
died in sixty eight, which
wasn't clear at all."

Like a glimpse of Rusty, surfacing for an instant as he is carried away in this torrent of events and ultimately lost.

Thanks for posting, Zak.

Chris
Feb/15/2009, 9:43 am Link to this post Send Email to ChrisD1   Send PM to ChrisD1
 
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Re: Looking for Rusty [Note: Tempororary title]


Chrisfriend nails what works for me too, the poem's kinetic energy, its drive. I also notice the deliberate foretelling, preparing the reader for the last strophe. Nice touch that. And then the interweaving of characters, some historical and some unknown. The first sort whose decisions will have consequences for the second. That too is a nice touch and I think brought off successfully. I am trying fo find something that doesn't work here. It is not coming to me. And I think the image-rush may be the poem's main strength.

Zakman, if you are also on an IBPC board, this should be nominated. This is controlled wordsmithing.

Tere
Feb/16/2009, 2:32 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Re: Looking for Rusty [Note: Tempororary title]


Chris,

I appreciate the good comments for this effort. I did feel that this is one of my better ones lately. But we'll see what the rest of the commentary will be. I'll tell you this, it was a good feeling to be writing it. Zak

quote:

ChrisD1 wrote:

hi Zak,

This is a very fine poem, I think. It has a forward moving energy and seems to sweep up or pull in, everything in its path, including Rusty. A jumbled, botched series of events, gaining momentum and causing destruction. Thought these lines were most striking:

"six years Rusty still had,
six years supposing he
died in sixty eight, which
wasn't clear at all."

Like a glimpse of Rusty, surfacing for an instant as he is carried away in this torrent of events and ultimately lost.

Thanks for posting, Zak.

Chris



Feb/22/2009, 8:14 pm Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
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Re: Looking for Rusty [Note: Tempororary title]


quote:

Terreson wrote:

Chrisfriend nails what works for me too, the poem's kinetic energy, its drive. I also notice the deliberate foretelling, preparing the reader for the last strophe. Nice touch that. [I suppose the foretelling has to do with having thought about this for many years. Thanks for noticing this, Terreson.] And then the interweaving of characters, some historical and some unknown. The first sort whose decisions will have consequences for the second. That too is a nice touch and I think brought off successfully. I am trying fo find something that doesn't work here. It is not coming to me. And I think the image-rush may be the poem's main strength.

Zakman, if you are also on an IBPC board, this should be nominated. This is controlled wordsmithing. [My poetry is not generally the type that wins contests there. I don't know if it's just different type of poetry, or if it was something I said. Hard to tell. Not trying to figure it out. Thanks for the complement. Zak]

Tere



 
Feb/22/2009, 8:20 pm Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
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Re: Looking for Rusty [Note: Tempororary title]


Hi Zak,

I really like how you blended the personal/individual and political here. In news reporting, it is sort of a formula, here it is poetry. Few spots seem a bit bumpy and I don't know if you intend that.

Hope things are going well.

C

Looking for Rusty [Note: Temporary title]

The day General Tucker withdrew
military assistance from Laos, the day he
withdrew.//I don't understand this opening repetition? Hmong soldiers rested,
the day Harriman had Kennedy's
ear, the day he grew disturbed,
the ominous gathering of geese,
(somewhere the flock//this sounds bumpy to me)
 took wing.

The day the North Vietnamese
refused to leave Laos,
and the Plain of Jars; what year,
nineteen sixty two,
six years Rusty still had,//this seems turned around though maybe you are after the rhythm
six years, supposing he
died in sixty eight, which
wasn't clear at all.

Nothing was clear. Ambassador
Unger held hopes, the Pathet
Lao had sixteen thousand men;
in Bangkok(,) Unger sweated and
Minister Thanat held no confidence
Harriman would protect Thailand.

In July(,) fourteen nations signed
a protocol of happiness
and neutrality for Laos; the
geese returned, the field
mice scurried (about), no eagles
raided fields, no blinded
peasants prayed.

Nothing was clear,
three years or five
before John waded through
the flooded fields along
hedges and dikes looking
for Rusty, three years
before//interesting you don't say after
 Rusty died in another
war that sprang, was birthed//I would choose one or the other, but perhaps you have your reasons, anyway, I like how you end
in Laos.
Feb/23/2009, 9:33 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
deepwaters Profile
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Re: Looking for Rusty [Note: Tempororary title]


Zak -

The first thing I notice about this piece is its energy. It pushes and pulls me forward, makes me read line after line, but it doesn't rush me. I don't think this is an easy task to accomplish; nicely done. For this humble reader, the mention of so many names reduces its reach and effects, but that is probably just me. I tend to prefer general terms (e.g., the ambassador) to a specific one, unless the name is really important to the piece.

Similarly to Chris, I like that Rusty comes up to the surface for a brief moment in S2. It reminded me of a piece of paper in a rushing river, you know it is there and you see it, but it is hard to get a good picture of it in your head. And the transition between S2 and S3 works very well for me. Well, that is true about the piece as a whole, smooth transitions and nicely paced movements.

I find the last line to be a hard read. Are you saying that another war that sprang *and another war that* was birthed in Laos?

I enjoyed this. Thanks for posting.
-shab
Mar/2/2009, 9:59 am Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
aticama Profile
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Re: Looking for Rusty [Note: Tempororary title]


Zakster

Been a bit since I read some of you stuff, you got it down, dude. I am proud to have watched ya grow. It makes hangen out in places like this a pleasure.

Ya can always tell the ones that let it sprout from their hearts, not their intellect.

Esto es alguna mierda tan buena, vato. Siga adelante y haga su marca.

berto

---
Censorship is the last desperate tool of the weak minded and verbally compromised. aticama@comcast,net
http://american-horse-enterprises.com
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Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Looking for Rusty [Note: Tempororary title]


Caroline,

You identified the areas which some other people have found problematic. Repetitions, which were purposely put there seem to jar for some people. I'll have to look at that. I appreciate your taking the time to look and comment. Hope all is well. Zak
Mar/8/2009, 5:30 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
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Re: Looking for Rusty [Note: Tempororary title]


deepwaters,

Yeah, that last repetition, of sources, sprang, was birthed, throws some people off. May look at it. This has been a bad week for me. Will try to find the time. Thanks again. Glad it seemed to work for you. Zak

quote:

deepwaters wrote:

Zak -

The first thing I notice about this piece is its energy. It pushes and pulls me forward, makes me read line after line, but it doesn't rush me. I don't think this is an easy task to accomplish; nicely done. For this humble reader, the mention of so many names reduces its reach and effects, but that is probably just me. I tend to prefer general terms (e.g., the ambassador) to a specific one, unless the name is really important to the piece.

Similarly to Chris, I like that Rusty comes up to the surface for a brief moment in S2. It reminded me of a piece of paper in a rushing river, you know it is there and you see it, but it is hard to get a good picture of it in your head. And the transition between S2 and S3 works very well for me. Well, that is true about the piece as a whole, smooth transitions and nicely paced movements.

I find the last line to be a hard read. Are you saying that another war that sprang *and another war that* was birthed in Laos?

I enjoyed this. Thanks for posting.
-shab



Mar/8/2009, 5:33 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
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Re: Looking for Rusty [Note: Tempororary title]


aticama,

Glad to see you here. I don't know if my style is consistent or not, I tend to write without an affinity for one form or the other, though I suppose I have a style, just like we all do, so to speak. I only say this because you say I've grown. Again, thanks for dropping by. Zak


quote:

aticama wrote:

Zakster

Been a bit since I read some of you stuff, you got it down, dude. I am proud to have watched ya grow. It makes hangen out in places like this a pleasure.

Ya can always tell the ones that let it sprout from their hearts, not their intellect.

Esto es alguna mierda tan buena, vato. Siga adelante y haga su marca.

berto



Mar/8/2009, 5:36 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
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Re: Looking for Rusty [Note: Tempororary title]


Hi Zakz,

I just love this! Really wonderful. I've just been reading Gary Indiana's wonderful book about war, government and propaganda called "Utopia's Debris" and this is like a poetic treatment of his prose. You would love that book.

My only nit is that, though you say "nothing is clear," the ending was all too clear. I knew the ending from the title.

What if you left it open-ended? It's all so tear-jerkily "Private Ryan" at the end. It spoils it.

Otherwise tight, emotionally restrained, no poorly-chosen or unnecessary words. Nice terse diction appropriate to the subject.

Thanks for posting this!

Diana

.
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Re: Looking for Rusty [Note: Tempororary title]


Very good to read you, Zakz.
This has a news reporting type of feel to it
except for the last S which seems to stem from the speaker's memory.
I don't see where I would change a thing.
This was a pleasure to read.

Cheers,

Jun/12/2009, 2:09 pm Link to this post Send Email to Yolee   Send PM to Yolee
 
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Re: Looking for Rusty [Note: Tempororary title]


Diana,

Of course, I'm gratified that you liked this poem. I'll have to think about what you said about the tear-jerky ending. You might be right. It had been a while since I had seen it commented on. I'll have to keep in mind the reference you gave me. I've been tied up with work-related activities. Nice hearing from you. Thanks for the read. Zak

quote:

dmanister wrote:

Hi Zakz,

I just love this! Really wonderful. I've just been reading Gary Indiana's wonderful book about war, government and propaganda called "Utopia's Debris" and this is like a poetic treatment of his prose. You would love that book.

My only nit is that, though you say "nothing is clear," the ending was all too clear. I knew the ending from the title.

What if you left it open-ended? It's all so tear-jerkily "Private Ryan" at the end. It spoils it.

Otherwise tight, emotionally restrained, no poorly-chosen or unnecessary words. Nice terse diction appropriate to the subject.

Thanks for posting this!

Diana

.



Jun/14/2009, 8:31 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
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Re: Looking for Rusty [Note: Tempororary title]


Yolee,

Nice to see you again. So your take on it is that the ending is ok? Well, I'll have to look at it from both sides. Thanks for reading and commenting. I may be able to up my participation a bit within the next month or so. Zak

quote:

Yolee wrote:

Very good to read you, Zakz.
This has a news reporting type of feel to it
except for the last S which seems to stem from the speaker's memory.
I don't see where I would change a thing.
This was a pleasure to read.

Cheers,




Jun/14/2009, 8:33 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
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Re: Looking for Rusty [Note: Tempororary title]


Zakz,

Yeah, definitely you will love Gary Indiana's book, and some of his chapters relate directly to your poem.

Best,

Diana

.
Jun/14/2009, 8:41 am Link to this post Send Email to dmanister   Send PM to dmanister
 
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Re: Looking for Rusty [Note: Tempororary title]


Diana,

I still have the Gary Indiana book in mind. But a part of me says I probably lived that life closer than most. Being in the theater there in the Pacific meant something. But may look at it one of these days. Not sure I'll find it to browse. Anyhoooo, I was also thinking of your comment about "nothing is clear." I meant it partially as a comment on when the young man died. And how a narrator may be thinking loosely about chronology and how it might not be that important, given the other considerations. Anyway, I finally had some time to start looking at the two poetry sites I frequent, and will start getting the criticism muscles working again. Hopefully, will get some sanity time now to regularly, if not frequently, comment. Zak
quote:

dmanister wrote:

Zakz,

Yeah, definitely you will love Gary Indiana's book, and some of his chapters relate directly to your poem.

Best,

Diana

.



Jul/11/2009, 10:59 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
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Re: Looking for Rusty [Note: Tempororary title]


"Hmong soldiers rested,
the day Harriman had Kennedy's
ear, "

Zakzz, I don't know whether you meant this to be a pun, but the image is grotesque, particulary since Kennedy was shot in the head. Either push it further so there is some point to it, or take it out.

Diana

.
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