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Zakzzz5 Profile
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Unnamed 1 (Revision #1)


Revision 1/23/10)

If I drown myself in axle grease
and break away my outer skin
and bare my soul, too

Would you dream of me?
Would you hear my heart
and hold my hands
and palpitate with me?

If I stood exposed
to winter gales
If I bit down to bone
If my skeleton broke free
Would you willingly leave me?

An artery clogged with diamonds
amputated at the hip.


----------------------------------------
ORIGINAL
If I drown myself in axle grease
and break away my outer skin
and bare my soul, too

Would you dream of me?
Would you hear my heart
and hold my hands
and palpitate with me?

I cannot promise not to run,
I cannot promise not to fade like dreams.

(Note: Written Dec 1990, but never posted)

Last edited by Zakzzz5, Jan/23/2010, 9:53 am
Jan/21/2010, 6:22 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
deepwaters Profile
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Re: Unnamed 1


Zak-

This poem stirs something deep in me, maybe a longing, I am not sure. I feel as if I understand the poem's language in a sense beyond words. Very much enjoyed "palpitate with me."
I have two thoughts. First, I would like this to be longer; I wish to see it more developed. Second, I find "fade like dreams" a bit heavy handed.

Just my two cents. Thanks for the read.
-s
Jan/21/2010, 1:20 pm Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Unnamed 1


Zak,

I like the unexpected images in the first two stanzas. As Shab pointed out, a strong feeling comes through in a nonlinear way. The title also piqued my interest. I'm not sure about the final stanza. Maybe, as Shab also suggested, if the poem was developed a little the ending would have more resonance. If the poem is developed, I wouldn't like to see the mystery of the first two stanzas clarified too much. I like not knowing exactly who is being addressed or why. I'm trying to think of why the ending doesn't seem quite right. It seems too conclusive somehow. Maybe if you just ended: "I cannot promise not to fade." and let the reader associate the fading with dreams and S2, L1.

HTH. I look forward to other comments, which often help me see things in a new light.


Jan/22/2010, 4:53 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
deepwaters Profile
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Re: Unnamed 1


quote:

Katlin wrote:
If the poem is developed, I wouldn't like to see the mystery of the first two stanzas clarified too much. I like not knowing exactly who is being addressed or why.



If I may add two more cents to this thread, I totally agree. The mystery is what carries it and connects with me. I just would like to stay with that feeling more; hear more about it if you will.

Jan/22/2010, 6:25 pm Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
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Re: Unnamed 1


deepwaters,

Not sure the revision answers your concerns. This one might be revised several times. I'm glad it resonated. Those are kind words. I'll save them for when you have to be a bit less kind. Zak

quote:

deepwaters wrote:

Zak-

This poem stirs something deep in me, maybe a longing, I am not sure. I feel as if I understand the poem's language in a sense beyond words. Very much enjoyed "palpitate with me."
I have two thoughts. First, I would like this to be longer; I wish to see it more developed. Second, I find "fade like dreams" a bit heavy handed.

Just my two cents. Thanks for the read.
-s



Jan/23/2010, 9:49 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
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Re: Unnamed 1


Katlin,
I appreciate your comments. Interesting about the non-linear. I did revise, but sometimes I end up going back to the original. My revisions fail just as often as they succeed. If you read this, let me know if the rev worked -- or not. Zak

quote:

Katlin wrote:

Zak,

I like the unexpected images in the first two stanzas. As Shab pointed out, a strong feeling comes through in a nonlinear way. The title also piqued my interest. I'm not sure about the final stanza. Maybe, as Shab also suggested, if the poem was developed a little the ending would have more resonance. If the poem is developed, I wouldn't like to see the mystery of the first two stanzas clarified too much. I like not knowing exactly who is being addressed or why. I'm trying to think of why the ending doesn't seem quite right. It seems too conclusive somehow. Maybe if you just ended: "I cannot promise not to fade." and let the reader associate the fading with dreams and S2, L1.

HTH. I look forward to other comments, which often help me see things in a new light.





Jan/23/2010, 9:52 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Unnamed 1 (Revision #1)


Zakman, this is where a poetry board can drive a poet a little crazy. I read the revision first and I thought, okay. I read the original second and I thought, this is the poem. Its strength is its ellipsis. The ending couplet is hugely revealing. I wish I had found those lines before you did.

Tere

Last edited by Terreson, Jan/24/2010, 4:54 am
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Patricia Jones Profile
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Re: Unnamed 1 (Revision #1)


Zak, I've read both the original and the revision. By far, for me, the revision gives much more to think about...especially the last two lines...they question love, hanging in through thick and thin... and ask, "Will you still love me when I am less than I was"?

For me, the poem initially asks a question that could relate to any kind of loss...financial, a job, demotion, etc..whatever...but in the revision, your use of artery and amputated in those last two lines introduces something new and bigger. They are two strong words when combined and give so much information that relates to health, aging, something more physical... the fact that the artery was clotted with diamonds, I feel, relates not to material wealth, but to the richness of the relationship. And therefore, answers, for me, the narrator's question ...no, she/he would not willingly leave.

You know I am not very good at this critting stuff, but I wanted you to know that I've enjoyed reading, re-reading, thinking about this poem.

The revision, btw, touches me on a personal level.

Thanks,

Pat



---
"Don't you worry--I ain't evil, I'm just bad".
~Chris Smither~
Jan/24/2010, 4:04 am Link to this post Send Email to Patricia Jones   Send PM to Patricia Jones
 
eman resu Profile
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Re: Unnamed 1 (Revision #1)


Hi, Zak.

I'm really not sure what to make of this one, to be honest. Is a skeleton breaking free different than the baring of the soul? Who knows? I guess the main thing I get is that ambiguity -- that is, it seems to be a directed ambiguity. In each section the speaker asks for answers to progressively ineffable questions; the last two lines seem neither an answer nor indicative of a lack of answers.

I have to admit a certain frustration in my inability to find a handhold in that. I see what seems (to me) a progression or formula of sorts that goes nowhere with purpose...so it is an enjoyable frustration due to that. Does that make any sense? Apologies if not; I have nothing to offer in the nit/suggestion dept. -- just that reaction, for what it's worth.

Best,
E-




Jan/24/2010, 11:04 am Link to this post Send Email to eman resu   Send PM to eman resu
 
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Re: Unnamed 1 (Revision #1)


Terreson,

Am I reading you correctly that the original is the better of the two? If that's the case, it's the minority view. Also interesting how the responses vary here from the responses at TCP (in general). Ultimately we have to make up our own minds, it seems to me. So it's the original that's better? Zak

quote:

Terreson wrote:

Zakman, this is where a poetry board can drive a poet a little crazy. I read the revision first and I thought, okay. I read the original second and I thought, this is the poem. Its strength is its ellipsis. The ending couplet is hugely revealing. I wish I had found those lines before you did.

Tere



Jan/25/2010, 8:04 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
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Re: Unnamed 1 (Revision #1)


Pat,

Here and elsewhere the last two lines are the favorites. At least in the revision. Which makes it imperative to write better verse, like the last two lines. Yeah, I think the word arteries comes into play as we get older, except for a few unfortunate children or young people (I suspect). Glad it did something for you. I fear I have more work to do, though. Zak

quote:

Patricia Jones wrote:

Zak, I've read both the original and the revision. By far, for me, the revision gives much more to think about...especially the last two lines...they question love, hanging in through thick and thin... and ask, "Will you still love me when I am less than I was"?

For me, the poem initially asks a question that could relate to any kind of loss...financial, a job, demotion, etc..whatever...but in the revision, your use of artery and amputated in those last two lines introduces something new and bigger. They are two strong words when combined and give so much information that relates to health, aging, something more physical... the fact that the artery was clotted with diamonds, I feel, relates not to material wealth, but to the richness of the relationship. And therefore, answers, for me, the narrator's question ...no, she/he would not willingly leave.

You know I am not very good at this critting stuff, but I wanted you to know that I've enjoyed reading, re-reading, thinking about this poem.

The revision, btw, touches me on a personal level.

Thanks,

Pat




Jan/25/2010, 8:07 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Unnamed 1 (Revision #1)


Zak,

I've been puzzling over this trying to think what suggestions I could make for a revision. Then it occurred to me, I don't have to do that; I can just comment on what you have written. I really like the lines:

"If I bit down to bone
If my skeleton broke free"

The new ending is startling, more in keeping with the axle grease and skeleton breaking free (though I confess I do not know what it means--lots of food for thought there).

The one line in the revision I'm not sure about is "Would you willingly leave me?" I think my expectation was for something that built in more tension and added a twist like "and palpitate with me."

Others will probably disagree with me, but I could actually go with your original ending now after the image:

"An artery clogged with diamonds
amputated at the hip.

I cannot promise not to run,
I cannot promise not to fade like dreams."

Why? That image is so strong and unexpected that returning to more solid ground would work for me. I could also see the poem ending like this:

"If I stood exposed
to winter gales
If I bit down to bone
If my skeleton broke free

An artery clogged with diamonds
amputated at the hip."

That ending would be very inclusive, amputated if you will, and the poem itself "an artery clogged with diamonds."

HTH, but please feel free to disregard everything I've said! Good luck finding your way on this one; definitely an intriguing poem in the make and remaking.



Jan/25/2010, 7:14 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
deepwaters Profile
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Re: Unnamed 1 (Revision #1)


Man, this poem works for me deliciously, even when I don’t understand what an artery amputated at the hip could possibly refer to. Here is my two cents:

If I drown myself in axle grease
and break away my outer skin
and bare my soul, too

Would you dream of me?
Would you hear my heart
and hold my hands
and palpitate with me?
yes, yes.

If I stood exposed
to winter gales
If I bit down to bone
If my skeleton broke free
Would you willingly leave me?
I am wondering why “willingly” is being emphasized? I am wondering if it is a test of love, to leave someone willingly? If it is, I might rethink it because even when one leaves willingly, it is unwillingly that she is willing to leave – if that makes any sense 

An artery clogged with diamonds
amputated at the hip.
This is one of those images that I can make it to be almost anything in my head, but leaves me confused.

I like Kat’s suggestion about keeping the lines about promising not to run and not to fade in the revision.
-s


Jan/27/2010, 2:42 pm Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 


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