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Christine98 Profile
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California


Concrete poured like malted
milk from metal tumblers

spread with trowels and sun-dried ten,
eleven months out of the year

in California whose candy-apple,
sugar-shine shellac is cracked

and not a stucco spackled wall beneath
a palm without its cross-hatched

scars in California rocking
gentle drawn out menace or lurching

sudden off the still point, groaning
like the hinge that holds but

cannot close the door.



Last edited by Christine98, Apr/30/2010, 5:02 pm
Apr/23/2010, 5:06 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
pjouissance Profile
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Re: California


Hey, Christine, this is really tight and sharp. The ending metaphor fits really well -- a hinge that holds but can't finally close the door. It's an unusual take, starting with concrete, and fits too, because Cali has been built up only recently and those of us raised here expect subdivisions to spring up around us every week. So you're talking about the construction and the destruction always ready to undermine all this frenetic activity. Nice!

Only nit I have is the comma in the first line.

Much enjoyed,

Auto


Last edited by pjouissance, Apr/23/2010, 5:47 pm
Apr/23/2010, 5:12 pm Link to this post Send Email to pjouissance   Send PM to pjouissance
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: California


Thanks Auto. Comma removed.

Chris
Apr/23/2010, 5:25 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: California


Christine,

I agree that this is tight. What I like about it is the texture. Something in the language that fuses the construction terminology witht the malt and shellac and candy. It works quite well. Of course, I also see something sinister in it, and I think back to that 60's or 70's song about "they put up a parking lot." The Northwest has been feeling the effects of this frenetic building, partially through the immigrants from California. Etc. Nice work. Zak

quote:

Christine98 wrote:

Concrete poured like malted
milk from metal tumblers
spread with trowels and sun-dried ten,
eleven months out of the year
in California whose candy-apple,
sugar-shine shellac is cracked
and not a stucco spackled wall beneath
a palm without its cross-hatched
scars in California rocking
gentle drawn out menace or lurching
sudden off the still point, groaning
like the hinge that holds but
cannot close the door.




Apr/25/2010, 6:12 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: California


A solid poem indeed, Chrisfriend. What is most striking is that it proceeds without stutter or hiccouph. Syntax of thinking seamless. It very nearly reads like an epiphany.

For the ancient Greeks Poseidon was also known as Earth-Shaker. With the butt of his trident he would strike the ground and cause earthquakes. This is what the poem brings to mind. The shellac of California itself over the great faultlines regularly cracking their way through to the surface.

Tere
Apr/25/2010, 1:00 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: California


Zak,

Thanks for reading and encouraging. Hope you and the dog have recovered.

Tere,

I did have earthquakes in mind and the primal energy, so unpredictable--if it puts you in mind of Poseidon, it's a success.


Happy Sunday, you two,

Chris
Apr/25/2010, 1:18 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: California


Hi Chris,

I was immediately taken by the language and the image of the first lines:

"Concrete poured like malted
milk from metal tumblers"

Gorgeous.

I liked the casual turn of phrase here and the way it works against the scapel-like precision elsehwere :

"spread with trowels and sun-dried ten,
eleven months out of the year"

As others have pointed out the language is tight and the descriptions are wonderfully rendered.

I got a little lost in the middle of the poem and wanted to slow it down or break it up somehow. Would it work if you broke it into stanzas:

Concrete poured like malted
milk from metal tumblers

spread with trowels and sun-dried ten,
eleven months out of the year

in California whose candy-apple,
sugar-shine shellac is cracked

and not a stucco spackled wall beneath
a palm without its cross-hatched

scars in California rocking
gentle drawn out menace or lurching

sudden off the still point, groaning
like the hinge that holds but

cannot close the door.

No one else was bothered by this, however, so I'm thinking the fault(line) is with me and not with the poem.

Excellent eye and ear and metaphor-making, Chris. Thanks for posting.

Apr/30/2010, 2:44 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: California


Thanks Kat,

I've incorporated your edits. Much improved.

Chris
Apr/30/2010, 5:03 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 


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