View Full Version : Suburban Blues No. Seven

May 15th, 2010, 04:20 PM
it dulls and numbs,
the rote,
the never-ending

appliance hum,
the glowing screens,
distract, deflect
and mute
the children's songs
and far-off roar
of hollow,
plastic wheels.

so nearly missed,
the wayward glance,
and crumpled note,
the upturned leaf
before the storm.

empty gestures,
favorite flowers,
cannot bridge
the widening
in small
and darkened rooms.

reach across
blue formica,
the shining,
empty table.
inhale the stifling air,
and graze the hand,
the wrist.

your mind,
your heart,
above florescent hum
and static
ever-present voices.
and I will listen,
and hope.

May 16th, 2010, 10:54 AM
Hey Joseph,

This might just be me not getting the hang of it, but I don't see why you have so many short lines, instead of fewer and longer. I think it would read much more solid that way. As it is now I felt rather irritated with its choppiness...

Besides that I think you capture an interesting atmosphere, suburban indeed. I think second stanza especially set the scene for this one. In general it's a little hard to grasp whether you want a purely introspective perspective or you want one of the suburban meek. None the less, this uncertainty gave it quite a surreal feel.

May 16th, 2010, 02:11 PM
Joe, spending a good portion of my childhood growing up in suberbia I have to tell you that you had me right at that blue formica table. You impart the sterile.

My sense of your poem is that behind the superficiality lies a young person who needs connection with family who's connection are to things. So I think this is a very introspective piece, especially exampled by your last stanza, I believe speaking to the WASP mentality. I was very moved, here.

your mind,
your heart,
above florescent hum
and static
ever-present voices.
and I will listen,
and hope.

Fantasitic poem! Laurie

Chesters Daughter
May 16th, 2010, 07:26 PM
Hey Joe, great piece. I, personally, have no problem with the line length. I believe this piece is written for your wife. Once the kids come along and couples begin living the supposed suburban dream, romantic relationships take a serious pummeling. The buzz of the day to day creates distance, most usually unwanted. To simplify, I think you're saying "hey, hon, I'm still here whenever you need, all you have to do is whisper and I'll hear." If I'm right, you've done a brilliant job capturing this. If I'm wrong, it wouldn't be the first time, and if it's okay with you, I'll retain my interpretation because it worked tremendously for me. Great piece, hon.


May 16th, 2010, 09:01 PM
First... I think you are an excellent writer. So there we are with that one. lol Second I am inclined to say you need to expound on this, and yet personalize it more. By honing it in to a specific house, you expand the universality of the emotion you are trying to express, and invoke.

Hopefully that makes sense. lol

May 17th, 2010, 03:06 AM
I believe the poetic structure and form helped push this piece along in a flowing manner. The short lines in the stanzas I feel are necessary in giving it that jazz like rhythm to it. Even in your word choices there is an inherent beat to it, though there's no obvious rhyme to the poem, it all seems to fit together nonetheless. The subject matter struck close to me, as I can still hear those, "far-off roar of hollow, plastic wheels" of big wheels outside my window when I write. I enjoyed all of it aside from the second to last stanza which I felt was out of place. All in all in reminded me of Kerouac's "Book of Blues" in regard to both structure and subject matter.

May 17th, 2010, 02:40 PM
Martin, I tried this with longer lines, but I wanted to try and push it this time out, to see if I could wring more meaning out of certain words and phrases by isolating them. I think works on this one. Thanks so much for commenting.

SilverMoon, thank you. I think your interpretation, although not exactly what I intended, is close and perhaps tells me that the message is more universal or at least, more open to interpretation. And that's good. It's definitely about the importance of connection over things. In fact, this is the opening stanza of an earlier version that I thought was a bit too obvious:

it dulls and numbs,
the rote.
the endless chase
of things.
I guess it was, because you got it.

Lisa, thanks for reading and commenting. Glad it worked for you. Your interpretation is pretty much right on the money. To her, but more of a cautionary reminder and warning to myself.

MaggieG, I appreciate your kind words. And I just might expand on it once I let it percolate a bit. Thanks.

Hoot, thanks so much for your take on this. I know how you feel about JK, so that means a lot. Thanks too for mentioning his poems -- I read a number of them last night and felt inspired by them. So, cheers for that.

Like a Fox
May 20th, 2010, 01:05 AM
Hey Joe,
I've read this a bunch of times, trying to come up with anything other than praise, but I don't know how to pick any holes in it.
I love the curiosity this envokes. Your poetry is like a quick dip into a story, leaving the reader to speculate and wonder what the missing pieces are.
There's a musicality to all your work, it's like easy listening without being trite or cliche -That's a good thing in my books, you reach a wide audience. Have you looked into a market for this sort of thing?

May 20th, 2010, 02:28 PM
The rhythm and cadence in this are really good. A nice piece with some inspiring imagery. I agree that you could expand on this but that shouldn't be at the expense of the rhythm you've achieved here. Perhaps simply introducing some concrete binding image would be all that's needed.

May 21st, 2010, 11:57 AM
Like a Fox, thanks. I'm you liked it. I do approach poetry much as a would certain aspects of a story -- capture the feeling or mood from an event or time, and then try to attach imagery to is. Appreciate the kind words.

Baron thanks. I'm not sure what you mean by concrete binding theme, though. I'm glad it worked for you otherwise.

May 22nd, 2010, 03:38 PM
I mean that the introduction of an image of a central character into this poem would give the reader an identifier and improve the solidity of the poem.

May 23rd, 2010, 01:49 AM
This does flow very nicely, Joe. I can't add anything that hasn't already been said. :)