ROOM


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  1. #1
    WF Veteran SilverMoon's Avatar
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    ROOM

    EDIT 3

    That room
    no larger than a tall, fat man’s shadow
    where there was no fresh air just
    the reek of cheap perfume…

    “Evening in Paris” samples
    set on the dresser,
    aligned
    like her sooty piano keys,
    neglected teeth and rosary beads.

    Those bottles and nothing more
    all lined up on that wooden bureau.

    Nothing left in that room except for a sunken bed
    which I have no recollection of sleeping or dreaming in.
    And a window, small and square, where ever and a day knocked.

    I stared out that learnt window
    where tree tops must have joined that sky which became
    an ashy forever, not one white fluff to shift direction from.

    Stiff, I must have been, like a plastic doll that could not blink
    looking out at that farness, that leaden sky, that ceaseless calendar.

    I have no idea why Mumsy locked me in that room
    the day after my mother died.

    EDIT 2

    That room
    no larger than a tall, fat man’s shadow
    where there was no fresh air but just
    the reek of cheap perfume…

    “Evening in Paris”
    samples
    set on the dresser,
    aligned
    like her sooty piano keys,
    neglected teeth and rosary beads.Those bottles and nothing more perhaps
    all lined up on that wooden bureau.

    Nothing left in that room except for a sunken bed
    the only thing left in that room which I have no
    recollection of sleeping or dreaming in.
    And a window, small and square, where ever and a day knocked.

    I stared out that learnt window
    where tree tops must have joined that sky which became
    an ashy forever, with not one white fluff to shift direction from.

    Stiff, I must have been, like a plastic doll that could not blink
    looking out at that farness, that leaden sky, that ceaseless calendar.

    I have no idea why Mumsy locked me in that room
    the day after my mother died.


    ORIGINAL


    That room
    no larger than a tall, fat man’s shadow
    where there was no fresh air but just
    the reek of cheap perfume.

    So many cobalt blue “Evening in Paris” samples,
    (and I had no idea why she had so many of them)
    were all lined up in a row on the bureau like her
    dusty piano keys, like her neglected teeth or like the peas
    I wouldn’t eat, cleverly placed in front of my plate back home.

    Nothing left in that room except for a sunken bed
    which I have no recollection of sleeping or dreaming in.
    And a window, small and square; a gateway to time’s lapse.

    All that morning and day I stared out that learnt window
    where tree tops must have joined that sky which became
    an ashy forever, with not one white fluff to portray it as being real.

    I must have been stiff like a plastic doll that could not blink
    looking out at that farness, that leaden sky which had
    no wind, ending.

    I have no idea why Mumsy locked me in that room
    the day after my mother died.
    Last edited by SilverMoon; May 22nd, 2019 at 01:14 PM.
    “The man who cannot visualize a horse galloping on a tomato is an idiot.”
    Andre Breton

  2. #2
    Woah! The imagery and sensations that are described here, put together, craft the narrative and poetic structure of this piece- or so I found. The jarring of the "fat man's shadow", "cheap perfume", "neglected teeth", "sunken bed", "learnt window" and, my favorite, "ashy forever" all serve to make this poem a narrative that speaks to the nature of the fine poet (you) and the reader (me) as you take me there with the profound, yet masterfully composed, lines that you've assembled here. Your final stanza makes the reader gleam the nature of the piece and puts things in perspective.

    Really liked, SilverMoon. Great work!

  3. #3
    WF Veteran SilverMoon's Avatar
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    Daniel, thank you for reading and pointing to the imagery which came to me in an entirely different way than usual. This was my first attempt employing "automatic writing" where you rely on the subconscious mind, below the level of awareness to do the work.

    While typing I kept my eyes closed (not necessary to automatic writing but my choice) and could actually feel the images tumbling out. A rather strange and exhausting process because I had to let go and not think. Odd how this can be so tiring (I will have to be more of a student of this genre).

    Through this process and given the subject matter - to be really there" was something not otherwise experienced in my Confessional verse.

    Afterwards, I arranged the poem in stanzas in the chronological order that the words came to me.

    Again, thank you - and "sensations" is the key word. Laurie
    “The man who cannot visualize a horse galloping on a tomato is an idiot.”
    Andre Breton

  4. #4
    Wow, Great imagery. This poem seems deeply personal (and I don't like to make assumptions) and as such I usually hate to critique but even so I don't see anything I would change.

    Tony
    "Self-righteousness never straddles the political fence."

    Midnightpoet


    "The bible says to love your neighbor. It's obvious that over the centuries it has been interpreted as the opposite."
    (sarcasm alert)

    Midnightpoet


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  5. #5
    Silver, I’d say the poem ends with the penultimate stanza. (I think you mean the last 4 words to read: “no wind, no ending). The last two lines of the poem are telling - which attempt explain everything that came before. If you feel the need to supply the reader with this information then weave it into the poem earlier. You’ve already dropped a hint in the title. You might put something in the poem about hearing things through the door. That would probably be enough. We don’t really need to know who died or who locked the subject in the room. That’s not important to the feeling in the poem.

    I also suggest cutting some of the other telling lines in the poem, like the last line of S2 which pulls the reader out of the context and doesn’t add anything to the scene. Also cut “a gateway to time’s lapse” and “to portray it as being real”. Interesting that these lines all fall at the end of a stanza (or poem) which says something about the poet’s process... a need to explain the metaphor after it has been presented. You don’t need to do that. Let the images speak for themselves. Let the reader decide what they mean.

  6. #6
    WF Veteran SilverMoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by midnightpoet View Post
    Wow, Great imagery. This poem seems deeply personal (and I don't like to make assumptions) and as such I usually hate to critique but even so I don't see anything I would change.

    Tony
    Tony, very pleased that you liked the images. That deep part of self had need to bring the reader into my experience through them. So, yes. This is a very personal poem yet still a poem. Any of your thoughts, anytime. Thank you for finding my poem engaging. It was not easy to write. Laurie

    Quote Originally Posted by TL Murphy View Post
    Silver, I’d say the poem ends with the penultimate stanza. (I think you mean the last 4 words to read: “no wind, no ending). The last two lines of the poem are telling - which attempt explain everything that came before. If you feel the need to supply the reader with this information then weave it into the poem earlier. You’ve already dropped a hint in the title. You might put something in the poem about hearing things through the door. That would probably be enough. We don’t really need to know who died or who locked the subject in the room. That’s not important to the feeling in the poem.

    I also suggest cutting some of the other telling lines in the poem, like the last line of S2 which pulls the reader out of the context and doesn’t add anything to the scene. Also cut “a gateway to time’s lapse” and “to portray it as being real”. Interesting that these lines all fall at the end of a stanza (or poem) which says something about the poet’s process... a need to explain the metaphor after it has been presented. You don’t need to do that. Let the images speak for themselves. Let the reader decide what they mean.
    Hi, Tim. Thank you for time, thought spent. And for your suggestions.

    First, I must give myself a crit. I was ambivalent about the naming of title. After your input, I can see that it's clearly a "tell" and will be tending to this especially as I believe it takes away from the prevalence of the last two lines you have in question. Here, the reader was given something that was not to be anticipated. A valid poetic technique. Something so sudden in respect to the poem's unhurried pace so as to cause the reader to think "OK, That's why". Though this didn't occur in your instance, this is what makes poetry so gripping. How words will cause readers to gravitate inward then come up for air with thier own predilections. Then the hopeful result: that the writer turn inward in examination.

    As I told Tony, this is a very personal poem. Speaking in the third person: the child is in a state of shock, nearly catatonic (brain deadened), imobilized in front of that window. If there were noises outside the door, she would not have heard them. Another reason why the title needs to be changed is that it steals the child's time. She had discovered her mother dead (this would be another poem) the evening prior.

    I will be taking a good look at S2. Thanks again, Laurie
    Last edited by SilverMoon; May 10th, 2019 at 12:34 AM.
    “The man who cannot visualize a horse galloping on a tomato is an idiot.”
    Andre Breton

  7. #7
    Member Thomas Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverMoon View Post
    EDIT

    ROOM (pending for change in title bar) Yes, the original gave too much away. How about That Room?

    That room
    no larger than a tall, fat man’s shadow
    where there was no fresh air but just perhaps condense this line by dropping the first 3 words.
    the reek of cheap perfume…

    “Evening in Paris” samples
    set on the dresser,
    aligned
    like her sooty piano keys,
    neglected teeth and rosary beads. EXCELLENT stanza

    Those bottles and nothing more perhaps exchange the 'and' for a comma
    all lined up on that wooden bureau.

    Nothing left in that room except for a sunken bed another 'nothing so close to the last. perhaps "A sunken bed, the only thing left in that room"
    which I have no recollection of sleeping or dreaming in. better would be "in which I have no recollection of sleeping or dreaming"
    And a window, small and square, where ever and a day knocked. 'ever and a day' an odd phrase!

    I stared out that learnt window
    where tree tops must have joined that sky which became
    an ashy forever, with not one white fluff to shift direction from. As above, 'from which' is better grammar

    Stiff, I must have been, like a plastic doll that could not blink
    looking out at that farness, that leaden sky, that ceaseless calendar. do you need 'out'?

    I have no idea why Mumsy locked me in that room
    the day after my mother died.


    ORIGINAL


    That room
    no larger than a tall, fat man’s shadow
    where there was no fresh air but just
    the reek of cheap perfume.

    So many cobalt blue “Evening in Paris” samples,
    (and I had no idea why she had so many of them)
    were all lined up in a row on the bureau like her
    dusty piano keys, like her neglected teeth or like the peas
    I wouldn’t eat, cleverly placed in front of my plate back home.

    Nothing left in that room except for a sunken bed
    which I have no recollection of sleeping or dreaming in.
    And a window, small and square; a gateway to time’s lapse.

    All that morning and day I stared out that learnt window
    where tree tops must have joined that sky which became
    an ashy forever, with not one white fluff to portray it as being real.

    I must have been stiff like a plastic doll that could not blink
    looking out at that farness, that leaden sky which had
    no wind, ending.

    I have no idea why Mumsy locked me in that room
    the day after my mother died.
    Firstly Laurie I think the revision is a big improvement. I realise the original was an inspirational write and while there's nothing wrong with that in itself it doesn't tend to make for good poetry. The immediacy and raw feel are palpable and have all the makings of something great. You have brought this about in your revision. The original was just too 'telling'. I hope my thoughts are of some help. A deeply rooted poem of insight and originality. Very well done. ... T.

  8. #8
    WF Veteran SilverMoon's Avatar
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    Thanks, Thomas! Some great suggestions and so glad you liked the S2 re-write. Here's a couple of your catches. You are so right but will explain why I might keep them.
    no larger than a tall, fat man’s shadow
    where there was no fresh air but - just perhaps condense this line by dropping the first 3 words.
    I like your suggestion because there would be a lovely poetic pause. But I would like to keep the slants and assonation intact. Ummm, now as I'm typing it's a toss up!
    which I have no recollection of sleeping or dreaming in. better would be "in which I have no recollection of sleeping or dreaming"
    Yes, that would be gramatically correct but grammatical formality as such would not be a good fit for this very raw poem.

    I see you noted that I employed "automatic writing" (for the first time). It was a rather unsettling experience but it did get me that "rawness" I was going for. Afterwards, I chose not to edit anything out to see how it would be received. And it got its reception! Now, standing as better poem.

    I must say that one of the top things I love about writing is the edit. That I missed -

    Thanks again, Thomas. Means a great deal to me that you found this piece one of depth. L-
    “The man who cannot visualize a horse galloping on a tomato is an idiot.”
    Andre Breton

  9. #9
    The fierce imagery is the meat and bones of this poem, without that, this would be only a skeleton .... hollow and lacking the ability to show your reader the utter loss and desolation... grim.... sooo grim, and surreal, but I can catch a whiff of that cheap perfume ... clinging to my skin, the way this poem clings to my mind...
    She lost herself in the trees,
    among the ever-changing leaves.
    She wept beneath the wild sky
    as stars told stories of ancient times.
    The flowers grew toward her light,
    the river called her name at night.
    She could not live an ordinary life,
    with the mysteries of the universe
    hidden in her eyes....
    Author: Christy Ann Martine

    Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,
    love leaves a memory no one can steal....
    Author unknown.

  10. #10
    WF Veteran SilverMoon's Avatar
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    Juls, thank you. I think "Evening in Paris" (those horrid little cobolt blue bottles!) is now discontinued. I hope so because if I ever get a whiff of it again I'll go over the edge! See? It's the stuff of this that draws me to psychologicall thirllers. I know them well....
    “The man who cannot visualize a horse galloping on a tomato is an idiot.”
    Andre Breton

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