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The Cape (His Sketch) (1 Viewer)

Space Cadet

Senior Member


With a middle-aged stoic chest of black-haired splinters,

his shaved shoulder blades tilt amidst his steps.
They meet the angle of his capillary neck like a loose staple on a canvas frame.
I ask Judy, “Zeno of Citium…Why was he so stoic?”


Under her chiffon hat, ice jangling in her drink,
eyes Zeno walk the crowded cape, her olive Gatsby style cloche hides her eyes,
pages of her magazine turn in the wind.
His towel hangs low on his pelvis.
A white, t-shirt drapes from his sun-weathered V cut waist.
Disrobed, it swishes with his steps like a broken sling.
His faded, mollusk-gray trunks carry his shell.
“I think it was his beard.”


The vacationers wade his mandrel shore and rotate with sea,
like a karaoke show,
washed-up on a middle-class overdose of sky.
He stands to gaze the shore.
He eyes Judy.
They both glance away.


And as the annual tourists gastropod to those doorless,
concrete shower drains,
I envision Zeno salting them plump in mucus greens,
’til sleep does him in,
under his sun-thin lids.


I see them sing, wale, wallop, moan!—
sluggards of his ancestors trying to hold on to each other
to fight the spins in his storm,
filled and living full—together,
they cavort in him their masquerade of The New South:


An eustatic reunion of shadow puppets faking long-distant relationships,
tracing Kandinsky circles of his first love,
in a gentle white-capped surf
of colloid memories.
 

Firemajic

Poetry Mentor
Staff member
Senior Mentor
There is a LOT of truly fabulous imagery here... Your skill is that you pair words and phrases in such a unique way that it sounds new, like you have your own language, and I love and envy that sooo much... however... I am lost, in this case, your imagery works against your message.... I am at a loss as to what you are expressing... this is just my opinion... ;)
 

ned

Senior Member
hello Space - have to go with the previous comments, here.

the images and metaphors don't connect with me, and lose all meaning.

you have the vocabulary, the writing skills and intensity - but it's all window dressing
without a coherent message. - a criticism I've made to other poets on this site.

you've got to work harder at communicating your ideas to the reader -
coming up with fresh and original imagery and metaphors that universally strike a chord is very difficult -
it takes a lot of thought and a pinch of inspiration - but that is the craft of poetry.
for me, the revelation of tenuous truths.

in other parts, the poem seems to try too hard to be surprising-
'ice jangling in her drink' - ice doesn't jangle, it may jingle, perhaps
jingling bells that assonant with drink - and more truthful, surely.

some great turns of phrase here, but consider the reader....
Ned
 

Space Cadet

Senior Member
hello Space - have to go with the previous comments, here.

the images and metaphors don't connect with me, and lose all meaning.

you have the vocabulary, the writing skills and intensity - but it's all window dressing
without a coherent message. - a criticism I've made to other poets on this site.

you've got to work harder at communicating your ideas to the reader -
coming up with fresh and original imagery and metaphors that universally strike a chord is very difficult -
it takes a lot of thought and a pinch of inspiration - but that is the craft of poetry.
for me, the revelation of tenuous truths.

in other parts, the poem seems to try too hard to be surprising-
'ice jangling in her drink' - ice doesn't jangle, it may jingle, perhaps
jingling bells that assonant with drink - and more truthful, surely.

some great turns of phrase here, but consider the reader....
Ned

Thank you for this comment and I'm always open to suggestions. So, I should just kill this all together or move forward with addressing the weak message and window dressing?

Cut it up, kill it. It's just an image, not really an idea. So I'm not really close to it. W.
 

sas

WF Veterans
Cadet,

It was a heck of an image! Now put it in a frame, hold it together with words that mean something to the reader, not just you. Your fabulously imaged poem is exactly what non-poets groan about, if given to them.
 

ned

Senior Member
Space, of course, it is up to you how to proceed - and I am not alone in failing to grasp your meanings.
I just took the trouble to underline the point.

surely, the first task of a writer is to communicate ideas - hopefully in an entertaining way.
although, some writers are quite happy to remain 'mysterious' - which, for me, equates with lazy and uninteresting.

but I feel you have something to say, and it must be frustrating to be misunderstood.
so, touch common ground in your expressions - connect with the experiences and notions of the reader.

for example -
The vacationers wade his mandrel shore and rotate with sea,
like a karaoke show,

leaves me cold, because I don't see the connection - the commonality of the ideas.
bring it back a bit, with something more basic and a bit of thought, and we might have-

wading vacationers took turns at getting wet feet, like in a karaoke show.
not great, but nearer the mark, perhaps.

whether you stick, twist or fold - the important thing is that you grow as a writer
and learn from the experience that you cannot presume that the reader has the same
instant connections as you do - ground the expressions without spelling them out -
it's a thin line!

cheers.....Ned
 

Nellie

Senior Member
, I should just kill this all together or move forward with addressing the weak message and window dressing?

Cut it up, kill it. It's just an image, not really an idea. So I'm not really close to it. W.

NO! NO! Do not cut it up or kill it just because someONE says it should be done! As someONE said, consider the reader! We all read, therefore we interpret poems differently. Also, depending on what part of the U.S. or world one lives in, language is interpreted differently.

Consider that reader, who sometimes doesn't consider...............others.
 

SilverMoon

WF Veterans
Wesley, from what I've read you employ the literary genre of "Abstract" Poetry". Most all of my work is abstract/interpretive.

And I have this saying "When I Cook up a Poem I Never Serve it with the Recipe"

What follows is an excerpt from link below:

"To write an abstract poem, it is important to understand that it is not the meaning of the words that are important but the feeling, the sound and the impact of the words on the reader or listener. You do not have to rhyme any of the words and, most importantly, it does not have to make sense. You are creating something intangible yet beautiful. One technique is that of William Burrough's "

http://penandthepad.com/do-write-abstract-poem-6854127.html
This link provides much great advice as how to piece together the "Abstract Poem".

quote_icon.png
Originally Posted by Space Cadet So, I should just kill this all together or move forward with addressing the weak message and window dressing?

Cut it up, kill it. It's just an image, not really an idea. So I'm not really close to it. W.

I see that you have replied to ned's comments. His key ones will follow in quote box because it seems that some have dampened "your artistic spirit", you stating that you should cut up, kill your piece. (I've felt that way in the past and have regrets - I now I keep a folder "Poems to be Edited")

I'm going to quote both you and ned, the one who critiques and the artist who writes, with what I hope will be considered positive input, But first a quote that I think is apt to what follows.

"The critic has to educate the public. The artist has to educate the critic" Oscar Wilde​


quote_icon.png
Originally Posted by ned the images and metaphors don't connect with me, and lose all meaning. I've often felt the same way. However, works are as diverse as the readers. For example, I do not connect with overly concretized poems. I prefer to read in between the lines. you've got to work harder at communicating your ideas to the reader. This is a generalized directive which can put the writer at a total loss as how to respond. If the reviewer has not inquired about points in question or even puts forth suppositions to the particulars they have given the writer nothing to work with. Now, you've got two persons who are confused!

You have the vocabulary, the writing skills and intensity -the writer must feel great hearing this but then directly after reads but it's all window dressing- There's no segue. Just a fast drop from the top. Crash!

consider the reader. We both know I am familiar with this suggestion.:peaceful:
Here's an analogy: Let's say a woman bakes a blueberry pie to gift a new neighbor, having no idea that she's allergic to blueberries. Does this mean the woman is not considering the other? A poet writes and presents a poem. Just in this act, the poet is considering the reader by "sharing" like the woman who baked the pie.

Wesley, you replied to ned's post like a responsible, level headed member.

quote_icon.png
Originally Posted by Space Cadet Thank you for this comment and I'm always open to suggestions.

Kudos! Now, please show yourself the same respect and KEEP THIS POEM OUT OF THE TRASH!!! It has so many merits. Good poets work and re-work. It's a wonder I'm still alive because I edit my work to death.

May PEACE reign! Laurie
 
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Firemajic

Poetry Mentor
Staff member
Senior Mentor
A critique is just an opinion... nothing more, nothing less, unless it addresses SPaG issues... it is most likely[ and should never be]not about the poet, so the poet should not take the critique as a personal attack. Those critiques that are rude and a personal attack should be put where they belong... in the trash. Ignored. It is up to the poet to decide if there is anything of value in the critique. Sometimes, it IS helpful to have the readers feedback and POV. If not, the poet is under NO obligation to use the feedback. However, critique... GOOD critique is essential to the growth of the poet. Without critique, the poet exists in limbo, doomed to repeat the same mistakes, over and over again. When a poet posts work on this forum, in this thread... there is a chance that they will receive a critique that they will not like, it is the chance one takes when posting a poem here. If feedback is not wanted, the poet may include that in a footnote with the poem.
 

ned

Senior Member
i must say, I'm appalled.

'NO! NO! Do not cut it up or kill it just because someONE says it should be done' - is downright dishonest.

I once suggested to Nellie that the verses in her her poem might be re-ordered -
ever since, she has treated me like I am solely responsible for international terrorism,
third world debt and the hole in the ozone layer - it's not the end of the world,
but she seems determined to continue til rapture - so, be warned!

Silver - you have similarly wasted time and energy undermining my critique instead of
addressing the poem - 'It has so many merits' - is easy to say.
why not give examples of where it does and doesn't work?
that would be far more useful to Wes, surely?

Sas - judging from the comments, there seems to be only one opinion here, - mine...
at least I gave it honestly with reasons and detail...

my apologies to you Space - for having to waste space.
Ned
 

Space Cadet

Senior Member
Space, of course, it is up to you how to proceed - and I am not alone in failing to grasp your meanings.
I just took the trouble to underline the point.

surely, the first task of a writer is to communicate ideas - hopefully in an entertaining way.
although, some writers are quite happy to remain 'mysterious' - which, for me, equates with lazy and uninteresting.

but I feel you have something to say, and it must be frustrating to be misunderstood.
so, touch common ground in your expressions - connect with the experiences and notions of the reader.

for example -
The vacationers wade his mandrel shore and rotate with sea,
like a karaoke show,

leaves me cold, because I don't see the connection - the commonality of the ideas.
bring it back a bit, with something more basic and a bit of thought, and we might have-

wading vacationers took turns at getting wet feet, like in a karaoke show.
not great, but nearer the mark, perhaps.

whether you stick, twist or fold - the important thing is that you grow as a writer
and learn from the experience that you cannot presume that the reader has the same
instant connections as you do - ground the expressions without spelling them out -
it's a thin line!

cheers.....Ned


Hi ned. I came across short in my reply to your critique. I apologize for that. I suppose I have been a bit perturbed over this poem -- even when I started it (!). I take your advice quite seriously because you have great feedback and suggestions, so thank you for that. I enjoy symbolism in poetry, and I know I often fall short of "expressing ideas" for some readers to understand fully (especially without revisiting the work and researching). I suppose I don't expect a reader to be lazy either. But when the message is so muddled, I know the reader must get frustrated at times. My intent is to challenge but not frustrate. W
 

ned

Senior Member
yes Wes - never forget that the reader makes an investment when reading a poem -
most expect a reward - a revelation of an unsaid truth, and/or a resolution of an idea.
and to be entertained, lyrically along the way.

as said, you have the writing skills - and I would not be so damning upon lesser scribes.

If you have something to say, then, I want to hear it.
Ned
 

Space Cadet

Senior Member
i must say, I'm appalled.

'NO! NO! Do not cut it up or kill it just because someONE says it should be done' - is downright dishonest.

I once suggested to Nellie that the verses in her her poem might be re-ordered -
ever since, she has treated me like I am solely responsible for international terrorism,
third world debt and the hole in the ozone layer - it's not the end of the world,
but she seems determined to continue til rapture - so, be warned!

Silver - you have similarly wasted time and energy undermining my critique instead of
addressing the poem - 'It has so many merits' - is easy to say.
why not give examples of where it does and doesn't work?
that would be far more useful to Wes, surely?

Sas - judging from the comments, there seems to be only one opinion here, - mine...
at least I gave it honestly with reasons and detail...

my apologies to you Space - for having to waste space.
Ned


You're not wasting space. No one is. I made a knee jerk comment that should not have been posted when I said, So, should I kill the piece? Please don't take that personally. Sometimes a poem gets so muddled down that perhaps it DOES need to be trashed. (The trash can is the poet's best friend.) So, I was partly serious but it came off wrong.

I respect everyone's opinion. I often feel that at times, if the message isn't evident from the get-go, a poem is easier to overlook for readers, subsequently making whatever is written overlooked completely. This is natural. But I'm not on here to be an arse to anyone or claim that someone is solely responsible for "international terrorism" lol because they heavily critique my posts. I DO want the good, bad, and the ugly. SO thank you for being honest and you did not waste space, ned. I'm genuinely sorry if I made you or anyone feel that way.
 

Space Cadet

Senior Member
Wesley, from what I've read you employ the literary genre of "Abstract" Poetry". Most all of my work is abstract/interpretive.

And I have this saying "When I Cook up a Poem I Never Serve it with the Recipe"

What follows is an excerpt from link below:

"To write an abstract poem, it is important to understand that it is not the meaning of the words that are important but the feeling, the sound and the impact of the words on the reader or listener. You do not have to rhyme any of the words and, most importantly, it does not have to make sense. You are creating something intangible yet beautiful. One technique is that of William Burrough's "

http://penandthepad.com/do-write-abstract-poem-6854127.html
This link provides much great advice as how to piece together the "Abstract Poem".



I see that you have replied to ned's comments. His key ones will follow in quote box because it seems that some have dampened "your artistic spirit", you stating that you should cut up, kill your piece. (I've felt that way in the past and have regrets - I now I keep a folder "Poems to be Edited")

I'm going to quote both you and ned, the one who critiques and the artist who writes, with what I hope will be considered positive input, But first a quote that I think is apt to what follows.

"The critic has to educate the public. The artist has to educate the critic" Oscar Wilde​




Wesley, you replied to ned's post like a responsible, level headed member.



Kudos! Now, please show yourself the same respect and KEEP THIS POEM OUT OF THE TRASH!!! It has so many merits. Good poets work and re-work. It's a wonder I'm still alive because I edit my work to death.

May PEACE reign! Laurie


Thank you for the peace reign. My response to ned did come across rude. But I wasn't trying to be. Thank you for checking me on this and appreciate your information about abstract writing.
 

Space Cadet

Senior Member
A critique is just an opinion... nothing more, nothing less, unless it addresses SPaG issues... it is most likely[ and should never be]not about the poet, so the poet should not take the critique as a personal attack. Those critiques that are rude and a personal attack should be put where they belong... in the trash. Ignored. It is up to the poet to decide if there is anything of value in the critique. Sometimes, it IS helpful to have the readers feedback and POV. If not, the poet is under NO obligation to use the feedback. However, critique... GOOD critique is essential to the growth of the poet. Without critique, the poet exists in limbo, doomed to repeat the same mistakes, over and over again. When a poet posts work on this forum, in this thread... there is a chance that they will receive a critique that they will not like, it is the chance one takes when posting a poem here. If feedback is not wanted, the poet may include that in a footnote with the poem.


My comment did seem to stifle good critique and I apologize if any of my comments have come off that way. I don't take critiques personally, and I promote everyone's opinion. I do find it a learning experience, making us all a bit better after each read/critique, and I hope my words do not come across argumentative when one provides their time and feedback.

I appreciate your words, Firemajic. You've helped me on a couple pieces and I find your insight invaluable, making the poems better. Thank you, again, for taking time to read and critique.

Very Respectfully,

Wesley C.
 

ned

Senior Member
Wes, believe me, your response is not the problem...

so, to bring it down - back to the poem
your style is quite obscure, having read your other work -
so, the question is, do you wish to be an 'abstract' poet
or do you wish to engage the reader with your ideas? - there's no right or wrong
just your ambition.

Ned
 

Space Cadet

Senior Member
yes Wes - never forget that the reader makes an investment when reading a poem -
most expect a reward - a revelation of an unsaid truth, and/or a resolution of an idea.
and to be entertained, lyrically along the way.

as said, you have the writing skills - and I would not be so damning upon lesser scribes.

If you have something to say, then, I want to hear it.
Ned

Wes, believe me, your response is not the problem...

so, to bring it down - back to the poem
your style is quite obscure, having read your other work -
so, the question is, do you wish to be an 'abstract' poet
or do you wish to engage the reader with your ideas? - there's no right or wrong
just your ambition.

Ned


Thank you, Ned, for your understanding and continued probing. This is helpful, makes me really think. My intentions aren't necessarily to be completely abstract all the time with every poem. This poem just happened to be even further out there. It's far out there even for me. I enjoy reading poems and stories that can possibly give the reader their own ideas about what is written. I don't often write for personal expression, albeit everything that is shared has a percentage of personal expression.

I do wish to engage the reader as well as engage with abstract ideas. Zeno of Citium was not an abstract philosopher, but he may be placed in this poem in hopes to make the piece less abstract. I do wish to be less cryptic, less unclear. Obscure can be a good thing, but not always everyone's cup of tea, right? I'm fine with that.

The poem needs to be reworked or trashed. That's my honest opinion. What I'm trying to say isn't coming across as planned. That's fine. It's an exercise on how one perceives another without any information on who one actually is. So, the idea that the poem is difficult (or challenging), seemingly (upon first read) void of message, is indicative of the way the character is perceived or thought of by the person speaking in the poem.
 

SilverMoon

WF Veterans
Hello, ned, Wesley and to anyone who is reading. I've just deleted an epic post diagnosing, dissecting matters at hand in mine and the following posts. Simple it will be.

First I want to say that if anything good came from my post it seems that you both have become friends who are enjoying the wonderful engagement of discussing poetry. This is awesome.

Ned, I had not meant to demonize you or your critique in anyway. It seems I have inadvertently caused you upset so please accept my apology. This was not my intent.

Wesley, I was not pointing to you when I signed off "May Peace Reign" You are a peaceful one.

It was just this:

PEACE FOR ALL! Let any unintended affronts be gone by the wayside. Poetry is a special place for us all - even a home for some like myself.

My best and respect, always. Laurie


 
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