Reply Sat 29 Jul, 2006 09:38 am

You're my favorite door
I enter you purposefully
Always knowing what I'll find-
dusk and it's balanced possibilities
before what was became what is
and we were free to wonder.

You live suspended there
Between the day and night
I enter sleep in search of you
I know how and where to dream.

And you are always driving-
taking me from there to here.
Radio murmuring, heated air filling
cold spaces and waiting silences-
the palm of your hand on my cheek.

And it's always the same

You look at me and smile-
and what's perfect and aloof in repose
transforms- suddenly accessible.
So I smile back and say,
"Go slow-drive slow-
I never want to get there."
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Reply Wed 23 Aug, 2006 10:01 am
I basically like your poem. It reads well. I would review some of your punctuation, especially in the first two stanzas. For example, a comma or dash after the first line because it does not flow naturally into the next line, but requires some pause.

Additionally, just my opinion, but if you could expand the poem to encompass more than just one particular love experience, I think the theme would be more thouroughly felt by the reader.

Good luck with your writing.
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Reply Wed 23 Aug, 2006 10:40 am
You're right about the punctuation. I edit and edit and edit- in my first couple of drafts, I just concentrate on the flow of the words and the tone or mood or picture I'm trying to create - and then I make changes - sometimes weeks and months later to things like line breaks or punctuation. I'll have to look - but I think this is a somewhat different (beginning) version of the poem I ended up with. I know I changed some words - I got rid of "suddenly" - I never really liked that word there. (As you can can see - I have a bad habit of using a dash instead of a comma or a period (full stop). I always have to go back and edit my posts or anything else I write, for that. It's just a bad habit I picked up and have been doing since I was a teen-ager.

This was a combination of a description of two dreams I had - one about my brother who died - and I dreamed that he came back after he died and picked me up when I was standing on the side of a strange road stranded - and I was able to find that he was okay and happy, and we spent the time in the car silently - but I was fully aware that when the car ride stopped, I wouldn't see him again. I have that dream on occaision sometimes - sometimes with him and sometimes with someone else I spent a lot of time driving with and always dreaded the ride ending - because it would be the end of our safe, warm, cocoon-like time together.

One of my weaknesses as a writer is direction - I'm always better at description, so I try to keep the "plot" of the story simple to help me maintain a linear direction. I don't think I'm good enough as a writer to vary that much yet.

Thanks so much for your input. It's so helpful to have someone else's opinion and impression of what I wrote. I know what I was trying to express or convey - but I never know if anyone else gets it.
I really appreciate the time you took to read and respond.
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Reply Wed 23 Aug, 2006 05:10 pm
It flowed okay to me.

I really liked the last line. I agree about removing "suddenly" as well.
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Reply Wed 23 Aug, 2006 10:58 pm
Hey Spendi - I recognized a solecism of mine (in another post)- all on my own. I didn't change it though. I kind of liked it. But the only reason I knew what it was or recognized it was because you once pointed one out to me. You said it was in "English letters" though. I wonder if the criteria is the same in "American letters"- and we're not even talking about letters to people like Galatians and Ephesians, etc. (Paul's epistles- I've been reading a lot of Bible verses lately- very comforting - until you get some human to interpret them and try to scare the **** out of you (I'm not really scared - I've heard it all before).
But the sad thing is that someone else who might have been thinking about salvation and was on the fence might just jump down off that fence onto the side of eternal damnation rather than face human judgement such as that every Sunday or even on a forum such as this. Do you think another human who tries to inspire such fear and loathing in the human condition should be the one to be condemned? I kind of do. If they make life hell for people who don't conform to their narrow views - maybe those are the ones who deserve hell in the afterlife. That'd be quite a shock. All those righteous ones standing at the gate just knowing they got in, having the door slammed in their faces. Kind of like when you're walking around thinking you got an A on a test and the whole time there's this test paper waiting for you with a big red F on it (or U in the British grading system).

As far as the poem goes - I don't think you'll ever have to worry about getting there- we never seem to headed in the same direction anyway. But glad you found the flow okay- thanks- and yeah "suddenly" was too startling and immediate a word or concept for the rest of the poem. I think I changed it to "imperfect" which is much more comforting to me.

(I like siggyfreud- I hope s/he helps me with more poems- s/he's a careful reader and insightful. I hope s/he doesn't mind that I saw the screen name and decided to take the opportunity to tell him or her about my dreams.)
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Reply Fri 25 Aug, 2006 07:17 pm
Use of commas and dashes
I personally don't see anything wrong with using dashes. A dash simply indicates a longer pause than a comma. If that is your intent, you need not worry about replacing them with commas.

You definitely show talent. Have you been published (just curious)?
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Reply Fri 25 Aug, 2006 10:11 pm
Over the past twenty years, I have had exactly three pieces published - one was as a runner-up entry in a contest (I didn't get paid for it- it was a sort of "slice of life" essay) and I had two poems published in a very small local literary magazine (now defunct unfortunately due to lack of funds) that was edited by a friend of mine. I did get paid a small amount for those (I think he was being kind :wink:).

And it's kind of you to say I show talent. Thank you. I like to write, but then I read the writings of someone such as Minianimi and I'm just bowled over by the depth of thought that is in evidence there and I realize, I may not have what it takes to do anything more than express my very simple feelings in pretty simple ways. So I don't send a lot of stuff out, because I get discouraged pretty easily by the rejection.

I use the dash incorrectly though (to my understanding- but maybe I'm wrong). I ususally use it to separate independent clauses which could stand as a complete sentence, so I should either be using a period or a semi-colon. It's just laziness, particularly when I type- it saves me from having to use the shift key to either capitalize or use the semi-colon.

Just curious - were you being saracastic when you told Minianimi she should find a new major? What'd you think about her poem?
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Reply Fri 25 Aug, 2006 11:03 pm
I like the flow of your poems Aidan. It's cool.
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Reply Sat 26 Aug, 2006 01:11 am
Thanks Ray - nice of you to say so.
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Reply Sat 26 Aug, 2006 08:09 pm
Something is very strange about the poems and the way "she express self to them that wrote to her." That's not computer language. Either she didn't write the poems or she's pretending to be someone she is not.
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Reply Sun 27 Aug, 2006 12:20 am
Laughing Laughing Oh, I totally agree. I got that much the minute I read her topic title and compared it to the language of the poem. I guess I wouldn't go so far as to say s/he (whoever it is calling him or herself Minianimi) didn't write it- although that's always a possibility too - but she's definitely not as she's presenting herself to be.

But that's not at all uncommon Siggy. A lot of people feel more comfortable presenting themselves as something other than who or what they are. That's just a sad fact of life - especially on the internet. But it doesn't take away from the quality of the writing s/he submitted. I'm more interested in that than who or what s/he really is. I hope that doesn't sound cold, but I've just come to the conclusion that I have to focus on the offering and not who the person submitting it really is - because I'll never know that. But good writing - that's exciting to me- so I just play along with all the rest. I really do hope s/he posts again. I like reading her stuff.

Myself, I liked her concepts in the poems more than her use of language. I thought the concept of collecting the years in the first poem was pretty brilliant and unique (to any reading I've done), and actually, the language in that poem was accessable. The language in the second poem was a little more convoluted and thus off-putting - and I had to read it two or three times to work it out- but again, her theme or idea proved worth the extra effort.
And in her story - the presentation and way she framed her ideas- along with the language, which I think really worked in this instance- was so creative and unusual. Whoever this person is, I'd be surprised to learn they were really a teen-ager. You don't learn and present morals like that so early in life - unless if, like she said, she's Vietnamese - and then maybe she's spent a lot of time studying Buddhism, and has become wise beyond her years.
I just hope s/he puts all this talent and intelligence and wisdom to good and productive use- and if s/he finds it to productive to pretend to speak less proficient English than s/he's truly capable of - that's his or her choice I guess. That's just my take.
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