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Old 01-17-2011, 11:45 AM   #1
ZanasCross
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Of the Fourth

Of the fourth mechanism of armament.

He stumbled towards town.
Gears grinding, arms swaying,
face alight with joy or starvation.
Exhaustion, his name.
His hands he called macabre
his feet, grace.
Age lines set their will against his
and with his brim pulled low
he fell into the bosom of the local church.

Sabbath and holy water;
pursed lips against the sun
beating reds and blues and greens...
stained glass showers on a rickety oak pew.
The sabbath matron asked his name,
he could not answer, so she wiped his brow:
"Lord, let him come back to me."
Chants and wailing,
crying and praying,
children gasping and more holy water to his lips.

"Ke... Kenneettth."
His head rest in her lap,
basting in the light of the lord,
pounding, thumping, ringing, shouting
drilling, grinding, halting going...
all in his head, all loudly and brightly and sharply.

"Where are you from, Kenneth?"
He gasped, "fourth mechanism, ma'am."
She gasped. She frowned.
His hat skittered across the floor,
dusting the air as he slammed to the ground.
Pews fly, children run,
screaming (outside his head).
"You devil!" the matron weeps, uncoiling him to the ground.
"Anti-Christ!" the matron screams.
Air from his mouth stirs up the last of the dust,
revealing pine floorboards that need to be cleaned,
and he sleeps.

His garments torn,
his leathers faded,
his eyes transparent.
The lord's blood runs from his mouth,
a chattered tongue hanging loosely from baked lips.
The matron raises the consecration knife,
the ground quakes.
Floors creak, squeak, moan,
walls shiver and shimmy.
She hesitates, pauses.
Dusty fog hangs in the air
and the light from the stained glass crucifixion pierces it,
landing on his face.
She sees suffering and hope,
resolute faith mingled with years of neglect.

Rugged mouth corners twitch,
eyes fly wide,
red, burning, pulsing with anger.
This is not Kenneth.
Muscles bulge,
chest flares wide, strong.
The fourth mechanism had come to pass,
she had hesitated and the quake had arrived,
and the gears were already set into motion.

Last edited by ZanasCross : 01-17-2011 at 11:32 PM.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:52 PM   #2
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This vaguely reminded me of Kurt Vonnegut with the bizarre things happening that are just weird, yet somehow you really really really like it. Except this was a little bit of a darker shade, a little more dramatic. So only vaguely.

Good stuff here. I'm not going to criticize because I genuinely enjoyed reading it and when I was done I wished it were somehow longer so I could read some more of it.
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:04 PM   #3
ZanasCross
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Thanks man.

There is more formulating in my brain, but I think this might be the best place to end it. There is a clear picture and idea of where I see it... but I like how it ends now.

Anyways, thanks for reading.
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:14 PM   #4
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I felt some lines may have been a bit too descriptive, like dragging on a bit, such as:

"all loudly, and brightly, and sharply"

But that was really my only irk. The rest was very interesting, I enjoyed the interplay between Kenneth and the woman, there were a few lines that stuck out to me which I thought were great lines,

"His hands he called macabre
his feet, grace."

and,

"The lord's blood runs from his mouth,
a chattered tongue hanging loosely from baked lips."

and the entire fourth stanza. Nice piece!
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:16 PM   #5
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ach, been reading all evening and my eyes are worn out.. i'll get back to this tmr.. but one thing.. i thought this would be about the 4th of july
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:56 PM   #6
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writing wise, this is a lovely leap up in consistency. writing wise, i think it's one of your best ever posted here. idea wise, i'm not sure yet. trying to figure out if it matters if i know what the fourth mechanism is (if it's one of your science things that i am unaware of (google wasnt too helpful) then it might change the content in certain parts a lot) but assuming not (probably not a safe thing to do) i'm having good first impressions of this. this is only after one read but i'll be back to reread.
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:31 PM   #7
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Jimi - "Of the fourth mechanism of armament" was/is an inside joke between a friend and myself. We always named projects with something relating to the "fourth mechanism of armament." He and I never really defined what it would be, but this is my interpretation of it and a story that falls from my interpretation.

Really appreciate the reads, guys. Drop me a link if you want me to get back to you on something. This is something I'm pretty proud of... so the feedback is very helpful and in this case, uplifting.

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Old 01-18-2011, 07:20 PM   #8
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I think that somehow, the ending was made powerful in what it didn't mention, rather than what it did. is it the end of the world? armageddon? In this dimension? I ask that last question because it slight reminded me of the dark tower series. and the 'this is not kenneth' made me think of desperation, inhabitation of cop's body (you have the right to remain silent. everything can and will be used against you in a court of law. i am going to kill you. you have the right to an attourney, and if you cannot afford one..). Or, rather, the 'you devil' is the matron suspecting devil possession, and the transformation takes place, in full, in the church. And that the people suspect it, because why would they 'wail', why so on edge? -and that in making the pews fly, it suddenly became clear that the devil was in a flash there, and the children saw it too. because why would they say you devil, if he was just a guy out in the desert for a few days who needed a sippie cup of the earth's finest?

the description of the stained glass windows isn't per se good on its own, but it adds a dimension to picturing the scene mentally.

i think the line 'she gasped. she frowned' could be shortened to she frowned, because gasped used right before, and the value of the re-use of the word is there, but to me doesn't quite pay off as much as she frowned, with reader imagining what is going through her mind at that point.

'and he sleeps' line can be thought of, of 'and he dies', which is nice speculation. the fourth mechanism line in itself, i imagine, to be, and stay with me here... imagine this story takes place like 3,000 years from now,500 years after a nuclear war - world population down to a million, - and they re-translate the bible. And 3,000 years from now, - 'the fourth mechanism', is the 'futuristic language term' for the four horsemen of the apocalypse. what all those 'mathematical readers of the bible' never could figure out, is that the real apocalypse would happen in 5,000 AD, roughly. and this is the story of the highest action sequence - when the devil finally returns to earth, in kenneth's dehydrated and panicked and just seconds dead body. like, maybe kenneth went to the church, because the devil had been attempting to penetrate his soul for three days (or so), and maybe devil was half there, maybe with control of his hands (at times) but not at all his legs, hence grace & macabre. this is why he was able to find the church. it mentions holy water, as if that was all he needed to get the devil to leave him, but never says that he received any, his lips were pursed against the sun, or dry.

or this:

I have a dream most nights. It starts on a playground. There's kids swinging, laughing, dogs barking, butterflies just flapping their little wings. And then you hear a rumbling, and over the horizon comes a black cloud and it's made of cancer and pus. And it starts sweeping over the playground and everyone starts screaming and clawing their eyes and pulling at their hair, and saying "Help! What do we do?" And you know what happens next? Out steps me wielding the biggest ****ing shotgun you've ever seen in your whole life. And you know what I do? I blow every ****ing thing away. And I am getting God's work done. When it's all over and the dust has settled, the whole world gathers below me and they say, "Thank you, Ronnie, thank you for helping, being a great man and doing this for us." And you know what I say? "You don't need to thank me. I'm just a guy with a gun. I'm just a cop."
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:52 PM   #9
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I thought that this was well written because throughout the piece it created imagery and developed character, sometimes at the same time. certain lines, like 'his hands he called macabre/ his feet, grace'.
I felt it was that sort of language that helped to reveal who Kenneth was, and it put a picture into my head. I liked that you managed to write a story, but sill keep your writing style intact, and not fall into the 'prose with line breaks' method of story writing, if that makes sense. Also, like severed metal said, the 'all loudly and brightly and sharply' line did grate a bit with me. I liked the sense of urgency it gave me, but I felt it did drag out a bit. Other than that, however, this is one of the most riveting pieces I've read. The story was well developed, and I'd love to see more, because I want to get a better understanding of what's going on. You ended it at a good place, well done
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:55 PM   #10
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Hi, Thanks for your sharing man... Nice sharing....
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:24 AM   #11
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Thanks guys.

Park - your first idea is fairly similar to the one in my head... and Dark Tower is one of my favorite series, so similarity of the picture isn't to strange. To be honest, I just finished reading it again, and though this image has been in my head a long time (before I'd even heard of Dark Tower) I'm sure those books helped shape some of the picture.
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:56 PM   #12
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It read like a difficult to read yet rewarding book. It felt like prose, I don't know if you ever class your stuff as that. I agree with jimi's comment; I'm not totally sure about the idea, and that may come from me not fully understanding this (YET!), but the writing was lovely.
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:28 AM   #13
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You have definitely developed your skills to a very high level amd I can see it here. The first stanza was really great, your ideas and intentions were very vivid and quite clear from the abstract. I had a problem with the third stanza because sonically the 'ing' repition just felt flat, notwithstanding that it didn't really add much to the piece there. I would also replace 'basting' with 'basking' perhaps?

"His hat skittered across the floor,
dusting the air as he slammed to the ground.
Pews fly, children run,..."

The transition between these three lines wasn't a smooth one. I think you needed an intermediate between these lines in order for the images to resonate properly. The rest of the fourth stanza was of a quite high standard!

'His garment's is torn'

"Stained glass crucification" felt lacking, but everything else in that stanza was really good.

Meh everything before 'the fourth mechanism' in the last stanza felt very filler. I would trim the excess fat and jut go with the last three lines as your closer. Those three lines work very well as a stanza.

I thought this was great and the best I have read from you in a while! The only real problem here was that sometimes your images and your playfulness diverged from the main focus. As conequence, the real thought-process of the piece started to become a bit diluted in some areas of this piece, which is a damn shame. But there's nothing a bit of editing can't do.
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:38 PM   #14
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I'm a little bit confused right now as to exactly what this was about, but the language was very nice. It felt a little bit like playing Hungry Hungry Hippos with Jackson Pollock on the moon while below on earth the robot hordes advance against the humans in all-out war.

I think I'm going to come back and read it again later and perhaps give more comments then.
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Jimi - "Of the fourth mechanism of armament" was/is an inside joke between a friend and myself. We always named projects with something relating to the "fourth mechanism of armament." He and I never really defined what it would be, but this is my interpretation of it and a story that falls from my interpretation.

very happy it isn't a "real" thing. nice one, zach.
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:48 AM   #16
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I thought I recognized a little SK influence here

This is really cool. I'll echo Aaron: I really wanted to read more after finishing. You've created a very interesting scene and world that I would love to know more about.

I'm always a fan of dark scenes and characters, sinister motives and religious fervor. I'd really enjoy any more pieces that you create in this area. I think it even has the weight to carry a larger story. I see you've more in mind and I really think you should make a story from this. With your writing ability, I think it'd be fantastic.

Well done, Zach

I have a couple pieces in my sig that you can check out if you want, since you owe me and all Kidding, but if you have the urge, I'd love it
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:17 PM   #17
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Overall i enjoyed the piece. The issues i had with the piece had been already mentioned, but i do have to say i hope for either a parallel story in which more is explained or a continuation on this just because i feel somewhat at a loss for what the ending really means and why everything went to chaos.

Bravo on the vocabulary and imagery, really pulled me in.
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:11 AM   #18
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The descriptive nature was great! It pulled me into continuing reading.
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