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Old 05-20-2014, 07:00 AM   #1
brokencoastline
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WotW: California Elegy: moving out, moving constantly.

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California Elegy: moving out, moving constantly. for A. There was a cloud parked on the horizon. I thought it looked like an albatross drumstick marinated in phosphorescent kool-aid. -Kevin Opstedal, Sneaking a Drink w/the Tiki Blonde in that incredible heat I'm still sleeping in the storage room. I remember the orange curtains she made, "tangerine dream" I'd say, forgetting the reference but remembering the glow on her amaretto skin at the afternoon's end. file cabinets guarded the bed, and through the vent you could see straight to the next room. places I've lived close off to me & it's like no one can ever be young there again. the tight-knit clique never happened. (pick me up from Dulles, take me to get bahn mi. I'll count these things differently) but I can't blame baopei for leaving with her piercings & her social responsibility. (the air was thick, not like Reykjavik. I remember lying down in the parking lot from laughing at it) now she's got eyes to close on the Texas interstate, waking up in the desert a week before deciding to fly home for a few days this year while they continued on. at that incredible height I'm still spent for shades, lavenders in the long dawn. the clouds below not marinated but skimming the surface like hesitant promises of distances we never went, to Canada or Malaysia. what did we do with the weeks? though of course we'll all move out to that Oregon coast the point is undefined, like some blip careening across an azimuth of time. or a predawn of disembodied headlights & bird calls where he pulled out & parked the van forever, putting a new crater between flowering rows of yucca & I can see it in the early light, soaked like kevin's cloud in that phosphorescent sundown stretched along the coast road. but what do I do with the muffled death felt through the quivering breadth of the heart in her chest? (in that incredible aftermath life becomes a blur, but you still call) & I assure you it's no one's fault though it's not long before you go & I fall back to sleep with the smell of ethanol & the moments before everyone who saw looked away & let the road wind back into place.
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Old 05-20-2014, 10:14 AM   #2
hippieboy444
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i really enjoy this. sometimes there were weird quirks or moves that surprised me, but in a good way; don't change them. you capture a grand feeling in this. the voice is clear.

thanks for the read. great work.
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Old 05-22-2014, 07:12 AM   #3
Eccer
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That fourth stanza blew my mind, this piece is truly magnificent. A small critique maybe, maybe I didn't read it right but I felt you jarred the flow here somehow;

or a predawn
of disembodied headlights & bird calls
where he pulled out & parked the van

When I came to "where" I felt you dragged it too long, if you could put a punctuation or a stop before that...but that would also ruin it. So I think I see your problem there.
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:22 PM   #4
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how does this only have two responses? t
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Old 06-26-2014, 01:48 AM   #5
jiminizzle
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yeah this is pretty great.



(the air was thick, not like
Reykjavik. I remember lying down in
the parking lot from laughing at it)
now she's got
eyes to close on the Texas
interstate, waking up
in the desert a week before
deciding to fly home for
a few days this year
while they continued on.


those last few lines feel like the kind of thing (one that i do too often myself) that make a lot of sense and hold a lot of meaning to the writer but don't really convey much beyond faint motions of that meaning to the reader. i know there's a story there but the words are kind of opaque and aren't carrying it in the open. they almost seem to say "there's something you don't quite understand that i'm referring to here" which is frustrating given the emotional clarity of the rest of this.

also feels like stretched along the coast road. should be either coast (without road) or coastal road for rhythmic and soft grammatical reasons
is this epigraph the author who's book you showed me? i kind of like the idea of you writing a bit west-coast-ish. lots of space and air moving around. kind of higher skies and lower buildings or something like that. but you are one of the best writers of dramatizing the east coast as well so never stop doing that, even if only to send me fragments and lines until i die. i will always count you as an influence, ever since you first started posting here. the closing is pretty strong too. reminds me of "the spell of the leaves" (from the book "the widening spell of the leaves" there is also another poem called "the widening spell of the leaves" but i'm referring to "the spell of the leaves") by larry levis. it's a wife/kid just after a husband leaves, but it's exquisitely done. i can upload a picture of the poem if you can't find it.
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:19 AM   #6
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killer ending
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:04 PM   #7
brokencoastline
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thanks everyone.

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Originally Posted by jiminizzle
also feels like stretched along the coast road. should be either coast (without road) or coastal road for rhythmic and soft grammatical reasons
is this epigraph the author who's book you showed me? i kind of like the idea of you writing a bit west-coast-ish. lots of space and air moving around. kind of higher skies and lower buildings or something like that. but you are one of the best writers of dramatizing the east coast as well so never stop doing that, even if only to send me fragments and lines until i die. i will always count you as an influence, ever since you first started posting here. the closing is pretty strong too. reminds me of "the spell of the leaves" (from the book "the widening spell of the leaves" there is also another poem called "the widening spell of the leaves" but i'm referring to "the spell of the leaves") by larry levis. it's a wife/kid just after a husband leaves, but it's exquisitely done. i can upload a picture of the poem if you can't find it.


It's the same book, yeah! I've been going back to it more as the weather's gotten warmer. Something about the lines I picked out from it is so crazy and vivid but very resonant with me. Definitely read it if you've ever felt at all overwhelmed by the place you're from.
I actually ended up finding and reading both the poems you mentioned and I can see some of that similarity in the endings of this and "the spell of the leaves." Something like that wide place mistaken for a moment is so well put, and the way nothing follows, thanks for the read.

I agree about those lines you picked out as being to opaque and inaccessible as well. It's an easy thing to fall into, thanks for pointing it out.
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