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Old 12-24-2013, 03:25 AM   #1
brokencoastline
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WotW: sleep only when it rains / cognitive dissonance

it's 11:27 p.m.
i am possesed by memory, the way
the light looks. lychees grow every summer
& their juice stains the concrete steps
of the porch.
in my dream, iím
sitting on the roof, our house
doesn't look the way that it does
the siding is blue, the highway makes
the same sound as always, it's 1:50 a.m.
i saw an old friend, it started snowing &
the man moved so i could take her picture
sometimes, i think we hide from how we feel.
the woman at work was
so much like his mom, couldn't focus or
find a damn thing & that wonderful big heart, we
called her phone for her, she
has to work on black friday.
i'm sorry
it's 2:13 a.m. we're just studying poetry
in the mornings the neighbors' house is
the face of my despair.
now baopei is
homesick & it's cold &
these rave-going girls are using the bathroom
in our house, it's 4:06 a.m.
nothing is going to happen, we're just studying poetry
N. please don't relapse, the room
is harsh & red like velvia, i'll grow out
of this & just put my love where it goes.

a good house is hard to find. sleep only when it rains
scratch that /// only
when she's around.
in the dream that followed, everyone was gone &
no one was home. all the furniture thrown
into the merge lane below, no
oncoming traffic to be seen,
i can't leave behind anything.
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Last edited by brokencoastline : 12-24-2013 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 12-25-2013, 01:49 PM   #2
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heartwrenching. merry christmas
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Old 12-30-2013, 02:30 AM   #3
jiminizzle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokencoastline
it's 11:27 p.m.
i am posses[s]ed by memory, the way
the light looks. lychees grow every summer
& their juice stains the concrete steps
of the porch.
really pretty entrance
in my dream, iím
sitting on the roof, our house
doesn't look the way that it does
i suppose this intentionally tangled sounding. i'd play with some other wordings and see if you like them, but it's still good. it just took me out of the dream for a moment because it is, on the surface, an illogical statement. the obvious pull back would be our house doesn't look like it should, but that might take away from the oddity in favor of passing over the line more smoothly and that much is up to you. i'm undecided at the moment, but something is drawing me to comment on this moment. something like 'our house doesn't look like our house//the siding is blue' might work well though?
the siding is blue, the highway makes
the same sound as always, it's 1:50 a.m.
i saw an old friend, it started snowing &
the man moved so i could take her picture
great up to here, but "the man moved so ___" is confusing--i don't know what to picture, i don't know what to feel, i need a little more. even 'a' man instead of 'the' man might be better if you want it to be ambiguous. 'the man' just implies to much and starts us asking questions that the poem doesn't answer and that maybe it shouldn't bother with
sometimes, i think we hide from how we feel.
it's peculiar how you can work in such a dead pan, full stop line like this, and an extremely direct one nonetheless, and feel spot on, right in stride and rhythmically on point, and because of the set up and how it comes out of nowhere, it really breaks through. like a jab to the nose, nothing fancy, but one that, at least for a moment, connects like a haymaker. and then we're gone.
the woman at work was
so much like his mom, _____ couldn't focus or I kind of want to know who couldn't focus here. it cold be the speaker, the 'him' or the woman at work. just an pronoun would help. I want to say it's the woman, but because of the construction--the ___ was so much like the ____ that I couldn't believe it/burst out laughing etc.etc.--- so commonly continues in the first person, or otherwise is identified, I'm not sure. just want a little more help in this section.
find a damn thing & that wonderful big heart, we
maybe some punctuation like dashes or something would help 'that wonderful big heart' feel as conversational as it seems to be aiming to be
called her phone for her,
she
has to work on black friday.
i'm sorry
this works wonderfully as well...
it's 2:13 a.m. we're just studying poetry
in the mornings the neighbors' house is
the face of my despair.
odd, romantic, melodramatic, and backhandedly descriptive. i like it.
now baopei is
homesick & it's cold &
these rave-going girls are using the bathroom
in our house, it's 4:06 a.m.
nothing is going to happen, we're just studying poetry
N. please don't relapse, the room
is harsh & red like velvia, i'll grow out
of this & just put my love where it goes.
jesus... this really doesn't hold back here.

a good house is hard to find. sleep only when it rains
scratch that /// only
when she's around.
lovely
in the dream that followed, everyone was gone &
no one was home. a little redundant--do you like that? I think, while i'm not totally sold on having both, it opens up the loneliness a little more, because the world out the window feels empty as well as the inside.
all the furniture thrown
into the merge lane below, no
oncoming traffic to be seen,
i can't leave behind anything.
there's something kind of off-kilter-sing-songey about this ending that i'm not sure if i love or just kind of like because the rhymes and such are satisfying. like, the stresses aren't quite perfect but they are close enough that it feels the presence of a meter by the last few lines. It's strange feeling. It's a little loopy also with the inversion--'leave behind anything' grammatically suggests something other than 'i can;t leave anything behind' and while we know what it means, it's still a little strange. it's an imperfect ending and there may be a perfect one if you play with it some more, but it's really great as it stands. i'm just left wondering how it would feel if you rewrote it a little (or vastly differently). I would miss this ending if you changed it, because it is good, but you never know--you could end up making the poem better


I'm struggling with whether I should leave that last comment in, because i really love this and that includes the ending, but i'm going to leave it just to see what you think. i'm still tossing between camps myself. This is a beautiful poem. The language and pacing, the repetitions, it's hypnotizing, and i was happy to look closely at how it works because there's a lot of magic in here. there's a lot of vulnerability in here, but it's a strong voice. you write like somebody who means it.
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:12 PM   #4
brokencoastline
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thanks so much for really digging into this, Jimmy.

the ending was pulled in from an entirely different place writing so that may account for why it settles somewhat strangely. the redundancy and inversion of the last line were mostly done for sonics/flow but i think they somewhat work in the weirdness of the dream, more so the last line than the really redundant "everyone was gone" thing. I think there's more to be said there, more to the dream itself too. i can't really see this ending another way, which may just be my own nearsightedness, but the ending as it is was sort of slammed out. i'll go over this again with your suggestions.
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:19 PM   #5
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I think you got the dream sequence across fantastically, thoroughly enjoyed this one.
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:11 PM   #6
seventh_angel
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Sorry for such a late recognition; things have been busy on the secret council's headquarters

Congratz ! Great piece
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:27 AM   #7
vintage x metal
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I reread this today and am arrested with intensity. You've said so much. What a portrait.


I enjoy your writing. We talked about 'writing' when you came to visit, but not your writing really - that's a hard one in person. Plus I just wanted to kick it with you, and talking about your writing may have been a bit too intimate at the time. It's funny how different people are on a screen as opposed to the flesh. You don't repeatedly catch my eyes here.

Your writing is so particularly you. You have all these snippets that are incredibly rich and textured but still somehow simple:
'lychees grow every summer
& their juice stains the concrete steps
of the porch'
'these rave-going girls are using the bathroom
in our house, it's 4:06 a.m.
nothing is going to happen, we're just studying poetry'

these are only small snippets
I think it's the way you wedge. You move from one clear memory (the porch, your dream porch, the visit with a friend, the mom at work, etc) to the next with no transition other than relevancy, like train of thought, but without that disjointed stream-of-consciousness shit that people usually come up with.
Something about this feels so effortless, like it's meant for a friend, but really that friend is yourself that you are talking to, and I enjoy your relationship together.

by the way, this line takes the cake at the end (publish this so no one steals it):
'a good house is hard to find. sleep only when it rains
scratch that /// only
when she's around. '




sorry for the really late crit, just being creepy
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:07 PM   #8
brokencoastline
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I think those conversations are the most telling, which I really like but I know a lot of people find uncomfortable. I could never know the things you say (or anyone says) about my own writing without being told them. I'm not in a position where I could ever see it for just what it is. The same probably applies to how we carry ourselves as well. Maybe next time.

I'm glad you said something now. I really am always glad to hear from you. (also know any good literary journals? there's a couple I like but I'm always looking for more).
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