#1
The streets round there
all have one pavement bigger than the other;
one side of the hedge higher,
one house taller,
one garden longer.
One tree that holds home to more birds than the next,
and one ear that hears more song.

One foot on one pedal,
turning after the other.

The light stroking my bike’s frame
is blue for the first time since late Summer, last year;
the product of refraction off the brown, mossy branches
that tower over the rows of houses
diving through the thick, seeping layer of magic
which shelters every crevice of this street
from late Winter.

It’s just that thing you know is there;
when you lift one hand off its handle
and cautiously tense your tendons
to tighten down on the air;
there’s something in the way your hand turns,
and how the wind caresses every nerve.

I slow. Run my bike in to the space between
the pavement and the damp road,
then stare up at the yellow-brick of number 18.
This place could be a home for me.

Blue.
There's only one thing we can do to thwart the plot of these albino shape-shifting lizard BITCHES!
#3
I enjoy reading your stuff, mate. I've allways got a clear image in my head of whats going on, I think everyone can get somthing out of this.
I'd love to give this a full crit, but i don't feel qualified just yet.
But for the record, was a good read.

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#4
I haven't got much to say other than I enjoyed this.
Well, I do have something more to say.
I haven't read much here for the last 3-4 months, but since I've started reading again your writing has stuck out most to me as vastly improving in terms of content and maturity.
Everything seems more focused and cohesive.

Yep.
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#5
Hmm.. ^that, and it still takes me there. Damn good writing. Second full stanza may have been a bit wordy, that's all I got for you though.
On the eight day we spoke back...

let there be sound.
#6
This feels more and more homely the more and more I read it. I noticed a few flow irritants, but it suits the earthly diction.

- "and cautiously tense your tendons
to tighten down on the air;"


- I wished you had used one other instance of dazzling alliteration in the piece - it would make this example more at home.
#7
^ There are little bits of alliteration leading up to that part and I was trying to collect it all in that phrase and then release it through the semi-colon, the pause, but if it didn't work I'll have another look.

Thank you guys, means a lot. Billeh, I know... that's the verse I've done the most work on because it was stumbly in the first place. Particuarly with the movement between the refraction, trees and 'magic layer'. I'll continue to think about how I could make that feel less full on.

Oh, and Jiggzy, everyone is qualified. Thanks, I'll get back
There's only one thing we can do to thwart the plot of these albino shape-shifting lizard BITCHES!
#8
I almosssst like this a lot but it felt like you were trying too hard. It's just a touch off.
There were moments that felt just right but they got lost. Last stanza was very strong.

I do agree that lately you've been showing how much you've improved.
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#9
Would you care to give me pointers of where and how it felt like I was trying too hard? If you have the time, of course.
There's only one thing we can do to thwart the plot of these albino shape-shifting lizard BITCHES!
#10
yeah i was planning on it but i'm kind of scared to try because to be honest, I'm not sure exactly how to explain it. That's just the feeling I got at the end. But I'll try.

Quote by DigUpHerBones
The streets round there
all have one pavement bigger than the other;
one pavement bigger than the other? It sounds like you're trying to be colloquial with "streets round here" but then pavement as a countable object? Maybe it's a language difference but I've never heard anybody say a pavement, one pavement, two pavements, etc. It's always just been pavement, the pavement, rust-colored pavement, section of pavement etc. It felt out of place
one side of the hedge higher,
Hedge being a bush, are you saying it's slanted on top? or are you saying the land on one side of the hedge is higher? It feels like a forced idea that doesn't accomplish what it wants to very smoothly.
one house taller,
ok this works
one garden longer.
do people compare gardens' lengths? It goes with bigger/higher/taller but it doesn't add much. Is the garden narrower and longer or is the area bigger altogether? what are you trying to accomplish besides maintaining the structural idea? It's just an offputting phrasing I suppose.
One tree that holds home to more birds than the next,
and one ear that hears more song.
these last two sound like you are trying too hard again. That holds home to more birds than the next just sounds like a wordy attempt at saying what you mean. "holds home" is kind of awkward and comparing bird numbers is likeably quirky but I don't think you quite nailed it. That hears more song. Makes sense but does it? I know what you are saying but it just doesn't sound natural. It sounds like a forced implication, you know what I mean?
that's the problem with this whole first section. It doesn't draw me in properly and it doesn't hold me there when I get there. You say "the streets round there ____;"
now stop.
You are talking about what the streets have with the first line. Now is the semicolon breaking this as a seperate thought then you are listing the rest? Like one side is higher? or are you saying the streets all have one garden/tree/etc. again and again? Is this comparing the streets to the street after themselves or things on the streets to other things on each street? If the former, then I think the images you are utilizing don't reach the goal very strongly. If the latter, then I think it's cluttered and kind of awkward.

sidenote: sorry for being harsh.


One foot on one pedal,
turning after the other.
both pedals are turning on a bike if one pedal is turning. They are connected. I just think you could describe this more tactfully. One foot peaking/pumping/falling after the other? Something along those lines.

The light stroking my bike’s frame
is blue for the first time since late Summer, last year;
the syntax and diction with stroking works but it sounds a little more amateur than you're capable of. This sentence is meant to open an image but it doesn't add much. I don't think you use the light being blue enough. It almost comes off so quickly that it sounds like your bike is blue. Is it? Are you talking about the bikes reflection being blue? I assume no because of the next section but it's still possible and unclear. It's gonna be hard to talk about a specific object in relation to the color of the light without the reader's mind to pop the color of the object in as a priority. I'm thinking of the bike right now. Not the air between the trees. I don't think you accomplished what you meant to at all here. I'm not thinking blue. I'm thinking a shady lane with a bike and houses. The blue doesn't play out and it gets lost.
and I'm pretty sure the semicolon usage is off again. Maybe you were using it just for pacing but I figured I'd point it out. I don't think it's necessary. This happens again later

the product of refraction off the brown, mossy branches
that tower over the rows of houses
like the branches houses rhyme. Here you lose the blue light. I'm focused on the branches and houses. Nothing about blue comes back to me in the next few lines either. It's gone until the end when I remember- oh yeah the light was blue.
diving through the thick, seeping layer of magic
Magic? Layer of Magic? SEEPING Layer of Magic?? This could work if the voice was more nostalgic and young but the connotation clashes with the flowery tone a bit I think.
which shelters every crevice of this street
from late Winter.
from late winter sounds like you could be talking about the time period of "from late winter" or sheltering from the emotions/weather etc. from late winter. Both thoughts would be incomplete here.


It’s just that thing you know is there;
when you lift one hand off its handle
and cautiously tense your tendons
to tighten down on the air;
there’s something in the way your hand turns,
and how the wind caresses every nerve.
Very close to being very good butttt tighten down on air? This was weird. I think you leave this section too open where you could make it a brilliant image of releasing your grip on a handlebar and feeling the air around you.


I slow. Run my bike in to the space between
the pavement and the damp road,
Is this an actual space or are you saying something else? It's a bit awkward.
then stare up at the yellow-brick of number 18.
This place could be a home for me.
I like the last two lines a lot.

Blue.
This felt tacked one where it could have been a nice accent. I don't think you set it up enough at all in any aspect of the word blue.



Ok so hopefully that made some sense. I really wanted to like this. I just think it could be so much better.
Sorry if I sounded like an asshole too. I'm not trying to.

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Last edited by jiminizzle at Feb 22, 2009,
#12
I've thought about your crit jimi, and while I disagree with almost every point you made (typical) I can see where you're coming from. Thank you very much for putting so much time in to a crit, they're all things that I'll take in to consideration for future pieces although I think we both came to every idea in this from a different viewpoint.

Hesh, I'd adore that if you have the time, though I owe you a million already!

Thanks guys; I'm continuously thinking of how I could change this.
There's only one thing we can do to thwart the plot of these albino shape-shifting lizard BITCHES!
#13
Hey I don't know.

i'm kind of scared to try because to be honest, I'm not sure exactly how to explain it.

so I resorted to blowing things out of proportion to try to figure it out.


I just was trying to figure it out. I just didn't think this was as good as you are at all. I couldn't get into it but I like what I think you wanted me to get. maybe it's personal.

sorry for my over-the-topness.

hopefully I don't sound like I'm defending myself. Just sayin

Anatomy Anatomy
Whale Blue Review

Park that car
Drop that phone
Sleep on the floor
Dream about me
Last edited by jiminizzle at Feb 24, 2009,
#14
Fairy nuft, I agree that the structure doesn't quite form a few of the feelings I wanted to get across through the images properly and all. Thank you
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#15
I found myself completely absorbed by this. I think your imagery is very concrete, and your control of rhetoric to evoke nostalgia, at any rate, is quite strong. How are you at the other emotions? I'm new to the board, and this is the first thing I've read of yours. Is there something in particular you're proud of that everyone who likes your stuff should read? (Keep in mind I'm probably just going to read one link, so I'd really like to see something you picked out, rather than the collected works of Dig.)

The only concrete suggestion I have is that you have a rhythm of repetition going with the word "one," at the beginning. My mind's ear wants to hear "One foot on one pedal, turning one after the other." I acknowledge that adding the "one" there would insert a meme into your otherwise-mostly-meme-free piece, so it might not be desirable. I might suggest having three or four people read it aloud to you, and see how many of them subconsciously add the "one." I don't know if that would tell you anything or not, but it sure would be neat if I was right

I have to say that although jiminizzle didn't approach it the way I would, I am also a little off-put by "thick, seeping layer of magic." It may be that you have to tell your audience that this is specifically "magical" to you, but just from reading this piece, I think you're probably a good enough poet that you can show without telling, and show in such a way as to make the audience feel the magic that I felt, riding my bike through the Austin neighborhood, to lean the Schwinn beneath the water tower in the park; seeing if I could find an anole or two to take home, or just to stare at for a while.

Or was my nostalgia not what you you were talking about?

peace

PS The Phil Dick reference in your... um... sig? What would one call that? Anyway, it makes me happy. I loved the fact about the movie Wall-E that armageddon came not as war, but as kipple. One of my all time favorite made-up words, along with fuligin, the color that is darker than black.
Last edited by Nilchii at Feb 24, 2009,
#16
Kipple is an invented word of his he uses in a few books; I first read it in 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?', and it has to be one of my favourite words full stop (as a K. Dick fan, I'm just going to treat it as a 'real' word :p.

I will have a go at rephrasing parts of this tomorrow, thanks you two.

And thanks for the time, Nilchii (real name?). I don't really know if I have a 'something in particular', I'm afraid, but maybe 'yellow, part one'.
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#17
Got a link to "yellow, part one?"

Oh, and my name's Matt. You?

peace
#18
I'm Katherine

If you go on to someone's profile and click 'view all threads', all their pieces will be there.

I suppose I tend to write this kind of thing
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1047743

and this kind of thing
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1038496

but I hate saying that
Cheers again.
There's only one thing we can do to thwart the plot of these albino shape-shifting lizard BITCHES!