#1
I was told by someone in the Pit to post this here (sorry, I can't remember who told me and I'm too lazy to go looking through my posts to find out who did). So, here's my first foray into the S&L forums save for a few critiques I did earlier.

Ode To The Porcelain Gods


Your porcelain shell gleams in the stark light
from the bathroom fixtures. You invite us
to sit on your frozen, agape mouth.
A shock goes up our spine, but we
relax, you warm to us. Soon, we open
ourselves to you, you wait like a baby bird,
our shit and piss your breakfast.

Sometimes you are a trickster
and splash us with your impossibly cold water,
swallow women hips up in the night
when your seat is not down. Other times,
you are a god as we offer sacrifices
of dinner and too many drinks, dead
goldfish, condoms, and engagement rings.
Quote by fatgraymatt
I love metal but death metal's just a bit too much for me. The most I can get into is serious-illness metal.
Quote by birdman267
schmidty,
I care
Quote by GuyWhoDoesStuff
If I had an axe that could make well formed vaginas I would go out a lot less.
#2
Hey, welcome!

I'll have a thorough critique up in a bit.

Quote by schmidty3000
I was told by someone in the Pit to post this here (sorry, I can't remember who told me and I'm too lazy to go looking through my posts to find out who did). So, here's my first foray into the S&L forums save for a few critiques I did earlier.

EDIT:

I'm gonna break up the stanzas into manageable chunks, but I'll also consider them as a whole.

Ode To The Porcelain Gods

Your porcelain shell gleams in the stark light
from the bathroom fixtures. You invite us
to sit on your frozen, agape mouth.

Really solid imagery. I think 'stark' is a perfect choice of words, placed perfectly. The content/description disparity has both a somber appropriateness without being overly serious.

The consonance of the soft 's' works well - "porcelain, stark, us, sit" - it does what it's supposed to do without being overtly in-your-face.

I'm always had a personal aversion to doubled adjectives ("frozen, agape mouth"), but that's a stylistic choice.


A shock goes up our spine, but we
relax, you warm to us. Soon, we open
ourselves to you, you wait like a baby bird,
our shit and piss your breakfast.

Line 4, "A shock goes..." is cliched. The idea is good, but it's not expressed as originally as the rest of the poem. The 's' consonance still works wonderfully. And the imagery is striking.

Sometimes you are a trickster
and splash us with your impossibly cold water,
swallow women hips up in the night
when your seat is not down.

Still interesting, but it's a bit of a letdown compared to the previous stanza.

[spaceformattingspace]Other times,
you are a god as we offer sacrifices
of dinner and too many drinks, dead
goldfish, condoms, and engagement rings.

Damn. Best lines I've read on here in a while. Touches on a lot of different subjects. Very postmodern stylistically, minus the cynicism (<-- my only beef with the movement)



Overall, this is great stuff. Serious themes presented in unusual ways will always get people's attention, and that attention is rightfully deserved. There's a bit of polishing needed (line 4 personally bugs me) but this a solid piece of writing.
Quote by Skibolky
No one can really fuck with the power of empathy.
Last edited by Aeolian Harmony at Jun 14, 2010,
#3
I'm about to point out a whole bunch of trivial, objective flaws in this because to be honest I really love this but still feel like I should try my best to critique it.

Quote by schmidty3000


Your porcelain shell gleams in the stark light
from the bathroom fixtures. You invite us
to sit on your frozen, agape mouth. - I dislike the use of two adjectives on one word like this. And the word isn't really an important one either. If you're going to use two adjectives right in a row, make it something that's important, and if you're gonna use an adjective at all you're going to need to expand upon the object you're describing. A description has no use with just two words, it's ineffective. So if you were going to use adjectives on this word like this, you would have to continue with describing the toilet as a mouth and describing the mouth. Instead you just throw it out and then move on, expecting us to get a full description with just two words.
A shock goes up our spine, but we
relax, you warm to us. Soon, we open
ourselves to you, you wait like a baby bird,
our shit and piss your breakfast. - In this sentence it's just a personal issue with the use of so many commas. Do you talk like that? I mean, if you said that out loud would you really pause after the "soon"? I wouldn't and not many people would. It makes it read too choppy-like when you use so many commas. I have this problem too, I habitually use lots of commas in questionable spots. I mean it works, but it would work so much better without the comma. I find that reading over everything I've written once after I write it and paying special attention to the commas(deleting where necessary) really helps improve the flow of things.

Sometimes you are a trickster - trickster? Really? There's not a better word you could think of than that? In my opinion it doesn't fit the tone of the rest of the piece. You have this overly-formal thing going, and then you throw in trickster. Kinda odd, if you ask me.
and splash us with your impossibly cold water, - The word "your" is unnecessary. Poetry is all about economical writing, and this isn't economical. We already know the water is coming from the toilet, so why tell us again? Just say impossibly cold water, and we'll know what you're talking about.
swallow women hips up in the night
when your seat is not down. Other times, - Again with a weird comma. Of course it works, but does it need to?
you are a god as we offer sacrifices
of dinner and too many drinks, dead
goldfish, condoms, and engagement rings.



'Ello, I saw you in The Pit.

This was so much fun. It was fun for me and I'm sure it was fun for you, which is the important part. I wish it weren't so formal sounding, though, and that's my only complaint. Would a contraction kill you? Still, this was great. It was quietly playful in a very modest way, and that's what I loved about it. The toilet gods are pleased.

Today I feel electric grey
I hope tomorrow, neon black
#4
^I guess I'm not the only one with adjective issues, haha.
Quote by Skibolky
No one can really fuck with the power of empathy.
#5
In response to both of your issues with my adjective use, I won't change it. Here's why.

First off, when you sit on a toilet, it's always frozen, or freezing, and not showing that would be an afront to the rest of the poem.

Second, and this is a happy accident that was pointed out to me, is the word agape. If you put an accent over the e in agape, you come up with a word that is pronounced a-gop-eh. This word, I have been told by my poetry teacher, means 'holy.' This fits the theme spectacularly.

Thirdly, I just don't mind the double adjective thing. I quite like them, actually.

Otherwise, thank you very much for the critiques. I may go back and revise this one yet again (I think it would be the sixth time), or I may just submit it for publication one of these days.
Quote by fatgraymatt
I love metal but death metal's just a bit too much for me. The most I can get into is serious-illness metal.
Quote by birdman267
schmidty,
I care
Quote by GuyWhoDoesStuff
If I had an axe that could make well formed vaginas I would go out a lot less.
#6
! I should have recognized the other form of agape (though I've always been told the Greek refers to 'unconditional love', which still works). Double meanings, even in just one word, always make me want to read a poem over and over.

Anyway, I'm glad that you've decided not to change it. It's easy enough to push over someone in S&L on small things if you're not careful, and the last thing I'd want to do was change your work to suit my personal preferences. Writers know what is best for their own pieces, and confidence is a virtue.

I hope to read more.
Quote by Skibolky
No one can really fuck with the power of empathy.
#7
Try not editing so much. I bet this was much, much better six revisions ago.
Today I feel electric grey
I hope tomorrow, neon black