#1
(I definitely owe randy (still reading your long one), taylor, spit on a stranger, kerdmann, and rocks your life among others from less recent poems)

This is a draft of a recent idea
Anatomy Anatomy
Whale Blue Review

Park that car
Drop that phone
Sleep on the floor
Dream about me
#3
Give the poem some direction with concrete images - it's too abstract to follow without them. For example, when talking about the pastor, try using very specific terms related to him. You've used cathedral, go deeper! Add some depth and meaning to the poem. This would be very effective if stretched out and juxtaposed to images from Greek mythology - seeing as you've already compared the pastor to a cyclops.

My other crit would be it's structure. The layout is ambitious, but I feel it doesn't add anything to the poem. Indeed, when coupled with poor syntax it slows the poem down and makes it feel fragmented - "In these county churches you can count the congregation on two hands."

Furthermore, it might detract from the poem. Sure, it emphasises "the people", "than the dying" etc. etc. But if you do this too much it undermines the overall effect. Use it sparsingly. That said however, I may be missing something completely.

Hope my advice has helped you.
#4
I really like this poem. I love the imagery about the cyclops and the pastor. I definitely think you could take that further. Greek mythology contains so many things to draw on, it's a pity to only use the one.

I also like the structure but seem to disrupt the flow where it says "The six gathered do not watch him any more than the dying hemlocks lining the cemetery fences." I personally think that line would work better if "hemlocks" were to flow on from "than the dying" rather than being separated.

The imagery in this poem is beautifully cultivated then, appears to be abandoned. You begin with the cyclops imagery then abandon that. You then move on to talking about the "disease ridden town" (a line I personally like very much). Then there is the empty pews that the pastor speaks to. Then the "dying hemlocks". All of which are abandoned at the end for snow and pine needles. IT may work better to chose a smaller number of images and refer back to them.

Overall I found it very beautiful and enjoyed it very much. I am strongly athiest yet was still able to feel the sadness evoked by the image of these empty churches.
#5
The fragmentation of this piece really does eat away the flow of the words. My mind has to keep resetting in order to finish reading it. The structure really took away the impact of the entire work. It didn't move me very much even though the image of a half-blind, uncaring, giant of a man preaching to empty seats would be quite stirring under most circumstances to me. As a charismatic, the thought of such a church and many like it invokes questions of why. When did doctrine steal away the real joy of religion from this tall Cyclops... it's a question that this poem doesn't (and probably couldn't answer) and definitely should not ask, but I wish I could have thought about the imagery and the circumstances without having to read through the comments from the few wonderful contributors above.
#6
Well this has been getting alot of attention.

I liked it and i liked what it says. I think it could afford to be simpler though given it's such a simple message. I'm not talking major editing, it's kind of piece that's so delicate that very minor changes would go a long way. I have no specific suggestions on this front but i really wanted to point out the quiet beauty that this poem only narrowly misses out on having. If this wasn't your vision for the piece though that's fine as well.

Also, I think there's a tendancy (from what i've seen) for people on this forum to lean too much on snow and winter imagery. Now i have no problem with winter imagery; it can often be quite beautiful, but it often feels like the easy option. I think it would be good for your writing if you challenged yourself to use more unorthodox ways of setting the tone that snow imagery's often employed for.

I know it's intrinsic to the poem but i almost feel like this would be more effective if the pastor was old and lame rather than the strong pontificating sort you've painted him to be. It would add a forlorn melancholy to the piece and would also eliminate the subtle feeling of the fat bad guy at the end of a disney movie falling off the cliff yelling "noooo!" that i get from this piece.

It's good though, and the structure's in place for something great.