#1
Welcome to the fifth instalment of

NEWBIES DO HAVE SOULS!!



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In a private group somewhere among the mysterious UG system, a small number of fearless individuals hand pick three pieces from the last month and post them in one collective thread – this one! These works contain characteristics that demonstrate each writers potential with a great sense of form, technique, imagery, and emotion all well-worthy of commendation – and they are all written by 'newbies' (someone with less than eight threads posted in the last year).

Now, this is not simply another award ceremony to praise writers beyond necessity. This is UG's way of encouraging new writers to continue writing and posting both here and elsewhere. We believe that new writers deserve credit and appreciation, because without it most of us would be lost in a world of self-pity and have little confidence.

We all need people to recognize our work as musicians – our progress sometimes depends on it. Writing lyrics, poetry, prose, stories, is no different. If you don't agree with that then you've forgotten what it was like to be new to writing, new to forums, or new to this form of expression.


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Here are the three pieces selected from the last month that were considered to be worthy of mention above all else. Accompanying them are a number of brief reasons as to why, exactly, they were chosen:


-Our number one piece this week is from brandon369852, a user who is not necessarily a newbie as he's been a regular member of UG for around four years now. Still, we like his piece so much that we feel it would do us all a favour if we gave the writer and his poem a chance. No one who posted in his thread seemed to sympathize with what he was trying to convey – I hope the comments show that we did.

Don't get us wrong, we understand why someone wouldn't appreciate a piece like this. It is bizarre, very personal, and has a slow, un-poetic voice. For that reason alone, though, we love it. It's rare to see someone strip off their shield of fancy talk and just let loose with an individual metaphor and obvious comparison to the reflection the writer sees as he looks in the mirror.

It might not necessarily be a strict examination of how the writer sees himself, it could be talking about the medical system in the writers' country, or it could be referring to our need for perfection in our eyes, demonstrated with third stanza. However, it's most likely about our opinions of ourselves and how we all, even the beautiful, misunderstand our reflections and misuse our natural beauty that we were given by our parents and by whatever before that.

It's a personal poem, no doubt, but it also reflects onto us and how we should remember that everyone has bad thoughts - everyone struggles with images.

Marble Countertops


Marble Countertops by brandon369852

And for the first time in days,
I looked in the mirror but
saw a pig.

And I splashed water on my face and wiped it clean
but still had that pork-face, piggy-snout
and I smashed that mirror
with my fist.

And I took a blade
and sliced off my fingers
to prove that I wasn't a pig.

I have three fingers left
on each hand
and can't hold the knife anymore
and I charged at the mirror
and cut my face on the shattered
pieces from my previous punch.

And there's blood on the ground and
four fingers floating in the pool
and I laid my head down on my forearm.

They rejected me
when I got to the hospital.



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-Our second piece in this instalment is from CityMoltenLight, a very new member to UG and S&L. Aaron was keen on this piece and recommended it above the others.

I suspect the writer is talking about Leicester city in Leicestershire, a county in the midlands of the UK. I was born there and spent most of my early childhood in another area of Leicestershire, so it's nice to see someone talk about my home town and compare it so favourable to the dusty and natural awe of Spain.

It really is just that – a look into the philosophy that our home, whether it be Spain or Hinckley can be as meaningful to us as anywhere else in the world, because no matter where we go or what we run from, a new set of problems will always arise. You'll extinguish one and ignite another. I think that is told here fantastically.

His choice of words are elegant and neutral, reflecting brightly what he is talking about. And what I particularly appreciate is the way in which he doesn't change his dynamics or style when he reverts back to his own home. The writer is obviously proud of where he lives and does not need to compare them and to find fault with either, because both offer something valid and are charming in their own way.

Leicester Streets


Leicester Streets by CityMoltenLight

She translated the Spanish suburbia:
rooftops, balconies and sunbeds
sleeping under an October sun.

She told me of Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas
where bulls are trapped and slaughtered
among the veins and channels of Spain’s heart.

I would tell her of Salisbury’s spire and how
“we can make it to the top any day.
We can last longer than those stones on the Plains.”

A Neolithic burial ground
where around it tourists watch
as the Territorial fight in the distance.

Yet here, only rain filtered
through streetlights on Leicester streets
and Volvos speeding in the torrent can be seen.

Like an encierro, they charge
at the pulsing of red traffic lights
before an estocada is granted to the sound of applause.



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-I thought I'd leave this space open this time for a writer who actually won WotW (or SotW as it was called back then) way back in early 2007. We had completely missed this and put him in the newbie thread a couple of months ago. I just wanted to post that original piece here as I think he's a very good writer.

Breath and Cigarettes


Breath and Cigarettes by Ad*Astra

The most graceful thing I'd ever met,
slender, out of breath and cigarettes.
In the dark, whispering phantoms
from her cold and die cut silhouette,
she says, "I've got a few regrets
I wouldn't trade for the world."
#3
Great call bringing Leicester Streets into this one.

I really hope this whole thing has the effect it's meant to have, because I think it's great. We get new people here all the time and it's really awesome when there's that one who sticks around and we all get to watch them progress and grow, both as a writer and by extension as a person. It's things like this that encourage those people to stick around.

Dan, you do an amazing job writing these things, and congratulations as well to the three that "won".

Today I feel electric grey
I hope tomorrow, neon black
#4
Leicester Streets didn't blow me away for a start, but when I was actually critiquing it and reading it so many times, I started to really like it. I'm glad we went with it, too.

I think it is somewhat helping people. It's fun for us regulars as well. I enjoy writing it and I enjoy reading, so even if it's not hugely productive, at least we have some fun out of it.

Thanks, Aaron. I'm really glad you liked it!
#5
Oh wow, I didn't even realize I had been included in two of these. Thanks for the recognition! I'm not much of a prolific writer, but I want to try posting more regularly. I know I still owe some crits too...

Also, no big deal, thought I should mention I'm a girl.
#7
I can't believe how good Marble Countertops is. holy shiiiiit. I don't think I would have gotten to that one if not for this thread.

keep up the good fight. and once more, amazing poem Brandon.
#8
I've been ripping those rhymes off of Breath and Cigarettes since you first posted that way back then Astra, ha. One of those pieces that apparently stick in your mind for 4 years... Aces.
#12
#2 and #3 really grab me. Both sound beautiful and look gracious, in my mind anyway.

#1 isn't really my cup 'o tea, but different nonetheless.
#13
number two was really easy to visualize for me, and the third is really really nice. short and so sweet.
i need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me, yeah.
#14
I'm unsticking this thread for now until we can get it revamped. I knew it would be difficult to continue it in its current and original format before we even started it, so please don't be concerned, it's just a formality.