"I could have killed you"
says a festering image of laying you to rest,
Carhartt overalls wet
with piss and velvet stains.

Climactic warmth beneath a woolen sweater
irritates my skin
so I begin shedding layers.
Saunter in oh freezing rain, I don't really care for
body odor, dry spells, or bailing hay.

It is damp here in the fields,
cold but not yet cold enough to snow.
Some barns aching hinges sigh and moan,
tested by the winds northern gale.
I think back to the spring
when we trimmed the evergreens,
what monotonous work that was,
machete blades coated in some sticky fluid
branches bleed when they've been cut.

Make my way to the rental barn,
tin roof calling for another polyphonic dream.
In the rafters, on the beams
Last edited by muel333 at Jan 11, 2012,
reading this piece is from an experience working on a farm. ive never experience working on a farm but the piece has that smell to it. piss from livestock. foul smell of manure or whatever. the whole piece does have that foul smell from the narrator to the farm life. unsure what time frame this is taking place. dont seem confident if its winter or fall when its starting to get colder. i would add some heaviness to it. darkness, damp, cold, heavy sounds from the animals in the barn. add some suspense to it. hanging laterns, wind making a ghoul sound pentrating through the cracks in the barn.

this piece has potential which i like. get rid of the last stanza because its wordy an doesnt connect with the rest of the piece.
I like the last stanza personally, my problem is with the first, which hits on something that isn't followed upon, resolved or even hinted at with the rest of the poem. The description is fine, and it's a good read, but I fail to see where you are going with this. It's like one thought then a bunch of description that doesn't amount to anything. I'll give a third read, but the font rather hurts my eyes.
"Pain or damage don't end the world nor despair, nor fuckin' beatings. The world ends when you're dead, until then you have more punishment in store. Stand it like a man, and give some back."
Thank you both for reading and commenting. I suppose I should connect the first stanza so that it would fit better with the rest of the piece. Since this is about my own experience I obviously know what its about and it makes sense to me but might not to others. Working on a farm all summer and fall doing laborious work gave me a lot of time to think about my life and mentally mature. I realized I could have easily injured or killed the people I was working with either by accident or on purpose. That thought really frightened me. I mean REALLY scared me that that would even cross my mind. It made me realize that I probably have less than 100 years on this planet and after that I'm done forever. It kind of turned me into a kinder person I think or at least more concerned with how my actions affect others. That day in the fields has haunted me for a long time. I probably won't change anything for a while but I'll keep your suggestions in mind. I rather like the font too, maybe a larger size?
I actually like the last stanza, save for the word "polyphonic." That doesn't connect. That is wordy.

There are some really lovely moments in this: "I don't really care for..." was a great line, it just read so well.

However, I think it needs some cleanup work: Lines like "Climactic warmth..." are toeing the line of overdoing the words. It doesn't read well. Cut out the "Climactic" and the line comes back down to Earth and matches the rough but educated voice of the rest of the piece. That voice is part of it's charm, so when you break it to throw in a "thesaurus word" that seems like you just wanted it to sound more wordy (whether you did or not is irrelevant to me, what matters is that it read that way) it really breaks my read down and grinds it to a stand still while I wonder why you did that. Other words that do that are: polyphonic (as mentioned) and festering. Those three buzz words really strangled the read and stopped it from finding a solid voice.

Another problem I ran into was here:

machete blades coated in some sticky fluid
branches bleed when they've been cut.

The line break makes the first line seem like a complete thought, and then you jolt me back into the line by continuing the idea. Also, "when they've been cut" is extra information that we don't need. You have a machete... you're talking about trimming trees; so you don't need that and that will help the flow of your stanza. You could do something like:

machete blades coated in
some sticky fluid that branches bleed.

Overall though, this is a really nice piece with a lot of potential. Cleaning it up and bringing it down into a solid voice that doesn't bounce between English professor (thesaurus words) and farmboy and back again will give it much more credibility as a read.

Congrats on WotW!

Would appreciate thoughts on "mephisto" in my sig if you get a chance.

Wow I seriously can't believe this. I've come to S&L on and off for a couple years now but never thought I'd get WotW. Thanks and I'll take a look at your piece later tonight.
Quote by muel333
Wow I seriously can't believe this. I've come to S&L on and off for a couple years now but never thought I'd get WotW. Thanks and I'll take a look at your piece later tonight.

You earned it; grats.

"Success is as dangerous as failure. Hope is as hollow as fear." - from Tao Te Ching