benjmc
Insignificant Writer
Join date: Dec 2001
150 IQ
#1
And every ex becomes my father,
Every conversation halting and far apart.
As my birthday unfolds in January snow,
I continually have to replace,
However much they stole
In time...

Every future fling seems to evaporate,
As inhalation stalls conversations about
The few activities and chores
I’m partaking in; not baking yet!
But I’m not taking it for granted,
This time.

Double-take kisses, snatched after hesitation,
With twinkling eyes like Julia’s diamonds,
Leaving the lingering doubts to unsettle,
Dismantle or displace the personality
Of the vessel they haven’t escaped
Yet.

And those missed chances to exchange words -
Will they haunt the shadows
Of the nights without sleep? -
Almost glimpsed in the torn edges of diary entries,
Marking the month of the breakdown
This time.

Every ex becomes my father.
Like a larynx filled with dust;
The needle that’s never dropped;
The key that turns to rust, the master-;
Stroke that never happened, the heart that n-
Ever stopped.

A foe who’s forgotten his grievance &
A distant friend in a faraway land.
The past is a foreign country and
My memories are the rocks in the streams
That cause the bend in the river
Every time.

Edited


Leave well alone
Last edited by benjmc at Jan 13, 2014,
doubtfulsalmon
______________
Join date: Jan 2011
10 IQ
#3
And every ex becomes my father,
Every conversation halting and far apart
Something broken unfolds in January snow,
And I continually have to replace
However much they stole
This time

Great starting concept and development. The last line seems a bit jarring as well, like it's been forced to fit there with the repeating pattern - did you mean it to fit both at the end of that stanza and the start of next?

Every future fling seems to evaporate
As inhalation stalls conversations about
The few activities and chores
I’m partaking in; not baking yet
But I’m not taking it for granted
This time

"not baking yet" is a nice personal touch here. I like the introduction of internal rhyme also

Double-take kisses, snatched after hesitation
With twinkling eyes like thieves’ diamonds
Leaving the lingering doubts to unsettle
Dismantle or displace the personality
Of the vessel from which they can’t escape
This time

"thieves diamonds" seems a little cliche, or rather too impersonal for the tone of this. I also think you could do with a little more going on in the second last line of this stanza.

And those missed chances to exchange words
Will they haunt the shadows
Of the nights without sleep
Almost glimpsed in the torn edges of diary entries
Marking the month of the breakdown
This time

Every ex becomes my father
Like a larynx filled with dust
The needle that’s never dropped
The key that turns to rust, the master-
Stroke that never happened, the heart that n-
Ever stopped

I'm not that big on the masterstroke image, but that might just be me.

A foe who’s forgotten his grievance
A distant friend in a faraway land
The past is a foreign country and
My memories are the rocks in the streams
That cause the bend in the river
Every time

The last three lines are killer, the time thing really works here.


Overall my main suggestion is to tidy up the punctuation in this, it's more of a matter of consistency than anything else: you can either go heavy on the punctuation and have everything sit exactly how you'd like it to, or be more minimalist and leave it open to interpretation. I also think that instead of trying to end the majority of the stanzas with a "time" sentiment it would be more effective to maybe do it once before the final stanza as it feels a bit forced and gimmicky.

This is already an emotional heavy hitter, that I thoroughly enjoyed, but with revision this could turn into something really special.
benjmc
Insignificant Writer
Join date: Dec 2001
150 IQ
#4
Hey, thanks for your critique. I agree with it all more or less. The thing about the punctuation - it's only after I posted it I thought, 'the punctuation in this needs sorted out', and then didn't bother to do it because I wasn't sure what way I wanted it done. I'll probably go for full on punctuation however - make the message a bit clearer. As for the 'time' comment - agreed. It does look a tad forced, so that'll allow more freedom for the end lines. 'Thieves' diamonds' I actually thought looked a lot better than what I had there before (can't remember what it was, but it was equally bad/worse - don't read so much anymore, so less aware of myself being clichéd). Looking at it now I'm thinking it'll work a lot better if I just substitute 'thieves' ' for a name, e.g. 'Julia's'. Would provide more context & be more personal.

As for the 'masterstroke' image, it was actually meant to draw solely negative connotations disguised as hopeful - in a verse that was meant to be full of ambiguity and double meanings. 'Master' referring to the key - i.e. 'the master key that turns to rust' (it's all fucked and there's no back-up), and then 'stroke that never happened' was meant to refer to something truly awful never occurring (despite however much it may have been desired). The previous line 'the needle that's never dropped' was in the same vein (excuse the pun), meaning both "the music that's never played/potential that's never fulfilled" and "the drugs that are relentlessly intravenously injected/constant drug taking", and thus consequently "the heart that n-/Ever stopped" means both "the heart that never stopped" (unfortunately/surprisingly) and "the heart that's always stopping/the heart that stopped n-times" (strings of break-ups).

Thanks though. Definitely useful comments. I shall take them on board and try to change it a bit. All I was really aware of was that the title was strong, ha, and that various bits and pieces of it were a lot better than others. (I should point out that despite being extremely personal, it's not all literally true as I've described it).

P.S. The first stanza - no, the 'this time' was only meant to apply to that stanza; if I don't change it significantly then either 'in time' or 'with time' will work better (for me at least), once I decide on which meaning holds more significance.


Leave well alone
Last edited by benjmc at Dec 30, 2013,