#1

i wish i knew what i was thinking when i left my body. i rose above the apartment building and watched the asphalt hover above the streets. the distance i could see was like a puzzle that, if solved, would deliver you to me. after a few minutes, i became aware of the whole thing and ended up back in the same itchy room. i put my arms around you and asked that you didn’t lead me on. it becomes easy, this dismantling of the heart and gluing the shards back together. something so sincere and trembling like sheet glass balanced on a crucifix. the sound of the world crumbling outside was the only thing keeping me awake. i heard it echo like novenas in the silent ministry of my skeleton. it felt painless. it felt like nothing but the cool hands of order dragging me across the bottom of the ocean.


Last edited by hippieboy444 at Dec 10, 2014,
#3
Probably a personal favorite of mine, as well. The voice in this is confident and the imagery/word choice was very thoughtful. I loved your pairing of the urban and ecclesiastical imagery; it was dark and very beautiful. only suggestion would be to look into editing the line "i promised something apocryphal and heard it echo like novenas in the monolithic structure of my skeleton" as you kind of hit the reader over the head with the religious imagery. i appreciated the lines where you used a more subtle approach (i.e. the image of a spirit leaving the body in the first couple lines).

but overall, this was great, in my opinion.
#4
yeah, i'm thinking about the latter part of that line. currently i have it edited to "heard it echo like novenas in the ministry of my skeleton". i think i prefer ministry, but i still don't like skeleton; but my worry is that something like "soul" would be a bit too abstract.

i also am not sure about "rainy asphalt".
Last edited by hippieboy444 at Nov 10, 2014,
#5
hey.i wish i knew what i was thinking when i left my body. you never return to this question and thus it becomes a weak and underdeveloped line. In a piece where every line counts, once you've read it as a whole, it doesn't matter. Your conclusion deals with emotions and senses more than logic, so 'thinking' doesn't carry through the piece as important. Also as a whole this first line feels immature and juvenile when you compare it to later, more developed (and, basically, stronger lines. It's a strong opener in that it raises interest, but it reads more like a writing-excercise opener than something truly artistic and creative. i rose above the apartment building and watched the rainy ashpalt hover disparate from the street. Past tense kills this, which is a criticism of the piece as a whole. This is a quick, intense moment, so put me in the moment, don't report back on it. Past tense makes me aware of the form, if you put me in the moment, in the present, I'm much more involved in the content. "rainy asphalt hover disparate" is too much for me. "Rainy", again, just not the sort of wording that excites me. These four words really stick like horrid toffee, it gums the jaw up and the trip takes you out of the piece. something like mystic river. I question if this refeence is needed. inevitably Adverb, weak, explored, expand. i ended up back in the same itchy room. i put my arms around you and asked that you didn’t lead me on. The 'you' is introduced too late, the 'you' should really be put up top I think. The pairing is obviously central to this piece, so it needs addressing early on. It's jarring because the "you" isn't mentioned being either next to your body as you left it, or being looked down upon from above - it's not positioned in our understanding of the moment. I'm not saying you need to say "I was lying thirty centimetres to your left", but we do need to be aware of "you" earlier than here, in the opening imagery. i thought i could’ve said it better. it becomes easy, this dismantling of the heart and gluing the shards back together. something so sincere and trembling like sheet glass balanced on a crucifix. the sound of the world crumbling outside was the only thing keeping me awake. i promised something apocryphal I'd easily second-guess this word choice. and heard it echo like novenas in the monolithic structure of my skeleton. And these, they jar with the tone of your vocabulary and don't fit the piece. It means it lacks cohesion, it doesn't feel like one idea, now the idea splinters into tangents of other images. Is this a poignant moment in bed between two people, or are we now in some sort of epic, dramatic saga? You can't be as direct as "I thought I could've said it better" and "you didn't lead me on" to then using the phrase "novenas in the monolithic structure". They belong it different pieces I feel, it just jars and again, takes me out of the moment. it felt painless. it felt like nothing but the cool hands of order dragging me across the bottom of the ocean. Where as this last line works, we've already established imagery like the body, we've got rainy/wetness, dragging across the bottom also reflects the lying down on the bed. Better.
I think it's worth going through and really making sure every word and line counts, far more important in poetry than songwriting. I think you need to ensure the piece works as a whole - for the most part it does, but there are a couple of parts here that are either redundant or don't seem to fit tonally. Ta bud.

#6
Agreed with JD that I'd like to see you come back to that first line, and offer something of a resolution. Or actually, as this seems very much like a snapshot from a much bigger scene, I'd like to see you trail in to it a bit more, though I'm not sure how you'd go about that, just to make it feel like there's more either side. Did you ever do that art exercise as a kid where you're given a small photo and you have to draw in an extended picture around that? Like that but backwards.

I like that line you're talking about as it is, but if you're set on changing it I think you need to combine monolithic, ministry and skeleton to improve it. I'm seeing it as a hulking, burnt out frame of a warehouse (or the ribcage of a whale) and I think you really need to convey the physical size of that idea, maybe by bringing it back to the context of the apartment building and the asphalt.

I enjoyed this one, it is clean and comfortable and good.