#1
Another one with a lot of meaning behind it. I find I can better express me in this style. Sorry to those of you that hate this style, but its me. c4c. Oh and I know some of it is weird and random... but its based on a dream.


Sunday morning suit and tie, I'm situated in the back row of the cathedral. Fire and brimstone is raining from the pulpit, which makes me glad I'm hung over and still wearing my shades, its hard for him to make me feel bad if I can't focus. The pastor has taken to calling my row "cynic corner" and he's calling us out in front of the congregation again. "Some heathens are here even today, after a night of sexual intercourse with whores and binge drinking." I've always loved listening to Christians condemn things they don't understand. Makes them sound even more pretentious than they already are; which is quite a feat. I'm already antsy, and boy jesus is just getting into the sermon, but this time it’s not my ADD causing my legs to bounce uncontrollably. It's a prophecy, well a dream I had that seemed like a prophecy. About three AM, I jumped up this morning after a bit of a chat with God. He looked at me, "Zach, you are going to die today. I just thought you should be prepared, you are going to have to make a big decision before you go down though, just don't be a baby."

God was kind of a prick in my dream.

So here I am. Here am I. On the day of my apparent death, and still I'm sitting in church listening to myself be condemned to hell. Silence drew me out of my thoughts. Pastor had stopped talking, a mini-miracle; the type of thing that restores my faith in the Almighty. The whole of the congregation was staring toward the back center of the room. Straining my neck to see around the Smith's and their three children and taking off my glasses, I found what everyone was staring at. I could see why they were staring. Five foot nothing and one-hundred pounds stood at the back entrance, ski-mask on face and gun in hand, all topped off with a pikachu t-shirt.

"Take Cover!" The first intelligent words the pastor has ever spoken through the microphone. Also the first time anyone truly listened to him. Everyone hit the floor like a slut on New Years, except me.

"Hey." He pivoted toward my voice. "Why are you here?"
"My god told me I am to kill a Christian at this Church. I asked him which one and he said to kill until I found the right one."
"And my god told me I was supposed to die today. Let these people be." He nodded and we stepped out of the sanctuary. For the first time, I began to earnestly pray. "I don't want to die... I'm not ready, God."

I heard God chuckle, "I get that one all the time. Hey, be happy, I took some extra time in arranging your death, I even made it so I can say, "Pikachu, I choose you!" before you go down." I snickered; at least God has a sense of humor, albeit a demented one. My masked friend walked up to me and whispered, "You passed the test, now don't be a baby." A sigh escaped through my clinched teeth, and tense muscles relaxed.

As I was calming down, he turned and started to walk away. Five paces, then he stopped. I watched as he rose to the balls of his feet in slow-motion, and pivoted in place.

My heart stopped and things started to go cold. A red-stain was forming on the inner thigh of my church pants. "That's for not paying attention during sermon."
Last edited by ZanasCross at Apr 25, 2008,
#2
What makes this piece great is it feels like a piece in greek mythology or even the bible. Like there is a lesson behind it. I'm going to come back tomorrow(gotta get some rest), and I'll critique more in the morning. Thanks for the comments on my..... 'thing'?
Quote by ottoavist

i suppose there's a chance
i'm just a litte too shallow to consider
that maybe i've been a little more eager
each day to wake up and take a shower
brush my teeth and smile for the mirror
#3
hi zachy-poo. i've missed reading your stuff.

i really super loved this. really. your poetry is great, but i think this style suits you best. well, maybe. i don't know if its the style or the fact that you're trying to bring more of yourself into your writing, but this is much more personal and relevant that most i've read from you. it's a good thing.

I've always loved listening to Christians condemn things they don't understand... makes them sound even more pretentious than they already are; which is quite a feat.

the punctuation in this sentence feels a bit awkward. it kinda messes up the read. i would maybe change the ellipsis to a full stop, and the simi-colon to a colon. just a suggestion.

He came to me, and looked at me

i'm not sure you really need both of those in there. each one is implied by the other. i'd say lose one. which one, and whether or not you even do it, is up to you.

"And my god told me I was supposed to die today, let these people be."

i think the comma here should be a period. it adds more significance to your sacrifice.

so that's all i got for now. i may come back after re-reading it and edit in something else, but i may not. we'll see.

love!
when birds flap their wings do the make believe they're really arms?
#5
Nice; really! Needs a read over and an edit though, things such as 'pastor had stop talking'.
There's only one thing we can do to thwart the plot of these albino shape-shifting lizard BITCHES!
#6
Zach, the thing I like about your prose is that it's so down to earth. They're not too complicated, but just the right amount of intrusiveness to complicate the way you feel about something - most of the time. I could say "border-line pretentious" maybe? - in a good way. Nonetheless you pull it off. You pulled this one off, quite well in my opinion.

I never just "expect" something from you. You always have something new to write; almost reminds me of something Chuck Palaniouk(please don't crucify me if that's misspelled) would write, if he took this sort of thing up.

To be honest, I don't really feel it neccessary to tell you what grammical errors you made, if any; I'm sure that if you're capable of writing a piece like this, then you're more than capable of doing some spellcheck or punctual corrections - not meant with offense, more or less a compliment.

Anyway, I did enjoy this quite a bit; and I very much appreciate your comments on my art. I will take into consideration what you said about me maybe posting a more "prosey" piece - be on the lookout, I'm brainstorming.
#7
So I'm back...

The first paragraph had a lot of good imagery. You don't use a whole lot of words to describe the character but just the fact that 1. he's wearing shades 2. he's in a suit 3. he's hungover and 4. he's in a church gives the reader enough to form a picture.

I enjoyed the single line after the first paragraph. Isolating it made it pop out and seem a lot more powerful. Also, I think it is sort of showing the narrators disrespect which, sort of builds up the final paragraph/line.

The mini- miracle part was perfect. Being catholic and having attended church in the past I totally understand that.

"Everyone hit the floor like a w hore on new years, except me"- I didn't like this line. You had used w hore in the first paragraph, and it feels almost ugly to echo it.

There is some comedy around the whole Pikachu thing, which lightens the piece up, but feels out of place. Hmm....maybe it's out of place for a reason. Just like the main character is out of place?

Ending felt nice and secure. Wrapped everything up well in a neat package. Good job Zach.
Quote by ottoavist

i suppose there's a chance
i'm just a litte too shallow to consider
that maybe i've been a little more eager
each day to wake up and take a shower
brush my teeth and smile for the mirror
#8
is this ever going to be a song or is it staying a poem? depending on the direction you take a lot would need to change. The "pikachu, i choose you" bit seemed kinda forced when i read it and i think that the church deserves description, since the rest of the story is so illustrated it would bring more imagery to the mind to know exactly what kind of cathedral you're in( huge marble and stone, classical wooden structure, an oddly suffocating room with air dense from all the attentions of the congregation floating lazily through). but this is how i would write so if you find i useful, awesome. if not, you still have a kickass story.


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#10
Well, to not sound redundant, look at freshtunes' post, and that's the basic gist I got from it. Although I will emphasize that I really enjoyed his apathetic stance to everything happening around him. It was like reading an excerpt of a Chuck Palahniuk book. It was really great, I enjoy your voice.

I'd also like to know how you came up with that curious title.

Wow, funny thing about the Chuck Palahniuk comment: I didn't read ottoavist's post (until now).

The link to my piece is in my sig. It'd be nice to get some more crits.
Last edited by my name is Pete at Apr 25, 2008,
#11
Sunday morning suit and tie, I'm situated in the back row of the cathedral. Fire and brimstone is raining from the pulpit, which makes me glad I'm hung over and still wearing my shades, its hard for him to make me feel bad if I can't focus. The pastor has taken to calling my row "cynic corner" and he's calling us out in front of the congregation again. "Some heathens are here even today, after a night of sexual intercourse with *****s and binge drinking." I've always loved listening to Christians condemn things they don't understand. Makes them sound even more pretentious than they already are; which is quite a feat. I'm already antsy, and boy jesus is just getting into the sermon, but this time it’s not my ADD causing my legs to bounce uncontrollably. It's a prophecy, well a dream I had that seemed like a prophecy. About three AM, I jumped up this morning after a bit of a chat with God. He looked at me, "Zach, you are going to die today. I just thought you should be prepared, you are going to have to make a big decision before you go down though, just don't be a baby."

Qualms I had with this the first time through was your use of 'shades', it seemed out of place, although on re-reads my issue with it melted a bit. Also, the bluntness of the pastor. I've only been to Church a few times, so I can't say for sure, but I'm almost certain that a pastor wouldn't so openly cast aspersions on people. I know this is based off a dream, but still, it just didn't sit right for me. Rest of it is pretty good though.

God was kind of a prick in my dream.

So here I am. Here am I. On the day of my apparent death, and still I'm sitting in church listening to myself be condemned to hell. Silence drew me out of my thoughts. Pastor had stopped talking, a mini-miracle; the type of thing that restores my faith in the Almighty. The whole of the congregation was staring toward the back center of the room. Straining my neck to see around the Smith's and their three children and taking off my glasses, I found what everyone was staring at. I could see why they were staring. Five foot nothing and one-hundred pounds stood at the back entrance, ski-mask on face and gun in hand, all topped off with a pikachu t-shirt.

Don't really see the point of the re-wording in the first line. The part in bold was the most awkward line I've read in a while. The two lines after that were weird too. It'd be better if you tied them two sentences together - about the where and why they were staring.

"Take Cover!" The first intelligent words the pastor has ever spoken through the microphone. Also the first time anyone truly listened to him. Everyone hit the floor like a ***** on New Years, except me.

Take cover? I doubt a pastor of all people would say that. That's more like something a cop or bruce willis would say. The reuse of '*****' lessened the impact for me. 'slut' or something similar would work better.

"Hey." He pivoted toward my voice. "Why are you here?"
"My god told me I am to kill a Christian at this Church. I asked him which one and he said to kill until I found the right one."
"And my god told me I was supposed to die today. Let these people be." He nodded and we stepped out of the sanctuary. For the first time, I began to earnestly pray. "I don't want to die... I'm not ready, God."

I heard God chuckle, "I get that one all the time. Hey, be happy, I took some extra time in arranging your death, I even made it so I can say, "Pikachu, I choose you!" before you go down." I snickered; at least God has a sense of humor, albeit a demented one. My masked friend walked up to me and whispered, "You passed the test, now don't be a baby." A sigh escaped through my clinched teeth, and tense muscles relaxed.

I don't like this. The voice of the different characters is so... strange. I also didn't like the use of 'demented'. This piece is just confusing for me now to be honest.

As I was calming down, he turned and started to walk away. Five paces, then he stopped. I watched as he rose to the balls of his feet in slow-motion, and pivoted in place.

My heart stopped and things started to go cold. A red-stain was forming on the inner thigh of my church pants. "That's for not paying attention during sermon."

The ending didn't really hit me at all. I don't get it. I realise this was a dream but I fail to see much coherency in the overall theme of the piece here. I have no idea what the moral of the story is, nor much else really.

sorry for a lackluster crit, i thought i might've had more to offer. apparently not.

if you feel like returning, could you hit the link in my sig? I just want at least one crit on it and then i'm done. thanks.
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#12
Nate, this was loosely based on a dream. I can promise you that there is much more going on to this and there truly is an underlying theme. However, I may not have made it blatant enough to pick up on, I'm not sure. And the pastor is a real person, he's based on a pastor I met... and he really did do that during sermons. I'll get to your tonight, probably.

I did take a few suggestions and edit. Also, Nate, if you want me to explain the reasoning and line of thought in it, PM me. Not that it gives my piece any more merit on its own (since I have to explain it) but it might give you a bit more of an appreciation for it.
Last edited by ZanasCross at Apr 25, 2008,
#13
Thank you for the crit. I appreciate it. Anyways, I really enjoyed reading this piece. The only thing I didn't like was the ending. I don't know, it just seemed too anti-climatic to me. However, i thought the piece did have great humor and I really liked the "I choose you Pikachu" line. That was class.
#16
Quote by ZanasCross
Thanks, tmv.

And why do you say that Dylan?


He means that he thinks it sucks, and you will feel the same in a few years and will be able to laugh at it.

I think he's told me those same words like, a hundred times.
#18
Quote by ZanasCross
lol, I kinda figured just wanted to clarify. I'm pretty sure he thinks everything I write sucks (not that he's completely wrong)


He's the master of not finding anything positive. I mean, poetry>tits?

Ssh. Don't tell him I said that.
#19
no, I didnt mean anything about the quality of the writing here, that was fine, if a bit forced in places (like the dialogue). I meant the ideas presented. You will dig this piece out in a couple of years and laugh at the ideas presented here, in a good, "oh how young I was" way.

On the contrary of what Jamie thought I meant ( ) I thought that this was a solid prose piece that, if read somewhere outside of on UG I probably would have found good. Thats not to say there arnt a million things wrong with it, because there always are, but it has a nice raw emotion [in parts] that I enjoyed. You're still hiding behind metaphors and symbols though, and thats going to hinder you. And yea, alot of it is completely contrived. But, overall it was pretty solid.

(to everyone but Jamie )