#1
DISCLAIMER: while some of the content may seem offensive at first glance, it is not the point of view of the author but that of one of the characters, and is necessary to set the proper tone. If anyone finds this offensive, I will edit accordingly.

c4c



Momma gathered us to the table
poured wine into our cups and called our attention.
We folded our hands as
she began to pray.

"Dear Lord:
Cleanse the earth of all that is unholy.
Remove the lips from unholy whores.
Rip the lungs from inner city filth;
those that haunt the bowels of the world,
that they might not curse you again.
Bring the niggers back to your loving bosom.
Show mercy on all those damned politicians who
rape the minds of the young and preach contrary to
your merciless love..."

"Mother, just stop."

Her eyes flared,
finally resting upon me
and burning into my cheeks.
I maintained eye contact,
took my wine in hand and
poured Jesus to the floor.
#2
Wow thats short but pretty intense there. The point of view of the mother is (unfortunately) very representative of a lot of people. I love how the mother's prayer ends with "Merciless Love". The last line was incredibly poetic, I have to give you a lot of credit there.

The only thing I'd like to maybe see is the reaction of the others at the table after the narrator makes his comment. Not sure how that would fit in, but I think it potentially could.
Last edited by Skaliveson at Jun 24, 2008,
#3
ok, here's my one beef: the use of momma in the beginning immediately made me think the narrator was a child. i can understand that that's the voice of the narrator, but later he says mother, not momma. and yea, he was upset with her, which would explain why he might not use such an affectionate name, but it still bugged me. that's all.




edit: to seventh angel, yea i did get that he was older, but that first line made me jump to incorrect conclusions... and having that in the first line makes the piece really easy to misinterpret. at least for me.
when birds flap their wings do the make believe they're really arms?
Last edited by hope's downfall at Jun 24, 2008,
#4
He was older hope's downfall, he had beard. (just a small note)

Now, this is, I believe, the best I read from you. It was truth, a true prayer and not the religious overpolite ones. The use of the words was careful (as always). The last two lines were an amazing metaphor. I'm near speechless Zach... Amazing !
#5
Wow.
"took my wine in hand and
poured Jesus to the floor" = best line I've ever seen on this forum, in so many ways.
#6
I agree with hope's downfall I felt cheated about the age of the speaker. I thought he was 10 or thereabouts. Not just cause of the use of the word Momma but also how she poured their wine for them before calling attention.
It conjured a Norman Rockwell kind of image.
Then she starts her holier than though rant and I was blown away by the horridness of her contempt for anyone not her. The dark hidden truth behind the Norman Rockwell world. Thoroughly interested now -I've been pulled in.
"Mother, just stop." wow what a brave kid with a real sense of justice and standing up to his obviously very opinionated and most likely controlling mother. I can't wait to see what happens next.
Her eyes burn into my beard - beard? WTF? since when do 10 year olds have beards - Oh man now I have to start again. With a slightly older woman and a man at least in his 20's with a beard.
The second time around wasn't quite as good cause the interruption isn't as powerful from a self sufficient man as it was from a kid. The kid is dependent and powerless and so risks so much more. Still an interesting and excellent piece of writing.
I poured Jesus to the floor.
So symbolic and this image works extremely well with the beard so I can forgive it.
I really liked this piece though the beard was the only thing that threw me the rest is perfect -I think.
Very cool. Loved the ending it made the beard acceptable.
Last edited by 20Tigers at Jun 24, 2008,
#7
I changed momma. I like the idea of him being close to her and calling her momma because it makes the act so much more powerful when it is to someone he loves. But, in order to break off confusion, I will change it.

Thanks for all the words everyone. If you would like comments back on a piece, edit a link into your post.
#8
i like how you brought the meaning of your piece into action by using the speech of his mother
it would sound better if you use the momma thing for the reasons that you mentioned ....get rid of the beard thing...and put the aspect of him being a child......gives it much more meaning

that last line blew me away


and as for your crit on my piece...i understand what your saying.........my stanzas are very well connected but not in conventional ways
i put such much meaning into my work
it justs hard to pick up on
Reaching for the sun
one may forget
the feet which
ground him
#9
um, you used the word "prey" instead of "pray". Unless of course its part of the poem to have a double meaning.

I really like it. It's religous but thought-provoking. At the same time its not laced with lace like many other religous-related stories. I think this is going to stay in my head for quite some time.

also the tension you created when the man says "Mother stop" is so intense, because it conflicts the mother's rage and angryness in prayer. Like somethings about to explode in the next scene.

The last line is amazing

http://ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=891771
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Last edited by Laces Out Danny at Jun 24, 2008,
#10
First let me say that I really enjoyed reading this piece. I thought the content was great and I specially liked the mother's rant. However I still have to nitpick at a few things. I don't think "prey" needs to be in it's own line. Bump that sucker up. Also I would change "damnable" to "damned". I've just never heard anyone say "damnable". Also I don't know really how I feel about the last line. I was kinding of expecting the guy to get drunk on the wine to forget his troubles. It's good as it stands, but it kind of came as surprise. Anyways, great job with this, man.

Crit mine please
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#11
Thought it was excellent. Haunting, thought provoking lyrics that made me immedietly hate the mother and want to cheer for the son. I really connected with them. The only thing I didn't like was "Her eyes flared, finally resting upon me
and burning into my beard." I think you should use something other than beard. It just seems a little random and as if the mother is a little ashamed.

My song
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=893439
#12
This is really great, but even with the change to 'mom' I thought it was a kid until you mentioned them having a beard. Then I started imagining ten year olds with beards and it ever so slightly wreaked the tone.

After that mind change, and after the word 'maintained' the metaphor in the last two lines seemed far too relaxed. It should be relaxed, of course, but it was odd.
There's only one thing we can do to thwart the plot of these albino shape-shifting lizard BITCHES!
#13
this was wicked. i could hear it cackle at me while i read, lol.

i have to say, i didn't anticipate the panning out of this as it did, until the "Mother, stop it." line. the "spit-up on my plate" attitude was definitely more than appropriate for the decadent atmosphere. fairly "picture-perfect" representation of all that the basis of Christianity is against; and almost communist-hypocritical views of society's religious underclass summed up in that one stanza/dialogue. it reflects more-so in the U.S. me thinks, on these traditional folk, who rely on their backyard congregration filled with one-track minds and diluted views.
oh well, disregard my unneccessary rant.
good work Zach. keep it up man.
There's a road that leads to the end of all suffering. You should take it.


- Jericho Caine


secret, aaaaagent maaan.
secret, aaaaagent maaan.
#14
The last two lines are really, really good.

Just one thing I saw :

"We folded our hands as
she began to
prey."


Shouldn't be "pray" ?
#15
Quote by UVER
The last two lines are really, really good.

Just one thing I saw :

"We folded our hands as
she began to
prey."


Shouldn't be "pray" ?


Not if it's a double meaning. "Prey" works, because the mother is "preying" upon the people she's insulting in her prayer. Powerful last line!
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#16
oh, this is such an enlightening little collection of words
religion is a topic that demands attention,
having just finally got 'round to reading 'the god delusion' i'm reading religion into everything (as may be apparent by my sometimes out-of-context crits aroudn these mystic streets as of late) and it's so gorgeous to be finally presented with a piece that concerns the issue directly

everything seems so easy, the syntax is so conversationalist in a story-telling fashion that instantly you just believe the character. i actually believe you (did this happen to you)
if not then
you
are a liar to soem extents (at least stop representing these seemingly stupendous truths, these potentially horrific life altering aeroplanes with such absolutely dynamic writing flair)

you are insane

i absolutely loved the end, i mean, it just sums up so much - this is truly taking a micro, a small situation that is directly relevant to that macro, the paticularistic to the universalistic

in some ways, this piece represents the world

oh, i lvoe you so much za(ch)nas i really do
#17
Quote by ZanasCross
DISCLAIMER: while some of the content may seem offensive at first glance, it is not the point of view of the author but that of one of the characters, and is necessary to set the proper tone. If anyone finds this offensive, I will edit accordingly.
as much as I hate preemptive apologies in threads, this one was well written and possibly necessary, so kudos to you on that. (even if it was a little condescending it was true)

c4c



Mom gathered us to the table
poured wine into our cups and
called our attention.
so, why the line break on the secon line, you leave off the and to end a line just to underline the next section but to do this you are sacrificing the flow. Also, by bringing attention to the line about attention you are underling a portion that I dont think you want the audience to focus upon. This is exposition in this stanza, not grandiose metaphysical statement in this stanza, format accordingly. And even if you are utilizing both foreshadowing and wordplay here, don't point that out to the audience by telling them to focus here, allow them to reach the end and then go "oh, he set all that up flawlessly" Now, since they have a chance to know what to look for they will not get that feeling. Finally, it just reads poorly and like it's contrived. Pretend your telling a story, not telling a, as previously mentioned, melodramatic grandiose metaphysical statement that needs six line breaks to truly sink in.

We folded our hands as
she began to
prey.
Again, line breaks are stupid here, just stupid and forced to the point of me really turning on this piece. read this outloud to yourself! does it read well? And the wordplay is a UGism, some cute homophone (sp?) that tries to make you look smarter than you are because of your ability to not say what you mean. Trust me, I've been using these for years, they are nowhere near as satisfying to a reader as they are for you, unless you have a gullible reader that thinks lying (ie, not saying what is actually happening). Now, apparently a lot of people on this website loved the wordplay so I could be wrong, but I do know that in my view I hated it and thought it was amateurish. Also, why not expand what you're setting is, give me context. This piece is "realistic" purely through the characters, but why not give some context. Underline the feeling in the room by talking about the napkins, chairs, light, tablecloth, whatever, but allow the context to help set up the story. The shortness of these two stanzas work (if the second line line breaks are erased) but I dont see why really. You jump into the story right before the climax. I believe you should start it a little before when you did so, again, you can set a better context, or truly in-medias-res (sp?) with her dialoge and then set up the context after. You don't have to trick your audience with what I'm saying about adding context I just want you to do the damn story justice and right now it is a contrived skeleton that could easily become a multidimensional man.

"Dear Lord:
Cleanse the earth of all that is unholy.
Remove the lips from unholy whores.
Rip the lungs from inner city filth;
those that haunt the bowels of the world,
that they might not curse you again.
Bring the niggers back to your loving bosom.
Show mercy on all those damnable politicians who
rape the minds of the young and preach contrary to
your merciless love..."
I don't really know where to begin with this. The contrast with the previous sections works I guess, underlines this as the important part of the piece. However, this is not written well (personal opinion of course). You repeat unholy twice in the first two lines, you vary syntax to an annoying degree, making it read poorly, and the points themselves seem disconnected because of how you use imagery (Rip and mercy are too different, though this is probably what you were going for, it's just too much). But at the same time it's too, clean I guess, too rehearsed and too general. Not one of these lines points to something specific that I can latch myself to in terms of the characters at the table with their hands clasped, I have nothing to relate to except for grandiose (yet again) blanket statements that sure, demonstrate the charater, but don't allow her to really bother the reader or make the reader uncomfortable which should be your goal with her. it's easy to make a character get mad at another but its much harder, and much better, to get a reader mad at the same character. Eh, just could be better. Though the line breaks were much more natural here, so kudos on that.

"Mother, just stop."

Her eyes flared,
finally resting upon me
and burning into my beard.
I maintained eye contact,
took my wine in hand and
poured Jesus to the floor.
Again, where to start here. wouldnt it have been smart to reveal the narrator sooner? the mystery just didnt do it for me, plus the reveal takes away from the real point of the story. now, I'm just going to put it out there, but the end of this story made me yawn, really and truly yawn. I knew it was coming, I didnt want it come, and then it did. The ending was so, ordinary and telegraphed. The other two mysteries in this stanza are where her eyes were before they "finally rested on you" thats something that could be cool to add before her speech, where her eyes were. The other one is how did the narrator say "Mother, just stop." At the end of the piece, I dont want to be thinking about how the narrator is saying something I want a strong cool finish that illicits emotion, and that emotion should not be confusion of how the narrator is saying something (there is a good time to tell and not show actually). You poured Jesus to the floor? It's a tired metaphor used countless times to discuss the giving up of ones christian faith, hell, I've even used it at least once (for a different reason but still). I was expecting a twist but just got the usual "I'm rebelling against what is being forced upon me" thing.


Zackkk, overall, this piece did nothing for me, no catharsis, no nothing. In the beginning I knew it was about you giving up religion, and in the end nothing had changed. The title metaphor is the best part of the piece (though it could have been better exemplified in the piece). I just got the feeling you never have experienced anything like this before (whether you have or not is regardless) and you were just telling me another story that I've heard and even written before in a way that I've seen quite a bit. It needs more of you in it, man. It needs more Zackkk. I dont mean more pieces of you in it, but more specifics that could only come from things you've seen, experienced, or lived through. Anyone could write this piece (though they didnt, you did, which is a testament to you) but with a couple tweaks of what really goes on in Zackkk's life (in terms of what you see and hear every day) this could reach a level where I could empathize. If the audience doesnt feel you in the piece (any part of you, like I didnt here) then they won't buy it and they won't get a satifying ending out of it. Didnt mean to be harsh, I just havent critiqued your stuff in a while and wanted to share my thoughts.

Hope you're keeping well, Zackaryous.

I'll have a new one up sometime in the next day if you want to check it out. Hopefully this helps, if only a little. And if it doesnt, well, it was fun to critique and it was definitely helpful to me.
#18
^ i guess that illustrates the subjective nature of poetry. i actually felt a shiver down my spine when i read the final lines.
#20
Thanks All. I should be getting back to them soon.

Dylan- Your crit was helpful, but I sometimes get the feeling you just refuse to like pieces on here unless they are from matt or randy. Not just mine, but everyone's. I mean, just from my pieces... when I put in a lot of details, you say there is too much detail, that I didn't let the story go... when I let the story go, you say it needs more detail. When I add emotions to characters, you say I shouldn't... when I don't you say I should. However, you still give very solid critiques so I'm always appreciative. I'll get back to you.

Kyrl - Why am I going to the hospital?
#23
Quote by ZanasCross
And not a good hospital, one in rural Somalia or something.



OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHH ouch, oooh, aaahh.

I'll get to your next. I owe you. Probably quite a few.

I really hated prey. ALOT.
#25
Quote by skagitup
^ i guess that illustrates the subjective nature of poetry.
i actually felt a shiver down my spine when i read the final lines.

... and the value of candor in crits and filtering by the recipient.

I don't disagree with anything that has been said thus far.
by Dylan, or anyone else.
These raise questions that should be asked in the writer evaluating his own piece.
Different perceptions, different approaches.
All valuable. If not for this piece, in other application.


personally, i rather liked the repetition of unholy,
as well as the (mis)use of mercy and merciless.
they paint mother as unthinking. reckless in the way she cares.
if there is a way to slip one more unholy in her tirade,
i think it worthy of consideration.


i like the visual balance of threes in the first two sections.
the line breaks didn't feel all that disruptive to me.

prey -vs- pray? tough call.
clever. cute. maybe too much so.

would have rather read glared instead of flared.
nostrils flare. eyes glare.
but that might just be a personal idiosyncrasy.

i'd probably shift the order a bit in the last 3 lines.
beginning with Maintaining ...
and moving I to begin the next line.

what i enjoyed most about this (and there was a lot) is one doesn't know if the rejection was of religion in general or of Mother's take on it. when Jesus was poured to the floor, the symbolism would have been an affront to Mother, but not necessarily an act of rebellion to religion itself. ambiguities like this are lovely. they allow the reader to draw their own conclusion.
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#26
I thought I commented on this already. xD

Quote by ZanasCross
DISCLAIMER: while some of the content may seem offensive at first glance, it is not the point of view of the author but that of one of the characters, and is necessary to set the proper tone. If anyone finds this offensive, I will edit accordingly.

c4c



Momma gathered us to the table
poured wine into our cups and called our attention.
We folded our hands as
she began to pray.

We waste no time, now do we? I like "Momma" better than "Mom," I'm glad you changed it back. It gives me the impression of someone who demands innocence from you.

"Dear Lord:
Cleanse the earth of all that is unholy.
Remove the lips from unholy whores.
Rip the lungs from inner city filth;
those that haunt the bowels of the world,
that they might not curse you again.
Bring the niggers back to your loving bosom.
Show mercy on all those damned politicians who
rape the minds of the young and preach contrary to
your merciless love..."

This was alright. Personally, I was looking for something that hit closer to home with the narrator, that would prompt him to interrupt her. I think if he were that offended by what she was saying, he would've stopped her when she was name-calling like in line 3 or line 7.. It just seemed weird to stop her where he did. I was waiting for some kind of attack on the narrator himself.

I think you do need to add some story to this.. Build up the narrator, and then show something in particular he'd take offense to; something that would make him interrupt his mother.


"Mother, just stop."

Her eyes flared,
finally resting upon me
and burning into my cheeks.
I maintained eye contact,
took my wine in hand and
poured Jesus to the floor.

I really liked this. I think it would've had more impact if the previous stanza were stronger.


This has potential.. But I do think it needs more story. ^^
#27
The ending is beautiful.

However, I think that you need to build on what you were saying more in the middle section. Because whilst the intention is clear, it all seems to be very impersonal issues, whereas this piece is very much personalising a large idea.
I play by my own rules. And I have one rule; There are no rules... but if there are, they're there to be broken. Even this one.


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#28
you know, on second thought/read through (when Im not looking for things that I didnt like) it was a relatively solid piece and an interesting read. Definitely your best yet and I really do look forward to reading more. I think I was just overtly nitpicky in the crit because the reception eveyone gave the piece was unanimously positive and I disagreed in that respect.

Not saying that anything I said in the crit doesnt stand, as it does, and I still believe it. It's just the crit didnt really say anything good so here I'll just say "good work" as it was a good read.

And to answer your question about Matt and Randy. I overtly like their pieces and praise them because I truly think they are on a different playing field, ie, they know things about this craft that I really don't and I don't want to call them out on something because there is a stronger likelyhood that I'll be wrong . With everyone who I actually take the time to crit I'm treating you on the same playing field as myself and as such I crit you as if I was critiquing myself (if I really wanted to revise a piece)

Anyway,
#29
Thanks Everyone.

And Dylan, I wasn't trying to discredit you. I understand all your points and all are very well received. To be honest, if you just did the negative thing to me, I'd just say you didn't like my style... but its that way to all. And it is discouraging. But again, thanks for taking the time to read it and comment.
#30
Quote by ZanasCross
DISCLAIMER: while some of the content may seem offensive at first glance, it is not the point of view of the author but that of one of the characters, and is necessary to set the proper tone. If anyone finds this offensive, I will edit accordingly.

c4c



Momma gathered us to the table
poured wine into our cups and called our attention.
We folded our hands as
she began to pray.


Although I feel this part is a bit bland I like it. And I also think it is completely necessary in order for the rest to make any sense.


"Dear Lord:
Cleanse the earth of all that is unholy.
Remove the lips from unholy whores.
Rip the lungs from inner city filth;
those that haunt the bowels of the world,
that they might not curse you again.
Bring the niggers back to your loving bosom.
Show mercy on all those damned politicians who
rape the minds of the young and preach contrary to
your merciless love..."


I see where it can be offensive, and I see where it can be necessary. Personally I love this part and feel that it is all relevant to the world we live in. It may not actually be happening, more so the opposite is happening but it's still relevant. Those are all very big issues today.


"Mother, just stop."


Simply put, I loved that part.

Her eyes flared,
finally resting upon me
and burning into my cheeks.
I maintained eye contact,
took my wine in hand and
poured Jesus to the floor.


Excellent word choice, especially: flared and burning. The last line was my favorite. However the wine is only part of Jesus. It is the blood, and the bread is the body so it doesn't completely work. That's only a very minor complaint though.



I really liked it. I will be posting one of mine in a few minutes, and will edit this post with a link, and would be very thankful if you could crit it back. Thanks

Edit: Here's a link. https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=896754
Last edited by drag_the_waters at Jun 29, 2008,
#31
Quote by ZanasCross
DISCLAIMER: while some of the content may seem offensive at first glance, it is not the point of view of the author but that of one of the characters, and is necessary to set the proper tone. If anyone finds this offensive, I will edit accordingly.

c4c



Momma gathered us to the table
poured wine into our cups and called our attention.
We folded our hands as
she began to pray.

How does this read if you show it like this, "We folded our hands as she began to pray." Instead of the break that you utilize?

"Dear Lord:
Cleanse the earth of all that is unholy.
Remove the lips from unholy whores.
Rip the lungs from inner city filth;
those that haunt the bowels of the world,
that they might not curse you again.
Bring the niggers back to your loving bosom.
Show mercy on all those damned politicians who
rape the minds of the young and preach contrary to
your merciless love..."

Just one thing to say. On the third line you say "inner city filth", I think it might be better if you remained in the same zone or context of her speech as before and following. "Inner city filth" sounds quite, 'up to date', while other phrases are 'steeping in old timely ways' (as that film says). Its a good line nonetheless but I just noticed it instantly, which is not a good sign.

"Mother, just stop."

Her eyes flared,
finally resting upon me
and burning into my cheeks.
I maintained eye contact,
took my wine in hand and
poured Jesus to the floor.

Just one thing to say here as well. Maybe you could leave out the line "and burning into my cheeks." This way it would have a more tense bearing due to the quick sentences. Its not a major problem at all, but its maybe something to think about?



Cool.

Digitally Clean