#1
true story, but not about me. c4c


Fingernail scrapes on the old oak tree's flesh
are all that really remains from my childhood.
I hadn't even realized it,
until I came home to visit mama.

I wandered down stairs after a
Tuesday night's sleep;
feet skidding across months of dust that
covered hardwood stairs (they're from the
Civil War; Mama loves to tell how they
hide a secret compartment where grandpa stuffed
his niggers when the north came for a visit).
Moseyed around the couch (still sporting the cover
from when mama starred in the seventies porno
so she wouldn't lose the house)
and finally found myself at the table.
Mama brought over a bowl of oats and honey.
"Eat up, boy... gotta be strong and thick."
They aren't very filling.
"What are your plans for today, boy?"
Silence.
"Better climb that old oak tree,
it hasn't been clumbed in years."

I scraped my hands across the fingernail marks
from the last time I had climbed it.
Last time, I had scaled it in record time.
I'd climbed with frenzy and zeal up to the
sixth branch.
Only to find that divorce can really run
a toll on a woman's emotions,
and two hours of CPR can really take a toll
on one's health.
#2
"Better climb that old oak tree,
it hasn't been clumbed in years."


this was my favorite line of the whole thing. upon closer inspection saw that there's a 'clumbed' in there, and it made me feel like i wasn't sure whether i liked this word choice or not, but these two lines stood up through my ambivalence anyway. its such a cool writ for a mother to say to a son, it's def my style. like, in the history of humanity, such a thing has never been said from mother to son. 'you had better climb that tree'. its so anti- the usual human social psyche, and whenever i come across writing that is, its usually something i really really like.

(still sporting the cover
from when mama starred in the seventies porno
so she wouldn't lose the house)


this was my second favorite part, although i liked the other one about four times better. it's pretty cool, and it also lends to the ethereal-ness of this poem, kind of like when you're dreaming and about to wake up in a minute, and you can't focus on anything, everything is getting increasingly hazy, and you're squinting and stiving to see clearly, only to wake up a minute later and counting. that's what i would say i took away from this poem. it never quite brought me back to reality throughout it all, except for the word 'divorce'. its like, yeah that's probably why mama needed to be in the 70s blue film, to save the house, because the man was gone, but it would stay floaty and surreal if the word divorce wasn't in there - even though it does clarify once and for all probably the most important aspect of this poem.. but does it need need the clarification? personal opinion, i'd say.

i did mentally feign at the mention of the sawdust on stairs, like, i thought of it in realistic terms at first, as opposed to fantastical terms, in that, like, what, are the stairs cleaned off once every couple of months, since the civil war, and you happened to walk down them on the downside of those couple of months? sort of wonderings while reading, but, all in all, in a way, i think that this ambiguity lends in a way to the delightful haziness of much of this piece. but not all of it was delightful. which parts? how to make better? well, it is what it is, and even though its sum is greater than its word-parts, i liked it, but it didn't make me go 'yeah'. more like 'hmm.. ok. not bad. this guys probably got some really good stuff, and reams of crazy potential, but this one's guitar chord had a few notes that didn't strike on key with me. but compared to most stuff on ug, pretty cool. sorry i can't give a better critique. ill post a piece in two days if interested. peace

edit

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=945485
Last edited by parkt921k at Aug 29, 2008,
#3
Fingernail scrapes on the old oak tree's flesh
are all that really remains from my childhood.
I hadn't even realized it,
until I came home to visit mama.

I wandered down stairs after a
Tuesday nights sleep;
feet skidding across months of dust that
covered hardwood stairs (they're from the
Civil War; Mama loves to tell how they
hide a secret compartment where grandpa stuffed
his ******s when the north came for a visit).
Moseyed around the couch (still sporting the cover
from when mama starred in the seventies porno
so she wouldn't lose the house)
and finally found myself at the table.
Mama brought over a bowl of oats and honey.
"Eat up, boy... gotta be strong and thick."
They aren't very filling.
(really liked these last two lines)

"What are your plans for today, boy?"
Silence.
"Better climb that old oak tree,
it hasn't been clumbed in years."
I scraped my hands across the fingernail marks
from the last time I had climbed it.
Last time, I had scaled it in record time.
I'd climbed with frenzy and zeal up to the
sixth branch.
Only to find that divorce can really run
a toll on a woman's emotions,
and two hours of CPR can really take a toll
on one's health.

There's a real sense of desolation here. The guy comes home and he seems disconnected from everything, including his mother. But when she says 'go climb the tree' it makes it sound like she's been stuck there for ever, the same kind of felling comes over from the dust that covers things and how you point out that the same, unsavoury, cover is there from years ago. it's very bittersweet.

I know i'm missing something from the last stanza.

'Only to find that divorce can really run
a toll on a woman's emotions,
and two hours of CPR can really take a toll
on one's health.'

But it's good.
On vacation from modding = don't pm me with your pish
#4
Hello husband. I'm afraid I don't have much to say. The first line was a bit of a mouthful, but it's early in the morning so it might just be me.
*night's
Love the anecdotes.
Oats are filling!
Loved the ending.

This feels more like you, even if it is about someone else.

I liked I liked I liked.
There's only one thing we can do to thwart the plot of these albino shape-shifting lizard BITCHES!
#5
Im going to continue later with more, bu I just had to say this

"Fingernail scrapes on the old oak tree's flesh
are all that really remains from my childhood.
I hadn't even realized it,
until I came home to visit mama."

made me cry.
Quote by icaneatcatfood
On second thought, **** tuning forks. You best be carrying around a grand piano that was tuned by an Italian
#6
"Only to find that divorce can really run
a toll on a woman's emotions,
and two hours of CPR can really take a toll
on one's health."

That is excellent. Hated the first stanza, kept reading and it got better and better. I thought the line about the seventies porno was nice, it felt authentic.
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
#7
i don't like the repetition of stairs near the start of the second stanza. it hurts the flow and just sounds clumsy.

i also agree with billy about the clumbed thing. i just didn't like it.

generally, i liked again. there's not very much to pick up on. i definitely connected with the whole unconnected stranded-in-time feel of the first stanza especially. it's a damn sad bit of writing, which is quite uncommon with you. you tend normally to take a sarcastic/witty/angry approach (you might be doing that here and i've just missed it) but this just seems real heartfelt and depressing. and i like that. the last lines are really beautiful zach.
Last edited by skagitup at Aug 30, 2008,
#8
I really liked this. It told a story very well and had a good ending.
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#9
trees

nights

Refreshing in that it didn't feel like a set up for a punchline, and it felt honest.

Disappointing in that it read so much more like prose than poetry, and little effort was put into rhythm, rhyme and the sound of the piece. Read it out loud, it doesn't read like poetry.

Sokay.

#10
I'm certain I don't like the word 'clumbed' at all. Doesn't appear close enough to the actual word to just convey the accent without making me pause. I can already hear her voice in my head, how she would sound. The whole thing carries this awesome tone; the simple choice in words, the seemingly unattached disposition, how every thought is brief and short lived. Shakes the bones.

Though I know you weren't alluding to your own poem, this is what I imagine you were talking about - I feel the emotion you've put into it very strongly.
On the eight day we spoke back...

let there be sound.
#11
I honestly don't think I could say anything about this that would be of use. I'll gladly get your next one though.

EDIT: The reason being that this piece didn't really affect me either way. I didn't dislike it, but it didn't do much for me either. It was well written though.
Last edited by bassbeat77 at Aug 30, 2008,