#1
Fourth re-write. This is in a beat poem/freestly song form, so the phrasing/flow is sorta all over the place. But you should be able to get it. Still not happy with the last stanza. Cheers everyone!

Nighttime: A City

Newsreader, eyes
neutral, blonde hair held in just the right position,
Turns to us (faithful viewers)
Background changes, house,
night broken by red and blue,
“Four dead in murder suicide” (He couldn’t die alone)
Fractured
mirrors in his mind, (The shadow men tell him
it’ll be fine)
Just pull the trigger (c’est fini).

Bloody wound, horizon
torn by heated hands, the water gushing
monsters, devil gleam, sirens
piercing cry, through drawn curtains and
closed windows no solace from the blood soaked streets,
In bed the red and blue men dance above my head.

Change the channel, down the street
the ghostly assembly line (a perfect metaphor)
No sense of time, just the bumper in front
and the bulbar behind,
Smoke filled air, sirens
sirens sirens,
“Peace!” I cry, head through
window, waving arms, smoke,
the devil’s hot breath on my neck,
“Peace! Help!”
Again I cry to no avail, no sound
over the sirens wail, mother crying, babe in arms and the newsman
turns, smile on his face,
“And now for the sport…”
The falling wall cuts him off,
He’ll understand, I suppose…

Curb side, watching everything
I love, like a phoenix it dies,
but never again to rise (whatever the fire misses
the water finishes off)
And the sirens (wailing, whining)
Across the blackboard sky and up my spine.
Desperate, leaping from the fourth story to the street below, arms open
as if embracing, the cold, hard streets
not forgiving.
“My baby!”
No one notices over the cries, nor the tears
in her eyes as she holds the charred blanket
close to her and the sky opens
sympathetic or emphatic to her tears.
Rain fall, wet and
burned smoke and water rising
dancing shadows (the ghosts are out tonight).
And in the distance I hear
the newsman turning, face
camera, eyes open, smile wide,
“Well, that’s all for tonight,
Join us tomorrow (if you’re still around)”
Last edited by kdownes at Oct 10, 2008,
#2
Quote by kdownes
Another off my desperately needing help list.

Nighttime: A City

The scene was cordoned off,
And the people ushered out,
(I'd replace people with "victims" or something of that nature, cause are not the family and the witnesses people too?)
While to the side the family cried.
The witnesses were marshaled,
Into a nearby tent,
To try to get a picture of the deed.
The sirens filled the night,
With their deathly caterwaul,
and the drunk slowly turns in his box.
(there is change in tense here. the whole stanza is past-tense and this last line is present)

The horizon glowed red,
Like the belly of the beast,
And the smoke clouds filled the sky.
The fire engines screamed,
(fire engines roared or growled, maybe?)
And the water gushed out,
Doing more harm than good.
(you should personify the fire engines more and have them be the ones who make the water come out. the hoses could be like tentacles or something. they're like big red monsters, especially if you say they do more harm than good)
The sirens filled the night,
With their harrowing death call,
And the homeless all survive on more night.
(once again, a change in tense. hmm, maybe it's supposed to be like this but yeah. still kinda seems wierd. can you explain your reason for doing this?")

The traffic was backed up the road,
Like a ghostly assembly line,
And the horns blared in protest through the night.
Crawling slowly forward,
The family of snails,
(I like this metaphor)
Marveled at the contradictions of man.
They spent all their money,
Building great machines,
And then jam the roads, like clots in arteries.
(what are you trying to say here...everything up until here is rather easy to understand. I like these last four lines but what are the contradictions of man and how are they relevant to the scene you are writing about?)
The sirens fill the night,
Like a jumpers deathly fall,
And the sun slowly rises through the sky.
(another tense change. i guess this kinda works, but I'd still like to know if there was any specific reason you use present at the and of each stanza and past for everything else)

bon appetite
(this isn't part of the piece is it?)


I dig this but I'd dig it more if I knew more about what you're talking about. Was there a specific event that inspired this? The beggining makes it seem like a murder scene of some sort and then out of nowhere the firetrucks arrive and there's some hellish inferno. How are there witnesses to a fire? Unless this was arson of some sort. The family cried...does that mean only one family was affected by this? Was anyone injured or even killed? This leaves too many questions unanswered. Other than that, I like your use of metaphors and I think the subject is rather original.

Keep on writing!
Last edited by Guns N Russians at Oct 2, 2008,
#3
Quote by kdownes
Another off my desperately needing help list.

Nighttime: A City

The scene was cordoned off,
And the people ushered out,
This is too abrunt of an opening, in my eyes.
While to the side the family cried.
The witnesses were marshaled,
Into a nearby tent,
To try to get a picture of the deed.
The sirens filled the night,
With their deathly caterwaul,
and the drunk slowly turns in his box.
This line doesn't interlink with the context you were talking about in the previous line. Well for my eyes it didn't. Maybe I'm missing something.

The horizon glowed red,
Like the belly of the beast,
Didn't like this line.
And the smoke clouds filled the sky.
The fire engines screamed,
And the water gushed out,
Doing more harm than good.
The sirens filled the night,
With their harrowing death call,
And the homeless all survive on more night.

The traffic was backed up the road,
Like a ghostly assembly line,
And the horns blared in protest through the night.
Crawling slowly forward,
The family of snails,
Marveled at the contradictions of man.
They spent all their money,
Building great machines,
And then jam the roads, like clots in arteries.
The sirens fill the night,
Like a jumpers deathly fall,
And the sun slowly rises through the sky.

bon appetite


I'm not going to continue to nit pick this. I will just say, this lacked punch. It read too descriptively. It was certainly enjoyable, but it felt empty, only did it open up when it reached the end, which is irritating. I'm very tired right now, so maybe I shall return and say more if I notice anything else.
Well done.
#4
This is simply an observational piece about three events inside a city. A muder, a fire and a car crash. its a cynical piece looking at the dangerous world we live in at the moment, with the sirens filling the air at night, the homeless on the street, the traffic problems. Thanks for pointing out the tense though, didn't notice that, i can fix that up easy. No, that bon appetite is not part of the piece. The idea behind the last lines of every stanza is to refrence while all of this is going on around them, the homeless are still out on our streets. Where all busy killing ourselves and destroying everything that soon we'll all end up homeless on the street. thanks for the help guys and i hope i've explained everything. Oh and the "family of snails" isn't a metaphor. It really is a family of snails. The cars are going so slow that this family of snails are moving quicker than the cars. The contradictions of man are from the snails perspective that they have all that money, yet the snails can still move faster than them.
#5
The problem within this piece lies in the very construct of its technical execution. You say "This is simply observational" and that's fine... but you can be observational without being boring. This piece read like stale bread. "This happened to this" "Those people went That way" "Blah verb blah" You get the idea. Observational or not, by the end of the first stanza I was very bored. There was no life behind your words... there was no punch or kick to any of your images or ideas. It needed some sort of pizazz. Also, the past tense bothered the hell out of me. If you are going to write very descriptively... don't put it in past tense. Make me feel like I'm looking through your eyes... not a photo album. This piece just begs for some life... something to give it a path to trod down, instead of walking in circles around adjectives. You have an idea here... but it needs to sound less hollow, and more aggressive. Lose some of the overly-detailed imagery and give me something to really bite into and latch onto. Give me a character, or a scene taht doesn't feel like an award winning photograph that is too good to be true. This is floating to far above reality, its too calm. There, that's another thing that bothered me... the tone was calm as a windless day on a sail boat, and the things you are describing should inspire some form of passion. Like an actor speaking in monotone during the scene where his wife is killed by the mafia. Give me some passion here.

I can appreciate the idea of just painting a pretty scene... but part of the scene should eb laced throughout the narrators voice and tone. It's how someone describes a scene that makes it feel real or not... and this felt wholly fictional.

Hope that makes sense,

-zC
#7
I didn't really see any development. It was just a very stale scene. Maybe if you put another event into it it would hold interest better.
#8
Quote by kdownes
Another off my desperately needing help list.

Nighttime: A City

Murder most foul There's just something about this phrase that doesn't sit right.
Paints the street corner red,
Offset by the flashing blue and white.
The tears on the mother’s cheek,
Are like pheromones to the vultures, I think perfumes would do better than pheromoonesThat gather round the house, flashes in the night.
The siren thickened air, Some what awkward phrasing
Seems to press down on all there,
And the drunk staggers past unaware.

Fire so fierce,
Paints the midnight sky red,
The windows gleam like devil eyes. "Glare" instead of "gleam" Spewed force from the gushing house,
The water shatters through,
Drowning what the fire had not destroyed.
The deathly caterwaul,
Seems to be a siren’s call,
To the camera-flashing leeches of the night. I really like this line. However, I would consider dropping "flashing"
The ghostly assembly line, I like this line, but i wish that you could tie it to the rest of the stanza better. Maybe throw in a "haunting" or "spirits" in one of the other lines. Something relating to "ghostly".Down the street, around the corner,
The angry cries and horns blare through the night. "Not sure of "angry" is the right word.From the air, the choppers see,
The city streets, clogged arteries,
The black smoke coughed up from the ground.
The red and blue surround a house.
The nighttime hours are running out,
But the population sleeps unaware.
The sirens fill the night,
Like a jumper’s deathly fall,
As the moon slowly settles into bed. This line is too weak to end on. You describe this chaotic event and then you ened the piece with a passive line.
Okay, give that a whirl and see what you make of it.


I think that it would tremendoulsy help this piece if you wrote it from the first person perspective. Anyways, thank you for the crit.
#9
I think you overuse "the" in this piece. In the last stanza alone there are 4 lines in a row that start with it. Articles often take away from the flow of things. Words like "are", "like", "to" could be taken out.

Instead of saying,
"The sirens fill the night,
Like a jumper’s deathly fall"

try
"Sirens fill the night,
A jumper’s deathly fall"


Plus I hate the word "population"!

I do like "ghostly assembly line" though.

You also went to the other extreme here by blatanly saying what happened. I liked how you started the second stanza for example with the whole "sly glowed red" thing. Now it's too blatant. It's much better now that it's in the present tense. And your family of snails thing from before was good too...though it worked much better as a metaphor than actual snails laughing at people. If you combine the two versions this will be much better. Keep the tense in the present, make clear what is happening in each scene but revert back to some of the metaphorical language in the previous version. This is poetry, not the 10 o'clock news!
#10
Right, third re-write up now. This is completely different, so hopefully it works. I had a middle of the night epiphany, so maybe it won't be one hundred eprcent. Don't like the ending.
#11
Watching everything I love,
Like a phoenix it dies, but never again to rise,

Keep this line. But after reading the quotes of people making suggestions, I liked the 2nd rewrite best it seems. Except for "Pheremones" that just doesn't work for me.

Your call, your poem.
The arena is empty except for one man,
Still driving and striving as fast as he can.
The sun has gone down and the moon has come up,
And long ago somebody left with the cup,
But he's driving and striving and hugging the turns...
#12
Thank you for the crit. Now on this the problem is it reads like such:

This happens
This happens
This happens

and though each event is interesting in itself, as Zach said, it becomes bland quickly. You have some great ideas and images here, you just need to work on how to present them and how to manipulate the words so they'll flow better. For starters, don't break up ideas with lines, let them all flow together based on what looks good to the mind/sounds good to the ears.

Tremendous potential lyrically, but poetically it's hard not to lose interest. It reminds me a bit of The Trapeze Swinger.
On the eight day we spoke back...

let there be sound.
#13
Better... but it still feels boxy. It doesn't have a nice viscosity to it that allows me to just lavish myself in the ideas. You break each idea with a line break. Try something a bit less conventional like:

She came back to
find him dead. Mouth
agape, flies shitting on
his tongue.


Terrible example that I made up just to prove a point, you can be descriptive without locking it into such a tightly closed form. Right now it feels robotic... when you can really let how your lines end and begin make the piece "feel" good. Make the ideas transfer, make your lines fluid with one another... and it will make this feel less repetitive and locked within itself. As it stands, it takes itself to seriosuly, gets lost too much within its own cause. Like a poem about being a poem type of thing... its just so lost in itself that from the outside it loses its appeal.

PLEASE please please take away the fact that everyline starts with a capitol. That will help you a lot.

I think you've sort of broekn out of the "he went here. She smoked crack." form... but now you need it to be more fluid and to work down the page and to make the lines work together. As they stand... each line is better... but now they are fighting each other instead of working together to revolutionize the page they're on.
#14
^agreed^ With pretty much everything.

This is much more pesonal now and I like it. I did get confused on what you were seeing on TV and what you saw from your window. And wait...are YOU in the burning building now?

Heh, and did you really use "This is poetry not the 10 o'clock news" as your ending? That cracked me up but please get rid of it. For 2 reasons.
1. it just doesn't mesh with the rather serious tone of the piece
2. i'll sue you for plagarism

This is getting better each time. I might nitpick this later. Right now I'm dog tired and going to bed.

TAKE 4 aaaaaaaaaaand ACTION!
#15
shit, sorry Guns and Russians, I didn't even realise I'd done that. That'll go. Thanks for all the crit guys, i can see where your coming from. I'm going to work on it this weekend, i'm too bogged down with schoolwork atm
#16
Take four. Not that much different from Take Three.
I've rearranged the line breaks and fiddled with the formating. Some new lines in there. Still not happy with the last stanza. Think its too weak an ending. Around we go again.
#17
The main thing I don't like everytime it happens are these sort of 'insights' you provide (the pieces in brackets.
,
The bit about the shadow men: 1. it seems unnecessary, other than so you can set up a recurring image. 2. it's just kind of intrusive to have that there, it breaks the mood for me, and sometimes it's just a little too explanatory/almost patronising. 'he couldn't die alone' well, yes, you already told us it's a murder suicide? if you see what I mean. I've taken a turn against these brackety things, it kind of seems like a way out of trying to creatively say it in the poem so you almost say 'the poem has ended briefly here: bla bla bla: now it's started again, on you go!)s

My other main problem is that some times the imagery was just a bit too... much. 'Blood soaked streets' etc? I did like some of it like 'the red and blue men dance above my head' but in general it was just a bit much... in the wrong way.

last thing 'join us tommorow (if you're still around') I was waiting for a 'MUHAHAHAHA'. I just went too far in not being subtle. It makes it sound like a Simpson's Halloween special.

On the whole i liked reading it out loud, I just was just more of a fan of how the words sounded than what they meant. Not that I didn't like some of it.


EDIT: On reflection, I suppose the imagery probably comes from American style news reports which makes me understand it more, but then I still don't particularly like it. Because you seem to be using the imagery that this news station pointedly isn't doing, whilst other news stations are already saying what you're saying. Like, FOX or whatever.
On vacation from modding = don't pm me with your pish
Last edited by meh! at Oct 10, 2008,
#18
Someone finally picked up on the American theme, an Australian (suprise, suprise)

While being observational, its also a barb at the America's habit of sensationalising everything, and the undercurrent of violence in the major cities.

I'm glad you like reading it out loud because this is meant to be listened to, not read. Because its more of a song type thingy, than a read poem. Yeah, i agree about the last line. I just can't seem to think of anything else yet. We'll see how it goes. Thanks meh!
#19
(Perth is in Scotland, Australians are just descended from our convicts that are too lazy to make up new names )

But yeah, now that i've been away for a day... i'm wavering on the imagery... i'm kind of turning to like it more (not entirely) but less dislike than yesterday.
On vacation from modding = don't pm me with your pish
#20
haha, yes we are too lazy to come up with names for our cities. We either pinched it from England, Scotland, Ireland or the Aboriginies. I'm glad your "wavering"