The Last Friday

The Last Friday is a poetry editing group. Once a month, we post a poem and then offer feedback to the other poems on the Forum. We're a friendly but honest group. We value each other deeply and desire for every poet to be published or become famous.

    and now, please, advice FROM poets


    Posts : 320
    Join date : 2014-10-25
    Age : 65
    Location : North Little Rock

    and now, please, advice FROM poets

    Post  Karen on Sun May 21, 2017 2:04 pm

    advice to poets/myself

    run naked
    to the morning dark
    unclothe your mind
    leave shoes behind
    step gingerly
    across the gravel
    past the signs
    that welcome you
    that warn you off
    before the words

    shine your light
    into the eyes
    of every size
    watch the watchers
    in the woods
    listen closely
    gather gauze
    the moss
    of phrases

    don’t mind the mist
    or brackish
    from every
    water source

    douse yourself
    in darkness
    pass the open window
    striped pajamas
    coffee cup
    greet the cat
    that cries for daybreak
    touch the concrete
    when pavement
    meets your glance
    don’t look away

    store everything
    consume the moon
    don’t be immune
    to conversation
    your grinning muse
    close to your skin
    when you begin
    to gin the sentences
    to spin the dross
    you’ll need these things
    you’ll need them all

    Posts : 626
    Join date : 2011-05-21

    Too much?

    Post  tsukany on Thu May 25, 2017 7:19 am


    I am struck by the "stark" simplicity of the first stanza, the naked.  I wanted that to be the conceit for each of the following stanzas.  I got tired trying to make that work and couldn't "buck" that part of poetry/the poem.

    I wonder if the same fun could be the driving force for all the stanzas so the tone remains consistent?

    "striped pj's" has connotations to WWII and prisons for me.  It was hard to reconcile having clothes on again after stanza one.  Maybe you can try arranging the stanza in different orders to see if a progression can lead the reader to the simplicity of writing poems:  get naked in public with intent and no shame.  Smile


    Posts : 690
    Join date : 2011-09-12

    A couple of things

    Post  Pat on Fri May 26, 2017 1:12 pm

    I would choose first person. I just read it in 1st person.  See what you think.   Maybe talk to yourself.    Title:  maybe Advice to Myself, a Poet. Then we poets are on board. 

    I like the first stanza.  Maybe the nakedness.  Naked physically, emotionally, spiritually would work.  Writing in the raw about the raw?  "I run naked. . . ."

    I am no longer fond of the word "that" in poetry.  Check out the first stanza.  It is later too.  What if you dropped "that" and turned the next word into an -ing word?  I think it is more poetic and crisper. Todd pointed THAT out to me long ago in my own work. 

    Hope this helps a little.
    Dewell H. Byrd

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    Age : 88
    Location : Central Point, OR

    ADvice to PoeteMYSelf

    Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Sat May 27, 2017 12:23 am

    THIS poem must be a marathon we are writing/running.
    I got tired at milepost six.
    So having enjoyed the warmup stretch then I hitched a ride to the last stanza which I liked
    very much.
    I like the simplicity except the middle seemed more like a list poem.

    Hang in there and I'll carry the water bottle.

    Posts : 690
    Join date : 2011-09-12

    Karen, would you rewrite and send back to us?

    Post  Pat on Sat May 27, 2017 8:39 am

    Like Dewell, me too.
    What if you cut out some of the middle?  I think you'll know where to cut.  
    I want to read a rewrite.  And oh, do keep it skinny.

    Posts : 320
    Join date : 2014-10-25
    Age : 65
    Location : North Little Rock

    Re: and now, please, advice FROM poets

    Post  Karen on Sat May 27, 2017 9:42 am

    Thank you for your willingness to man (and woman) the aid stations at this event.  You'll be happy to hear I am reducing the distance from marathon to 10K.

    I have cherry-picked the center section and reduced the poem to 3 stanzas.  More cuts to come.  Thank you for the cups of water, the cold wash cloths, the direction.

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    Re: and now, please, advice FROM poets

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