The Last Friday

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My Colossal Story

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Pat

Posts : 671
Join date : 2011-09-12

My Colossal Story

Post  Pat on Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:05 pm

Hey, guys, you probably do this, but do back up your computer work.  I haven't in  a year and a half.  I may have lost all files and documents.  Happily I sent a manuscript to an editor two days before, but it's still a huge loss.  I am working from Jimmy's laptop and a few hard copies.  : (   Just saying, "It can happen."  Here's another story:

My Colossal Story

I have floated far too long--
my eyes closed
on a river bending like a horseshoe.

The sun moved.
Beach no longer in sight.
Only trees.

My arms stretched wide
legs like on a gurney
body, streamlining.

The river,
swift, wet, white, willing
to carry me south.

I head for the bank. Snakes!
Snakes on ground. Snakes in trees!
Someone, screaming. Oh.  It's me.

I hip-hop, dodging snakes.
No waiting for coil, hiss or strike.
I am Road Runner.

Wile E. Coyotes, everywhere--
narrow, staring, crawling
with unhinged mouths.

If I survive,
will anyone believe me?
No words wild enough.
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tsukany

Posts : 619
Join date : 2011-05-21

Several Thoughts

Post  tsukany on Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:44 pm

Pat,

Fun story.

I was prepared, by the intro, for a symbol poem.  Maybe the title is too strong . . . "colossal."

I am not a fan of clipped speech in poems (omitting article and verbs).  Seems stilted to me.

Minor:  "wet" didn't help me with "river" like "white" does.

The title didn't lead me to the Road Runner, though I get the allusion.  I wonder if a more universal image/vehicle might help me?

I really like the setup of the first stanza with the title, as is.

I like the last line but not the question.  Hopefully, you are alive and have survived. 

Todd

Ben Johnson
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Snakes alive!

Post  Ben Johnson on Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:30 am

Pat,  Nightmarish to say the least!  I am not much in favor of the poems where there is no punctution, but this would be a good one to omit it.  Short lines. good pictures. I am not in favor of the question at the end, either.  Good poem

Ben Johnson
Guest

Snakes alive!

Post  Ben Johnson on Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:31 am

Pat,  Nightmarish to say the least!  I am not much in favor of the poems where there is no punctution, but this would be a good one to omit it.  Short lines. good pictures. I am not in favor of the question at the end, either.  Good poem

Markus

Posts : 10
Join date : 2018-02-22

Re: My Colossal Story

Post  Markus on Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:37 am

Pat,
I'm with Todd on the use of "colossal."  It didn't send me to the nightmare with the snakes and with Wile EC.  We do say things like "colossal mistake," but without the negativity of the noun in your title, I don't anticipate a nightmare to come.
 
I also agree that "wet" is redundant.
 
For a symbolic poem, I think the hazard of snakes is sufficient.  Wile EC conjures up too much of a cartoon, which works against the fierce environment you are describing.  Since Eden, snakes have carried the load for all things haunting, dangerous, despicable.  What's more, on a river experience, aren't you more likely to encounter snakes than coyotes?
 
I LOVE the gurney image, for it brings death into this meandering on the river.  It shifts the tone nicely and prepares for the intro to the snakes.
 
Do you want your reader to think of the river as dangerous in the way that snakes are?  If so you might play with another "deadly" image for the river component before the snakes ratchet up the nightmare.  I don't think it would take much, and it would somehow elaborate "floated far too long."
 
Do you want to leave everything in the poem in the realm of symbol?  In an experimental draft, you might try some very lightly placed hints to the realities behind the symbols.  The benefit to the reader is that the reader comes away from the poem more rooted in a specific "something" that the poem is describing.  A stupid example might be: "The sun moved across my hunger for love."  I don't really like my example, but maybe it offers a way of envisioning my point.
 
The first four stanzas are strong.  I like the way the river "wills" ("willing") to carry you south, which speaks of exertion and purpose. And, of course, "south" is the direction of things unraveling.
 
Enjoyable, Pat.
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Karen

Posts : 310
Join date : 2014-10-25
Age : 65
Location : North Little Rock

Re: My Colossal Story

Post  Karen on Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:03 pm

Pat, it's not the time and place to tell this joke in full, but I urge you to Google "Jesus vs Satan on the computer" apropos your file losses.  It's my favorite clean joke.

On the poem.  I want it to go one way or the other, or be two different poems with a similar subject.  I like the serious treatment in these stanzas:

My arms stretched wide
legs like on a gurney
body, streamlining.

The river,
swift, wet, white, willing
to carry me south.

As Todd mentioned, wet does not add to the image.

I could also enjoy the poem as a crazy cartoon, hip-hopping and rife with exclamation points.

Pat

Posts : 671
Join date : 2011-09-12

Lots of good info here

Post  Pat on Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:38 pm

Thank you, great ideas here.  I will play with them this next week.  Thank you!

Dewell H. Byrd

Posts : 374
Join date : 2012-01-05
Age : 87
Location : Central Point, OR

My Colossal Story

Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:24 pm

A lot of really scattered images just as dreams often are... nice.
Mixture of images building from lazy float to wild run, run, and snakes.  
Almost two separate poems.
And the ending... I like it... feels like it leaves room for me to dream.
Would a title like "My Fragmented Story" help?
Dewell

Pat

Posts : 671
Join date : 2011-09-12

Wondering if anyone will see this. . ..

Post  Pat on Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:05 pm

Reworked it: 

What do you think?  (I don't know why this double-spaced, but that doesn't matter.
--------------------------------------


A Snaky Encounter

 

My arms stretched wide,

legs like on a gurney,

body, flowing with the current.

 

The river,

swift and snaking its way south

through the flatlands.

 

I had floated far too long

with eyes closed.

Beach, no longer in sight.

 

I headed for the bank

where I encountered

snakes soaking up the sun.

 

One reared its head.  Another

dropped from a tree.  That may be

when I screamed and sprinted north,

 

when I started saying my mantra,

“Help me, Jesus,

help me….”
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tsukany

Posts : 619
Join date : 2011-05-21

Re-posted

Post  tsukany on Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:42 pm

A Snaky Encounter

My arms stretched wide,
legs like on a gurney,
body, flowing with the current.

The river,
swift and snaking its way south
through the flatlands.

I had floated far too long
with eyes closed.
Beach, no longer in sight.

I headed for the bank
where I encountered
snakes soaking up the sun.

One reared its head.  Another
dropped from a tree.  That may be
when I screamed and sprinted north,

when I started saying my mantra,
“Help me, Jesus,
help me….”

Pat
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tsukany

Posts : 619
Join date : 2011-05-21

Thoughts

Post  tsukany on Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:46 pm

Pat

I think reversing the first two stanzas is more clear.  The gurney and wide spreading seems restrictive, opposite of a river

Seems like stanza three is telling.

Heading to the bank . . . Seems like persona is still in the water and yet able to run.

Not sold on the ending.  It feels too much like a story . . . the end.  I miss a challenge, an insight.

Todd

Pat

Posts : 671
Join date : 2011-09-12

I'll let it rest. . .

Post  Pat on Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:23 pm

and play with it some more.  Thanks for feedback.

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