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Iím sullen through some shimmering
light, streaky blue --
Itís a fragile, rainy Wednesday
and the televisionís mumbling news
Weíre losing a war, again, youíve heard
No one wants to take the blame
and the economy streams by on a ticker
which counts the slight dollars we spend
to stave off certain other insecurities
aside from the usual loneliness and apathy, itís just
Iím too tired to find my delight in sheer, spring dresses
Iím feeling Omaha, though Iím in North Carolina
youíre in California, Iím sure
Itís all steaming forward, regardlessÖ.
What more is there to say?

(Weíre losing, streams again, dollars we spend
No one to blame but certain insecurities
loneliness and apathy, rainy news mumbling
Youíre California steaming forward, regardless
Iím sheer, sullen Omaha, fragileÖ what more?
What MORE?
Weíre losing what war?)


------
"All the darkness in the world
cannot put out the light
of one candle"


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Comments

The following comments are for "Somewhere Else"
by hazelfaern

Hazelfearn, this Title Threw Me
I'm not quite sure of the poem if the title is correct. Am I correct that you'd just rather BE someplace else? How's the war tied in?

Sometimes plainer is better, but I know the feeling. I have a bad case of spring fever today, wishing I was in the mountains but hating to leave home to get there.

( Posted by: MaxiiJ [Member] On: May 18, 2004 )

States of the Union
This is cool. I found it a little bit rambling in places but that isn't always a bad thing.

I particularly liked, "Iím feeling Omaha, though Iím in North Carolina".

I'm accustomed to expecting quality from you and, as per usual, you don't disappoint.

May you never thirst

Bliss

( Posted by: Enforced Bliss [Member] On: May 18, 2004 )

A Risky Format
I was trying to do something a little different, here. The point of the poem shouldn't be a precise portrait, but the evocation of a feeling. It's not just that I'd rather be somewhere else but the connected ideas that everything is pouring through and stemming from a distant place I have no control over -- the broadcast news, the rain, the war, the economy, the you I'm addressing.

I was attempting to create a kind of feedback loop at the end, through which to underline some of the subtler nuances of the poem by fragmenting it and connecting the words in a new way. Sometimes the things we say from a point of exhaustion resonate with more meaning than we may realize at the time.

Omaha is the middle of America, plain and unvarnished. California is it's tinsel dream, delicate in cusps of earthquakes, brazen in gold-dust promise. I wanted to create several points from which to potentially contrast the I and the you in this poem. One is sheer distance, geographically. The other is political -- an internal war not just between Democrats and Republicans but between those who are inflamed and those who are exhausted, overwhelmed by the constant deluge of fighting words. Another is personal -- someone is carpe-dieming it up and someone else is dreaming of a life less complicated, like cornfields, maybe.

When I say "what more?" I'm trying to imply several things, simultaneously -- the shock that there could be anything more when there is so much in play, already, being chief among them.

"What war?" is the point at which I'm trying to break the poem open and hopefully get you to examine some of the possibilities beneath the words. Perhaps I'm confused... is this Vietnam? Is this the war on drugs, paralleled by pointlessness? Is this the war for the Whitehouse? Or is this war more personal, between you and I, a war for our future, and who is it really who should take the blame?

It would appear my gamble did not pay off and I'd be interested in the thoughts of anyone who'd like to comment on why it did not, or if the attempt was useful in any way, whatsoever.

( Posted by: hazelfaern [Member] On: May 18, 2004 )

Misconstrued
Ummm, I may not have made myself clear... I LIKED this. Yes, I found it a bit rambling, but as I said that isn't always a bad thing. In this case it is not a bad thing.

I liked the "Omaha" conceit and the contrast between it and California for all of the reasons you gave.

You seemed a bit defensive in your reply so I just wanted to clarify that this, in my opinion, is good.

As I said, I expect quality from you and you DIDN'T disappoint.

As to the gamble, more power to you. If you aren't entirely satisfied with this result try it again. It is through experimenting with forms and structures that we develop our own unique voice and style. The more "types" of poem you can write the better the chance that you will have a form in your repetoire that will complement the subject.

A lot of people on this site could learn from your example.

May you never thirst

Bliss

( Posted by: Enforced Bliss [Member] On: May 18, 2004 )

Great
I really liked this. It spoke to me. And there was some great imagery. Keep up the good work.

( Posted by: Virtex [Member] On: May 18, 2004 )

Nicely Put
I really liked this poem. I thought the rambling format was perfect to get your point across. However, I thought your defense of the poem was even more poetic. California in delicate cusps of earthquakes? How cool is that?
-Roxanne

( Posted by: Starscapeviews [Member] On: May 18, 2004 )

EB and Self-Defense
Oh, dear. I wasn't trying to be defensive, at all. I was hoping to get some reactions on the poem, get a sense of whether or not everything I was trying to convey was coming through, in the poem, itself.

Most of all I was wanting to see how everyone reacted to that last stanza. Is the feedback thingy obnoxious? Enlightning? More cryptic than if it wasn't there, at all?

( Posted by: hazelfaern [Member] On: May 20, 2004 )

excellent!
It's precisely that quasi-rambling feeling that makes this piece work so well, it perfectly portrays that half-denial, pushing-away, melancholic feeling of these days.

Really fine.


john

( Posted by: johnlibertus [Member] On: May 27, 2004 )





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