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The topic for this Write Off is: Exercise


If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. – Ursula K. Le Guin

(first, inhale)
write with veins,
flex your mind’s stretch receptors


hand me that crumpled paper
and I’ll write the word:


to grasp graveyard’s suspiring lips
to slash sunsets with dirty fingernails;
and hand cigarettes to unicorns

to snare
sweating dragons
to your portals

to fly with a stray Angel.
make love to him in Photoshop and pseudonyms
grow Zen-feathers, push — ego-“strokes” and eyeless silence — up

to crunch infinity unaware; (barbs to blurbs)
pluck his hamuli to night,

exhale epidermal ends, erasing —

this window.

Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary. -- Sir Cecil Beaton (1904-1980) English photographer


The following comments are for "Fantasy"
by Idomis

I too felt this poem a little too patchy for me. It didn't seem to have a nice flow or rythm. I found myself pausing in the middle and re-reading portions to see if I had missed something.

I would love a little embelishment from the writer as to what the intention was, perhaps it would provide clarity. Occasionally the obvious eludes me.

I give the higher mark to the other poem.


( Posted by: Jeff [Member] On: January 31, 2005 )

Idomis's Fantasy
I really enjoy reading your writings Idomis. I have always thought of you as a brilliant writer. This is one of those examples. I did have to read this several times, but that is my personal thing before I comment on anything. I will read other poems of the author's as well.
I don't think it was necessary for a quote for introduction, Idomis this stands alone very well.
Thank you for sharing this with us.

( Posted by: Dareva [Member] On: February 1, 2005 )

Fantasy (Original submission)
Hello guys,

Here's the original format I have submitted to over the weekend.

In case the image won't show up, follow this link (highlight and paste to your desired browser):


( Posted by: Idomis [Member] On: February 1, 2005 )

Style and Weirdness
Not normally my style, but it's damn weird -- and that's worth some points from me! This seesm to be a whole bunch of fantasies strung together -- or maybe it's some sort of gigantic uber-fantasie . Sex and unicorns, is that a good mix? Seems dangerous.

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: February 2, 2005 )

nice words
Just didn't see how they fit together.

( Posted by: Georgie [Member] On: February 2, 2005 )

Fantasy Style
I think this was well done. I very much appreciated the link you provided to see the stanza structure as it was intended. This helped me with the reading of this piece. I do think the quote was unnecessary as well. But I love the way you went out from the word window on an exercise, and then brought it back in. Stylistically very beautiful. I think some of the lines could be tightened up, and some more visual language would have been more effective, maybe describing the dragons, etc.

I'm giving the high score to Hazel, but this was well done. I'd love to see it again with some tightening in places, and without the quote. The style was lovely.

( Posted by: EverybodyElsesGirl [Member] On: February 2, 2005 )

Great Work
I disagree, the quote does seem relevant to the piece. Oh and what a great quote it is, funny to see it appear on a poetry site (actually it's quite Ironic).
Poets are, after all, just silly silly little shapers.
Crafting up their own takes on a world which they cannot fully grasp.
Oh how arrogance flourishes amongst writers.

I really liked your poem, though I may have misinterpreted it, so I won't bother commenting what meaning I took from it. I did however find it very refreshing to see somthing other than love as a theme; Love is so overwritten, I find its mere mention creates a dull gap where meaning might have been.

Just wondering,
What were you trying to convey with the piece?

p.s.: Much, Much Better than hazelfaern. (I gave her a 4 too in case your wondering why. I've already explained myself in the commentary on hazelfaern's poem.

( Posted by: dao05 [Member] On: February 2, 2005 )

Good poem.
Hmmm..... nice poem :) Some weird stuff going on there, but that's all good - you certainly know how to keep the reader paying attention!

I saw the graphic you supplied of the poem properly formatted, and I can see what you're doing there. Shame Lit doesn't do formatted poetry very well. Ah well.

Unlike Jeff, I did find its rhythm, and I liked it. I'm still going to give the victory score to Hazelfaern this time, but as with many Write Offs, it was a close one (I think closer than the scores give it credit), so well done, and thanks for posting it. :)

( Posted by: Spudley [Member] On: February 3, 2005 )

"hand me that crumpled paper
and I’ll write the word:


Personally, I loved it.

"make love to him in Photoshop and pseudonyms"

( Posted by: Pawn [Member] On: February 4, 2005 )

I did not really understand your poem that well. The imagery was there, but cohesively it was untogether. I liked the last stanza, but I felt you could have expounded a little more. You could have drawn the audience out a little more with description. :|

( Posted by: Xinerama [Member] On: February 4, 2005 )

Not quite enough
The line between giving a reader "not enough," "just enough" and "too much" is really hard to judge. I often get spanked for giving too much, and so it's especially hard for me to criticize anyone for being too sparse, but here I go. There's just not quite enough here for me to pull out a core meaning such that I'm comfortable that I'm not concocting it whole-cloth from my own imagination.

I want to; it's tantalizing. There's lots of great stuff here. Truly intriguing imagery and word combination choices. I, too, am a huge Le Guin fan, but only see the quote as another "dot" that doesn't quite get me to the outline of the whole.

I've read the poem twelve times now. I keep thinking... is it about "this?" Or... "this?" Or... "this?" I don't mind subtlety or layers or being left with mystery. I don't mind being left hungry for more. But in this case, I feel like the mystery is for "mystery's sake," not because something that's going on here actually *is* a mystery.

Again... lovely stuff. I don't need to be hit over the head, but I at least need to be tapped on the shoulder.

( Posted by: andyhavens [Member] On: February 4, 2005 )

Window exercise
I really loved the idea of the write off 'word' coming and you sitting down and choosing a word, 'window', as an exercise for the exercise of the write off subject - exercise. I was taken straight to the act of writing a poem with you. Clever and enjoyable reading. Love some of the images.

make love to him in Photoshop and pseudonyms

to crunch infinity unaware; (barbs to blurbs)

and others, how could they would be in a 'bigger' work.

warm regards huni.

( Posted by: Huni [Member] On: February 5, 2005 )

This certain "Fantasy"
First off, bravo to Jennifer for lulling us with her soothing exercise!

I’ll be brief.

What took me a nagging time to translate and conjure this not-so-simple exercise was really a risk, tough one. The only image that formed in my mind was a window; a device or a portal to write an off-coursed subject. And since I am a fantasy junkie, I veered, simply, from the ordinary. The ordinariness, somehow, came in the form of a crumpled paper. Thus, my outer worldly ideas broke into being.

And while Jennifer was busy making soul-soothing music in ivory. I took a cigarette and handed it to a nearby unicorn! Hee haw! In other words, I simply went out of the routine, pushing the limits of the word, “Exercise” and back again…

To this “window.” (Now erased).

Coincidentally, I was in the thick of things writing various plots for my ongoing Storytelling session – found in – for our local RPG (roleplaying game) here in this side of the planet, Cebu City.

Just to give you a clear background: I distanced myself from the window (i.e, exercise). This “window” happens to be a system, really, I used for my Storytelling campaign; mirrored in– without giving too much of words in my piece, only infusing intriguing imageries. One mind would prefer simplicity’s sake. I toyed something dangerous, and you are right Viper9. While it was not my intention to confuse/distract some readers, it was a kind of “show-not-tell” concept. From here, this poem has braced differing opinions – from “disjointedness,” “über-fantasy” style (not all are into it), to a nod of like-mindedness, from “Leguin fan to another.”

The exercise (to write a very challenging idea from a simple concept) came to me not in the form of amassing scores in the first place, in ten-folds, but breaking the silent, and often, undiscovered bounds of imaginative purpose. Hence, this Fantasy (and I know, not all are into this genre at a readied level of acceptance) came to light. You can visit my original piece here:

Clearly, I made a detour in my form: to separate fact from fiction. The first six lines introduced only one word, window, to conjure a strange world out there. Such strange exercise, or magic, I have dabbled lately! And back again. Hence, the Le Guin’s quote amplified a sentiment or an affirmation of how dull life can sometimes be, and it only takes a small spark, a muse, or a vision, to regurgitate from the mundane side of life or “play-it-safers.”

I saw not only a crumpled paper, but dozens of them while writing this exercise (and thanks Jessica!). I know, we, writers are not spared from such harsh (and oftentimes, cruel) truth of revisions.

Thank you, once again, for your well-deserved comments!


( Posted by: idomis [Member] On: February 6, 2005 )

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