Welcome to Gaia! ::

Here's a poem I've been working on. Lately, I've been dabbling in poetry slams, so I think I'm going to turn this into a spoken word piece. Let me know what you think!



“Between”


When I was young
I once dreamt of my grandparents’ lake house.

But the sky grew dark over
my fond sensibilities.
The walls were consumed by some
great invasive
unknown.

Whatever you do!
Don’t touch it!
Whatever you do.

The grass grew tall before me.
The blades turned to face me.
Eyeless.
It sees me see them.
They crawled over dead cobbles.

I ran out into the land that betrayed me.
I had seen its eyes that are not eyes.

When I awoke,
I approached my sleeping mother,
thinking she was dead.

There are still nights
when I linger at the edge of sleep
and I hear a rush of water
beginning
to overtake me.

My brain works differently now
I’m seeking more perverse thrills.
Now I snap back
for only an instant before
lowering myself in.

When the water is
above my head.
I can wait to turn into something lighter,
and just
dissipate.

I’ve grown destructive.
I’m indoctrinated
into the abyss.

When I close my eyes,
I catch glimpses of the frightening
and distorted faces
that peek through the darkness.
Leaning forward.
Watching.

And on a good day,
when the lights are out
and the room is absent,
we can feel the tremors beneath the machinery.

So where rests the seed?
What corrupted us?
It wasn’t nature.
We are nature.
It wasn’t civilization.
We are the light.
It wasn’t barbarism.
We are the dark.
And it was not the great terraform of metal and concrete.
We are nature.

It wasn’t crime. It wasn’t law.
It wasn’t society. We are society.
It wasn’t disease
or death.

We are not who we are.
We’ve forgotten what it means to be human.
We never felt real life and each day we are thankful
that we never will.

But it goes on nonetheless.

And from the exhausted New
England to the manic West Coast,
the darkness is still just thinly covered
in shopping malls
and front lawns.

But somewhere

Somewhere stands the great In-Between,
where I can lean into the dust,
taste the blood,
hear the land deafen our cities,
and I feel the earth run all the way to its core.

Our time is a barrier
for those who hear the earthquake
and feel the bedrock open
and see the Earth’s own
beating heart
sink
into something more eternal.

After all,
within every intricacy beyond
all the poets, painters, and thinkers, we can
only claw weakly
at a greater image.

I reach forth,
hoping to lose a finger.

And so I keep my head beneath the surface,
waiting
for a million hands to reach up;
to grab the world by the ankle
and drag it down
until the skyscrapers run all the way to the core.
C'mon, guys, this poem needs some workshoppin'! Help a brother out!
I don't understand your line break placements. The often do little to emphasize or be profound. They're almost random. Maybe you know what inflection each line has, but since we're not you, they should fit into a rhythm of any sort. Even if that rhythm breaks, it would break for impact. This is just tumbling (which would be fine if it was meant to have a falling apart feel, but there aren't enough images/metaphors to explain that. I think the whole poem could be tightened up.

Usually repetition is a problem but in the dominant areas where you do it it seems ok.

Also, there's discrepancies in the image. You start by saying that the dark sky eclipsed your "sensibilities (which is a fairly worthless word here since you do little to further the thought)" and that an unknown is consuming the house. Summed up, everything is going grey (more or less) but then you talk predominantly about the grass which is a counter image to what you've established. Have you seen Neverending Story? The Nothingness is what I pictured eating the house.

Also, we know grass is eyeless. That singled out word serves no purpose except to say "reader, if you forgot, grass doesn't have eyes."

The piece continues like that with things thrown about, impartial images and a lot of bland words thrown about. I would recommend deciding on a theme and uniting it with the image.

I understand it's a dream, but this is a poem, not a chronicle of your dream. Everything has a place. Everything has a purpose.
I didn't really think much of my line breaks, to be honest. Unless I'm trying to make a big show of form, which I'm not in this instance, I usually just write it in a way that feels the most natural when I read it.

And yeah, it is a little overwritten in parts. Part of this process is paring things down a bit. But I didn't intend to do anything fancy with "sensibilities." The line was just there as a point of contrast, mentioning that I had warm feelings towards my grandparents' house outside of the dream.

However, I think you're misreading it a little. The actual dream ends about a fourth of the way in at the line "When I awoke/I approached my sleeping mother..." The rest of the poem is meant to be more abstract/ideological, perhaps too much so.
Real Horrorshow Groodies

The grass grew tall before me.
The blades turned to face me.
Eyeless.
It sees me see them.
They crawled over dead cobbles.


I think one issue with this poem is not so much the content, but that it tries too hard to be scary. For instance, many successful horror movies start out by illustrating the normal, peaceful world--and by doing this there's more of a contrast when things start to go amiss. I'd say do some more with the lakeshore home before jumping into the major league drearyness.

Real Horrorshow Groodies

So where rests the seed?
What corrupted us?
It wasn’t nature.
We are nature.
It wasn’t civilization.
We are the light.
It wasn’t barbarism.
We are the dark.
And it was not the great terraform of metal and concrete.
We are nature.



The call and response might make for a good audience anthem; however the section "It wasn't nature. We are nature" comes across as a bit flat. It might be better to mention a more specific quality associated with nature, following your [civilization = light, barbarism = dark] pattern. Also, I think you could put more of a bow or a giftbox for the reader to open at the end of this series of contradictions, such as how exactly we aren't corrupted by these external things when we possess the potential for good and evil within? Humans are perhaps the only species who can alter the environment to in fact alter the realities of other humans, so I found myself wanting more of a definitive statement from this in-between or "pale" area.

Real Horrorshow Groodies
for a million hands to reach up;
to grab the world by the ankle
and drag it down
until the skyscrapers run all the way to the core.


Now the ending here is enjoyable, it's like progress is impaling the Earth on a supervillain-scale with enormous glass needles. Much better than the usual "blood and earth" themes one sees in poetry of this type--it might actually work for you to do the opposite early on and suggest the urban in small ways within country setting, with knick-knacks and the like.
reads too much like boring prose. no real interesting elements or imagery, though nothing objectively awful either.

idk i can't even really pick out lines or stanzas to comment on because it's all kind of samey. there's some good ideas; you just need to implement them better, man
It looks like I'm going to have to break this poem down and do some rewrites. This is actually an expansion of what was originally a much shorter piece, and it seems like things have gotten a little out of hand. Thanks for the input.

@sad letters from up north: If you don't mind me asking, could you give me a few examples of ideas that you felt were poorly implemented?

Quick Reply

Submit
Manage Your Items
Other Stuff
Get Items
Get Gaia Cash
Where Everyone Hangs Out
Other Community Areas
Virtual Spaces
Fun Stuff
Gaia's Games