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slovitt's (slovitt on UKA) UKArchive
60 Archived submissions found.
Title
A Message In A Bottle (posted on: 21-08-15)
poem

A wicker rocker, on my screen porch. Black coffee, until it is light enough to see A crossword puzzle. Blue jays, As many as five raucous in a big holly. The runners pop in the dark, and stream by. Women in pairs, some pushing strollers. Power walking, Elkins jump starts his day. So these specific lives merge, become A river, as I watch from the bank.-- She's standing alone out on a train platform. The future. There's a lot of life Yet to go, and grandkids are not our kids.
Archived comments for A Message In A Bottle
deadpoet on 22-08-2015
A Message In A Bottle
Beautiful Slovitt. Sounds like a nice and easy morning- the kind I like. This really did appeal to me.
Pia xx

Author's Reply:
deadpoet: thanks for reading and for the good words. swep

sweetwater on 22-08-2015
A Message In A Bottle
Loved the wicker chair on the porch, but a little too early in the morning for me! Great visual poem, so many clear images to be 'seen' by the reader. Sue.

Author's Reply:
Sue: thanks for reading, and for the approval. Swep

stormwolf on 23-08-2015
A Message In A Bottle
Beautiful Swep, just beautiful.
The hustle bustle of life watched from the river bank. Seeing and yet apart. The black coffee till light, the company of the BlueJays....
I relate to it all.
The lonely station platform to where?
Yes, no matter how we may love them...grandkids are not our kids. The title? perfect.

very moved.

Alison x

Author's Reply:
Alison: and so my reader comes by.

the title, A Message In A Bottle, he on a porch and watching. she on the station platform alone. life "yet to go".

thanks, Swep

Mikeverdi on 23-08-2015
A Message In A Bottle
Like this a lot mate, So much said in so little. My kind of poetry. I think Alison said it all.
Mike

Author's Reply:
thanks Mike, for reading and for your comment. Alison is a smart girl, alright. Swep

stormwolf on 23-08-2015
A Message In A Bottle
Yes, life yet to go
Xxx

Author's Reply:
it's all pretty exciting


3 POEMS, FOR R. (1-2) (posted on: 26-06-15)
# 3 in the sequence is CURTAINS DRAWN

1 Those Days, Fridays Rushing in from Memphis I'd fumble with my key, And surprise! lurking Just inside the door, blood Lips, smoky, raccoon eyes, You, wet as I was hard. From the rear, your favorite, Snugly we fit together. Your little giggle, Baby Bingo, Bingo, Bingo Baby. Then, I came, and came, Pumping my need pent up A week, deep into you. Asserting my claim, again. 2     July 4, 2008 Fireworks starring black sky, Red, blue, yellows, Drinking wine in the church Parking lot, a great Vantage point, hands in your Hair, standing behind you, Sliding my hands from neck To collar bone, running over The swell of your breasts To pinch your nipples, stars.
Archived comments for 3 POEMS, FOR R. (1-2)
Gothicman on 26-06-2015
3 Poems, For R. (1-2)
You going public with curtains drawn open again, Slovitt! Enjoyed the excellent poetry though. Some choice descriptions and word use anyone involved would be proud to have written about them. Like the use of headings fixing it in time.
Goth

Author's Reply:
responded in wrong box, reply below yours

Slovitt on 27-06-2015
3 Poems, For R. (1-2)
Trevor: thanks for reading and commenting. over the years my poems to women (there aren't that many) have gotten more and more explicit and i imagine some are too much so for a number of tastes. that of course is fine, but i can't imagine writing any other way or wanting to read something less direct. Swep

Author's Reply:

Mikeverdi on 28-06-2015
3 POEMS, FOR R. (1-2)
Well I liked it HaHa! Any time you feel the need ....more please (she said).
Mike

Author's Reply:
Mike: thanks for reading. and for reading and commenting in the past. Swep

stormwolf on 29-06-2015
3 POEMS, FOR R. (1-2)
Hi Swep, incredibly erotic writing in the classiest of ways.
The shared intimacy and barely contained desire speaks of a level of excitement that is many times missing but which once experienced, is hard to forget. Nor would we want to.
Reminds me of reuniting with a lover after some time apart especially last 4 lines first stanza.
Loved the contrast or rather comparison with the goings on as the fireworks
took off in two places at once in second part.😜
Being fully alive is so rewarding when shared.
Alison x



Author's Reply:
Alison: had missed your commenting on this, glad that you did. "Being fully alive is so rewarding when shared." and that is the point, to find someone with whom you can share. in 1974 in Pamplona, the running of the bulls, i wrote that in a notebook, and of course it will always be a human need. as with your previous commentaries, you are very nearly a perfect reader (for me perfect) in the way you interact almost line by line. Swep


Curtains Drawn (posted on: 14-11-14)
3rd of 3 POEMS, FOR R.

His hands in her blond, Cropped hair, she begins. Takes him in her fist, Then in her teasing mouth. She is a skillful woman. He tenses, his back arches. She has smiling promised To drain him dry, And rhythmically does. She slides up. Her head On his chest. On and on, They lie, alone in the world And outside time, Eden.
Archived comments for Curtains Drawn
Mikeverdi on 14-11-2014
Curtains Drawn
Just off for a cold shower now...back for a second read later ๐Ÿ™‚
Nice one.
Mike
ps just a thought..do you need the word 'And' at the end?

Author's Reply:
Mike: thanks for reading. i had the last couple of lines with, and without "And". to my ear cutting the "And" would make the poem read clipped and I wanted a relaxed couple of finishing lines. Swep


Andrea on 15-11-2014
Curtains Drawn
Crikey, I am quite overcome (so to speak)!

Author's Reply:
Andrea: thanks for reading and commenting. Swep

Gothicman on 15-11-2014
Curtains Drawn
As Jolen once said, this should come with asbestos labels! Excellent raunchiness and not so understated!
Trevor

Author's Reply:
Trevor: thanks for reading and your comment. sensibilities differ but the poem from my point of view is simply a direct, adult poem. "R", the lady that was my partner considers it the most beautiful poem she's ever read, highlighting the last two lines. of course it features her. i like it too, and it is very sexual, but, unoffended, i don't see anything raunchy about it. "asbestos labels", that's a good one for a witch to conjure up. thanks, Swep

Gothicman on 15-11-2014
Curtains Drawn
Swep,
there appears to be many variations of the meaning of raunchiness, but, here I meant it's mildest UK form of meaning erotically sexually explicit i.e though now you say it's a real private happening or even a literal personal dedication, the descriptions are quite explicit, and without symbol value. But, that's a good thing even aired publicly! Great writing.
Trevor

Author's Reply:
Trevor, as i said there are all kinds of sensibilities. the poem is the final of three for R. and all are written with a desire to be direct and emotionally honest, and to create a living thing for R, and for me.

i had written poems for a couple of other women (one of whom was my ex-wife) across the years but during the time of R. and I, several personal tragedies stumbled me away from starting anything. she felt less precious for that and so last winter i went through old writing folders and produced three poems for her. all three are sexual in keeping with our relationship. and precious.

anyway, thanks for your thoughtful remarks and i'll get to your poems tomorrow. Swep

Bozzz on 20-11-2014
Curtains Drawn
We must not be surprised, for your piece,swep, describes the present, the instant now - these very seconds for millions of mankind - and thank goodness, I say. Adam is compensated for his loss of bones by effective drainage - lucky chap - a good buy, womankind - sometimes. Much enjoyed....David

Author's Reply:
David: thanks for reading and your good comment. Swep

stormwolf on 22-11-2014
Curtains Drawn
Hi Swep
What I really loved about this poem, apart from the great intimacy was the last 3 lines. I have known that almost other-worldy peace, the kind that leaves the usual bliss of postcoital relaxation and contentment far behind.
I recognised it at the time as a superconscious state, one could almost call it "the peace that passes all understanding" when reality steps aside and there is only this bubble of bliss.
I have known it a few times and a few of them were in a man's arms just like this.
You have done her proud and captured the elusive to perfection.
Alison x



Ps the title is perfect too.

Author's Reply:
Alison: you no longer surprise me. yes, an altered state. you have not just read, you've interacted. lain with the poem. connected. Swep


Personal Ad Update (posted on: 24-10-14)
poem

My sexuality still won't let me Alone, drives me to smart, Erratic women. When I think Of aging, I think of Seferis Talking calmly about a blood clot As a beautiful little ruby On his brain. No longer The post-divorce rented rooms, A large house, and grounds, The legacy of my parents. The Friedlaenders finally hung. Twenty-five years of zen-- Time, slowly, passes; Stopping to look into a blue jay's Face, her bright, amused eyes.
Archived comments for Personal Ad Update
ifyouplease on 24-10-2014
Personal Ad Update
in my opinion the last four lines are not good enough. you have a fine poem screaming for a better ending. hint: we don't need your opinion about bad-looking, that's something surely you can avoid, the last line is horrendous. the "Ilove etc...zen" you must keep and rephrase somehow.




i just realized something about your poem, the last four lines make some sense but gravely unpoetic, because you think it's some sort of refined personal ad, and it's really frustrating. ok? the first lines indicate we have a serious poem ffs NOT an ad, like your self-portrait ones i mean. don't take your own title so seriously. give art regardless. bye now.

Author's Reply:
the form of the poem tries to update parts of the first PERSONAL AD. it's a personal ad so info about "Not bad-looking,or in bed" is appropriate, as is "I love sexually-charged repartee." after all it's looking for adult respondents. the last line is a variation on one of the best known zen wisdoms, "have you had breakfast? then wash the dishes."

ifyouplease on 25-10-2014
Personal Ad Update
the first line where two deceased relatives are mentioned just doesn't leave any room for personal ad innuendos of the bad-looking or in bed type. for you it may be normal but i expected another type of ad, an updated version a refined one after their death. it seems inappropriate. if you remove the references to the relatives then it's ok.


Author's Reply:
it is an update, and personal, and uses the first poem as a reference point, but this piece is primarily an update, a statement of my current personal situation. it uses the original poem to allow things one wouldn't ordinarily say in assessing one's own life. and at the same time it retains enough of the leeway afforded by a "personal ad".

ifyouplease on 25-10-2014
Personal Ad Update
man i see no point in keeping the first line if you want a personal ad update with bad-looking/bed stuff in it. so good luck with your other readers, i'm disappointed. ๐Ÿ™‚

Author's Reply:
the first personal ad assessed and remarked on, i think, the situation in 2006. this current personal ad can't start anywhere but "Mother and Erin gone," jointly the most important events since the first poem, and a starting point for any current assessment. why that troubles you with the "bad-looking, bed stuff", i don't know. thanks for the good luck wishes.

ifyouplease on 25-10-2014
Personal Ad Update
i find it disrespectful to connect deaths with anything but personal progress or pain, and talking about bed and looks isn't the most mature thing in the world is it? why that doesn't trouble you, i don't know. you're welcome.

Author's Reply:

stormwolf on 26-10-2014
Personal Ad Update
Hi Swep,
I thought this followed on well from the first ad. I looked on both as not so much an ad per se, as a sort of personal appraisal and bold foray into what an ad may contain, if you were brave enough to lay yourself bare (pardon pun ;-))
So, I don't have any problem with any of it.
I was going to say it was light-hearted but that's not strictly true for it's actually 'deep' masquerading as a somewhat jocular invitation.

Anybody would need more than 25 years of Zen to put up with me ha-ha (my parents said I would "make a saint out of heaven swear" ๐Ÿ™ )
The last line reminds me more of the saying 'Made your bed now lie on it' which sure rings a bell with me ;-/
I feel as a combination poem it works and the few lines contain a lot of condensed info that is not always taken in on first reading. This is always good.
I don't have Nic's problems with it but I do respect her opinions.
I think all art is like this....the piece appeals to different aspects of the appraiser's psyche and to be stimulating is SO much better than to be boring IMHO.
Alison x



Author's Reply:
Alison: i must say again, you do engage a poem, interact with it in all of its parts. it is meant to be direct, which can be disarming, and to convey a lot of information, perhaps challenging, in its lines. you're a good reader, as is N., though each of you bring different life experiences to bear in your perspectives.
thanks, Swep


To You, Now (posted on: 10-10-14)
poem

As my eyes open Behind my closed lids, Scanning the innerscape. Moving by thought, But not too quickly. My eyes on the horizon, Forward the only way to go. I feel you feeling me, Wondering what Do we do from here? I'm thinking, hand In hand, we start anew              for S.
Archived comments for To You, Now
stormwolf on 13-10-2014
To You, Now
Hi Swep
This is delightfully intimate. One has an almost voyeuristic feeling reading it. Far from being a distraction, this is what poetry of this kind should be.
The total pre-occupation of the one envisioned behind closed eyes, the resolve to go forward. The total connection when one feels the other's thoughts.
Very romantic with understatement highlighting constrained passion in the best way.
Where are all the comments? It does get me sometimes that so few comment in general, but quality not quantity he he ๐Ÿ˜‰

Alison x



Author's Reply:
Alison, the fact that i replied in the wrong place the first time gives me another opportunity. re-reading your comment, you have absolutely engaged the poem, point by point, "total pre-occupation...resolve to go forward..connection feeling other's thoughts". yes, romantic, and yes, and always, passion. Swep

Slovitt on 13-10-2014
To You, Now
Alison: thanks for commenting. i told people who knew me on another site that this was not my usual style, word driven as it is, a paucity of concrete images, but one that i liked. apropos, i guess no matter what i say to you you can't be horrified. a good scottish woman. the comments are not there, as they shouldn't be, i'm not commenting on other people's work and on a writing site it is, and should be, tit for tat. i can always count on you, you're a generous spirit. swep


Author's Reply:

Pilgermann on 16-10-2014
To You, Now
This is not your usual style. Few concrete details - word driven, to use your own words.
For S.
There are times when words, the sound of them on your tongue is enough to drive the meaning, the feeling. This does that well.

Good poem.
B

Author's Reply:
B, thanks. S

ifyouplease on 25-10-2014
To You, Now
nice and emotional. very well written

Author's Reply:
N, have just now run across this comment. thanks for "emotional" and "well written." Swep


FOR S., 8 POEMS (5-8) (posted on: 21-02-14)
poems

5    Before Redressing                You asked me to use Capsaicin on a crusty place On the nape of your neck. Naked on bed's edge You pushed up, held your hair As I applied the cream. Carefully, I flaked bits off Without tearing flesh, Cleaning, until new skin. I blew flakes away. You shivered, nipples raised Re-donned your thin bra. 6        Your Massage Easing you back, I remove Your flats, black hose. Now, pressing thumbs hard, Work heel to toes between The fine bones of each foot. I kiss, our eyes meeting, The inside of your right calf, Your left knee, yet rising. 7       When We're Gone I wish you hadn't deleted The 600+ messages we shared, Cavafy, koans, fiesty sex. I smiled, laughed out loud At your puns, double entendres Every time I re-read them. Your daughters, my sons, Not horrified, might have found Intriguing the kind of people We were that year--the future Eerily beautiful--a glyph Lined canyon, then horizon.                             5/13 8               After Red bison, black stags, frozen In fire light on a cave wall. And, beneath the gallery, there, Not together, a blonde woman, A dark-eyed man. This cave A place of memories, they've come To re-visit the past. A past Not resolved, only abandoned. http://www.com/watch?v=Tq-deVG0rzk
Archived comments for FOR S., 8 POEMS (5-8)
ifyouplease on 21-02-2014
FOR S., 8 POEMS (5-8)
italics i hate it when i have to use italics, which i avoid as much as i can. i would definitely not use italics to write love in the poem, flows great, creates a nice mood.
well you say alchemizing it's a gerund or something right? i think it was clear it was a noun (formed a noun phrase)? in fact you really don't need any emphasis because of the ending. in my opinion your poetry rarely needs italics. it's that good most of the time. cheers.

Author's Reply:
wanted to make sure "love" was read first time as a noun. yes, i've gotten increasingly wary of using italics, and pull them out for that special emphasis only. of course "special" is subjective. thanks.

****N: got rid of italics on "love" and think i like it better.

jdm4454 on 22-02-2014
FOR S., 8 POEMS (5-8)
Where are the first 4? Good stuff here........jim

Author's Reply:
jim: the first four were published the same day and are on site, also in my archive. thanks for "good stuff", swep

barenib on 22-02-2014
FOR S., 8 POEMS (5-8)
I didn't think I minded italics, but looking at these now I can see what Nicoletta means - I will have to ponder this a little more. The personal poems are good and the final verse is really good! Thanks for your concerns about my health Swep, I'm doing well now - John.

Author's Reply:
john: i keep italics to a minimum. thanks for"good" and "really good", and glad for the news on your health. swep

stormwolf on 22-02-2014
FOR S., 8 POEMS (5-8)
Phew, hose me down...
I love to read men when they write like this. I have learned so much about the real inner feelings of men by reading the poetry they sometimes write (Not to mention doing my own extensive field research in my day ;-))
This is hot, erotic.... engaging the reader, as all masterly eroticism does to my mind, rather than the tired and jaded 'tell it as' as though it's 'painting by numbers' ๐Ÿ˜‰

You slipped into the study,
I followed, locking the door.

yes!
Now--eased--on your side,
Still coming in ripples,

OMG!

I grab a fistful of damp hair.
Then the Piรจce de rรฉsistance in the final stanza!

Incredible. She is a lucky woman haha ๐Ÿ˜‰

Alison x

tried to nominate it and got blocked. Will contact the Boss. x

Author's Reply:
alison: and so your generous enthusiasm carries over from the first four poems. the 5th, "Understanding", is one of my favorites precisely for the lines you highlighted. thanks, swep

Andrea on 22-02-2014
FOR S., 8 POEMS (5-8)
Crikey, I've come over all 'ot and bothered...

Author's Reply:
andrea: always pleased when you drop by the poetry, drop by one of my poems. the whole series took 2 years and 300 pages of manuscript for the 8 poems, and was stirring to be engaged in for such a while. thanks, swep

Leila on 22-02-2014
FOR S., 8 POEMS (5-8)
Swep, powerful...
Intriguing the kind of people
We were that summer--
I too, if I may say so here, have written a number of poems referring to 'one summer'...intense, 'Moment' completes the sequence perfectly...Leila


Author's Reply:
Leila: dazza mentioned you in an e-mail a few weeks ago. to the poems, thanks for "powerful", "intense", and "completes the sequence perfectly". it's nice to engage the female reader when she's both female and an excellent poet. Swep

Mikeverdi on 24-02-2014
FOR S., 8 POEMS (5-8)
Its all been said, just to add that this is my kind of poetry; my kind of writing. I would have Nominated it but its done; accept my thanks instead.
Mike

Author's Reply:
Mike: you are a generous fellow. thanks, Swep


FOR S., 8 POEMS (1-4) (posted on: 21-02-14)
poems

1            Still Wanting             Both with grown children, We're surprised by this chance At love. You're stunning, High cheekbones, hazel eyes. Calls every few hours, Naughty, a girl I want, meeting Atlanta, Jackson, Oxford. You starting to call me Baby.          --summer 2012-- 2             New Mexico We chose Taos, to winter. First morning, sick, S went back To bed. I wandered, cafes, Bookstores, and a mineral shop Where I spent an hour hunting A gift to please her. Examined thunder eggs, geodes, Then a trilobite, back plates Overlapping like samurai armor. Half-smile, "I've always Wanted a trilobite."   Eyes a cool Fire, she pats the bed. 3             Butter Breakfast was real oatmeal Every morning in Taos, Served at the kitchen table By the window. Ravens In the courtyard. You always put a dab of butter In my bowl, covered it So it would melt completely. 4   Understanding                          New Year's Eve, Taos You slipped into the study, I followed, locking the door. Your sarong shucked up, Hazel eyes, serene, oval face, Golden hair all in a swirl. Now--eased--on your side, Still coming in ripples, you In the cove of my arms. I whisper, just the beginning. "Baby, too fast," you say. I grab a fistful of damp hair. Your nails rake my cheek.      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6EysSs9pHE FOR S., 8 POEMS     1.Still Wanting 2.New Mexico 3.Butter 4.Understanding 5.Before Redressing 6.Your Massage 7.When We're Gone 8.After
Archived comments for FOR S., 8 POEMS (1-4)
barenib on 21-02-2014
FOR S., 8 POEMS (1-4)
Half way through and I'm enjoying these snapshots of mature love - but of course with each one the glass becomes fuller and more satisfying. So far 2 & 3 are the most enjoyable/successful for me, but all are pleasing as a whole - best wishes, John.

Author's Reply:
john: thanks for reading. i went in for a physical a few weeks ago and having been asked about any complaints i told my doctor that i'd been doing 50 pushups and 100 situps every morning for years but recently i'd felt tired after that exercise. he put his arm around me and asked if i knew what the problem was. i asked what. he said maturity.

and so with mature love, it'll probably get less vigorous in another decade or two, but it's taking your time, and pleasing your partner, and novel for me, lying together afterward in an afterglow of sorts.

have followed your health problems on here as you shared them and am glad you have recovered, though i understand there's more to go. thanks, swep

Buschell on 22-02-2014
FOR S., 8 POEMS (1-4)
I'm not sure I know anyone as good as you for a/telling it like it is. b/making me want to be part of these stories. c/making me feel part of these stories. d/slowing my pulse down to around five beats per minute.

You get my vote Swepmeister. Dazza.

Author's Reply:
dazza oh dazza, and so the fearful trip is not yet done and we have miles to go before we sleep and isn't this business of being alive pretty exciting. thanks for the good words, swep

stormwolf on 22-02-2014
FOR S., 8 POEMS (1-4)
well Swep!
What can I say?
I have read both pieces and you are a master at your art (and not just in poetry methinks! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
I love it ALL but the second stanza got me, for I have to say, I love crystals and fossils and such-like too.
There is such an easy intimacy in this poem. So many shy away from intimacy or mistake sex for intimacy but this alludes to having it all so to speak.

Alison x


Author's Reply:
alison: auden had his ideal reader who was someone into intricate metrical schemes. i think you are my ideal reader, into the emotional, and the sexual, and the blend. thanks, swep

Mikeverdi on 22-02-2014
FOR S., 8 POEMS (1-4)
Rather like the love you wrote of, these are to be savoured and given the time they deserve; beautiful.
Mike

Author's Reply:
mike: your comment is simple and very pleasing. thanks, swep

stormwolf on 22-02-2014
FOR S., 8 POEMS (1-4)
Away to nominate this. It cannot be done straight-forwardly due to your brackets in the title ๐Ÿ˜‰
The piece should be read as a whole and so nominated as a whole. I am glad I am your ideal reader. I do love to find all the intricacies in a poem, especially one so full of barely constrained passion.


Author's Reply:
alison: thanks, swep

Leila on 22-02-2014
FOR S., 8 POEMS (1-4)
Swep, a sensitive unwrapping of all that is beautiful and to be cherished. Leila

Author's Reply:
Leila: thanks, and glad to hear from you. anything new going to press? Swep

Leila on 22-02-2014
FOR S., 8 POEMS (1-4)
Thanks Swep for your interest and the other kind comment. Last year was pretty successful in terms of poems published in poetry magazines, and some comp successes etc and this year too is already looking promising. There is a very generous offer of a third book on the table so I am working towards that I guess but it could take a year before I make the leap, you know how it is. What about you? Leila

Author's Reply:
leila: almost stopped sending to mags/lit journals because who sees the poems. currently one of five finalists for an "Award", not a prize, which started with 1200 entries. 5 of the FOR S. poems the entry. working toward a 3rd book, the S. poems and the Erin poems a major part of where i've gotten so far. spring 2015, or fall. your last book was full of poems one by one that had earned a place in the world, i'll look forward to your 3rd. swep

ifyouplease on 24-02-2014
FOR S., 8 POEMS (1-4)
excellent work Swep.

Author's Reply:
thanks, N., and just saw the favorite, so thanks for that and i don't believe i've gotten one in years.

Leila on 24-02-2014
FOR S., 8 POEMS (1-4)
Swep, just wanted to stop by and reply. Congratulations on getting on to the shortlist of 5 from 1200, WOW! I hope that award comes to you. I will look forward to a 3rd book from you, you know how much I admire your work. Your kind words are as ever much appreciated...Leila

Author's Reply:


The Aisles of Toys-R-Us (posted on: 14-06-13)
falls between "Erin" and "Why I Live Alone" in a 4 poem sequence

Out shopping for a present For the first birthday of my first Grandchild, learning toys, Blocks, shapes, simple puzzles, Turning a corner I surprise A girl talking to a doll. She looks up, calm, dark eyes... She's gone, I'm following-- Saying Baby, wait, Baby wait.
Archived comments for The Aisles of Toys-R-Us
japanesewind on 14-06-2013
The Aisles of Toys-R-Us
Enjoyed this swep, the end brought a smile, and the reality of it comes across..D

The first word "out" could be dropped I think, without effecting clarity.

Author's Reply:
david: thanks for reading. the "out" was an addition to this poem and one that seemed to be needed for how i would describe the shopping trip. have cleaned up the last 2 lines of the first stanza and taken "and" (She's gone, and I'm following--) out of the next-to-last line. swep

Buschell on 13-11-2013
The Aisles of Toys-R-Us
Mr Swep. I have read all three of this sequence.

This world was once a fluid haze of light.

And then it went out.

So sorry.

Author's Reply:
thanks. love, swep

Pilgermann on 25-08-2014
The Aisles of Toys-R-Us
will read the rest of the sequence before I comment. You have me intrigued....not too many men have the skill.....

Author's Reply:
B., just seeing this comment. am pleased that you interacted with the poem. Swep

Pilgermann on 02-09-2014
The Aisles of Toys-R-Us
We have talked about traces and how every moment holds every moment past, present and future. Sometimes its needs a trigger, sometimes life just washes over us. We are here to trace those traces. You have set off another trail for me.

Author's Reply:
B., most often one doesn't have a choice to trace, or not. the way to navigate the world is shared with others, often informed by others. Swep


A Ceiling Bas-relief (the Fontaine House) (posted on: 20-05-13)
for Karen's challenge

1.1850. To typhus, the only boy of a tinsmith, lost. Off to the side of the mourning, swinging its neck, the child's pet swan rejects food, follows its small master. The smith resumes work. Borne by river, Natchez to Memphis, across years he labors, ornamenting the homes of the wealthy. In 1870, to this house, comes... 2.Atop a scaffold, face uplifted, Kneeling. He applies A thin base. An oval frame Molds. Hands floating, The curved outline of wings Forms, feather by feather Details. Now, between the wings, Eyes, a delicate nose-- Stare: the smith's hands           long since air, Lively, this face with his jaw.
Archived comments for A Ceiling Bas-relief (the Fontaine House)
franciman on 20-05-2013
A Ceiling Bas-relief (the Fontaine House)
Hi Swep,
You highlighted the pathos in the story of the journeyman and his son, without overdoing the sentiment. I liked that a lot. I can't begin to pretend that I understand your poetic form, though I do get that you feel you must show and not tell. In summary, I enjoyed this without understanding some of the imagery. What I enjoyed the most was the premise that what we see rendered in tin, in plaster and on canvas, has it's own story to tell?
A very enjoyable read.
cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 20-05-2013
A Ceiling Bas-relief (the Fontaine House)
Jim: thanks for reading and commenting. the first stanza offers the backdrop i.e. a tinsmith's son dies of typhus in 1850, and the child's pet swan in mourning, refuses to eat and soon follows its small master in death. the second stanza finds the tinsmith 20 years later, 1870, arriving at the fontaine house to execute a commission. the reader can work with the tinsmith as he creates his bas-relief, atop the scaffolding, face uplifted, kneeling. and so the smith applies a base, an oval frame molds, and then creates wings, and between them, eyes, a delicate nose. we ratchet forward, STARE: the smith long dead, an image at the ceiling, the face of his boy between the protection of swan wings, yet LIVELY, 100 years later. for me the ultimate function of art, any art, is to create so the reader, the viewer can participate in a living experience, and so the smith offered for an eternity of sorts his love for his boy, still lively in the smith's art. generally not a fan of explicating poems, but at the same time the driving force for me in my poetry is to communicate, and clearly, so that the reader can feel what i feel, can experience the subject matter rather than to be told about it.. swep



Author's Reply:

japanesewind on 20-05-2013
A Ceiling Bas-relief (the Fontaine House)
Swep, this gave me some problems, I will start here.

"He applies
A thin base." sentence fragment. base of what ? to what?

"An oval frame
Molds." sentence fragment. And undecipherable.

"Stare: the smith's hands
long since air," lost to abstraction. whatever N was thinking does not come across with clarity.

The first verse reads like prose. and the line below,
"Off to the side
of the mourning"

is almost another fragment. The mourning what?
would be the question.

The whole "swan" bit does not work for me, it throws up too many questions that drop me out of the poem to give consideration to, for example, how did they get "the swan" to the funeral? why are they trying to feed it there?
does it "follow its master" by jumping into the grave with him?

hope this reading gave some food for thought.

all the best...David


Author's Reply:
david: the title is a ceiling bas-relief. the prosaic first part is a history to set-up part 2. the last line of part 1 refers to the smith, "in 1870, to this house comes." the fontaine house referenced in the title. then "Atop a scaffold, face uplifted,
Kneeling.

the smith is atop a scaffold to start on the ceiling bas-relief of the title. he is applying a thin base from which to build up the bas-relief. why do you think that something being a sentence fragment is significant? poetry worldwide is rife with fragments.

the oval frame is what the smith is building up on the base. again sentence fragment??? it seems pretty clear if you simply think about the title, follow the first part and then let yourself go with the lines, experiencing the creation of the bas-relief and not having someone tell you there's one at the ceiling.

Stare: the smith's hands... what could be clearer if you've been paying attention and working along with the smith at the ceiling. the STARE has racheted forward in time for the contemporary viewer, who despite "the smith's hands being long since air", which gets one to present time, experiences "Lively, this face with his jaw." the smith's jaw, a bow to genes when he fashioned the boy's face.

continuing to walk down your comment, back to the first part, which i've said is meant to convey a backdrop. you mystify me with your comments about fragments. the mourning is the mourning that would go on if the only boy of a family had died by typhus. off to the side, the pet swan doesn't eat, dies too.

the image at the ceiling is "a boy's face with swan wings". the swan didn't have to go to the funeral, there was plenty of mourning to go around at home. "follows its small master" by dying.

this reading makes me despair of poetry that doesn't talk one down a page like a tourist guide.

thanks for the perspective. swep

japanesewind on 20-05-2013
A Ceiling Bas-relief (the Fontaine House)
hiya Swep, do you want me to reply?

David

Author's Reply:
david i responded to you as if you were in my den talking about a poem and you not getting it. not a pivotal event in world history and i consider you a writing friend. if you have something further to say that you want to say, by all means do. swep

rcc on 20-05-2013
A Ceiling Bas-relief (the Fontaine House)
After rreading it several times it worked for me right down until the 'stare' line. I didn't know what you weere referring to until you explained the inference of 'hands long since air' was to pass time from 1870 to present, then it works perfectly.....I gotta say I did think, 'he's describing a bird the smith is forming, why didn't he say 'beak'? ..but after reading it a couple more times I got it...
And once you get it---it is a powerful piece. thanks for the read ---------Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Author's Reply:
rcc: most readers of poetry read it as if it is a newspaper, no more engagement, and once through and toss it in the corner. i was told long ago that one has to get "psyched up' to read a poem on its terms, even as players butt heads before football games, and so your several times through doesn't seem like too much. i am glad you put in the time and came out thinking "powerful piece." the description of the bas-relief is the smith forming wings and between them eyes, a nose, the boy's face with swan wings. thanks, swep

japanesewind on 20-05-2013
A Ceiling Bas-relief (the Fontaine House)
No, your reply is good enough for me. you had a question mark against one of my points and I wanted to make sure I did not leave you waiting for an answer that never came.

seeya...D

Author's Reply:
thanks, swep

e-griff on 20-05-2013
A Ceiling Bas-relief (the Fontaine House)
Do I recognise this? Yes ๐Ÿ™‚

Is it as good as ever? Of course! ๐Ÿ™‚

Author's Reply:
John: now that's an upbeat, smart comment. thanks, swep

Shywolf on 20-05-2013
A Ceiling Bas-relief (the Fontaine House)
We make art with what life gives us, what else can we artists do? Your word paintings are as carefully crafted as ever, Swep. Too easy to gloss over, but infinitely rewarding when read carefully.

Glenn

Author's Reply:
glenn: as ever, yours is a measured, thoughtful comment. i am glad you read and told me so so well. swep

karen123 on 21-05-2013
A Ceiling Bas-relief (the Fontaine House)
As someone who constantly looks at the tops of buildings which is often forgotten there is a huge amount of beauty up there often many many years old and I often think of the people who created it. I thought your poem beautiful.

Author's Reply:
Karen: yes, i look up a lot too. thanks for "beautiful". swep

stormwolf on 21-05-2013
A Ceiling Bas-relief (the Fontaine House)
Hi Swep.
I read the poem then I read your replies to others. I should not have done so...but I did... and then the poem came alive for me in a beautiful way.
If I am honest, it can be a bit intimidating to comment on a poem by one who obviously knows what they are doing...if you feel that you maybe did not quite 'get it'
You have very definite opinions about how you feel a poem should be but I hope you understand that some of us write in a simpler fashion and in doing so can engage the emotions of the readers, who are maybe not as 'sophisticated' in outlook. i don't mean that disparagingly to either you or the readers, just saying ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hope you do not feel this is negative. I am simply taking advantage of this poem being in the poetry challenge that I am to believe wants more open and honest feedback.
your comments such as
"most readers of poetry read it as if it is a newspaper, no more engagement, and once through and toss it in the corner."
"this reading makes me despair of poetry that doesn't talk one down a page like a tourist guide." ;-(((

I do not agree at all. A poem does not have to have me sitting wracking my brains to try to understand it (NOT this one) to have worth in my eyes and I am a reader of poetry.
If a poem leaves a mark on my psyche it has been a good poem to me, no matter how simply it is put across and to suggest otherwise smacks of elitism...there I have said it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

No offence but please don't decry those of us who simply write from emotions rather than trying to hide things to make it more complicated. I do value your opinions and I do love your work but I felt I had to say it. We all have different styles / tastes.

Alison x



Author's Reply:
Alison: my opinions on how a poem should be made are definite, but those opinions allow for a wide range of approaches, and the ultimate criteria is communicating most effectively what has brought you pen in hand to paper. there are all levels of writers, and what they want from their foray into poetry, and i say bless them all. i've been on uka for something over 9 years and have tried to help my fellow writers as best i could, and been open to every kind of posting.

as for "readers of poetry..newspaper.once through", well that is the way most people in the public and on writing sites approach poems, certainly not all. and my comment about "despairing" was in a personal reply to david who i like as a person and as a poet but whom i didn't feel gave much effort in the reading of my poem. nobody is talking about wracking your brains, and elitism is an easy buzz word to toss around.

dear alison, i don't decry anyone and one of the things i dislike most in poetry is obscurity, puzzle poems as it were. if i comment on a poem and it's in the "definite" way that you characterize then typically i feel like the poet has something going and that a suggestion or two might grease their way. thanks, swep

Savvi on 21-05-2013
A Ceiling Bas-relief (the Fontaine House)
Hi Swep without your explanation I had only grasped part of this wonderful poem so its all the richer now. Thanks S

Author's Reply:
savvi: thanks for reading savvi, and commenting. "wonderful" is pretty high praise, so thanks again, for that. swep

stormwolf on 21-05-2013
A Ceiling Bas-relief (the Fontaine House)
Thanks Swep ๐Ÿ˜‰

Author's Reply:

freya on 23-05-2013
A Ceiling Bas-relief (the Fontaine House)
Beautiful. The love of the tinsmith for his only lost son is rendered palpable, both in ornamental 'memory' across more than a century, and this poem. So admire the very subtle half rhymes and alliteration throughout, but particularly the full-on rhyme of stare/air, the two words perfectly conveying a mesmerized awe and appreciation for both art and its creator.

I didn't think I'd ever have to suggest you add another comma, but perhaps you need one after 'river'? Unless there really is a river Natchez. Moi

Author's Reply:
shelagh: thanks. yes, looking back through work years ago on this poem there was a comma after "river", somehow over the years it faded away. will re-install, and thanks for that. swep


Your Massage (posted on: 13-05-13)
(5 of 8 poem set)

Easing you back, I remove Your flats, black hose. Now, pressing thumbs hard, Work heel to toes between The fine bones of each foot. I kiss, our eyes meeting, The inside of your right calf, Your left knee, yet rising.                         for S.
Archived comments for Your Massage
freya on 13-05-2013
Your Massage
There's a loving gentleness to this. A picture of one partner showing care and tenderness toward the other. And of course, the teasing suggestion of what will likely follow!

Who can capture such a moment in lines of poetry as well as Swep Lovitt? No problems for my Smart-Ass-Editorial self to fix, darn it! Like very much, Swep. Shelagh

Author's Reply:
shelagh: you do have a way of highlighting the essence of a piece of writing. you're generous, and smart. swep

Andrea on 13-05-2013
Your Massage
Very erotic, I thought (but then what do I know?)

Author's Reply:
andrea: thanks. swep

Bozzz on 16-05-2013
Your Massage
Swep, I too believe in starting low and working upwards - it's called 'flooreplay' - but it's a bit difficult while dancing... Enjoyed the first course....David

Author's Reply:
David: you've got to start somewhere. thanks for reading, swep


After (posted on: 05-04-13)
poem

Red bison, black stags, frozen In fire light on a cave wall. And, beneath the gallery, there, Not together, a blonde woman, A dark-eyed man. This cave A place of memories, they've come To re-visit the past. A past Not resolved, only abandoned.                             for S.
Archived comments for After
Hekkus on 05-04-2013
Moment
An effective poem, almost a tanka in its brevity. Not a wasted word.

Author's Reply:
Hekkus: thanks for reading and for your good words. swep

Fox-Cragg on 05-04-2013
Moment
La grotte de Lascaux, comes straight mind only you brought it to life.
Enjoyed.
Paul

Author's Reply:
Fox-Cragg: yes, have loved the cave paintings of lascaux, altimira, for a lifetime. visually beautiful, and sacred. thanks for reading. swep

japanesewind on 06-04-2013
Moment
Swep, better for the revision, some thoughts, "flames flickering" could be reversed if you wanted to play around a little. I could be wrong here but can "cave's" be cut to cave? "a man and his woman" could go, it is almost repeated in the next lines. I like "fire maker"it conjures that era for me. All the best...D

Author's Reply:
david: the flames thing and cave/cave's both give me pause. flames and flickering could be reversed, and cave used as well as cave's, reading them each way has its virtue, but neither alternative seems better. yes, i see your point on "man and woman". will ponder that. thanks for reading, swep

Nemo on 07-04-2013
Moment
A reduction to telling brush-strokes is all that is required and the scene is created. The image lasts in the mind as if I'd just stumbled into the cave. Preferring, however, 'cave wall.' Also as you are sealing the image in grammar, 'from active verb, to a noun' or quite simply 'from verb, to a noun', as the verb implies action, the word 'action' is superfluous. nemo

Author's Reply:
nemo: considered both "cave" and "cave's" and decided "cave's" is by one layer more particular. also considered, and originally had just "verb", but wanted to emphasize and separate the physicalness of the act, "action verb" being much more dynamic than "verb". thanks for reading and for your remarks. swep

stormwolf on 07-04-2013
Moment
I really liked this first time round so nothing of any note to add Swep. A short poem that says a lot.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Alison: thanks for coming back by to read. i'm glad you liked it the first time but have made several changes and i think to the good. thanks, swep

orangedream on 07-04-2013
Moment
Less can occasionally be more, as indeed, you demonstrate admirably here, swep;-)

Tina

Author's Reply:
tina: thanks for coming by and commenting. swep

freya on 07-04-2013
Moment
Swep, I don't have a copy of your original so don't know what's missing for me, but something of the beauty seems to have been cut away. Initially, this poem brought to mind the deeply reflective thinking and loveliness of your poem, Passage. Shelagh

Author's Reply:
shelagh: reading something that has been revised often leaves the reader with the feeling that the first thing was the better. i know you know that and can only say this version satisfies the couple of problems of the original, and sets up the last four lines in a way that rings true. perhaps what you're missing and liked from the original posting was perhaps it is us which was pleasing but didn't ring true. swep

Witchysmyth on 29-04-2013
Moment
A succinct treasure and fine read!

Author's Reply:
witchysmyth: thanks for the good remark. a much worked on poem that achieved its current form well after the posted comments. birthday yesterday? swep

freya on 02-05-2013
Moment
I do believe you have restored much of the original! Not fair, all these changes behind cave walls. Would like to see the process. But I'm not so miffed that I won't award a 6 3/8 favor-ite. Moi, runt person.

Author's Reply:
shelagh: i suspect perhaps it is us was what struck you as missing, and it has been restored. plus, finally got the first two lines worked out. at all times the revisions were simply to make the rest of the poem sufficient to get me to the last two lines. thanks for the favorite, i had forgotten about such things. swep

rcc on 12-05-2013
Moment
I like it Swep....and I understand where your head is with the imagery, but I betcha at least one incarnation went something like this:

fire light
black stags
red bison
across a cave wall
and there
just beneath a
dream procession
a man and a woman
on a bed of skins
alchemizing love
verb to noun

stripped naked, kind of like the Beatles "Let it Be" without Phil's 'wall of sound'....pure. I like it. I like it the way you worked it out, too. They're truly never finished, are they?........peace--Buzzzzzzzzzzz

Author's Reply:
buzzy: thanks for reading and commenting. no, my incarnations were tighter, the enjambments more useful. swep

Marri on 26-07-2013
Moment
I read several of your poems and will be reading a few more tonight. I love the captured simplicity in details that sometimes might go unnoticed. I find the way you describe elegant and tasteful. Enjoyed it greatly

Author's Reply:
Marri: thanks for reading and for "enjoyed it greatly". Swep


When We're Gone (posted on: 22-02-13)
poem

I wish you hadn't deleted The 600+ messages we shared, Cavafy, koans, fiesty sex. I smiled, laughed out loud At your puns, double entendres Every time I re-read them. Your daughters, my sons, Not horrified, might have found Intriguing the kind of people We were that year--the future Eerily beautiful--a glyph Lined canyon, then horizon.                                5/13--for S.
Archived comments for When We're Gone
Nomenklatura on 22-02-2013
When Were Gone
Modern Love, eh! The inspiration for some great songs and this excellent poem. Succinct as always.

Modern Love I

Modern Love II

Author's Reply:
nomenklatura: thanks for reading and being the first commenter. and thanks for "excellent" and "succinct". still fooling with the poem and hoping to make it live up to such praise. swep

Kat on 22-02-2013
When Were Gone
I wish I could offer something sensible, but I'm just in awe, really. I just love the 'ordinariness' of this which is also personal, and thus (I feel) relatable to others in similar circumstances... what we do with our love relics... ! And how our nearest and dearest (especially our cynical children) may react if they knew and saw.

Your simile,

'The future beautiful as Lascaux'

is cleverly chosen as it's evoked the following thoughts:

If I had the room, I would have a wee museum, perhaps, with special trinkets from over the years with a little explanation... haha, but seriously, I certainly have a box with bits and pieces in, from people I loved and that I'll always cherish.

Thank you for this wonderful read.

Kat x

Author's Reply:
kat: i can always count on you to read and warmly remark. thanks for your comments and you might look at the poem again, i've tried to clarify my intentions with a change in the last two lines. thanks, swep

Mikeverdi on 22-02-2013
When Were Gone
This for me is brilliant in it's simplicity; no frills, just terrific writing. Mike

Author's Reply:
mike: high praise, which i appreciate. see you're writing longer, prose pieces. when the poems start again i'll look in and remark. thanks, swep

deadpoet on 22-02-2013
When Were Gone
Simple says a helluva lot as this poem does

Author's Reply:
deadpoet: sorry for the delay of this response--i apparently left unaddressed several comments. strong praise, and i've looked at your poems and you don't write like someone for whom english is a second language. thanks, swep

japanesewind on 22-02-2013
When Were Gone
Hiya Swep, smooth up until the last 2 lines then i had to drop out of the poem to consider who or what "lascaux"
was/is.... the only thing I could find under that heading were the caves, is that why you put "shine a light"
on the next line,. I would consider these 2 lines if you ever felt like modifying.. regards...D

Author's Reply:
David: the last two lines are the essence of the poem. lascaux, along with altimira in spain, is/are famous sites for prehistoric cave paintings. a future as if working through a cave, the future as beautiful as the cave paintings and their setting, the flashlight/torch the light, the always overriding admonition in cave explorations, "stay together." the two faced with a future they are finding beautiful, one of exploration, but stay together. swep

have come back to say that the first 2/3's of the poem are about erasing the history of the messages and what different people her daughters and my sons might discover with access to the notes after we're gone. flesh-and-blood, excited by their lives and life, ribald, smart, smartass. people in the sense that children rarely think of their parents as.

chant on 22-02-2013
When Were Gone
excellent, very strong, sure piece of writing and like the Lascaux link back to Crease.

Author's Reply:
i sent you a pm concerning a suggestion by david that he liked a 15 line version which resolved both his mail boxes and hers. i don't think it has to go there. yes, lascaux and crease. pleased with "Shine a light, stay together." as a way for two people to go at the world, into the world, exploring and staying together, beautiful and strange as the paths in the caves at lascaux.

freya on 23-02-2013
When Were Gone
Swep, beautiful poem. But I agree with japanesewind: your ending line seems disconnected from the rest and sort of hangs there awkwardly. Without your explanation I don't think any reader would get the meaning you intend to convey. Contrarily, sounds to me as if your narrator is issuing a command or making a demand of 'you'. Wouldn't think that's what you want to imply, Swep.



Like chant I feel the link back to Crease is masterful and this where you have the opportunity to resolve your poem more evocatively. To that end: 'shine a light' conjures up a far too modern image for me. I'd use carrying a torch, though I know that phrase can have a negative connotation.

But with the torch there's also a connection to a wedding/love tradition.



From the Internet:



The association of a torch with love may date to the Greek and Roman tradition of a wedding torch, lit in the brideโ€™s hearth on her wedding night, then used to light the hearth in her new home. Such a torch is associated with the Greek god of marriage Hymen.



Anyway, a minor change would suffice. Perhaps something like:



Might have found it surprising

Just how excited we were--

The future beautiful as Lascaux,

We/The two of us carrying the torch high, staying together.
Shelagh

Author's Reply:
okay, between you and chant, and japanesewind, i'll re-open the poem. HOWEVER, i hate "torch", for its traditional associations, its almost cliche-ness. anyway, shelagh, as always you are one thoughtful yankee, thanks. swep

*****okay, again. i'm going out-of-town this weekend and will type up the poem with "The torch high, stay together." or some minor variation as a possibility. swep

chant on 23-02-2013
When Were Gone
do like Shelagh's suggestion, a very powerful tradition in history and literature of the torch, wondered about an ending like: 'We two lifting a torch on it' or 'Together lifting a torch on it'

Author's Reply:
chant: have just replied to shelagh that i'm re-opening the poem based on your, shelagh's, and japanesewind's difficulty at the close. also replied that i don't like the notion of "torch". not to defend what i have but to hold a torch to it,

the very last line, "Shine a light, stay together." harkens back to creating something the reader can interact with, take and go forward, the reader having accepted being in the future of being transported to lascaux, the future beautiful, "shine a light, stay together." i realize if i keep offering explicatory tips that for ya'll there was a difficulty but, but... anyway, thanks. swep

***okay, okay, will try "The torch high, stay together." and minor variations as i go out-of-town for the weekend.

freya on 23-02-2013
When Were Gone
Well Johnny Reb, there you go insisting on that typical tense change and discontinuity at the end of your poem. Just as stubborn as ever. Perhaps you should ask the opinion of whoever you are visiting, especially if it's the woman in question. Or should I say girl?

Agree on the cliche aspect of torch though. I'm really out of practice with using/thinking about critique on poetry and note -the morning after - that I was entirely short on balance and tact. As you know, I've been pretty tied up with getting things in order here, and was just relaxing with a cup of tea when I read your piece.

How about flame or fire. Anything but shining a mega watt spotlight on what is meant to be a reference to a shadowy cave-dark, an awesome long ago.

Moi, anything-but-Yankee-woman

Author's Reply:
Dear Shelagh (i should have remembered how one has to approach): yes, tense changes in many of my poems. Discontinuity: moi? nah. visiting swep and the little gorilla. surely not "should i say girl?"

have come around on "torch" thinking it has a recognition factor that is valuable and at the same time resonates better than my initial reaction. didn't notice a lack of tact.

will think on flame and fire and other possibilities, and yes, meant to be a reference to a shadowy cave, an awesome long ago.

you are hereby promoted to a rebel-woman. go and be whole, my child.

Kat on 24-02-2013
When Were Gone
Swep, I like the changes very much, not that I'd been complaining anyway, but that's what's so great about the input here on UKA... folks know how to polish a diamond.

Really like the 'torch high' image (more powerful, effective, strongly symbolic), and I really like the staccato sounds (to my ear) in '...quick, wicked repartee'

And I've enjoyed reading the suggestions, especially from the lovely freya.

Kat x

Author's Reply:
kat: thanks for coming back by and remarking. yes, good line-by-line criticism is what every poet needs and the purveyors of such are the poet's best friends. as for freya, well for a disaffiliated norse goddess she's a spirited girl. swep

***"the torch high,..."*** not before the paintings but as one holds the torch up to light the path on further into the cave, and the two admonished "stay together." per the uncertainty and danger of the situation.

e-griff on 24-02-2013
When Were Gone
Swep, no problem with the majority of this (and, btw, the conversation is fascinating ;-)) .

But on first reading of this version, I did have a problem with the last line when reading (before I read the comments ). . It doesn't seem to me to fit the rest, and neither does it provide a contrast which would justify it.

I can't suggest better though!

John G

Author's Reply:
John: the last line, last two, are the resolution of having regretted her deleting the messages and having pointed out re the title When We're Gone, that her daughters and my sons might have been surprised at how excited we were as evidenced in the messages about "the future", a future as beautiful as lascaux, unknown and open to exploration, as in the cave "torch high" and "stay together." parents, she and i, fleshed out in a human way the kids might not have experienced. anyway, thanks for reading and glad to hear from you. swep

e-griff on 24-02-2013
When Were Gone
Sorry, I don't think I was clear. I did understand the intent mostly, and you have added some detail - but it was simply the words, the mode of expression that didn't quite gel for me.

Not a big issue.

Author's Reply:
john: thanks for reading, and coming back. swep

freya on 02-05-2013
When Were Gone
Johnny Reb, Johnny Reb! You came to your senses. Lovely, lovely resolution. But... not horrified? Isn't that a bit of a silent screenish overplay? Whatever word you used in its place before, I liked.

Author's Reply:
shelagh, o shelagh: yes, much worked on. thanks for "lovely resolution". I didn't have anything in place of "horrified" before, those two words, "Not horrified", were one of the new bits that allowed the tumblers to click into place for the last six lines. and again, thanks for the favorite. swep

freya on 07-05-2013
When Were Gone
Umm... there is a devil in me now I'm back on UKA. Her name is Smart-Ass-Editor, and she's a fiendish know-it-all. Needs shooting. Call the NRA!

Anyhoo...I'm ruthlessly tooth-combing your poem, looking for nits:

The torch high, the path lit.

What about dropping the first word? (Mindful of David's comment on my own poem and trying not to repeat myself too much by saying, the, the, the....)

Author's Reply:
shelagh: got to have "The torch high", for balance, and because it sounds funny without "The". sometimes we can get too maniacal with the paring, and for me lines have to be able to be read aloud and sound like someone would say them. as for the tiptoeing onto my poem, well just come on in, you're always welcome. swep

freya on 07-05-2013
When Were Gone
And 'horrified' really has to go!

Author's Reply:
shelagh: horrified is what i'd say and my friends would say to describe the reaction of one's children and their attitudes about stumbling into parents being people, sexual, smartass, sometimes smart. horrified is perfect, my little petunia. swep


Butter (posted on: 28-01-13)
poem

Breakfast was real oatmeal Every morning in Taos, Served at the kitchen table By the window. Ravens In the courtyard. You always put a dab of butter In my bowl, covered it So it would melt completely.                              for S.
Archived comments for Butter
bo_duke99 on 28-01-2013
A Pat Of Butter
put-a-pat-of-butter - :o)

Author's Reply:
greg: yes. swep

greg: good point on "pat", which i've changed to "dab." thanks, swep

japanesewind on 28-01-2013
A Dab Of Butter
Swep such a domestic scene to contemplate, love the ravens,
and the holiday feel.
your obviously reminiscing, what do ya think about present tense?

regards.D



Author's Reply:
David: i'll consider, after all a switch in tenses helped Massage a lot. the trip to taos was a month in a casita that dh lawrence stayed in for several of his winters in taos and the casita in which dennis hopper wrote easy rider. those romantic literary connections not necessarily to my taste though i went willingly along.

stormwolf on 01-02-2013
Butter
Nice feeling of intimacy in this poem.

Alison x

Author's Reply:
alison: this is a poem i really like, so thanks for the comment. swep


New Mexico (posted on: 28-01-13)
poem

We chose Taos, to winter. First morning, sick, S went back To bed. I wandered, cafes, Bookstores, and a mineral shop Where I spent an hour hunting A gift to please her. Examined thunder eggs, geodes, Then a trilobite, back plates Overlapping like samurai armor. Half-smile, "I've always Wanted a trilobite." Eyes a cool Fire, she pats the bed.                                  for S.
Archived comments for New Mexico
bluepootle on 28-01-2013
Taos
I love the thunder eggs, geodes, leading to the trilobite. Such an enclosed, rock-solid feeling to the poem.

If it was mine I would cut 'Lit up the world' and leave it on 'Smiled.' which I think would give the reader room to put their own thoughts into the relationship. Ah well. I just feel that 'Lit up the world' is a phrase I've seen before that doesn't do justice to the closing statement. Could well just be me though.

Author's Reply:
aliya: fooled with that last line a lot and felt a great relief when i finished it as it is. now, you bring it under a scrutiny that makes me think it's not enough. i will rework it, because i agree, though "Smiles." doesn't seem adequate by itself at the moment. thanks, swep

bo_duke99 on 28-01-2013
Taos
'overlapping like Samurai armor' runs well, as does this piece as a whole

Author's Reply:
greg: thanks for reading and "runs well". i guess i'm off to work on that last line per bluepootle's comment. swep

barenib on 28-01-2013
Taos
Swep, I enjoyed this piece, though I understand Aliya's point. I might be tempted with something like 'half-smiled, (which echoes back to half-sick) lit up an ancient world', perhaps undoing the cliche a little while pursuing the fossil motif. John.

Author's Reply:
john: the last line is up in the air, as unwritten as when i started. ah, the poetic process. thanks for reading and weighing in. swep

japanesewind on 28-01-2013
Taos
Swep, loved this, bought a trilobite once in Morroco and your thought on the connection to the samurai armor is beautiful.

you could put "smiled" after or before "suprised and then drop "lit up the world"

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 28-01-2013
Taos
David: thanks. you would be the one reader to appreciate "like samurai armor." even as you were commenting i've made a change in the last line. see what you think. swep

Author's Reply:

japanesewind on 28-01-2013
Taos
I like the thought of our "patient" recovering like that...D

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 28-01-2013
Taos
David: yes a good recovery for all. i think this is a last line i can live with, it makes emotional and physical connections.
thanks, swep

Author's Reply:

butters on 28-01-2013
Taos
"it never occurred to her, or would it to anyone to want a trilobite, much less "always."

why wouldn't they? they are wonderful, as are fossils in general, geodes and all manner of rock crystals and ...

back to the poem:

it works. no need to touch a thing.



Author's Reply:
jan: i agree wholeheartedly, "wonderful." thanks for the validation "it works. no need to touch a thing." i like the poem very much and glad you approve. swep

Savvi on 29-01-2013
Taos
I would echo Jan's comments the poem is well balanced, the reader feels sympathy and you get your just reward for the kind deed. Great stuff. Savvi

Author's Reply:
savvi: thanks for reading and for your good comments. i have been derelict and will address your current pieces on the morrow. thanks, swep

Kat on 31-01-2013
Taos
Swep, a very fine poem which seems complete to me. Particularly liked:

' fossilized
Exoskeleton, back plates
Overlapping like samurai armor.'

You show in so few words the special magic within the relationship, and how reciprocal it was, as the best ones are.

Keep shining!

Kat x

Author's Reply:
kat oh kat: your comment is good to wake up to. you're a generous reader. thanks, swep

stormwolf on 31-01-2013
Taos
Hi Swep ๐Ÿ˜‰
Well, as one who loves crystals and fossils I can identify ๐Ÿ˜‰
The last line made me smile.
I am interested though...I know you 'know your onions' as they say about poetry...
but WHY do you have this as the last line?
Come on over here, said.

why not 'she said'? I do not understand why you have the line looking like you have left out a word and what it adds to the poem?
This is a genuine question BTW

Alison x

Author's Reply:
Alison: tha last line is meant to convey an attitude arising out of the sarcasm of the previous lines i.e. "I've always wanted a trilobite," she smiled. shortened, direct, and using the "she" of "smiled" to make unnecessary "she" again which would formalize the utterance, undermine the vigor of the line. thanks, swep

stormwolf on 31-01-2013
Taos
ah! ah see said the Chinaman ๐Ÿ˜‰ x

Author's Reply:

freya on 27-05-2013
Taos
You're going to kill me. That essential line is not strong enough for me. Why? Because she stayed in bed, was ill. Because being 'bemused' doesn't seem to justify such a rapid change in mood: from being too sick to accompany your speaker on a foray into the shopping area, to feeling so much better she is set, ready, go for your last line. If smile and bemused is all she can manage, then her statement would indicate to me she's faking it! If you know what I mean. And I'm sure you do. Moi, your Smart-Ass-Critic ๐Ÿ™‚

Author's Reply:
shelagh: i think we're focusing on different things. my attention is not entirely on her, it has become a matter of us, her driving the moment. she's bemused, and not stronger an emotion, with the odd gift of a fossil. then as she says with sweet sarcasm, "I've always wanted." there's a realization in me the reader that something is coming, and she's scooting over and patting the bed, and something is indeed coming. "...always wanted/. She scoots over, pats the bed."swep

jdm4454 on 03-02-2014
Taos
.......I have no idea what the last lines to your poem were before, but the piece as it stands seems complete to me. I may not read it quite the way you intended, but I get it....what with all the attention paid to the end of this poem it is the first word that doesn't fit (for me) ... "still" ?? does this assume this is a continuance from a previous poem, do we have prior knowledge of her illness? just seems a wasted word, but it "still" has great flow and it's easy to dance to ----I give it a 9

Author's Reply:

Pilgermann on 17-10-2014
Taos
I have a dozen trilobites. The past unpeels to reveal so much. Passion overcomes illness. We need to recognise where the balance is.

Author's Reply:
B, i've had a number across the years, and given most as special presents, only having one now. they are so structured and beautiful. yes, passion. and balance, as you say. S


Doe (posted on: 07-01-13)
from the last book. have enjoyed posting again and this wasn't in my uka archive.

Out in my bright, side yard, In my twelve-row garden, Picking the palm-filling tomatoes That redly sagged the vines, Out of the narrow woods A doe walked, stopping And starting, all the way up to me. Turning her head slightly, She leaned forward And kissed me lightly on the lips. When I opened my eyes again, I was alone. Was it you?
Archived comments for Doe
Kat on 07-01-2013
Doe
Hi Swep

What can I say? You're a poetic master. You write the kind of poetry I like to read, peruse, mull over.

I've hoisted your collection 'Sometimes The World Is Too Beautiful' out of my bookcase. I'm gonna re-read, and learn!

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Kat: if i ever have to choose up teams i want you on my side. Doe is the second part of the long-ish poem Yes, You. thanks for the strong approval, for the good words. swep

Kat on 07-01-2013
Doe
Thank you for pointing me in the right direction. I knew I'd read it (loved it), so I've got my special butterfly bookmark on p.37 now.

Best wishes, Swep

Kat x

Author's Reply:

japanesewind on 08-01-2013
Doe
hiya Swep, like the dream like quality the end conveys,



fairytale?.




the flow of this piece does not flow too well for me.




line 1 could go as you tell me in line 3 that you are



"in the garden"



or



"out in my twelve row garden" to start the poem.




A word like "hesitant" would anchor the doe stopping and starting for better flow.




the modifiers in line 3and 4 are showing me the same thing.



I know tomatoes can be a few colours but most readers will see them as "red".




I thik it's the words like "And" that starts line ten that restricts the flow as without it the wording would have to be altered slightly, (hope that makes sense) present tense may be explored.


see ya Swep

Author's Reply:
David: standard deal, i've replied in the wrong place so see below. swep

Slovitt on 08-01-2013
Doe
David: this was published as part 2 of a long-ish poem "Yes, You" in my last book and so is essentially retired. the "stopping and starting" is meant to mimic the way deer move and is exact, and broken, like the doe moved toward me. as for "red" well i don't want to just say tomatoes, i want to give them, verbally, color and thus create that in the reader's mind. anyway, thanks for reading. swep

Author's Reply:

stormwolf on 08-01-2013
Doe
Hi Swep
Picking the palm-filling tomatoes
That redly sagged the vines,

so rich I could almost eat it.

Alison x
(the poem not the tomatoes! lol )

Author's Reply:
alison: now that's a great comment. thanks, swep

Bozzz on 08-01-2013
Doe
Well Swep, it wasn't me, but you never know your luck! This is beautifully done, delicate and casual, yet powerful - there is class.... David Bozzz

Author's Reply:
david bozz: thanks very much for "delicate...yet powerful." and for "class." this brings up a point that's interested me for a lifetime i.e. how non-formal verse is read by different readers. david of japanesewind fame found "Doe" to read not very well for him. as the author i almost don't understand what he's talking about but then i've read and worked with the lines of Doe so much that the poem seems almost elementally clean and clear to me. american poet marvin bell was told by a reviewer of bell's "stars which see, stars which don't" that on the first time through the book the reviewer had felt like he was reading a rough translation of foreign poems, but then after subsequent time with the poems the reviewer had come to feel they couldn't read any more naturally. the reviewer asked for bell's thoughts on this. bell told the reviewer that when one first takes up a poem one is tracing the thoughts and emotions of a sensibility alien to him and as one reads, and re-reads, the patterns of the thoughts, the emotions, things smooth out. poetry isn't a disposable art and working with a poem, through a poem a few times doesn't seem too much to ask. anyway, you didn't ask for all this but i do find your and david's (jw) very different takes, and both of you excellent poets and readers, to be interesting. thanks, swep

Bozzz on 08-01-2013
Doe
Thanks for your interesting response. My first thought was that my namesake may never have seen a doe au naturel? Your description brings it to life. At a practical level too - the act of waking is different for different people. To be honest I am mostly not very good at divining the meanings of free verse poems and take the view which an engineer would be expected to take - the reality that first appears sensible. I think the points you raise are obvious from what we observe in many of the comments we see on this site - non-committal praise means "I have no idea what this poem is really about, but it reads nicely".
C'est la vie - as you say elsewhere. In friendship ... David


Author's Reply:

Texasgreg on 10-01-2013
Doe
Nope, not me...

Lol, imaginative and well constructed. Took me there.

Greg ๐Ÿ™‚

Author's Reply:
Greg: thanks for reading and for the good words. swep

Weefatfella on 17-01-2013
Doe




Weefatfella., Safact!

Absolutely loved this,Deer are so majestic. I'm a taxi driver in Scotland and I'm out

sometimes very early. I was surprised by a twelve pointer who was holding the waste ground between two stretches of road. I stopped the cab and watched him. He was completely unafraid and looked at me as if I was one of his subjects. He turned in his own time completely around and headed into his kingdom. I felt enriched by his presence and honoured just to have seen him. Thank you for sharing.

Weefatfella.

Author's Reply:
Weefatfella: thanks for reading and for leaving your personal comment. i appreciate it. swep

GESimons on 22-01-2013
Doe
This is a killer brace of lines:

Picking the palm-filling tomatoes
That redly sagged the vines,


Author's Reply:
GESimons: thanks for reading and for "killer brace of lines." looked into your archive and "In Paris, The Sweltering" is an interesting poem. will look into your future postings. swep


Erin (posted on: 31-12-12)
poem

Last Thursday, I lay on your ground In a cold rain, and am still chilled. Today, you turn twenty-five. My gorgeous girl, I stand and my face Comes apart, I want to howl... I'm freshening your flowers, pink roses, Your favorite. Beside you Mother and Daddy, and Uncle Mike. A little girl, you ambushed me each Night just home from work, Hiding, then vaulting into my lap. My mind is quick and wild. I did not want you to ever feel alone.
Archived comments for Erin
stormwolf on 31-12-2012
Erin
Oh Swep,

I cried on reading this. I felt the raw anguish even over here in Scotland.

Surely the most painful thing life can ever bring us.

Such love......such loss....

Words seem almost redundant. In my world view she will never be alone but I understand the feeling.....and do not want to insult you with platitudes.



The day we buried my father it was pouring rain. On the drive home I was in torment thinking he would be cold in his blue pyjamas....



Thanks for posting this simply beautiful piece.



Alison x

Author's Reply:
Alison: thanks for reading and for the hot author and favorite story designations (i think i got those right). swep

Savvi on 31-12-2012
Erin
Beautiful, thank you for sharing, the pain passes from page to reader almost unnoticed, such is your delicate touch. S

Author's Reply:
savvi: thanks for reading and for the good comment. swep

franciman on 31-12-2012
Erin
Hi Swep,
You have my unmitigated sympathy.
I'm here for your poetry though, so can I just say how masterful the construction is and how musical the verse. We may never see eye to eye on poetry but we can both agree that this should be in the anthology.
I sorrow at your loss.

Jim

Author's Reply:
jim: thanks. apppreciate the good words about the poem, and for your well wishes. swep

Texasgreg on 31-12-2012
Erin
Yes, the imagery is almost too much for even those who have buried many. The grief of a parent is superseded by none and you have shown this eloquently. I have been close to losing my son and almost didn't survive it with him.

Greg ๐Ÿ™‚

Author's Reply:
greg: thanks for reading and your good comment. swep

japanesewind on 31-12-2012
Erin
perfectly judged, it knocks the reader for six...D

Author's Reply:
D: thanks. swep

butters on 31-12-2012
Erin
those opening two lines transmit the chill straight into the reader's bones - such a poignant image, it disarms those who see it, unmans the driest hearts, surely.

as jw says, you've judged this perfectly.

Author's Reply:
jan: thanks. you're interactive as always. swep

Mikeverdi on 02-01-2013
Erin
Painfully beautiful, I cant say anymore. Mike

Author's Reply:
thanks mike for reading. swep

Kat on 04-01-2013
Erin
Hi Swep

An exquisite poem. So lovingly evoked for a special person. 'Make love your goal' as Frankie says... it seems you both did.

All best wishes to you

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Kat: thanks for reading and for your comment. i remember you remarking on my journal entry "brooklyn," part of which dealt with erin and i at the bronx zoo with the gorillas. thanks, swep

Nemo on 31-01-2013
Erin
So poignant, this poem finds my raw place. Terribly sad.

Author's Reply:
nemo: thanks for reading and commenting. i'm a former writer on this site now partially returned, and i see you're new to the site, all of which is to say i'll look in on your work. thanks, swep

e-griff on 23-06-2013
Erin
I'll tell you something, swep, in the hope no one else reads this. I first read 'why I live alone' and then this. I'm not ashamed to say, like alison, i cried. Not a manly thing, perhaps? It just got to me.

I missed a lot when I was ill.

Author's Reply:
john: thanks for reading and interacting with the poem. swep

Pilgermann on 25-08-2014
Erin
Swep, I begin to chase the thread of your love...this is love.

Author's Reply:
B., thanks. Swep


At Just Dusk, Sipping Bourbon In The Yard (posted on: 24-12-12)
poem

A striped cat, real against the horizon,         A lean, silk-furred rodent, With a cock of head turns to spy me,         Two ivory fangs bared. Then startles off toward the woods.         A gouge at the neck's base, I shake and break the spell of myself,         Riven clean to the meat. Push stiffly in chase from my chair.         Fur, skin, tissue, laid back Mouth stuffed, he rolls when run down;         To a quiet, deep-red meat. I grasp him by his neck's skin-handle,         One dry gash, enough In wringing sling a twist of hide free.         To stop a rat's small heart.
Archived comments for At Just Dusk, Sipping Bourbon In The Yard
japanesewind on 24-12-2012
At Just Dusk, Sipping Bourbon In The Yard
Fine juxtaposition.
Really enjoyed this take on "nature in the raw"
especially the line,

"Mouth stuffed, he rolls when run down"

I have some thoughts on "me" personally as the reader.

L1 The letter A that opens the line could be deleted as could the word "real". the modifier "striped" could also be up for consideration.

L2 The letter A again.

L4 The modifier "two" can go

L8 there's something that niggles here. I want to read "bone" instead of "meat" especially with your further description of that wound in line 10.

L14 The thought of the wound as "a dry gash"
after your descriptions seems more likely to be "a wet gash".

What do you think ?

regards Swep D

Author's Reply:
D: this piece along with "story without an ending" and the now removed "patriarch" were pulled out of an old folder circa 1980 to see what could be made of them. the alternating lines are not especially user friendly but i've tried every format i could think of in trying to tell this little story and have it hopefully offer a lyrical moment. for me the "A" to start lines 1 &2 is essential, without it the lines read too abruptly for me, as if the writer pared beyond a normal syntax, poetcally. the "Two" in line 4 offers a more precise visual from my perspective than just "Fangs". as for meat or bone in line 14, well i think meat is the word i want, meat being the layer one comes to after "fur, skin, tissue" finally, "dry gash" is what struck me at the time, a shallow bloodless scoop enough to stop a heart. thanks for the comment and i'll revisit the whole of the poem with fresh eyes. swep

Savvi on 24-12-2012
At Just Dusk, Sipping Bourbon In The Yard
The layout works for me and I really enjoyed the use of Juxtappose some great descripive lines "neck's skin handle" Thanks for the read.

I was also intersested to read your previous reply on paring back, thanks for the lesson, oh and what does swep mean ?

Author's Reply:
Savvi: thanks for reading. i'm pleased the layout works for you and that you liked "neck's skin-handle". yes paring. Swep is a family name that i understand is scottish. i don't know what it means. i'm 3/4's scottish, 1/4 english. i'm the 3rd, i have a son, the 4th, who has a 2 year-old, the 5th. thanks, swep

japanesewind on 24-12-2012
At Just Dusk, Sipping Bourbon In The Yard
Swep when you read this a good few times the format gets a lot easier, not easy these are they? ....D

Author's Reply:
D: i've tried many formats beyond the obvious odd numbered lines in a block, followed by the even numbers lines in a sleeve. this may be one that the reader will have to earn his pleasure with some time with the piece. john ashbery published a book length poem, "Litany", with 2 columns to the page, the lines to be read alternately, and i wondered why in the world someone trying to share a vsion, to communicate, would make it next to impossible for the reader to interact. at least my poem here is a mere 16 lines. thanks, swep

stormwolf on 24-12-2012
At Just Dusk, Sipping Bourbon In The Yard

Hi Swep
This is one of those poems that make me feel very inadequate. ;-/
I see from previous commentaters that others understand, or at least feel something.
For me?

a bit lost and I do feel that if a poem is lost to the reader, it is then brought into the poet's own circumstance that may always be private

Alison x

Author's Reply:
alison: the longer, odd numbered lines recount sighting a cat which on noticing me "startles" off toward the woods. having fallen under the spell of myself as i lounged at dusk in the yard, drinking bourbon, i rose to run this suspicious cat down, which i did and shook, wringing free from his mouth a rat. the italicized lines are the essence of the poem, zooming in on what has been shook free, and ending with something about the fragility of life and perhaps a more sympathetic view of this small life than would normally be accorded a "rat". the lines are to be read alternately. swep

Nomenklatura on 25-12-2012
At Just Dusk, Sipping Bourbon In The Yard
I think it's just fine as it is now. If it's not perfect, it's still a brave experiment and that is worth respect.

Author's Reply:
nomenklatura: thanks for both parts of your comment. i appreciate it. swep

butters on 25-12-2012
At Just Dusk, Sipping Bourbon In The Yard
this is the sort of piece that may take people a few read-throughs to really appreciate the way both sets of lines play off one another, like two voices (or one voice but spoken differently) where one acts . . . how can i put this? . . . acts like an echo of the other but saying other words - wait, no, echo isn't quite right either: like two voices at the same time, overlaid by visually separate, separate so the reader can hear both clearly but the mind can assimilate the images as they interact.

i feel the layout works to help impart that quality of 'otherness' - the spell of bourbon and an empathic mind.

love this line, it's exceptional:

To a quiet, deep-red meat.

as to the repetition of 'meat', it grows on me with each reading. this one's worth getting under the skin of, or allowing it to work its way under the reader's own.

Author's Reply:
jan: you've interacted with the poem and intelligently. the poem originated circa 1980 and i've tried on-and-off across the years to make something of it. here, now, i've decided that i've made all i can of it and it and, shockingly, that i like it and think it's a good poem. you reinforce my feeling with your commentary and "this one's worth getting under the skin of." another good interaction. thanks, swep


Two Kinds Of People (posted on: 07-12-12)
poem

There are those Who wave until We are Out of sight And others Who wave, then turn When we Start the car.
Archived comments for Two Kinds Of People
amman on 07-12-2012
TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE
Succinct and so very true. Nicely observed.
Cheers.

Author's Reply:
amman: thanks for your good comment, and for reading. Swep

ValDohren on 07-12-2012
TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE
The distinction between those who are genuine and those who are not, in so few words. Good one Slovitt

Val

Author's Reply:
val: thanks for reading and your comment. swep

japanesewind on 07-12-2012
TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE
The image from the second stanza was strong...D

Author's Reply:
d: thanks for reading and for "strong image". swep

Texasgreg on 07-12-2012
TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE
Maybe something was in the microwave...
Lol- Seriously, it was thought provoking.

Greg ๐Ÿ™‚

Author's Reply:
greg: thanks for reading and your good comment. Swep

Bozzz on 09-12-2012
TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE
I saw this in a small hotel :
"All our visitors bring happiness - some by coming, others by going". You put it more succinctly, Swep..... Bozzz.

Author's Reply:

Nomenklatura on 09-12-2012
TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE
This shows how good a short poem can be.
Marvellous

Author's Reply:
nomenklatura: high praise from a good writer. thanks, swep

butters on 09-12-2012
TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE
simply, this leaves me nodding in a satisfied manner.

Author's Reply:
butters: glad to satisfy you. thanks, swep

Savvi on 10-12-2012
TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE
I am one who would turn before you are out of sight because I believe it to be bad look. Well thats what my nan used to say.

Clever comparison in so few words, nice job.

Author's Reply:
saavi: thanks for the comment and "nice job". swep

chant on 15-12-2012
Two Kinds Of People
pretty neat aphorism. i wondered about turning it on its head to end with a caress rather than a slap, and about staying with the image of waving. maybe something like:

Two Kinds Of People



Those who wave, 

Then turn 

When we 

Start the car.

And others 

Who wave 

And wave and wave.



Author's Reply:
replied in wrong place, see below

Slovitt on 15-12-2012
Two Kinds Of People
chant: yes that's a possibility--and the only way to know if the original is the best format is to consider all alternatives that you can think of--but the original for me is as clean and spare as i can make it and seems right. thanks, swep

Author's Reply:


Understanding (posted on: 30-11-12)
poem

--New Year's Eve, Taos-- You slipped into the study, I followed, locking the door. Your sarong shucked up, Hazel eyes, serene, oval face, Golden hair all in a swirl. Now--eased--on your side, Still coming in ripples, you In the cove of my arms. I whisper, just the beginning. "Baby, too fast," you say. I grab a fistful of damp hair. Your nails rake my cheek.                     for S.
Archived comments for Understanding
stormwolf on 30-11-2012
Understanding
Made me go all weak at the knees it did ๐Ÿ˜‰
Sensuous and skillfully crafted.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Alison: Thanks for your warm comment. I appreciate it. Swep

bluepootle on 30-11-2012
Understanding
Hi Swep - just wanted to let you know I love this. Great title, too.

Author's Reply:
Aliya: I'm glad you read and liked the poem. Thanks, Swep

japanesewind on 30-11-2012
Understanding
Swep, you pitched this poem perfectly for me, could picture it easily...regards...D

Author's Reply:
D: thanks for reading and "pitched this poem perfectly". yes, concrete images. Swep

Bozzz on 01-12-2012
Understanding


Author's Reply:
Bozzz: thanks for reading and rating. swep

butters on 01-12-2012
Understanding
I followed as you headed
For the study, locked the door.
Blue sarong shucked up,
Golden hair all in a swirl,
You were pale, and beautiful.
Now--eased--on your side,
Still coming in ripples,
You in the cove of my arms.
Re-joining the party I whispered
Baby, the rest of your life.
And you, I know baby,
I know, I'm counting on it.

subtle sound-play throughout, and the choice of 'sarong' and use of blue/golden adds tones of vitality, fluidity and elegance to the mood.

really like your use of 'cove', in keeping with 'ripples' and suggestive of safety, shape, and an echoing of the blue (water) and gold (sand).

you switch tense from past to present, past to present, which threw me, and made me wonder if keeping all the second half as present tense might not work better for the write. Of course it could be that it's necessary if the narrator's reminiscing at first, then moving into his 'now', moving back to memory and then back to the present again but I'm stumbling on it.

between the clever soundplay and original phrasing, I like this a lot ๐Ÿ™‚

Author's Reply:
butters: replied to your comment in the wrong place but this allows me to say thanks for liking it a lot. swep

Slovitt on 02-12-2012
Understanding
butters: you've written a thoughtful, detailed critique. sounds yes, colors yes. cove, ripples, those lines the sweetness of the poem. the switching of tenses grounds the poem, gives it an immediacy, returns and resolves the poem. i have tense changes in a number of my poems and rely on it to ground and focus. again, a strong critique, which i appreciate. swep

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 06-12-2012
Understanding
Should be under 'erotica' - whew!

(and great to see you posting again)

Author's Reply:
Andrea: thanks for reading and commenting. And thanks. Swep

freya on 11-05-2013
Understanding
Interesting changes. To be honest, I didn't care for the original ending a whole lot. Maybe because I couldn't imagine myself in a similar situation and saying such things. After the fact, anyway. So to speak. *smile* Whispered endearments and gentle touching are more like it, to my way of thinking. Good edit, Swep. Shelagh

Author's Reply:
shelagh: thanks for checking it out and for approving of the changes. "the whisper" is not necessarily an endearment, which is a mild thing, though it is something very personal that moves her to use her nails to tease my cheek. swep


Why I Live Alone (posted on: 13-04-12)
poem

I live alone in a big house With Erin's cat, Mr. P. When she died, two years ago, He was an ornery fourteen. I drive out to the cemetery A few times a month now, Sit on the ground by Erin's stone. I tell Erin I love her. She knows, but likes hearing Me say it. I tell her I love her Every day, all day long. She rolls her eyes, is gone.
Archived comments for Why I Live Alone
Andrea on 13-04-2012
Why I Live Alone
Lovely to see you posting again, Swep, and with such a beautiful, poignant piece, too.

Author's Reply:
Andrea: Thanks, and thanks. Swep

ChairmanWow on 13-04-2012
Why I Live Alone
"As if I haven't left room
For anyone else to grieve." Interesting what we can be possessive about. Evocative poem.

Author's Reply:
ChairmanWow: Thanks for reading and for your comment. Swep

teifii on 13-04-2012
Why I Live Alone
I think it's true that one one can be jealous of grief and resent others also grieving. Made me think.

Author's Reply:
Daff: Glad to hear from you. Thanks for reading and the comment. Swep

dylan on 13-04-2012
Why I Live Alone
Consise, brilliantly observed and almost Bukowski-esque.
Orrabest,

D.

Author's Reply:
Dylan: That's high praise. Thanks. Swep

Bradene on 14-04-2012
Why I Live Alone
Very moving and must say I agree with Daff, others grieving over someone you feel was yours and yours alone, experienced this myself . Lovely writing. Valx

Author's Reply:
Val: Thanks for reading, and for your comment. Swep

Ionicus on 14-04-2012
Why I Live Alone
Excellent stuff, well expressed.

Author's Reply:
Luigi: Thanks, I appreciate it. Swep

Inchrory on 14-04-2012
Why I Live Alone
Hi Slovit,
Well, this seems to be an astute observation of grief as expressed through the eyes of another.

I personally have experienced a friend with a similar need for extended grieving, that even five years after her grandmothers death, and one had to be ultra-careful in what one said regarding her past family events.

On a poetic note, I am not sure that capitalising the first letter of every line is compatible with the punctuation employed; it seems to be overkill somewhat.

However, I am the last person to be overly concerned about commas; mine are always a major form of contention by others...

Inchrory.


Author's Reply:
Inchrory: Thanks for your good comment, and for reading. Swep

e-griff on 19-04-2012
Why I Live Alone
very (very) personal, swep, to those who know your work. and that adds considerable value and depth to any poem of emotional observation.

Author's Reply:
John: That's a sensitive comment. I appreciate it. Swep

chant on 24-04-2012
Why I Live Alone
for me the first twelve lines are faultlessly paced and very very strong indeed. also really glad Mr P. has found a new home in this poem where i definitely feel he belongs. the final four lines are nicely reasoned but maybe too much 'tell'. can you show this? something like: 'At home I sit in my red chair /
Drinking gin. When Jerene /
Phones her voice is often sharp.'




Author's Reply:
chant: the last two lines are what prompted the poem and essential for me. the speaking voice is low-key and flat, unemotional in a circumstance where all emotion has been spent long ago, and the reserves too. no energy to engage anyone else emotionally, i'm burning it up by the second. between you and david i'm kept on my toes, opinions split on each piece I send ya'll, and revisions, but always my gratitude to both of you for your willingness to engage whatever i send. swep

stormwolf on 28-11-2012
Why I Live Alone
Wow! powerfully emotional in a subdued, played down kind of way.
Love poetry like this, real skill to it.

Alison x


Author's Reply:
Alison: thanks for reading and for a good comment. swep

butters on 28-12-2012
Why I Live Alone
the honesty of the voice in this, the unemotional wording and delivery, serve to heighten the sense of bereavement for me.

great griefs are silent...

Author's Reply:
jan, you are a smart woman, and a close, interactive reader. swep

Jolen on 01-04-2013
Why I Live Alone
Swep:


You don't need another 'well done' but I'm giving you one nonetheless. Yes, the poem is evocative and poignant. Your use of the color contrast is nice and takes the reader into a visualization of the scene. I particularly liked the details of staying on the curb with eyes averted and then later, staying in the car. It suggests your grief is mobile, just as real grief is, we may visit a 'reminder', but it's with us everywhere. I was a bit unsure of 'constancy' in relation to not leaving space for others to grieve, but then it struck me that it fits much like someone talking too much leaves no room for others to speak. I'm glad to see it nominated and wish you all the best in every sense.


Blessings,
jolen

Author's Reply:
jolen: thanks for reading, and glad to hear from you. and thanks for the well wishes which i return. swep

Pilgermann on 25-08-2014
Why I Live Alone
Death touches us all, and the space of the loss is so much ours that we forget the suffering of others. But that is what makes us human and you the poet, your words keeping her precious.

Author's Reply:
B., thanks for reading this one, and Erin. Swep


Grace (posted on: 20-11-09)
poem

Mother, eighty-four, took Uncle James for a ride yesterday. Drove her brother to the cemetery To visit Daddy, and Mike. After, she called their flowers lovely, Then asked, "Where's Daddy? Where is my Husband?"                         * For the first time in fifteen years I dream of Mike, him driving up In Mother's big Oldsmobile, Then waiting. We talk, he nods. Now, I realize he has come For Mother. As the old ones say To take her home. I go to her Bed, grab her hand. I'm waking, Mother's hand cooling in mine.                         *              April 15, 2009 Today, my little sister and I Will go to select a coffin For Mother. Eighteen years ago, I went with Mother to choose Mike's. Yesterday, my Mother died. Like a kaleidoscope twisted, And twisted, the world Broken, bits of scattered glass.                         * I dreamed of Mother a couple Of nights ago. She was blond, And slim, walking by a lake. The dream was in slow motion, Washed in silver. A ballet. A friend offers, she wants you To know everything's okay, That in death we're young again. And me, the dead don't look Back, that is their earned grace.
Archived comments for Grace
macaby on 20-11-2009
Four Poems
Wow! These are 4 stunning poems you have written here IMO.
Sad and touching. The 2nd poem was my favourite one, the dream , the husband coming to take her home, sad but peacefull/comforting for your mother.

Responding, the dead don't look
Back, that is their earned grace.

brilliant lines to end your work on.
I really enjoyed these poems.
regards
mac

Author's Reply:
Macaby: Thanks for reading and for your good remarks. In the second poem the one coming to take her home is "Mike", my brother who died earlier than he should have in the early 90's. Reference the poem "Mike" in my archive. Yes, I'm pleased with "Grace" and that in the last couple of days these four unfinished pieces came together and became a set. Thanks again, and I'll look in on your work. Swep

macaby on 20-11-2009
Four Poems
Hi Swep
I wasn't sure if you were talking about you brother or your father. In the first poem...
Mother, now 84, took my Uncle James
For a ride in her Buick yesterday.
Drove her little brother to the cemetery
To visit Daddy and Mike.
I interpreted it so after the 1st read....
your mother took her brother to visit their daddy and her husband/ James's brother. But then again why would you call your father Mike? Allthough here in Germany it is sometimes quite comment to do said thing.
regards
mac


Author's Reply:
Macaby: Thanks for coming back by and thanks for the favorite story designation. Swep

Zoya on 21-11-2009
Four Poems
A lovely tribute to your mother!
The parent gives you unconditional love and care. You only realize this after losing them...
Very sensitively and beautifully done.
Love,
Zoya

Author's Reply:
Zoya: Thanks for reading and for your warm remarks. I read your piece yesterday and your own comment and will return there now. Swep

Leila on 22-11-2009
Four Poems
Swep it was really moving to read these poems (some of the writing already familiar to me of course). I can really connect with the writing and the emotions. These are very hard poems to write, to not allow them to become over sentimental, to be controlled yet allow the flow of feeling that lets your reader fully understand and connect and you have succeeded beautifully. May I just mention the kaleidoscope lines being particularly poignantly put. Grace- pulls everything together to a peaceful conclusion. Very fine...Leila

Author's Reply:
Leila: Your remarks about sentimentality of course echo your own path down this road in "Flowers and Dust", finely felt, emotion at the surface, and yet under control. The kaleidoscope lines I am glad to hear are effective. I have flopped two lines in "Questions" so that the line ending "Where is Daddy?" is followed by "Husband, where is my Husband?" with "In heaven, I said, God's first angel." now the poem's penultimate line. Still not happy with the title "Questions". Thanks for reading, and it is always my pleasure when you come by to comment. Swep

Jolen on 23-11-2009
Four Poems
Hi Swep:
Firstly, I'm sorry to hear of your Mother's death. Now to the poems. I agree, they're strong and must have been difficult to write objectively, I should think. You have achieved this with grace. I do wonder at the usage of numerals in some of them rather than having them written out as you have in 'fifteen'. For me, the numerals detract from the pieces flow. Sorry if that seems nit-picky. It's good to see you posting again.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Jolen: I am glad to see you drop by, and appreciate your condolences. The bit about "numerals" is a fair observation. The poems were started over a period of a couple of years and at the time of their origin "84" felt right, or "fifteen". Mother went down over two-and-a-half years, the last 359 days paralyzed, unable to speak, fed by feeding tube, catheterized, etc. which left me as caretaker psychically exhaused to the point that seven months later I don't think I'll ever get completely over it. And the poems to me, the dream ones, show exhaustion rather than serenity. "April 15, 2009" is the one piece that seems to me to have a starkness, a vitality, that I think my poems typically have and may well be removed and saved individually. Anyway, I wander and so will desist. Thanks again for reading and commenting. Swep

Dazza on 02-12-2009
Four Poems
Swep, my mum died this year and I haven't been able to come up with anything for her yet. If I never did I would gladly borrow yours and change the names! Say Hi to your monkey and thank you for your wonderful comments...Dazpacho.

Author's Reply:
Dazza O Dazza: Thanks for reading and your warm remarks. What to say but that I'm sorry about your Mother. I don't want to promise anything but there's a possibility there'll be an opening as a trainee under Buba, already starting to achieve his Silverback potential. It would require relocation but east,west,north,south, it's always you. Swep

chant on 19-12-2009
Grace
i see Questions has gone, which i'm sorry about as i liked it, though i thought you could cut a few words, and maybe 'one of' rather than 'first' on the matter of angels. will pm you the version i created.

April 15, i liked everything about it but the shape. wondered if you would consider slightly shorter lines of more equal length:

April 15, 2009

Today my little sister
And I will go to select
A coffin for Mother.
18 years ago, I went
With Mother to choose
Mike's. Yesterday,
My Mother died.
Like a kaleidoscope
Twisted and twisted
And twisted, the world
Does not re-configure.

For Oldsmobile, wondered if you need 15 rather than fifteen, as you've used numerals in the previous poem. 'he driving up' sounded a little formal, wondered if you could say 'him driving up' where the accusative is such because understood to be still governed by 'dream of'. also wondered about moving 'then', as the sipping bourbon and waiting both occur after he has driven up (Then sipping bourbon, waiting). see you've lost a 'sipping and waiting' line which is a good cut i think. excellent ending, though think i would have gone with a comma rather than a full stop after 'waking'.

good cuts to the poem that was formally known as 'Grace'. wonder if you could show rather than tell 'young' in line 2, especially as you're going to use it again in line 8. also remove the 'and': 'She was slim, / Fair-skinned, walking by a lake'. another excellent ending, introducing as it does a note of scepticism to all that has gone before.

found this whole sequence of poems very absorbing though sorry as i said at the start that Questions has gone.




Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 20-12-2009
Grace
chant: I'll take a look at a re-introduction of the piece formerly known as "Questions", though it would go untitled if returned. Fair point about "then", and sipping and waiting. I had a comma after the next-to-last line in the first poem but changed to a period which now seems right. The shape of the middle poem is something by stages I'd have to get use to changing. It feels slightly rough, and slightly awkward, and as such the correct vehicle for the subject, the emotions of the poem. In the last piece, yes, one of the "young"s has to go, and I'm sure it'll be the first one, and probably the "and" too. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

chant on 20-12-2009
Grace
yes think this is looking very good now, and as i say, i do like the opening poem, think it introduces another human voice (your mother's) to the poem, hers less philosophical than yours, more overtly exposed. i like the fact we hear from her, even, perhaps especially, when she's so vulnerable.

Author's Reply:

chant on 08-07-2010
Grace
i like just about everything about this now except, still (!) the last line of the first stanza ("Heaven I said, God's first angel.") which reads to me a little abrupt and placatory, when, to end that stanza 'Where is my husband?' feels more relevant, because that is the key theme of the poem - where are the dead in relation to the living? - the theme the rest of the poem deals with.


Author's Reply:
Okay, I've sat with several typed versions of the first stanza, with different last lines, no last line as currently formed, and I've decided to be persuaded by your insistence on the needlessness of "Heaven I said, God's first angel." The line has been cut and I've accepted the first stanza as seven lines instead of eight which probably had a lot to do with my resistance to the change. Thanks for continuing to bang on the point.

chant on 12-07-2010
Grace
great! and i see it's facebook and twitter pick-of-the-day on abctales - nice one.

Author's Reply:

freya on 02-05-2013
Grace
The dream was in slow motion,
Washed in silver. A ballet.

Just beautiful, and the whole so moving. Shelagh

Author's Reply:
shelagh: thanks. the 2nd and 4th stanzas have some particularly good writing in them i think. thanks for the favorite, and you've been a busy woman this wednesday night. swep


We Split The Dalis (posted on: 01-05-09)
revision

She got Chagall's Cirque Soleil. I got the four Friedlaenders. We split the Dalis', Helen of Troy And Kissing Grapes, with its glittered Angel, bough of purple skulls. So, we move, bedroom To bedroom, dining to living room, Pulling art off walls. But not until The den, when I reach to lift Alvar's Espacio Rojo--our first auction-- Does she break down, face In hands, sink to the blue couch. I closed my eyes. Returned, Backtracking, each piece to its home. All the days, the nights, room After room of memories on fire.
Archived comments for We Split The Dalis
chant on 01-05-2009
We Split The Dalis
this feels a lot more detailed now and the richer for it. 'pulling art off walls' - maybe a little prosaic? does art need to be mentioned? 'stripping walls'? 'laying the walls bare'? not sure about the the repeat of 'not until the den' or the chairs, not quite sure how much they add. personally, would have just the one 'not until the den', then i can see you need something before Alvar ... 'not until the den' ... as a reader my thoughts were - why is it called the den? - and the image of chairs didn't really visually enlighten me. lastly, not sure about the 'blue' couch as for me it seems to overstate the couch when my gaze is actually on 'her'. would rather couch sat without an adjective and the adjective went with 'hands', though this might mean reordering the phrases, couch first, face later. anyway, an awful lot of punch packed into 22 lines.

Author's Reply:
chant: I've replied to you in the wrong place, as a comment on the poem itself. See those remarks and thanks for reading. Swep

Slovitt on 01-05-2009
We Split The Dalis
chant: Glad to hear from you. I re-posted this poem, even as I did 'Su Tung P'O' a few weeks ago, as a new poem because, after all, in the re-write, that's what it has become. Yes, it is more detailed and richer. 'Not until the den', its repeat is the voice of the speaker in an emotional situation, trying to maintain control, and emphasizing what is going on. You ask why it is called the 'den' and I wonder if the second living room in houses in England are not called dens, which is common American parlance. As for the chairs, well the poem is about what had been a household for many years, her chair, my chair, and my entering to remove/violate objects. The blue couch is for the specific, for the focus, and again references an object that had been common to us both. Thanks for the 'awful lot of punch in 22 lines' because the impetus for my re-opening this poem was a green-ink comment by my friend David that in its previous version the poem, excepting the last couple of lines, offered 'info, but no verbal energy, no imaginative punch.' I have now completed extensive revisions of 19 poems from what is now a manuscript that goes to press as SOMETIMES THE WORLD IS TOO BEAUTIFUL, 32 pages from A Boy's Face and 26 pages of poems subsequent to that collection. If your mailing address is the same, I'll send you a copy. Finally, I've looked at info on NUTSHELL and you look to be off into an exciting venture. Swep

Author's Reply:

chant on 01-05-2009
We Split The Dalis
goes to press? if you're publishing it don't send me a copy, i'll buy a copy! i'm only helping out a bit with Nutshell, there's no sponsorship for the first edition and my friend has financed it all herself. if she and her other helpers can find backers for the second edition i'll probably pm you to solicit a submission!

Author's Reply:
I'll send you a copy in the name of the frog. As for We Split The Dalis, I've been fooling with it since its posting and have sided with you on removing 'my chair and her chair', thinking my current version is cleaner, and with more pop. Also cleaned up a couple of other lines. There's nothing like the poetic process. As for Nutshell, I'd be pleased.

Jolen on 04-05-2009
We Split The Dalis
Swep:

I remember reading the other version of this. I think your revision has given this one an incredible amount of punch, it hits hard as it should, with an economy of words. I can see why you're 'going to press' and I look forward to that. Please let me know when I can get a copy of your book.

This poem has just the right amount of detail, I think, and is most deserving of the nib. Congrats on that btw.

Blessings,
Jolen

p.s. I hope this finds you and yours well.

Author's Reply:
Jolen: I am glad to hear from you. Thanks for the good remarks, and for reading. I have just about ceased to comment as I've dealt with my Mother's health but that is now resolved and I would say that I've kept reading and you are getting better poem by poem. Swep

teifii on 05-05-2009
We Split The Dalis
I never read the first version but certainly like this one. Den didn't worry me. i think it adds something because it has a private feel to it. Also I like the repeat of 'not until -------'
By the way I was at Nutshell's opening on Sunday so must have more or less bumped into Chant but wouldn't know as don't know of-uka name. It was a great evening.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Daff: Thanks for reading and your good remarks. Nutshell sounds like its ambitious, and your review of the evening would please chant I'm sure. Swep

woodbine on 07-05-2009
We Split The Dalis
It's a long time ago I read the original and I don't think it had this ending which is very good. Although it can stand alone perfectly, to get the full emotional impact one has to see the poem in context with others about the relationship. One thing I always appreciate is that you deliver what you promise. In your work, style meets meaning with great economy of words.
John

Author's Reply:
John: Thanks for reading and your remarks. The poem is part of the first section of the second part of my manuscript, the poems being 'Endings', 'Divorce Papers', 'We Split The Dalis', and '9 Months Divorced'. So, context, yes. Thnaks, Swep

Leila on 07-05-2009
We Split The Dalis
Swep I am pleased I kept an eye on this. When I first read it I was comparing it to my reaction to your original version and I felt although some things had given it more bite other things(the sparse, yet deep emotional impact) had been a little lost in all the detail...however you have tinkered with this version and I feel it is now close to where it should be. I especially like 'with its glittered Angel, bough of purple skulls'
I wonder at the repetition of 'not until the den', I feel all the intensity of that moment reaches out to me with just saying it once. I feel also uncertainty about 'lain locked together' perhaps it's 'locked together' that is too much for me. I know you to be in favour of the pared down poem as I am too. I like blue couch myself, I like that detail, and the last four lines are perfect for me. Thank you for sharing your reworking of this and I too would like to purchase a copy of your book so would be pleased to hear from you when it is available. Leila

Author's Reply:
Leila: I appreciate your continuing to look in on this poem. I have been tinkering with it, and may yet have a thing or two to do. If anything, it feels to me that I might have tightened it down too much, though a change a day or two ago with the syntax of the 4th and 3rd lines from the end slowed the poem down for me in a good way. As for the book, as with chant, I'll send you a copy in the name of the frog. Swep

Leila on 08-05-2009
We Split The Dalis
Swep just to say I think you are there, for me it's closer to the original (as I try to remember it) tells me just enough as I connect emotionally with the whole and the last few lines as I said are perfect. I'd be honoured to have a copy of your book, with thanks Leila

Author's Reply:
Leila, oh Leila: Again, thanks for continuing to check in. Your remarks were very helpful in this wresting of the poem into shape. I'm always pushing to find the essence of a poem, and as you say, I think this one is pretty nearly there. Thanks, Swep

chant on 12-05-2009
We Split The Dalis
really like this revised version.

Author's Reply:
chant: Thanks. Swep


Su Tung P'O (posted on: 23-02-09)
poem

Starting at dawn, zig-zagging up Mt. Shozan, at a narrow pass A web blocks the path. Sun through it As through silk, at the web's Center, a calm, jeweled spider. Moments pass; tingling He turns. Re-routes his way. Later, by his brother's fire, The wine jars that had been full, Light, he thinks to the spider, Wind thrumming its web, The moon full in all eight eyes.
Archived comments for Su Tung P'O
e-griff on 23-02-2009
Su Tung PO
how nice to see you back! and how nice to read your poetry again. appreciated it.

JohnG

Author's Reply:
John: Thanks. I've been caregiving (and still am) since last April. This poem was in the book but as 10 lines and concluding with lines that told, didn't show. After thirty years of badgering it, I'm done, and glad of it. Swep


Leila on 23-02-2009
Su Tung PO
Swep you seem to have captured the essence of the poet himself...beauty, zen and for me the poem is complete, quite perfect...Leila

Author's Reply:
Leila: That's about as good a comment as one could ever hope for. You are a unique, nuanced sensibility, and as Auden had his ideal readers, so you are one of mine. Thanks. Swep

Mezzanotte on 24-02-2009
Su Tung PO
It sent shives down my spine, absolutely loved the last couple of lines, amazing images. Perfect.

Best Wishes
Jackie

Author's Reply:
Jackie: Thanks for reading and for your strong comment, I appreciate it. Swep

barenib on 25-02-2009
Su Tung PO
Hi Swep - good to read you again! This has a sort of quasi-haiku feel about it, though obviously more developed. I'm not familair enough with the poet to know if it echoes Su's style, but it's certainly an interesting and enjoyable tribute. The last line is a killer - the image is conjured so strongly - John.

Author's Reply:
Hi John--The poem is imagistic and perhaps therein the haiku feel of it for you. Thanks for reading, and your good comments, and I'm off to visit your Miro poem. Swep

teifii on 03-03-2009
Su Tung PO
I don't know any Chonese poets t all but this is beautiful on its own, regardless of its origins. Lovely, lovely images. They are going to lurk in my mind.
Daff

You are cordially invited to visit my bookshop and art gallery.
http://www.merilang.co.uk/shop.merilang.htm

Author's Reply:
Daff: It's not necessary to know any Chinese poets, the poem simply a vehicle for me to examine my own sensibility and create something that both reveals it and comes together in what is hopefully a lyrical moment, both beautiful and strange. High praise 'going to lurk in my mind'. and for that I thank you, I appreciate it. Swep

chant on 12-05-2009
Su Tung PO
at work so don't have my copy of A Boy's Face on me to compare the original with this updated version. from memory, you're now showing rather than telling about the strangeness of being alive in that final line, and have locked onto a great image to do so. 'calm' had me wondering because of the emotional content it's attributing to the spider - i can see that a kind of zen calm is one of the emotional themes of the poem, but maybe the reader needs to gather that for him/herself? 'still' seems to me more purely descriptive, or could the adjective be removed entirely? beyond this, as a reader, i feel like i'm being lead a bit with phrases like 'Moments pass, out of sequence.' and 'He thinks of the spider', and i'm not clear how the image of the moonlit spider can arise given that the narrator only saw the spider during the day. and i'm not quite sure about the fire and the wine - is this another day out on the mountain, the two brothers together, is this the brother's funeral? will need to check the original version to try and figure out what you've done here and why.

Author's Reply:
chant: Yes, the easiest thing to say is 'show, don't tell', and also if that wasn't your initial instinct, one of the hardest. I do think 'The moon full in all eight eyes.' shows what I had told before i.e. 'the beauty, the strangeness of being alive.' I will think on 'still' but the attribution of calm is something I wanted, and that yet seems where I was going. 'Moments pass, out of sequence.' is meant to move one from the confrontation to the resolution, and to focus Su's dilemma, which for most wouldn't have been a dilemma at all, simply plow through the web and on up the mountain. Su has rerouted his way, after turning from the web, and only arrived at his destination, 'his brother's fire', after the wine jars that had been waiting for his visit and his quaffing, had been gotten into and now are partially empty, 'light'. Simply, Su had been delayed by going around the spider and its web and finally seated at his brother's fire thinks back to the spider, now night, and visualizes 'Wind thrumming its web,/The moon full in all eight eyes.' One man's dilemma, one man's engagement with the world, one man's sensibility. Swep

chant on 14-05-2009
Su Tung PO
ah, i see. the narrative thread eluded me a bit, i'm afraid. with 'Moments pass, out of sequence' i thought a flashback was being introduced. and given it was sunny in the first stanza, when we move to a grey afternoon, i thought this was a different day. and though i know you tell me a web blocks the path, it didn't click with thick old me that he'd need to go through it or round it to get to his brother. nor did i get that the brother had quaffed all the wine on his own - i thought they'd got drunk together. thinks back to the spider? would personally have quite liked it if, rather than imagining the spider, he'd actually seen it at night, on his return trip down the mountain.

Author's Reply:
chant: I didn't remember part of my own poem very well. No, the brother didn't quaff the wine by himself. Su arrived at dark at his brothers and then after drinking wine together, and before the fire, he thought back to the spider and his encounter with it in the pass, envisioning the spider at that very moment. ***This is an edited reply as by way of additional reply, I've returned 'gray sky' to the 'blue sky' that had been original to the poem and the reason for which changing I don't re-call. That was a good catch. Thanks, Swep


Zoo. Eagles (posted on: 18-02-08)
poem (ed.)

Rounding the big-cat cages One enters a bleaker land, Comes to the tall, black cones Of the larger birds of prey. Through black, finger-thick bars, Solemn, rigid postures. These don't cavort in the sun, Beg, or acrobatically flip. Eyes, pale as water, stare Crystal-hate straight.
Archived comments for Zoo. Eagles
chant on 18-02-2008
Zoo. Eagles
enjoyed this weighty little piece with its tight, fierce ending, and the couplet format looks good and works well. the only thing that made me pause was 'Comes', which, at some distance from its personal pronoun, though perfectly correct, for some reason read a little oddly. i tried replacing 'Comes to' with 'Confronts' and that felt better, god knows why.

Author's Reply:
chant: I will fool around with 'Comes', and variations, as both you and John have been stumbled by it. This is a piece from 1976-78 that I pulled out of a folder I was mining for poems to fit in what could become just a nature section of the manuscript. Thanks, Swep

e-griff on 18-02-2008
Zoo. Eagles
I had the same experience with 'comes' I think it is because although 'one enters ..' can be specific, talking about oneself, it can also be general ie 'when anybody enters..' which is how I guess I read it - in this case 'comes' doesn't fit for some reason. 'coming' would.



Author's Reply:
John: As I've just said to chant, I'll fool around with variations of 'Comes', and see what comes of it.
Thanks for reading, and commenting. Swep

bluepootle on 18-02-2008
Zoo. Eagles
I didn't mind the 'comes to' but the two uses of 'black' slowed me down a bit. They seem like sticky words to me, do you know what I mean? So dense that they draw attention to themselves, being close together. Maybe that's the effect you were after, but it felt, to me, like it ruined the regularity of those bars.

Love the solemn, rigid postures.

Author's Reply:
bluepootle. They are dense, but in keeping with the extreme mood of the birds, and for me they re-inforce one another, the mood. I am stumbled a little by the 'comes to' yet, and seem more inclined to alter something there. Yes, 'solemn, rigid postures', and thanks for that. Swep

Gerry on 18-02-2008
Zoo. Eagles
Swep, I liked this--it coveyed the message well. All animals should be free.

Gerry.


Author's Reply:
Gerry: Yes, I agree. I love animals and the pleasure of being amazed by them, being in their presence, is very much dampened by their circumstances, those at zoos. Thanks, Swep

Jolen on 21-02-2008
Zoo. Eagles
Hiya Swepis Khan:
I really enjoyed this arrow-straight piece of work. The words are strong, well placed and they evoke as much as they create. A fine piece and your final line is a clincher, IMO.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Jolen: Hmm, moving back-and-forth through time again. Thanks for the good assessment of this older poem. Swep

chant on 23-02-2008
Zoo. Eagles
hm, reads quite smoothly to me now. i wonder if you need the opening word 'On'?

Author's Reply:
chant: I've reversed the opening two lines and that was an improvement. 'On': him or me, a dog named sue, I'm not sure I need it except to flesh out the line. Swep

Leila on 07-05-2008
Zoo. Eagles
Swep
short, intense and the strong choice of words convey the message perfectly. Leila

Author's Reply:
Leila, Oh Leila: Thanks for coming by and leaving your good words. Swep

Bradene on 08-05-2008
Zoo. Eagles
Always hated Zoos, although these days I believe they are much more Natural, Safari parks and the like. Love your poem, very strong with an unmistakable message. Val x

Author's Reply:
Val: Yes, zoos are a troubling concept though as you say there have been great improvements. Thanks for reading and your good remarks. Swep

eddiesolo on 29-06-2008
Zoo. Eagles
Hi Swep,

This is deep, well I thought so. Simple lines that tell so much, could really be applied to many situations and the last lines are a killer.

Enjoyed.

Glad it's got a nom.

Si:-)



Author's Reply:
Si: Thanks for reading, and for the good words. Swep

Buschell on 26-02-2014
Zoo. Eagles
I once kept a jellyfish in captivity until one day I realised it was me who was the single celled creature...and this is a singular poem. Dazza.

Author's Reply:
dazza oh dazza, thanks for reading and leaving "your" comment, and for the favorite on FOR S., 1-4. also for the closeups of the pregnant wallaby which just yesterday arrived in the mail. swep


Cardinal, Female (posted on: 06-08-07)
poem

A flurry of blue, three blue jays All over the upper reaches Of the canopy of oak, and pecan, Shading my seat on Mother's Patio, by the goldfish pond. Like WW II aces, they roll And pursue, tree, to tree, to tree. And, there, high, and right, A gray squirrel, weighing down One pecan branch, calmly Catching another, releasing The first, then scampering. Yesterday, pruning azalea bushes, A female cardinal let Me look into her brown eyes.
Archived comments for Cardinal, Female
Romany on 06-08-2007
Here
Beautiful scene, and I love the WW aces reference!

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Romany: Thanks for reading, and for your comment. Swep

Gerry on 06-08-2007
Here
Swep, I like this kind of poem--nice one ...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:
Gerry, Thanks for reading, and your good comment. Swep

Kat on 07-08-2007
Here
Swep, oh maestro! Beautifully written and perfectly punctuated for optimum effect, eg.

'...tree, to tree, to tree,'

'...a squirrel, weighing
Down one branch,' = great image (they do that on the pine tree outside our window 'here' too!) :o)

And what a great ending.

Thanks for this.

Kat x


Author's Reply:
Kat: Thanks for the good words, and the notation of the punctuation, and your affirmation of the closing lines. Swep

chant on 07-08-2007
Here
excellent piece with its echoes of Chinese poetry, this is clear-sighted, unaffected writing that reconnects us with what is substantial and important. the closure is a beautiful and open one: rather than nature being something we dominate and enslave, there's this humane respect 'let me look ...' stylistically, the only thing i'd query is the double use of the word 'beautiful' on "show don't tell" grounds. overall, though the scene described is an everyday one, there's the sense that the description is achieved by a life lived very deeply.

Author's Reply:
chant: Thanks for your interactive, and good remarks. I'm glad to see you about again. Swep

Elfstone on 07-08-2007
Here
I enjoyed reading this on slovitt. It captures a mood and a moment very nicely. I tripped up over the layout though - that's one of my 'bonnet bees'! I think there is an alternative ( "better" ?) way of laying out the lines of this . . .

Author's Reply:
elfstone: Thanks for reading, and for your good comments. Swep

freya on 07-08-2007
Here
I think nature pieces must be the 'so this is where you go' place to find yourself, Swep. And what caused me to sense the essence of who you are in Owl, the first poem of yours that I ever read. I think of Passage, and Somewhere in Tennessee, too. For me, this is a zen-like. A going within to absorb and be in the reality of the moment - 'here' - and by so doing, releasing oneself from the illusions and clamor of outer life.

Of this, Kat has selected the images which stay with me... especially 'from tree, to tree, to tree'... I like, as well, the weighing down of branches which makes me think of the effect we all have on everything whenever we, ourselves, move from 'branch to branch', and how such branches bend to compensate.
This association makes me think of Mark Strand's Keeping Things Whole:

Wherever I am
I am what is missing...
I move to keep things whole.

Technically? I agree with Chant on beautiful. The power of your poem is in the very fine details. You could reach a bit more with just a word or two, descriptively, on both Jay and squirrel. I'd suggest adding pause before your last line, too. Probably with a period. So:

Yesterday, pruning azalea bushes,
Four kinds of woodpecker.
Let me look into their eyes.

Like Kat, I thank you for this. Shelagh

Author's Reply:
Shelagh: You are as always thorough. I am pleased that you and Kat liked the images you did, and with your remarks as a whole. I remember the Strand lines, and used to like some of his poetry. As for 'beautiful', well, for some reason I've found in my head a certain freshness to it, as if it was so general that years of the word having been backed away from, now it is usable again. John, in his following comment, notes that 'also beautiful', allows for the closely positioned dual 'beautifuls', which reflects my thought process during the period of fooling with the poem. As for the period after the next-to-last line, well I've read the closing lines with the period several times and I can't get any improving effect. Thanks, Swep

e-griff on 07-08-2007
Here
I think this is clearly a carefully-polished, paced and thought-through piece. For me any change to the format or punctuation would detract. I also think the 'beautiful' repeat is perfectly acceptable, as it is acknowledged by the poet in the 'also' and therefore of no distraction to the reader, IMO. It is deliberate, much like 'tree, to tree, to tree'. A purist might say that the third tree is one tree too many for english expression - but this is poetry and the third tree has a valuable purpose - as do the commas - which I would leap upon in prose - but here are used specifically to slow and pace the event.

For me the only question is the preponderance of woodpeckers ๐Ÿ™‚ It may be (well, it must be ๐Ÿ™‚ ) intentional, but I wonder whether a different species at the beginning might improve?

Good writing as usual. And an interesting exercise for me as you can see it forced me to think much, for which many thanks. Best JohnG

Author's Reply:
John: Thanks for reading, and your comments. I've just noted in my reply to Shelagh that your thoughts on the two 'beautifuls' were mine also when working on the poem. As for all the woodpeckers, the poem originated in some time ago me seeing six different kinds of woodpecker in Mother's yard one summer day. A couple of weeks back, the three red-headed woodpeckers with their aerial display, and I started the poem. When I moved to recall the kinds of woodpecker I could only remember five: red-headed, downy, hairy, pileated, and a yellow sapsucker. Sometimes the reason for something in a poem is because that's the way it was, which isn't absolutely defensible, but sometimes is the reason nevertheless. Thanks, Swep

pencilcase on 08-08-2007
Here
Hello Swep,

I find your poem very pleasing. I have read the comments too, and these are considered responses.

Personally, I have a simple, but valuable appreciation of this nature-on-your-doorstep poem. It is a poem of the 'Here (and now)'. It's there if you want to see, if you wish to engage, and you don't have to go on safari necessarily, but open up to it as you're pruning azaleas or whatever and it will allow you in. So I very much like your concluding lines about the woodpeckers 'letting' you look into their eyes. This emphasises that they are not there just to be looked at, interesting though that might be, but are busy with their own agenda, and yet...curious enough to make head-cocking eye contact with a large biped for a second or two. Interesting.

Best regards,

Steve

Author's Reply:
Steve: I am glad to hear from you, and glad that you read. Yesterday, I was walking around a lake near Jonesboro, Ark. when, near the end of the walk, I came upon a man standing and staring out across the water, his fingers intertwined and hanging before him. I said, you look content there, to which he replied, this is like paradise. As I moved on by, I thought and said, pretty much everywhere is, which earned his affirmation. Anyway, thanks for reading and your always engaging comments. Swep

barenib on 08-08-2007
Here
Swep, these moments are essential. Each morning, when I have time enough, I walk through the park near to my place of work. It has a small river running through it and I stop on the bridge to see if there are fish swimming below; why? Because it's life affirming and reminds me that it's not all about sharks... There are also trees, flowers and birds - if they look me in the eye then I feel momentarily blessed.
Acknowledging nature is a form of wisdom. This is a wise poem. John.

Author's Reply:
John: Thanks for reading and your open remarks. In our exchanges of the past year, past months, there has seemed to be a real wistfulness to your voice. One doesn't have to live in Grasmere, you have your park. Or one can live in Grasmere. Anyway, thanks. Swep

zigzag on 11-08-2007
Here
Hi Slovitt,

Your poem made me come back a few times to read and read and read. Because I much enjoy the simple and expressive descriptions here.
Favourite lines:
Like WW II aces, they roll
And pursue, tree, to tree, to tree,
The aerial display beautiful.

zigzag

Author's Reply:
zigzag: Thanks for reading and your good remarks. Swep

teifii on 17-08-2007
Here
Four different woodpeckers! I'm jealous as I only have one kind and they so far have never let me lok into their eyes although they enjoy my provided meals.
Nice poem
Daff

Author's Reply:
Daff: Thanks for reading, and I'm glad to see you on-site these days. Yes, four woodpeckers, or really more, but even as I type I've been fooling with an alternative ending that is singular, and perhaps more focused. Thanks, Swep

chant on 28-06-2008
Here
yes this one is looking very sharp now, beautifully chiselled. the only line i hesitated over: 'On locating the singer'. everything else is so spare that 'on locating' feels like an excess to me. was wondering if that could be dropped, the line instead opening 'The singer ...' though i realise you've then got a problem adjusting line lengths.


Author's Reply:
chant: Thanks for your thoughts. Strangely, last night I had begun playing with cutting 'On locating' and 'Gray-ish tan' at the close but as yet haven't found the way for the lines to lead to arrive correctly with the last line. Almost done, but maybe not yet. Thanks. Swep


Personal Ad (posted on: 29-12-06)
poem

There are riches in these rented rooms, The beige walls lined with Dalis propped, Rather than hung, because of damage Deposits. And so I drink bourbon And watch Star Trek: The Next Generation. Leaf through Simic, Ritsos, Stafford. Talk to family, a few friends as if life lines. If you are attractive, and nippled, And sense the dilemma of the rare, lost ones, Who yet can't embrace any belief simply To save themselves--if you would test Yourself at the flame--then knock on 203. Who knows, we may with singed Wings fly our way out of here. Or not.
Archived comments for Personal Ad
orangedream on 29-12-2006
Personal
Don't pretend to understand every line, Slovitt but enjoyed, nonetheless.

kind regards
Tina

Author's Reply:
Tina: Thanks for reading and commenting. I've edited the title since your comment to perhaps help the reader, 'Personal' becoming 'Personal Ad'. With the popularity of on-line dating sites, and the requisite creating of a 'profile' for those wishing to participate, I created this profile which is not one to be accessed by timid-hearted shoppers. Again, thanks for reading. Swep

Abel on 29-12-2006
Personal
I'm not nippled, but do really really like this poem, Swep. The image of Bourbon and Picard rings with me... Well done piece.

Best,

w

Author's Reply:
Ward: Thanks for reading. I'm on the 29th day of no alcohol, the 19th day of running, and the 4th day of no flesh in my diet. I'm hallucinating, on-and-off, on the strangeness of the unaltered state of consciousness, and on the running promoted release of endorphins. Thanks, Swep

woodbine on 29-12-2006
Personal Ad
Hi Swep,
I thought this fitted very well into the body of your previous work with the title Personal. With the title Personal Ad it takes on new connotations where you are more conscious of it being written to influence others. It would be interesting to run it as an ad' and see what response you got.

The only thing I might change is 'singed' which to me reads a bit weak.
Maybe 'fractured' or 'battered' or even 'stolen'.
In MacCartney's Blackbird I was always impressed that the lyric reads
"take these broken wings and learn to fly" and not "mend these broken wings".
It's good to see some quality work posted.
John

Author's Reply:
Hi John: This piece does fit with some of the previous poems, 'Self Portrait', 'Maze', 'We're Here At The Pleasure of Society', etc and does in its current placement conclude an 8 page section of the afore-mentioned poems in my current manuscript. 'Singed' I think works better with the ' test yourself at the fire', with the notion of getting too close to the flame, moths, Daedalus, et al. Anyway, thanks for the good words. Swep

woodbine on 29-12-2006
Personal Ad
Hi Swep,
I thought this fitted very well into the body of your previous work with the title Personal. With the title Personal Ad it takes on new connotations where you are more conscious of it being written to influence others. It would be interesting to run it as an ad' and see what response you got.

The only thing I might change is 'singed' which to me reads a bit weak.
Maybe 'fractured' or 'battered' or even 'stolen'.
In MacCartney's Blackbird I was always impressed that the lyric reads
"take these broken wings and learn to fly" and not "mend these broken wings".
It's good to see some quality work posted.
John

Author's Reply:

scotch on 30-12-2006
Personal Ad
liked...scotch

Author's Reply:
Thanks...Swep

orangedream on 30-12-2006
Personal Ad
For me certainly, the new title meant I could look at the poem with fresh eyes.

I would second John's ultimate line and some.

Tina

Author's Reply:
Tina: Thanks for stopping back by and leaving your good remarks. Swep

pencilcase on 31-12-2006
Personal Ad
Hi Swep and all the best for the New Year.

I enjoyed reading your poem. It is immediately accessible but justifies several readings in order to delve deeper and I appreciate its construction. Echoed near-rhymes (I particularly liked 'damage/Stafford' and 'are lost/or not') and a fluctating pace achieve the mood, the feeling of the piece. I already imply I think the ending well done: a kind of rhetorical question that is heavily-laced with scepticism and pessimism, but which suggests to me also that this is not an entirely hopeless situation. I like your opening line too, a heavily ironic statement that wastes no time in getting to the heart of the matter. Rich indeed.

I think the addition of 'Ad' to the title is beneficial and, like John, would think it interesting to see what response this received if run as an ad!

My regards and best wishes,

Steve

Author's Reply:
Steve: You do assess a piece of writing thoroughly, and well. Thanks for the remarks, your regards which I return, and your best wishes which I likewise return. A new year, a clear path, the whole world to be roamed around in. Swep

teifii on 31-12-2006
Personal Ad
A very nice line in irony. I too thought the new title an improvement but that may be because I am a bear of small brain.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Daff: I am glad to see you've read, and remarked. The title is an improvement because all of us readers need all the help we can get. I like bears. Swep

chant on 01-01-2007
Personal Ad
this is a substantial piece, modern (particularly like the juxtaposition of Star Trek and Simic etc), determinedly honest, its idealism ('bright ones ... ') tempered with realism ('Or not.'). it sets out a situation, a person, an attitude both tough (the bourbon-drinking, the refusal to accept the consolation of religion) and sensitive/vulnerable (family and friends are life-lines, implicitly the narrator places himself amongst 'the lost') in this accessible format of the personal ad (which, like others here, i'd like to see run in a newspaper). typically of your writing, there are no loose lines and everything said is valuable, so that one comes away from a few readings almost knowing the piece by heart.

Author's Reply:
chant: Thanks for the good remarks. This poem embodies a state of mind that I have hopefully left behind, a condition of living that has given to a cleaner, clearer, once again whole approach to go forward with. At the same time, 'Personal Ad' does have things in common with the other poems in its section in my current manuscript and does tie that section off. As always, you are an exceptional reader and I appreciate it. Swep

barenib on 01-01-2007
Personal Ad
Swep, as usual I come a little late when many pertinent comments have already been made; however, I believe your use of 'singed' relates back to 'test yourself at the flame'. Whether you could find a better flame related word, I'm not sure. I found myself with the final words wanting 'or maybe not', as I feel it would fit both rhythm and tone a little better. A fine quality of writing as ever - John.

Author's Reply:
John: And so occasionally you do stop by the UKA world, and I am pleased that you have remarked on my poem. You are right about 'singed', and the 'Or not.'/ is an actual phrase I use some and its abruptness, and unequivocalness, is what I was looking for. Thanks, Swep

reckless on 07-01-2007
Personal Ad
I love the undertone and the gentle pace concealing, or perhaps enhancing, the brooding quality of this. One to read again, and I will.

Author's Reply:
reckless: Thanks for the good words, and for reading. Swep

richardwatt on 01-02-2007
Personal Ad
I'm not sure of my capability to leave a succinct point at this time of evening, but I'm going to do my demned utmost.

The word I'll sum this up with is "repose", which runs the risk of being a slur by a lack of hyperbole - rather, I understand the sedative effect of the rented room, or home-eo-stasis if you'll pardon my coinage. For a second I believed that the dash key on this keyboard had broken, taking with it my sole punctuatory facility.
You begin with a little shared insight what with the paintings, shuffling to a little light loafing, watching Picard (I don't have a clue about the writers but will investigate) and sashaying into a full boudoir moment with the language still keeping a certain detachment. Dissect this into smaller sentences at will!

It's been an emotional couple of days: my beloved Dundee United failed to sign any new players by the end of last night's transfer window. The Scotland manager's job has been filled, and still no international call-up on the cards - to the Craftmatic Adjustable Bed!


Author's Reply:

Macjoyce on 04-03-2007
Personal Ad
I think you should get rid of line seven.

It tells, not shows, the protagonist's loneliness, which we can already glean from the rest of the poem.

Otherwise, a great piece, in fact a fave of mine. If you removed line seven then there'd be a juxtaposition of the poets he is reading (they are all male, yes?) and the women he would rather be making love to.

This is a poignant, soulful piece. I really like the idea of the dilemma, and the enjambement of "damage deposits".

Mac

Author's Reply:
Mac: I see I've replied to your comments in the wrong place, which futilely I'm noting here. Swep

Slovitt on 04-03-2007
Personal Ad
Mac. Mac: Thanks for reading and for designating this poem as a 'Hot Story'. As for line seven, well it is the third of three bits of info provided to establish the situation of the writer, and fully necessary as each bit speaks to a different kind of activity, 'drinking bourbon and watching Star Trek,' 'leafing through the volumes of three poets,' and 'talking to family, friends as if life lines'. To cut the line would dilute the fullness of the ambience sought to be established. Anyway, your notice of the enjambment of '...damage/Deposits.'/ I appreciate as I like the writing of those first three or four lines. Swep

Author's Reply:

Macjoyce on 05-03-2007
Personal Ad
Hmm. Yes, I can see you like having the three activities, and there's nothing wrong with that, but it's just that "as if life lines" says too much. It screams "I'm lonely!" I also think that "life lines" is a cliche as well as too bash-over-the-head.

I think it spoils an otherwise flawless poem.

Best,
Mac

Author's Reply:
Mac, Mac: Relax. Don't let anything 'spoil' the poem, much less 'life lines', which if anything is flat rather than 'too bash-over-the-head'. The drawing of the situation wasn't so much 'lonely' as alone, and the line about talking to family and a few friends as if life lines is closer to grim acceptance than melodrama. Anyway, the line serves its purpose for me, and is one to establish ambience, and hopefully prelude to what poetry there is in the piece. Swep

e-griff on 05-03-2007
Personal Ad
i see what MacJ is saying, and actually I tend to agree with him. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Still got the Dalis I see...

Author's Reply:
John: I too see what he's saying, but don't have the problem with the line that he, or apparently you, have. Yes, I still have the Dalis, and a new roommate, a year-old lowland mountain gorilla newly named 'Swep' (after all he won't be calling me by name) and it has been amusing to watch the reactions of the few visitors that have met him when they, speaking to me, call out the name and he responds. Swep

uppercase on 07-03-2007
Personal Ad
Hey Memphis
You know that I'm from the South and that I don't understand everything you write. I like to pretend that I do. You are my hero. Your work makes my heart proud I'm very impressed with this piece because I read it once and got it right away. I hope you are well and happy..your friend Erma

Author's Reply:
Erma: I know you to be Southern born and bred, and that like a lot of Southern women not only understand what I write but most of what I think before I think it. I have become a sometime writer these days but life is clarifying and there may be more productive days ahead. I have missed you and your inimitable stories and think you must have one currently posted which I will check out. Thank you for your good words and I hope that things are going well for you, and that you are happy. Your friend in Memphis, Swep


Owl (posted on: 01-05-06)
re-post

1. My beautiful two-toned friend, Your horned head no longer grinds, Your eyes shivering light. There's rust on your short hooked beak, Your breast feathers run with slime. I can't even tell how you fell. 2. Turning the bird with my toe, No sudden flush, No zephyr-like rush to vacant air, No blur-to-dot, and gone. 3. Each car rocking the grey road Blasts a hot wind, Spreading the owl's wing, Which falls like a broken accordion.
Archived comments for Owl
narcissa on 01-05-2006
Owl
I love the way you zoom out with this - the owl, the owl and you, the whole scene.
That last stanza, for me, is the best, and what an ending. The final line is extremely powerful. Wow.
About to read it for the fourth time, now ๐Ÿ™‚
Really enjoyed this!
Laura x

Author's Reply:
Laura: This is an older poem, but one that I like, and so your approval is enough to make me smile.
Your persona as a commenter is more the girl that you by age are, whereas your poems are very mature, and under the control of a poet-to-be. The two may co-exist happily. Swep

alcarty on 01-05-2006
Owl
Good impressions, Swep. I was looking at the bird, too. Very strong piece.

Author's Reply:
Al: Thanks, and I feel a connection, probably of America and age, but also of outlook. Swep

Abel on 01-05-2006
Owl
Good to see you posting again, and as usual, your imagery is impeccable. Well done, Swep.

w

Author's Reply:
Ward: 'Owl' is an older poem but one I wanted in my archive at UKA. Thanks for your good words, and for commenting. Swep

pencilcase on 02-05-2006
Owl
It's an impactful poem, Swep. I can hear, and see, the traffic rushing by, oblivious to the broken accordion.

Best regards,

Steve

Author's Reply:
Steve: Thanks for reading and for your good assessment of the poem. I appreciate it. Swep

Romany on 02-05-2006
Owl
'Powerful' is certainly a word that can be fairly applied to this one. Very vivid and stark. Love; 'No blur-to-dot, and gone.' Very sad.

Romany.


Author's Reply:
Romany: Thank you for reading and for responding to 'Owl'. I am glad you came by. Swep

teifii on 02-05-2006
Owl
Beautiful poem, Swep. I feel I am mourning your two-toned friend,. The imagery is perfect and I lile the occasional rhymes, half rhymes and alliteration, and I absolutely love 'Your eyes shivering light'
So good to see you back and a well deserved nib.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Daff: Yes, you would be the one to appreciate the sounds. Thanks for that, and for liking the poem. Swep

Kat on 02-05-2006
Owl
Hi Swep

This is one of the many beautiful and well-crafted poems in your collection, 'A Boy's Face With Swan Wings' - that final image is very impactful with the broken accordion - I fancy I can even hear the sound as it breathes its last.

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Kat: You are one to engage the poem at hand. Thanks for your good words, and for reading. Swep

Leila on 06-05-2006
Owl
The most overwhelming emotion for me is the sense of helplessness in this situation as is often the case in many things in life...the line
I can't even tell how you fell, most clearly demonstrates this.
The final stanza too has a certain desolation with the words and imagery perfectly matched...most fine...Leila

Author's Reply:
Leila: You bring a certain freshness of vision to a poem as reader and commenter that is pleasing. Thanks for your attention on 'Owl'. Swep

Zoya on 06-05-2006
Owl
A very poignant poem and skillfully crafted.
Like the last line and the punch it gave to the whole story.
BEAUTIFUL IMAGERY TOO;
I can see the owl fall; his eyes! I can hear the blaring of horns, see the blinding lights smell polluted smoke of the vehicles...
Yes,
WE DON'T CARE FOR BIRDS NOT EVEN THE ENDANGERED SPECIES...
we don't care for the poor and vulnerable at alll...

Author's Reply:
Zoya: I have seen your commentary on site, and looked at your work, and both are attractive. Thanks for your remarks on 'Owl' and your specific reactions. Swep

Dazza on 06-05-2006
Owl
Swep, can't think of a sadder death and you buried that owl with dignity. Road kill is nasty. Great ditty your mate Dazpacho.

Author's Reply:
Dazza, oh Dazza, these are hard times for the King of Marsupials. Yet, the times aren't harder than for the owl, so suck it up, boy, he said, and then acknowledged the comment of his now 38-and-1/2 year- old former-Aussie friend, or mate, as they say in Frogville, Dazza. Thanks, Swep

uppercase on 07-05-2006
Owl
This poem is wonderful it made me catch my breath, as I watched the wings spread like an accordian....erma

Author's Reply:
Erma: Thank you for the good words, and I am glad to hear from you again. Will there be stories forthcoming? Swep

Flash on 07-05-2006
Owl
Hi Swep

Like i said before, the ending of your poem reminds me so much of a film scene from the bleak and harrowing masterpiece "Kes," in which the central character returns home from school,to find his pet kestrel lying limp a dustbin, slaughtered by the central character's brother.

I hope a film you've managed to get hold of Swep.

A very fine and favourite poem for me.


Regards
Flash

Author's Reply:
Alan: I do remember that you had good things to say about 'Owl' in the past, and so am pleased that you came by. And I do remember your touting 'Kes' though I've been derelict in not seeking it out. I will search for the film this week. Thanks, Swep

chant on 12-05-2006
Owl
this one i know very well and seems to me more perfect every time i read it.

Author's Reply:
chant: Thanks for the comment. Writing is about making connections, and one or two is sufficient to make the endeavor worthwhile. You are that best of readers. Swep

Macjoyce on 22-11-2006
Owl
I really like this piece. Me dig the zoom-out effect. There are, however, two problems I have:

1. The second verse. I don't get the imagery here, and don't think it's strong enough.

2. The line "I can't even tell how you fell". It's superfluous. The realisation that the owl was hit by a vehicle is sufficient.

Otherwise a great poem which ends superb.


Author's Reply:
Macjoyce, Macjoyce: Thanks for the good words and for the favorite distinction. I've beat this one up over a very long period of time and so it's pretty much done, for better or for worse. The second verse is integral, and in tune. The line you don't like as 'superflous' is one that at least one commenter has found to be particularly telling which doesn't invalidate your objection but does support my not doing anything about it. On top of that, I don't say, or know, that the owl was hit by a vehicle, in fact 'I can't even tell how you fell.' Thanks for reading, for interacting. Swep


9 Months Divorced (posted on: 23-01-06)
poem

Jan. 2006, another year of hope, And I run into Jerene exiting Gould's Spa. I offer to buy Her a coffee, and she accepts. We two alone in the corner cafe, We sit on-and-on, sipping, Me staring as if to memorize Her face. I ask if I make her Uncomfortable. She says no, Just wonders what I'm thinking... She says, I'm getting older, I know it. To which I say, yes. My mind runs back, through The years. The face, the high Cheekbones, the green eyes That seized and held mine fast As I gawked that first day In the catacombs in Vienna. So, so beautiful, even as You have been each and every One of these past thirty years.
Archived comments for 9 Months Divorced
tai on 23-01-2006
9 Months Divorced
I loved this slovit, gorgeous is gorgeous, no matter how long. Memories stay clear. What a romantic place to meet? Hope the divorce is a little easier now. 10 from Tai

Author's Reply:
Tai: Thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, gorgeous is gorgeous, and beauty blurring slowly is a beauty in and of itself. Swep

Kat on 23-01-2006
9 Months Divorced
What lovely writing, Swep - it's honest and tender and full of integrity. It really brought a smile (mixed with sadness) to my face.

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:

chant on 23-01-2006
9 Months Divorced
yes, a beautiful warmth to this one, and a special generosity in the switch to second person closure which really opens the poem up. some excellent contrasts too: an easy-to-interpret-as gloomy title giving way immediately to 'another year of hope'. is the year of hope intended sincerely or ironically? as a reader, i like to be kept guessing.

'I say, I am thinking / How beautiful you are,' ... i take it you ordered a smoothie!

only line i wasn't sure about was 'What I don't say / Is what a shame that others may ... ' - you've got a double 'what' going on there and a 'that' too. not that the line held me up particularly, just a technical query.


Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 23-01-2006
9 Months Divorced
A very sensitive poem, Swep, tinged with regret delicately expressed. One can sense that their parting has not diminished the affection they hold for each other.
I love the opening lines:
'Jan. 2006, another year of hope,
And I run into Jerene exiting
Gould's Spa.'

Author's Reply:

alcarty on 23-01-2006
9 Months Divorced
Great scene, Swep. It's a story in itself, and the feelings are well presented and familiar. Sad but real.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 23-01-2006
9 Months Divorced
Kat, chant, Ionicus, and alcarty: I've tried repeatedly to reply individually to your comments but my computer defaults, so thanks to all for your remarks on the poem. Kat: Thank you.
You always have something re-affirming to say. chant: I'll look at the 'whats' and the 'that' and thanks for the warm words. Ionicus: I think you've understood this poem of mine, and well. Thank you. alcarty: Thanks. You're a good teller of tales, and this one is indeed real, and indeed sad. Swep

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 23-01-2006
9 Months Divorced
Ah this is perfect. I think no matter how long it has been we see the beauty that attracted us in the first place..love erma

Author's Reply:
Erma: Thanks. It is particularly moving to see beauty, though changing, we've had a history with. Swep

Dargo77 on 24-01-2006
9 Months Divorced
Swep, a piece of writing well worthy of the nib or indeed any other accolades placed upon it. A Fav. for me.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Dargo: Thank you for reading, and for commenting. And thanks for the good words about the poem. Swep

teifii on 24-01-2006
9 Months Divorced
Very poignant description. What I liked in it was that there zseems no hint of bitterness and that is rare after a divorce.
daff

Author's Reply:
Daff: Thank you. No, there is no bitterness. Swep

HelenRussell on 24-01-2006
9 Months Divorced
A poem I can relate to entirely, hope things work out between you. I know from my own experience, it can be tough at times, but hopefully you will become friends again. It doesn't matter what/who caused the split, nothing can take away from what was once there, and you expressed that perfectly.

Sarah

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 24-01-2006
9 Months Divorced
Sarah: I've tried to reply to you several times but my computer won't accept. What I've tried to say is that I thank you for reading, and for the insight of your comments. Swep

Author's Reply:

Abel on 24-01-2006
9 Months Divorced
Wonderful flow, Swep. A masterful account of a very touching moment, and memory. Well done, as always.

Ward

Author's Reply:
Ward: What to say except thanks. Swep

Leila on 24-01-2006
9 Months Divorced
Swep I felt every word of this. A poem so delicately poised it could easily break into a million heart-rending fragments. Sensitive and skilful word placing, liked for example
run into/runs back and impressed with the cleverness of both the stillness and movement throughout. Also felt the poem so tenderly and expressively reveals the enormity of what has been shared. Lines such as ...shame that others may not know the face, the high cheekbones etc... also tells us as much about the writer as it does about the lovely lady. You have entrusted this very fine poem to the reader and I am gratetful for its openess and honesty, thank you...Leila

Author's Reply:
Leila: Leila, you are the rare reader who interacts, and bears the burden of the poem. As usual, I very much like your remarks. Thank you for your close reading, and your emphathy. Swep

pencilcase on 25-01-2006
9 Months Divorced
Swep,

The controlled emotion of this piece befits the chance meeting described. I often think that those who readily display their emotions regard someone who does not shout/swear/throw things/bang the table with their fist as being unemotional.

I appreciate the whole poem, I think, but will mention a couple of aspects I found hit me in particular. Firstly, the tentative 'sipping' which is brilliant. Secondly, the irony of
'staring as if to learn
Her face'
and the whole notion of human recognition, in which the face is so important. In more ways than one, you focus in on 'the face' with the implied irony too, I feel, of how what's on the face of it can never do justice to such a long association. But we look for changes in people's faces, even just seeing someone we were not perhaps close to after some years have passed. And when it is someone we were close to, and still feel close to because of the times we shared, there is of course that added power because when our eyes actually meet, there is an instant mutual recognition of knowing how our minds share so many memories that no-one else could possibly identify with, and therefore there can be a mental/emotional intimacy because of the importance that each has to the other in terms of significant events in life.

I hope I express what I wanted to acknowledge here! Of course, your poem gets all this and more across far better than my comment, and probably better than any comment.

Steve

Author's Reply:
Steve: I think you interacted with the poem and expressed yourself about it eloquently. And it sounds as if you've spent your own time in at least a variation of the encounter of my poem. Thank you for the attention of your remarks, and the specifics you've approved of, and again, for engaging the writing in such a warm way. Swep

RDLarson on 27-01-2006
9 Months Divorced
so tender and real. Timeless for all of us who have read it.

Author's Reply:
RDLarson: Thank you for reading, and for your good words about the poem. I appreciate it. Swep

Bradene on 28-01-2006
9 Months Divorced
Fantastic.. Beautiful what else is there to say. Val x

Author's Reply:
Val: Thanks for commenting, and in such a warm way. Swep

barenib on 29-01-2006
9 Months Divorced
Swep - this is raw feeling expressed as words, exactly that, an expression, not a rationalisation. As such, it stands as it is, and it stands beautifully, whether the reader relates to it or not - but I'm sure that most will. John.

Author's Reply:
John: Raw is the right word. That's how I feel. Thanks for commenting. Swep

Michel on 29-01-2006
9 Months Divorced
A powerful poem, to me. Magnificently understated, clear and effective.

Author's Reply:
Michel: I don't often see you comment, and so I thank you for your remarks. I've done my best, but then I've only set down a truth, which was not hard. Which is perhaps poetry. Swep

span on 01-02-2006
9 Months Divorced
I enjoyed this in a way that is not entirely comfortable.

All a bit too universally familiar.

Quite a rare, beautiful bleak achievement for a poem non?

The line

'I ask if I make her
Uncomfortable. She says no'

Ach!

Its so awkward and honest, slightly voyeuristic.
This reads like overhearing a couple on the table next to you having one of those awful conversations which just cos everyone has them at some point in their life, does not make them any the less devastating or squirm inducing.

Can almost feel a horrible hot back ( the worst feeling in the world)

If it is biographical, I hope your heart is alright.

If not, it is a incisive poem.

Only one thing jars with me.

I was discussing this with a friend the other day. despite, knowing the reasons why it is done, when there are capitals at the front of a line in a poem it irks me.

It distracts my mind and stops me from getting in to it fully.

I suppose you could argue that the capitals are needed to symbolise the new formality in the relationship.

But you could also argue that without them, it would read more like the poignant overheard confessional.

So, there you go.
Much... enjoyed.

Span

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 01-02-2006
9 Months Divorced
Span: Thanks for reading and for the interaction of your initial remarks. The lines starting 'I ask if I make her/ Uncomfortable. She says no,'/ are ones that, as with really the whole poem, would prosper if read out-loud, and slowly. As for the poem, it is indeed biographical, and as for my heart, well I don't really have a clue if it's alright. Finally, with the capitalization of the first word of each line, well it is a matter of poetic convention and something I've always favored. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

span on 02-02-2006
9 Months Divorced
Cool, well appreciated anyhow.

The friend argued the same thing. Perhaps I am bloody minded.hmmmm

Span

Author's Reply:
Span: Perhaps. Swep

Romany on 02-02-2006
9 Months Divorced
A very moving poem, beautifully expressed. Just beautiful.

Author's Reply:
Romany: Thank you. I appreciate your reading and leaving your warm remarks. Swep

AnthonyEvans on 06-03-2006
9 Months Divorced
a very touching poem, swep; i like your very down-to-earth start, grabbing that coffee after bumping into one another. slowly working it up.

best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:
anthony: Thanks for reading and for your remarks. In another mood I would work off of your 'slowly working it up'. Maybe I just have. Anyway, thanks, and I'm glad to see you more present on the site than in recent months. Swep

Jolen on 08-03-2006
9 Months Divorced
Swep,
You don't really require my humble statements of praise, I'm quite sure, but as most women, I go on, regardless. I have read this piece several times, and the reason for that is this: It isn't often that you see an intimate and poignant piece that gives such incredible insight into both the author and his subject. You have done that very effectively here. You have shown a deeply personal and exquisitely beautiful part of a man speaking lovingly of a woman. I suppose I could go on and tell you which of your lines I felt most, or be a bit technical, however, I won't. To me, it's as beautiful and as simple as it gets. It very much reminded me of W.B. Yeats "When you get old". I pray this finds you well.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Jolen: 'Beautiful and simple' is pretty high praise. Thank you, and I'm pleased the poem made a connection with you. Again, thanks, Swep

Faerie on 07-05-2006
9 Months Divorced
There can't be all that much I can add to the comments you already have here.. but I did want to let you know how this poem struck me.

It's quiet, subtle and yet that is its power. That and its honesty. You are simply telling it as it is, and there is something painfully beautfiul about that.

These kinds of poems make me want to stop what I'm doing, pick up a pen and paper and just write...

Author's Reply:
Nancy: Thanks for letting me know that you'd read the poem, and for your appreciatory remarks.
You haven't been around in a while, and so it is good to hear from you. Again, thanks, Swep


Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group (posted on: 29-07-05)
a zen aside

I finished running, and felt So good, tingling All over, that I changed Nothing. The facilitator, Christine, greeted me Nervously. Green singlet, Running shorts, I came To read from A Boy's Face With Swan Wings. A blond, blue-eyed Girl, glancing side-to-side For support, asked 'Aren't you totally out Of order, your attire totally Inappropriate?' She did Smile, so I favored her 'But isn't poetry a normal Activity, like running?'
Archived comments for Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
chant on 2005-07-29 10:49:20
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
entertaining, vigorous, a benign challenge to conformist attitudes that, as all challenges do, i guess, carries that sense of risk, of danger. love the sentiments here - poetry a natural/necessary exercise of the heart/spirit, as running is a necessary exercise of the body - something everyone should do if they wish to stay healthy. another great piece for the new collection.

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-07-29 16:13:48
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
What a great poem slovitt. I could see you in your kit mate! I love the last line. That is exactly what poetry should be to us all, and will be again one day.

A great read imo

10 from me.

Smiling

tai

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 2005-07-29 16:15:29
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Hi Swep,

Nice to see a new post from you....Very intriguing concept and one that I happen to think is right on the money. Perhaps if more people thought so this world would be able to turn from the path it seems determined to follow..... ah,sorry, I'm off the track here..... Well, anyway, I enjoyed this and am off now to do a bit of running myself...

I hope you and yours are well.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

barenib on 2005-07-29 18:07:36
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Well said Swep. I think I'll go to work in pyjamas next week. John.

Author's Reply:

LenchenElf on 2005-07-29 18:16:14
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Really enjoyed this Swep, thought provoking, running can be a solitary activity, pitting self against self even in the company of others, yet still alone, to or from a goal or fear, a fight or flight response, a burst of joy in physical form and so forth, as natural as breathing, not to be set apart as mannered constructs dictate....alive, alive O. Thank you for this thought ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚
all the very best
Lena

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-07-29 18:16:40
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
chant: I acclaim you First Reader, for you are more eloquent in your commentary on my poems than the poems are themselves. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-07-29 18:20:21
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Tai: And I can, this moment, 17:18 British time,
see you, and only you, without your kit, and I again think that this vision of mine is sublime. Thanks,
Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-07-29 18:23:47
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Jolen: A runner, huh? Well I ran more than 1000 miles a year through the eighties, and the endorphins popped like popcorn. This is a small poem. Thank you for reading. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-07-29 18:29:50
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
John: I've missed your regular participation on this site. It's always about the way to best manipulate
the surroundings, to bring the participants to the brink of things they never could voice a desire for.
They are there, panting, and so it goes, in the world. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-07-29 18:34:52
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Lena: You, my dear elf, are more serious than my poem. Which is a small thing. Which is to your credit as a thinking, feeling, engaging woman-thing.
I bark like a frog, grunt like a dog, and am interested in being alive. Thank you for reading. Swep

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2005-07-29 19:08:44
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Hi Swep, this did appeal on the apparel of interests - you can tell a runner by his clothes, a uniformity of choice and ease to run in, yet a writer wear his choice of free thinking and unfettered lines. Enjoyed this.

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-07-30 00:50:19
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Emma: You are a strange writer, and a good one. Thanks for reading, and for your comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

AnthonyEvans on 2005-07-30 11:52:30
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
you know, you could be onto something here, swep. at your next poetry reading you could come dressed as a scuba diver (though perhaps that would be too metaphoric).

enjoyed your poem, made me feel as though i was present at one of your readings. i wonder what makes you sweat most, a few miles of running or writing a few lines of poetry? best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-07-30 14:25:09
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Anthony: If you were at a reading I would toss you my sports squirt bottle of boubon to tend until the reading was over. As for sweating, well anything that makes you break a sweat is pretty good, and 5 miles at 7:15 pace does it for me. Thanks for reading. Swep

Author's Reply:

alcarty on 2005-07-31 04:51:54
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Beautiful retort. Damned shame she wasn't old enough to have shown up at the coffeeshops we used to read in, when we were reciting Ferlinghetti and our own dreadful offerings. Dharma Bums was popular then. We knew some were there, like Christine, to be seen. We were there, like you, to be listened to. Hopefully heard. I guess that's why I am here.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-07-31 14:05:53
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Al: I'm glad to see you back. I'll look into your recent story if I ever finish this week of nightshifts.
The flashy, brash young lady became a votary by reading's end, and even had a couple of candles in her purse. So it goes in the world. Thanks for reading and commenting. Swep

Author's Reply:

Dazza on 2005-07-31 14:10:15
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
If I provide the other hand can we clap? I would be a proud geezer reading stuff like this, I'd puff out my chest and say "I am there, now where is the finger food?" I wish I could comment like Chant! Dazza.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-07-31 14:19:09
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Dazza: You're pretty zippy (or was that the name of a 'roo) for an Aussie transplant. Speaking of food, it's 7:14 on Sunday morning and I think I'll make spaghetti here in the confines of what is my bachelor pad. Your comments are fully equal to the best I receive. Be calm my son, I've gotten the orangutuan drunk and he's finally agreed to the brain switch with you. Swep

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-07-31 17:12:19
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Ah this is a delightful and engaging poem that brought an immediate smile to my face. I loved the opening lines of
and felt
So good, tingling
All over, that I changed
Nothing....as the feeling that could occasionally be attributed to finishing a satisfying poem. And yes, loved the ending. Fine work...L

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-07-31 17:35:55
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
I can only echo whats already been said by those far more intelligent than I. By the way, I have signed up for a commenting course at The Leila school of critique. Things can only get better surely? I shall leave with the classic - 'Great write' Thanks.

s
u
n
k
e
n

Drawing magnets over clocks in order to fight the aging process.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-07-31 22:15:26
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Leila: That's an interesting, and original take on the opening lines. And I like it. Thanks for your comment, for reading. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-07-31 22:19:12
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Sunken: Yes, Leila's pretty good. I'm glad you've read, and can only offer that I really don't think it's that important if a clock gets old. Just replace it.
Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

barenib on 2005-08-01 00:27:19
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Swep,

I've missed it too. Sometimes the surroundings that you don't like dominate you, however much you kick and struggle. Don't fret, I'll be back.

Respect, John.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-08-01 06:17:08
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
John: Good. Looking forward to reading. Swep

Author's Reply:

Abel on 2005-08-01 22:55:35
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Fine, fine work, Swep, from another runner...both activities are becoming more spiritual as I get older. You've made me think yet again, my friend.

Ward

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-08-02 00:41:53
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Ward: You are another that I haven't seen around much lately, and whose activity is missed. Thanks for reading, and your always positive comments. If you're in Memphis, perhaps we could do a dual reading at Burke's bookstore, a UKA one-two. Swep

Author's Reply:

woodbine on 2005-08-02 15:02:42
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Dear Swep,
What can I say that others haven't? Only that when you hear a remark like that you know you are reading to the wrong audience. If you are wearing bike leathers it's worse. You can get bawled out and sent to the postroom; I've seen it happen.

Neat poem; makes you think.

all the best, John

Author's Reply:

Abel on 2005-08-02 15:16:03
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
I may indeed be in Memphis next Summer on my way out west...so maybe something could be arranged...stay tuned, and I'll let you know. Thanks for asking,

w

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-08-02 15:22:38
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
John: Yes, you know you've got a challenge on your hands where you'd anticipated a pleasant evening, but then, one can fold or by low key force of will win the audience over, the latter being the case, fortunately, here. Take on the point of resistance, and as I've mentioned above, you may find votive candles in the bargain. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-08-02 15:24:56
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Ward: I'm easy to find. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

richardwatt on 2005-08-04 16:45:25
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Swep,
This is the first time that I have been online in a good while, and am pleased to see a new rough diamond from you. There are parts Wordsworth (don't stop reading) in the function of tingling and necessary products, and a bit of Kafka in the odd jib of the girl's sentence, also it's uncommon outside of job adverts to hear of 'facilitators': I like that.

rickx

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-08-04 18:41:07
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Richard: I am very glad to hear from you. There's something different, changed, if but subtly, in the voice of your comment. Life is wonderful, and life is hell. I hope things are well with you, and that perhaps we'll see some new writing. Swep

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-08-11 12:50:09
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Smashing piece Swep and what a gentlemanly rejoinder. ((-; Val x

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-08-11 13:02:52
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Val: Thanks, and thanks. You're as always very generous. Swep

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-08-26 17:57:22
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Lovely - the poem and the comment. I hope she learnt something.
Daff

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-08-26 19:11:20
Re: Reading to the Wolfchase Writer's Group
Daff: Thanks, and yes, she learned something, and so did I. I am pleased that you read. Swep

Author's Reply:

Buschell on 22-11-2013
Reading to the Wolfchase Writers Group
A re-visit after reading this in the book you so kindly sent me. I get my best ideas during or after some kind of exercise. Even if it's just a cockamamy yoga move done in a cack handed, wobbly way before over or under balancing and putting my head through the telly. Reciting naked is wildly in appropriate but I am so proud of that arrest. Where have all the old crew gone...the Chants etc? Love, Dazza.

Author's Reply:
chant at another writing site, though occasionally still posts at uka. others come and go, speaking of michelangelo.


I've Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me (posted on: 20-05-05)
poem

A short novel by Richard Farina. Farina declared himself 'exempt' From possession by demons, and also Generally, in life. Intrigued, S. too assumed the status, decided To test the premise, 'exempt' Brought the demons to life In his own head. Couldn't sleep. Couldn't turn out the lights at night Without panic, which he rode The waves of. Then, six days, Black nights, mumbling, and pacing, In Louisiana camping alone... To the side, the demons yet reside. Rising to mix another drink, S. really doesn't want them loosed, Though today, bored, he wonders If he's still as strong as Hell.
Archived comments for I've Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me
Bradene on 2005-05-20 12:26:45
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
Have to be honest and say it took me several reads to get this, when eventually the penny dropped I saw how good it is. I think half the battle is getting to know a writers style, yours is quite simple when I can get hold of your mindset. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-05-20 12:32:40
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
I love that title Swep. This is certainly a poem that needs to be read, then read again etc, but in a good way because it just gets better with each reading.

What wonderful skill you display - really enjoyed.

Kat ๐Ÿ™‚

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2005-05-20 13:12:56
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
Hilarious, and a wonderful write with
not a wasted word.
The last lines are
very powerful.

Author's Reply:

chant on 2005-05-20 13:44:39
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
the exemption lines had me thinking of another novel - Camus' L'Etranger. i like the mental strength of this character, coupled with his fallen angel pride that surely emits an alluring beacon for demons to home in on. loved the fact it was Louisiana he went camping in - another French connection via New Orleans, and the supernatural reputation that that town has. Luke Rhineheart's Diceman also came to mind. above all, i thought of Rimbaud - i guess that's the focal point of the French vibe i'm getting - his wildness, his liberte libre. as the fate that met Rimbaud demonstrates though - the arid stagnation that his life became, it is, i think tremendously dangerous to set oneself alone against the darker forces in life. it's a terrific poem.

Author's Reply:

Dazza on 2005-05-20 14:24:24
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
Freakin' brilliant guru Swep! Straight into my favourites with a bullet baby!I have a spare bullet for the Daemons to if they really start to piss you off. Dazza.

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2005-05-20 18:57:08
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
Having edited a number of poetry books by many varied authors, it was a revelation to me (unschooled as I was at the start) that, being forced to read and re-read in the course of the editing, with good poetry, whole curtains of meaning revealed themselves, layer after layer.

I think its in the nature of the beast that you should indeed read a good poem several times, like sipping a rare wine as opposed to gulping plonk... ๐Ÿ™‚ G

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-20 22:36:50
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
Val: Thank you for reading the poem, and whatever number of times was sufficient to get a hold on the poem. Yes, my style is by design simple, the lines being simply what they are, and hopefully the experience of the poem being built simply, line by line. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-20 22:39:36
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
Kat: The title is the name of Farina's book, of course, and was lifted by Jim Morrison of The Doors fame for a song a couple of years after the novel. Thank you for what are very generous words. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-20 22:42:32
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
Michel: It's not often that I see you comment, so thank you for reading and for leaving your remarks.
The hilarity is there, in an absurdist, black humor kind of way (what kind of maniac would conjure up demons for sport, and then not run like hell?). In any case, thank you, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-20 22:55:21
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
chant: Well, your comments are often a literature of themselves, and always are full of thought, of insight. I don't know what it is about the existentialists, but Camus, Sarte, Unamuno, et al seem to be out of vogue these days, though I did read The Stranger in Dublin in 1975. I like your 'fallen angel pride', and it seems Rimbaud has gone the way of Albert C. and friends. It's interesting to set up situations in life, for instance incanting a certain noticed girl your way, creating a scenario, and then seeing if the event follows. Thaks for 'terrific poem' and the hot story designation. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-20 22:59:28
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
Dazza: Where would we be without your energy, and the offer of a spare bullet, for when it is needed. Thanks for the hot story designation, and your infectious enthusiasm. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-20 23:06:51
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
John: Well yours is a studied comment, and I appreciate that. You were an excellent editor with my book, from layout, to your meticulous line-by-line attention. Finally, this poem is one of five now posted this year that turn poetward, that purport to try to describe and illuminate me, each time partially perhaps, but the portrait fleshing out as we go. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-20 23:09:25
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
Kat: I'm replying to you a second time because my first response was posted out of place. I'll let these words guide you to the other. Swep

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-05-21 08:17:33
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
Anything with 'monkey' in it gets my vote. I like this more than... a long distant call from a close friend. Thanks. Eat turkey (unless you're a veggie, then I suggest a lettuce leaf cut in to the shape of a turkey) Thanks.

s
u
n
k
e
n

Take lemon, I predict aid.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-21 23:32:45
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
Sunken: Yes, I had a friend who after thirteen years of vegan-ism, decided to have a turkey sandwich. One bite, and out came a pained, 'Oh, poor turkey.' But the streak was broken, and a revamped carnivore we have today. To this poem, well, I am glad that you read and remarked. I read your submissions as they come out, one by one, and should comment to at least note having been by. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-21 23:34:37
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
Sunken: Addendum. I should have said, I read and much enjoy your submissions as they come out. Swep

Author's Reply:

LenchenElf on 2005-05-22 09:57:08
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
Yes, I've read this superb piece several times too, each time my smile has widened a little more, thanks for sharing it (quick look around, yup, my demons still there, waiting for a re-match)
all the best
L

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-22 10:25:10
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
LenchenElf: Thank you for reading, and for the warmth of your comment. I have been to your very own ...True Nature's Child, and was derelict in not leaving remarks on what is a very good poem, an oversight I will correct today. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

AnthonyEvans on 2005-05-22 19:58:30
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
swep, i've been back to this a number of times (also when it was in the hatchery) and i think it is a great piece. i like the fact that even though you only have a negative comment for that short novel ('not one bit funny' - which is very funny) it provoked something within you which, years later, leads to such a fine, mature poem as this. like michel, i think the poem ends on a powerful note. i like the 'boredom' which contrasts with the energy we have when young to consume so much lit (and not-lit) so fast. best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-23 02:33:20
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
Anthony: As always, thanks for reading, and re-reading, and for your nice comments. Swep

Author's Reply:

Abel on 2005-05-23 15:05:16
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
Your usual brilliant voice, Swep...I recall this one. Jim Morrison would be proud, too.

Ward

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-23 22:18:30
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
Ward: Thanks. I did wrench it from first person to third, and do forty drafts or so of tinkering, and I'm basically pleased, but anyway, thanks for your always positive comments. Swep

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-05-23 23:40:39
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
You describe the fight with Hell in a man head very well swep, and in the answer to your final question I would say definitely stronger. Great poem

All the best

Tai

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-24 01:54:28
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
Tai: Thank you. I appreciate the nice comments, and your having read. Swep

Author's Reply:

pencilcase on 2005-05-24 12:29:58
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
Swep - enjoyed reading this, being both personal and outward-reaching in its invitation to the reader to apply its humanity to his/her own life experience. Read the comments on the title, but would like to say again that it is a particularly eye-catching heading that attracts readers in the first place and then proves to be spot on.

I particularly like the sonics of

S. too assumed the status, decided
To test the premise, 'exempt'

Bye for now...

Steve

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-24 14:18:54
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
Steve: Thanks. You are a good reader, and a good poet, and I appreciate your remarks. I harbor the feeling this one isn't quite yet done, but that to the side. Again, thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2005-05-26 18:33:39
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
I would never tempt the devils. Makes my hair stand up cause everybody knows Louisiana is full of devils and black magic....love Erma

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-26 21:31:26
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
Erma: I've never been accused of having any sense, and besides devils are just devils, and demons just demons, etc. And to conclude, I'm not really sure what I am, or so saith Bodhidharma,
and I find it easy to agree. Thank you for reading, and I'm due 11 lashes for my dereliction to your wonderful stories. Swep

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 2005-07-10 13:47:52
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
I see we have another Jim Morison fan around....... Your work came highly recommended, and I see why now.

I like your style, and anyone silly enough to call more demons up than are around at any given time, is my kind of crazy.

Wonderfully done..

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-07-10 14:05:51
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
Jolen: You have an engaging energy, and humility.
I'm not a Morrison fan, or the fan of anyone that throws away their life, but only noted in a comment that Morrison stole the line for a song from the title of Farina's Book. Thank you for your good words, and I have read a number of your pieces and found them attractive. Swep

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 2005-07-10 14:27:10
Re: 'I'VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME'
ah well then we have another thing in common.. I am not a Jim Morrison fan either, but spoke of a new writer here that is.. User name Minor
Whose work I love.. I will be reading a great deal more of yours I can see that. Thank you for your kind words. I don't know if you are being a smart ass or not, but either way, it works........ LOL

Blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:


Simpler Times (posted on: 06-05-05)
poem(edited)

At one time I could multiply Four-digit numbers by five- Digit numbers in my head. Could do Square roots, not perfect, But exacting to four places After the decimal. I did it on bets, Not to show off, more the challenge Of put-up or shut-up. The surprise. Faces perking up. For a moment how far we all imagined We could reach, extended, Though for a small moment, just.
Archived comments for Simpler Times
Bradene on 2005-05-06 18:22:49
Re: Simpler Times
As a line from an old Tony Bennett song says I could never count a great amount.. I love the simplicity of this work. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-06 23:07:46
Re: Simpler Times
Val: Thanks for reading and your take on the poem. It's one of those things you reclaim from the past, dust off, and find a little shine still on.
Again, thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-05-07 01:07:59
Re: Simpler Times
I really enjoyed this Swep. I liked the playful and ? 'pun-ful' title, and that very fine ending,

'Though for a small moment, just.'

Kat ๐Ÿ™‚

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-07 01:19:10
Re: Simpler Times
Kat: Thanks for reading and commenting, and for highlighting the last line. It's probably asking a lot for people to have to deal with a poem that spends time as a journal entry, and gets some reads and some comments (even as your very nice remarks), and then is posted again to the world on the open site. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2005-05-07 02:02:59
Re: Simpler Times
There was nothing we couldn't do. What a wonderful feeling. All the time in the world. The sky's the limit. I remember it well..love Erma

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-07 03:06:59
Re: Simpler Times
Erma: I am glad to hear from you. I've meant to comment on your latest effort, and will, though the world has been changing here lately. Yes, those were good times, but so are these, and these, and these. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Geometrix on 2005-05-07 08:23:34
Re: Simpler Times
Reading the first few lines I thought it as a self congratulatory poem, which it is not! I like the gentle playful nature, and that ending! At the end of the read I get a self pitifying feel, don't know why though.

A good poem.

Debashish

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-05-07 14:41:23
Re: Simpler Times
I enjoy your poems being in the 'hatchery'.

Kat ๐Ÿ˜‰

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-07 18:17:12
Re: Simpler Times
Kat: Thank you. You're a supportive girl. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-07 18:22:22
Re: Simpler Times
Debashish: Thanks for reading, and for your comments. You steered correctly away from self-congratulatory, and I will say that the end is probably wistful, reflective, if anything, and self-pitying it shouldn't come across as. In any case, thanks for the good words. Swep

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 2005-05-08 05:33:44
Re: Simpler Times
Ah those moments one feels invincible and that all things are within our reach. Very well done.....

The ending was brilliant..

Blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-08 11:32:06
Re: Simpler Times
Jolen: Thank you for reading and I appreciate your overall assessment, and your mention of the close.
Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-05-08 12:15:36
Re: Simpler Times
Hi slovitt, now your answer to Kat is exactly what I was thinking! It's a funny old world, don't you think. I am not sure at all what to make of your journal entry/poem, to be honest. Is it a piss take then?

Doing her mental arithmatic

Tai

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-08 17:25:17
Re: Simpler Times
Tai: It's just a world, and it's just what you think it is. I've seen the expression 'piss' used on-and-off on this, and other British sites, and don't know exactly what it means. The poem is straight-forward, and means exactly what it says. Swep

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-05-09 00:05:51
Re: Simpler Times
Slovit, taking the piss means having a dig at! in a funny way or in a derogatory way. Sorry to offend you. I did not mean to. So this poem is a journal entry of any experience of times gone by, is it. The reason I asked is because someone mentioned blogg type writing, which should not be here, on a thread this week. I thought this piece was a reaction to that enquiry.

Sorry again for any offence.

Tai

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-05-09 00:07:16
Re: Simpler Times
Just to add, it does read like a very good piece of poetic prose to me.

smiling

Tai

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-09 02:57:49
Re: Simpler Times
Tai: No offense was taken. This poem is a poem that I started in my journal, and worked on there before transferring it to the open site. It's simply a poem. Again, no offense, and thanks for reading. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-09 03:02:41
Re: Simpler Times
Tai: Which opens the question of the definition of 'poetry'. I am glad that you thought it was a good piece. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

woodbine on 2005-05-09 05:38:35
Re: Simpler Times
Dear Swep,
There is a kind of lean purity in your best work I don't see elsewhere.
Best wishes,
John

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-09 16:49:30
Re: Simpler Times
John: This is as nice a compliment as I could get.
I have sought essences in my poetry for the length of my writing career. Thanks, and I hope you are well. Swep

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-05-09 17:48:21
Re: Simpler Times
At what point do the simple things become more complicated and the complicated become simple or impossible even. I fine the reflective tone in your work most endearing and while personal is most often also universal. Loved the last three lines...L

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-09 22:03:32
Re: Simpler Times
Leila: Thanks. Your comments always seem to be a full match for the poem appraised, both personal and assessive. Swep

Author's Reply:

Abel on 2005-05-10 22:51:17
Re: Simpler Times
I believe I read this one before, Swep. I think in your journal. The power of possibilities here, and fleeting understanding of the universe. Sometimes I can grasp the world, other times I can barely string together a sentence. Just...indeed. Wonderful poem, my friend.

Ward

Author's Reply:

Dazza on 2005-05-11 09:25:41
Re: Simpler Times
Idiot savants are great fun at parties! You are my favourite idiot! How's the shift work treatin' ya? Can you write on nights? Buggered if I can. Dazza.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-11 23:08:27
Re: Simpler Times
Ward: Yes, you commented, and warmly, in my journal. The poem has been edited since then, and I'm glad you've come by and seen ths version. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-11 23:13:55
Re: Simpler Times
Dazza: That'll be Mr. Savant to you, and you may attach the 'idiot', preceded by a comma, after your name, pretending it's basically synonymous with esquire. In any case, it's always pleasing to be a favorite, and nights are not any fun. I must get to your last piece but I'm at a library in a small town in South Mississippi on a mission from Y, trying to clean up the world. I will comment on your story on my return home on the morrow. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

AnthonyEvans on 2005-05-12 22:58:30
Re: Simpler Times
i've lost track of the times i've read this, maths not being a strong point with me, but i know i read it first in your journal.

it is a little unlike your other pieces what with all these numbers. and yet again, maybe it isn't as these numbers are quite concrete in their party-trick way.

and then suddenly, at the end of the poem, that flight. i know you truncate it by making it part of something unfulfilled but somehow it still flies. maybe it is the 'extended' followed by the freezing of the 'just' so that it feels like a sculpture, a detached arm reaching out to inifinity.

best wishes, anthony (the spirit of pythagoras shaking his breath behind me)

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-14 01:56:17
Re: Simpler Times
Anthony: I'd been out of town until late yesterday and almost missed your comment. Thanks as always for reading, and your comment concludes poetically, and pleasingly. Again, thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-08-26 17:10:39
Re: Simpler Times
Very good depiction of what I take to be your youthful self. Makes me feel a bit wistful for a party-trick self I never had -- too self-effacing. Anyway I couldn't and can't even add up.
Lovely ending. The 'just' is a lovely littlr postscript.
Daff

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-08-26 19:19:33
Re: Simpler Times
My little sister says, 'What do you mean, you once could? You mean you still can, and no longer care about it.' So with the various women I know, they know better than I, and know better than I what I know. (In an aside to the orangtuang he said, we've got them right where we want them.) Self-effacing is not me, and thanks for reading, and approving. Swep

Author's Reply:


We are Here at the Pleasure of Society (posted on: 25-04-05)
poem

He walked around saying things Like, 'Bark like a frog.' No one questioned him, in fact Co-workers and friends quoted him To their amused families. He didn't back off, 'Frog that dog,' It intriqued him to watch The machinations of faces trying To find meaning where there Was none. It was particularly Diverting when women blushed. He told only his little sister, who Remembered his writing 'Swepis Khan' on the cover Of a notebook in the 7th grade, That there will come a time When these spontaneous sayings Of mine will be used As proof to try to put me away.
Archived comments for We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
Slovitt on 2005-04-25 18:35:18
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
freya/chant: Thanks to freya for her remarks on this piece when it was posted as a journal entry, and for her probing insights. And thanks to chant for his strong remarks on the poem, once again in the journal, and then for his hot story designation of it out in the world of the archive. Swep

Author's Reply:

Abel on 2005-04-25 18:55:04
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
Great work, Swep. "The machinations of faces trying / To find meaning where there
Was none." I've seen this in my own life...and they'll probably use it all to put me away, too! Expertly crafted.

Ward

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-04-26 03:14:31
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
Ward: Thanks for reading, and I do appreciate your commenting, and your comment. Yes, the question of the accountability of original, or eccentric behavior, albeit essentially harmless,
puts one 'at the pleasure of society. Or not. Thanks again. Swep

Author's Reply:

AnthonyEvans on 2005-04-26 10:46:06
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
dear swep, good to see you posting again. i quite liked this (although i tripped over: he didn't back off of 'frog that dog,'; perhaps it is an american way of saying things, this 'of'). if it is biographical, though, then although i might go along with your final summation, i can't really go along with 'finding meaning where there was none' as your work always seems chock full of meaning even when you are describing very simple things in your usual concrete way. best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-04-26 11:00:34
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
Anthony: Yes, the '...off of 'frog that dog,' is probably American, certainly if it clangs on your ear.
As for 'finding meaning where there was none' the reference is to the expression 'Frog that dog' having no meaning, and 'he' found it intriquing that listeners assumed there must be some meaning if it were uttered in a serious way, and secondly, listeners needed there to be meaning so as to be comfortable with it. A case of studying human nature. Anyway, thanks for commenting, and for the good words. Swep

Author's Reply:

chant on 2005-04-26 11:58:08
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
i keep coming back to read this one and the mood i'm currently in at work today, i could well not be backing off of 'frog that dog' myself, said to my manager, in the hope of getting a bit of peace and quiet.

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-04-26 12:02:03
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
Ah there's a little madness in us all but who's to judge. I really enjoyed this a lot and I laughed when I read it (hope I was meant to). Loved the the 'Swepis Khan' reference and...It was particularly diverting when woman blushed...I found a charm here...L

Author's Reply:

pencilcase on 2005-04-26 12:02:48
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
Hi Swep - I know the feeling!

I find this an interestingly poised poem that can be taken in several ways, but the thing that comes through to me is that aspect of human nature where it is possible for eccentric behaviour to become self-perpetuating. It gets attention, it amuses others - bit like a child repeating behaviour that has succeeded in getting attention. And in the long run, yes, it can all come home to roost: 'he was always a strange one, that bloke'!

Interesting move to the first person in the last two lines!

Steve

Author's Reply:

discopants on 2005-04-26 12:57:47
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
The first thing to say is that I absolutely love the title. Titles always give me a problem but this one is just perfect and eye-catching.

I also liked the Swepis Khan reference and the revelation of who the narrator is seems to be the signal for the change in viewpoint to the first person. Mind you, 'Frog that dog' confused me too. Does Dogfrog know you've frogged his dog?

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-04-26 17:43:10
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
chant: Piece, and quiet, yes. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-04-26 17:46:21
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
Leila: You are always meant to do what you feel, and I'm pleased that you laughed. Yes, I've always found it charming when women blush, and especially when their eyes continue to hold mine.
Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-04-26 17:53:46
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
Steve: You're a bright reader, and I appreciate that. Without being defensive, I would suggest that the eccentricities of 'he' are a way of mocking the human situation rather than getting attention. Hopefully harmlessly. In any case, all things do come home to bear, and I'm glad you liked the move in the last couple of lines, so now I'm siding you and chant and me up against freya, and I think we've got almost an even match. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-04-26 18:04:05
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
discopants: I can imagine that you love titles, and nicknames as well, what with 'discopants' which sparks all kinds of associations. I too was pleased with the Swepis Khan reference and overcame my reticence about it based on a possible reading of arrogance, as it is more youthful dreaming, youthful innocence, than anything else. 'Frog that dog' is an expression I've used on-and-off for years and the words as a phrase are without meaning. The tone, and the interpretation are another thing.
Kind of like a koan, the world after all being both subjective, and so inter-related that we all almost always have an idea of what we each other mean. Though, of course, we don't really. By the way, the tilt you put on 'Frog that dog' is a typically feminine one. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-04-26 18:08:21
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
discopants: My apologies, for I have just gone to your archive to verify my assessment of your gender, and found I was apparently wrong. So, I guess guys too react to 'Frog that dog.' It is a pretty catchy phrase. Swep

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-04-26 18:17:43
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
Hi slovit, eccentricity in the British, is a much sort after trait. In the Artist, it's essential imo. Your poem reminded me of the looks on some of my friends faces after reading a poem or two!! Shocked but accepting. That knowing look they think we miss!lol Yes we are there at the Pleasure of Society. Where would they be without artistic creativity!! Don't bear thinking about does it!lol

All the best

Tai loopy

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-04-26 18:20:09
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
Trevor: You may have hit upon a truth or two here. You're a good reader. I appreciate your comments, though one can never say 'this is me,' 'or you,' without creating another thing entirely. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-04-26 18:25:04
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
Tai, yes there's a tradition of eccentricity among the British, and though I don't know if it's essential for an artist, certainly something close to it is necessary i.e. a clear and original vision, and no qualms about living it at any time, in any place.
Thanks for commenting, and I guess if you are a little loopy, perhaps you;ve had a cocktail or two. Or not. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

barenib on 2005-04-26 22:22:28
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
Swep - I too like the title which is relevant in that it reveals that we are all at the mercy of our friends and family when it comes to our eccentricities - even childhood ones (maybe especially). It's only when things get tough that we discover how eccentric we may have been. A nice idea and well realised - John.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-04-26 23:42:40
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
John: Thanks for commenting, and it IS only when things get tough that one might discover the extent of one's off-center, answerable-only-to-oneself's behavior. I do think at this point I need to distance myself a little from the characterization of 'eccentric' because that implies a randomness. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

LenchenElf on 2005-04-27 00:54:23
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
Yup, heaven forbid that individuality in expression of being or pure whimsy should rear its head, they'll slap a label on it, thoroughly enjoyed this, thanks for sharing
all the best
L

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-04-27 03:03:39
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
LenchenElf: I think you've got a grip on it. More brash/challenging, and studied, than eccentric.
Thanks for reading, and for your comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-04-27 14:16:03
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
Glenn: I've read your poem and liked it very much and will return and leave a comment. Thanks on this one of mine, it's a departure of sorts toward a quirkier, more self-exploratory,--in the sense of mapping memory and its attendant meanings,--kind of writing. Again, thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-04-27 16:12:44
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
I like the idea of people rying to attach meanings and the way Swepis Khan kmowingly plays on this. People don't like to admit they don't understand in case there is really a deep meaning. IOncidentally, I would actually love to know whar frog that dog means. My dogs think it sounds very unpleasant for the dog, but I rather like it while having no idea hat it means, if anything.
Anyway I like the poem. Hope they don't come to get you.
Daff

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-04-27 20:24:09
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
Daff: You've understood the figure in the poem. As for 'Frog that dog,' well, it means whatever you want it to, bereft of any meaning of its own, as it is. I've remarked elsewhere that women seem to think something sexual, which is instructive to the attentive male, but assure your dogs that there is nothing from my point of view in the phrase that intends harm to anyone, or thing, namely your canines. Thanks for approving of the poem. Swep

Author's Reply:

richardwatt on 2005-05-02 20:32:19
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
Swep;
The lines are well weighted, if one can attribute weight to words; this Khan fellow seems terrifying if benign. I wonder if he was anything like the Khan from Star Trek II, played by Ricardo Montalban, I believe.
My great uncle Neil is a similar quother of strange quothings, and in coming years will be put away for his excellent eccentricities, such as flying the Australian flag on Sundays and having an interest in bugling.

My only bother was with the distributed voice over the last three lines, 'his' to 'mine'; whether there is the intention of having the character evolved from the first to the second is possible. In any case, it didn't mar my appreciation of the poem - I keep a service Luger in my baggage for the day that this happens.

rickx

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-02 22:45:37
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
Richard: The first question is exams, dissertations, etc.: how did they go? My strange quothings, or so spake the Scotsman, and my free-associational, generally word triggered brand of humor, are an atoms-thick veneer over what is almost unbrokenly a serious/stoical consciousness. My problem with Ricardo was that with the stength of 8 men, Kirk was able to whip him. Such implausibilities are disappointing. In any case, Foyan is out mowing my yard with a sports squirt-bottle of bourbon in his right pocket, and a taste for singing sonorous dirges which thankfully the sound of the mower drowns out. I think I'll join him. Swep

Author's Reply:

richardwatt on 2005-05-05 21:15:04
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
I have a wee while to spend on the net, so it's a quick whip-round favourite haunts and friends. Polling day today, one more step towards an egalitarian Scozia (I hope).

In summary;

Exams: Slain.
Dissertation: To the sword.
Application for mid-term entry to Melbourne Uni: Shot down over Guernsey.

Still have to prepare for viva voce exams in May. Because I have kicked up a huge fuss over some prick docking me a module, I'm to prepare for a spoken exam on a randomly picked topic: I hope it's on Erika Eleniak's Playboy career c.1990, or Ed McBain's 87th precinct. Success means that I should succeed with funding applications for next term in Oz. Down the rock 'n' roll 'til then.

Sign on you crazy diamond,
rickx

Author's Reply:

freya on 2005-05-08 03:49:46
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
Swep, warm congratulations on having We Are Here At The Pleasure Of Society selected as Poem Of The Week over on abctales. I've said quite enough about my impressions of this piece on the journal entry where you first posted it, except I can't resist the opportunity to once more protest the slide.....*grin* No. Your poem, my take on a minor aspect. What I do want to say in all sincerity is how much I admire the direction your poems are taking in recent months. They are quite a departure for you and it's obvious your work is entering a new phase. As reader, I'm not only charmed to watch you allow the delightful humor of your imaginative mind begin to shine through, but also experiencing them as the first tentative steps of an inner journey which your speaker (who just happens to be you!) is undertaking. A journey which I see as having clearly begun here:

In the bright water cupped in my hands,
My face. And I, who since a youth
Sought an overview so as to synthesize,
I search the crystal liquid only
To recognize, not admire myself

This excerpt is, of course, from your own profoundly moving poem, Passage, in which you uncharacteristically, but maybe instinctively, use metaphor so beautifully to portray your measure of the mystery, sorrow, heartache and emotional cost of such a journey. For me, the telling of it transcends the personal in these poems, to show me something about my own journey, to offer others insight into theirs. A very good piece, Swep. Shelagh

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-05-08 04:10:35
Re: We are Here at the Pleasure of Society
Shelagh: Your remarks are as always thorough, assessing what's at hand, this poem, as well as ranging wider to find a context for the poem and for where the poet finds himself, may be going. Yes, I do like the recent poems and their divergences from what had been a lifetime of poems that generally didn't explore my own life, or reveal much of it except by indirection, by association. Thanks for quoting Passage, and your strong comments there. Hopefully you will reenter the UKA world of commentary, and even post! Swep


Author's Reply:


Jerene (posted on: 07-03-05)
poem, circa 1975

1.You selected the worm-blind runt From a poisoned bitch's litter, Cried when colic straightened it, Nursed odd hours into the night, Suspended the bare-gummed pup Between your will and death. 2.This morning at the 3 a.m. check, You found it warm with life, But a strange bloom in its gut, Stretched limp with mouth agape. 3.You wrapped it in a torn sheet, In the ease of your arms held it, Watched as I spaded the earth. Stayed, even as it began to rain.
Archived comments for Jerene
teifii on 2005-03-07 16:32:43
Re: Jerene
This brought to mind so many animal deaths. One never gets used to them.
Watched as I spaded the earth.
Stayed, even as it began to rain The last two lines manage to say a lot more than they literally say.
Daff

Author's Reply:

AnthonyEvans on 2005-03-07 17:20:38
Re: Jerene
dear swep, well, i can see that you have been really writing for quite some time now. very clear poem. i can feel your humanity/understanding even though you stand outside of the poem. best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-03-07 17:46:30
Re: Jerene
Daff: I know you have a collection of animals, and so we had five dogs, four cats, and a possum. Or, rather until two weeks ago when our oldest dog, Cocoa, a chocolate Lab, was hit by a car. I lay down beside him in a neighbor's yard, and cried.
And yes, the last two lines speak to the character of Jerene, who always has seen everything through to the end. Swep

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-03-07 17:54:28
Re: Jerene
This is a lovely tribute to passed on pets/animals slovitt. The bit where the writer stayed despite the downpour was sweet. It reminds me of my cat leila, she gave birth recently and there was a runt, which she ignored! I will write a little story about it.

All the best

Tai

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-03-07 17:57:31
Re: Jerene
Anthony: I have followed your success here at uka, though my commenting has become erratic, and it looks like you have found a place. In 1975
I was twenty-three and this was one of the first of a group of real poems that I wrote. Thanks for reading, and for your comments. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-03-07 17:59:57
Re: Jerene
Tai. Thanks for reading, and for your nice words.
Yes, celebrate the runts of the world, and make them special. Again, thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2005-03-07 18:22:08
Re: Jerene
I know how broken hearted you were when you lost your dog. This is a wonderful tribute to that little pup and all our lost pets....Erma

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-03-07 18:49:30
Re: Jerene
Erma: Thanks for reading, and thanks for your warm comments. Swep

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2005-03-07 19:21:02
Re: Jerene
Beautifully written, simple and effective - the emotion of the piece stands out for itself.

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-03-08 01:05:45
Re: Jerene
Emma: Thanks for reading, and for your comment.
Emotion is what endures in poetry, and this one still seems alive to me. Again, thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

barenib on 2005-03-08 14:36:55
Re: Jerene
Swep, this poem is very much alive - age has not done it any harm at all. Indeed it is a timeless subject and your writing touches on the raw nature of such situations. John.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-03-08 17:58:58
Re: Jerene
John: Thanks for this comment. My test of poems, from other years, other decades, even other centuries, has been are they alive. I have found eastern poetry, Chinese, Japanese, to meet the test much better than their western counterpart. Again, thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-03-09 14:41:46
Re: Jerene
What comes over most strongly in this poem for me is the directness and the emotional depth of dealing with such events.
'Between your will and death' a most poignant and telling line. A poem that stays with you...fine work indeed...L

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-03-09 15:09:05
Re: Jerene
Leila: Thanks for your comments, and you are right about 'Between your will and death' being one of the salient lines in what amounts to a portrait of Jerene. Of course, 'Stayed, even as it began to rain.' both concludes the poem and rounds out definitively the woman. Again, thanks, as your remarks always seem to be in tune with my intentions. Swep

Author's Reply:

Dazza on 2005-03-09 16:41:52
Re: Jerene
You gotta love the runts! We've all buried one of the little buggers because people always choose the under dog. Hey you could call this under dog! It seems it was like burying a child, thats how I felt. Hope life is sweetening for you Swep. Dazza.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-03-09 17:29:18
Re: Jerene
Dazza, oh Dazza, the fearful trip is still not done, but then, so what. Life's always as sweet as you perceive it, outside of outside distractions. When one is put in the ground one goes alone and no matter how much those left behind feel bad, nevertheless everyone gets over everything, everyone gets through everything, and so it should be. I've spent the morning communing with deer in the woods that border my yard. They're not very smart, but some of their humor is certainly salacious. It's raining, the sky is heavy, and I love these moments of being alive. Swep

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2005-03-09 21:31:30
Re: Jerene
A touch of magic, Swep. You've captured it perfectly. Have I read this poem before? The title especially seems very familiar. Great read!

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-03-09 23:16:29
Re: Jerene
shackleton: Thank you very much. The title character, Jerene, was featured, or mentioned, in 13 of the 31 poems in my book, and is prominent in some of the poems posted on this site. I haven't posted this particular poem here before, though I think it's in one of my sets at abc. In any case, thanks for reading, and for your generous enthusiasm. Swep

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-03-10 17:19:59
Re: Jerene
Swep, this broke me into two. Memories of lost animals when a child, has stopped me having animals as an adult....they simply do not live long enough. Your poem was, as always, a great piece of writing.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-03-10 17:28:34
Re: Jerene
Dargo: Thank you for the warm comment. I have read your work as it has come out but have become derelict in commenting. Thanks for reading, and remarking. Swep

Author's Reply:

chant on 2005-03-11 20:16:16
Re: Jerene
reading this sent me back to A Boy's Face with Swan Wings last night. that book is such a complete piece of writing. you can go through it like a novel. it begins with the narrative voice speaking to us from an undisclosed location, and ends with a laconic yet loaded question to a lover. i suppose what i found myself wondering was, what happens next, swep? i feel like i've been taken quite far into the life of someone else, which, in the process, has been showing me things about my own life. now i think i want to be taken off in an unexpected direction. i think i want to know more about America, not the surface that's on show to the world, the grass roots of it, how it's changed over the last thirty or so years, and maybe something of its future as well. i want to know more about family, what significance it has to a human life, caught between 'Our love is for all of us' and 'Something he may not ... Even return to'. i want to know about how lives can intertwine closely and then drift apart, and what that means, if anything. and i want to know more about the central, humane narrative voice, what that voice continues to make of being alive, whether there are, to paraphrase Rimbaud, any secrets for changing life. in fact, i want to know a whole lot of things, most of which i haven't thought of yet, although i'm expecting you to. all of which is to say, i'm wondering about the follow-up book to A Boy's Face with Swan Wings. ๐Ÿ™‚

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-03-12 02:09:10
Re: Jerene
chant: Your commentary is extraordinary. I have a standard position that I don't need anyone or anything, and yet I am very pleased with your remarks. I want to see a book of poetry from you, and I would like to see the manuscript to make suggestions before its publication. Your comment is very pleasing. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

richardwatt on 2005-03-12 20:27:37
Re: Jerene
Swep,
the third stanza recalls some of WCWilliams' poetry, that is always a good thing. I would like to be able to look at some of my work in a number of years and take pride in it as you must.

The reconstituted Richardx

Author's Reply:

chant on 2005-03-12 22:27:46
Re: Jerene
am glad you liked the comment. ๐Ÿ™‚ if i get round to putting together a manuscript i'll certainly be grateful for any help you can give me on it.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-03-13 01:13:41
Re: Jerene
Richard: So, the last we heard of you you were off for parts unknown for 6-8 weeks. You return reconstituted, and ready for action, which has got to be good. I thank you for your comment, and would say that in poetry particularly of the arts, there being no public demand for the product, one gets to create and refine something that can be the best of themselves, and then have it exist independently for as long as one can read, not even really needing the outside reader to be fulfilled. Again, thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-03-13 01:18:24
Re: Jerene
chant: From a porch in Memphis, whenever you get a manuscript together, send it this way. Swep

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-03-14 17:10:22
Re: Jerene
Dear Swep,
Now you've had me in tears. I've never lost one to an accient so at least I've had some forewarning. I did lose one very dear cat who went out and didn't come back, si I never knew what happened to him and sometimes have awful dreams of him being locked in or hurt somewhere.

As to the collection -- currently 3 dogs, 3 cats, 3 sheep and 19 [I think] ducks.
I envy you the dear. We have them in the forest here and I sometimes see them when I go there with the dogs, but the said forest doesn't border my land. Knowing that yard on your continent means garden here, I wonder how yours survives your neighbours. Friends of mine, whose house is in the forest, had to fence their entire garden 6 foot up [for deer] and one foot down [for rabbits].
Daff


Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-03-14 18:04:12
Re: Jerene
Daff: You are a sweet soul. As for our yard, well it's 1.25 acres and is bordered on one side, and in the back, by woods which go on forever. The deer come and go and occasionally I hear them speak of Michelangelo. Yes, Cocoa was such a good boy, thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Abel on 2005-03-14 18:19:18
Re: Jerene
Pure mastery, Swep. You are a helluva poet. I am almost speechless...

Ward

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-03-14 18:34:35
Re: Jerene
Ward: Thanks. You too, my friend, are a helluva poet, and I appreciate the goodness of your words.
Swep

Author's Reply:

Pilgermann on 2005-03-17 19:43:44
Re: Jerene
Concentrated poetry, Swep, that does not ease until the last syllable. The first stanza, especially, brings forth so many images, and asks so many questions. The second took a moment to unravel, and this may have been the expected reaction, since the warm life immediately, too quickly gives way to death. And the last stanza is told with the ease of a true poet.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-03-17 23:49:10
Re: Jerene
Pilgermann, oh, Pilgermann, give me a first name by which I may call you, for I like your work, and you appparently mine. Thanks for the comments on 'Jerene' which is a model for what I've tried to make all of my poems to be i.e. clear, and concise,
and more than the words. This is an old poem, but I'm pleased to feel remains validly a poem. I'm surprised by some of your commentary, and taste on other work, but then so many things go into such matters. But then so many things go into life.
Swep

Author's Reply:


Maze (posted on: 14-02-05)
poem

From the bright world into the black Entrance he disappeared, But darkness was an old companion, And besides, he prided himself On his composure. Pupils growing He drove ever inward, this right, A left, left again, until deep Within the echoing maze he realized He was lost. Setting his jaw, He shouted for the Minotaur, its Heated breath, foam-flecked nostrils. He'd command the beast to lead Him back to the light.                              Outside, At each bellow, the crowd shivered To imagine what dwelt within.
Archived comments for Maze
tai on 2005-02-15 01:25:00
Re: Maze
Hi slovit, well that is what happens when you get lost in the dark! I enjoyed the poem. A you Theseus in this then and kill/control the beast?

I love the lines,

Back to the light he couldn't remember
The reason for having left, he long
On courage, but absent a normal fear
Of the consequences, a bit careless.

That is also what happens to the soul, when love is not allowed in without fear. Care goes A Wall!

Happy Valentines

Tai




Author's Reply:

chant on 2005-02-15 02:36:19
Re: Maze
something of an irony here: inside a situation, the character exercises only thoughtful decisions, but gets into the situation in the first place via carelessness. an initial lack of caution, pride in his composure to get himself out of a tight spot, these are interesting heroic flaws.

as i read this i found myself wondering if, in life, there is ever likely to be a minotaur at the centre of the maze - for sure we might want one, we might desire a decisive confrontation, but do we ever get it? and then who is to say that, if there is a minotaur, it isn't just as lost as we are?

the poem also made me thing of Ursula Le Guin's book The Tombs of Atuan. trapped in a labyrinth, the character Sparrowhawk sits down with his back to a wall and smiles ruefully - an acknowledgement that, when we are lost, sometimes there really isn't very much we can do about it.

enjoyed this, found it very well-written and thought-provoking.

Author's Reply:

Abel on 2005-02-15 05:29:46
Re: Maze
Your usual fine work...great images, and grand ideas. Loved this,

Ward

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-02-15 06:22:45
Re: Maze
Hiya Slovitt, i have long since feared the torch for the shadows they cast are far more alarming than the darkness they inadequately try to destroy. If you are going to buy a torch though, may I recommend the Ever ready DF630. It offers a sturdy rubber grip and boasts a waterproof switch that will never let you down. For an extra ยฃ5 you could upgrade to the DF650. This model has a built in battery checker and is also equipped with a nylon strap. I hope this is of some help? As ever, great piece of work. I fear the comment box, so much so that I am seeing a shrink named Morrissey. He's so miserable though, I'm not sure he's helping to be honest. But he does make extremely good coffee. So that's a bonus at least? I think my work is done here young Slovitt. I can only hope that you gleamed some sense from this comment. A lightly scented email directed towards young Andrea will go some way to getting me blocked from your subs. I really wouldn't blame you. Take care and matches,

s
u
n
k
e
n

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-16 05:49:20
Re: Maze
Tai: Thanks for reading. You apparently will take on anything, even a poem such as this. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-16 06:01:18
Re: Maze
chant: Your commentary remains at the top of this site, in fact it is a segues of sorts on a number of occasions. Yes, there are flaws, and they seek the dramatic, the decisive confrontation as you note,
which is fun to prepare for, to try to create, perhaps as a way to give not meaning, but zest to this business of living. And yes, the poor old Minotaur has probably been wandering around in the dark, bumping his horns on short doorways, generally sick of the dark and the cold and the damp, these several thousand years. As for Sparrowhawk, well there's a great deal of freedom in being in a situation where there is nothing more that we can do, though one is ready for whatever pops up. Thanks for the interactive comments. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-16 06:04:50
Re: Maze
Ward: Thanks for your nice comments, and I must say that the term gentleman is the word that occurs to me each time that I see your remarks.
Thanks again, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-16 06:08:38
Re: Maze
sunken: I appreciate the info on lighting, for all of us at some time find ourselves wandering about in the dark. And mainly, I appreciate your reading, and leaving the above as a sign you'd been by. Swep

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-02-16 20:43:01
Re: Maze
Slovitt I don't know what your comment is supposed to mean, but I think I get the gist of the poem!

cheeky git!

Tai

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-16 23:50:33
Re: Maze
Tai: I think you get the gist of it also, and only meant that the poem is not especially accessible, or inviting, to my way of thinking. Thanks again, Swep

Author's Reply:

bluepootle on 2005-02-17 05:43:59
Re: Maze
Hi Swep, lovely to read something by you again. It also reminded me of The Tombs of Atuan, with the still of the darkness and the deliberate choices that your character makes...after using such exact, slow pace and language (which really appealed to me as a reader) I felt unhappy with the final phrase - 'a bit arrogant' seemed, well, a bit throwaway...I wanted to be there for the confrontation, or at least feel the threat of it more convincingly. It felt like you, the writer, had summed your character up and decided to leave him there in the dark, but I wasn't quite ready to leave with you! Anyway, I very much enjoyed.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-17 07:19:23
Re: Maze
bluepootle: Thanks for the opening compliment, and thanks again for the good things you have to
say. I note your point about 'a bit arrogant' not being totally satisfactory, or a clean, decisive way to end, but unfortunately, or perhaps better factually, that's where the figure finds himself, the situation unresolved, at the close. Waiting in the dark, slow resolutions, a muddling about, are the things that most of life seems to be about, though the clean confrontation certainly would be desirable. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

barenib on 2005-02-17 08:20:55
Re: Maze
Swep, the journey through life perhaps, or equally just an inward one at any given time. A lot of people, it seems to me, are lost in the dark but illuminate the situation with their own desperate attempts at light. Some are brighter than others of course. As has been said, a thought-provoking piece - John.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-18 00:45:44
Re: Maze
John: This piece is probably most accurately another attempt at a self portrait of sorts. Thanks for reading, and commenting. Swep

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-02-18 01:28:11
Re: Maze
As emaculate as ever. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-02-18 01:51:26
Re: Maze
I found this to be an exceptionally open and honest poem...the writer deeply soul-searching and allowing us to share his journey and the conclusion, for the moment, reached. Fine work indeed...L

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-02-18 02:32:11
Re: Maze
Imteresting idea and a metaphor for many of life's situations. I like the twist of summining rather than fleeing the minotaur.
Daff

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-18 03:08:13
Re: Maze
Val: Thank you for the kind words, and for letting me know you'd been by and read. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-18 03:10:19
Re: Maze
Leila: Your comments always make me feel that you've truly gotten into the poem, that you've given yourself over and gone for a ride with it. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-18 03:14:02
Re: Maze
Daff: I've been back to your poem a couple of times this week but have not been doing any commenting for awhile. I will remedy that today, and thank you for your remarks on my poem. Swep

Author's Reply:

richardwatt on 2005-02-18 04:37:42
Re: Maze
'This was the most late-born comment from the world', to paraphrase a friend of mine. I'm very impressed with the attention in the language, without resorting to economy, which I find in a poem is like still being hungry after an exquisite meal. Or something. I like 'flecked nostrils' which is a detail in exactly the wrong place.

Like Napoleon, I'll be back in eight weeks.

godspeed,
rickx

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-18 05:40:10
Re: Maze
Richard: I'm glad that you read, and commented on the poem. I'm trying to find a vein, and this piece is rare in that it is one of my recent ones that I like. I think your remarks are generally laudatory, and for that I thank you. Napoleon was an interesting Corsican, with bad French, and the capacity to appreciate a Polish beauty like Marie Waslewski, who once you met her forever had you in her thrall. Not knowing where you are off to, I wish you well. Swep

Author's Reply:

Dazza on 2005-02-18 09:29:07
Re: Maze
Different for you Swep. Is this you looking for the toilet after a few night shifts and a particuarly heavy AGM of the possum protection society of Tennessee? The minotaur is busy sluugging down Bourbon in a night club called "Horace's place".

You know I love you r shit! Dazza.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-18 11:03:46
Re: Maze
Dazza: You know, the only problem I ever had with the Minotaur was that he was insanely protective of his sister, who I knew immediately had a crush on me. She batted her eyes, ran her fingers up and down her right horn, and grunted appreciately the two times I bent over in her presence, and displayed the well-developed glutius maximus that I by trick of fate possess. She wanted me, I liked the fire in her eye, and he couldn't stand it. So, I went looking for him, my journey went awry, and there I was in the dark hollering for him, irritated at not knowing the way out. Oh well, so it goes with Minotaurs and Minotauresses. I am well, and hope you are too. Swep

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2005-02-19 17:29:04
Re: Maze
Hi Swep,

Good to read your work again. Enjoyed this immensely....(The beast within, indeed)....Brilliant conclusion; punchy and clear cut:

'He'd command the beast to lead him
Back to the light he couldn't remember
The reason for having left, he long
On courage, but absent a normal fear
Of the consequences, a bit arrogant. '

Splendid read, as usual and using a topic which has always been keen for me...I've always wanted to visit the labyrnths of Crete. Nice one!

Warm regards,
Adele ๐Ÿ˜‰


Author's Reply:

AnthonyEvans on 2005-02-20 00:41:59
Re: Maze
dear swepp, nice to see you posting again.

as usual with poems, i took too (or is that now two)many left turns. i haven't made it out again yet but i kind of like your dark. i don't find it arrogant, though. it seems kind of relaxed, as though you are going into yourself, your own abyss, and have been there before. the problem is maybe with the quality of light out there, rather than with the dark. this dark certainly doesn't lack quality. then again, maybe it really is the minotaur you are looking for, that ancient engine. as you yourself say, to motor you out of that dark.

but, as i say, i took a left too-stroke-two many so don't pay too much attention to these lost words of mine. best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-20 09:24:59
Re: Maze
Anthony: That's an insightful, interactive comment, and I appreciate it. I have been low-key at UKA of recent and hope to become again soon.
Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-20 09:32:42
Re: Maze
Adele: Thank you for reading, and leaving your usual warm, thoughtful remarks. Yes, the labyrinths, and any of the other thousands of ancient sites that still retain an aura, where the air is yet charged, and sacred. Hoping you are well, Swep

Author's Reply:

Corin on 2005-02-20 11:31:03
Re: Maze
`Well, the moral of the story,
The moral of this song,
Is simply that one should never be
Where one does not belong.'

Bob Dylan

Are we all lost in a Maze of twisty turning passages?
Of course if we exercised only thoughtful decisions we would stick to turning left or right knowing that this was bound to bring us out at the end, or if we do not start doing it until we are lost then put a mark in the passage and try one. Should you come back to the mark you just go the other way. I suppose that that is too simple a rule for the arrogant so they lose their path in life. Or else just make sure like Theseus and find a good woman to give you the guiding principle.

Best Wishes

David

Author's Reply:

flash on 2005-02-20 20:41:28
Re: Maze
Swep

Just popped in to let you know i've had a read,interesting and thought provoking like most of your stuff...i'l probably have to come back later though to try and digest fully what you've attempted here.

Alan

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-21 03:21:34
Re: Maze
David: For a person whom almost everyone that I know think is so smart, I have thoughtfully, turn by turn, come to these lost places. I confess, life is easy, or it is not. I am not especially arrogant, even according to my own values, though I'm not backing away from anything. I have found a good woman, and she assures me it is principled. Thanks for reading, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-21 03:25:55
Re: Maze
Alan: a lot of the poetry by the poets that I like is at points, or even throughout obscure, but I read in deference to their talent, and my regard for their vision. Thanks for reading. I like this poem of mine
more than most of those recent. Swep

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2005-02-21 23:29:15
Re: Maze
This is a very interesting poem. It kind of reads like "hotel california" esque, except for the third person (omniscient?) narrator. That 3rd person POV gives it an allegorical flavor.

I see a growing conflict, an emotional character developing and then enveloping this struggle. Though it has gothic style, I like the transcendence of it. There are some points and counterpoints for such a struggle, which again is existential in proportions but very much temporal. Some apparant defects, like awkward breaks only take it above its parochial plane...It's is a doubly paced poem, some of the verses are to be read slowly and some come at you fast!

EXCELLENT work!

D

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-22 02:55:35
Re: Maze
Debashish: Thanks for reading, and for leaving your positive comments. Some have thought of this poem as Theseus/me, but Theseus never occurred to my mind, at all points this was, very simply, a personal thing. Thanks again, Swep


Author's Reply:

woodbine on 2005-03-13 02:58:24
Re: Maze
There are it seems to me interesting parallels between your version of the myth of Promethius and the contemporary world. Prometheus is not the last protagonist to enter a maze he doesnโ€™t understand, hasnโ€™t studied, making up his policy on the hoof, and deep within it realise heโ€™s lost and got no exit strategy, โ€˜absent of normal fear of the consequences, a bit careless.โ€™
Perhaps you should explain a few things to the White House.

Your work is to the point as ever 'always under control, always exercising only thoughtful decisions.'

Cheers to you,
John

Hope you are out on your deck with your faithful hounds.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-03-14 18:29:17
Re: Maze
John: I really like 'making up his mind on the hoof' and 'no exit strategy'. So great stretches of my life have been lived, pushing situations looking for a little excitement, a little competition, and if all is in danger of being lost, then all the better. I'm a little too smart to be smart, and I love the thrills. Thanks for your good comments, and the hounds, even as I type, are baying. Swep

Author's Reply:

chant on 07-05-2007
Maze
very instructive to see you at work on this poem. the amended switch to imagery really narrows the distance between the reader and the narrator, i feel. i liked the last line without the 'and' - there was something wonderfully flippant about it! one word and a small one, 'and', but it softens the line, i think. not sure which i prefer. having read this poem many times now, the only line i've got any queries about is 'But darkness was an old companion'. imv, we *all* walk in darkness of one kind or another, so i think either i would want you to personalise the darkness the narrator is used to, or to generalise it to acknowledge its pervasive nature (eg darkness is a pervasive/indiscriminate/common companion).


Author's Reply:
chant: See my reply below as I have made my initial response to you in the wrong box. Swep

Slovitt on 08-05-2007
Maze
chant: I see your point on 'darkness' and must admit that the transition into that line from 'Entrance, he disappeared,' reads just a bit rough to me, so I will think on it. As for the addition of 'And' to the last line, well I also liked the flippancy of the line without it, but came to think that what the last line offered was a second thought, in need of a conjunction, following 'A normal fear of the consequences,'/. I'll return the poem for the moment, or longer, to pre-'And'. Thanks for reading and your remark about narrowing the distance between the reader and the narrator is the kind of improvement of the poem that makes fooling with these pieces for years ultimately worthwhile. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

chant on 08-05-2007
Maze
as an aside, i was listening to a Radio 4 programme on love poetry, Sappho to Catullus, the other week which i found especially interesting in the light of recently reading Yes, You -found it poignant this tradition of 'fooling with pieces' that goes back thousands of years. if you feel like listening, it's the top item in the list:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/inourtime/inourtime_culture.shtml

Author's Reply:
chant: I will listen this evening, and thanks. Swep


Self-Portrait (edited) (posted on: 03-01-05)
poem

Jan. 2, of this year of hope, 2005. Sixty degrees in Memphis, On the retreat that is my upstairs Porch, me, and Lola barking At first one runner, then another. I'm drinking bourbon, 9:30 In the morning, I've recorded That fact before, listening To the CD Jeremy burned for me, Big John, The Devil Went Down To Georgia, stirring songs. Inside, a telephone jangles. Looking out over woods soaked By a night of rain, and it Still drizzling, I give a long wolf Howl-- now, turn to answer.
Archived comments for Self-Portrait (edited)
Zydha on 2005-01-03 04:12:45
Re: Self-Portrait
Well, Slovitt, it looks like 2005 is going to be a great year for poetry.

Another excellent read, this mornings posts are amazing so far! Zydha

Author's Reply:

chant on 2005-01-03 04:31:43
Re: Self-Portrait
yes, a cracking one to open the New Year with. love the way the poem closes in on the narrator like a camera lens, but showing more than a camera could show - aerial shot for general location, close-up at home, personal father/son detail (the CD), character detail (the wolf howl) which nails the personality of the narrator. also like the sharp twist at the end from the easy-going Pope-eye reference to the stark 'self-assessment'.

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-01-03 06:24:35
Re: Self-Portrait
A very indepth character self assessment. And the viewer gets the home and the man. The wolf cry and the reference to pop-eye being an honesty, rarely shown.

Excellent work

Tai

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2005-01-03 07:54:35
Re: Self-Portrait
This is a poem I would like to have written myself!

Excellent work

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-03 08:06:37
Re: Self-Portrait
chant: Thanks for the comments which do a fine job of providing significant touch-points as one works down the poem. Your vision seems to be generally very clear. And thanks for the hot story designation. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-03 08:08:37
Re: Self-Portrait
Zydha: Thanks for your comment, and yes, hopefully this will be a good year for poetry and for the members of this site. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-03 08:12:06
Re: Self-Portrait
Emma, oh Emma, that's a pretty nice comment. Thank you for it, and for the hot story designation.
Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-03 08:14:41
Re: Self-Portrait
Tai: Thank you for your comments, you have interacted with the poem. Swep

Author's Reply:

barenib on 2005-01-03 11:15:31
Re: Self-Portrait
Swep, I'd like to hear your howl, though I suspect I just have as I drink tea and Ghostbusters is playing here on the background radio. This is a fine piece and inspires me to go off to do my own self portrait before the year gets too busy tomorrow (return to work). John.

Author's Reply:

flash on 2005-01-03 11:28:35
Re: Self-Portrait
Always a pleasure to read ytour work Swep, i can't always comment as constructively as i or i guess you would like, but i know you don't mind me just saying i enjoy reading your work.

Well done mate

Happy 2005 to you your family...and of course Lola.


Alan

Author's Reply:

Abel on 2005-01-03 12:09:56
Re: Self-Portrait
Warm down here, too...doesn't seem like winter yet, does it? Great write, S. "Looking out into the woods soaked
By a night of rain, and it
Still drizzling, I give a long wolf
Howl." I'm there...save some bourbon for me. Really, really enjoyed this,

Ward

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-03 12:10:42
Re: Self-Portrait
Alan: Lola has been learning to climb trees these past couple of days. Our cats do it, Fred, our possum does it, when he can rouse himself from bed, and so now Lola is near the top of a 120 foot tall oak arguing with a flying squirrel, and all I can do is stand beneath and wait to catch a 160 lb. St. Bernard if she falls. Thanks for reading, and Happy 2005 to you. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-03 12:14:52
Re: Self-Portrait
John: Thanks for reading, and for your comments. I have thought about a self-portrait at different times, even as Rilke, etc. ad infinitum and stumbled upon this as one, having written it. I would be interested to see what you do with your own self-portrait. Thanks again, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-03 12:20:49
Re: Self-Portrait
Ward: You've caught me derelict, for I have intended to remark on your fine Awakened, Winterhouse for the whole of the weekend. I will tend to that, and yes it's warm, in fact supposed to be 70 this afternoon. If you are ever in Memphis come by and we'll share a cocktail or two and watch the deer in the woods. Thanks for your generous comments. Swep

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2005-01-03 17:30:17
Re: Self-Portrait
Well now Mr Memphis, maybe it's the bourbon bringing out the beast in you. Could be it's keeping the beast in-check...I hope you have the best year ever. Raise your glass and point yourself towards Blytheville, Arkansas friend, and I'll raise mine..Erma

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-03 17:45:55
Re: Self-Portrait
Erma: Thanks for reading, and my glass is raised to yours. Here's to a good year for us both, and all those we know of, and even more. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

nibs on 2005-01-03 18:12:37
Re: Self-Portrait
Uncanny. Two minutes ago I posted about Ringo & alcohol in my journal. Are you reading my thoughts! I loved this piece & really connected. Loved the references for us of a certain age. Hard yet emotional. Stark yet visual. It touched me.

Author's Reply:

royrodel on 2005-01-03 20:43:56
Re: Self-Portrait
Love the madness of this, just love it.

RODEL

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-03 20:46:39
Re: Self-Portrait
royrodel: There's nothing like an enthusiastic comment. Thanks for reading, and leaving your remarks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-03 20:49:12
Re: Self-Portrait
nibs: I am in the above forties age group, in fact early fifties, so yes, there are shared memories, shared times. Thank you for your nice comments,
I appreciate them. Swep

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2005-01-04 01:16:58
Re: Self-Portrait
Swep,

So glad to see your work here again! Loved this....the raw ambition of knowing one's self....and whosoever likes it not, be damned!

Cheers, friend, to another year, and all the hope it may bring to eachl of us!

Warm regards,
Adele ๐Ÿ˜‰

Author's Reply:

pencilcase on 2005-01-04 04:18:40
Re: Self-Portrait
Hi Swep, I like this lively stream - the painting of a moment that is immediate, yet consists in a wider and longer contemplation of the self. And I can only have respect for anyone who drinks bourbon at 9:30 in the morning! Must admit though that I can understand how that alcohol-fuelled howl (against that lovely earthy sense that comes through from a night of rain) might indeed attract the attention of a passing runner!

Like the music references too and, for me, the really great/funny/reflective/poignant/self-assessment words in this poem (given the build-up) are...

Though what I am doesn't
Work for everyone,

I guess we could all say that, so this gives a personal expression a breath of universality. I certainly feel that what I am doesn't work for everyone - in fact, it doesn't even work for me at times!

Enjoyed the enigmatic lazy vitality of this poem!

Steve

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-04 08:09:33
Re: Self-Portrait
Adele: Thanks for your remarks about this, a rare posted effort. And yes, may this new year be a year of hope, and of hope fulfilled. Again, thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-04 08:14:56
Re: Self-Portrait
Steve: Thanks for your very thoughtful, interactive comments on the poem. As for bourbon in the morning, well it's medicinal, as the old folks used to say. Thanks, Swep


Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2005-01-04 08:57:05
Re: Self-Portrait
Nice flow and rhythm, but then seems it is your first draft so obviously a little jerkyness is there, particularly --I've written That fact before, listening To the CD Jeremy burned for me Of songs I never heard, never Got enough of, Ringo, 16 Tons, Big John, The Devil Went Down To Georgia, all stirring Songs, the kind that I liked Growing up, now like, drinking.

You can surely rephrase "to the CD Jeremy burned for me// Of songs I never heard. I don't see any reason why "Got" should be in initial caps...

I liked that hardhitting end, but then shock therapy is little too intense...LOL! To your comment on 160 lb falling on you, it will be the momemtum which will be more difficult to contain (in that eventuality, LOL!) NOT the weight...

Happy new year,

Debashish




Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-04 09:15:36
Re: Self-Portrait
Debashish: Thanks for reading, and commenting.
Actually, to my ear it reads pretty well, and if there is a jerkiness to it it's not because this is a first draft, as this is probably the fifteenth typed version of the poem, which I worked on, off-and-on, all last Sunday, and have edited even after its posting at UKA and ABC. As for 'Got' being capitalized, well, it's the first word of its line and if you'll notice I capitalize the first word of every line of all of my poems, a standard poetic convention, and one which I've always favored. Again, thanks for reading and commenting. Swep

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2005-01-04 09:45:25
Re: Self-Portrait
Regarding Got: when I read your poem over comment editor it was not in its usual structure...so I missed the point that it was the first word for that particular line. But it has become out of fashion nowadays to IC the first word of each line, though many of us follow the old convention.

D

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-01-04 11:55:07
Re: Self-Portrait
I love how this poem unfolds bit by bit, each time a glimpse of something more, both simple and complex...a lovely feel to this, at times exquisitely revealing...L

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-04 15:38:43
Re: Self-Portrait
Leila: I must say you are one of the most sensitive of readers. Your comments reveal an intuitive, intelligent, exploratory personality, interacting with the poem before her. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

richardwatt on 2005-01-06 09:59:24
Re: Self-Portrait
I'm quite taken by this: there is some detail of your life which I don't think I have gleaned previously. Can only guess at the songs, yet can also guess at their primal nature. Some wry rhyming involved which suits the semi-serious nature of the poem, oh Memphis-based Jack Nicholson oot the Shining!

Not much time to comment on bits these last few days, my dog's in very bad shape. Lad had his last major bowel operation today, and I've popped back in the house waiting on the phone call when his anaesthetic wears off. You know how it is with old dogs: the worry is more from the anaesthetic being too strong than anything else.

60 degrees in January? If I added up all the fahrenheit for Jan over here at this time it wouldn't reach that number!

rickx

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-01-06 11:09:40
Re: Self-Portrait
Critiquing isn't my thang, as you know young Slovitt. I don't consider myself worthy enough of such. I just know what I like by this strange little thump in my chest. Though to be honest, I am taking pills for that. I could keel over at any moment. This is a good sign for your writing, but a very bad sign for my insurers. Top banana young Slovitt. Well done on the nomo and nib.

s
u
n
k
e
n


Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-06 12:26:39
Re: Self-Portrait
Richard: Thanks for reading and I hope Lad is doing better. I'm not hitting the vein in these infrequent attempts at poetry that I make, but any piece of writing requires work, and only with work is there any chance of your standard blind pig finding an acorn. So: I'm trying to stay in shape for when I need it. Again, thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-06 12:33:53
Re: Self-Portrait
sunken: Thanks for reading, and your nice comments. I once heard that writing poetry gets the girls, and so gave it a try. Obviously you heard the same thing, and it is great having to fight them off, isn't it? Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2005-01-06 12:43:38
Re: Self-Portrait
Oh god yeah, even as I type I have three naked women all clambering over me, trying to see what I'm typing. I've told em, I've said, 'Hey, get some clothes on and go and make me a Marmite sandwich while I try to comment on my fellow uka's work!' Do they listen? Do they fuck! They just keep constantly tugging at my jeans and saying that they want to make baby poets. Its a terrible life and no mistake. I guess I'll be making my own Marmite sandwich. Pfff. Women!

s
u
n
k on toast



Author's Reply:

Pilgermann on 2005-01-07 07:07:32
Re: Self-Portrait
Swep,

Just the picture I carried of you. Wonderful, warm and perceptive eye you have.

Happy new year.

Pilgermann (a fan)

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-07 09:45:29
Re: Self-Portrait
Pilgermann: That's a pretty nice comment. Thanks. I am glad to see that you are alive in the world, as evidenced by your replies to comments
on your poems of a couple of weeks ago. I'm not done with this poem, which doesn't promise an improved product, but mainly, if only slightly, a different one. A fan: now that's heady stuff. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

pullmyhair on 2005-01-09 09:45:46
Re: Self-Portrait (edited)
Possibly your best stuff yet, Swep! It works really well in the form you have it in, but (and I know I say this a lot) it also works as a prose poem. Strong ending. SO glad you put the Popeye ref in there for tongue-in-cheek-ness. Brilliant ending. Only other suggestion is to lose the ungrammatical capital letters beginning many of the lines. They do make it jerky, as has been said. MS Word is annoying in that it takes matters into its own hands with capitals, but it's well worth just losing the ones that don't fit correctly for a smoother ride to this excellent piece. Grand stuff, sir! pully x

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-09 17:20:20
Re: Self-Portrait (edited)
pully: Thanks very much for your strong approval, and for the hot author designation. I'm a very slow writer typically, and posting this the day I roughed it into form led to daily revisions here and at abc, finishing up just yesterday. I'm afraid that I will go down capitalizing the first word of each line, having done it for a lifetime, and to this day, preferring this convention. Again, thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Dazza on 2005-01-14 11:23:40
Re: Self-Portrait (edited)
You got bit by a dog and then this! I drink red wine far too early sometimes to and I get to howling. Keep eating the spinach Swep, Dazza is back and blanked out.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-14 17:18:19
Re: Self-Portrait (edited)
Dazza: I bit the dog, who then had to get a series of rabies shots with me footing the bill. The dog now walks in a wide circle around me. Glad to have you back. Swep

Author's Reply:

AnthonyEvans on 2005-01-17 02:48:57
Re: Self-Portrait (edited)
dear swep, fourth time here, it still reads very well. i like the very concrete picture it gives of you and your surroundings. and then, that line: 'the off-center one, The odd one, will occasionally Meet my eyes, and become Mine for the rest of their lives' which is my favourite. i'm a city boy, so i don't howl much myself, and once, when i went up to the hill overlooking the town and did howl, then i woke the neighbourhood up. best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-17 07:21:16
Re: Self-Portrait (edited)
Anthony: Thanks for your comments and the lines you mention are also among my favorites in the poem. Howling is something one can become better at, all it takes is to forego any self-consciousness and give full throat to your own sense of beauty and grief. Perhaps the neighborhood you mention needed waking up. Again, thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 2005-04-07 18:21:15
Re: Self-Portrait (edited)
Done there...... been that........ and doesn't it suck when someone crashes our pity party?
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-04-07 18:31:25
Re: Self-Portrait (edited)
Jolen: Not to be obtuse, but there's no pity party here. Self-pity is for sissies, though pity itself is a virtuous emotion. Swep

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 2005-07-16 04:16:43
Re: Self-Portrait (edited)
Oh you assumed I meant self pity for me??? no..... not my style.. Thanks however for the chance to clarify..... I will have to be more 'direct'...

Author's Reply:


Jay (posted on: 04-10-04)
poem

Acorn wedged between bone feet, In awkward rhythm of white-tipped Blue tail, THERE, he precisely Brings his point of beak, and again, Again, piercing down; now, Meat the color of old mustard shows, And the big head tilts, the crest Lays flat, the slick throat shuttles. His bright eyes dart quickly about. If he had hands, he'd rub his belly.
Archived comments for Jay
tai on 2004-10-04 04:08:27
Re: Jay
Very tasty! I assume you are a naturist!

I enjoyed this poem very much.

Tai

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-10-04 04:37:18
Re: Jay
This poem is wonderful, it's hard to believe that a bird can break open an acorn..I can see his satisfaction in a job well done....Erma

Author's Reply:

chant on 2004-10-04 05:08:04
Re: Jay
very engaging little portrait, superbly written.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-10-04 06:19:42
Re: Jay
I just love this Swep It reminded me of when we lived in Dorset. We had a wood at the back of our house and we would sit and watch all manner of birds, Squirrels and their antics, it was always the jay and the magpie who were the bullies and you would always know when they were around because of the almighty noise the rest of them would kick up. Thanks for that lovely reminder. Val x

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2004-10-04 07:17:21
Re: Jay
This is just a small observation: I can see a touch of an IMPRESSIONISM in your work, you are quite a minimalist and so excellent at that...

Fantabulous work.

Debashish

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-04 08:14:36
Re: Jay
Tai: Thanks for reading, and for your comments. Swep


Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-04 08:16:18
Re: Jay
Erma: Yes, I believe he was satisfied, or at least when our eyes met, he looked satisfied. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-04 08:17:27
Re: Jay
chant: Thanks for the nice comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-04 08:19:04
Re: Jay
Val: Thanks for reading, and leaving such a nice comment. I appreciate it. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-04 08:20:30
Re: Jay
Debashish: You are a good reader, and poet, and I appreciate your comments. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2004-10-04 08:24:22
Re: Jay
Slovit,

I've been looking forward to another posting from you! A brilliant, crystalline image and a cracker of a final line! Loved it!

Regards,
Adele ๐Ÿ™‚

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-04 10:23:03
Re: Jay
Adele: You are the most generous of readers. Thanks for the comment, and the hot story designation. Swep

Author's Reply:

Bramwith22 on 2004-10-04 16:52:31
Re: Jay
Slovit,

Nature at it's best. A fine read.

Regards,
Bram

Author's Reply:

woodbine on 2004-10-04 18:28:24
Re: Jay
Hi Swep,

Precision is a trait not only of the Jay. The poet takes a justified pride in his Precision and Observation and his
talent for Surprise. Your last line made me laugh with its incongruity to what had gone before. A great last line.
I'll have to go back and read Crow again. It's probably my
personal baggage but "slick" and "shuttles" as in "his slick throat shuttles" I'm not sure about using them to sandwich "throat" but I can't say why. Drugs wearing off, most likely. I've had two lots since surfacing.

Good work.

John

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-04 19:37:05
Re: Jay
Bram: Thank you for reading, and for commenting.
I appreciate it. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-04 19:44:10
Re: Jay
John: Thanks for reading and commenting. Only you know the reality of your struggle, but you continue to produce interesting poems, and your commentary is always personal. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2004-10-04 20:53:27
Re: Jay
A wonderfully written, pared poem. I think '...the slick throat shuttles' works really well - it does indeed!

Kat ๐Ÿ™‚

Author's Reply:

bektron on 2004-10-05 06:14:39
Re: Jay
I love this. there can never be too many poems about birds I think if a poem were a living thing then it would be a bird, but I digress this is a concentrated poem,written with your usual respect for the subject and carried off perfectly.
beks:)

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-05 07:42:12
Re: Jay
bek: Thanks for your comments and your hot story designation of yesterday. I appreciate your coming back by. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-05 07:44:18
Re: Jay
Kat: Thanks for the nice comments. I'm glad you read and liked the poem. Swep

Author's Reply:

Abel on 2004-10-05 08:44:59
Re: Jay
A quick film so wonderfully rendered...really enjoyed this. Well done,

Ward

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-05 08:56:35
Re: Jay
Ward: Thanks for reading and taking the time to leave your generous comment. I appreciate it. Swep

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2004-10-05 09:24:42
Re: Jay
Such an exact picture. I can just dee him. I din't get jays at present here and I really love them, blood-thirsty as they are. They are so beautiful and you have really caught the bird as it is.
Daf

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-05 09:40:10
Re: Jay
Daf: Thank you very much for your comment. Jays and crows and magpies are all members of the same family and though they don't enjoy the best of reputations, there's something vigorous about them all that I like. Thanks again, Swep

Author's Reply:

Pilgermann on 2004-10-05 16:23:24
Re: Jay
A fine piece of writing. Love the "point of beak"; almost as sharp as your eye and pen.

Author's Reply:

dylan on 2004-10-05 16:25:24
Re: Jay
More than anything I love the staccato language, suggesting movement and jerky rhythm.Very well observed piece-the last line ends it perfectly.


Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-05 17:16:18
Re: Jay
Pilgermann, oh Pilgermann: I have just commented on your poem 'Amar', and am pleased that you like 'Jay'. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-05 17:18:17
Re: Jay
dylan: Thanks for the good words, and for leaving a comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

flash on 2004-10-05 17:57:04
Re: Jay
Just letting you know i read and enjoyed this as much as the little chap enjoyed his meal.


alan

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-06 07:21:28
Re: Jay
Alan: Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Pilgermann on 2004-10-06 07:30:16
Re: Jay
Swep, You are that rarest of creatures; a reader who is able to critique without being critical. That is the same quality you bring to your own writing. You paint precise poems. Each word is a gem. Paint some more.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-06 09:47:42
Re: Jay
Pilgermann: Thank you. Your comments are very generous, and I appreciate them. Swep

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2004-10-06 10:28:20
Re: Jay
Nature is at times most satisfying...L

Author's Reply:

Dazza on 2004-10-06 10:33:25
Re: Jay
Can the next bird be a yellow bellied sap sucker? Please. I hope that my zen fling with Hoki does not in any way piss you off Mr. Basho! I bow low to the master of here and nowness. Dazza.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-06 10:40:15
Re: Jay
Dazza: You have beaten me to it, commenting on my poem before I commented on your latest Hoki installment, which I copied off yesterday. Speaking of sap suckers, not that long ago I saw six different woodpeckers in my parent's yard, or trees rather, in south Mississippi. Thanks for reading. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-06 10:42:29
Re: Jay
Leila: Thank you for reading 'Jay' and commenting. Swep

Author's Reply:

pencilcase on 2004-10-06 12:28:43
Re: Jay
Hi Swep,

I agree with dylan's comments re: staccato language and jerky rhythm. I'm suspicious when I see poems buggering about with lowercase/uppercase or other furniture that often has no reason and does not add to the piece. However, I can see that THERE in this poem shows how this kind of thing can be extremely effective and add to the meaning and it strengthens the reader's image of the bird jealously guarding his prize between the piercing and the slick throat-shuttling.

I think it's a very accomplished piece, great description. There's just one thing that worries me ...

I'm sure I've met people like this!

steve

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-06 13:08:04
Re: Jay
Steve: Thanks for the very nice remarks. And yes, I've also met people like this. Again, thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Safron on 2004-10-06 15:44:18
Re: Jay
Visual treat warthing this poem unfold and the birds mannerisms. They can be very entertaining to say the least. A wonderful and enjoyable poem.

Safron

Author's Reply:

Safron on 2004-10-06 15:49:46
Re: Jay
Okay I am very new to this forum stuff. I corrected watching not warthing in spellcheck and it did not take at any rate I guess will get use to working all of this board stuff sooner or later. I enjoyed your poem.

Safron

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-06 16:51:19
Re: Jay
Safron: Thanks for your comments and the rating.
The appreciate your coming by. Swep

Author's Reply:

Wrybod on 2004-10-07 07:13:11
Re: Jay
Swep?

So much in so few words and a lovely conjecture to end with.

It's fascinating to watch birds closely. Especially when one is well known to them, like in ones own garden.

We had a robin family once, nested in the coal house. We had to put wire mesh over the doorway
to keep predators out. The cock bird insisted that I pause from digging, stick my fork in upright and step back. He'd perch there until he spotted a worm............sorry to wander off like that

I've thought of at least three poems.......

Bob

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-07 18:17:07
Re: Jay
Bob: A simple and interesting story about your robins. Thanks for the nice praise of 'Jay.' I hope you get a poem or two as a result. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

pullmyhair on 2004-10-07 18:39:24
Re: Jay
Really neat poem, Swep! The short sentences seem to mimic the bird's action. I love the use of colour and the opening line is great - really descriptive of bird feet. Perhaps the only lines I could see any minor niggles with were "THERE, he precisely/brings his point of beak..." The phrasing just seemed a little disjointed.
I have to say, like everybody else, that I love that last line. Really charming and quirky. Grand stuff Swep and congrats on the top 5 place! pully x

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-08 16:08:19
Re: Jay
pully: Thanks for the comments. I printed THERE as it is as I don't know how to use italics in submissions to UKA, italics for the word 'there' being my preference. The poem reads to my ear the way I intended, with a jerky, vigorous energy.
It is a small poem, and again, thanks. Swep


Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2004-10-12 11:14:23
Re: Jay
Swep, sometimes I turn to your poems when I feel unsettled, and it helps to centre me; so it is with this one, reminding me of what is important in life, the value of observing, the calm of stillness. Thanks.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-12 14:16:00
Re: Jay
Skeeter: There is simply no nicer a thing that one could say about a poem, that one could say about poems, than your warm words. You are a good poet, and critic, and I wish you well. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

chrissie on 2004-10-16 12:13:52
Re: Jay
strong, animated and charming. but - for me - last line is unnecessary and weakens impact.

chrissieX

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-16 18:17:59
Re: Jay
chrissie: Thanks for reading and your comment. Without the last line 'Jay' is a different poem, and one that I would like. However, I felt like I'd interacted with him and had a number of other closing lines that tied us one to the other. I settled on the current last line, to bring him into my world.
Thanks, you gave me pause, and I appreciate it. Swep

Author's Reply:

AnthonyEvans on 2005-01-02 18:06:55
Re: Jay
dear slovitt, i liked this poem very much. normally, i don't like it when a poet gives animals or things human traits but i think it works perfectly here. perhaps it is because that line comes after you have described the bird so well. i spent some time with a northern goshawk recently, had it behind my sofa for a couple of hours waiting for the animal doctor, shame i can't put the fellow in a poem as you have done. best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-02 18:38:04
Re: Jay
AnthonyEvans: Thank you for reading and for commenting on Jay, and for the hot story designation. I have been on-and-off this site the past couple of months, mainly off, but will look at your work in the future. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:


Crow (posted on: 06-09-04)
poem

Crow caws, and caws, And wheeling overhead Finds a branch High in the swaying oak. It's the first thing In a while I've understood, after days Of human conversation. So raw, and to the point.
Archived comments for Crow
bektron on 2004-09-06 05:47:54
Re: Crow
Perfection.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-09-06 06:14:07
Re: Crow
I'm inclined to agree with Beks, anything more would be superfluous Val x

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-09-06 06:48:12
Re: Crow
Bek: Thanks for the comment and the hot story designation. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-09-06 06:49:14
Re: Crow
Val: Thanks for reading and approving. Swep

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2004-09-06 06:52:27
Re: Crow
Very clever and concise, Swep!

Author's Reply:

chant on 2004-09-06 07:15:36
Re: Crow
yes, a very satisfying piece. reminded me of Driving Home For The Holidays - taking a step back and saying something that matters.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-09-06 07:18:36
Re: Crow
Debashish: Thanks. It is a small poem. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-09-06 08:07:47
Re: Crow
chant: Thanks, and I guess you've seen the book to have read Driving Home for the Holidays, so I appreciate that reference. Swep

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-09-06 09:11:41
Re: Crow
Swep, and with this poem you managed to conceptualize and poetize the insincere and thus fallible nature of human conversation which is missing the point because humans are afraid of raw truth, raw reality and usually say anything to stop it from surfacing. The crow's cawing is a powerful symbolism in contrast with the people chattering, the swaying oak is the bold antipode of a shallow timid life. A wonderful poem. Nicoletta

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-09-06 10:54:46
Re: Crow
Nicoletta: Your comment is, as always, more thoughtful than I was, when writing the poem.
And you are always generous, for which I thank you, Ni.co.let.ta. Swep



Author's Reply:

richardwatt on 2004-09-06 11:30:47
Re: Crow
I'd like to know more of what the crow is saying to you - this does not deprecate the poem, yet there is a need for a second section or continuance. I might plot a line between 'You' and here, yew to oak, but that may take a liberty.
It is tempting to see the culmination of a few prior poems in a quietude/stillness.

"What's this an impression of? Caw, caw, bang f*** I'm dead!" For 5 points.
rick x

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-09-06 11:48:08
Re: Crow
Richard: Thanks for commenting, and if you understand what I understood from the crow you may see how challenged I am at times by human utterances. Though, for a lifetime extremely competitive, I generally deal with the lingo. I had a yew bow once, and was horrified to launch an arrow at an oriole 100 feet up in a poplar, only to hit the bird visiting Mississippi. Luckily, he was only grazed, and then stunned by his soft tumble to earth, and after a couple of hours in a shoebox flew away, vowing not to migrate through Natchez again. I'm the 4th ranked trivia expert in the world, so I have no problem in saying I don't know your 5 point question. Swep

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-09-06 18:10:07
Re: Crow
I love this poem I'd much rather listen the horrible sounds a crow makes, then to listen to half the people I know...Erma

Author's Reply:

Dazza on 2004-09-06 18:14:16
Re: Crow
This is why I just stick to short stories now. Dazza.

Author's Reply:

flash on 2004-09-06 18:16:42
Re: Crow
Good to see something simple and honest like mother nature, cleansing the mind of all the Hubble and bubble of the city and all it's ingredients therein.

Good poem


Alan

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-09-06 18:33:35
Re: Crow
Dazza: It's like eating bear p...y. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-09-06 18:34:59
Re: Crow
Erma: Yes, I know. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-09-06 18:38:33
Re: Crow
Alan: This is a little poem, one which I am almost sheepish to find complimented. And, at the same time, it's valid. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2004-09-06 19:18:31
Re: Crow
I can only agree with the others here - a fine poem and particularly effective use of 'crow' I thought...and the way it spoke clearly to you, as opposed to the 'crowing' of the humans...

Great read indeed!

kat ๐Ÿ™‚

Author's Reply:

tai on 2004-09-06 19:47:39
Re: Crow
An interesting viewpoint slovitt! I take it you understand the furore of the raw then? I have investigated the symbolism of the Crow further, and it can be interpreted in a variety of ways around the world.

Simply beautiful

Tai

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-09-06 20:29:31
Re: Crow
kat: Thanks. I appreciate your comments. This is a short poem and I'm pleased at your reception of it. Swe

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-09-06 20:34:39
Re: Crow
Tai: Thank you for the last phrase. As for crow-ontology, I understand very little. In fact, other than women, I'm not sure I understand anything.
Again, thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-09-06 20:37:36
Re: Crow
kat: I'll try again. I partially replied, and out of place, but I appreciate your remarks, and mainly your reading and remarking. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

walkinglizard on 2004-09-06 21:47:37
Re: Crow
It's "The Crow"!

Not familiar with the oriole, does it have mallow in the middle? The seagulls are the only animal I would prefer to hear humans to: sometimes I think that they are our most common ancestors, crying like babies outside my dockside window, incessant.

Author's Reply:

ritawrites on 2004-09-07 07:58:12
Re: Crow
interesting thoughts came to mind as I read this – 1) to crow is also to brag – 2) so do you want to abandon us human chatterboxes and join the cawing corvine species?
Which is not to say I didn't like it -- just don't see much point to it is all --

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-09-07 08:03:36
Re: Crow
rita: Thanks for reading. Your comments are always straightforward. Swep

Author's Reply:

ritawrites on 2004-09-07 08:06:15
Re: Crow
forward and straight is the way to go i always believe -- though i often find myself in devious paths -- but that's life i guess -- caw caw caw --

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-09-07 08:27:36
Re: Crow
rita: Yes, I heard you outside just moments ago. Anyone that can caw with such authority will always have my ear. Swep

Author's Reply:

Abel on 2004-09-10 13:11:42
Re: Crow
Love the lean use of words here...

"to the point" indeed.

Great work!

Ward

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-09-10 21:25:28
Re: Crow
Ward. Thank you. I appreciate your reading, and your strong comments. Swep

Author's Reply:

maryxmas on 2004-09-11 01:54:21
Re: Crow
Hi Slovitt,
Just long enough - to the point, any more would have overdone it, great poem!
Linda XX

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-09-11 06:43:38
Re: Crow
Linda: Thanks for reading, and for your comment.
I appreciate it. Swep

Author's Reply:

Wrybod on 2004-09-11 07:25:47
Re: Crow
Caw blimey!

bob

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-09-11 07:45:51
Re: Crow
bob: Thanks for reading, and cawing by. Swep

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2004-09-13 14:26:41
Re: Crow
Swep,

A concise vignette; a magnitude of self-contained depth. Definitely a lesson in 'Less is more'. A fav read, indeed!

Cheers,
Adele ๐Ÿ™‚

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-09-13 15:45:57
Re: Crow
Adele: Thanks for the comment, the rating, the hot story designation. You're a strong poet, and I appreciate it. Again, thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

woodbine on 2004-09-22 21:10:03
Re: Crow
Hi Swep,

A most elegant piece of work.

Are you really so jaded with human conversation?

With high regard,

John

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-09-23 07:29:24
Re: Crow
John: Not to be 'over-serious' but my initial reaction was that no I'm not so jaded, but on consideration of that, I'm not so sure. Thank you for your comments, and I'm always pleased when you remark. Swep

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2004-09-29 12:42:53
Re: Crow
Another fine piece Swep, with a message that is familiar. Yes, people can be like that can't they? Not to the point I mean, evasive and concealing. It's one of the sadnesses of human society that we often act to manipulate the truth of things or conceal our realities from others. But your 'crow' tells it like it is and should be. Tiny things: how about a full stop after 'conversation'? Would it make the last line more powerful (my opinion is it would; as it would be a complete sentence and therefore thought, in its own right..) and then perhaps drop the comma after 'raw' in the last line. Not sure myself about that one, just a thought. I enjoyed this, the present participles give it a sense of life and continuity, which balances the sterility described in the last 4 lines.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-09-29 21:57:01
Re: Crow
Skeeter: Thanks for reading, and I'm glad to hear from you. Your 'period' after conversation is an idea, but I don't feel this is that 'big' a poem, more a low-key statement. I don't think it needs the dramatic help. In any case, thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Jack_Cade on 2004-10-03 08:22:02
Re: Crow
Yes, I know this feeling well. All the gabber seems to lead round in circles, never approaching anything that makes sense, then something stark and seemingly unrelated offers a way back in. Like the feeling coming back into your legs.

I'm glad you chose a bird for this theme! I love bird poems. I agree about the full stop after 'conversation' - there's a danger here of the sentence suggesting it is the human conversation that is raw and to the point.

Other than that, ace!

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-03 11:27:57
Re: Crow
Jon: Thanks for the comments and I'll re-visit the possibility of a period after conversation. And thanks for the hot author designation. Swep

Author's Reply:

AnthonyEvans on 2005-01-03 13:02:29
Re: Crow
dear slovitt, reading this after the Juletide festivities is a relief. best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-03 17:49:01
Re: Crow
Anthony: Thanks for reading, and I know what you mean. Swep

Author's Reply:

Macjoyce on 04-03-2007
Crow
I think you should get rid of lines six and nine.

Author's Reply:
Macjoyce, Macjoyce: Thanks for delving into my archive. Perhaps line six could be cut, but then to my mind it slows down, and strings out the reflection, regulates the pace. As for line nine, it is declarative, but needed to make the point of this short poem. Swep

Macjoyce on 05-03-2007
Crow
Yeah. I just think you don't need "in a while" if you have "after days".

And I think the last line, especially "to the point" is too to the point. Too literal for a poem which, I think, resembles a haiku. It's a bit longer than a haiku of course, but it is a short pithy statement. People would understand the sentiment without the last line, though they would have to think for a little while. That's how great poetry should be.

Why don't you consider sticking in some verby adjectives before 'human conversation'? This would show what human conversation is and does, and how misleading it can be.

Best,
Mac


Author's Reply:
Macjoyce, Macjoyce: I didn't realize I had a comment unreplied to, and so: I've had the comment about 'in a while' before, and you've made me re-think it. Which I have, and still feel it has a place to string the poem out. This is a small poem and to my mind complete in its own rough way. Finally, spare the adjectives, eschew the adverbs, and remember the Olmec. Swep

Macjoyce on 08-03-2007
Crow
Spare the adjectives indeed. But 'raw' is an adjective, one you could do without. Verby adjectives are better because they can give a concrete image, they are essentially verbs that function like adjectives, like 'rambling' or 'twisting' or 'muddying' or 'clouding'. I just think an -ing word before 'human conversation' would deliver your point better than the last line does.


Author's Reply:
Macjoyce: Your tenacity is admirable because thus are poems truly improved, by worrying them into submission, following them into their dark holes and talking soothingly, or wringing their necks as the case demands. That said, your attention to this small poem makes me as sheepish as most of the original comments on the poem when it came out. This is a small piece, and I'm going to keep it, but if you want to wrestle with a poem read 'Gauguin' from the second page of my archive. Or not. To conclude, 'Crow' may not be perfected but it is as it will be until the end, or to quote a poet, 'there comes that moment when what we are is what we will be, until the end, no matter...' I appreciate your energy. Swep


Just Turned Eight (posted on: 18-06-04)
poem

Running the bayou's hard Packed trail, I lucked on a turtle, Slow claws working away. Excited that now I could make My Mother a beautiful comb-- The shell with its hard shine, Its squares striated like Agate--I took my hatchet, And hacked at the yellow bottom Plate. Yet the body And the shell ran bright red With blood and clung. I couldn't separate muscled Meat from carapace. I shoved the turtle under a bush, Wiped, and wiped, all traces From these hands, Not murderous since.
Archived comments for Just Turned Eight
silentmemories on 2004-06-18 02:31:12
Re: Just Turned Eight
Absolutely fantastic. Its genuineness is unquestionable.
Silent.

Author's Reply:

BillClarke on 2004-06-18 02:48:50
Re: Just Turned Eight
Hi Steve,
What an interesting poem, it reads like a true tale, am I right? It's beautifully tragic, and if this poem was the result of a true life experiance. I would call the poem 'Comb', because if it is not fiction, then this is what you have made from it. BBFN regards from Bill.

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-06-18 06:30:40
Re: Just Turned Eight
Great read, and it should be. You are a wonderful writerand my hero Mr Memphis.....Erma

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2004-06-18 06:47:27
Re: Just Turned Eight
This is a wonderful poem which I've now read several times - Well done

Emma

Author's Reply:

barenib on 2004-06-18 07:37:31
Re: Just Turned Eight
Swep - this is so vivid, and the contrast between the good intention of making a comb and the realities of doing so is a stark one. Just one point - in UK English I'd have 'chanced on a turtle', but I'm willing to concede that 'lucked' is acceptable as a verb in USA English.
A very good read indeed, John.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-18 08:23:40
Re: Just Turned Eight
John: Thank you. You are a very good poet, and an always generous reader. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-18 08:26:03
Re: Just Turned Eight
Nicoletta: Genuine is as good as praise gets. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-18 08:31:19
Re: Just Turned Eight
Thanks, Bill. The poem is true. The results were true. And it was a shame that for me to learn an awareness, a respect for life, that a life had to be violated, and lost. And, by the way, I'm Swep, not Steve, though I'm still pleased by your comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-18 08:33:49
Re: Just Turned Eight
Erma: Give me your address. I'm coming to get you. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-18 08:39:21
Re: Just Turned Eight
Emma: Thank you. I appreciate your attention. Swep

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-06-18 08:43:08
Re: Just Turned Eight
Swep, for me this piece of work is as good as it ever gets.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-18 08:58:23
Re: Just Turned Eight
dargo: For me, this is as good as the reaction of a reader ever gets. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

alcarty on 2004-06-18 22:09:07
Re: Just Turned Eight
Learning the hard way. You have the touch for telling a story with no fat on it. Could be a short-short, but it might lose something . Very nice as is. Al

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-06-18 23:53:47
Re: Just Turned Eight
Do I know the feeling that this poem illustrates so vividly. A brilliant evocation of childhood's good intentions gone wrong.
A beautifully written piece, well worth the 'great read' in my opinion.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-19 08:21:14
Re: Just Turned Eight
Al: Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-19 08:24:06
Re: Just Turned Eight
chrissy: Thanks for your comment, and the hot story designation. I read your 'In Palermo' on the critique forum, and thought it very good. Swep

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2004-06-19 10:00:58
Re: Just Turned Eight
I think this is very well written and rather poignant..with the desire to please and the hiding of mistakes...and of course a lesson learned. I liked it...L

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2004-06-19 16:55:23
Re: Just Turned Eight
I love the innocence that is the theme of this poem, to me anyway; and how innocence connects with experience through the emotions produced by a single event, such as this one. There is a delicate loss here, but what I like most is how this becomes gain in thre last line. I have to say the punctuation throws me a bit (the commas after 'body' and 'meat': and is Mother meant to have a capital?) but this is trivial and takes nothing away frm the content. Another favourite.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-19 17:39:40
Re: Just Turned Eight
Leila: Thank you, your comment rings true. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-19 17:47:31
Re: Just Turned Eight
Skeeter: Thanks for the hot story designation, and for your comment. Sometimes reading poetry silently we tend not to hear it, and to read it like prose broken into lines. Or at least I do. The commas after body and meat are intended to help the reader pace the poem, and hear it as I heard it.
The capitalization of 'Mother' is a matter of it probably should be a small letter, but there was a merger in memory, and I ended up thinking, in the poem also, where I was talking about 'Mother',
not a mother. Fuzzy thinking I admit. In any case, thanks, as always. Swep

Author's Reply:

flash on 2004-06-19 18:08:45
Re: Just Turned Eight
Like 'Owl,' this hit me between the eyes like a mallet, so unsuspected from the title. Finding dead animals or seeing them being slaughtered casually always leaves a sadness, an emptyness that for a time is unshakeable.

Your poem has left an impression in my mind once again,a beautifully crafted but stark snapshot from your past.

Fine work.


Alan

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-20 08:29:23
Re: Just Turned Eight
Alan: Thanks. For one who claims no expertise in the area of poetry, you react and comment in the best of all possible ways, you say you have been moved. Swep

Author's Reply:

freya on 2004-06-20 13:02:18
Re: Just Turned Eight
My immediate response to you, cut a bit, on reading this for the first time:

Wonderful runs of alliteration. Great detail. Reads beautifully out loud. Most, I very much like this side of narrator; the admission of shame and probably a defining moment in the development of a sensitivity to all living creatures. But more to ending? Something from the adult perspective, looking back on this?

Reminds me of some Zimmer pieces. I'm very fond of his work.


At risk of having freya blasted out of the water once more for daring to publicly suggest she doesn't accept all you write with unconditional admiration ( and you know I give you a harder time on content and expression than anyone for the sake of bringing your poetry to the fullness of its powerful potential, just as you do with mine):

I do like the choice you made on the ending, Swep, but now feel - and I was thinking to suggest this then - that there's still something missing from your poem, for me, and that is reference to the turtle's suffering. As it stands, this is told strictly from your own eight year old perspective. What happened to the turtle is sort of incidental.

To harp back to Zimmer as an example:

Confession, Curse And Prayer

I confess to all the creatures I have killed...
I recall so many of their resignations:
The first shock and brief fluttering,
The eyes turned slowly into themselves,
Or the small shell suddenly crushed
While the limbs still twitch and clutch
At the final glimmers of perception,
At the irretrievable thing that is gone...

Or:

Driving North From Savannah On My Birthday

...I think, too, of the minutes I have lived.
Twenty-two million yellow butterflies
Migrating south, sailing and turning,
Tying intricate love knots over the road.
I wipe them out by the thousands,
Driving my car hard north
Against their fragile yearnings.

Something like that. Two lines, maybe even one, knowing your potent energy and utter focus on getting to the heart of something in the detail.

Still, a fine poem, and, I would like to mention, very tightly and skilfully structured. freya

Author's Reply:

ceo61 on 2004-06-20 16:50:08
Re: Just Turned Eight
Like it! This work has a real touch of class about it, and I will be looking at more of your work.
Clive

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-20 17:16:31
Re: Just Turned Eight
Clive: Thanks for the comment and the hot story designation. I'm glad you liked it. Swep

Author's Reply:

ruby on 2004-06-20 17:35:29
Re: Just Turned Eight
I really enjoyed reading this poem - the textures and the colours in it are fantastic and the symbol of the comb worked really well - a very finely wrought piece,

Ruby.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-20 17:35:30
Re: Just Turned Eight
freya: Thank you for your comments. A poem can only contain so many things, and this poem is about the eight year old and an early step in the learned emotion of pity, an early lesson in good intentions gone horribly awry. My poem is specific to those things. Zimmer's poems are very general, though with their own merits, and are more musings, than explorations, revelations. Again, thanks for your energy, and the nice remarks which dot your comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-20 17:40:23
Re: Just Turned Eight
ruby: Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed it and took the time to comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

Faerie on 2004-06-21 01:37:54
Re: Just Turned Eight
this reminds me of part of a poem i read a few years ago on abctales but stayed with me ever since. it's on a different topic.. but touches on similar ideas... one stanza in particular:

but I've grown to see
there is far greater beauty
than I could find
in my mind,
that it's not "me"
to control tools,
bend materials
to my will,
but set them free,
go with the flow, watch
delight unfold wings as it will,
not fasten
a butterfly's brief brightness
safe forever on the still
small coldness of a pin
for it's life
is flying
and my understanding
touches no more than
a breath holds sky

if you want to read the whole poem it's here: http://www.abctales.com/story/12581 and i really would recommend looking through all of her writing because she is extremely talented.

anyway.. reading your poem left me with a similar feeling to reading hers.. it isn't easy to put into words. but it is a lasting effect.

i wish i could make a comment of more use than that.. but there you go.

nancy.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-21 08:14:42
Re: Just Turned Eight
Faerie: Thanks for the section of poem you quoted which is very good, and the link to the poetess. And thanks for your comments which don't always have to be usable, just indicative of a friendly presence who has read and been entertained. Swep

Author's Reply:

day_dreamer on 2004-06-21 14:09:15
Re: Just Turned Eight
hi Swep - for me the way your words here take the reader on a journey to create the place and set the scene - then take them through a series of shared emotions - makes this piece special. Sue.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-21 15:17:24
Re: Just Turned Eight
Sue: Thanks. I'm pleased you found the poem special. Swep

Author's Reply:

Jack_Cade on 2004-06-22 06:37:39
Re: Just Turned Eight
This is a very strong description of an affecting story, but one that I feel would work almost as well as prose, as there is not much in each line to unpack. That said, the form suggests to the reader that they linger on each line a little longer than they would if it were part of a paragraph, and in the case of 'Wiped, and wiped, all traces', 'Agate - I took my hatchet' 'And the shell ran bright red' this adds a rather special effect.

I like 'lucked'. My only problem was with the creature itself - I'm not sure what it's meant to be exactly. A turtle doesn't have claws - at least, not obviously so. I'm aware that they are often confused with terrapins (as in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who aren't turtles at all,) and I wondered if that was what the creature was meant to be, especially as the most kinds of turtle (sea turtles, green turtles, loggerheads, loths,) are quite big, and would make this a very gory piece indeed. Only a hawksbill turtle or a terrapin would match the image I have of the eight year old picking up the creature in one hand and applying the hatchet with the other. Otherwise he'd have to flip it over first, with both hands.

Perhaps a little more description, to aid the reader who has a vague knowledge of turtles and their cousins?

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-22 07:03:00
Re: Just Turned Eight
Jack_Cade: I think you came to the conclusion that this piece is more effective as a poem than as prose. I think you're right, plus I don't write prose, and where would I put the lone piece. I do think the line breaks create emphasis' that I want, and that bring out sounds. As for the turtle, well the vivid recollection I have of the turtle in the poem is its yellow bottom plate, and the squares on its shell. The turtle definitely had claws, though I can't name it. As for holding it in one hand, well the turtle was flipped over on its back and I knelt beside it. Finally, I'm not sure a knowledge of turtles has much to do with the poem. Thanks for the comments, and the info on turtles. Swep


Author's Reply:

dylan on 2004-06-22 10:25:51
Re: Just Turned Eight
Swep,
I had to comment on this, because it is excellent.Some lines remind me very much of the Illustrious Hen himself(Jack Cade).Very stark,you say a great deal in very few words.I dunno if turtles have claws, paws or wooly gloves and as you say, it matters not a jot.
Loved it.


Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-22 10:49:59
Re: Just Turned Eight
Dylan: Your comment hits just the right note. I appreciate the praise, and the levening of 'claws, paws or wooly gloves'. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Claire on 2004-06-22 17:04:29
Re: Just Turned Eight
I see this through innocent eyes wanting to give a special gift. Beautifully written. Loved it.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-22 18:17:23
Re: Just Turned Eight
Claire: Now that's a very nice comment. Thank you. Swep

Author's Reply:

Wrybod on 2004-06-25 12:55:47
Re: Just Turned Eight
Regret I empathies with the turtle.

bob



Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-25 13:05:17
Re: Just Turned Eight
bob: Thanks for reading. Swep

Author's Reply:

Gee on 2004-06-27 12:53:01
Re: Just Turned Eight
This made me think of those times when I've tried so hard to do something nice, only for it to go wrong. It also reminded me of my cousin who went fishing for the first time, only to cry when he caught a fish. He never went fishing again.
I think you've caught the innocence of a child here, wanting desperately to do something nice, thinking it would be easy, and the gradually dawning horror when he realises what he has done.
Very effective, especially the final lines which had me thinking of MacBeth, the stain which, although it cannot be seen, still somehow remains.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-27 15:11:31
Re: Just Turned Eight
Gee: Actually one of the earlier titles of this piece was 'Traces', so you have very intuitively read the last lines. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

PaulS on 2004-07-09 18:02:58
Re: Just Turned Eight
Not murderous since.... Therein lies the lesson, and at such a young age. I remember, around the same age, using a magnifying glass on an insect just with the intention of stopping it crawl. I was horrifed to see it smoke. Well written Slovitt.
Take care,
Paul


Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-07-09 18:27:58
Re: Just Turned Eight
PaulS: I appreciate your reading, and your comment seems favorable. I'm not big on ratings,
but I wonder at a five. Swep

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2004-07-30 15:58:43
Re: Just Turned Eight
This piece shook me rigid and I was all ready to hate you, until the last couple of lines and I realized you were only eight at the time. As to the poem, well that is flawless. Excellent. Love Val.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-07-30 17:13:45
Re: Just Turned Eight
Bradene: Thanks for reading, and for your comment. The occasion of this poem was one of the first things to make me realize that even like other emotions, pity is learned. But I did learn.
Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-02-26 15:10:10
Re: Just Turned Eight
Very raw. Very impressive. The image of the bloody turtle and your reaction will haunt me. And I don't think it should be prose although I'd change the lines a bit but that's just personal preference. Oddly enough this site changes some entries to prose when one goes to comment. It did here and the lines are definitely better.
Daff

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-27 23:06:11
Re: Just Turned Eight
Daff: Ity's interesting that you remarked the same thing about 'Passage' i.e. that you prefer it as a block of prose. Line breaks/enjambment is one of the few poetic techniques that I use, it being low-key and generally unobtrusive, allowing the writing to be about itself. At the same time I hope to create tensions, and reading rhythms in the process of where I break a line. Thanks for reading, and commenting, and I like your opinions on a site where it is fast becoming unusual to see anything suggestive, or constructive, or critical.
Swep

Author's Reply:

Texasgreg on 28-05-2012
Just Turned Eight
Itโ€™s probably been so long since you've had a comment on this that you forgot it yourself. Yes, I remember that age with the ambitions that come with it. Worry not as I'm sure you've atoned for it by now, LOL.

Greg ๐Ÿ™‚


Author's Reply:


For Swep, a Hug (posted on: 04-06-04)
first son

1.Asleep on the couch, His chest pinning my left foot. Just us in the house, A fire moments ago lit. A small heart beating On a barely covered bone. My son's heart filling The spaces skipped by my own. 2.Tucked in, drowsy, He wants 'One hundred Kisses And one hundred Hugs.' So I Oblige, Counting in my head Deliver First that number Of quick pecks. Breathless, Swep says One hug will do. 3.Snug in the doorway My wife and son as I leave This Monday for work. She riding him on a hip, And I off at dawn, 'He's so young,' I call. Then away, thinking, Our love is for all of us-- Something he may not Ever understand, Or, at a moment beyond, Even return to.
Archived comments for For Swep, a Hug


chant on 2004-06-04 04:01:54
Re: For Swep, a Hug
very moving and i like the way you gutsily throw it all into question in the last couplet. the only line i had any trouble with was 'a fire moments ago lit', which threw my internal metronome, i think, - despite the repetition of 'just' i wanted it to be 'a fire just lit'. anyway, yet another very substantial piece from you.

Author's Reply:

dancing-queen on 2004-06-04 04:11:28
Re: For Swep, a Hug
Enjoyed this, Slovitt - a gentle, touching piece - brings back memories of when my daughter was little and begged for hugs and kisses at bedtime. Now I have to beg her for a hug, LOL (typical teenager she's become). So, for any parent, make the most of those special moments 'cos they sure don't last forever. DQ

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-04 04:24:04
Re: For Swep, a Hug
chant: The 1st part is couched in couplets that are 5 and 7 syallables. For a number of years I used syllabics as a way to give some structure, and pare a poem, without being obtrusive. In fact, before I cut a line in the 3rd part, it had a 5 and 7 syllable scheme. In any case, thanks for the comments. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-04 04:25:59
Re: For Swep, a Hug
dancing-queen: Thanks, and you are right. Swep

Author's Reply:

chant on 2004-06-04 04:29:25
Re: For Swep, a Hug
lol. should have checked the syllable count. i see where my problem is: i read fire as two syllables - fi-yer, which gives me an eight syllable line.

Author's Reply:

MiddleEarthNet on 2004-06-04 05:44:35
Re: For Swep, a Hug
An interesting poem. I'm not sure if I perhaps missed something in it, but its a good poem and sounds like a happy memory.

Author's Reply:

Jack_Cade on 2004-06-04 07:00:19
Re: For Swep, a Hug
I was thrown by 'a fire moments ago lit'. It just seems a funny/strained ordering of the word. Really like:

"My son's heart filling
The spaces skipped by my own."

Seems to reflect the poem's rhythm. I like you putting yourself in third person too - makes you very much a character, and thus a wild card - I feel, reading it, as if I'm watching you, rather than seeing the world through your eyes. So when you reflect on the child at the end, it is easy to suddenly move into the possible future you hint at, while you leave the house.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-04 08:27:09
Re: For Swep, a Hug
MiddleEarthNet: Thanks. I appreciate your reading, and commenting. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-04 08:29:50
Re: For Swep, a Hug
Jack_Cade: chant stumbled there also, and I can only think it is an American/English thing as it sounds perfectly natural to me. You've written a thoughtful commentary. I appreciate it. Swep

Author's Reply:

discopants on 2004-06-04 09:45:33
Re: For Swep, a Hug
There's a tenderness and love bursting forth from this piece, which is kind of reassuring...

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2004-06-04 09:49:48
Re: For Swep, a Hug
Nice lickul poem (-:

Thanks.

s
u
n
k

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2004-06-04 13:33:22
Re: For Swep, a Hug
Swep, I like this: I understand that line, 'my son's heart filling/the spaces skipped by my own'; at least i understand it in my own way, the sense of completion one can have, of starting again, the jigsaw being filled. The tone of it overall is languid, thoughtful and retrospective, but again there is that attempt to capture a moment which represents more, 'our love is for all of us'; I like the potential universality of that. I have a feeling that the moment will indeed be returned to, because a part of me feels that such moments of insight are somehow outside the normal flow of time, and are always available to us, in some way.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-04 14:43:21
Re: For Swep, a Hug
discopants: Thank you. There's no love that, incredibly, increases each day, like that for our own, for a child. I appreciate your comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-04 14:46:27
Re: For Swep, a Hug
sunk: Thank you for reading, and for commenting. Swep

Author's Reply:

barenib on 2004-06-04 14:49:54
Re: For Swep, a Hug
Swep - I can only envy these sentiments, beatifully put. Can I suggest 'A fire lit moments ago', which may make it right for everyone?
The last two stanzas make this for me, as I need a little pathos to offset my envy!
Congrats on WOTM, by the way, richly deserved. John.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-04 14:55:28
Re: For Swep, a Hug
Skeeter: I think we have similar desires for our poetry, and in a lot of ways similar tastes. It's gratifying to have a reader come away contemplative, from one's poem. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-04 15:03:00
Re: For Swep, a Hug
John: Thanks for the poem and the WOTM sentiments. As for the line in question, well there is a bit of an alternating rhyme scheme going on,
'lit' being my cracked rhyme for 'foot'. That does make me feel like the rhymes are unobtrusive, which is good. Thanks for your generous comments. Swep



Author's Reply:

freya on 2004-06-04 16:10:55
Re: For Swep, a Hug
A very fine piece that describes a precious recall of moments that child experts, these days, name 'quality time'. And how beautifully this poem evokes the parental discovery and heart swelling gratitude of an expanding love, beyond that previously experienced for the self or partner.

I felt the ending spoke of a marvel that this newly found capacity, this wonderful gift for the parents, would so cushion and carry the life of their son forward, that the child would likely take such love for granted, never consciously realize nor revisit how his presence forever changed and enriched the lives of his parents.

I really liked :

A small heart beating
On a barely covered bone.

My son's heart filling
The spaces skipped by my own.

and:

Snug in the doorway
My wife and son...
She riding him on a hip,

So, too, the occasional rhyme and half rhymes, (couch/house; bone/own), and the fine illiteration within lines, all so pronounced throughout the first verse, and into the last (doorway/monday; riding/thinking; all/call).

That said, I wanted to reorder the second and last verses to tightly repeat the pronounced beat of the first - in which I heard a steady blood pulse, and perhaps a nursery rhyme lilt.

I did it, but came up short two lines to complete the 5 and 7 syallable couplets. Details supplied upon request!

Heart warming and pleasing.



Author's Reply:

freya on 2004-06-04 17:08:05
Re: For Swep, a Hug
Alliteration. Duh!

Author's Reply:

Faerie on 2004-06-04 17:16:10
Re: For Swep, a Hug
i agree with Jack about referring to yourself in the third person.. i think it adds something to the poem.. a poem that is already in itself quietly powerful (i am struggling to find a better way to describe it but it's 1am in the morning here..)

it took a few reads to grasp the last two lines.. but once i did.. it's perfect... there's something about the poetry that is written for your children.. tender and loving.. it is always a pleasure to read.

nancy

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-04 17:29:23
Re: For Swep, a Hug
Freya: Thanks for your comments. Originally the 3rd part had been 2 triplets, followed by a single line, then 2 more triplets to conclude the poem. The syllabic scheme was 5/7/5, 5/7/5, 5, 5/7/5, 5/7/5. I cut a line, and though I worked with the stanza from a number of angles, didn't feel that changing lines to fulfill a form was the answer. All of that said, of course show me what you've come up with. And again, thanks for your take. Swep


Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-04 17:34:13
Re: For Swep, a Hug
Nancy: Thanks for the warm comments. You sound like a woman who will find other dimensions to her life when she has her own children. Again, thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

chrissie on 2004-06-04 19:16:47
Re: For Swep, a Hug
hi swep. this touched me very deeply - so brimming with love, overflowing into the closing lines which, in themselves encapsulate the imperative that makes the poem so necessary; capturing and embracing a moment through the medium of poetry is not an unusual impulse. it's what drives us to keep writing. but the unconditional nature of our love for our children makes these moments - and therefore the recording of them - so much more important - perhaps even for our children, when they are ready to acknowledge them. i could not possibly comment further: this is so yours swep. thanks for sharing this precious moment.

chrissieX

Author's Reply:

freya on 2004-06-04 20:11:54
Re: For Swep, a Hug
Okay. This is working strictly with your words (or almost; had to change a couple to fit) and some awkwardness of phrase suggests you'd need to rethink certain lines:

Tucked in, drowsy, he
Asks for, One hundred kisses

And one hundred hugs.

I oblige, counting in my

Head, deliver first
That number of pecks. Breathless,

Swep says one hug's fine.



Snug in the doorway
My wife and son, as I this

Monday leave for work
She riding him on a hip,

And I off at dawn.
He's so young, I call, away

Then, thinking our love
Is for us all - something he

May not understand
Ever, or at a moment

Beyond, return to.




Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-04 21:16:06
Re: For Swep, a Hug
freya: I didn't realize by your original comment that you were talking about casting the 2nd part of the poem in syllabics. I wanted the loose, informality of the shorter lines, and by line count a longer middle section for the poem, and the 2nd part totally free, a breathing space, as opposed to what was the strict syllabics of parts 1 and 3. I think the tumbling form in place is more apropriate to the subject, and gives it time to develope, where the structure of the syllabics makes the 2nd part sound chopped, truncated, as if softnesses, and roundnesses, have been refined out.

As to the third part, I haven't counted syllables, but you have taken out any tension in the lines in your re-casting, and completely altered the sense and impact of the closing lines. This sounds like it may be the voice of freya, but it's not a version of my 3rd part that I'm familiar with. All of that said, I appreciate your comments on the initial reading, and the work that went into the suggestions. I may have lived with this poem so long that it has a shape
that for me is it, and though it might have withstood a tweak or two, a reconfiguration would have made it another project almost. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-04 21:21:44
Re: For Swep, a Hug
chrissie: Thank you for such a heartfelt comment.
You reveal a lot of yourself, and I appreciate it.
Swep

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2004-06-05 05:46:29
Re: For Swep, a Hug
Swep a most moving and deeply heartfelt poem. Unconditional love is incredibly hard, I think, to express; it comes from somewhere so deep inside and we so want to express it well from both our own point of view and for that of the reader who comes to it. I think you have done it beautifully, with sensitivity and gentleness. From the beginning we are transported into someone's deeply personal, intimate moment and allowed to share it briefly. The first 8 lines are tender, the next 14 are delightful and the last 12 a mixture of joy, fear and hope. There is always debate on form, structure etc, you have given your reasons for your choice..the poem is lovely. Leila

Author's Reply:

shangri-la on 2004-06-05 07:05:21
Re: For Swep, a Hug
This is such a beautiful, tender piece - sometimes it's so difficult to put into words those special, heart swelling moments of love we feel for our children and families - these feelings are so profound they can often be lost in translation but in these few words you have captured with such clarity and depth, that feeling of unconditional love we have for our children. For me this poem is all the more special because its an insight into a fathers feeling for his son.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-05 08:35:44
Re: For Swep, a Hug
Leila: That's a pretty good comment. In fact I really like it. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-05 08:41:47
Re: For Swep, a Hug
shangri-la: To start with, thanks both for reading and for the hot story designation. I'm becoming amazed, though I don't know why, that fellow writers are like other people and are touched by, and interested in, the things personal in our lives,
and children are at the top of the heap. Again, thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

freya on 2004-06-05 09:45:05
Re: For Swep, a Hug
Firstly, Swep, this is your poem. My take was offered as it always is in any workshop environment: for you to hear how I'm reading/ receiving your poem and for you to consider whether anything I say resonates with you. Any changes are ALWAYS your option.

But I don't think you can dictate to others how they should read and understand your work. That is, it is not playing by the rules of constructive criticism to counter an observation with, "What I write is perfectly clear, and no-one else has your difficulty in comprehending my meaning". Substitute 'my turn of phrase, my grammar, my form' etcetera. That kind of response suggests all you want is unconditional praise. Yet this is not the way I see you responding in YOUR comments to the poetry of several other people, and certainly not what I hear you say about the positive benefits of feed-back for EVERYONE on UKA. Does EVERYONE exclude you, perhaps?

Secondly, Swep, you ASKED to see my reordering of the poem. So I posted it. I did not try to rewrite it because the content is most importantly yours. This reordering was far different from perceiving the natural line breaks within Passage; any strict form is decidedly more difficult to wrestle into a poetic whole.

Thirdly, to add more concerning my own initial reactions to this, the first stanza is in the strict form you, yourself, imposed and thus arose the 'sound' I heard and the rhythm I felt upon reading it out loud. The second tumbles away into free form, and my ear would have no objection to this more conversational tone I assume, if the third was not then loosely, but imperfectly, reordered back into the 5/7 syllable count of the first, which is by far the superior in all respects, in my opinion. So what the whole amounts to is a mix of forms which, to my way of hearing/reading your poem, seems incongruent.

This is all I intended to point out; that this reader found the mix a bit off-putting, though I didn't quite say it like that, instead I recast the thought into as positive a light as possible.

You already know what other difficulties I have with this piece, the one being a clear understanding of what was meant by the ending, and the other the perception of some that this is written from the third person. To your attention.





Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-05 17:41:46
Re: For Swep, a Hug
freya, o freya: To re-trace my steps, let me say that I didn't adequately respond to the warmth of your initial commentary. Your strength as a reader of poetry has always been in your analysis, in your feeling and drawing out, the threads of emotion, and thought, that run through a piece of writing.
Even so, in your first review of the poem, you properly assessed the quality time of both the 1st and 2nd parts, and you got most of the 3rd part, in recognizing that the gift of the parents to the child would be a lifetime of unconditional, and cushioning love, and support. However, and this was key for me, and gave the poem a bite, the poem ends with a bit of wistfulness, an irony, in that the child might not ever understand that the love of parents-and-child was for all of them, a fact the boy might not ever apprehend, and distant in his life, even return to. You conclude, 'heart warming and pleasing' and I now say that I find your comments also, for me, heartwarming, and pleasing.

My initial response, to your initial commentary, spoke to the original form of the 3rd part which was 13 lines, couched in triplets of 5/7/5 syllable count, with a 5 syllable single line in the middle of the part. I said that the uniformity of the syllabics had been broken when I removed a line, but that though I'd worked it through from a number of angles, I'd decided that changing lines to fulfill a form wasn't the answer. I concluded, in reference to your offer to supply some alternatives, 'Details supplied upon request,' by saying, quoth the raven, 'All of that said, of course show me what you've come up with.'

In your 2nd commentary, you, per invitation, though you didn't need it, offered alternatives for the 2nd and 3rd parts, and obviously took some time, and did some good work.

My response to your 2nd commentary explained our completely different visions for the 2nd part of the poem, what my intentions were, and why originally I hadn't used syllabics, or any structure other than visual line length. I had visited that long ago, which of course you had no way of knowing.
Proceeding, in responding, I offered that the tension that went with the concision, the phrasing of the lines, was lost, and that your re-ordering of the ending was prosaic. You did, contrary to what you say most recently, understand the ending for you paraphrased my lines thusly 'Then, thinking our love/Is for all of us--something he/May not understand/Ever, or at a moment/Beyond, return to.' That is the message, I just don't think the phrasing has the tightness, the punch of the original.

So, hale and hearty, we arrive in the moment, and your most recent comment post. To walk with you through the comment, Yes, it is my poem. I understand a workshop environment, and that changes are always, not just for me, but for any writer, their own option.

I'm not trying to dictate to anyone how they read and understand my work. In fact, I'm going to great lengths to reassure you that I appreciate your interest, your comments, your work. I have not said in this exchange, having said it once in the antideluvian past, and realized it's better to say nothing, that what I write is perfectly clear and no one else has your difficuly in comprehending my meaning. I have no interest in praise, unconditional or otherwise, but rather in an interactive response from a reader, admittedly hopefully positive. I think, my dear freya, you judge me a bit harshly, though knowing more about myself than you do, you wouldn't be re-miss if you cast aspersions genericly, and blindly, for surely some would apply. So, EVERYONE doesn't exclude me.

I did ASK for your version.

The poem is a mix, but a mix that I intended. The structure, the lyrical moment of the 1st part, the breathing room, the looseness of the 2nd part, and the structure of the 3rd part. In the 3rd part,ecause the lines don't in pattern alternate exactly doesn't mean it's a jumbled form. The lines are still, without counting syllables, either 5 or 7 syllables. I've said before, and even somewhere in a response to another commenter, that for years I used syllabics to give a rough structure, and to help pare poems down. So with the 3rd part, originally at 13 lines geometrical, but now concise, and still 5 or 7 syllables, and the linebreaks according to my ear.

To repeat, your paraphrase of the ending was right-on. You've said to me, in another conversation, that you didn't understand the 3rd person comments of a couple of the very good readers on this site. I don't really either, and can only guess that because my son's name is Swep, as is mine, that somehow that led to a confusion.

Your last sentence is 'To your attention.' Well freya, o freya, in accord with that, I hope I've answered you well. Swep

Author's Reply:

freya on 2004-06-05 20:38:43
Re: For Swep, a Hug
Hmmmm.

Out of curiousity I took ruler to screen to measure the length of first, my comment, then your response. Predictably, yours at roughly 23" outperformed mine at about 11". I would bet, though, that you briskly got yours composed and typed onto the page in probably less than ten minutes, whereas my contribution took a Lady Macbeth, out damn spot! handwringing 4 hrs 37 min 49 secs. The gender differential?

Author's Reply:

pullmyhair on 2004-06-06 09:24:44
Re: For Swep, a Hug
So very delicate, as if there's something really potent inside that the son stokes in the father's heart, but which the father can't quite express in words. It stopstarts, but I mean that in a positive sense. Not only does that re-enforce the idea of trying really hard to explain the inexplicable, but it also forces your reader to stop and not just float over lines. My favourite is definitely:

A small heart beating
On a barely covered bone.

It reminds me of a tiny mammal, completely dependent. I can clearly imagine the boy's skinny little chest and strong heartbeat.

A pleasure to read. Congratulations on being writer of the month tooo! ๐Ÿ™‚ pmh x

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-06 15:17:57
Re: For Swep, a Hug
pullmyhair: Thanks for your comments and the congratulations. This is an older poem, but one that I lived with, and worked on, across several years. I'm glad it reads freshly. Again, thanks.
Swep

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2004-06-06 18:22:05
Re: For Swep, a Hug
I dont fully understand this poem, I enjoyed its mystery though. I will read it again and again to see if over time I understand it better.

James.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-07 16:20:39
Re: For Swep, a Hug
jay12: I know you are a fiction writer, and as such I appreciate your reading from amongst the poetry list. And, I am glad you enjoyed it. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Sabrina on 2004-06-07 23:44:56
Re: For Swep, a Hug
Awww...I love when you write about your son! I can smell the soft heads of my babies as they snuggled into my chest, their little hands chubby fists, that would later learn to open everything they shouldn't...I stumbled in the same place...'A fire moments ago lit'. I read by seeing the entire sentence in one go. So I saw the word 'lit' at the same time I saw the word 'ago' and 'moments' so my mind struggled to rearrange them the way our eyes like to corrent our vision. A "re-read" settled things more or less but I think the cofusion comes with the accents on the syllables not the syllables themselves. There are 7 syllables in the last phrase of the first and second stanza, but the phrase in the first stanza is written 'from left to right' and the other is inside out...so we expect to read the 'inside out' phrase face forward and we trip, especially, I think, on the word 'ago' by trying to match the rythm with the line from stanza one, and they do not flow with quite the same metre, although, now I can make it happen on purpose and it seems quite fine...hmmm...I know... I sound like I've been in the liquor...I hope this isn't too "Lewis Carrol" for you...Love Sabrina

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-08 07:46:33
Re: For Swep, a Hug
Sabrina: I am very glad to see you around here again. It's late at night in Canada, and the liquor wouldn't be totally inappropriate to be into. Thanks for your comments. Swep

Author's Reply:

tai on 2004-08-29 15:58:13
Re: For Swep, a Hug
A touching insight that many will identify with and sadly many will envy. I too saw you holding your young child so tenderly and possibly, a little incredulously.

Wonderful work

Tai

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-08-29 16:09:30
Re: For Swep, a Hug
Tai: Thanks. It is a poem that was three poems, and that was put together and worked on for several years. I appreciate your delving into the archive, and your very nice remarks. Swep

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2004-10-06 09:17:20
Re: For Swep, a Hug
A really lovely poem. The feeling is so genuine and I like the structure too; I like half rhymes. I especially liked the couplet
My son's heart filling
The spaces skipped by my own.
It's a beautiful image and says a lot beyond the simple fact of the two hearts beating at different rates.
I take it Swep is your son's name too, or have you borrowed his as a nom de plume?
Daf

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-10-06 09:55:56
Re: For Swep, a Hug
Daf: I am Swep the 3rd, and my son, for whom the poem is written, is the 4th. The name is old Scottish (we're 3/4's Scot, 1/4 English) and a name that we burdened him with (a lifetime of people never having heard the name) out of a desire to honor his grandfather, my father, and my grandfather as well. Thanks for the nice comments, and I very much like cracked rhymes too. Swep

Author's Reply:


As Eve (posted on: 10-05-04)
poem

Slovitt

When, leaning against The doorway, nibbling an apple, You stared In to where I read, Something called my blood To rise, and ache, Something in the smile Flicking your red mouth.
Archived comments for As Eve


silentmemories on 2004-05-10 03:46:38
Re: As Eve
great title, perfect flow nice opening lines..

Author's Reply:

Faerie on 2004-05-10 04:01:41
Re: As Eve
Swep.. you give us just enough to be drawn in.. we're curious.. and then you walk away..
That said.. it makes the reader want to read it again.. and i love the title..
great sense of subtle grace here.
nancy

Author's Reply:

RobertChiswick on 2004-05-10 05:19:45
Re: As Eve
Tremendous piece, delivered with poetic economy! Robert

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-10 05:27:29
Re: As Eve
Nicoletta: Thank you. You are, as always, a generous reader. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-10 05:28:50
Re: As Eve
Faerie: That's a lot of praise for a little poem, and I appreciate it. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-10 05:29:48
Re: As Eve
Robert: Thank you. I appreciate your commenting,
and your comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

chant on 2004-05-10 06:24:55
Re: As Eve
yes, a very charismatic little poem.

Author's Reply:

marym on 2004-05-10 06:57:07
Re: As Eve
... beautiful poem, Slovitt. ๐Ÿ™‚

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-10 09:23:15
Re: As Eve
chant: Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-10 09:24:20
Re: As Eve
marym: Thank you. Swep

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2004-05-11 09:08:33
Re: As Eve
Very much allowing us a glimpse of a intimate moment, deftly written...L

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-11 09:54:58
Re: As Eve
Leila: Thanks for your comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

Omma_Velada on 2004-05-12 07:32:23
Re: As Eve
There's a lot here in a few lines - but then, those little moments can be so powerful and you really capture this.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-12 07:46:43
Re: As Eve
Omma_Velada: Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it. Swep

Author's Reply:

shangri-la on 2004-05-12 09:03:53
Re: As Eve
I enjoyed this...A beautifully captured moment of intimacy - very neat precise poem.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-12 09:28:05
Re: As Eve
shangri-la: Thank you. I appreciate your taking the time to comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2004-05-12 09:32:36
Re: As Eve
A captivating and sensual vignette! Lovely!....Adele..:-)

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-12 10:59:58
Re: As Eve
Adele: Thanks for the nice comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2004-05-12 14:17:57
Re: As Eve
This is another one of those Zen like poems that I do like. Very imagistic. The 'ache' introduction is good: it introduces ambiguity and connects perhaps to the mythology of the title.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-12 19:28:59
Re: As Eve
Skeeter: Thanks. I do like short, imagistic poems. I appreciate your comments. Swep

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-05-13 14:25:28
Re: As Eve
Short and so very sweet.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-13 14:33:36
Re: As Eve
Dargo: Thanks for reading, and your comment. And thanks for the hot story designation. Swep

Author's Reply:

Jack_Cade on 2004-05-14 15:28:20
Re: As Eve
Yeah, I'll add my approval too. Although I'm afraid I've not much too say. Acute, and engaging. No need for revision.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-14 15:53:19
Re: As Eve
Jon: Thanks. There is not much to say for this is a little poem, and what's more, one of a sequence.
Swep

Author's Reply:

day_dreamer on 2004-05-15 12:39:59
Re: As Eve
what I admire in this - is the visual snapshot - plus the emotion and atmosphere captured there in so few words. Sue.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-15 14:21:51
Re: As Eve
Sue: I know you're one that likes an image in a poem, as do I. Thanks for your comment, and the hot story designation. Swep

Author's Reply:

chrissie on 2004-05-30 07:54:45
Re: As Eve
really loved this neat and eloquent vignette, especially: the coquettish nibbling of the apple to draw him to her; the moment of "knowledge" where she stares "in to where i read" and the inevitable "ache" of desire that follows. the final flourish is the serpent-like "flicking" of the final line. superb. thanks for sharing.

chrissieX

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-30 08:53:02
Re: As Eve
chrissie: Thanks for reading, and for your comment. It, however, makes me feel a little derelict as I've read your 'Sonnets' and not
commented, though they are as well-done formal verse as has been posted here. Again, thanks for the comment, and the hot story designation. Swep

Author's Reply:


Looking into a Bottle (posted on: 10-05-04)
poem

Slovitt

Even my eyelashes faintly
In a ridged, dark-green hole,
Light shimmies away
Down the shining tunnel;
Where the bottle's neck dips
To the cylindrical body,
As in a trough, golden beer;
Into this pool, the bottle's
Bottom clears slowly,
Suds sliding into the brew;
COME, let's wrestle in
There, my big-nippled love.
Archived comments for Looking into a Bottle


Skeeter on 2004-05-10 03:27:58
Re: Looking into a Bottle
I like this, but as yet I don't know why. Obviously there are at least two meanings here. The first line threw me a bit, as I was waiting for a qualifier to the 'even'... but can't find it,. That's me being literal. Nicely put together Swep, but! Stay off the sauce!!

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-05-10 03:42:54
Re: Looking into a Bottle
favourite lines: into this pool, the bottle's bottom clears slowly, very clear and clever poem.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-10 05:20:48
Re: Looking into a Bottle
Skeeter: Thanks for reading, and thanks for the comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-10 05:23:34
Re: Looking into a Bottle
Nicoletta: Thanks for the hot story designation, and I'm glad that you find the poem clear. As for clever, well, that's not my forte. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Archer on 2004-05-10 06:22:22
Re: Looking into a Bottle
quite superb. not aware of 'shimmys'. is that an archaic / american spelling, or a typo, or am i being dense? ๐Ÿ™‚

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-10 09:30:37
Re: Looking into a Bottle
Archer: Thanks for the comment. 'Shimmys' refers to the way light shimmers down the reflective
sides of, for instance, a bottle, or a hallway, as one lets ones eyes travel down the length of the given object. It's not archaic, and I don't know if it's peculiarly American, but it's a word I've used, and heard used, for a lifetime. Swep

Author's Reply:

jay12 on 2004-05-10 17:38:49
Re: Looking into a Bottle
Nice little poem,

James.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-10 17:45:15
Re: Looking into a Bottle
James: Thanks for your comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

Archer on 2004-05-11 02:59:34
Re: Looking into a Bottle
okay, but maybe spelt 'shimmies' - plural of the verb 'to shimmy'.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-11 03:54:57
Re: Looking into a Bottle
archer: I'll think about that, though the times I've seen it spelled it was 'shimmys.' Swep

Author's Reply:

Sunken on 2004-05-12 01:38:44
Re: Looking into a Bottle
I'm with Skeeter, I like this too but I'm not sure why. There is a compliment in there somewhere. Honest.

s
u
n
k

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-12 04:41:27
Re: Looking into a Bottle
Sunken: From what I know of your predilections,
'big-nippled' was probably the key for you. Mammaries are certainly nice. Swep

Author's Reply:

Omma_Velada on 2004-05-12 06:25:34
Re: Looking into a Bottle
A nice ode to (as I understood it) two loves ๐Ÿ™‚

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-12 08:13:36
Re: Looking into a Bottle
Omma_Velada: Thank you for reading. I find your comment about 'two loves' to be as suggestive as the poem itself, which is really very simple, and strives to be clear. Quite literally, the poem is occasioned by sitting out in the yard and turning a Beck's beer bottle horizontal and looking into it. From the first lines, 'Even my eyelashes faintly/ In the ridged dark-green hole', the poem proceeds as one's eyes travel along and explore the inside of the bottle, and then there is the leap
to the ever-presence of sexuality with 'COME, let's wrestle in/There, my big-nippled love.' Again, thanks for reading. Swep

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-05-13 13:41:25
Re: Looking into a Bottle
I enjoyed this, mainly because it was excellent.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-13 13:48:19
Re: Looking into a Bottle
Dargo: Thank you for your comment, and I'm glad to see you back today, and hear you'll be posting again tomorrow. Swep

Author's Reply:

Easyrider on 2004-05-15 01:27:56
Re: Looking into a Bottle
often i look into a bottle but when id o i wrestle wiht my self in there. or theworld.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-15 14:32:55
Re: Looking into a Bottle
Easyrider: I know exactly what you mean. Thanks for reading, and for leaving a comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-05-16 06:41:32
Re: Looking into a Bottle
and what is your forte Swep?



๐Ÿ™‚



Author's Reply:

freya on 2004-05-16 08:30:45
Re: Looking into a Bottle
This is intriguing because the entire poem is built upon looking at sex through the blur of alcohol; we have ten lines out of twelve devoted to it. At least, that's how I first read it. The entire is impressionistic in that there is no attempt to explain the whys, hows and resolution. On reading the comments later I did relate to what the reader who mentions two loves meant, I think, because I thought the same thing. Then I reached the writer's comment concerning what he was describing , so do know my initial understanding of the poem's standpoint was all wrong.

Or was it? Why such emphasis on this perspective? I don't mean to imply this is personal, only that the poet chose to focus, maybe unconsciously, on what sexual desire feels like, looks like from the bottom of a bottle or, to this reader, while under the influence:

Even my eyelashes faintly
In a ridged, dark-green hole,
Light shimmies away

So drinking lends a marvelous ability to concentrate on miniscule and beautiful detail, to suffuse and push away something too overwhelming about reality. Or this is how I interpret these lines.

Viewed in this way, the effect is striking because the reader is left to ponder what this might tell us about both narrator and the woman seen from this viewpoint, about sex itself, even about the nature of love. This gives us pause. We must examine what it says about US when we feel we must drink to relax, to enjoy sex. A skilfully evocative poem.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-16 09:25:17
Re: Looking into a Bottle
freya: Your comment is much more thoughtful than the poem. The beer was the first of the afternoon and the alcohol angle, mentioned by other readers doesn't really apply. It probably would help to know that this poem and 'As Eve', are two parts of a six part sequence of love/erotic poems. What is salient for me, whether or not I've done an adequate job of establishing it, is the ever-presence of sexuality, of sexual energy, always just below the surface of the mind, never far away.
And I do like detailed description in writing, and letting one's mind roam. So, the visual of the bottle's interior, and the leap from the subconscious
of the sexual. Your comments are intuitive, and fully match the poem. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-16 12:45:08
Re: Looking into a Bottle
Nicoletta: Thanks for the help with getting my picture off of each individual poem, and confined to the personal page. You're a skillful woman. Swep

Author's Reply:

Tollam on 2004-05-17 12:28:37
Re: Looking into a Bottle
Fabulous, glutinous stuff! The subtle inticings of whispering bottles all wanting you to take a chug! Great visual imagery, right up my street. Alcohol can and is of course a mistress and lover to many and very seductive in even 'those in control'.
Great stuff, loved it!
Tolly x

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-17 12:43:39
Re: Looking into a Bottle
Tollam: Thanks. That's a rousing comment you make. There's nothing quite nipples. Swep

Author's Reply:

Tollam on 2004-05-17 12:51:15
Re: Looking into a Bottle
Now stop that Slovitt! You're doing strange things to my bossom...damn! it appears that the keyboard is moving further away!
Tolly

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-17 12:56:33
Re: Looking into a Bottle
Tollam: Are you then, breasted, a woman. I didn't pick it up from your name. I am a notorious
(at least to myself) admirer of women. Swep

Author's Reply:

Tollam on 2004-05-21 12:15:43
Re: Looking into a Bottle
Slovitt: Yes, breasted a woman I am...and notorious in my own write!
Tolly x

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-21 19:31:55
Re: Looking into a Bottle
Tollam: Notorious women, hmmm. Thanks for the hot story designation. Swep

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-06-01 10:21:55
Re: Looking into a Bottle
OH WOW!...THIS IS LAME AND WEAK...zen dreames of leonard cohen and everything falls into place

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-01 13:24:50
Re: Looking into a Bottle
zenbuddhist: Don't know what exactly to make of your comment, but thanks for taking the time to make it. Swep

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-06-02 07:51:10
Re: Looking into a Bottle
thats ok....i`ve looked into a few bottles in my time.....congrats on writer of the month pal...cheersZ

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-02 08:08:40
Re: Looking into a Bottle
Z: Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Redrose1 on 2004-06-25 13:09:17
Re: Looking into a Bottle
Very unusual poem and I like it very much

Thanks for sharing it


Redrose

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-25 13:49:14
Re: Looking into a Bottle
Redrose: Thanks. I appreciate your reading, and 'unusual' and that you like it is fine praise indeed. Swep

Author's Reply:

Dazza on 2005-07-27 08:54:35
Re: Looking into a Bottle
My wife is big nippled and I often stare down bottles when I am in the bath, the diffused bathroom is good for this rank kaleidoscope and yes I do feel a bit sexy when I get out! Does this make us brothers? Dazza.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-07-27 15:12:31
Re: Looking into a Bottle
Dazza: Yes, I think it probably does. Glad to see you out and about again. Thanks for reading from my archive. Swep

Author's Reply:


Passage (posted on: 26-04-04)

Entering the woods, the path rose to our feet, The earth firm, and cool, beneath latticed Branches. We walked years in this way, Occasionally hand in hand, more often Without touching, though sensing presence. Then, subtly, the path's composition Began changing. Now, rounding an oak, Thick brush prevents our rejoining. I start to call to her, but there's a birdsong I haven't heard in years, a flash Of exotic color high in the feathery Branches. Wandering, beside a stream I stop. In the bright water cupped in my hands, My face. And I, who since a youth Sought an overview so as to synthesize, I search the dark-eyed reflection only To recognize, not admire myself. My instinct Is a shout to her, but if we follow voices To blend our dotted paths on farther In the wood, what can change? Crisply, a car door slams. I look out. She has returned in her green car, and I rise, Unclasping my intertwined fingers, The crystal I've stared into, becoming air.
Archived comments for Passage
silentmemories on 2004-04-26 02:47:33
Re: Passage
One of the best poems I've ever read.

Author's Reply:

chant on 2004-04-26 04:49:20
Re: Passage
agreed, awesome piece, reads like it's been hammered out by Mjollnir.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-04-26 05:11:59
Re: Passage
Nicoletta: That's very high praise. Thank you. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-04-26 05:15:16
Re: Passage
Chant: Thank you. I am pleased that you read the poem, and liked it. Swep

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-04-26 05:41:21
Re: Passage
Wow this poem is amazing....Erma

Author's Reply:

Jack_Cade on 2004-04-26 07:11:40
Re: Passage
A new poem from Swep deserves as thorough a criticism as I can muster. Seeing as I veer towards the 'let things be' camp, and this is, as Chant and Nikki have said, pretty shit hot, you'll excuse me for still not having an awful lot to bring up.

It's dense, and packed with actions and information, so I would *consider* (as in, toy around with - don't know if you have already,) splitting it into stanzas. Might work, might not. But it is a poem I found I had to push into, and read quite slowly.

"the path rose to our feet" definitely suggests an upward incline to me - this is what you meant to convey?

I like the enjambement, but found it off-putting that every line started with a capital letter, as it didn't seem to make grammatical sense (although I appreciate it's an oft-used format in poems.) Again, all I'd suggest is experimenting without the capitals, and seeing which you prefer.

The Borge's palace comparison was what slowed me down the most. Found I had to start again at the 'And' at least twice before I could get through the whole thing and understand what kind of a comparison was being drawn. Never seen the palace in question - does it really start of yellow on one side, and fade to bright red on the other??

Particularly like these lines: "And I, who since a youth
Sought an overview so as to synthesize,
I search the crystal liquid only
To recognize, not admire myself."

Rings true with my own experiences, even if I couldn't necessarily claim the same thing. Love the way the car door slamming seems to bring the narrator down to earth at the end as well.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-04-26 08:29:14
Re: Passage
Erma: Thank you. You are one of my favorites of the fiction writers, and I appreciate your coming by to read. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-04-26 08:50:29
Re: Passage
Jon: To start with, I appreciate your commenting.
I know I've expected a lot from you in my criticism of your poems, and sometimes that can be felt to be intrusive. To talk about your points, good ones, I have tried breaking it into stanzas, and though it might facilitate the reading, it just feels better to me as one long sleeve. I still fight the feeling that it is on the edge of being rich prose, a prose poem.
'The path rose to our feet' is borrowed from American Indian language whch used the phrase to suggest that one's steps were light, one's trek carefree. As for the capitalization of the word leading off each line, the reason is just what you've said, it's an oft-used format in poetry, and one that I like. Jon, acquire 'Dream Tigers' by Jorge Luis Borges, or 'Ficciones', and enter the realm of a unique sensibility. There are various metaphorical things to say about the color change, but that's not a thing I do. I appreciate your comments, and will probably continue to expect a lot from you. Swep

Author's Reply:

chrissy on 2004-04-26 12:08:31
Re: Passage
I thought this was a very fine poem, very well written and with sublime images. Extremely well done.
Chrissy

Author's Reply:

day_dreamer on 2004-04-26 15:57:24
Re: Passage
Sometimes it is easier to recognise when something you read is special - than it is to say what makes it so.

I like it not being in stanzas - not for a 'poetic effect' but because it is about a journey along a path - and the stanzas would break it up, for me - as it is each line is a step of thought.

I especially like the lines about the cupped water -to recognize not admire myself. Really enjoted reading this. Sue.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-04-26 16:07:22
Re: Passage
chrissy: Thank you. I appreciate your having read, and so nicely told me so. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-04-26 16:16:51
Re: Passage
Sue: I like what you say in your second paragraph, because it expresses better than I have why I like the poem in one continuous flow, rather than in stanzas. Thanks for your good reading of the poem, and the hot story designation. Swep


Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2004-04-27 03:02:23
Re: Passage
I am not qualified to critique--
But I am sure I couldn't find much wrong here.
A quite superb ending.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-04-27 06:20:39
Re: Passage
Gerry: Critquing is just saying what you think. I'm glad you liked the closing lines. Thanks for reading. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-04-27 06:22:57
Re: Passage
Trevor: Thanks for reading, and for a thoughtful response. I appreciate it. Swep

Author's Reply:

woodbine on 2004-04-27 07:14:39
Re: Passage
Dear Swep,
There is such a deal of imagination, introspection, reflection, colour, observation, intermingling of present love of nature and the loss of an earlier love, all seamlessly blended in this piece I don't pretend to have a complete grasp of it at first reading. As a onetime photographer the change of hue in Borges Palace is the changing light as the sun sinks in the evening sky reflecting yellow then scarlet light on the building.

I shall print it out to read again later. Great work.

John

Author's Reply:

barenib on 2004-04-27 10:38:30
Re: Passage
Swep, another poem to savour overall, just one line that seems strangely formal to me;
'And I, who since a youth
Sought an overview so as to synthesize' reads a little like part of an essay in physics to me - I wonder if it could be a little warmer or perhaps simply removed ? Other than this a superb read - John.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-04-27 19:59:06
Re: Passage
John: Thanks. It's a poem I first wrote in the summer of 1996. Then, it was a block prose-poem.
Shelagh loved the poem in its original form, beyond my understanding, and suggested improvements, largely breaking it into poetic lines rather than letting the margin end a line. In the process I pared some, and I think the result, posted here, is much better than my original.
In any case, thank you, I am glad you read, and glad you liked it. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-04-27 20:07:13
Re: Passage
John: Those lines do have a formal ring to them, kind of. But like Jon who liked them, I do too, it, in four lines, saying a lot for me, and offering a moment of honesty that I like. The lines are the kind that either stumble one's eye, or one thinks are a neat moment. All in all, other than re-ordering the poem from prose poem in block form to a more traditional looking poem, with poem length lines, I haven't really touched the poem in eight years, and so the sins of the past probably will remain. Thanks for the thought, for that very one has caught my attention before. Swep

Author's Reply:

bektron on 2004-04-28 02:38:30
Re: Passage
Swep; with this poem you lifted me from reality for a moment, and set me down feeling satisfied with what I had experienced.
I think it works excellently without stanza breaks and the enjambment is used well and to full effect,
I like Jon stumbled on the line
'And I, who since a youth'
it does seem oddly stiff in the midst of the flow, sort of like a twig caught in a stream that splits the water for an instant.
an often used accolade but still appropriate- brilliant.
beks

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2004-04-28 03:36:59
Re: Passage
I liked it Swep, it has a lyricism about it. To me it comes across as an expiation. That's important, its one of the main functions of poetry. But, and I'll be unpopular here, I prefer your shorter ones, they have more connectedness with the remote, the tangential experiences of life. This is direct, and more or less explicit. I just prefer, in terms of your work, the oblique.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-04-28 06:59:19
Re: Passage
Skeeter: I too prefer the shorter pieces, though I'm glad people like this one, because there's a role for longer pieces that simply establish information in the world, as one works on fully investigating, and fully fleshing out one's life. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-04-28 07:05:39
Re: Passage
bektron: Thank you. A satisfied woman leaves me satisfied. I don't use many poetic devices but enjambment, line breaks, is one that I'm very conscious of, and so I'm pleased that you noticed, and approved. I think it was John (barenibs) who stumbled on 'And I, who since a youth' and perversely those three or four lines are ones that I like. In any case, thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Abel on 2004-04-29 15:14:29
Re: Passage
Really, really liked the dichotomy of the real and dreamlike...so artfully woven...wonderfully done Slovitt!

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-04-29 19:00:47
Re: Passage
Abel: I've read several of your poems and found them attractive. Thanks for reading, and for your comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

flash on 2004-05-01 05:44:35
Re: Passage
Nice work

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-01 07:38:34
Re: Passage
Alan: Thanks for commenting on the poem. And thanks for the comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2004-05-02 12:52:25
Re: Passage
A wonderful mystical air runs through this amazing poem, Swep, like living through a dream. I feel free verse often offers a freedom of flow and this piece does flow beautifully.

One of the best poems I have read since joining UKA, Zydha

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-03 07:24:39
Re: Passage
Zydha: Thank you, and thanks for the hot story designation. If the poem lives up to your comment, then I am pleased. Swep

Author's Reply:

chrissie on 2004-05-30 10:50:35
Re: Passage
only just beginning to get to know your work swep. this is very fine. very vivid and a strong sense of something primeval: ancient paths walked by many lovers diverging and parting; tangled branches, tangled lives; images and smells of superfecundity above and underfoot. i agree that the form very much reflects or enacts the journey.

a couple of minor points: the only line which clunked slightly was "..My instinct/Is a shout from she from whom I diverged" - shouldn't that be a shout from "her"? and i'm wondering how necessary this line is to the sense, actually. you have already warned us about the "thick brush" that "prevents our paths from rejoining". just a thought. but beautiful piece. thanks for sharing.

chrissieX

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-30 10:59:36
Re: Passage
chrissie: Thanks for going into a previous posting.
I think 'My instinct/Is a shout to she from whom I diverged...' is grammatically correct, though it may still clunk. Thanks for the nice comments.
Swep

Author's Reply:

chrissie on 2004-05-30 11:42:33
Re: Passage
sorry swep - wrote the preposition in your poem wrongly: i wrote "a shout from she", but your line is "a shout to she". shouldn't the object of the verb To "shout to" be "her" rather than "she"? i.e. I shout "to her" not "to she"? sorry to be pedantic. still love the poem!

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-30 15:30:01
Re: Passage
chrissie: A lot of people have been over this poem and no one has pointed out 'her' instead of 'she'.
My sense of grammar is a long time back, and a lifetime of reading has led me to have a sense of what is grammatically correct, without being able in more than basic terms to discuss it grammaticaly. Having checked with a friend, I most gracefully, I hope, defer to your 'her' over 'she' and simultaneously appoint you, a left-handed honor, my guardian of grammar. You weren't being pedantic, but thorough, and I appreciate it. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

chrissie on 2004-06-01 01:20:30
Re: Passage
hi swp. tried to reply to your message - twice actually. did you receive? only, it's not showing at the moment.

Author's Reply:

spacegirl on 2004-06-01 03:03:17
Re: Passage
First my thick brain has just realised Slovitt, swep lovitt.

I haven't read the comments so I'm sorry if the points are duplicated. This was like walking in the forest with the descriptions and no line breaks. And those enjambments were brilliant, I always find it hard breaking out of the habit of making a statement in just one line. At first I thought this as going to be about a relationship break, but when I saw the lines

I search the crystal liquid only
To recognize, not admire myself

I decided it was self discovery. This poem is a true classic in my eyes

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-01 08:14:47
Re: Passage
spacegirl: Your comment is alive, and makes a strong communication. Thanks. And thanks for the hot story designation. Finally, I must add, I still hear 'I don't look for trouble, it knows where to find me.' Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-06-01 08:21:09
Re: Passage
chrissie: I did receive. Thanks, and you are a most polite girl to have continued trying. Swep

Author's Reply:

tryptych600 on 2004-09-20 13:11:49
Re: Passage
I was just scanning your poems again, and thought to comment on this one. I can't say that a few of your more recently submitted poems are as arresting to me as this one. If a line like 'To recognize..' isn't perfect then I don't know what is (having said that.. am I right in thinking this line has been changed a little from an earlier draft?.. maybe I'm imagining it)

I remember talking to someone about how some of the best lines are read as though they have always been in the mind of the reader.. but somehow not expressed (I think we were talking about Nick Cave lyrics). Anyhow this is one of them.

On the down side I'd agree with John Webber in that I think the lines he mentioned seem a little bit stuffy. Regardless, many of the images jump out at me.. make me think.. which rarely happens to me these days, it has to be said. An illuminating read, cheers..

Andrew.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-09-20 13:45:23
Re: Passage
Andrew: I'm pleased to hear from you. I've seen a couple of your pieces on the carousel today, and will comment later, but generally I haven't been that active in commentary recently. Passage is a rich piece, but You (2) and Zones are two recent poems that I very much like, and hope that I am able to sustain their level in future, related pieces. As for the lines '...And I, who since a youth/Sought an overview so as to synthesize,/I search the crystal liquid only/To recognize, not admire myself. ...'/ is a part of the poem that has been criticized, but I think it's essential, and fine, and a section that Jon Stone also liked. So, I appreciate your mentioning that area, as I think it is strong myself. Thanks for the remarks. Swep

Author's Reply:

KevTheRev on 2005-02-22 03:05:53
Re: Passage
So well structured. I did not read, but lived the words. Fantastic, I found a mentor!

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-22 11:01:43
Re: Passage
Kevin: Thanks for your comment, and for delving so deeply into my archive. I am on the way to work but will look at your work over the next day or two. Swep

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-02-26 14:16:09
Re: Passage
I've just been exploring your work a little more and am as intrigued as ever. I like this very much, thw wood as somehow both real and metaphorical and great images. There re several which, probably quite unintentionally, brought others to my mind [to much effect] -- the old oak in War and Peace, which was very symbolic, and the cupped water and crystal Hardy's glass that two people washed in a stream and left there.
I read the comments and would add two. One - I agree with Chrissy about she/her, and two -- I would love to read the original as to me it is very much poetic prose and I would prefer it not to break lines. In fact I copied it and tried and did prefer the result. Like it anyway, and the end is brilliant - the sudden being brought back to earth.
Daff

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-27 22:43:25
Re: Passage
Daff: Yes, you and Chrissie are right about she/her, though I had to get it told to me authoritatively by a poet friend of mine who is a professor of Writing and English in Mississippi.
Yes, though I've read War and Peace, at the time feeling it to be an obligation to the past, the reference as you guessed was unintentional. I still feel the poem to be a prosaic poem, even a prose poem broken into lines, though having lived with it a while in this form I finally prefer it as you see it.
Thank you for reading, and for your comments. Swep

Author's Reply:

Dazza on 2005-06-13 11:45:08
Re: Passage
A walk in the woods. Did you happen upon Billy Bryson and his fat buddy? Does Raccoon scat smell like a Wombats? Do you ever write a shit poem and if so can I see it? Dazza.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-06-14 03:54:26
Re: Passage
Dazza: You continue to be a source of surprise. Thanks for going back for this one. All 'scat' has its own smell, but the raccoon variety I would recommend to you as face paint for your next dance around the fire. Try it, you'll like it. As for sh.it poems, well with me they are either a finished piece of writing ergo a poem, or else they are nothing. I have abandoned too many starts to remember. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

freya on 15-05-2013
Passage
This was nibbed! I, feeling full of authority, must try to determine why it's not showing up on your front page. I shall summon the Great Nib Fairy and demand explanation.

My most favorite of all your poems. Lovely. Shelagh

Author's Reply:
shelagh: i like it too, and am glad you brought it back to my attention. thanks. swep


Endings (posted on: 12-03-04)
Click to see more top choices

a poem

1. You, Wife: A Slightly Bitter Note You, wife, driving the sixty-three miles From Natchez to Brookhaven, For the daylight hours of my birthday. Though separated three months, You say you believe in remembering. Called for a present suggestion. Blanched as at the apartment I picked When you left your mountains for Mississippi, Yet, as then, sleeves rolled up, You didn't waver when I said "Pussy!" I sit out front in the early cool, Sip coffee, glance over some poems. It's going to be just like old times. After, we'll probably lie about awhile, Before we drift through the time left, And though mildly clinging, part. 2. Vision You breathing another air Late this August night. You fitting haltingly Against another chest. The hand silks up your back, Loosing you hot and scented. Still in lamplight, A stranger getting first sight Of your golden hair Unfurled, high, full breasts. And you, head back, Proud of the reaction You know even in the end You yet evoke in me.
Archived comments for Endings


silentmemories on 2004-03-12 15:48:43
Re: Endings
wow, this is so... passionate to say the least! I've read your journal entry as well. great write slovitt, can't get greater!

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-12 16:11:04
Re: Endings
Npoulakida: Thank you very much. I appreciate your reading both poem, and journal, and your generous enthusiasm. Swep

Author's Reply:

Claire on 2004-03-12 16:37:28
Re: Endings
The last one is excellent. This is a great read.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-12 18:01:12
Re: Endings
Claire: Thank you for reading the poem, and for your comments. I appreciate it. Swep

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-03-12 21:22:45
Re: Endings
Wow is it hot in here or is it just you? Great poem....Erma

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2004-03-12 22:58:09
Re: Endings
Just want to endorse all the comments - I ran through here quickly yesterday and rated but had no time to comment -

'Terrific poem. Fast and furious, beautifully written' is my comment.

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2004-03-13 05:15:37
Re: Endings
Yes feelings run deep here and are beautifully expressed...a great read...L

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-13 11:20:54
Re: Endings
Leila: Thank you very much for reading, and commenting. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-13 11:22:31
Re: Endings
Michel: Thanks for your comments. I appreciate your coming back to deliver them. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-13 11:23:57
Re: Endings
Erma: Thank you. I appreciate your reading, and commenting. Swep

Author's Reply:

flash on 2004-03-14 17:42:56
Re: Endings
Funny,civilised and sad, another poem with so many layers of deep observation and emotion, i can hardly do it justice by making any comment on it.

I probably wouldn't or don't know a good poem from a bad one, but i think i'm sure this is one of great quality.

Thanks for sharing it with us.


Alan

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-14 20:32:25
Re: Endings
Alan: You have certainly done it justice with your comments, your willingness to comment. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

OolonColoophid on 2004-03-16 09:36:36
Re: Endings
I thought this was a very good poem. The overall feeling of relations with the one's ex was well captured.

This was my favourite part (I read through it and all the ideas just happened in my head, and it was only in the next section I realised I was reading a poem in my office):

"You, wife, driving the sixty-three miles
From Natchez to Brookhaven,
For the daylight hours of my birthday.
You, wife, though now separated
Three months, believe in remembering.
Called for a present suggestion."

I'm not sure about dividing the poem into three pieces. You might have your own reasons for doing that, but I couldn't quite get them.

A couple of bits I didn't like:

I startle out "Theodore," (it grated to see 'startle' used like that)

Heels cocked
In the frayed chaise,
(No idea what you're describing here...)

Overall, I liked it very much.


Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-17 08:35:22
Re: Endings
OolonColoophid: Thanks for reading and commenting. "Heels cocked/In the frayed chaise" refers to sitting out in the yard in a chaise lounge chair, the kind that folds out and has crisscrossing nylon webbing, and which allows one to stretch out one's legs, or cock one's heels. Swep

Author's Reply:

OolonColoophid on 2004-03-17 09:28:32
Re: Endings
*pictures scene* ahhhhhhhhhhhh...

Author's Reply:

spacegirl on 2004-03-19 15:33:39
Re: Endings
Another beautiful poem and it reads so fluidly (is that a word?)

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-19 16:56:39
Re: Endings
spacegirl: Thank you very much. I appreciate your reading, and saying such a nice thing. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2004-03-22 04:56:50
Re: Endings
Ahhhhhh! Been down this road, myself! Loved the feel of 'time stopped'...waiting for a repeat performance of a show that's been cancelled. Sensual, sad ending. Well done!

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-22 05:06:12
Re: Endings
deepoceanfish2: Thanks for commenting, and for the hot story and hot author picks. I appreciate it all. Swep

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2004-03-22 05:14:01
Re: Endings
A very moving read, difficult to say i enjoyed the sadness running through it, but I did. The last verse is particularly poingnant. Zydha

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-22 05:19:20
Re: Endings
Zydha: Thank you for the comment. I appreciate it. Swep


Author's Reply:

ritawrites on 2004-03-31 14:57:09
Re: Endings
you've captured the heartache -- great read!

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-31 15:23:51
Re: Endings
Rita: Its good to see you on-site again. Thanks for your comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

ritawrites on 2004-03-31 15:31:07
Re: Endings
hi slo -- yeah me too -- hope to be writing and posting again regularly -- cheers!

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2004-04-14 07:46:47
Re: Endings
A lovely poem, sweet and bitter. A timeless subject matter, if the poems we read are anything to go by. (The final section reminds me of that lovely poem by Neruda, 'Tonight I can write the saddest lines...') The trick is to give it a new slant, a new perspective, and you have done this; by the distinctive voice, the inclusion of the personal detail. I think maybe it's your great honesty that gives your poems their special power, well it is to me. The structure: fits well with the subject and the air of reflectivity, although I'm unclear as to why the rhythm changes for section 2, but it doesn't matter, it works well, its personal. The subject matter: too private to comment on. Very touching read. I endorse the 'Great Read' vote, too.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-04-14 07:58:25
Re: Endings
Skeeter: Thanks. Your comments remind me of why I consider you one of my favorite readers. And, of course one of my favorite writers as well. Swep

Author's Reply:

alcarty on 2004-05-16 08:53:24
Re: Endings
I understand a lot of the feelings. Nicely presented; I get more out of the poems like 'Passage' that are more fully expanded. Damn, I don't know poetry or what the terms are, but where the lines are longer! I enjoy the shorter type, too, like this one. I just think there is more imagery, and the scenes are clearer, to me, in the longer style.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-16 09:33:24
Re: Endings
alcarty: Thanks for reading , and your comment suggests you are a prose writer, chiefly a prose reader. What you say about 'Passage' is interesting because it was originally couched in block, prose form, a prose-poem if you will. A friend re-ordered it, and I was surprised to find that in more traditional line lengths I liked it. Nevertheless, I still feel that 'Passage' is uncomfortably close to rich prose. Having digressed, thanks for the comment on 'Endings'.
Swep


Author's Reply:

chrissie on 2004-05-30 11:13:55
Re: Endings
superb companion piece to "passage". i agree that it is your sharing of the personal aspects that gives this it's power and poignancy. i love the depiction of the child, going about its childish business as a love ebbs away. reminded me of woodbine's child in the jesus mother poem. thanks for sharing.

chrissieX

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-30 11:48:39
Re: Endings
chrissie: You've done yeoman duty today. Thank you for your nice comments, and I'm pleased that you've read. Swep

Author's Reply:

tai on 2004-08-29 15:29:14
Re: Endings
Hi Slovitt

A bitter sweet insight into the breakup and makeup of a relationship. This poem has every emotion we try the hardest to submerge. resentment, lust jealousy, anger, regret, acceptance and I could go on. You are obviously a very intuitive and sensitive man to be able to express it so well.

Excellent work

Tai

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-08-29 15:37:56
Re: Endings
Tai: Thank you for a good reading of the poem, and for your nice remarks. I appreciate it. Swep

Author's Reply:

AnthonyEvans on 2005-01-04 16:27:27
Re: Endings
dear swep, a very nice poem.

i disagree with ooloph, i think the poem sits quite well in its three thirds, its three simultaneous yet distinct endings. My favourite line is: 'For the daylight hours of my birthday.'

And yes, i agree with your own comments on Passage to a certain extent; the Borges reference, though apt, feels intrusive (too space consuming) in a poem. best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-04 17:38:36
Re: Endings
Anthony: Thanks. Yes, the poem is three poems, and they are contiguous. I appreciate your delving into my archive, reading, and commenting on this poem. Again, thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:


Married (posted on: 16-02-04)
poem

I tell Jerene over dinner, Seeking only to keep her abreast, 'I am so unhappy. I've never been unhappy before. The time I look forward to Is going to bed. I only want to sleep.' She says, high cheekbones, Eyes a-fire, 'That's pure bullshit. All you want is sex. Maybe after, you want to sleep.' And then, she spears A fried oyster, pops it into her mouth, And I swear, it was screaming.
Archived comments for Married
barenib on 2004-02-16 08:15:42
Re: Married
I'm not sure you should let your wife see this one... I enjoyed it however, it made me laugh - conjures up quite an image of the two of you. John.

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-02-16 08:35:55
Re: Married
That is a great discription of marriage...lol Erma

Author's Reply:

spacegirl on 2004-02-16 08:48:32
Re: Married
I think that sums a long term relationship very well, we seem to communicate less & I know towards the end I was much less sympathetic

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-16 14:27:35
Re: Married
John: Thanks for reading, and commenting. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-16 14:28:32
Re: Married
Erma: Thank you. I'm glad you came by. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-16 14:30:33
Re: Married
spacegirl: That's the trick, the long-term relationship. Thanks for commenting. Swep

Author's Reply:

RobertChiswick on 2004-02-16 15:31:08
Re: Married
Ouch - there's always an oyster and a fork handy to make the point isn't there? Nice one!

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-16 19:34:43
Re: Married
RobertChiswick: I did recognize the oyster, but only after the piece was written. Thanks for the comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

bektron on 2004-02-17 06:41:04
Re: Married
Brilliant!-bek

Author's Reply:

OolonColoophid on 2004-02-17 11:33:23
Re: Married
I enjoyed this poem. For me the first part was the best - the prosody (I know it's a poem ๐Ÿ™‚ is beautiful, and there's a kind of desperate confession thing goin' on. The second was good, but slightly marred by 'flashing eyes', which, for me, borders on cliche - and I think cliche jumps out a bit more in poetry than it does in prose.

This reminds me of a couple of poems I've read recently in Ted Hughes's 'Birthday Letters' - a sense of entrapment, failed communication, and good use of metaphor (like your oyster here: normally a symbol of aphrodisia, it is skewered and killed by the wife). Great poem.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-17 19:15:44
Re: Married
bektron: Thanks for reading and commenting. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-17 19:15:45
Re: Married
bektron: Thanks for reading and commenting. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-17 19:15:45
Re: Married
bektron: Thanks for reading and commenting. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-17 19:19:38
Re: Married
Ooloncoloophid: Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I appreciate your reading. Swep

Author's Reply:

Gee on 2004-02-18 02:41:58
Re: Married
Lack of communication certainly does kill off the romance, doesn't it?
I liked the simple way you tell this. It makes it really hit home.

Author's Reply:

woodbine on 2004-02-18 12:30:41
Re: Married
It's true that couples do send coded messages all the time that would appear to be saying one thing and are actually saying something completely different. I didn't believe the narrator's story by line two, which isn't a record but comes close.

I tried marriage once, (nineteen years) and found it over-rated and very expensive to get out of. My current partner (seventeen years) is the light of my life, and somehow we never get round to it (marriage that is).

Thoughtful poem. Made me stop and think.
Kind regards,
John

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-20 09:57:26
Re: Married
Gee: Thank you for reading, and your comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-20 10:09:49
Re: Married
John: Thanks for reading. You are right, of course, about coded messages, and their being the typical way that we communicate. Swep

Author's Reply:

RoseRed on 2004-02-20 20:14:28
Re: Married
Well, this was definitely an enjoyable read. Poor oyster! Makes me remember why I am no longer married. LOL

RR

Author's Reply:

richa on 2004-02-21 04:19:36
Re: Married
The frustration of the narrator came out clearly. And the indifference of his wife too. I think the last 3 lines sum up their relationship nicely.

Author's Reply:

flash on 2004-02-21 05:39:48
Re: Married
I'm not sure this is one of your better efforts Swep,i'm not able to articulate my problem with it but it just seems to be lacking something.

Usually your work leaves thinking for a while, or puts an image of the piece in my head that i can't shift.....this didn't for some reason.

But it was light and amusing.......maybe that's what threw me.

alan

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-21 15:28:58
Re: Married
RoseRed: Thank you for your comments, and for reading. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-21 15:32:08
Re: Married
richa: It does sum up the relationship... at times. This poem is meant to be the first part of a three poem set, the second being 'Your Green Eyes', and the third, "You Were Good.' Thanks for your comments. Swep


Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-21 15:39:10
Re: Married
Alan: Thanks for your comment. I think the poem may find more favor with you if you read my comment to richa which sees the poem as the first part of a three poem set, and names 'Your Green Eyes' and 'You Were Good' as the concluding parts.
In any case, I'm glad for your remarks, and appreciate your reading. Swep

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-03-12 15:56:30
Re: Married
So it was screaming, then it was a great moment! oh, what a great moment, that's why I envy husbands! bravo slovitt, you've captured this perfectly! that's what this kind of poetry is all about, I'm afraid/glad to be afraid/afraid of being so glad, to capture images that no camera can trace! The untraceable side!

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-12 16:25:03
Re: Married
Npoulakida: I have just replied to your comments on 'Endings", though I didn't see the notice pop up on latest comments. Beyond that, thanks for the strong words about 'Married'. Your energy and enthusiasm are gratifying, and infectious. Swep

Author's Reply:

ritawrites on 2004-04-03 20:55:53
Re: Married
poor slimy li'l oyster -- doesna like to be fried and speared, does he?

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-04-04 16:12:37
Re: Married
Rita: Actually I think the oyster in question wasn't slimy at all, and had enjoyed vitality up until the point of his unfortunate demise. But you're right, he doesna like the frying and spearing. I like your comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

Dazza on 2005-04-13 09:42:55
Re: Married
Did the oyter's aphrodisiac qualities produc? That night did some horizontal jogging take place despite the scathing attack on men that think with their penii and turn into coma-toast straight after a wrestle? Dazpacho.

Author's Reply:

dogfrog on 2005-04-13 09:54:07
Re: Married
I find this really quite spooky. A couple of thoughts: I was wondering about the effectivness of addressing the poem directly to the wife. Secondly, rather than a fried oyster, i wonder if by personalising it and making it a little oyster or some such, the oyster engages the readers sympathies even more, (not that it needs it). Quite brilliant.

Well done Swep, I felt horrified.

df

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-04-13 14:24:31
Re: Married
Dazza: Part of the problem for a lifetime was that I didn't have much need of oysters or anything else to be in the nude for love. The attack, as perceived by the husband, was symbolic, and real, though I must say that I'm not one of the coma-toast ones, as I've enjoyed preludes, and afterludes, the whole kit-and-kaboodle. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-04-13 14:28:40
Re: Married
dogfrog: This is a small poem, but I hope a solid one, as it fits as part of a rough sequence that finishes my book with uka, 'Married' being preceded by 'Passage', and followed by 'Your Green Eyes' and 'You Were Good.' Thanks for your comments, they're thoughtful and interactive. Swep

Author's Reply:


Of Jeremy, Age 2 (posted on: 02-02-04)
2nd son, now an art student in Boston

My 5 a.m. shower done,
Exiting the bathroom door,

And an intruder stares,
His blond head centering my
Pillow, squinting
At the sudden light.

Not to wake my wife,
On her side, breathing evenly,
I growl softly,
'WHO COMES TO MY BED?'

He smiles, then gray
Eyes closing, turns his face
Away,
Through darkness

Drifting loved toward day.
Archived comments for Of Jeremy, Age 2
ritawrites on 2004-02-02 05:27:18
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
so beautiful – I remember my son’s first smile of recognition – it’s imprinted in my mind like a photograph –

Author's Reply:

chant on 2004-02-02 05:48:55
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
i agree, a beautiful one.

Author's Reply:

Jack_Cade on 2004-02-02 07:02:35
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
Think you're heading into dangerous territory with poems about family members, but you pull it off here! Very strong scenario, immediately immediate, sensitively poised. Only at the word 'loved' did I sense a veer towards mawkish, but I *was* approaching it over-sensitively, fearful of horrors...



Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-02 07:31:56
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
Thanks Rita. I appreciate your commenting. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-02 07:33:22
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
Chant: Thanks. There's an ease about you in your poetry, and your commentary, that's attractive. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-02 07:41:09
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
Jack_Cade: Mawkish, and sentimental, are failures of feeling, and when present in art, are attributable to that rather than the writing, though they show up in the latter. What richer area to mine than family members, personal relationships.
I appreciate your comments, and must admit to having, typically, your same reservations about such territory. Swep

Author's Reply:

Jack_Cade on 2004-02-02 08:02:16
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
Hmm. Mawkishness is a tricky one - there's that Wilde quote they have on UKA - "All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling." Rings a chord with me, in that I feel mawkishness is more an inability to convey feeling appropriately, rather than a failure of feeling itself. The reason I picked on 'loved' was because such words in poetry (like 'pain', 'sweet', 'joy') often strain under the weight of too much genuine feeling, are thus over-used and prone to looking cliched. We know, for example, that most teen angst poetry emerges from real confusion and frustration, but that doesn't stop it feeling a bit silly when you get lines like "I lie on a bed of anguished nails." There's nothing really wrong with 'loved', as I said, but it was the one point of the poem which recalled (simply through the use of that word,) similarly themed, but badly handled poetry, and lines like, "My dear, sweet child, so innocent and loved." Bleugh!

I think the danger with talking about loved ones is that there's just too much feeling to convey. Like fire, a good servant (if you can stick to 'mining') but a poor master (if the feelings demand to be conveyed.)

Author's Reply:

chant on 2004-02-02 10:30:26
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
yes, i have to say i agree with Jack. i think you should strike out 'loved' - the sense of love is already present in the gentle tone of the poem; to explicitly state it seems superfluous.

Author's Reply:

bektron on 2004-02-02 13:53:07
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
my little boy is two just now and I can so relate to this.thanks-bek

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-02 17:38:27
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
bektron: Thanks for your comments. Swep

Author's Reply:

britgrrl on 2004-02-02 21:36:02
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
Another exquisitely wrought cameo of a special moment, all the more touching because you describe your speaker's interaction with a very young child. And the ending is so masterful in that this is exactly the kind of loving security and certainty a child of this age wants and needs.


He smiles, then gray
Eyes closing, turns his face
Away,
Through darkness

Drifting loved toward day.

I find the use of 'loved' in this context very apt, and not at all cliched.

But have you ever considered reversing the first two lines? When I did that in my head, the 'action', for me, seemed to flow more smoothly. Just a thought. A very pleasing poem. Shelagh

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-03 04:51:15
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
Shelagh: Thanks. Your commentary always has the feel of interaction, the highest compliment I can offer to a reader. And, even as Auden envisoned his ideal reader as someone who would recognize and comment on intricate metrical schemes, so my ideal reader, or readers, would simply interact, and articulately share it. I agree on "loved", and think if you reverse the 1st two lines you remove the speaker from the action by a line. Again, thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

RoseRed on 2004-02-06 22:15:34
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
I find this work almost perfect. I too remember my children coming to my bed and we would play before the day started. I remember every giggle and hug and smile. There can never be too much love anywhere in a family. Now it has carried over to my grandchildren when they visit because they do it with their parents. It is a natural succession of family traditions. Love and hugs and smiles are the greatest traditions in my family. RR

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-07 08:34:01
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
RoseRed: Thank you for reading, and for your comments. I appreciate them. Swep

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2004-02-07 10:55:58
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
This is well written!

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-07 13:30:42
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
Penprince: Thank you for reading, and the nice comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2004-02-09 05:16:23
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
This is lovely Swep. I can appreciate the feelings, my own little boy has much the same effect on me. What i like is the economy of language, with use of such words/constructions as 'exiting' and 'centering', which seem to conflate the images to something immediately apprehensible, and, crucially, at a level other than thought. And I'm all for that. Personally, I feel the word 'loved' is right in this context: because you are telling a truth, that IS how it is, whereas mawkishness, I feel, conveys a sense of utilising emotion for reasons that are not always there (if that makes sense). I can see the point, but in this case, it is your truthfulnes that comes through, and that is what matters, and indeed, what makes the poem a thing of beauty and joy.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-09 05:44:29
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
Skeeter: Thanks for your comments. They are, as usual, thoughtful and succinct. I appreciate it. Swep

Author's Reply:

Faerie on 2004-02-22 10:50:39
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
thoughts like this make me look forward to having children of my own.. i'm just curious as to why you chose to place the speech in capitals..? but i disagree about the use of the word 'loved' .. the last line carries the whole point of the poem in that one word (in my opinion)..

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-22 11:10:03
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
Faerie: Thanks for reading. The speech is in capitals because I'm inept at coming up with italics on my computer. And capitals has been standard for years for those without a way to italicize. I think you're right about 'loved' and have left it in place. Thanks again, Swep

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-03-12 15:59:37
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
I haven't the faintest idea about sons and daughters, but this doesn't keep me from appreciating the delicate atmosphere that surrounds this poem. A good read.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-13 11:27:41
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
NP: Thank you. 'The delicate atmosphere' is praise. Swep

Author's Reply:

alcarty on 2004-05-16 08:56:39
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
You bring it back for me. Long time ago, but the memories return. I suppose that is what poets do. Well done.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-16 09:27:11
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
alcarty: Thanks for getting into an older posting. I appreciate your reading, and commenting. Swep

Author's Reply:

flash on 2004-05-16 10:02:45
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
Hi Swep

Made me smile,but me being who i am full of mischief i might have been tempted to tease the reader with a different title and slightly altered wording in the opening, to fool them into thinking the intruder was initially somebody else completely different to a two year old son...if you get my drift.

But that might be a different poem altogether.


Alan

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-16 10:18:56
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
Alan: I think you probably would've used a different title. But you are right, you are talking about a different poem. My whole approach to this business of poetry is to write as simply, as directly, as clearly as possible. And if there's enough substance, enough emotion, then one has a poem.
I'm glad to bring a smile to your face, and thanks for the comment. Swep

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-02-26 14:45:09
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
Really beautiful. I don't know how but I did not read either the title or the explanatory line and so did in fact wonder who was coming as Alan suggests. That actually added rather than detracted from the effect. I'd certainly retain 'loved'. And why on earth should we not write about those close to us; these are the feelings we know best. Pushkin did say he wrote about love only after it had grown cold, but then he was not much of a family man.
Daff

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-27 22:55:33
Re: Of Jeremy, Age 2
Daff: Yes 'loved' is, and will remain, firmly in place.
And of course the richest area available to us is that of personal relationships. It's the writing that fails, not the subject matter, if there is a problem with a poem. Apparently you like the Russians, and I do too. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:


Jerene: Wanting A Girl (posted on: 23-01-04)
poem

1.Jerene, pregnant
A third, and last time,
And this time
The birth breech.

Out walking late
In a cold, fine mist,
I angle to read
My watch,

And the blurred hands
Say NOW,
WE ARE OUT OF TIME,
TURN, BABY, TURN.

I turn home.
A child in darkness
Drifts.
May all be alright.

2.A big girl!
10 lbs. to the ounce!
So big a collar
Bone breaks.
Jerene's face,
At the boys' births,
Glowed. Yet Erin
Is something more.
As the Doctor
Lofted
Our daughter,
Jerene on elbows
Rose. In her joy,
At HER child,
For the first time
I see my wife.

Archived comments for Jerene: Wanting A Girl
britgrrl on 2004-01-23 20:56:05
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
I really like this. A sensitive piece, and a unusual conceit in that the speaker is a man. It is rare, I think, for man or woman to so completely take on the perspective of the other, especially when that perspective is from childbirth, which the man can share only vicariously. Surely, all women who have given birth will find this poem deeply affective.

Technically, I was struck by the several repetitions of time and turn in the first four stanzas, a skillfully placed emphasis to create the sense of urgency involved. And in an important way, the time and turn factors come into sharp relief in the ending lines, too. The meaning of them emerges, for me, when the speaker turns his inner eye to see through that of his wife, and acknowledges that this special moment in time is hers.

Never thought I'd EVER say this to you, Swep, but wonder if you might not need a comma after ' So big'? *smile*

I don't know why, but I'm seeing poems all over the place in the last few days that are devoid of nibs when I think they deserve to be singled out as Great Reads. This is one of them. Cleanly, and beautifully told, Swep. Shelagh



Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-01-23 21:38:10
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
You are such a good girl. And one who gets into, invests a lot of time, in the poetry of others to their benefit, if they'd listen. I listen, though I'm hard-headed, but not foolish. You are one of the ones who can help, and only if you'd be as pliable vis-a- vis your own work. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2004-01-24 10:53:20
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
Hi Slovitt. Unusual style but very effective. You took me back a few years to the birth of our three children - each one with a unique memory. Good poetry.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-01-24 11:03:33
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
Hello Shackleton: Thanks for your comments. As for the style, well it really is the thing presented in as spare a language as possible, seeking an essence, trying to offer something that can be interacted with. Again, thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

discopants on 2004-01-24 11:14:57
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
I liked the style of this. It adds a sense of urgency in the first half of the poem.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-01-24 11:36:30
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
Hello discopants: Thanks for reading, and commenting. I appreciate it. Swep

Author's Reply:

marym on 2004-01-24 15:01:50
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
"TURN, BABY, TURN. I turn home."... Good line of thought with that "turn". Is there a difference for the "longing" parents about the "sex" of the child?... There is always... Your poem did make think about related issues... Interesting work.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-01-24 15:58:37
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
marym: Thanks. The history was two boys, 6 and 8, playing sports and doing well, and Jerene wanting to try one more time to have a girl. Unfortunately, less than a week before the due date, the baby hadn't turned, and we were looking at a breech birth. Thanks again. Swep

Author's Reply:

barenib on 2004-01-25 14:14:29
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
I don't have children, so am happy to take your words, so to speak, on this one. I admire the 'turn baby turn' section - as Britgrrl says, conveys the urgency very well. J.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-01-25 16:27:29
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
John: Thanks for reading. If one doesn't have children, very often they feel they've missed something. If one does, then very often they feel they could've done without. It may be insoluble.
In any case, with children one makes oneself more vulnerable than ever before, especially tricky since it's on the part of another human being, who as he/she ages becomes less and less under our influence. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

spacegirl on 2004-01-27 05:02:33
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
A while ago I questioned whether a man could write about childbirth from a woman's point of view. You've answered that.

Jerene's face,
At the boys' births,
Glowed. Yet Erin
Is something more
As the Doctor
Lofted
Our daughter,
Jerene on elbows
Rose. In her joy,
At HER child,
For the first time
I see my wife.

That really brought tears to my eyes because I know exactly how that feels. I can only say well done & you have proved me wrong ๐Ÿ™‚



Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-01-27 05:41:40
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
spacegirl: Thank you. That's warm praise. Swep

Author's Reply:

woodbine on 2004-01-27 13:45:30
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
A very good-hearted poem. Not so many modern poems make you feel better; at least, mine don't. The line "at HER child" did make pause to remember that my then wife always called the boys hers when they behaved and mine they didn't.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-01-27 15:14:23
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
John: Thanks for the kind words. This is one of those poems that one writes to flesh out the story of one's life. Again, thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Sabrina on 2004-01-27 18:03:40
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
I was moved by the simplicity of this poem. The images of night sky, hospital birthing room, and mother and child came easily into focus
Now I have one suggestion...get ready to slaughter me folks...I would either put a line ending after the word 'rose' and start 'in her joy' on a new line instead of using the enjambment shown, or use a small case letter for the word rose to imply a verb. It was a smooth easy read up to that point but I got stuck on the word Rose thinking it was also the name of the baby, or a relative in the room. It stood out more than "Erin" because of that capital. So what my mouth said upon reading this was "Rose in her joy,". It is an excellent poem and should be nominated. Ciao

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-01-27 19:54:14
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
Sabrina: Thanks for your comments. Over the years I 'm not sure I've come to the best way to answer the way "rose" struck your eye. I guess I can only say that the previous line of "Jerene on elbows" would hopefully lead into the enjambed "rose" without difficulty. After all, there is a period after "Rose." And "In her joy," starts anew. In any case, my tendency is to respond to anyone interested enough to comment, which I have done. Your initial forays into commentary on this site have shown talent and I look forward to reading your work. Thanks again. Swep

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2004-01-27 22:10:23
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
Just to jump in with no credentials - I remembered there was a point like that, that I stumbled on - so looked back, and saw how very distracting it is.

Imagining Rose in lower case, it becomes a smooth and extremely effective lead-in, I think to the final line - adds vital power to 'In her joy.' Unfortunately, the word Rose has too many possible meanings, and although 'on elbows rose' makes perfect sense in lower case, when Rose is capitalised the sentence does not, at first glance, make sense. Take the point that there is a period, but you have to go back and think about it, then come into the 'In her joy' slightly enervated when you should be at the peak of interest.
(Don't know how else to put it - but I do AGREE VERY STRONGLY WITH THIS POINT. I hope you will ask your qualified readers, consider this SERIOUSLY before you on haunches Rise.
(Joke! just illustration, as I this point
Mark).
It is absolutely vital that your final 'In her joy...' comes in fresh and unimpeded IMO and having Rose is a block to this, no matter that it is consistent in that you capitalise on each line; the reader does not analyse in this way.)

Hope this is not TOO intrusive! Of course, I admire and like this poem very much indeed - but thought I should not distract from what I wanted to say.
Best wishes
Michel





Author's Reply:

Sabrina on 2004-01-28 00:12:57
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
UH huh, I saw the period too late because I was so engrossed in the images (have given birth three times) so I had to go back and decipher, so it was like looking through a window and watching a beautiful scene when suddenly something fuzzy and dark gets in your way and ya crane your neck to get around hoping ya didn't miss anything. Then when it does come into focus it's anti climatic. The other translation my mind zoomed to (cause this all happened in a split second) was that Rose described the cheeks of your wife 'cause we just get that rosey sweaty glow after childbirth (actually I was always ashen and pale) The other thing I noticed upon further inspection is that the verb 'Lofted' occupies its own niche, which emphasizes the upward movement, and I did think that Rose would compliment it and balance the form of the poem. This is the kind of criticism I like to get because visual form is important to me. It really highlights important moments and rising to look at that beautiful gift for the first time. well. we all remember that i(f we're not out cold). Anyway in my own poems I can be a little like "I love Lucy" reshuffling words and still not sure, but in other peoples stuff it's much easier. Actually I rather enjoy reading poetry more than writing, any day. Well this poem was very important to me and that is why I bothered to venture an opinion. Now I would say "Ask your wife", and thank you very much for the compliment you bestowed on me!

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-01-28 05:14:16
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
Michel: Thanks for reading, and it's duly noted that you share the reservation over "Rose" that Sabrina had. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-01-28 05:23:47
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
Sabrina: I must thank you again for the time, and energy you've given to the poem, and the point about "Jerene on elbows/Rose. In her joy,"/. I too am interested in visual form, and a standard suggestion I make for those not interested in strictly formal poetry, is that they give a rough structure to their work with syllabics, and visual line length, the shape of the poem on the page.
In any case, thanks for your attention. Swep

Author's Reply:

Gee on 2004-01-29 04:53:11
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
As the mother of a much longed for daughter-my only child- this made me smile.
I liked the fact that this was written from a man's perspective. And I liked the realistion that, for Jerene, this birth was something so very special.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-01-29 07:56:23
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
Gee: Thank you for your comments, which made me smile. Swep

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-03-12 16:04:32
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
So, yes indeed, a poem about women, perhaps the women of the poet's life. Oh, the agony, that "turn baby turn" etc. really made me see the whole picture! A good read.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-13 11:32:38
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
NP: Thank you. Your comment about 'the whole picture' would be gratifying to any writer. Swep

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-02-26 14:30:01
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
Very interesting poem. I think the emotional effect on fathers is often not thought about. I liked the ending especially. Incidentally I would certainly give Rose a line to itself. I too fell over it. Whereas if there was a break, that would let the rhyme play better. Anyway it's a lovely poem and you should ignore all suggestions if you wish; I almost never change anything for what someone suggests, so who am I to tell you what you should do?
Daff

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-27 23:15:04
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
Daff: Thank you for the nice remarks. I'm open to suggestions but also not prey to them. Some have thought, I'm sure, that at times I'm stubborn about my work but most of the pieces posted here, particularly those before last August, were written 1996 and before, sometimes much before. As was my custom at the time I went through at least many dozens (this is not exaggeratory) of versions of every piece worthy of being saved. My poem 'Gauguin', 54 lines, was at different times 8 to 12 pages, and I have over 400 pages of manuscript on that one poem. Anyway, you didn't ask any of that, but let me say again that I appreciate your reading, and your opinions I take as valid, and to be entertained. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Dazza on 2005-03-14 10:49:16
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
Exist. You give the simultaneous perspective of naiveity and great wisdom all at once, tinged as always with meloncauliflowers.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-03-14 18:14:58
Re: Jerene: Wanting A Girl
Dazza: When I believed in things I played with everything everyone said, fucking with the language, pushing and twisting it, generally humorous, often bawdy. Your energy suggests hope, and for you, and for that, I'm glad. Thanks for reading, commenting, and the hot story designation. By the way, I really like meloncauliflowers. Swep

Author's Reply:


Your Green Eyes (posted on: 16-01-04)
poem

Sex IS the relationship. An intimate note, perfume, The transfer of a fistful Of wildflowers: All the better for both Of us. But always it must Come down to your Wanting me inside you, Ensheathed, held tight. Afterwards, we may go out, To food, and music, And the philosophic night. And yet, as we talk, Intertwining fingers, Your green eyes, prowling, Getting hungry again.
Archived comments for Your Green Eyes
barenib on 2004-01-16 07:19:26
Re: Your Green Eyes
Simply and beautifully written - excellent poem. J.

Author's Reply:

britgrrl on 2004-01-16 18:44:12
Re: Your Green Eyes
Couldn't agree more with the Great Read status and barenib's opinion that this is a beautifully conceived poem. Evokes a longing for such a relationship in one's own life. Very skilled write.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-01-16 19:49:50
Re: Your Green Eyes
John: Thank you. I appreciate your reading, and
your comments. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-01-16 19:53:04
Re: Your Green Eyes
Shelagh: Thanks. You are one of those special readers, even as is John, and others, whom I am pleased to read my poems, and doubly pleased if they like what find. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

ritawrites on 2004-01-17 02:49:12
Re: Your Green Eyes
Mmm.. been the green eyes.. it can be quite an emotional state of being all by itself..

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-01-17 04:49:10
Re: Your Green Eyes
Rita: I believe you. Thanks for reading the poem, and for interacting. Swep

Author's Reply:

Gee on 2004-01-21 05:46:43
Re: Your Green Eyes
Simply but beautifully put. I like this very much.
~ Gillian

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-01-21 07:27:09
Re: Your Green Eyes
Gillian: Thanks for reading, and for your comments. It's always a pleasure when a fiction writer comes by. Swep

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-02-22 10:32:02
Re: Your Green Eyes
Breathless. beautiful poem.....Erma

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-22 10:39:17
Re: Your Green Eyes
Erma: Thank you. I appreciate it. Swep

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-03-12 16:15:11
Re: Your Green Eyes
Green eyes, the mirror of the relationship, sex is reflecting it's philosophical side in those green eyes. Of course it's getting hungry again, interwining fingers, "it must come down to your wanting me inside of you". Perfect eyes, perfect poem. (why don't you change philosophic into philosophical, leave the night, the night is the best thing in this poem, it's the sense datum I dare say...)

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-17 20:14:17
Re: Your Green Eyes
silentmemories: Our disguises shift. But then how could one be anxious enough to disguise oneself?
My notion of interacting with a poem, you provide. Philosophic sounds right to me. I knew I hadn't responded to this one, so now do. Swep

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-03-17 20:58:50
Re: Your Green Eyes
Well I'm glad you responded and I'm willing to provide more interaction if you want. So here is some more:

Philosophic I think personifies the night, whereas if you have written philosophical it would have meant that you and the lady were responsible for any philosphical nocturnal tendencies, get it? and you say quite clearly in the poem "to food, and music" (now imagine philosophic food, or philosophic music oh, no... )
( imagine one more thing, what was more special, the night or the passionate disposition of the poet and the lovely lady - intellectual talking included. it is the two of you that talk and make the night philosophical, not the other way round. I think there is a difference, very subtle difference between philosphical and philosophic. )

Our disguises shift you said, are you implying something? are you trying to make me see something I haven't seen about this particular poem? or is it about something beyond this poem?

I am an expert in saying things that apply to all occasions and all possible scenarios, in fact I have invented a term just for you: obscure perspiquity so here you are:

Disguises either shift closer to each other or closer to reality, so there is no need to be anxious about anything. After all you say: I am what I am.

Silent.

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-03-17 21:29:51
Re: Your Green Eyes
philosphical~ of, devoted to, guided by philosophy.
a philosophical night - a night of philosophy, devoted to philosophy or guided by philosophy.

philosphic *means* like a philosopher, which makes the night the real philospher and not the two of you. if that's what you want to say, then OK. but then you should rephrase the poem and take that philosophic night away from "food and music" to create the effect you wanted.

Nicoletta.

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2004-03-17 22:32:54
Re: Your Green Eyes
Apart from that, there is something more restful, more melodic, about the sounds and nuances of 'philosophical'. (As I see it: people (not the night itself) spending an evening in a philosophical mode; browsing through thoughts with philosophical resignation, melding into a mutual musing imbued with that breadth of outlook that distingishes the philosphic mind...) Now that silent explains it, I can see why the 'philosophic night' struck me as somewhat detached but regulatory, like a Department of Philosophy overseeing and machinating the events of the night.
Interesting!



Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-03-18 00:58:14
Re: Your Green Eyes
Furthermore now that I think of it, the *motto* of the poem Sex IS the relationship would be an *intellectually invalid* part of the poem because of a philosophic night and not a philosophical night! permit me to explain

Because if a philosophic night, which you are using to prove us [or you claim you (or both of you) proved her (or each other)] that sex IS the relationship, is in fact a night that is ad hoc the philosopher that means one thing Swep, that sex is not the relationship but the philosophy of the relationship- the afterthought of the night!

Why do I focus on the night? first of all the night is the time when "sex" has been *scheduled poetically* to reappear and you for some reason led us quite cleverly to think that after the intellectual conversation during the night more love-making is likely to take place (hence my sense datum theory). so far so good, but

!!You made clear with that "again" that sex PRIMARILY didn't need anything else but two people hungry for each other leaving us no other option but to believe on which thing exactly will this relationship be based afterwards. Then you reveal that it's your(pl) conversational powers (along with the food & the music) what will make her want you Come down to your Wanting me inside you TO HAPPEN AGAIN. Perhaps you also need a stimulating conversation with her to actually want her to want you (this is an obscure side of the poem - we only know what she likes/needs to be stimulated - perhaps all you need is her green eyes...)

I say you try to prove that sex is the relationship based on a philosophic night (wrong term in my opinion) because you have led the protagonistic couple to a resignation to philosophy just to say "hungry again", so you use philosophy as a means to extract your motto (perhaps only to penetrate her logic)! surely the night is philosophical and not philosophic then! I have already explained why a philosophic night is dangerous for the poem whereas a philosophical one would prove your theory right [ that sex after you two have discussed various subjects, ended up in bed making love again, WAS SOMETHING IRREVERSIBLY DOMINANT THAT SIMPLY MASTERED A NIGHT DEVOTED TO PHILOSOPHY and had led both of you to sensual/sexual methods of communication.]

The bottom line is:
By saying a philosophic night you mean that if sex happens again it's because you have decided (or helped her decide by giving her what she needs) it's the philosophy of the relationship and not the relationship itself and by saying the night is philosophical you would prove sex is the relationship because you two discussed AND USED intellectually and philosophically the night to become hungry again.

(of course there is another side of the poem, but I'm reluctant to discuss it)

As Michel points out, you can't avoid this feeling of "overseeing and machinating" too and I agree with him that there is something restful and melodic in philosophical.

Very, very interesting!! kept my mind off the earthquakes so it IS a thought-provoking read of great interactive potential. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-18 07:33:41
Re: Your Green Eyes
NAP: Sex is the thing that brings men and women together, in the most basic sense. It is the relationship that men have to women, and women to men. Not sexual activity so much as the biological imperative, to join, and procreate. As in a balanced mathematical equation, a sex on each side, and there you have it. I dare say without it, and a population dumped on an island, one would find the men living on one side, drinking and climbing trees and chasing boars, and the women on the other side... well you get it. As for the treatise on philosophic vs. philosophical, well philosophic sounds better to me. I am glad that this question was able to divert you and take your mind off of earthquakes. Swep

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-03-18 09:17:36
Re: Your Green Eyes
Though I disagree with you regarding your island theory and I'm against any "most basic senses that derive from biological imperatives" and since as I said there is another side of the poem, well according to your beliefs and that other side, you are right you must keep philosophic.
Thank you SL.

Nicoletta

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2004-03-18 10:16:56
Re: Your Green Eyes
I like to think we are all mad. I know I am.
(I mean 'mad' in the - more pedantic please! - sense of 'chaotic, ever-changing intermingling of senses and instincts')
I know a lot of old women who are guys and a lot of matter-of-fact fix-it-before-breakfast women...
Some of the most feminine-seeming women are the most tense and determined; some of the most guy-looking guys just want to eat ice cream from a bowl and watch Oprah.
(The guys on the island idea is interesting, though ... reminds me of that old black and white Douglas Fairbanks Sr. film 'Mr Robinson Crusoe' where he - a pampered playboy - bets he can survive for a year on a primitive island without the comforts of civilization - and swims from his yacht to one. He does amazingly well, finding food, water, building impressive house on stilts and all kinds of furniture; creates his own private work force of animals, with his pet monkey milking a captured goat, the goat operating a treadmill under the supervision of the dog, a tortoise slowly turning a water wheel - building his own 18-hole golf course with his monkey trained to bring him drinks at the '19th hole', making his own radio out of a couple of coconuts - and he is generally happy as a clam. Of course, if he had been one of the schoolboys in Lord of the Flies it might have turned out differently...)
( Philosophically speaking, hard to say about islands, don't you think?)
('Philosophic night' does have a crisp sound to it. Like the Knights of the Round Table. Not that this is pertinent in any sense but I just can't make up my mind, me...whether the two are destined to dichotomy or may reach across to meet in the night...)

Oh be quiet Michel!
(Sorry - he does go on, I'll kump him in the kiff and take over. I like your beautiful poem very much, Swep, think it sweeps the reader in and leaves he/him/her uneasy but mesmerised. I didn't notice the philosophy in it - I'm like that - but loved the palava.
Mickey
Michel's Germane brother)




Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-18 10:38:57
Re: Your Green Eyes
Michel: You do have a free-associational/glibly spieling style that gets a lot out. And that's an advantage i.e. to be able to tap into it, and go.
I appreciate your comments, and your time on this poem, as well as in past commentaries. NAP is a smart girl, and there's always a lot of truth in her analysis and intuitions. I often call my poems simple things, and they are, though if a piece is created truly, then as with the rest of the interpreted world, one may get different takes by a reader, commensurate with what said reader brings to the poem. Thanks for reading, and if NAP reads this, thanks to both of you for so much energy. Swep

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-03-24 12:43:07
Re: Your Green Eyes
Just a quick note to say I have read this and thank you too for the good and original poem.

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-02-26 15:20:42
Re: Your Green Eyes
Just beautiful. No other comment except to me 'philosophic night' sounds fine.
Daff

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-02-27 22:28:23
Re: Your Green Eyes
Daff: I've been out of town the past three days, and am pleased to see that you've read and commented on several pieces from my archive. Thank you for the remark on 'Your Green Eyes', a piece I like and am glad you did also. Swep

Author's Reply:

Dazza on 2005-04-05 23:20:48
Re: Your Green Eyes
Now that is worth writing about! What a feeling, send in the endorphins this clown wants to ride the unicycle of love...Dazz.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-04-06 14:58:00
Re: Your Green Eyes
Dazza: I am glad to see you've visited, but the dolphin will have to remain in his tank in the backyard, though I'm training him for longer and longer periods out of water (to mow the yard, weed the azalea beds, etc.). As yet he's not ready for a permanent exchange of liquid for gaseous.
Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

woodbine on 2005-04-13 15:11:05
Re: Your Green Eyes
Dear Swep,
I followed the link in a recent comment box to Married, which I remembered well, and read the comments, and from there came to Your Green Eyes, and I still haven't read all the comments, but I must say they do show how readers comments have since then become much less intellectual stimulating than they were even a short while ago. It's such a shame that we lose all that in an anthology. Your work stirs up such a variety of response. Write on!!
John

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-04-13 17:38:39
Re: Your Green Eyes
John: There is currently a lower level of spirited exchange on poems than there was a year to a year-and-a-half ago, even as you say. Perhaps, it's just an ebb and flow. Thanks for reading 'Married' and 'Your Green Eyes.' Even as we speak details of my life are changing irrevocably, and it is with a mixture of sadness and exhiliration that I approach the days ahead. Finally, as for stirring up response, well your own poetry gets 'em all talking itself. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:


Somewhere in Tennessee (posted on: 01-12-03)
poem

A gum tree suspends
Thousands of spiny balls
By stems.

The balls rock,
In a snowy wind,
Counting time.

There are a limited number
Of such trees on the planet.
I cannot disclose
To you my location
So delicate
Is the balance.
Archived comments for Somewhere in Tennessee
Skeeter on 2003-12-03 14:40:49
Re: Somewhere in Tennessee
So how come there are no comments yet? This is a difficult one, I need to grab at meaning; or perhaps its better not to; after all, perhaps thats the point; its an epiphanic moment which goes beyond a definition. The sense of isolation, need to be apart from things, fear that the present moment will slip away if words atre spoken. I will let it stay inme a while and think again. I liked this a lot Swep.

Author's Reply:

bluepootle on 2003-12-04 03:36:57
Re: Somewhere in Tennessee
The delicate balance - the purity of form in the poem, the precisely chosen words... all come together to form a feeling of something quite precious, to me. It's not enough to be told something is rare. This poem makes me feel it; I like it enormously.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-12-04 05:28:52
Re: Somewhere in Tennessee
Skeeter: Thanks. You are a very good reader, and as such, in addition to your status as first to comment, I appreciate your response. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-12-04 05:35:25
Re: Somewhere in Tennessee
Bluepootle: I appreciate your comments, which give me the feel of a bright, sensitive intelligence out there, one that I'm pleased to have read my poem. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2004-02-22 10:50:30
Re: Somewhere in Tennessee
I know where the gum trees are and I won't tell anyone. Wonderful poem you shure can say a lot in just a few words...Erma

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-02-22 11:13:53
Re: Somewhere in Tennessee
Erma: Thanks, and I appreciate your not disclosing the location of the trees. And thanks for making this a 'Hot Story'. Swep

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-03-12 16:24:46
Re: Somewhere in Tennessee
A gum tree suspends
thousands of spiny balls
by stems.

...the balls rock
...in a snowy wind,
...counting time.

There are a limited number
of such trees on the planet.

I cannot disclose to you
my location,
so delicate is
the balance.

:o)))

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-12 16:37:50
Re: Somewhere in Tennessee
Npoulakida: You are a busy woman today! And your take on breaking the stanzas is an interesting one, one I'll think on. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

pullmyhair on 2004-08-14 13:32:17
Re: Somewhere in Tennessee
I loved it! Almost a secret agent tone at the end and a great last couple of lines. I also like "counting time". It feels peaceful, but only temporarily so, as if a strong wind could throw the world out of sync. Great stuff Swep! pmh x

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-08-14 18:34:26
Re: Somewhere in Tennessee
pullmyhair: Thanks for delving into my archive, and for reading. You must be soon off for N.O.
Good luck there, and thanks again for reading. Swep

Author's Reply:

AnthonyEvans on 2005-01-04 16:42:01
Re: Somewhere in Tennessee
dear swep, this one is very sweet. best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-01-04 17:43:41
Re: Somewhere in Tennessee
Anthony: There is space in this poem, and distance. Thanks for reading, again from the archive, and for your very nice comment. Swep


Author's Reply:

Abel on 2005-03-28 23:30:22
Re: Somewhere in Tennessee
This piece, especially the last stanza, has such quiet power. Well done Swep. Sorry for this lateness...

Best,

Ward

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-03-28 23:54:34
Re: Somewhere in Tennessee
Ward: This was the first piece that I posted on abcales, and Liana made it Poem of the Week and started a series of cherries of my work that went through 15 or so poems straight, and even beyond that. I am glad you like it, as do I. You are a good fellow, and I appreciate your attention, Swep

Author's Reply:


Little Sister (posted on: 17-11-03)
Click to see more top choices

for Lisa

1. Back home, reading in the yard.
Looking up, your hand quietly extending,
"Here," and a creamy fuscata
Bud rolls into my cupped palm.

I balance, eye the bud, inhale.
You slip silently away,
Climb singly the red porch steps,
Vanish within the dark house.

2. Your hand withdrew, you stepped back.
Very still, just beyond reach,
You poised, a girl at seventeen,
Lovely, on the edge of doubt.

Air filled where you'd stood.
An evasive scent swirled.
And I, sitting on, turning the bud,
Its skin slow, felt yours.
Archived comments for Little Sister


barenib on 2003-11-17 14:59:35
Re: Little Sister
Lovely poem - am intrigued to know how Freudian you intended it to be... The only phrase I'm not sure of is 'sitting on' in the final stanza - do you need this? Enjoyed it very much - thanks, John.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-11-17 16:42:06
Re: Little Sister
John: Thank you. I think I do need the 'sitting on',
as it draws out the moments of the reverie. In any case, thanks for your comments. Swep

Author's Reply:

barenib on 2003-11-18 18:45:20
Re: Little Sister
Yes okay - now see what you mean. The first time I read it I wondered why you were sitting on the bud - oh the joys of words! I should have had enough practise by now...

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-03-12 16:31:01
Re: Little Sister
a sister! what a surprise! how wonderful it is to see how a poet perceives femininess in all its great expressions! ah, the lyricism is almost tearful in this one! "felt yours" "on the edge of doubt", the best of the best!

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-12 16:55:54
Re: Little Sister
Npoulakida: Yes, a sister. A wonderful girl. Thank you for reading this piece, and for your strong praise. I appreciate it. Swep

Author's Reply:

Dazza on 2005-04-05 23:18:28
Re: Little Sister
Everytime I read you I get the same "kid playing at dusk and don't want to go in or the sunset to ever end" feeling. Magic. Bud. Dazza.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-04-06 15:03:22
Re: Little Sister
Dazza: You don't really surprise me with your intuitions for after all I sense a kindred spirit. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:


Mike (posted on: 07-11-03)
Click to see more top choices

brother

In plain twin urns Flanking your gray stone Blue hydrangeas Mother keeps fresh. Nine years have passed. I'll whip Jimmy McGehee again, If he picks on you... The Indian Whose hatchet cut your lip, I saw him, I'll say... Thunder. Cold rain. Brother, what we Your family were willing To do, left Too much up to you.
Archived comments for Mike


e-griff on 2003-11-07 04:13:24
Re: Mike
you'll no doubt be pleased to hear I have no problems at all with this one. simple with much meaning.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-11-07 08:14:36
Re: Mike
Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

britgrrl on 2003-11-08 10:11:07
Re: Mike
A wonderful poem. I was deeply moved by your speaker's fiercely heart rending gestures of reconciliation and appeasement. In few words, once again, you manage to recreate moments in time using unique imagery. An awesome ability.

But the last verse leaves me a bit mystified, and I'm not 'getting' the resolution you so clearly intend. That is to say, your speaker knows what 'we (two brothers) were willing to do' that left too much up to the younger, but I, as reader, do not. I can guess, perhaps, given the former clues, that there were boyish pranks and misadventures along the way that left the younger bearing most of the blame, that perhaps he was often the instigator and the more inclined to court trouble. But this IS merely a guess; your ending seems to imply some deeper meaning.

Still, a favorite pick for me. How could it not be with lines like these:

The Indian
Whose hatchet cut your lip,
I saw him, I'll say...

Thunder. Cold rain

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2003-11-08 11:44:12
Re: Mike
I caught an inference that in some way the writer feels he carries some blame for mike's death, or his death was something to do with their escapades. it's not stated , but ...

and I recognise mike from the 'dogs barking' poem. (sorry for the inaccurate title), of course.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-11-08 21:45:46
Re: Mike
The "we" in "What we were willing/To do, left/Too much up to you."/ does not refer to the two brothers, Mike and I, but rather to those outside of Mike, in this case me, and the rest of our family.
What is intended is "What we (who loved you) were willing/To do, left/Too much up to you."/ I looked at variations of those very words at the time of the finalizing of the poem, and ended up with the last stanza as you see it above. I had thought it clear, but if you stumble on it, I will re-think it, and see what I can come up with. As always, thanks for your comments. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-11-08 21:59:24
Re: Mike
The writer, me, shares the blame for Mike's death,
with others close to him, in that we were willing to do only so much, and not enough, and left too much to him. Even so, the 3 3-line stanzas that tell Mike what I'll do for him. They beg the question, as they would have when he was still alive, of what does he want, what does he need, not what was I willing to do. Thanks for looking in again at the poem. Swep

Author's Reply:

thehaven on 2003-11-11 10:31:00
Re: Mike
This speaks out in a voice of its own.Excellent .

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-11-11 14:54:01
Re: Mike
thehaven: Thanks for reading, and thanks for your comments. Swep

Author's Reply:

barenib on 2003-11-11 15:00:02
Re: Mike
I had the same 'we' interpretation as Britgrrl.
How about 'what we all were willing' ?
Enjoyed the poem. John.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-11-11 15:37:21
Re: Mike
John: I've been fooling with the last stanza since Shelagh's comment, and yours put me doubly to the task. Your suggestion might have worked, but if my original was unclear, then I wanted to rule out any possibility of that in a revision. Hence, a change I've just made, occasioned by the two of yours reading of the poem. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

britgrrl on 2003-11-11 16:05:09
Re: Mike
Good change, Swep. Works well, imo. Shelagh

Author's Reply:

britgrrl on 2004-01-05 13:10:29
Re: Mike
You heard me! You believed me! OKAY! This is one of my absolute favorites, especially since you clarified what you meant at the end. Shelagh

Author's Reply:

davew on 2004-01-05 13:18:22
Re: Mike
I like this and the images that it creates

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-01-05 15:52:18
Re: Mike
It's hard not to hear you. And your instinct was right. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-01-05 15:53:11
Re: Mike
davew: Thanks for reading the poem, and for your comments. Swep

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-03-12 16:39:16
Re: Mike
now a brother, I have a brother and I can relate to this poem very much! "I'll whip Jimmy Mc Gehee again, if he picks on you...", a good read.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-12 17:01:00
Re: Mike
NP: Thank you for reading, and for your kind words. I appreciate it. Swep

Author's Reply:


Pawpaw: July 1935 (posted on: 31-10-03)
the Great Depression

No movement but for the waves of heat
Shivering up from the street in blurry S's.
He draws the stiff shades,
Awkwardly, the office door bolts.

Now, clients barred, back to the reading
Room, where from tomes of law
Lining three walls, he turns to a small
Shelf, scans the volumes
Of The Great Works of Literature:
Pope underlined; Thoreau derided
In a margin; Darwin considered, as face
Flat, the binding settled so to attest...

He uncaps, tips a flask of bourbon.
Today, it's Don Quixote that he's chosen.
By the clock, just noon.
In amber, an air-pocket, this room.


Archived comments for Pawpaw: July 1935
e-griff on 2003-10-31 04:01:51
Re: Pawpaw: July 1935
I thought this a well-considered poem with a lot of ambience. I particularly loved the last line. That is perfect. Its image was solid for me, I could feel the air.

However, the fourth line just leapt out at me!

what it says to me was that 'a door bolted awkwardly' (well, it probably would, it can't really run very well, can it?) I then realised what you had meant to say, but unfortunately only after this mental image - one not intended :-). I think this could be simply fixed, of course....



Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-31 08:26:22
Re: Pawpaw: July 1935
Thanks for reading, and I'm glad you liked the poem. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

tryptych600 on 2003-11-01 11:26:53
Re: Pawpaw: July 1935
Think I read a version of this at ABC. Not sure if this is the same draft. I loved the ambience of it, as e-griff mentioned. The stuffiness of being inside.. an awkwardness about being indoors. The last line is extremely evocative.. there seems to be both an element of hope and fear (like when you go through an air pocket while flying).

That said, I think I missed something in the title.. is the air pocket at the end related to a fighter plane (Pawpaw being the name of the plane?) Does the emphasis on Don Quixote relate to the plane? (haven't read this book so I'm not sure if there are further connections I'm missing) I think I might well have completely lost the meaning here!

So, while I love the way the poem flows, I feel slightly alienated regarding how effectively the title has been connected with the poem. Any comments would help, of course.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-11-01 12:37:28
Re: Pawpaw: July 1935
Andrew: "Pawpaw" is a reference to my grandfather. He was a lawyer in a small town in Mississippi who loved books and a good shot of whiskey. This poem presents him on a normal workday, but business is bad as the times are bad,
and he's shutting up his law office early to retreat to books and drink. The last line has a hint of the way insects, and air bubbles, were trapped in tree sap or resin and come to us fossilized as amber.
Finally, the version of this I posted on ABC is identical. Thanks for reading. Swep


Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2003-11-01 14:07:33
Re: Pawpaw: July 1935
so, can i get a response to the 'door' thing? (earlier)
If you have an explanation which casts a new light on it, I will gladly concede. Otherwise, it's this image of a door 'bolting' --- maybe its a US/UK language thing?

appreciate a response.....................:-)

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2003-11-01 14:16:51
Re: Pawpaw: July 1935
actually,

'awkwardly, he bolts the office door'

works as well as anything. as I said minor.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-11-01 15:14:12
Re: Pawpaw: July 1935
The notion of the door "bolting" apparently occurred to you, though the poem has gone through many close, critical readings, and that has never been mentioned before. The object of the action from the previous line is "He", who "draws the stiff shades,/Awkwardly, the office door bolts."/ It may be a US/UK language thing, I don't know. If you like, write it off to that. I have no desire to quibble with you, and in fact, like the kind of close, every detail matters, criticism that you go in for. In this case, the line is grammatically sound,
and the rhythm of the line reads best with the verb
at the end. Swep

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2003-11-01 15:37:27
Re: Pawpaw: July 1935
shall we talk about the fact, the words, not perceived motivation,

and the work as presented here, today ( I do not know what/who has seen it before- how can I?) :-

the subject is the 'office door', the verb is '(it) bolts'
sorry to be dense, but no, it (the office door) doesn't! (bolt). The 'office door' is 'bolted' ie, 'office door' is the object of the verb, not the subject.

as to keepingthe verb at the end of the line, fine, but fix the glitch, eh?

perhaps...

the office door he bolts ? (bit naff, I agree)

surely you can fix this? Your work is excellent, you obviously have great knowledge about poetry. I wonder why you have such a problem with a simple comment.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-11-01 15:52:26
Re: Pawpaw: July 1935
And I wonder why you have such a problem when your suggestion isn't taken. I don't see a problem.
Nor have other readers had your difficulty. Take a deep breath, and put this to the side. You'll be okay. Refining my poem is not going to be pivotal in world history. Relax. Swep


Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2003-11-01 16:06:35
Re: Pawpaw: July 1935
Hmm. shall i take that as 'no'?

Yes.

had to test... sorry it didn't work out.

(got my answer though!)

will leave you alone from now on............

Author's Reply:

LezH on 2003-11-05 09:43:18
Re: Pawpaw: July 1935
I enjoyed this one very much and liked the Jurassic Park touch at the end. Very strong image.

Without wishing to get drawn into the overheated debate about 'bolts', I read 'He' as the subject, 'draws' as the verb and 'blinds' and 'bolts' as the objects (therefore nouns). In fact, I scratched my head a bit wondering what was going on! I can see now how reading 'bolts' as a verb could derail the train of thought.

Hope everybody's friends again now?

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2003-11-05 11:10:48
Re: Pawpaw: July 1935
since you ask, Lez. I admit I was rather boorish about pursuing my little question the other day. Apologies to all. Once I get a bee in my bonnet I am like a hound on the scent -- I like to bottom it out and understand, to test myself more than anything to see if my thought is rational, logical, which I can only do with feedback. Haven't changed my mind, but it's only my opinion, and one opinion, so. And of course, the author has a perfect right to decide what he responds to, and how, so all is fine by me. G ๐Ÿ™‚

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-11-05 14:12:32
Re: Pawpaw: July 1935
And by me. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-11-05 14:14:47
Re: Pawpaw: July 1935
How could everybody, posting on an open forum, be anything else. Thanks for your comments. Swep

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-03-12 16:44:37
Re: Pawpaw: July 1935
Thoroeau derided in a margin... very nice!

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-12 17:06:47
Re: Pawpaw: July 1935
NP: Thanks. You have been most energetic in reading through so much of my archive. I appreciate it. Swep

Author's Reply:


Gulf (posted on: 24-10-03)
eternities

Shoulder to shoulder,
In a rough surf, they ride
A yellow raft,
My Mother and Father.

At the first drops
Of the storm, their faces
Side by side,
They're slow to move.

Legs trailing, now
Propelled, now withdrawn,
They re-appear
Each time farther out.

The rhythm of the sea--
I complain it's pulling me
Down--the rhythm
Is my parents' own.

Hugging the raft,
They wear the distant smile
Of those quietly
Listening at a shell.
Archived comments for Gulf
barenib on 2003-10-24 14:43:42
Re: Gulf
I like the feel of this, it's pleasingly enigmatic - I wonder if this is about a specific event or the relationship in general. Just one thing - should it be 'further' rather than 'farther'?

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2003-10-24 14:51:06
Re: Gulf
I had a basic problem with this well-expressed and well-crafted poem.

All the way through (on second reading) I was thinking, 'but kids swim away from their parents, not vice versa' - and even if this were the view from the other side of what I just said, it doesn't work.

So it's the concept not the presentation that dips for me.....:-)

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-24 15:30:51
Re: Gulf
"Farther" for physical distance. The event was actual, a trip to the sea with my aging parents, they in their late sixties. Thanks for your comments. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-24 15:45:25
Re: Gulf
Thanks for reading and commenting. As I've just noted to Barenibs, the poem deals with an actual trip to the sea with my parents when they were in their late sixties. The poem says nothing to set it in childhood. It speaks clearly from adulthood, the lanuage, the assessment, the musing that the poem is, about "eternity", are those of a "grown-up." After all, the fourth stanza, "The rhythm of the sea--/I complain it's pullling me/Down--the rhythm/Is my parents' own."/ is scarcely something a child would think or say. Thanks for reading. Swep


Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2003-10-24 17:22:11
Re: Gulf
well, the clearest thing I can say is - that may be in your mind, but it's not in your poem. For your idea to be successful (and the poem) it has to be clear to the reader. Your separately-expressed explanation justifies my confusion regarding the poem. So - It doesn't work for me.

Perhaps you could express it more clearly. in the poem?



Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-24 17:49:49
Re: Gulf
The clearest thing I can say, is, of course it's in the poem, on the paper. This piece sets up the possibility of an interaction between itself, and the reader, it doesn't "tell" you that there are intimations of mortality, it offers the events, for the reader to maximumly (how's that for a word)
experience it. Reading a poem is not like reading prose. My explanation in no way "justifies" your confusion. It attempts to assist you, though I'm not generally a fan of explaining what you have read, it seeming to be beside the point. Swep

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2003-10-25 04:21:04
Re: Gulf
OK, I think maybe we are misunderstanding each other. Let me try again..

Title – ‘Gulf’ – associative meaning implies water/sea, direct meaning implies physical separation, widening.

Ok, so I start reading with this in mind. ‘raft’ – OK, water, good. ‘Mother, father’ – aha! The narrator must be their child (not ‘a’ child). Ok ‘further out’ – ahah! Separation yes, widening, yes. His parents are leaving him. ‘rhythm.. pulling me…is my parents own’ … - ah so the narrator is helpless. Maybe he’s trying to reach them, or escape, but he is pulled down by a tide which they control (their own). They are leaving him and preventing him following. – ‘distant smile/listening to a shell’ They don’t want to hear him, they have cut off communication – a spiritual gulf as well as a physical one. And I thought, no, it is the child that has the power, the child that leaves the parents, who remain fixed, carrying on the same routine while the child strikes out in the world.

So maybe you meant they were drifting into old age and he was powerless to help. Maybe the tide/their own means the inevitable is happening to them. But as I say, the words around tide/their own meant, to me that they were controlling him. A small change would make (if I’ve got it right) your intention clearer to those who interpret like me. Granted, I may be the only one or one of many, who knows? G ๐Ÿ™‚


Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-25 05:08:04
Re: Gulf
They are in old age, and are drifting toward their own deaths. They aren't fighting it, but rather, have fallen into the rhythm of the life cycle, which is near its end for them. As far as the stanza that apparently troubled you, starting "The rhythm of the sea--/I complain..."/, their rhythm is the very down spiralling one that, younger, I'm still fighting against, a rhythm that's "pulling me down." And then, "They wear the distant smile/Of those quietly/Listening at a shell." They are at peace, lulled by the sea, listening to eternity. And so the gulf widens, between them and those they will leave behind. I must say I appreciate your efforts to come to grips with this poem. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

Frenchy on 2003-10-25 14:54:52
Re: Gulf
Luckily we are not always obliged to follow. A strong authentic piece that tell us how difficult it is to just, let go.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-25 15:50:52
Re: Gulf
I appreciate your reading the poem, and your comments. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

britgrrl on 2003-10-26 13:41:38
Re: Gulf
I've read all the exchanges here today with deep interest because I too partly share e-griff's confusion over what the writer is actually saying, and agree with barenib's mention of the enigmatic quality he experienced.

Firstly, I have deeply admired this poem because it suggested skillfully written layers of meaning for me. However, I was once again 'reading' a message that you never intended to convey, according to your own explanations, given here.

Once more, I revisited my own past comments:

'A powerful use of metaphor to describe the speaker's relationship with his/her parents. Very moving. To me it conveyed a deep sadness and sense of being lost or stranded, of doors that keep forever closing against a longing for love - and maybe a death of sorts - in fact, I read this a few times, wondering if the writer was describing the death of parents. But it doesn't really matter whether this is so or not, the effect is the same.'

I didn't remember the inclusion of 'eternity' in the heading (which is there now; is this a fairly recent addition?) and I usually look carefully at title and headings for clues. As for e-griff, GULF implied vast distance to me, which could be physical (as in the metaphor of the sea - which I now discover is included because this is based on an actual event) or could be emotional. I made immediate association between the drifting out to sea, backs to the speaker, the deliberate paddling, the widening 'gulf' and the wearing of the distant smile
Of those quietly/Listening at a shell, as an emotional distance, as a description of parents who could not/ would not 'hear' or really understand/accept the speaker: "The rhythm of the sea--I complain it's pulling me/Down--the rhythm/Is my parents' own. Of course, there is always the generational distance, which frequently does preclude the ability to completely understand the other's experience.

Yet, though I could not relate to e-griff's insistence that it is naturally the child grown into man who has all the power and pulls away, I did misunderstand your intention, which was to address the question of individual mortality. Again, I have learned, since my initial introduction to this piece, that this IS a continuing theme in your poetry. But what of this confusion, this question for the reader? What is left out or included which may tend to lend such ambiguity? And is it important to you that we 'get it right'?




Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-26 14:12:25
Re: Gulf
The very deliberate, intelligent method in which you go about staking out what you know about a poem, and then spreading it out, trying to understand it, some times by lines, by images, by stanzas, is a method of criticism that I find both interesting to read, and potentially useful to other readers, as well as to the critic's ownself. As to what's important to me vis-a-vis the reader, well I can't always ensure that the reader gets it right. I broke my own tendency not to overly "explain" a poem, or any art, in my exchanges with e-griff, but once again, in the poem I'm not trying to "tell" you what my motivations were, I'm trying to create something to change the reader, for the reader to interact with. Gulf has yielded to readers in the past without confusion, and, by their remarks, according to my intentions. I'm always open to improve a poem. And as always, I appreciate your attention. But this one is done.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-26 14:50:14
Re: Gulf
Britgrrl: As an addendum to my first reply to your comments: when you asked if it was important to me for the reader to get it right, I think that an approach where one tries to create a moment, to present an experience to be interacted with, I think one of the things that may happen is that different readers will have different takes, no one necessarily more valid than another, all according to one's own self, even as it is in life, in what we call the "real" world. Again, thanks.

Author's Reply:

britgrrl on 2003-10-26 17:35:00
Re: Gulf
Ah. Then my kind of feed-back is pointless, isn't it? Why would you need or want it? I can see you don't. Understood.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-26 19:08:31
Re: Gulf
SHE-lagh: Your kind of feedback is always useful, always welcome. I've made changes in the past in "Gulf", "For Erin, at 15", and "This Morning, 5/5/03" based solely on your suggestions. My point
was that some readers take this, some that, from a poem. It's all in how one regards a slice of life, which is what I'm trying to offer; there can be different takes, with none necessarily wrong. You've reacted defensively about your criticism in the past, but your remarks have always been either on track, or close, or shed light on things I hadn't consciously explored. You ARE interacting. Swep

Author's Reply:

britgrrl on 2003-10-26 21:52:59
Re: Gulf
Sw-EP: Well, ok-AY! You sounded touchy to me.
I guess I'll continue to offer my far-out comments on your work since you seem to be sufficiently chastened. English wimmin have an obligation to keep the assorted UKA Scots in line, after all.

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2003-10-27 02:34:27
Re: Gulf
Can I say I found shelagh's analysis spellbinding -said all the things I did not quite. Yes I may seem obsessed withthe parent/child, but I agree it is not a 'rule' , parents can leave children. I have explained what my problem was and won't again. Most interesting, both.... ๐Ÿ™‚

Author's Reply:

Bee on 2003-10-28 11:06:22
Re: Gulf
The penultimate stanza contains the meaning for me and the last one brings a deeply moving conclusion. I think you catch most accurately the ambivalence by which our parents seem to cling to us yet set us adrift and we never know who is responsible for whom. I don't know why but I puzzle at the 'yellow' raft. Yellow has all kinds of connotations but none of them seems to fit - or am I missing something?

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-28 11:54:01
Re: Gulf
Thanks. I appreciate your comments. Yellow, simply, was the color of the physical raft. As far as I can tell, you've missed very little. Again, thanks.
Swep

Author's Reply:

tryptych600 on 2003-10-29 15:28:23
Re: Gulf
Lots of comments here. Liked the poem very much, Swep. Raft-analysis eh? I think yellow's good.. the connotation of cowardice for me.. BUT this is tempered by the idea of the raft being out of control and heading towards death (the raft as 'life').. more like an assumed stance on death ..but not necessarily the stance of the people involved ..more the stance of the raft. That sounds very strange but anyhow. Think I'll read more of your work tomorrow. Shelagh and e-griff's comments are interesting but wouldn't want to comment just yet ..as I think, as Shelagh mentioned, these concerns have more to do with a thematic presence ..spread over more than just this poem.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-29 17:58:30
Re: Gulf
Thanks for reading. I've known better before, but, seeking communication, seeking connections, I've explained my poem, and now, again, am resolved never to do so again. At least not so repetitively, and at such length. I'm a pretty simple fellow. I generally write from experience i.e. the raft is yellow because the raft my parents floated on in the Gulf of Mexico, was in fact, yellow. Different poets, asked of their ideal reader, offered varied criteria (Auden mentioned someone who would discern a very intricate metrical scheme), and others, other desires. For me, I would have a reader come to a poem without a predisposition to analyze it, from the first line i.e. I would have a reader who would give himself over to the poem, and let IT take him where it goes, rather than vice-versa. My poems are simple, and I think clear, of course both of these suppositions based on any reader reaping benefits from a work of art commensurate with his, or her, own depth. Again, thanks for reading, and I will look at your work. Swep

Author's Reply:

tryptych600 on 2003-10-31 11:14:05
Re: Gulf
Raft analysis?? Sorry, can't help laughing out loud at some of the rubbish I spouted above. Am now off to have a mosy round your set.. I am right in thinking you're bosch/abc? ..we'll see, won't we?

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-03-12 17:03:02
Re: Gulf
parents, a lovely bittersweet poem, I won't analyze it, it's sacred.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-12 17:27:01
Re: Gulf
NP: Thank you very much. I can feel how you feel about parents, and family. Thak you for your comments. Swep

Author's Reply:

freya on 15-05-2013
Gulf
What a load of nonsense I wrote on this! I have since come to appreciate and understand this poem far more than I did all those years ago, though I always thought it profound. Seems to me now, I was less into analyzing the poem than I was engrossed in trying to figure out the psyche of the poet!

And the best, most sensible comment I made?

English wimmin have an obligation to keep the assorted UKA Scots in line, after all.

Now there's an essential truth! Moi


Author's Reply:
ah, english wimmin, now there's an area in which i'd like to work on my expertise. always the enthusiastic amateur.


You Were Good (posted on: 24-10-03)
acquired tastes

This morning, in the mirror, Your full, red mouth's lipstick Impressions. One on my neck, Two on my chest. Each Centered by a purple bruise Where you sucked my blood To skin's surface. I won't Wash off these vestiges, dressing, Will finger them all day. Does it, my taste, linger still?
Archived comments for You Were Good
bluepootle on 2003-10-24 03:24:48
Re: You Were Good
I enjoyed this, conjured a very clear image for me. Wasn't convinced about the last line, in fact, I think I would like the poem better without it. I like the idea of the selfishness of keeping the lipstick marks, that it's not about the couple but about how he keeps the marks for himself, appealed to me, and the last line brings us back to the idea of the couple sharing. Just a thought.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-24 03:38:41
Re: You Were Good
That's a very interesting idea i.e. cutting the last line, which gives the poem a whole different flavor.
I'd posted this piece on another site, and several readers, in their favorable remarks on the poem, noted the last line as the essence of the poem for them. Definitely two different slants, with, and without. Thanks for your comments. Swep


Author's Reply:

spacegirl on 2003-10-25 04:44:12
Re: You Were Good
I agree with bluepootle

I loved the fact that you wrote the poem from a one-dimensional aspect. The last line detracts from that, but only if that is what you had in mind

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-25 05:54:36
Re: You Were Good
As I said to Bluepootle, the poem absent the last line is an entirely different poem altogether. Not that that isn't an interesting idea. I also noted that the poem had been posted elsewhere, and the commenters liked the shyness, the vulnerability that they ascribed to the last line, not necessarily traits I had in mind when writing it. In any case, thanks for reading, and commenting. Swep

Author's Reply:

euterpe on 2003-10-25 06:10:30
Re: You Were Good
I found this rather curt which appeals to my tastes. Depicts a Piccasso.



Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-25 06:28:48
Re: You Were Good
I know exactly what you mean. And am glad the poem appeals. Swep

Author's Reply:

britgrrl on 2003-10-26 12:14:10
Re: You Were Good
I relate to what bluepootle has to say here about the focus seeming to be on the speaker and not the couple, because I recall my own reaction when I first read You Were Good. I revisited my own comments of the time to cofirm what I wrote, and it was basically the same as I feel now. I 'read' a need to prove something about the encounter to the self - to see it, wear it, in order to believe it. An uncertainty. That tripping- up-on-the-tongue last line is beautifully like a hesitancy, a give-away vulnerability: 'Does it, my taste, linger still?'

But you often don't intend what I think you mean to imply in your writing, as I've discovered over time.This is no exception! There is a boldly stroked, call-it-what-it-is and willful quality to this poem. I really like euterpe's impression of a Picasso-like structure. His type of artistic ego. Fits.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-26 13:49:00
Re: You Were Good
Britgrrl, you're pretty good at this, the business of taking in a poem, more and more over a couple of readings, until you're interactive with it. Which, on the part of the good reader you are, requires a suspension of one's own self, a giving-over to the poem. But, an artistic ego, me...

Author's Reply:

britgrrl on 2003-10-27 09:28:00
Re: You Were Good
Well, in this case, the 'me' of the poem, the speaker, if one leans toward the Picasso-like reading.

But if you want to take it that personally...

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2003-12-03 14:36:34
Re: You Were Good
I personally like the last line, to me it puts another slant on the poem, perhaps away from what we may have been expecting. I read it as a perception of pleasured memory deepening through some un belief into a state of vulnerability, a sense of a self that needs to know its worth. Nice poem.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-12-04 05:23:26
Re: You Were Good
Skeeter: Thanks. I agree that the last line lends a perspective, and depth, the poem otherwise would be without. It is a small poem, but a nice one, and I appreciate your words. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-03-12 16:58:02
Re: You Were Good
I doubt that it won't linger! very skilful!

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-13 14:52:01
Re: You Were Good
NP: One hopes that it would linger. Thanks for your confidence, and comments. Swep

Author's Reply:

alcarty on 2004-05-16 09:04:58
Re: You Were Good
Nice touch. Almost calls for the partner's response, in kind; her remembrance as her day goes on. Universally personal.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-05-16 09:38:48
Re: You Were Good
alcarty: Thanks for commenting. Your remark about the partner's response is of course the source of the tension of the poem, as one wonders if she will remember one's taste, even as he relishes the lipstick marks. Thanks for reading the several poems. Swep

Author's Reply:


In Dreams (posted on: 17-10-03)
Click to see more top choices

in dreams reside the loves of the past

I'm dodging through
An airport--it looks like
San Francisco--
Ann?

At twenty,
Black hair, eyes blacker yet,
Her skin a pale
Gold, heat rising from it!

How many years?
Hair, dress in style, the woman
Fulfilling
The promise of that girl.

Ann waits. I stand.
Held by her eyes, I shift.
Then, my eldest son...
Fast forward.

Waking.
Squeezing my eyes tight, not to.
Unable to return.
Unable to say goodbye.
Archived comments for In Dreams


woodbine on 2003-10-22 04:11:34
Re: In Dreams
The art of Swep is to capture your attention
with few words, and without apparent guile,
by teasing from the ordinarary
something extraordinary.

With regards,
John





Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-22 06:22:44
Re: In Dreams
John, thanks. I appreciate the commentary, and its poetic delivery. You seem to come to a poem with patience, and without ego. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

britgrrl on 2003-10-30 11:50:48
Re: In Dreams
A well written cameo. But what is left out - all the implications of that - contain the real promise within this piece for me. Why is this dream important enough to put into poetic form? Unable to say goodbye? But why? As reader, I'd like to hear more about the complexities of that, some indication of the dreamer's struggle, difficulties, avoidance, failings, missteps in this relationship - for I do assume something 'amiss' along these lines. It would be details like this that would inform my sense of connection to the experience offered here.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-31 13:04:44
Re: In Dreams
You can't go back, either in the dream, or in "real" life. Thus, the speaker's problem, he can't return in the dream to physically say goodbye, and, more importantly, in his waking life, he can't let her go
either, can't say goodbye. As far as what's left out, that seems to me the fine line the poet attempts to walk, for that's where the poetry generally is. One can't always have all the info, all the details. Thus, nuance, intimation, suggestion.
In any case, you are a most discerning, and demanding reader, one ever to keep those around you on their toes. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-03-12 17:05:35
Re: In Dreams
what a doleful poem! don't ever say goodbye! keep this pain alive, after all this is the lesson of love.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-12 17:12:15
Re: In Dreams
NP: You are an insightful woman. I appreciate your reading. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Dazza on 2005-03-11 19:36:39
Re: In Dreams
Your back catalogue is a richly rewarding backtrack through the soft minefeild of Swep's sentimentary layers. Basalt. Love Dazza.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-03-12 00:16:04
Re: In Dreams
Dazza: Thanks for digging so deeply into my archive. I worked this poem through dozens and dozens of versions trying to find its essence, and feel like largely I have. 'Sentimentary', huh, a pretty good creation. You may already have, and if not yet you will have, at least a chapbook of Hoki stories, one which you might think of submitting to UKA Press. By the way, basalt on cereal, is sublime. Swep

Author's Reply:

Dazza on 11-01-2006
In Dreams
I've said goodbye in airports 'til the possums come home, I've had plenty of airport dreams. I came back here to remember, Dazza

Author's Reply:


This Morning, 5/5/03 (posted on: 13-10-03)
alone for the day, a weekday morning

This morning, I'm calling my Little sister to get my little brother's Phone number. Then I remember, Mike's dead. This morning, I'm listening To Lucinda Williams and wondering How I've managed To help so little those around me. This morning, the boys and I, Cocoa, a chocolate Lab, Coal, a Wolfhound, And Lola, a St. Bernard, We're up-and-down the upstairs Porch, barking at everything. Sometimes the world Is too beautiful, and I'm full to bursting-- This morning, 5/5/03.
Archived comments for This Morning, 5/5/03
bluepootle on 2003-10-16 04:00:26
Re: This Morning, 5/5/03
perhaps nobody has commented on this because there's nothing to be criticised about it... it feels like 100,000 words condensed into the sweetest snapshot. I'm glad this was the first thing I read this morning.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-16 07:59:50
Re: This Morning, 5/5/03
Dear bluepootle: Thanks. Your comment is warmly received. When one posts a poem without reaction, it can be a bit like throwing a party, and having no one show up. Again, thanks.

Author's Reply:

woodbine on 2003-10-16 13:22:24
Re: This Morning, 5/5/03
I should like to join the party!. I've been wondering for several days why some of Slovitt's work is so difficult to comment on when so many people come to read him and he scores very highly. He has some quality that we relate to but can't quite put a finger on. He doesn't use any of the poet's standard devices. You can't say, I like this metaphor, or that rhyme, or the rythm, or the final simile, or the alliteration because they aren't there. What he does in each stanza is give a tug on one or more of our emotional strings; the shock of the forgotten death, the regret at not doing more for near ones, the implied joy of barking with the dogs, the exhileration of being alive on a beautiful day. Via a string of unrelated incidents we follow his ups and downs or in this case, downs and ups, and think, although we can't express it, 'Yes, life is full of contradictions but I'm glad to be alive.'

Well, that's my reading. If anyone's got a better one. Speak up, now.

Author's Reply:

flash on 2003-10-16 13:53:29
Re: This Morning, 5/5/03
I must have mis read this, i thought this was a build up to the narrator completely breaking down, the verse with the dogs and the narrator upstairs barking at everything gave me the impression of great pain being expressed. 'and i'm full to bursting' didn't come across as joyful but depression being felt.

A non poet who always reads and enjoys your work but doesn't always understand it.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-16 20:21:26
Re: This Morning, 5/5/03
I appreciate your reading, and interacting with the poem. The "barking" is unrestrained, uninhibited, and venting. The "full to bursting" is not necessarily joyful, but rather a reaction to "the beauty of the world" which takes one to the full of feeling. I always appreciate the fiction writers that come over for a poem. Thanks.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-16 20:27:42
Re: This Morning, 5/5/03
Well done, John. I appreciate your good, and close reading of the poem, and you are welcome to the party. You've put some time, and much good will into your response, and your comments reflect the
insight of a poet. Thanks.

Author's Reply:

woodbine on 2003-10-16 21:25:30
Re: This Morning, 5/5/03
Cheers! I'll have a dry Martini.

Author's Reply:

LezH on 2003-10-20 20:39:11
Re: This Morning, 5/5/03
I enjoyed the poignancy of this, the gamut of feeling encapsulated, the way the date has been stapled to it to turn a time into a non-specific event like a coatpeg for the history in your head.

The 5th May was my grandma's birthday. I remember the rigours of her life, watching her clean out the fish tank, scrub the floor, turn the mangle. I remember her rice pudding, the day she forgot how to make custard, the night she put the hot water bottles on the front step and the empty milkbottles in the beds as she slid inexorably into senility. I remember stealing her cigarettes and still feeling guilty forty years on. But first I have to remember the 5th of May... oh dear...

Perhaps you could change the title for me Slovitt?

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-20 23:07:15
Re: This Morning, 5/5/03
I'll take the title change under advisement. I'm glad the poem was evocative for you of your grandma, and so many things you remember fondly that were associated with her. And I appreciate your comments, your interaction with the poem.


Author's Reply:

britgrrl on 2003-10-30 12:44:27
Re: This Morning, 5/5/03
'We're on the upstairs porch barking at everything.'

This has got to be one of the most unique and incredibly effective lines (as well as images - speaker there barking along with the dogs!) I've ever read, and it so beautifully expresses a total joy in being alive. As usual, this poem is skillfully executed, line by line, and I agree with woodbine about your intent, knowing that you most likely deliberately juxtaposed some painful circumstances to give this line a far more powerful impact.

But of course, I'm more intrigued by what is left out then what is included. For most people, the impulse to call a long dead brother, feeling that one does so little to help those who are close and drinking at 9 AM, suggest some serious difficulties. But your speaker doesn't give anymore than a glimpse of what lies below the surface. So why introduce these 'truths' and not some others to make this point that sometimes the world is too beautiful? Why open this door if we are not to be invited inside to discover what the speaker makes (or doesn't) of the situation in which he finds himself?

As reader, I'm left somewhat disappointed because of this.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-31 13:20:51
Re: This Morning, 5/5/03
The things I introduced, "dead brother; little help to those around me; drinking at 9 a.m." are there to ground the poem, to set the scene for the dogs and I on the porch, to set-up "Sometimes the world is too beautiful..."/, all indicative of strong emotions, but, only some aspects of the speaker, one who fraught with competing feelings, some good, some bad, is nevertheless so engaged with the world that "he's barking with the dogs at everything", the capacity for joy not abolished by the sadnesses, and then the last two lines resolving the several faceted, though not contradictory, emotional life of the speaker, and he is brought to bursting, but doesn't, simply enduring a moment in the life of a multifaceted, fully engaged person. And so life IS too beautiful, and I hope you are less disappointed, for you are among the most engaged of readers. Swep

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2003-12-24 03:54:57
Re: This Morning, 5/5/03
One of the many reasons I like reading your work is that I learn from doing so, and I learn from this. A subtleness of mind rendering experience on more than one level, the exhilaration of being and a moment of connectedness with humanity. Life simply is, and that is enough, more than enough. Terrific.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-12-24 10:38:15
Re: This Morning, 5/5/03
Skeeter: Thank you. I am very pleased that you read several of the poems that were posted a while ago. I've tried , piece by piece, to create different facets of the world, of my perspective,
until, slowly, the spinning ball is represented on all sides. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-03-12 17:10:39
Re: This Morning, 5/5/03
well this night, I'm drinking at 1:07 and I'm reading Slovitt's poetry, plus for some strange karmic reason, I realize that I have managed to help so much those around me,-almost as much as they helped me- and I'm grateful that I have. This good deeply personal poem... deserved an equally deeply personal comment.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-14 15:42:12
Re: This Morning, 5/5/03
NP: I'm at work, and so not yet drinking, but your
comment is warmly, and personally received.
Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:

Dazza on 2005-03-19 21:32:13
Re: This Morning, 5/5/03
A snippet that sits nicely in the diary i am priveleged to read! I guess at the end of the day most poetry is some kind of diary left open on a random page, Lucinda Williams, i know her stuff a little. Dazza.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-03-20 02:28:31
Re: This Morning, 5/5/03
Dazza: Again I must thank you for digging into my archive and for your remarks. Try out 'Gauguin', also a poem from the second page of the archive. Swep

Author's Reply:


Gauguin (posted on: 10-10-03)
Paul Gauguin, the art of a life

1. Eve The Courtauld. London and Spring. In a chill city, from a damp wall, Naked, your Tahitian vahine Stares straight out. Sullen, savage, Her heat palpable, you set me Writing only to lapse frustrated: If we can't gorge as on sweetmeats, Or screw her like our blonds... This--undispersible--this beauty. 2. The Marquesas Islands, 1902 Paris, family, position, all fled. Even Tahiti too tame. Ensconsed in a bamboo hut, his legs Laying him up, he sits for death To arrange in its pose. Now, At his lethargy disgusted, Rising, prowls the exclusive air... Alone as the original alone may be. Almost like wind, or fingertips, The slow, familiar iciness. Too-loud, he grasps for reference: "Mette, bitch who stood my crotch Stiffer than all these burning, Dark girls, Mette, you hurt me." Yes, it is now down to this. A yellow photo of Mette's severe Face. A single, crusted plate. The canvas of the orange dog stuck Among breadfruit in a corner. Gauguin stops in the room's center. The cur, in last light, glares. 3. May 8, 1903 The natives in half-whispers pass Wonder among themselves, for Gauguin Is dead. They say the magic of his Painting was this light. A glow--ignored, Or on a different wavelength From the official tagging the canvases-- Draws a cluster of faces To the window at the long hut's rear; On the easel, this exotic scene, A Breton village luminous under snow. 4. Nevermore Through this portal, a frame Of old wood, a naked Tahitian vahine Stares out. Lying on her Left side, hip swelling, She sulks, for Gauguin has bullied Her to remain still. Ignorant of the world Festering beyond the crystal Of her island's shore, She drifts. And he, Faster, faster, Shoving her toward the future For all who will see.
Archived comments for Gauguin
richardwatt on 2003-10-17 08:31:52
Re: Gauguin; Pictures
excellent, it's good to see some semi-biographical poetry on an art figure that may not be popular as edgar degas in terms of art history but with copious amounts to be said of him; very capably handled and leaves me wanting to read more on his complex character. how about a poem on modigliani? if you won't i will :O)

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-17 09:40:36
Re: Gauguin; Pictures
Dear richardwatt, I appreciate your being the first to venture a comment on this poem, though apparently several have read it. Whether Gauguin is as popular as Degas is arguable, but probably what isn't, is what a seminal figure ("at least I have taught them (the young artists of France at the turn of the century) that they may dare anything"), that Gauguin was. Modigliani is an artist whom I like, though can't love with his lean, pinched faces, and tiny eyes. The assignment is yours. I'll await the results. Again, thanks for the commentary.

Author's Reply:

euterpe on 2003-10-25 06:15:30
Re: Gauguin
You write with a seemingly possessed energy and those poems of yours that have taken my eye, are those which evoke a virulently striking image, pertaining to Modernism. Is this intended I wonder?

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-25 06:40:59
Re: Gauguin
I'm not sure about your meaning when you say a "virulently striking image, pertaining to Modernism." The mention of movements, or groups, does that to me. I do like "possessed energy" and understand that. My intention always is "show", don't "tell," hopefully offering an experience, as fully fleshed as possible, to be interacted with. Thank you for reading. Swep

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-03-14 16:12:10
Re: Gauguin
Dear Gauguin,
You have a funny name, almost as funny as mine, but your art is not funny at all *which is far better than having a serious name and a hilarious work*. I have read this poem which has to do with you written by a person named slovitt . By the way, may I call you Paul?
Well Paul, it's a fine poem, you would love it, especially the last part "Nevermore". Probably because she drifts, ignorant of the world even in that poem!
I hope you have forgotten Mette where you are and all you remember are those dark girls you seemed to fancy so much!
Paul it's an admirable poem, if I were you I would be very proud if I inspired a poem of such artistic beauty, just like those natives in half-whispers pass must have felt when you painted them.
That's all Paul,
NP.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-14 17:04:01
Re: Gauguin
NP: I must say that your response is that of one who has interacted with the poem, and in a most vital way. And I must say that any artist in any medium couldn't help but be both complimented, and delighted. Which I am. Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:


Bait (posted on: 29-09-03)
the little lives at the end of consequences

Tense, dust-sprinkled, the surface Gives, intruded by a hand. The blue salamander, gripping The pail's dark bottom, waits. Even so, contained, he's waited, Eyes upturned, quickening At every motion. Downward, Whitely, the hand searches-- He waits as though for morning.
Archived comments for Bait
petersjm on 2003-09-29 06:27:07
Re: Bait
I like this. I'm not so sure what it means (I'm a bit thick sometimes!) but I imagine it's about birth - am I right? If so, I get it, and it's good ๐Ÿ™‚

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-09-29 07:05:45
Re: Bait
This piece is simply what the words say. It literally
depicts a blue salamander in a bait bucket, and a hand reaching for it. My intent is clarity, the thing presented as simply as possible, with whatever reaction, associations, are sparked, sparked.

Author's Reply:

britgrrl on 2003-09-29 11:12:55
Re: Bait
That last line is heartstopping. How we all long to continue in the vitality of life, however imperfect, how reluctant to not 'be' any longer. And what are our chances of holding on? Like the salamander we can only exist where we find ourselves, only wait. Another gem.

*I think you need a second 't' in bottom*

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-01 07:08:54
Re: Bait
Thanks. Bait is a small poem that strives for clarity and a connnection between the reader, and the situation of the salamander, a situation we're all in, in some way, with its unreal, nightmarish aspect.

Author's Reply:

flash on 2003-10-01 07:55:25
Re: Bait
What an interesting poem, could i ask what a Salamander is used as bait for, not fishing surely?


Could also ask if you're going to submit 'Owl' on this site, it's one of my favourites by you.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-01 17:15:09
Re: Bait
At one time I lived in the foothills of E. Tennessee, and salamanders were, in fact, used as bait for fishing. After all, any living thing, potentially edible, that would squirm, and writhe trying to get away, would be good bait. I have been trying out poems on this site that were less read at abc, and that, nevertheless, I thought to be strong. I appreciate your comment about Bait, and your query regarding Owl, which I think won't be posted here for awhile. Again, thanks.

Author's Reply:

MissClawdy on 2003-10-04 04:52:43
Re: Bait
Hey Slovitt,
I had to read this through more than once to get my head around it (I am sometimes a little dumb with regards to poetry) but was rewarded with a few beautiful lines 'He waits as though for morning'.
I enjoy your work a lot.
MissClawdy
xxxx

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-04 09:20:25
Re: Bait
MissClawdy: I appreciate your comments. Strangely enough, when the e-mail notification of a comment (yours) popped up, I was re-reading your story, You're Missing. I noticed a change, or two, but do you mean "It", or is it a typo and you mean "I", beginning the, I believe, 3rd to last line? Beyond that, you being the Elvis fan par excellence,
I'm going to see Lisa Marie Presley tomorrow night at a casino in Tunica, MS.

Author's Reply:

Posy on 2003-10-05 03:39:15
Re: Bait
While I admired the words and phrases, and while I fully respect what you said about why you wrote it (respecting that is your choice) for me beautiful words without a theme or meaning are beautiful and harmonious, yes but also somewhat empty, hollow.

and should the comma after 'Even so' be there?

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-05 06:56:29
Re: Bait
I don't know about beautiful words, and harmony, in BAIT, but if you find the poem hollow, then the poem hasn't worked for you. Clarity, and substance, are the intentions I have with every poem of mine. Short of explicating the poem, rendering it prosaically, which would be beside the point, perhaps my replies to Petersjm and Britgrrl would be of assistance. And yes, the comma should be after "Even so".

Author's Reply:

Lulu on 2003-10-05 10:38:58
Re: Bait
I must agree with Peter here.

It made me feel worried about the salamander (I wasn't sure if you were using some kind of metaphor...), and at the same time calm, as if waiting for the morning with her.

I did understand the point about the hand, not difficult if one reads the title. But I kept of looking for secret hiding meanings anywhere. LOL silly me! I should have just enjoyed it...

xx
Lu


Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2003-12-24 03:50:00
Re: Bait
This is affecting, what particularly works is the lack of explanation; presentation of a moment that for some reason was important enough in the mind of the observer to record. I like this in your poems, it exerts great appeal to me. The life of a salamander: of no value and of all value.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-12-24 10:31:01
Re: Bait
Skeeter: That's my point of view i.e. either everything is important, or nothing is important. I tend to think, most of the time, that it's everything.
Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-03-12 17:23:39
Re: Bait
is this about human nature and divine nature? are we still lizards? have we ever been lizards? is this some sort of skilfully hidden erotic poetry? is it about a man and a woman? is it a religious, or an anti-religion atheistic poem? is it about some sort of an eastern philosophy or a life of philosphical nights and hungry green eyes waiting for the bait of death? is this just Slovitt begging for an answer from the Universe that he disguised himself as a lizard? is this the ultimate cry of a poet who knows, it's just a poem in a poem, and it's a damn good poem I must say, who knows? let's wait for morning... we will all regret or thank the Lord for not having to regret, by the way, will the bait be the answer to our prayers? a Cavafian poem. almost barbaric in its deeper nuances, whitely barbaric.

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-03-12 17:27:10
Re: Bait
blue salamander..... intruded by a hand... let's not focus on that, we have to grip the bait!

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-12 17:33:14
Re: Bait
NP: You are on a reading roll tonight. Thanks for all your kind attention. Swep

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-12 17:42:58
Re: Bait
NP: This is a simple poem. But you are as always remarkably fertile, and one for whom the world seems to be full of almost endless possibilities, potentialities. I will revisit your comments tomorrow,though I thank for for them today. Swep

Author's Reply:


For Erin, at 15 (posted on: 22-09-03)
daughter

Your twin rings rang. 2:54 a.m.
I got the phone late,
But heard, "I had to call,
I'm so screwed up, to talk to you."
A wayward boy-teen.
Hearing my receiver lift,
"I've got to go now,"
You hung up because of me.
Sweetheart, my gorgeous girl,
Across your little-girlhood,
Remember? We made drawings--
"A Cat in a Crystal Forest"--
And notes to exchange,
Our secret correspondence.
When you asked, yes, or no,
I fatly X'ed the box, Yes,
I love you. If only
Against your own 2:54 a.m.s,
Retain me. It might
Surprise you, the kind of person
A father continues to be.
Archived comments for For Erin, at 15
bluepootle on 2003-09-22 04:39:29
Re: For Erin, at 15
Stonking. Did it for me. (Maybe I'm having a soppy day, though.) Loved the last lines.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-09-22 13:45:59
Re: For Erin, at 15
Dear Bluepootle: Thanks. I'm not familiar with "stonking" but it sounds good. As to the poem, children change so fast and so dramatically, that they think we must be changing to. And though some of us perhaps do, many is the constant father, or mother.

Author's Reply:

britgrrl on 2003-09-22 22:08:42
Re: For Erin, at 15
Your poem flows beautifully from 'Sweetheart, my gorgeous girl'. This describes so well a quite lovely scene of father teaching daughter about love and trust. The whole, and particularly the last lines, are achingly touching.

However, though I do know you tend to place phrases in unusual ways for special effect - and maybe this is your intent here - might I add that I did hear/stumble over what felt like awkwardness of language?

Here:"I just had to call,
I'm so screwed up, to talk to you.

(To me this is easily resolved by placing 'I'm so screwed up' at either beginning or end of this sentence).

and here: "You heard another receiver lift,
Mine, "I've got to go now,"
You hung up because of me.

Again, to my way of thinking and 'hearing' this, simple changes would suffice. Perhaps 'my' for another, 'Said' for Mine, 'And' for You (or simply omit You altogether).

Author's Reply:

dancing-queen on 2003-09-23 08:08:23
Re: For Erin, at 15
Yes, I really enjoyed this too. Having a daughter of that age myself, your words rang true - our children do forget that we're there for them. I don't know why it is but teenagers tend to alienate themselves from us, don't they? And I hear her telling her friends "I can't tell my mum - she doesn't understand..."
If only Mum (or Dad) was given the chance, eh?

I thought that Britgrrl's comments were valid - perhaps a little reworking of those lines would be an idea - I must admit that I faltered in the same places.

Nevertheless, enjoyed it - very touching!

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-09-24 07:59:59
Re: For Erin, at 15
Dear dancing-queen: Thanks. I did make a couple of changes in the offending lines mentioned by Britgrrl, and noted by you, and I think it reads better. Again, thanks for your comments.


Author's Reply:

spacegirl on 2003-09-27 06:32:37
Re: For Erin, at 15
It made me think. I know I don't always talk things through with my parents, but they often have the best advice. We hope our children feel they can talk to us & this is a lovely piece to talk to them about.

Agreed about the 4th line.

Author's Reply:

MissClawdy on 2003-09-27 09:24:49
Re: For Erin, at 15
Maybe I'm a little numb today, but it took me a few reads to grasp that it was a father's perspective rather than a mother's.
It was beautifully written and brought a lump to my throat. I'm particularly homesick today and I miss my own pa very much.


Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-09-28 04:59:05
Re: For Erin, at 15
Thanks for your comments. I've made a couple of changes prompted by BG but not the 4th line yet. Again, thanks.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-09-28 10:58:12
Re: For Erin, at 15
Sorry about the belated response to your comments. I appreciate them, and will continue to ponder the 4th line. Thanks, Slovitt

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2003-12-24 03:44:50
Re: For Erin, at 15
A small incident, trawled from memory: how only a child would give such a questionairre; if only life were so simple... I like that particularly, and the way this simplicity is positioned against the later, teen inability to see things as they actually are. Heartfelt, human and constant. For the record, I like line 4 as it is, to change word order would render it prosaic, in my view. One thing I don't get is "retain me", the grammatical structure isn't clear to me, well, this morning it isn't. No quibble though.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-12-24 10:27:59
Re: For Erin, at 15
Thanks for reading. It's a particular pleasure when a reader delves into one's archive. The "retain me" is almost an impersonal word choice, retain in the almost legal sense of a lawyer on retainer, in that the father says if only against future problems, even if all other relationships go to the side, keep me to help you. Of course the hope is that the father/daughter relationship will be maintained for more basic reasons, if only she ever grows up enough to trust, and see clearly. Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

britgrrl on 2004-01-05 12:48:56
Re: For Erin, at 15
Reread today. So glad you've restored the genuine slovitt and eliminated the generic! Do like the clearer reference to Cat in a Crystal Forest, though I'd thought it just an additional special sharing BESIDES drawings and notes. Shelagh



Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-01-05 15:50:37
Re: For Erin, at 15
Thanks. Swep

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-03-12 17:34:10
Re: For Erin, at 15
it might surprise you, the kind of person a father continues to be.... very american I expected a much more universal meaningful last phrase... but no one is perfect. ๐Ÿ˜‰ never mind, secret correspondence will do!

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-12 17:57:30
Re: For Erin, at 15
NP: Thanks, Swep

Author's Reply:


A Ceiling Bas-relief (posted on: 19-09-03)
(the Fontaine House)

1.1850. To typhus, the only boy of a tinsmith, lost. Off to the side of the mourning, swinging its neck, the child's pet swan rejects food, follows its small master. The smith resumes work. Borne by river Natchez to Memphis, across years he labors, ornamenting the homes of the wealthy. In 1870, to this house, comes... 2.Atop a scaffold, face uplifted, Kneeling. He applies A thin base. An oval frame Molds. Hands floating, The curved outline of wings Forms, feather by feather Details. Now, between the wings, Eyes, a delicate nose-- Stare: the smith's hands                 long since air, Lively, this face with his jaw.
Archived comments for A Ceiling Bas-relief
britgrrl on 2003-09-21 22:10:02
Re: A Ceiling Bas-relief
I had to read this three or four times before I realized you were giving all the finer details of the tinsmith's work in the first stanza: his son's face within a swan's wings, correct? Haunting, not to mention skillful, the way you manage to place individuals and events within a poem so that the reader is seeing those lives, those circumstances, as lived. And you do this using such economy of language, making every word count. Really nice!

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-09-22 13:56:39
Re: A Ceiling Bas-relief
The first stanza, indeed, provides the background for the act of creation of "the boy's face with swan wings" in the second stanza. And the father's love to live on (now 125 years later) in the "forever" lively face of his lost boy. As always, you are a close, sensitive reader. Thanks.

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2003-09-22 15:28:13
Re: A Ceiling Bas-relief
When I first read this I was struck by the images in the second verse. The whole, poignant, beautiful, a delicate butterfly's wing of feeling, for me.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-09-22 15:43:06
Re: A Ceiling Bas-relief
Dear e-griff: Thanks very much. It's a piece that saw many lengths, many variations, during the six years I worked on it, before the above posted resolution. Again, thanks.

Author's Reply:

marym on 2004-03-01 11:56:38
Re: A Ceiling Bas-relief
Hi Slovitt ~ this poem made me read it more than once. Though I didn't understand the title, I am totally taken in my the last lines "Stare: the smith's hands long since air, Lively, this face with his jaw." Thoughts of an artist at work ~ to perfect the art of perfection... ending with the "jaw" -- the foundation/finesse of a craftsman's work.

May not be what you wanted to convey ~ but I enjoy the poem for what it makes me feel.

Regards, Mary

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-01 16:08:38
Re: A Ceiling Bas-relief
Hello Mary: The first part gives the background i.e.
the death by typhus of the child of a tinsmith. The second part is led into by the very same tinsmith, following his craft about the country, coming to the Fontaine house to execute a commission. And, then, in the second part the smith creates a bit of ceiling decoration, a bas-relief, and the subject is the face of a child protected by swan wings. In the ultimate function of art, to create something living, something immortal, he's done double duty, having achieved a "living" piece of art and, even a century later, having immortalised his only son, "this face with his jaw." Thanks for reading, and for delving so deeply into my archive. Swep

Author's Reply:

marym on 2004-03-02 04:44:45
Re: A Ceiling Bas-relief
Hi Slovitt ~ not in the way I imagine the second part ~ but what you explained is very interesting. I shall save your poem and your reply in my computer. I think it was beautiful and if you will allow, I would like to share it with a friend?!

Regards, Mary

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2004-03-02 05:06:33
Re: A Ceiling Bas-relief
Mary: Thank you. And as for sharing it with a friend, why I'd be pleased for you to do so. Swep

Author's Reply:

silentmemories on 2004-03-12 17:39:32
Re: A Ceiling Bas-relief
interesting.

Author's Reply:

Dazza on 2005-03-03 10:04:23
Re: A Ceiling Bas-relief
Swep, this is time travel at it's best with hark to maybe, somewhat e.e cummings and magic like that? I hope you are OK Swep and not leaning on the Bourbon too much! DAzza.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-03-03 13:55:36
Re: A Ceiling Bas-relief
Dazza: You have gone deep into the archive to find this poem, which I appreciate. Thanks for your comment, and I'm fine, the barking lessons are going well, and I have spent the night, which passed as if seconds, on another plane. You do have a thing about French Kings I notice, but as with most things francais, it's a dead end. Swep

Author's Reply:


Autumnal (posted on: 12-09-03)
stream of time

1.The beautiful, clear, human
Eyes...again I see
The gray velvet Weimaraner,
A young dog gracefully
Cutting across a pasture,
On down a bare hill,
Into the street my wife and I
Rented on, when first
Married. Zigging playfully,
He hit the asphalt,
And was blindsided by a car
That never slowed.
Eyes of the oddest color,
Filled with light, went shut,
On a fall afternoon,
Now fifteen years remote.

2.A childhood friend's
Mother has died. A pain
In her side in August,
Dead this first of November.
My Mother calls,
Feeling I should call
Rebecca. Since twelve
We haven't spoken.
She, a pretty, red-haired girl,
Virginia's little girl,
Who played kissing games
With Edna's little boy,
And no one was old
And no one was sick
And life stretched forever
Benignly forward.

Archived comments for Autumnal
bluepootle on 2003-09-12 10:39:31
Re: Autumnal
conjures really clear images for me, as the most effective poetry should. i have a feeling i'll be thinking about this one for a while... great stuff. loved the last four lines.

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Slovitt on 2003-09-12 17:24:24
Re: Autumnal
bluepootle: Thank you.

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britgrrl on 2003-09-15 21:15:17
Re: Autumnal
Compelling and insightful poem.The passage from not knowing to knowing; from the innocence of the children/playful puppy for whom 'life stretched forever/Benignly forward' to the realization that all living creatures/things die. This describes an important and profound transition to the recognition of our own mortality.

I was struck by the haunting observation and implied question: how can any creature be vitally, beautifully alive one minute, dead the next ? The title and timing of events effectively link reader to the 'autumnal' years/cycle when it becomes obvious that all in nature begins to die. I love the clear, direct and unflinching voice with its wonderful use of phrases such as,' Eyes of the oddest color, /Filled with light, went shut.' and the repetitive, simple language used to emphasize the child's perspective in the last lines. Superbly effective.


Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-09-16 08:23:04
Re: Autumnal
Well, and closely read. You are right about the speaking voice of the last lines, but moreover, I was shooting for a kind of melding between the child at the time and the adult recounting the events, even as he recounted them. Thanks.

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flash on 2003-09-21 06:26:14
Re: Autumnal
Very powerful, desperately sad, you bring back memories of my lost pets and for a moment i feel empty.

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Slovitt on 2003-09-22 13:49:52
Re: Autumnal
Dear Flasheroo: Thanks for having read it, and for your comments. There's generally too little interaction between poets and fiction writers. Again, thanks.

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prism on 2003-09-27 11:40:08
Re: Autumnal
A very assured piece reflecting on the painful fragility of life framed within the context of a dying year. I like the emphatic simplicity of โ€œA pain in her side in August, dead this first of Novemberโ€. Repetitions like โ€œMy mother calls, feeling I should callโ€ and โ€œVirginiaโ€™s little girlโ€ฆ.Ednaโ€™s little boyโ€ help maintain a soft, understated beat. All in all a very evocative poem.


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MissClawdy on 2003-09-28 06:42:51
Re: Autumnal
Appart from the fact that the content of the poem is absolutely heart-breakingly beautiful, the rhyme scheme is really clever and it flows naturally and easily. Another fantastic piece. Do you ever write prose?

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Slovitt on 2003-09-28 08:07:01
Re: Autumnal
Thanks. I haven't written any prose in a number of years, and the simple act of all that typing, will probably ensure that the future will be the same.
Again, thanks for your comments. I appreciate it.

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Skeeter on 2003-10-23 06:14:37
Re: Autumnal
I love this. It reminds me (and here's a compliment) of Robert Lowell. I think its the same softness of approcah concealing a hard subject matter. Its like the 2 themes intercut each other; the celebration of life and the reality of death; and one comments upon the fragility of the other, the fractured expectation, the promise unfulfilled, perhaps.

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2003-10-23 07:12:20
Re: Autumnal
I love this. It reminds me (and here's a compliment) of Robert Lowell. I think its the same softness of approcah concealing a hard subject matter. Its like the 2 themes intercut each other; the celebration of life and the reality of death; and one comments upon the fragility of the other, the fractured expectation, the promise unfulfilled, perhaps.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2003-10-23 16:00:47
Re: Autumnal
Thanks. You're a good poet, and I appreciate your comments. Swep

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uppercase on 2004-02-22 10:56:56
Re: Autumnal
You paint such wonderful pictures with your words. I can feel the loss and I can remember the times when no one was sick and life stretched on forever..Erma

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Slovitt on 2004-02-22 11:16:19
Re: Autumnal
Erma: Thanks for going so far back in my archive. And thanks for the warm comments. Swep

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silentmemories on 2004-03-12 17:47:25
Re: Autumnal
I disagree with your "Life stretched forever benignly backwards", yes that should be the ultimate last line/verse. [when no one was old, and no one was sick... do you get what I mean? I hope you do! ]

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silentmemories on 2004-03-12 17:49:30
Re: Autumnal
correction: with your benignly forward, "... etc... thanks for the very interesting and inspiring poetry Slovitt. I enjoyed reading your poetry tonight. Bye!

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Slovitt on 2004-03-14 15:37:59
Re: Autumnal
NP: I do get what you mean, and it's a different twist, and an intriguing one. I must commend you for making, with but an exception or two, through the whole of the archive. Thank you for your attention, and the stream of interesting, and generous comments. Thanks, Swep

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silentmemories on 2004-03-14 15:48:31
Re: Autumnal
Hold your horses slovitt, I'll comment on both your other poems, it's Gauguin and Yes You.

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silentmemories on 2004-03-14 15:51:21
Re: Autumnal
and it's the best twist you can get! sorry, I'm a bit humorous lately. *I try to keep my satirical side for my own work.*

Author's Reply:

Dazza on 2005-04-22 19:59:41
Re: Autumnal
No one was old and no one was sick...those were the days. Hey, Swep you're not getiing older the women are just getting younger! The Bourbon is ageing nicely though if you gave it a chance. This snippet, that life, photo with words. Dazza.

Author's Reply:

Slovitt on 2005-04-22 23:10:16
Re: Autumnal
Dazza: I had just about finished a reply when it became lost, so here again, I must say that I've chosen to live outside of time, having seen three centuries end, and having been born in one of them. It's a simple technique. And yes, the women, well though they are younger women do age, but the rare one is the finest pleasure afforded man on earth. I try to let the Bourbon age for fifteen minutes, so at least I'm trying. I called up your story this morning after getting off of work but exhausted saved it for the very evening I am now beginning. Thanks as always for commenting, and doubly for the deep delve into the archive. Swep

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