|Public Exposure #1
Famous G Men we have known
begin with Elliot Ness, that all-man "G Man".
'Government Man", that meant.
Prototyped by a nefarious robber,
the "G Man" sobriquet was adopted
by J. Edgar Hoover to make
for the public mind, and his F.B.I,
an icon for the the agency's
Men of Right vs. The Public Enemies.
Bad men feared the night's coming:
Hoover's G Men busting in, guns blazing.
Bonnie and Clyde died!
of those Hoovering G Men, right-headed.
Bonnie and Clyde had a parallel, though:
J. Edgar had a Clyde, too.
Guns blazing, hot in the night!
G-Man Jedgar, the dignified Dr. Jekyll by day
was at night, a Mr. Hidey-poo too.
Yes, that's right:
in a dress played Edgar,
in private, as "Bonnie"
for his own Clyde lover, sur-
Famous G Men!
Story here told!
No matter the calibre of the poet,
it's no pot-shot to publicly slay
pubic hypocrisy however, whenever
wherever Jekylls hang out their Hydes,
so pink and foolishly risable.
Hoover's long dead
so it's safe for exposure:
under gray flannel suits
are sometimes found dresses.
7 Feb 05
Rated 9 (4.8) by 1 users.
Inactive (7): 1, 1, 1, 3, 5, 9, 10, 10
(define the words in this poem)
(181 more poems by this author)
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To me this is a story, not a poem...for this to be a poem I want to know how you are emotionally bound to this story. Weave yourself within the story…be a part of the action.
majoraward... it is a comic shock poem. it's a true story, too. How am -I- bound to the story? How was Homer bound to the Illiyad?? (grin). Tell you this much: I am old enough to remember living in fear of what Hoover did to subversives and gays and anyone he sensed might threaten the life-tenancy of his job: His agency might inform an employer: "your employee Mr. so and so is under surveillance for un-American activities. You might do well to terminate this person". And this did happen and people were fired witthout know the reason being the employer's fear of tacit threat by the FBI. No one would risk an IRS audit, which could and did come if Hoover so desired to harrass the victim or his employer. Hoover was a two-faced hypocritical conniving power mad creep. The most feared American who ever lived. He knuckled down on all US Presidents from Coolidge to Nixon. I am a homo, myself. There is no love in me for Hoover's memory. He would have had me destroyed if he read this poem in 1970, when I was a lad, IF the poem existed then. Now.. do you see WHY I wrote the poem? Does it stil rate a "3"? If so, why so? You tell me now, please. -netsky-
you've read my comments elsewhere so here's my rating too
The earlier critique by 'majorward' is based on personal poetic ideals...but aren't they all! Such readers limit their experience of poetry, their ratings are as much value as KKK views on equal rights.
good title, interesting subject, though a tidy up would certainly not go amiss.
Famous G Men we have known [punctuation?] 2
[this is very antiquated poetic phrasing, usually used as a device for rhyming, or at times for forced rhyming. however as the present phrasing doesn't rely on rhyming you might want to play around with it, so that it is more in keeping with the tone of the rest of the piece. more in keeping would be to revert to more modern phrasing along the lines of 'We have known Famous G Men' or 'We have known many famous G Men' etc. having said that it could stand as it is, without marring things too much, though you would need to work with the modern phrasing elsewhere so it mirrored the phrasing here.
Otherwise you need punctuation at the end of this line. a full stop is probably best.
Begin with Elliot Ness; all-man "G Man"
[whether you stay with your existing phrasing in line 1 or not, you will need to consider which tense would be most fitting here. personally i prefer the continuous present rather than the present: using beginning rather than begin to continue the statement in 1, these things depend on punctuation however.
if you want to tighten and experiment further you may also want to consider whether begin is even necessary. you could end 1 with a full stop (punctuation needs a lot of attention throughout, it does little at present to help the reader with the complexity of your written structure) and start 2 directly from 'Elliot Ness ...'. i say this because, though you use begin, you never subsequently state that you continue and then end. language balance and mirroring in a poem is an important logical device to use, so that people can follow what you say, without your poem appearing to be too verbally dense. alternative introductions like 'Take Elliot Ness ...', could also be explored because they don't let you trip into a list structure that you have to stick to throughout. alternative introductions also allow for the opportunity to play with syllables and rhythm: if you replace the existing 3 syllables words with a 1 syllable word, it could encourage a more rhythmic, less prosy one beat, double beat, one beat, double beat double beat rhythm, nearly inherent in this line anyway.
Then on to line breaks and plays on words
.... all-man "G Man" 3
Government Man, ... 4
regardless of the lack of commas required in all lists, i'm not sure the word play works as well as it could here. G Man develops nicely into Government Man but the 'all' of all-man doesn't. not even the spell structure. a hyphenated small capped word into a capped un-hyphenated word. poetry has as much to do with visual aesthetic as art, rhythmic aesthetic as music, all these must come together for a poem to appeal, to roll off the tongue of a reader that has never read it before. just keep playing, the hardest thing for a poet to criticise in their own work is its readability to others.
as such the line structure here, also bothers me, your line breaks don't spin me round and seem to be making me breath in the wrong places rhythmically. i.e.:
Government Man, that meant 4
Prototyped by a nefarious robber 5
Government Man is the climax of what could be quite a nice alliterative word play, however merging straight into 'that meant' joined by a comma reads very awkwardly. I can't really see why you even need 'that meant', a semi-colon implies the same thing. ending with a semi-colon after government man and then ending 5 with a full stop fulfils your intention, but does it a lot less verbally: things are subsequently clearer to a reader and dare i say it more poetic.
This "G Man" sobriquet 6
Instantly latched upon by J. Edgar Hoover 7
[instantly really isn't needed - and is latched really the best description, could you infer more about hoover's character with another word?]
To make for the public eye [comma] an Icon [lots of choices here, full-stop, comma, hyphen. etc] 8
A Title [no cap required here] for his [if you use the there, you need to use the here, or visa versa without a the in both places]Men of Right vs. The Public Enemies [full-stop]
all fine other than this turn of phrase. "To make for the public eye an Icon " which is quite awkwardly phrased (lack of punctuation really does not help). some poetry critique will teach you that such yodastic phrasing is the biggest crime ever. i wouldn't go quite as far, playing with yodastic phrasing has a time and a place. My dilemma rests here: do you have 'public eye' rather than just 'public' because you want to sound play on icon and imply a 1984 big brother type atmosphere? if you do, it worked (well it would have worked much better with punctuation!) if you didn't intend it, well ...
by stanza 2 you might as well turn my previous comments on their head and recommend the opposite: here you have hacked at what could have been fluid, beautiful prose for very colloquial phrasing.
Gangs of Bad Men [why are Bad Men capped? the word play on g-men struggles under the weight of too many 'men' but hey] shuddered at [the] sight 10
[shuddered! might be the least poetic, rhythmically interesting, toneless, word you could use here, i think you could do much much better]
[of] Hoover's G Men bu[r?]sting in, guns blazing [s'little cliché-all double ing-ing is good though] 11
Bonnie and Clyde! [no exclamation needed here, one at the end is grammatically correct and quite dramatic enough for your purposes] Died! 12
By agency of G Men Right-Headed [why is this capped? the word play is a little weak here too, men of right/right-headed? hmm. undecided] 13
[this line seems like an after thought. try playing with line position: i.e.: would line 13 sit better before 12?]
Bonnie and Clyde had [a] parallel 14
[the stanza links poorly from the one before it, you're missing some word like yet, but not yet, for a smoother transition into the parallel you want to draw. in fact showing us rather than telling us would be better, but one step at a time. the a can be added or left here by the way. quite like it without, but as you veer between formal, informal, antiquated, colloquial phrasing throughout it's worth mentioning that mixing phrasing styles makes for convoluted, difficult to read poetry, keep to one style, or if using more than one voice a more varied palette]
For Edgar had a Clyde, too 15
[no need for too, you've already introduced the parallel in the previous line, no need to re-emphasise it unneccessarily]
Guns blazing [again! too much of a parallel or not enough? think on parallel and then how the language is best paralleled to support the parallel you're drawing. phew] hot in the night! [hot in the night might be the tritest simile i've read before, you can do a lot lot lot better. the exclamation mark isn't needed here] 16
G-Man Hoover a dignified Dr Jekyll... 7
[ok. no ellipsis required]
And yes, a Mr. Hidey-poo, too 18
[just just awful, did you get tired at this point? i don't so much object to Hidey-poo, but the 'and yes ... too' you've overplayed your comedy card. if i hadn't felt vaguely interested in the subject, this is the point where i would have stopped reading. it's a tough call: but failure to be funny is probably the biggest of sins]
In a dress played Edgar 19
In private the role "Bonnie" 20
For his own Clyde 21
[more yodastic phrasing as previously mentioned above, without any word play or anything much to support it's use. i would leave your phrasing alone if it was consistent throughout or if it made sense. here something along the lines of "In private Edgar played// The role of Bonnie// For his own clyde// Surnamed Tolson, may be one alternative to consider. I'm not even sure that my suggestion is much better, something will be better though, it'll just take some thinking (on your part)
23 onwards is just unnecessary, very preachy, and contributes zilch to your story. though it would be nice to keep 32 and 33 somehow. However if your attention is to write poetry just for your mates, keep it in.
It's not a bad poem in general, some nice ideas and attempts to pull of consistent wordplay, it's a little light on story however, you could have lingered on hoover's sexuality and contrasted his public injustices more. you also use far too many similes for such a short text, which end up muddying your message, i.e.: g-men, and hoover and bad men and bonnie and clyde and jeckyll and hyde. some attention to punctuation and consistent structure is also paramount: are you going to use antiquated phrasing, colloquial, an chopped or prose style, rhyming or alliteration etc all used together in one sitting is a little much and again detracts from what good ideas you have.
one of the other things you don't do is let others draw their own conclusions, you have an explanatory header, footer, section in the poem (23-30) and comments!: it's safe to say that if you have to do that much explaining around the poem you haven't explained things deeply enough in the poem itself.
in summary the poem feels rushed and could do with a revisit. best of luck.
the reader above doesn't have an ear only their own voice
author netsky here: firstly, I will print out your detailed accounting, kal. Thank you.. that was a great deal of work you did in effort to help me. I will study it all in print-out form and think and think and maybe make some changes.. or not.. but you'll see that I appreciate your genuinely well-intended help. I have a tiny tiny gift of honorarium for you, too: I'll put up the poem which YOUR screen name and inputs got me to write out. I don't do -great- poetry, but I do do sincere poetry even if much of is is Seuessinan dodo dod doo (grins from me and thanks to you and you others here). Laughs need to be more easy and frequent.. if if I make comedy of myself.. the aim is to Lighten Up every day and not just for some contest of poets. -netsky-
I don’t know what else to say to you about this. I told you honestly how I feel about this poem. Others may think it a brilliant poem, the best they have ever read, but I do not. You seem to me to be holding yourself at a distance from this poem. From your explanation, you only make it more obvious to me that you are superficially hitting the top of an iceberg of inner turmoil and emotion. You are hinting at these emotions within by describing something far off and ancient history.
How to be bound to this story to make it a poem? You probably can care less for what I have to say, but I will say it anyway because I think it could make you a better poet and that is why we are all here at this board. Write another poem, but through the eyes of J. Edgar Hoover, and immerse your own self and emotions into the character...just a suggestion.
I hear your sincerety.. we have a minor difference in aim: I aimed to make a light and comic poem of sharp-enough wit and humor which can be enjoyed by any kind of reader who laughs at pomposity and hypocrisy. It is =not= an in-depth character study. Nor is it nearly a biography of Hoover nor myself.. but only a caricature nevertheless quite true in such details that it does present. Light and silly but deadly bang-bang serious to help topple further the monumental lies and evil actions of Hypocrite Hoover, Public Pompous Power Knave Number #1
I'll put up the kaleidoscope poem asap.. and it is simple, too, but I think, more poetic overall. thanks, and laugh at me, with me, but really.. I cannot be changed in any basic way. I'll never become a daily-serious poet. . the world is overpopped with those good men and women already. Give me the greasepaint and brush to paint my face and I am happy in this particular mode at hand. Other few poems of mine come closer to sober beauty..but these are in minority. Would you be so kind as to look at the aforbing personal verse? Meanwhile I shall read some of your poems.. I alwasys find much good in others' works. It's easy: I am a gay male Pollyanna... in sense!
Lia read this poem, and left feeling confused and small. She enjoyed the last stanza, however, since it was the only one she actually understood.
Also, she wonders why there is a full stop way at the end of the poem.
thanks for your comments
I really enjoyed this, you were descriptive and I felt like if I closed my eyes I could actually picture it. Well done.
A very entertaining piece of writing.
Pelican's gonna get you.
after the first stanza, i had to skip to the ending because this absulutely bored the living sh-t out of me. why on earth do you continue posting poetry which obviously is not worth the time? there isn't a single useful meaning one could derive from this. thanks for the waste of words.
The Hoosiers are gonna get you tonight.
� netskyIam funny.
Reid/netsky here, five years later. I cannot retouch the item now, not here, as I have no netskyIam password. Again, I thank the now-gone kal for two, frank, crits.
The thing does read more as prose than as poetry.
I think, though, that the closure is good, for it SUCKS the last vestiges of dignity from that terrible man. Reader's have to know what a power-monger and hypocrite he was.
Google him? He =controlled= all the USA presidents from about 1924, through the Nixon years; kept secret, blackmail files on all figures of note, including my g'father, who was anti-Roosevelt, and got an unannounced visit at dinnertime, to be grilled for his...having told his boy that Roosevelt was too socialist. My little daddy parrotted the opinion at school, and the next day: the USA's own version of the SS, came knocking at the Almeria house. They did him no harm...but the -fear- of being "Hoovered" ruined lives, and he did 'leak' private information. YET HE WAS A closeted homosexual all the time, and DESTROYED homosexuals where ever he and his men could find them. And he LIVED as a homo, with an actual CLYDE...and he dressed up at home like BONNIE. He could not be forced from office, though all this was known by insiders: he could and did destroy anyone who scraped him. Broadcaster/columnist, Drew would have known all this dirt. I wonder if he ever dared to write an anti-Hoover column? I doubt it, or Drew would have been discredited and fired from the Washington Post, etc. Hoover was the Napoleon and Mussolini type, but alway, hiding behind the front lines. He likes slip-overs, I think.
He sure pulled the wool over the eyes of the general public, until JUST AFTER he died: then the agents and insiders began talking the truth. Hoover was a dirtbag, imo.
I do not think it a "good" poem, but it's a good story, I think, for putting Hoover and his lover, Clyde, in parallel counterpoint with Bonnie and Clyde. Which pair did more damage to the nation? The reader can research and decide. Perhaps Hoover was "good"...but...no...you won't find memorials to him today; nothing loving.
FBI directors no longer enjoy free, forty year careers, free to intimidate every one decent, while sucking dicks in the heat of the night. And nothing wrong with the sexuality: its the HYPOCRISY that this first netskyIam (reid welch) item wanted to show. No one else was speaking up. I spit on his grave and laugh...that last line pair is all that makes the poem, a poem, really.
you make a good case for socialism.