poetry critical

online poetry workshop

1966, 1983 (rev. 12 Aug 07)

Holman just shot me. I'm
eleven again. "That's it for you"
she scrawled aloud and lodged
the note in my hollow chest
pocket. "March yourself now
to the Principal's Office."
I went slow to meet death
in a first to last face with
the exterminator.
Principal Jamieson: fifty, lean,
assured, white hair, spotless
cold backlit in late day glare.
Blue eyes through lenses.
A narrow tie binds in memory:
"What's this about?"
"I—turned and talked to Becky.
She blew in my ear—twice.
"It's simpler to obey your teacher.
Go back. We'll make no more of this."
A young man hunted
for supplies, tools, for various
Sundries At Saunders
The Place For Hard....
Around the corner. There is
the cashier cradling "He's fine
I've seen this—a seizure."
Pupils transfixed? I find no pulse.
On a pillow of paper, a roll of soft Bounty
I lilt the head back to angle to open
the airway. Assistance required
"...help by compressing the chest."
vibrations fade
Spectators amass, mute as the walls
except for the ugly one peeling paint
"Why do you bother? He's d e a d."
Impassive blue inches from green.
Keep in the calm while timing
breaths for three days
to learn who he was.
His name is of none till
The Herald denotes
James Jamieson
past Principal.
Death rattles
the paper.
It will not
lie still.

21 Jan 06

(define the words in this poem)
(181 more poems by this author)

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Is it a short story or a poem?
 — unknown

It's a re-post, is what it is.
 — unknown

Yes, a heavy revision of an earlier effort by the same title.
I'll mark the title as a major revision.
-just following the guidlines-  This is not a repost- it's a rewrite.  thanks, r
 — netskyIam

all can be assured: it is not what its title suggests.
 — unknown

Thought of this old essay again, and so have revised it because it's my mile marker,
beginning to middle to
 — netskyIam

you always keep so aloof from your own material, like you're sort of a stranger to your own experience, and i think that's your youth speaking through, telling you that you haven't really lived enough hells to write about heaven.

well, little annoying hells, but that don't count.
 — joey

hells? several for sure.  today they remain as impressions of the dead.
http://poetry.tetto.o rg/read/30569/
 — netskyIam

you mean like on a pillow, where the eyes seem to follow you around the room?
 — joey

No, not that.  I don't normally dwell on these things.
The poems, the few in this vein,  are remembrances--
or sharings--not so much for self-therapy.  For instance,
Jean Pierre's last six words intended to protect me.
Somehow they did.  He thought of me,
not himself.  His wish, one wish, was granted.
 — netskyIam

yes, but confessional or cathartic, we have to read them as poetry and not as your lab notes. reading as poetry means paying attention to the words and the author on the highest level. that means that the writing has to be pretty good not to simply annoy.

the message is presented in  other writings and films, and it's not enough, i think, to feel that because you'e presented it too that you've made art.

maybe you understand, or maybe not, that i have written this kind of poem myself, with the same kind of presentation of "how i felt" without showing anything in the words but "me".
 — joey

Not sure I understand you (per my usual result).
What the thing has going for it: it is a non fiction all-through.  It really happened.
And who else has had such an experience?  I wanted to share the wonder.
"art" is secondary to the message here.  He spared me at eleven.
Unwittingly, I tried to return the favor at 29, but failed.
 — netskyIam

the non-fiction thing is an expression of a point of view for the reader, but the author is the only one who has known the story, and then, only in the way that made sense to the author. what is not fiction in this or any poem?

art is presentation so that we can believe your wonder. i felt no wonder, in fact, reading this, but perhaps only because i've been in your situation -- and i'm seeing this on many levels, like, are you thinking for us or letting the event show us the meaning? as i tried to say, you were the one doing the dying, he was just leaving. you felt what you were feeling and now we know how you felt about it, but i didn't learn how to die from this.
 — joey

Thanks for your insights, joey.  

Here's another retouch of the item (12 Aug 07)
and here's the current recitation:

http://tinyurl.com/2jf3s3< br />
 — netskyIam