poetry critical

online poetry workshop



Vicodin and Vodka
PaulS

Odors of antiseptic permeate
 1
           the halls
 2
where old men and women
 3
           shuffle along the shiny tile
 4
towing their silver towers,
 5
 
 
while you, my dear,
 6
half their age,
 7
    
 8
           lie flat
 9
                   on your back
 10
like
 11
           a stone,
 12
 
 
attached to a tower that
 13
           cannot move
 14
because you
 15
           cannot move.
 16
 
 
Six months and no diagnoses
 17
           has raised
 18
our anxiety
 19
           like a white flag of
 20
                                surrender.
 21
 
 
You look at me with your
 22
          baby blues and say
 23
"don't worry, go home and take
 24
                       care
 25
                                 of yourself."
 26
 
 
So, I tear myself away,
 27
       return home,
 28
             take my meds,
 29
                        watch television with the
 30
             dog
 31
                                    on my lap
 32
 
 
and a glass of
 33
           vodka in my hand--
 34
 
 
perhaps
 35
            I might
 36
                        get
 37
                                 some
 38
                                             sleep
 39
tonight.
 40

14 Nov 09

Rated 9.9 (8.7) by 12 users.
Active (12): 8, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10
Inactive (11): 1, 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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Comments:

cool poem- I like the structure--
if this is from personal experience, I hope all is well these days
though a few typos me thinks..
'orders' in line 1? 'their' in line 5 which you could probably omit, maybe?
the repeat of 'cannot move' ...hmmm
maybe line 16 could be something like 'are like stone' or something to that effect...
otherwise, nice write
 — JKWeb

thanks Jk.  This is personal, my wife has been very ill for quite some time and the doctors can't figure out what the problem is. It's very frustrating and is taxing not only her and I but the rest of the immediate family as well.  I wasn't going to write about this but this evening I felt a need to.
in line one it's oders as in smells--I'll think about your other suggestions.  I really do appreciate the read, thanks man.
 — PaulS

Jk: I wrote this in about half an hour with a substantial buzz on.  Without the buzz I probably would not have attempted to write about this subject.  a year ago i would never have attemted to address this, but I am becoming more comfortable with many of PC"s users to open myself up to them--you included.
 — PaulS

PaulS-
I hope the docs figure out the problem
and that there's an easy remedy..
best wishes to you and your wife
 — JKWeb

Thanks Jk, I appreciate the sentiment.
 — PaulS

PaulS I beleive you know my heart on this issue in your lives... having been in V.A. Hospitals on a weekly basis and also for weeks at a time with test after test, and the same meds along with 10 other bottles taking numerous pills during the day... sometimes I am tempted to over medicate and rest but it does not work that way for me etc
I like the way it steps off to sleep get some rest my friend but be care full... j.g. smiles
 — goeszon

    A lot of the time I forget to do things, like when I like something...j.g. smiles
 — goeszon

thanks goeszon, but what do you think of the poem?
 — PaulS

Is very good... I love this visual style.
 — andyleggett

In L4, I would definitely include "floors;" otherwise, the the subject could be shuffling along the shiny tile walls.  "Silver towers" is quite a good visual coming from someone who sees them sliding by every day from his office.  VERY good, in fact.  Maybe rid the poem of "like a white flag of surrender" in L21?  I only suggest this where it brings an element of finality into the mix.  Love this, Paul.  Hope she (and you) are feeling better/stronger SOON.  The title is spot on by the way, my friend.  
 — starr

not in any real world, starr, where you weren't resentful and jealous of another writer, one who gets deeper into emotion and life than all your pretending to be so alive. he doesn't need to tell us the tiles are what you shuffle on, because, in this kind of writing, one thing is always attached to another thing. there's no arty in this, because it wasn't necessary.

to bad the author had to think that real writing can only be done on drugs or alcohol -- i know he doesn't really feel that way, but some people might like to think that it's as easy as that to write poetry.

W.B. Yeats
 — unknown

Go fuck yourself.  You don't know me.  If you did, you'd know that I'm not the jealous type OR the UNKNOWN type, faggot ass.  
 — starr

to bad the author had to think that real writing can only be done on drugs or alcohol --

TOO bad you can't tell the difference between "to," the infinitive and "too," the adverb.  Are you sure YOU don't need a drink?  Idiot.  
 — starr

Compelling read.  I can feel despair, hope, fatigue throughout.  Even the jaggedness of the lines adds to the intensity.  
 — Isabelle5

Oh, dear, Paul.  Hope an answer is found soon.  I have a friend who has suffered for years, even went to Mayo clinic, now they think it's TMJ.  Weird, we expect miracles of our docs.  Poor you, poor wife!
 — Isabelle5

Oders should be odors, by the way.
 — Isabelle5

Andy -- thanks for reading and for the comment.
Starr -- I understand everything you spoke of and apreciate your crit.
Isabelle -- Thanks for spoting the typo and for your crit and concern.
 — PaulS

Dramatic yet honest. Atmoshere and mood balances with the narrator`s tone at the throes of almost defeat or worry. so beautiful and moving like the love it wanst to live
and to continue.  

Good luck.    
 — JadeOcampo

Solid imagery, well done on such poignant subject.  

My heart goes out to you and your wife.  Hope some answers come to you both soon.
 — sybarite

Thank you, sybarite--I value your comments and your eye.
 — PaulS

JadeOcampo, thank you so much for the wonderful and moving crit.
 — PaulS

It's spelled wrong, but maybe you knew that...???  Vicodin.
 — aforbing

Thanks aforbing, I should pay have payed a bit more attention.
 — PaulS

a nicely written poem. hope things get bettter. thanks for sharing
 — eternityrose

Thanks for the read, eternityrose.
 — PaulS

hey paul, i'm glad to have read this.  thank you for sharing such personal things in your poetry (you always do) =-)

i thought you did a wonderful job with the emotion in the poem, perfectly balanced with a man's heart, his need to fix and the frustration and sadness of not finding the answers.  I hope things improve, and you both watch tv together, with the dog.

nice poem
=-)
 — jenakajoffer

Jen, thank you, you humble me with such kind words and yes, I hope the three of us are able to do some tube watching together soon--something that will never be taken for granted ever again.
 — PaulS

what a real poem, my hope goes to you.
 — jrjphelps

jrjphelps -- Thanks so much for reading and commenting.
 — PaulS

Paul - your words in verse are always from such a place of sincerity and truth, and you've added a personal honesty here that is very touching. I hope you can both move through this soon.
 — Cocoa

Thank you cocoa, your words are very soothing to me and I so much apreciate them.
 — PaulS

This is beautiful and reminds me in theme and melancholy of Phillip Larkin's 'The Arundel Tomb' (larkin is from my home city of coventry). In Coventry they have Alms Houses established hundreds of years ago for the elderly who couldn't afford domicilary care. Their is a tenderness in all your poems Paul but what I like about your work is how careful you are with images, you seem to write with a responsibility that what you are writing is to serve as a custodian for the people you write of. I'd love to have a whiskey and chill out with you for an afternoon you seem my kind of person.

This is very much a poem of the affected and how they affect others, its a beautiful piece of work.

Faved !
 — Caducus

Caducas:  I am very humbled by you comment and how you view my work, thank you.
 — PaulS

I meant by YOUR comment.
 — PaulS

Heart rending, there's nothing I want to say except good luck to you and your wife.
 — crimsonkiss

Thanks for that, crimsonkiss.
 — PaulS

WOW! Such word! Been there & done that!
Still do.............
 — lbernhardt

too clever
 — unknown

red wine + vicodin
is better.
 — a2b489

HalleLUjah!  This one was a sleeper, but y'finally made it to #1 Recent Best!  Congrats, Paul.  Happy Thanksgiving and I'll keep you in my prayers.  :-)
 — starr

Perhaps
 — percocet

sleep repairs -- well writ with a temperate wit in it
 — AlchemiA

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read and comment on this poem--it is much appreciated.
 — PaulS

Poetry is such a poersonal thing, a therapy of sorts, where we can express our innermost feelings, and get them out, so we don't burst. Good write and conveys much emotion. Pills and alcohol don't mix, so if you feel you need something, take one and nix the other. Best wishes for a full recovery.
 — JohnW

Thank you, JohnW, for the kind and understanding comment.
 — PaulS

this is very good, particularly enjoy "silver towers"-- its interesting, and in a way that i can't quite understand which only seems to add to it.

the experience of this is like the event itself: short, refined, grabbing words and sticking them out so they are like needles pricking out into our conscious minds, white space controlling the measured distance between thought and feel.

could do without "of surrender" but nevermind, this piece shines like those tiles, all the while filing yourself into a dusty draw where we keep our homely dark passengers.
 — DeformedLion

Thanks for the great crit DL, I really apreciate it.
 — PaulS

Thanks for the 1 with no comment--it is SO much appreciated.
 — PaulS

It's a winner in a lot of "other's" books though, Paul.  They're just angry, empty, miserable muthafuckas who suck.  Too bad Raid doesn't work on HUMAN cockroaches.  Don't worry about your poem.  It's still as potent as it was the day u posted it.  Nite, buddy.  I'm fuckin' beat.  :-)
 — starr

for me the poem ended with 'vodka in my hand"
lines 35 through 40 make what i feel is a really good piece a tad trite. something which i'm sure it isn't (i was naughty and read a few comments to see if it was a personnel reality) as the reader i assumed the fatigue of the visits and the worry would make it hard to get enough sleep. (just me).

while i really like it, it has no obvious indication of the relationship within the poem.
the use of baby blues at first made me think wife but on reflection it also feels a little motherly.

the form does the piece justice and adds to it. (all to often it just looks gimmicky)

all jmo. thanks for the read.
 — billy423uk

Thanks for reading billy.  I thought about what you said about L35-40, but I think those lines add something to the anxiety factor of the poem.
 — PaulS

Oh, this is beautiful. So real. Love love the format.

Oh, vicodin and vodka...!
 — laura352

Personal, vivid, post-modern.  I'm not in love with the cummings-esque shifting pattern, but I will admit it's effective.
 — aurelius

laura352 and aurelius--thank you for the positive comments.
 — PaulS

This comment has been suspended by a moderator.

nice writing. you capture the feeling of hopelessness very well, particularly with the image of the speaker at home.
 — listen

This comment has been suspended by a moderator.

I like to get comfortable and read your stuff Paul... I haven't been around for awile... the trolls caused me to go elsewhere... this was a very good write Pual... I think about the past an I hope things have gotten better... Goeszon
 — goeszon

I like to get comfortable and read your stuff Paul... I haven't been around for awhile... the trolls caused me to go elsewhere... this was a very good write Paul... I think about the past an I hope things have gotten better... Goeszon
 — goeszon

This comment has been suspended by a moderator.

This comment has been suspended by a moderator.

This comment has been suspended by a moderator.

This comment has been suspended by a moderator.

With the greatest combination in all of chemistrydom,
I suppose you will.
 — 9

beautiful write...puts me right in the room with you. very sad...hope all turned out ok!
 — kbearandbean

i usually detest over formatting
but it works with this imo.
 — unknown

I agree; really cool poem. Loved every line. Kudos :)
 — MrArchaic

One of my favorite afternoon delights. ;-)
 — unknown

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 — disclosure

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