poetry critical

online poetry workshop

what we have instead of shamans

are slim, besuited, sons
of bitches
guilty grins all gum and wire, sorry they are
for rain, for heat, for snow, for the occasional sleet
for hail.  o how they falsely wail, shucking
and jiving around our screens
even, for chrissakes, cautioning us what number
sunblock to use:  45 or 92
i wish  
for bestringed, yellow claws and teeth
for honest lies, some real loud howls and piss
analysis.  then i could feel afraid
could cry even, huddle into the straw
and pray.  as things are, i just sigh and flip
sigh and flip sigh and flip
and sigh and flip and sigh

19 Jul 10

Rated 9.5 (7.8) by 2 users.
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Inactive (16): 1, 1, 1, 6, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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This is damn good. The only thing that catches me a little is that "92" - a number that no SPF comes in.

Also, I understand the point of the ending and how it mimics reality, and the repetition does well for that, BUT I feel that the ending could be replaced with something else and be even stronger. With what, I don't know, but you do.

3/4 and 10/11 are the best in here
 — Ananke

gee, ananke...thanks!  i really didn't expect any comments--awfully cool of you to take a real look at it.  "92" is just hyperbole--a tossoff--but i get what you mean.  i will take a real look at the ending.  again, thanks!
 — pittsburgh

Good.. Enjoyed the read. Everyone feels like this sometimes. I like the end, its how it is.
 — crimsonkiss

why would anyone think that t.v. talking heads our our shamans? aren't poets the urban-modern evo-lootshun of shamans? do you need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows? if you do, you should ask in the silly thread about pop-music love which pop-singer blows for you.

i wish, myself, that every writer posting a poem here knew what they really and most importantly had to write about, and only posted when a poem said something they'd invented on their own in their own voice. i also wish you would make it not rain today. you can do this, yes?
 — bmikebauer

thanks kiss of crimson.  thanks so much.

mike, WE BE SHAMANS, fuck yes.
the wind is blowing from the south and has been--it smells of black and grease and hell.

as to your second point:  how can we know that's not already true?  i do feel the shame and fear, the need, the guts, the flashes of lights, the hope with eyes averted, the hope with eyes unaverted, the love, the love, the love.  

there will be no rain today in mike bauer's house.
 — pittsburgh

thanks, man, i'll go out. but, i think that alc's discussions on shaman and shamanic are so much a part of this site, that i couldn't help bring up the idea that inventing words to go with the feelings, rather than finding words to fit, from the stock of off-the-shelf conversation sentences, is how to be poetic.

lines 15 and 16 in this get towards a poetry. it's like you had to work up to them, or show the alap in the raga: how the theme is going to play against the sounds of the words -- and, finally wrote out the real song you want to sing. i think the problem here is that most of the critters here aren't much for poetry, don't really like words dancing around on their own, outside the rigid rules of normal and physics and what-everyone-knows. that keeps people from writing free here: there are sometimes some very free writers writing goofy and inspired, but the punctuation police and the good-people who wear clothes to take a shower, cut them down viciously.
 — bmikebauer

gah!  you're gonna make me admit it!!! i did not do my best on this poem.  my stars were not all out when i wrote it.  and then i just overlooked that part of your crit.  i am finally hearing what you're saying.  i did grab some of the words off the shelf.  fuck.  okay.  thanks.

i didn't promise no rain outside your house, dude.  
 — pittsburgh

you know, i think it's ok to work out in front of the reader how you write a poem. i did that in 'harvard boys', where i clunk around looking for a music by noodling musical lines, working towards a complete mind and body poetry voice, and then end it with this classical lyrical move. really, it took all that noodling and experimentation to not only allow myself that lyrical freedom, but to build a language-world where the reader would be able to read this strange and archaic lyric as 'poetry'.
 — bmikebauer

i will work the sucka.

wishing you peace would be a waste of time, so i wish you a really ripe peach.
 — pittsburgh

 — bmikebauer

we'd send a scout, with eyes for something new, to run over the arc of the rolling whirl'd and he'd run and run looking hither and thither, switch-back his eyes from the blind-spot that confabulates the looking-hole with what we think we know ... our brain makes-up things to fill-in the blanks, so ya' have to send someone askew who doesn't really know what you do, someone off the beaten-path that can simply-see through the scotoma-hole filled in by the brain ya-know ... he'll detect something new in the blind-spot we all call home

so the Poet is a mutation,

Poets pitter-patter betwixt and between a bicameral presentation in cyber-words both alive and hampered by irony; this juxtaposition envisions the binary conflict we're in

-- we humans are on the brink of falling-fatal to the heartless machine, an ordinary-drone has-been, or rising-rapture'd in organic-mutation within a few natural generations - then we'd speak in light's language of shadow sculpting time, moving to a music only the heart can hear, simply-sublime risen from the slime

Poets are imminently realEYEsed -- they look as if they remembered they're partly surrounding Sky and partly the curvature of Sea and partly the silent glittering tears of night in the stars we see - they discovered the way of the whirl'd going 'round and 'round on the edge of space with the law of falling and the law of catching up, bound by an infinite-in grace ... they're nova'd in their hearts 'til their eyes gleam with new rays of possibility bent by the blackhole of their mind

a Poet is like a sphere which has his centre everywhere and her circumference nowhere...

the sound a poet makes when his heart 'n mind meet, the frisson of viscereality where the inner sonics 'n ironics burst into song, there where all her miseries 'n desires belong, but incomplete, in a rhyme beyond reason and the master of absurdity, while truth and beauty spontaneously run around him in nudity --

when a Poet lifts the veil, revealing reality, we are all made greater by this feat! Nature always sends us Visionaries, Poets, Mystics; mutations. They take us to the next evolutionary level... they are our visionaries headed in a back-words direction

however, a Poet writes-hard with soft-eyes to swell from the cocoon of his words so they fly as moths to your flame - we don't light the fire, we lift up a mirror and show you the coals-glowing in your eyes ...
 — AlchemiA

have you ever met a shaman with a nerf gun?

 — mandolyn

This is so good and creative.  I love 'besuited,' what a great new word!  What we have instead of shamans but they are someone's modern shaman, aren't they?  The world is looking to Wall Street for salvation while the old one smoke peyote in a pristine rain forest somewhere.
 — Isabelle5

I do believe you could delete the repetition of sigh and flip.  It's annoying after the first time and pointless.
 — Isabelle5

AlchemiA, yes.  

Hmmm..no, Mando : )

and thank you, Isabelle5 for your thoughts.  I'm kind of glad that you find the repetition irritating, 'cause that's one of the reasons I wrote it like that.  The narrator is bored and irritated, but like so many people, doesn't simply shut off the tv!  

Thanks again, everyone!
 — pittsburgh

interesting one
 — psychofemale

not so interesting subject matter, interesting manner give it a 9 cuz the language sings
 — Salamander

(and yeah, we're the real shamans of our society)
 — Salamander

thank you, Salamander--yer right about the subject matter--death by blandness--gah!
 — pittsburgh

 — unholy

..and flip
 — mandolyn

The ending is neat.
 — gt

the anger and frustration really pours out of this.....good work

Hm. If you are that bored with life, then it's your own damn fault. On the other hand, I like the sentiment espoused in this. I just don't think that sitting in front of the T.V. watching the news channel is going to lead anywhere too overtly exciting. You could, for example...oh, I don't know...go outside?
 — Cerfazo