poetry critical

online poetry workshop



And I Begin Tonight
X

Can I begin tonight with metaphor and laughter?
 1
Your life was a perfect blemish,
 2
a shapely birthmark,
 3
a blind gull soaring.
 4
 
 
And here, without you, the crisp night’s gale
 5
brings precipitation like television static.
 6
The gin on my breath and Haydn in my ears are reminders
 7
of how you pinched the stems of champagne flutes
 8
and called me pretentious
 9
when I likened you to an aged cello.
 10
 
 
When you became sick
 11
you lost your will to argue
 12
and only tried to smile when
 13
I called our love our “oeuvre.”
 14
 
 
My bones are now tender
 15
and this revolver
 16
between my teeth is
 17
metal milk.
 18

12 Feb 11

Rated 8.5 (8.3) by 18 users.
Active (18): 5, 7, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10
Inactive (22): 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 5, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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

(11 users consider this poem a favorite)



Add A Comment:
Enter the following text to post as unknown: captcha

Comments:

My dear X marks the spot - good original moves throughout with a strong narrative balance and the suicidal outro was sucking on that barrel like a teat. L8-9 excellent. Mitch :-)
 — pdemitchell

What wit, Mitch.  Thank you for your kind words!
 — X

wow, outstanding.
L10, beautiful
 — mandolyn

this kills me; no pun intended. marvelous write X
 — unknown

Poignancy at its finest.
 — simondela

l. 18 is sweet image to end on.  hard to look up l. 14, but when i did it was a pleasant surprise.
 — unknown

Thanks for all the nice remarks all.  This poem was particularly fun because it started out as a translation poem--I took a song originally in Tagalog and literally wrote what I thought it phonically sounded like in English, then tried to make phrases, and revised the phrases to make a coherent narrative.  This is about the 8th draft.

Here is the original song that inspired this piece:

ANG KAIBIGANG TUNAY (Tagalog)
Al Q. Perez

Kaibigang tunay ay laging matapat,
ang tulong ay laan sa lahat ng oras.

Siya ay mabait at saka marangal
sa lahat ng saglit ay maaasahan.

Sa pangangailangan, siya'y laging handa
nang ang kaibiga'y hindi mapahiya.

Siya'y nakalaan kahit na magtiis
upang mapagbigyan, katotong matalik.

Kaibigang lubos, kaibigang tapat
ay kayamanan din ang nakakatulad.
 — X

Sharp.
 — aurelius

damn
 — unknown

L1? I don't know, can you? Take me to the bridge.

L2-4. Hmm, okay, still reading.

"The crisp night's gale" Really? This is starting to feel a little too "Jane Austen historical novel".

"I likened you to an aged cello". Ouch. Where is the music. Say that out loud. Does it sound good? No.

Just doesn't seem authentic. Take some risks. Make it personal.
 — rocket

Will consider these "authenticity" issues.
 — X

Sprocket has a loose one, this is one of the single most honest and original
notes I have read here in a long long time. maybe ever.
well done author.
 — unknown

this be some fine writing.  especially dig 15-18.  nICE.
 — JKWeb

Will you please post more of your current stuff?  It's been so long X!  My have you've grown :]
 — unknown

Will do, unknown.  I've been busy in this absence finishing up my degree in creative writing.  Glad it seems to be showing!
 — X

i'd like to go to your program!  cheers =)
 — unknown

you're a Filipino, I assume?

painfully beautiful.
 — suedehead

Thank you! I'm Filinegro, actually.  And can't speak Tagalog at all =/. But I've been to the PI 7 times and love it.
 — X

I hear a "suddeness" in your words--a sense of writing all that you see down ( in the moment), before it fades, forever. This especially rings true in the last stanza. Remarkable!
 — Seditswing

seesaws on being effete and brilliant.  i'll touch back later when i've worked it out entirely.
 — unknown

I don't think I read this carefully the first time, I don't know how it could be more personal.

I was off the mark on my first read, glad you clearly have the wisdom to take it in stride.
 — rocket

touched upon it more.  i'm thinking more on the brilliant side. i was worried it was an issue of the final stanza - melodrama perhaps, but in context, entirely appropriate.
 — unknown

This is crafted in a reasonable style with good form and intent, but the overuse of tropes throughout really took me out of enjoying it. You're at the top of the charts, so I'll save my rate, but this pulls an 8 out of me for enjoyment, though it is a leg above in the technical standpoint.
 — technomancer

glad rocket reread and came to see the pure beauty in this.  bravo!
 — unknown

Interesting and very informative. Better than any essa ys.
 — unknown

Really love it...  
 — aforbing

Oh half Filipino in the house!
 — bohemian

Wow! Heavy and light at the same time. I absolutely love 8-10. This is what I come to this site to read. Great work!
 — grneyeddevil

Sweet, this poem is still sticking around!  Thanks for all the pleasant remarks everyone!
 — X

good poem
 — unknown

Consider it adored.
 — unknown

yeah consider it adorned
with my pubic hair
 — unknown

Damn!  This is some fine, fine writing.  L5 6 is crystal clear imagery.
 — PaulS

an interesting writing technique too... you translated through the poet that is you ... nicely arrived X
 — AlchemiA

so amazing X!
and clever.
you're on top now.
whatta translation/inspiration you got there. maybe will show this to my filipino friend.
faved lines 1-18 ;)
 — Ex_

what passes as poetry among self-help readers. pretty pathetic as poetry but fine as mindless cosmetic ego touch-up.
 — unknown

trying too hard to be great literature, and ends up being an unintentional parody. that it's liked by casual readers means only that they're given the opportunity to say something for once in their life which doesn't involve saying their birth date to the clerk. if it weren't for better writers you've read and copied from, it wouldn't be possible for you to assemble this little performance. respect poetry, x: it's allowed you to call yourself a poet when you don't deserve to be called anything more than a joker.
 — unknown

Unknown critics are the best.  
 — X

Evocative and creative.  I especially like L2 and 8-10.
 — sybarite

this is good
 — unknown

The poem is crushing.

You have conveyed so much emotion with so few words.

Amazing.
 — svetlana

Thank you for this
 — unknown

Just brilliant!  10 from me.
 — unknown

oeuvre le port

oeuvre le portugal

oeuvre le porch u gal


oeuvre is a great universal word

oeuvre le port le fenetre le lune

lol foooooooones
 — funes

spam...SPAAAAMMMMM!!!
 — Odin

The last stanza is gorgeous
 — AlexJose

Although I love The image of "metal milk", I'm not sure that the poem wouldn't be stronger with the narrator going on to exist in his grief.  Still, you tell a very full story ofa long, deep love in a few short lines.   A well done addition to your "oeuvre."
 — eamonnloriga

this is weird because it should be good, but it feels  soulless. Like... you used other people's images and ideas to write it.

the idea of teeth on the metal of a barrel is interesting. I can feel it. It kind of makes me cringe. The rest, I don't like.

Still, I could see someone publishing this and would have no reason to say it didn't deserve it.
 — aliar

good morning, top-rated.

the poem actually lives in the last two stanzas. what happens when you move on from the initial inspiration and start at line 11? be ruthless and retitle it. the final strophes belong to you.

"metal milk" works well as a last line. anywhere else, it would take the reader out of the poem, but it's a very nice finish and well-balanced for a short write.
 — NicMichaels

This is a very interesting piece.  I am fond of Found poetry and the cut and paste of Burroughs...

I have no doubt that the detatched and dissociative state you express here (so much a product of the marketed culture would have been less accessible if it were
approached less obliquely.  Well deservedly best listing...
 — unknown

Wow. This is.
Pain.
The Beautiful Kind.

Nice to know a fellow Filipino here. =)
 — majan

I think I agree with her, about you being pretentious.
Haydn and gin breath cliches.  "Crisp night" makes me cringe.
Just feels a bit too easy. Especially the end.


I love "When you became sick" and wish you had expanded on that.
There's a lot of potential there, to give the emotion more depth.
 — turboswami

I like this... A LOT! Unfortunately, I don't feel like leaving some drawn out critique, so I'm just gonna cut to what I truly think of this... W@W, F#ck%ng St$ll@r!!!
 — dmartin

nice m's at the end for a physical affect
 — bettyw1873

Lines 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 15-18 were the most visual.

That of course makes them my favorites.
 — Backwardname

Yes, yes, and yes.  Deserves the top spot, indeed.
I love how you take overused images like birds, bones, and the night and turn each (just slightly) into something more provocative.
 — aurelius

The last four lines of this poem are amazing, imaginative and visceral. Keep on doing good to the English language.
 — victoryroz

wow wow wow wow wow wow.

That is all I can say about this piece.
 — peace

this is so good i shall eat it with tangerine thread for my midnight snak
 — unknown

whoa
 — unknown

0.308s