East Texas, 1963

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dedalus
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East Texas, 1963

Post by dedalus » Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:51 am

Honey dew
melon bitch tell me
that you need me.

Can’t walk you down
to the Grand Hotel
Jefferson’s Coffee Shop

Mo’s Diner

‘cause you black as ebony,
you black as sin, my darlin,

you like that Jewboy nailed to the cross,
half-nekkid, arms spread wide,
calling for his daddy ...

Damn. I don’t know why
I love you so.

You bounce good,
I sure grant you that,
and you like my thang, no
fake phony moans, all
sweet brown sugar.

Don’t you never no more
smile at me
like you did last Friday
outside the store.

I felt like
I ‘sa going to beat you
with a whip. You like that?
Ain’t going to hurt
you none, just
calm you down.

Here’s two dollars. Keep
yo' prettty little mouth shut,
honeybee, just do
what daddy tells you.
Last edited by dedalus on Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

gavin
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Re: East Texas, 1963

Post by gavin » Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:09 am

your poem is the metal of the barking ages;

i did not like it because it about aboriginal people in Australia;

the whits roughshod their government over blacks;

but on the other hand it is brilliant

it is a poem about institutions, the Dalia lama's, the repression of the Myanmar or Burma and its people

even in one's own country you are exile

a very good solid write fuck so good;

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Re: East Texas, 1963

Post by Raisin » Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:10 am

Have you read the Secret Life of Bees? I was very strongly reminded of the themes in that book while I was reading this, it's set a year before your poem. There a some very strong images in here, and I think you've got the Texan drawl working well.
Here’s two dollars. Keep
your prettty little mouth shut,
honeybabe, you just
do what what Daddy tells you.
I keep wanting to read "honeybabe" as "honeybee", especially with all the sugar/honey imagery in there already and somehow I feel like that word should be separated from the rest of the stanza, like what you've done with "Mo's diner". The word "keep" is great on the first line along with the two dollar reference and the continuation on to the next line.

And the last line,
do what what Daddy tells you.
is very sinister and a very good finish.

I thought this was very powerfully written, so thanks for the read.

Raisin
In the beginning there was nothing, and it exploded. (Terry Pratchett on the Big Bang Theory)

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Re: East Texas, 1963

Post by dedalus » Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:53 am

"honeybee" ... 8)

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Re: East Texas, 1963

Post by brianedwards » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:08 am

I can't hear Texas very much but I do like this Bren. Different. Good. Yes.

B.

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Re: East Texas, 1963

Post by Suzanne » Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:28 pm

Hi.

I just don't know. I just don't know.
That is what I keep thinking and have read it enough times that I wanted to tell you... I just don't know.
the fact that I keep looking and pondering is a good thing though, I think.

I like the date as the title.

Suzanne

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Re: East Texas, 1963

Post by Richard » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:24 am

Hmm, I am somewhere close to Suzanne in being slightly afraid of this. I think the poem gets into its strid (and could start with) you sure bounce good, where it is telling and economical and dark.

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Re: East Texas, 1963

Post by Suzanne » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:59 pm

Hi,
Cant say i felt afraid of it, just was ynsure.

But the additions in your edit took the art out of it for me. It turned it into something with malice rather than something portraying ignorance. Sure to evoke some sort of response from readers.
But I find that is not enough for me to make it poetic rather than prose chopped up.

Sorry, but it is not the kind of thing that one writes for external satisfaction, I think.
Suzanne

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Re: East Texas, 1963

Post by oggiesnr » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:20 pm

It felt more Louisiana or New Orleans than Texas :)

Some of the line breaks felt artificial (placing a single word after a comma) but other than that it reads well with an air of menace.

Is the 1963 dateline a deliberate byplay so that it was before the Civil Rights Act?

Steve

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Re: East Texas, 1963

Post by dedalus » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:37 am

Your second crit was a bit harsh, S, but I accept it. Fact is, the poem spooked me (along with Pleiades) in its original version so I went back and toned it down. I lived in Texas for three years so the speech isn't imagined ... well, it is, but with memory applied. The date is significant because the Civil Rights movement was gathering momentum and President Kennedy was to be assassinated in the same year, also in Texas. This is when the sixties and all they imply really began in America.

Thanks to all for commenting,
d,

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Re: East Texas, 1963

Post by TDF » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:00 am

Hi d,

Not for me this one. It doesn't say anything to me, it's just gratuitous nastiness. Now I know a poem doesn't have to have a meaning, it doesn't have to say anything, but I think with subject matter like this it does.

I didn't see the pre-edit version, so perhaps I would agree with Suzanne if I had re: poeticism and ignorance.

Don't get me wrong, it's well written, the imagery is powerful and suitably contextual and horrid. But for me this is just snuff poetry, kept just within the bounds of decency by a title that pretends to make it political.

Sorry mate.
Tom
meh and bah are wonderful words

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Re: East Texas, 1963

Post by dedalus » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:01 pm

Snuff poetry it isn't, Tom. I can see where you might be put off by the theme and perhaps the images and language, but I didn't sit down and say, "Oh good, let's write a nasty poem and stir things up." There was nothing gratuituous in either the intention or execution. I set out to portray an exploitative relationship in a certain setting and at a certain time using the POV and voice of the man. It would be interesting to see what the woman thought and really felt about the relationship, but I haven't got around to that yet. In fact, somebody else might like to have a go ....

Brendan

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Post by Suzanne » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:55 pm

Hi,
How about putting up the original again to compare, perhaps I could be more specific therefore sound more constructive?

The fact that it lingers with me does say something about it....

Suzanne

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Re: East Texas, 1963

Post by dedalus » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:26 pm

Deleted and gone forever. I tend to be a bit ruthless with my own creations. This doesn't mean I am always opposed to the practice. I have kept one or two or even three versions of previous poems on posts to this forum. In this case I didn't, I simply got rid of it. I didn't feel good about this poem at all. I can tell you something about the "how" of expressing ideas, the craft of poetry as I see it (and as others most emphatically do NOT), but the "why" of the thing is not so easy to explain because I don't know where these things come down from. You can go with the worm of these ideas, these waking dreams, or else ignore them. I went with this one and Tom (TDF) thinks I should have had more sense than to write what he calls a "snuff" poem ... no, on balance, I think I would have gone with it, anyway. I was just not ready to push it to where it was logically heading: two or three more stanzas and you'd have had a murder, a trial, and the guy walking away scot free, chuckling, and ready, empowered, to prey on some other black women. Look at the word empowered, for example. None of this language or way of thinking came in until the early 1970s. Before that the cross-racial power relationships I describe were frequently common. Hideous, surely. Socially overlooked but generally accepted, yes. Tied to their time and that generation so that, even now, we shouldn't even dare to speak of it?

I'm sorry I ever wrote this poem. This is true. I'm not sorry I posted it.

d

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Re: East Texas, 1963

Post by Pauline » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:26 pm

You is the most
handsomest white man
I know'd.

I do wonder
at you' feelin's.

I s'pect you know's
I have the devil
in me
and you bring him out.

I'm mighty hungry
and pantin for you.
O Lor'.

But you' whip
wont tame me.
I aint no dog.

I saw ye
beck'ning me
with your eyes
outside the store
last Friday.

That's why I smiled.
I won't do nothin
of de sort
no more.

I'll take you' money.
This nigger an't so green.

You an't my daddy
and you an't my mas'r.

An off the cuff response to your challenge Bren.
Poor I know,
but hey
what the ....
Just a bit of craic.
Letting you know that I read and enjoyed your post.
:D

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Re: East Texas, 1963

Post by TDF » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:21 am

dedalus wrote: I went with this one and Tom (TDF) thinks I should have had more sense than to write what he calls a "snuff" poem ... no, on balance, I think I would have gone with it, anyway. I was just not ready to push it to where it was logically heading: two or three more stanzas and you'd have had a murder, a trial, and the guy walking away scot free, chuckling, and ready, empowered, to prey on some other black women.
And suddenly with those three extra stanzas it would have said something to me about the horror, and perhaps I would have liked it more... Also, I certainly would never stop anyone from writing this, people should explore expression for sure, you should always go with it, doesn't mean I have to like it though. ;)

Tom
meh and bah are wonderful words

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Re: East Texas, 1963

Post by dedalus » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:26 am

Good on yeh, Pauline! Probably won't go down well, so be forewarned ....

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Re: East Texas, 1963

Post by twoleftfeet » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:26 pm

Brendan,

This poems reads like bits of dialogue/script taken at random from a film like "Mississippi Burning".
Apart from a hint of menace I can't see anything to commend it - you can do much better.

Sorry to be so blunt
Geoff
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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Re: East Texas, 1963

Post by Pauline » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:31 pm

:lol:
It won't go down well cos it's shite.

My effort, not yours.

:D

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Re: East Texas, 1963

Post by dedalus » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:00 am

Well, you go with what you get and these days ideas seem thin on the ground. Blunt never bothers me, Geoff old mate, it's that sharp sensation between the shoulderblades that I don't like!

Cheers,
Brendan

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Re: East Texas, 1963

Post by John G » Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:52 pm

Paints a sinister picture of Jim Cow America and I have visions of Sidney Politer doing his they call me Mr.Tibbs thang. Don’t know f the protagonist is white or black but I don’t think it really matters? Atmospheric read.

I get the 1963 reference and the nod to the increasing power of the Civil Rights Movement and these things speak of change and progress but the poem does seem to reflect his as the last lines
just do
what daddy tells you


imply that nothing is going to change. The status quo is going to remain. Enjoyable.
After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say 'I want to see the manager.

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