In Praise of Green

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brianedwards
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In Praise of Green

Post by brianedwards » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:29 am

In Praise of Green

Chewing gum wrapper or a menthol fag;
rotting plinths and plastic raincoats—
What oxygen you vend for free,
what grace you grant my journeys.

Chemist closed and priority seating;
herbal infusion served with painted nails—
How effortless your burgeoning,
how daft your photosynthesis.

You hold my hand on escalator rails,
set my phone to manner mode,
inform me when the trains are buggered,
shuffle traffic, guide me home.










~

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Re: In Praise of Green

Post by Travis » Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:44 am

Not bad.

I was expecting S3 to continue the flora theme, like its predecessors, with its last two lines though. The first two stanzas seem very much to be setting up some kind of floral conclusion that never gets delivered. Threw me that it served up artificial greens instead.
There's only one rule in street and bar fights: maximum violence, instantly. (Martin Amis, "Money")

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Re: In Praise of Green

Post by brianedwards » Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:30 am

Was thinking of alluding to Tokyo (or "urban") in the title, to forewarn readers about the artificiality. Dunno.
Maybe its lacking a couplet that would complete the metaphor?

Dunno.

Tnx you.

B.

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Re: In Praise of Green

Post by BenJohnson » Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:45 am

When I first read this I had a similar response to SS, the last paragraph not only seems to lack a the subtle plant metaphor, but also any tinge of green. Reading again the green is there with the light shuffling traffic, then it occurred to me that the green is most likely there all the way through but as a reader in England I don't know your surroundings. Is there a green button on your phone? Is there a green sign on the escalator? Do messages about the trains appear in green? I'm now assuming the answers are yes but these images are not translating for me over in England outside the city.

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Re: In Praise of Green

Post by calico » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:23 am

I'm following up to S3, then I can see the green light but not the phone, the escalator - Tokyo Green could be a nice title?
Tokyo Green could be a different colour to England Green. There are so many words dedicated to England Green.

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In Praise of Tokyo Green

Post by brianedwards » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:09 pm

Let's try a change of title eh?

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Re: In Praise of Tokyo Green

Post by Travis » Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:13 pm

What I meant by my first post:

Chewing gum wrapper or a menthol fag; Artificial stuff. Basically.
rotting plinths and plastic raincoats— Artificial stuff. Basically.
What oxygen you vend for free, Flora.
what grace you grant my journeys. Flora.

Chemist closed and priority seating; Artificial stuff.
herbal infusion served with painted nails— Artificial stuff. Basically.
How effortless your burgeoning, Flora.
how daft your photosynthesis. Flora.

You hold my hand on escalator rails, Artificial stuff.
set my phone to manner mode, Artificial stuff.
inform me when the trains are buggered, What?!? No flora?!?
shuffle traffic, guide me home. What?!? No flora?!?


Unlike Ben, I had no problem with not intuitively knowing all the greens you referred to. The only escalator rails I've ever used/seen are black. But I got a degree of enjoyment from "discovering" the green ones. Likewise for any other greens that I wasn't familiar with.

And I prefer the original title. I liked the broadness of it. Especially how it seemed (in the first two stanzas) that things were going to be tied together by the flora. Besides, do you really need to stress the artificial elements? It's not as if anyone is going to think that say a traffic light grows naturally out of the ground.

You may need a few more lines though, yes.
There's only one rule in street and bar fights: maximum violence, instantly. (Martin Amis, "Money")

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Re: In Praise of Green

Post by brianedwards » Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:54 am

Changed the title back. Dunno. Don't like it much today.
Might just let this one disappear actually . . .

B.

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Re: In Praise of Green

Post by Arian » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:04 pm

brianedwards wrote:Might just let this one disappear actually . . .

B.
Hope you don't.
I think it's a really good idea, and the execution's not far from matching the concept, I'd say.

I think my main, and possibly only, gripe is the throwaway use of commonplaces or vernacular (fag/daft/buggered etc).

Yes, yes, I know, I know. You want to relax the tone, keep it light, avoid pomposity, identify with the proles...or some such crap. I don't know.

Whatever, it fails in my view. The use of such language succeeds only in trivialising what, otherwise, could be a sophisticated and entertaining piece, with some fresh and intriguing observations.

It's a shame, becasue I can think of small changes that would make a big difference, and you'd have a strong piece, worthy of the BE Life Anthology, on your hands.

Cheers
peter

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Re: In Praise of Green

Post by dedalus » Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:41 am

Dunno, mate

Over-produced, too many dictionary words, it's like
you're in a studio with a Wall of ... what, deliberation?

We both know Tokyo. It's Mexico City with neon kanji signs:
scurry, scurry, scurry, look at all the subway people!
Surely one (maybe two) of those well-dressed girls could learn to love me?

Right, you're going to love this (probably not, well-dressed or not).
Annyway, fakkit, here we go ----

Chewing gum wrapper or a menthol fag;
rotting plinths and plastic raincoats—
What oxygen you vend for free,
what grace you grant my journeys.

Wrappers, menthol butt ends,
leftover plastic raincoats ...
O you blasted City please grant me something,
please give me leave to get outta here.

Chemist closed and priority seating;
herbal infusion served with painted nails—
How effortless your burgeoning,
how daft your photosynthesis.

Shops closed, kids hanging about,
your cuppa coming with painted fingernails --
how smooth & effortless they manage it all
and will do on the day you die


You hold my hand on escalator rails,
set my phone to manner mode,
inform me when the trains are buggered,
shuffle traffic, guide me home.

Hold my hand, turn off my phone,
grab me tight on escalators, in elevators,
tell me when the fuckin trains are buggered,
stop all traffic and guide me home.


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Re: In Praise of Green

Post by dedalus » Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:44 am

Fuck you, Brendan! (just saving you the bother, like). Done and dusted, y'right?

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Re: In Praise of Green

Post by brianedwards » Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:55 pm

Thanks Peter, will get some distance from it and see how I feel.

Thanks to you too Brendan. Always happy to receive suggestions, but what you're offering is an entirely different poem isn't it? Your speaker sounds like one who is unhappy in his surroundings and desperately wants out - speak for yourself mate.

And regards the women I could well do without the hassle, and I advise you the same. I'm reminded of the story of the old fella who happened upon a frog one day that suddenly spoke to him, saying "Kiss me. Kiss me. Kiss me and I'll become a beautiful princess that will love and obey you for evermore". He popped the frog in his pocket and walked on. The startled croaker yelled out from his pocket "Didn't you hear my offer? Kiss me and I'll become a beautiful princess that will love and obey you for evermore." "Oh yes, I heard you all right" said the old chap, "but at my age I'd rather have a talking frog."
Wisdom in those words Brendan.

B.

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Re: In Praise of Green

Post by dedalus » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:44 pm

Good on ya!

I was taking a liberty, sorry, but I don't like Tokyo.
I go up 2-3 times a year when I have to.
Apart from the Irish pubs, I don't much care for it.
Now even the pubs are shite: thunderous music,
Brits & Yanks all over the place like bacillae.

Fuck Tokyo, pal.

You keep the frog in your pocket.
I'll talk to the girl.

I know you are trying to tell me something.
I KNOW.
Thing is, I don't want to listen.

Tiocfaidh Ar Lá,
Breandáin

PS - Wales/ Ireland: this is what really matters this week!!!
(We need to win if only to pulverize/ humiliate England in the Semis)

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