The new reality

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stuartryder
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The new reality

Post by stuartryder » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:13 pm

This is the new reality
inspired by its threats.
Homeless.

Debt-haunted, demon-taunted.
Shelves full of books
to be avoided.

A dive bar;
diving into it,
getting punched,

sleeping with anything.
Don’t volunteer to pay bills:
let the wolves come panting.

Dust, mine, hers, his.
Music played to no one.
Peeled wallpaper is the new art.

Once a fortnight
the lights of the station come on,
the train will go round

its figure-of-eight track
again and again, then we’ll
break it together, together rebuild.

k-j
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Re: The new reality

Post by k-j » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:54 pm

First sentence lacks a subject - what is "it"?

Line 4 I like. Strong and simple. Great jabbing writing up to line 11. I think "volunteer" is rather a soft word here. Maybe "Leave bills unpaid" would be stronger.

"Dust, mine, hers, his." - Fantastic.

Apart from the first two lines - which you could actually just get rid of - this is a brilliant piece of writing. Genuinely bleak. The ending is bang-on.
fine words butter no parsnips

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Re: The new reality

Post by brianedwards » Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:01 am

Powerful. I hope it isn't true.
Totally agree with k-j regards the opening, and the word "volunteer". Not sure you can get away with that whole "wolves at the door" idea either.
I'd move the unpaid bills to the start, if mine.

Needs repeating: Powerful.

B.

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Re: The new reality

Post by calico » Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:25 am

Yes, fantastic! I actually think you can't lose 'volunteer'. It refers more to what used to be, to a prior status quo. Which is important. I hope that makes sense. I'm not sure about 'peeled wallpaper is the new art'. I can't work out if it's uplifting at the end or if once a fortnight isn't enough. Great poem.

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Re: The new reality

Post by BenJohnson » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:34 am

For me the highlight is the last two verses which create a heart breaking image, the distance of time nicely introduced here. Personally I could live without the rest and just settle for that which is not a criticism on the rest but an indication of how strong those two are. I agree that 'volunteer' sounds soft, but it captures the right elements of meanings, never pay on the first bill or the first red, that is volunteering. After the second or third unpaid red you run the risk of not wolves panting, but bailiffs banging at the door. The title fits well, it is all very real.

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Re: The new reality

Post by Vincent Turner » Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:04 am

Hi Stuart.

Cant say I was overly taken by this one.

I have no real problem with the theme, just the way its handled- you may not like this, but it is my view- for me it reads like a teenage type poem/rant.

Why?
stuartryder wrote:Debt-haunted, demon-taunted.
Shelves full of books
to be avoided.
Debt- haunted is fine.... demon taunted... is not, for me its purely there for the sake of the rhyme.

Shelves full of books to be avoided... I understand you point, and sure there are many shelves untouched but its a rather grandiose theme, that is only barely touched.
stuartryder wrote:A dive bar;
diving into it,
getting punched,
It did like this.

But not this
stuartryder wrote:sleeping with anything.
Don’t volunteer to pay bills:
let the wolves come panting
Its to much a rant, a juvenile call to arms
stuartryder wrote:
Dust, mine, hers, his.
For the highlight of the poem... no preaching, no fist pumping.
stuartryder wrote:Once a fortnight
the lights of the station come on,
the train will go round

its figure-of-eight track
again and again, then we’ll
break it together, together rebuild.
The ending is the poem.

By far the best.

It tells things as they are, not how they could be are sometimes are.

Sorry If I sound overly cynical, but it's an honest reaction to how I felt when reading the poem.

Best Regards

Vincent

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Re: The new reality

Post by ray miller » Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:58 am

I'd agree with Ben, the last 2 verses are a poem on their own and a very striking one. Of the rest, I like

Shelves full of books
to be avoided.

sleeping with anything

Music played to no one

The remainder seems to shout too much, draws too much attention to itself.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: The new reality

Post by Suzanne » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:19 pm

Stuart,

I liked this and think that it captures the mood well. I think that the train track represents visitation rights and it is very well done.
It could be strengthened by putting all the tenses in order.

Good emotion caught on the page,
Suzanne

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Re: The new reality

Post by JohnLott » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:09 pm

I don't neccessarily agree without quibble with every word and phrase and emotion and sentiment in your loneliness.

Needs a bit more edge to legitimise the mood but:

Yeah! Great snapshot of a crappy life in sad times.

:D

J.
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stuartryder
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Re: The new reality

Post by stuartryder » Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:41 pm

Thanks folks for all your kind comments... situation is not entirely real, though real enough!

What I'm getting is that there are two poems in this. I think they are both sides of the same coin? The first side ("Tails") needs a lot more work clearly.

Will think on...

Cheers

Stuart

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Re: The new reality

Post by David » Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:50 pm

I really like this, Stuart, and I don't think there are two poems here - just one good one.

Cheers

David

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Re: The new reality

Post by OwenEdwards » Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:31 am

With David on this one - works for me as a whole, with the ending being a devastating, understated Larkin-esque coda.

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Re: The new reality

Post by calico » Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:41 am

Me too. Voting for one good poem, that is.

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