Micronation

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Petrichor
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Micronation

Post by Petrichor » Wed May 08, 2013 2:32 am

I know a man who keeps a country
in his barn. All of his papers are in order: his constitution
based on that of New Zealand.
He has unrestrained power. An absolute monarchy.

My micronation is a failed state. My borders are not secured
yet not threatened. My population is one, occasionally two,
never more than three. My chief export is the echo
of my voice cascading down a canyon. I import
everything. My beaches are littered with used
needles and the tide smells of insulin. I filibuster
all of my proposals. My papers are in shambles.
The constitution has been suspended for years, I rule
with a fist made of styrofoam, its finger pointing,
its slogan screaming my solitude. Today I celebrate

my despotism. My friend's garage is tidy,
my kitchen table is a block of Naples on garbage
strike. I go to bed and the chorus
of advisors begins. I wake to quiet them.

I fear a revolution is brewing.

ray miller
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Re: Micronation

Post by ray miller » Wed May 08, 2013 11:28 am

I like what you've got in the middle section, say from My population... to ..solitude. I can't see that the rest is doing much, especially the first verse. A constitution based on NZ and an absolute monarchy? Perhaps I'm missing something. Do you really need someone to contrast with?
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Micronation

Post by twoleftfeet » Wed May 08, 2013 8:37 pm

Hi, Adam

Like Ray, I'm not getting the point of the first verse.

I'm also puzzled by the insulin and used needles.

I enjoyed the "styrofoam fist" and especially the use use of "block" in

my kitchen table is a block of Naples on garbage
strike.


I feel I might be missing the main thrust of the poem, unless it's a kind of antithesis to
"The [s]Englishman's[/s] American's home is his castle"

Geoff
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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Re: Micronation

Post by joe77evans » Wed May 08, 2013 9:19 pm

Is there a slightly tighter, more focused poem in there trying to get out? I wonder whether you could usefully drop the references to the friend with the tidy nation and concentrate on our own micronation.

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Re: Micronation

Post by camus » Thu May 09, 2013 1:06 am

Great concept for a poem.

And I think you were onto something in the first verse, then you got all first person and I stopped giving a shit!
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Re: Micronation

Post by David2 » Thu May 09, 2013 8:11 am

camus wrote:Great concept for a poem.

And I think you were onto something in the first verse, then you got all first person and I stopped giving a shit!
I'm with Kris. I'm an avid first verser too!

Cheers

David

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Re: Micronation

Post by Arian » Thu May 09, 2013 7:30 pm

I disagree with David and Kris. And I agree with them. They're both wrong. And right.

Yes, it's a strong idea. And some good expression. Where it goes wrong is in mixing the persons, in my view. For me, you could make s1 work, by continuing the 'mode', or make s2 work by dropping s1.

Either way, the language, though generally good, needs tightening, I'd say. As an example, you don't need 'all of' - just 'all' will do. A nit, perhaps, but nits can make or break a poem.

Cheers
peter

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stuartryder
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Re: Micronation

Post by stuartryder » Fri May 24, 2013 12:00 am

hi

i rather liked reading this, but i hate filibuster! in general, im drawn to it sonically but think you have to work on the meaning.

cheers

stuart

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Re: Micronation

Post by John G » Fri May 24, 2013 12:01 pm

hello there,

I rather liked the imagery and the ideas behind it, especially the
My beaches are littered with used
needles and the tide smells of insulin
makes a change from beaches full of used condoms, plastic bottles and dog shit.

However, not sure why the change from the mans country to yours? and why New Zealand in particular? given that I don't know why the change I think it works better without the first bit.

But, enjoyed it.
After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say 'I want to see the manager.

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Re: Micronation

Post by Arian » Fri May 24, 2013 7:12 pm

Was browsing this again - I'm sticking to my earlier comments, but thought I'd just say that this..

my kitchen table is a block of Naples on garbage
strike.

is a great line, for me. For some reason I missed it first time, but it's terrific. Really vivid.

Cheers
peter

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Re: Micronation

Post by Wilcken » Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:42 pm

Hi Petrichor.

I like the idea of this but I think you could commit to it on a deeper level.

First off, of all the countries to compare to an absolute monarchy, I'm afraid New Zealand is not one of the first that comes to mind. I'm with those voting to cut the whole first stanza though, as I don't think you need to tee up your conceit with this intro. The poem's narrator breezily points a finger back at him/herself in a parody of being one who is the "Master of all I survey." But I think you need to go big or go home (as they say) on an idea like this and instead I think your idea is left as a sketch.

My micronation is a failed state. My borders are not secured
yet not threatened. My population is one, occasionally two, I think the first line gives away the whole thing. Maybe try something more engaging: The borders of my micronation are not secured /yet not threatened. My population dwindles.
never more than three. My chief export is the echo Too much said to describe the population without a lot of payoff
of my voice cascading down a canyon. I import I like the export line but I think it would be better delivered later in the poem. The import line is a bit lazy, certainly there could be more said about means of production, natural resources, ecosystem? So much potential material to work with why be so cursory about it?
everything. My beaches are littered with used
needles and the tide smells of insulin. I filibuster I like the sonics of insulin and filibuster, but there are questionable meanings. The medical waste that washes up on beaches is a great image to draw into this collapsing micronation, but it comes across as a little dated and a lesser indication amongst other possibilities. What about corporate corruption and bail outs? Government determined by the wealthy for the wealthy? A military run amok in an unwinnable war? Class strife? Poverty? Political partisanship? The beautification of highways? I dunno, this just barely scratches the surface of what might be faced in running one's micronation. Which also makes me think that you really should be coming up with a unique hybrid of a governing principle. Why wouldn't you? It would have once been based on ideals to make a change and live a better life, would it not? So leaning too heavily on a failure of a monarchy, wouldn't that be the expected outcome? I suppose we all think we would be more benevolent rulers. I think what is not really fleshed out is the conflict amongst the "people" of your micronation. Is this filibuster meant to be internal? Or with the two but no more than three hanging around?
all of my proposals. My papers are in shambles.
The constitution has been suspended for years, I rule I would prefer a period rather than a comma here , especially given the liberal use of commas ahead.
with a fist made of styrofoam, its finger pointing, I do like this but to be technical, if you are referring to the oversized "We're #1" hand worn by superfans at football games, those are made of just plain foam or maybe foam rubber.
its slogan screaming my solitude. Today I celebrate Perhaps you could play off of "I'm #1" (amongst two) in a more nuanced way than to actually come out and say "its slogan screaming solitude."

my despotism. My friend's garage is tidy,
my kitchen table is a block of Naples on garbage Love this line. Still don't think the comparison to the neighbor is adding much.
strike. I go to bed and the chorus
of advisors begins. I wake to quiet them. The Greek chorus, even if a group of internal voices ganging up on the narrator, is still a bit expected. Check out how Serena Williams addresses her self-diagnosed multiple personalities: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/2 ... 55332.html and http://www.realclearsports.com/2013/05/ ... 11669.html

I fear a revolution is brewing. This is a nice sentiment to end the poem with, but again, so overtly stated. You're not requiring much participation by the reader in serving up these easy answers.

Hope it's okay that I'm going into such detail. I'm trying to respond to the recent thread on critiquing poems and do some more heavy lifting by giving this -- very enjoyable poem at first glance -- a closer read and then taking the time to give considered feedback. As you can see, once I get going, I can find many tangential paths!

Of course, I'm not sure of your intent for this poem and my comments might be more geared towards a poem with more serious goals than this appears to espouse. It comes across as light-hearted and glib. In a good way. Still I think, even as a humorous piece, it could be much more successful if you brought into play some more surprising scenes or images, specific enough to come across but perhaps also obvious enough to refer to the trials and tribulations faced by any nation.

For what it's worth I think there are some nice images in the song below by John Darnielle, which came to mind as I wrote up these thoughts.

Hope something in here is helpful for you,

Jane



Faultlines

Down here where the heat's so fine
I'll drink to your health and you drink to mine
as we try to make the money we scored out in Vegas
hold out for a while.

We drink, vodka from Russia
we get our chocolates from Belgium
we have our strawberries flown in from England.
But none of the money we spend
seems to do us much good in the end.
I've got a cracked engine block, both of us do.

Yeah the house and the jewels, the Italian race car
they don't make us feel better about who we are.
I've got termites in the framework, so do you.

Down here where the watermelon grows so sweet
where I worship the ground underneath of your feet,
we are experts in the art of frivolous spending.
And it's gone on like this, for 3 years I guess
and we're drunk all the time and our lives are a mess
and the deathless love we swore to protect with our bodies
is stumbling across its bleak ending
but none of the rage in our eyes
seems to finish it off where it lies.
I got sugar in the fuel lines, both of us do.

Yeah the fights and the lies that we both love to tell
fail to send our love to it's reward down in hell
I got pudding for a backbone, so do you!

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