Poetic Devices

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ray miller
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Poetic Devices

Post by ray miller » Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:18 pm

We were both on the Smoke and Mirrors circuit -
poetry slams, open mics, spoken word,
whatever you named it much the same people
watched and performed it.
Each act had a nom-de-plume, mine was Psychic,
because Dee figured I said
what others were just thinking.
I told him it was stupid, but made no difference.
She called herself Rainbow, for some reason
I never got to the bottom of.
She wrote chick-lit poetry and would turn up at gigs in a ra-ra skirt.
There were 7 or 8 of us and sometimes we travelled
as far as the Black Country,
taking turns at winning or receiving most laughs
or loudest shouts of approval.
It was kind of like Professional Wrestling,
without the grunts and groans, until the day
we got them, when Rainbow came up with her poem
about female orgasm, during which she faked herself coming
in convincing fashion and came to be something
of a star on the circuit as a result.

But even the sound of a girl’s faked orgasm
loses its allure eventually and things settled back
into the old familiar. Rainbow introduced
a new character into her spot, a character with
a Birmingham accent whom she portrayed
as some kind of idiot or clown.
Now since I was the Brummie accent in the crew
I found this disrespectful, even though I’d been moving
toward more of a Black Country voice for some time,
though no one seemed to have noticed.
One night I waited for her out in the car park
and told her she was out of order, that her Brummie accent
was as fake as her orgasmic panting.
She’d had a few whiskies and smiled broadly.
I’m not faking, she said, and pulled this contraption
from out of her handbag, wires and a button
and pimpled rubber. I call it my Poetic Device, she grinned.
I just press a button inside my back pocket.
Of course, timing is all important.

I didn’t know whether to clap her or boo.
Did this make her poem more or less authentic?
Would such a contrivance merit disqualification
under the rules of the Bilston Valentine’s Day Love Slam,
which Rainbow had won, beating me into second place.
I’d get drunk most nights and think about Rainbow and Poetic Devices.
She had this thing with a fellow poet, Sky Garden.
Sky Garden wrote very sincere, indignant,
uplifting, po-faced, excruciating poems that went down a storm
in places like Solihull or anywhere lots of students gathered.
I hated him.
One night I was even drunker than usual
and happened to be stood in the Gents by Sky Garden
and asked him straight out how he measured up
to the old Poetic Device machine.
Did he ever compare respective performances?
What’s a Poetic Device machine? he asked
and it was clear from his response he’d no idea
what I was talking about because Rainbow had yet
to reveal her secret.

Now even though I despised Sky Garden
I didn’t want to ruin the thing they had going.
So I made up this story about a machine that measures
poetic devices, not just quantity, but quality, too,
gives them a rating out of a 100.
Sky Garden wanted to know more and more
about the machine, who’s got it and why
and I had to tell him that Dee, the brains behind
Smoke and Mirrors, was under pressure to cut back on numbers,
had acquired this machine to assess our performance.
Really, man? You’re not kidding? he asked.
Of course not, I said, I’m surprised you’d not heard.
Next venue is a no-show from Sky Garden and the next after that
and we discover from Rainbow
that he’s given up on the poetry circuit, gone back to living
with his parents, found a proper job as a landscape gardener.
Now who could have foreseen that? I protested to Dee.
Not me, and that’s why you should not call me Psychic.
Last edited by ray miller on Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

1lankest
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Re: Poetic Devices

Post by 1lankest » Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:37 pm

Really good fun, Ray.

I can't tell if it is intentional or not that the piece is so short of actual poetic devices, apart from your usual metrical mastery?! I suspect it is; it's certainly intentionally prose-like.

I also expect this is a performance piece? If so, I'd give it rapturous applause.

I'd also like to meet Rainbow!

L

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Re: Poetic Devices

Post by Firebird » Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:49 pm

This made me laugh out loud Ray. Real good fun, with a nice little irony at the end. It reads very well too.

I like it!

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Poetic Devices

Post by JJWilliamson » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:54 pm

Enjoyed every word, Ray.

I was hoping Sky Garden would inadvertently ruin his chances by warning
Rainbow about the judgemental poetic device detectors.

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Poetic Devices

Post by k-j » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:10 am

This is a winner. Quality all the way.
fine words butter no parsnips

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Re: Poetic Devices

Post by ray miller » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:16 pm

Thanks, fellas. I'd be happy to introduce you to Rainbow, Luke, but I owe her money and avoid all the places she frequents. The absence of poetic devices is wholly intentional.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Poetic Devices

Post by the stranger » Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:11 pm

Excellent stuff. I must start reading longer poems, I'm missing out!

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Re: Poetic Devices

Post by Ros » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:09 am

ray miller wrote:The absence of poetic devices is wholly intentional.
What's the intention?
Rosencrantz: What are you playing at? Guildenstern: Words. Words. They're all we have to go on.
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Re: Poetic Devices

Post by ray miller » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:55 am

Ros wrote:
ray miller wrote:The absence of poetic devices is wholly intentional.
What's the intention?
Mankind, poets in particular, have been employing poetic devices for many centuries now. There are not an infinite number of poetic devices available to us and a quick perusal of internet poetry forums would convince anyone that a tipping point is being approached. I'm trying to show that one can write poetry without using poetic devices. For the sake of the children.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Poetic Devices

Post by Ros » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:11 am

Oh well, if it's for the children...
I very much enjoyed the story. I won't comment on the poetic devices, then.
Rosencrantz: What are you playing at? Guildenstern: Words. Words. They're all we have to go on.
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Re: Poetic Devices

Post by Firebird » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:13 am

If you weren't being tongue in cheek Ray, which I suspect you were, I like the idea of breaking away from all poetic devices and going with natural language. It's a bit like breaking the pentameter which happened in the 20s.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Poetic Devices

Post by ray miller » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:58 pm

Thankyou to the stranger, Ros, Tristan.
Firebird wrote:If you weren't being tongue in cheek Ray, which I suspect you were, I like the idea of breaking away from all poetic devices and going with natural language. It's a bit like breaking the pentameter which happened in the 20s.

Cheers,

Tristan
I don't know about any broken pentameter, but I wasn't alive in the '20s so it definitely wasn't me. I have recently learned that after my conversation with Sky Garden he went out and purchased a Pantometer. He only used it twice, was unhappy with the results and smashed it to bits. Poets, eh?
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Poetic Devices

Post by NotQuiteSure » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:32 pm

Interesting read.
Some small points.
L3[tab][/tab]comma after named it?
L7[tab][/tab]I get the joke but am unclear as to who named N psychic? Who are they? Or was it Dee?
L20[tab][/tab][suggestion] and she came to be something of a star...
S2/L7[tab][/tab]now I was the Brummie accent - should saw have been 'had'?
Regards, Not

ray miller
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Re: Poetic Devices

Post by ray miller » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:08 pm

Thanks, NQS. Yeah, it's supposed to be Dee who gives the names. Perhaps I'll make that clear.
I like "came to be something..." thanks.
Now since I was the Brummie accent - "the" is supposed to be italics, for emphasis.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Poetic Devices

Post by NotQuiteSure » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:38 pm

Ray
You're welcome
I missed the italics (mea culpa)
Regards, Not

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Re: Poetic Devices

Post by Antcliff » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:44 pm

Thoughts largely generated by applying aa would-be "Redundancy-O-Meter" (patent pending on that poetic device).


watched and performed it.....do you really need the last "it"?

Each act had a nom-de-plume, mine was Psychic,
because Dee figured I said
what others were just thinking.
I told him it was stupid, but made no difference. Not sure what the reference of "it" is.

She called herself Rainbow, for some reason
I never got to the bottom of..............Is this line doing much?

But even the sound of a girl’s faked orgasm
loses its allure eventually and things settled back
into the old familiar. Rainbow introduced .......is "old" doing much?

a new character into her spot, a character with....do you need a repeat of "character"?
a Birmingham accent whom she portrayed
as some kind of idiot or clown.

One night I waited for her out in the car park....do you need "out"?
and told her she was out of order, that her Brummie accent
was as fake as her orgasmic panting. ....four "her"s?

I didn’t know whether to clap her or boo.....do you need "her"?



Seth
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

ray miller
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Re: Poetic Devices

Post by ray miller » Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:10 pm

NotQuiteSure wrote:Ray
You're welcome
I missed the italics (mea culpa)
Regards, Not
Mea culpa, actually, I'd forgotten to italicise the originally.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

ray miller
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Re: Poetic Devices

Post by ray miller » Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:17 pm

Antcliff wrote:Thoughts largely generated by applying aa would-be "Redundancy-O-Meter" (patent pending on that poetic device).


watched and performed it.....do you really need the last "it"? - circuit/performed it/ Psychic, these are my idea of poetic devices and I'm a big fat liar.

Each act had a nom-de-plume, mine was Psychic,
because Dee figured I said
what others were just thinking.
I told him it was stupid, but made no difference. Not sure what the reference of "it" is. - "it" is the name, Psychic.

She called herself Rainbow, for some reason
I never got to the bottom of..............Is this line doing much? - it's kind of a joke. Does anyone get to the bottom of a rainbow?

But even the sound of a girl’s faked orgasm
loses its allure eventually and things settled back
into the old familiar. Rainbow introduced .......is "old" doing much? - No, it isn't!

a new character into her spot, a character with....do you need a repeat of "character"? - Maybe no. Maybe yes.
a Birmingham accent whom she portrayed
as some kind of idiot or clown.

One night I waited for her out in the car park....do you need "out"? - No.
and told her she was out of order, that her Brummie accent
was as fake as her orgasmic panting. ....four "her"s? - Good point.

I didn’t know whether to clap her or boo.....do you need "her"? - Probably.



Seth
Thanks, Seth.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Poetic Devices

Post by NotQuiteSure » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:00 pm

ray
Just a thought (as I still find this unclear).
Each act had a nom de plume,
[and] because Dee figured I said
what others were just thinking, mine was Psychic.
Regards, Not

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