When Happy He Would Drool (v1b)

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NotQuiteSure
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When Happy He Would Drool (v1b)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sat Jul 27, 2019 1:06 pm

.
v1b
When Happy He Would Drool


The softest black
and warm, by age
unsighted and unsteady
mind still wandering
returned to me
one morning, early
in a bin-bag. Saturday
brought the end of him
a biker in his leathers
monotone apology
left, much as a cat
might, his little death
at my door.


_________________




v2
When Happy He Would Drool


The softest black
fur warm, by age
unsighted and unsteady
mind still wandering
returned to me
one Saturday, early
in a bin-bag.

That morning
brought the end of him
a biker, all funereal
monotone apology
left, much as a cat
might, his little death
at my door.


_________________




When Happy He Would Drool


The softest black
and warm, by age
unsighted and unsteady
mind still wandering
returned to me
one morning, early
in a bin-bag. Saturday
brought the end of him
a biker in his leathers
monotone apologies
leaving much as a cat
might, this little death
at my door.



.
Last edited by NotQuiteSure on Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:58 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Macavity
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Re: When Happy He Would Drool

Post by Macavity » Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:27 pm

Great title Not. I enjoyed the poem, but was a little confused by the timeline: all taking place on a saturday morning?
monotone apology
Singular less effusive.

best

mac

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Re: When Happy He Would Drool

Post by NotQuiteSure » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:11 am

.
Hi mac,
thanks for the read.

Yes, all taking place on a Saturday morning, but I can see that that's not quite as clear as it might be.
Would this be more straightforward?
returned to me
one Saturday, early
in a bin-bag. Morning
brought the end of him

Macavity wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:27 pm
monotone apology
Singular less effusive.
Matched his leathers :)

Regards, Not


.

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Re: When Happy He Would Drool

Post by Macavity » Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:09 am

Not quite sure it needs an edit, and the early morning Saturday detail is not a key element, but my suggestions
The softest black
and warm, by age
unsighted and unsteady
mind still wandering
returned to me
one morning, early
in a bin-bag. Saturday
had brought the end of him
a biker in his leathers
monotone apologies
leaving much as a cat
might, this little death
at my door.
The softest black
and warm, by age
unsighted and unsteady
mind still wandering
returned to me
one morning, early
in a bin-bag; Saturday
brought the end of him
a biker in his leathers
monotone apologies
leaving much as a cat
might, this little death
at my door.
best

mac

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Re: When Happy He Would Drool

Post by NotQuiteSure » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:28 am

.
Thanks mac,
I'll see your 'had' and raise you 'that' -

...
in a bin-bag.

That morning
brought the end of him
a biker, all funereal
monotone apologies
left much as a cat
might, this little death
at my door.


Regards, Not


.

1lankest
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Re: When Happy He Would Drool

Post by 1lankest » Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:04 pm

Nicely done, quite playful for such a sorrowful tale but it works. Great title.
Not sure you need the comma after early.

Luke

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Re: When Happy He Would Drool

Post by twoleftfeet » Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:25 pm

NotQuiteSure wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 1:06 pm
.
When Happy He Would Drool


The softest black
and warm, by age
unsighted and unsteady
mind still wandering
returned to me
one morning, early
in a bin-bag. Saturday
brought the end of him
a biker in his leathers
monotone apologies
leaving much as a cat
might, this little death
at my door.



.
Hello,NQS

What I really like about this poem is the obfuscation of the grammar/punctuation:

in L3
- at first I matched "unsteady" to the old cat's gait and poor vision,but reading on - it probably refers to "mind" .
in L4
- "returned" could mean "the cat returned" or "cat was returned (to me)"
in L8
- the "end of him" can be interpreted as "N did away with the biker". :)

Maybe also,we are meant to think of N as similarly old and challenged?

I' have some concerns about L1/L2
- I see that you might be trying to associate "soft and warm" to the feel of the bin bag,but the lack of a noun
at that stage had my grammar-chip beeping like billy-o.

I think "monotone apologies" is fine - the importnt thing is that the biker has no inflection to his voice,imho
(which is how I would be tbh - deadpan,showing no emotion or facial expression in case it was misconstrued)

IF you want to express anger on the part of N you could perhaps have "monotone excuses"?

Much enjoyed
T
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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Re: When Happy He Would Drool

Post by NotQuiteSure » Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:22 pm

.
Hi Luke,
comma gone :) Thanks.

__________


Hi T,
thanks for the crit, glad you enjoyed the 'grammar/punctuation' - that, I hoped, would
be part of its charm.

I' have some concerns about L1/L2
- I see that you might be trying to associate "soft and warm" to the feel of the bin bag,
but the lack of a noun at that stage had my grammar-chip beeping like billy-o.

Well, we can't have that, can we? :) (And good point, by the way.)
How about swapping 'and' (L2) for 'fur' ?


Thinking of splitting it into two verses (see mac, above) any thoughts?


Regards both, Not


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Re: When Happy He Would Drool

Post by David » Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:51 pm

I haven't engaged with this poem until now, having been seriously deterred by the title, but now ... I get it. I think the poem's very good. Very touching, and just right, really. The title itself, now I understand it, seems just about perfect.

The last three lines, in particular, are excellent, although I think you need a comma after "leaving" - like so ...

leaving, much as a cat
might, this little death
at my door.


But that's easily fixed.

Cheers

David

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Re: When Happy He Would Drool

Post by Macavity » Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:36 am

Much prefer leathers to the abstract funereal.

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Re: When Happy He Would Drool

Post by NotQuiteSure » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:42 am

.

Thanks David.

So, you caught the comma. Ah well. Thought I might get away with(out) it,
but, as you say, easy fix. Consider it punctuated.


Hi mac,
thanks for returning. Worth a try :)

I do like your idea, but I can't reconcile 'leathers' with 'apology' (plural/singular) though.

Could I tempt you with
a biker, all funereal
monotone apology
left ...
?

So, no-one's worried about the lack of punctuation at the end of L8? Good.


Thanks both.

Regards, Not.


.

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Re: When Happy He Would Drool

Post by Macavity » Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:56 pm

a biker in his leathers
monotone apologies
I was indicating a preference for the original

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Re: When Happy He Would Drool

Post by RCJames » Thu Aug 01, 2019 5:19 am

Not - well done - the inversion of the visitor - biker - and the victim is striking - RC

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Re: When Happy He Would Drool

Post by NotQuiteSure » Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:44 am

Macavity wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:56 pm
I was indicating a preference for the original
:) And I was trying to accomodate
Macavity wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:27 pm
Singular less effusive.
Might not 'biker' imply 'leathers'?


Thanks RC (but shame on you for the pun!).


Regards both, Not


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Re: When Happy He Would Drool

Post by bjondon » Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:01 pm

Gentle and moving. The delinquent punctuation/grammar adding spice.
I liked the procession of the three blacks.
A definite temporal confusion with that fullstop after bin-bag, and solved by the semi-colon (or even just a comma) plus the 'had', 'that' or my personal favorite 'it'.
I suppose the title could refer to either the N, the cat or the biker.
Regards,
Jules

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Re: When Happy He Would Drool

Post by Firebird » Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:02 pm

I like it Not. Lots of hinted at associations and a straight forward sad little tale. No nits.

Nicely done.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: When Happy He Would Drool

Post by NotQuiteSure » Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:16 pm

.
Hi Jules, Tristan.

Thanks for the read.

Jules, would this resolve the temporal confusion?

The softest black
and warm, by age
unsighted and unsteady
mind still wandering
returned to me
one Saturday, early
in a bin-bag.

That morning
brought the end of him
a biker, all funereal
monotone apology
leaving much as a cat
might, his little death
at my door.

(Though there's still the him/biker ambiguity. Any thoughts?)

Regards, Not


.

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Re: When Happy He Would Drool

Post by JJWilliamson » Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:18 pm

At last! I've got it. The biker is returning a dead cat in a bin bag, I think. Sad little story which is actually very moving.
I initially found the stylistic fragmentation to be a little tricky, then I wasn't sure if it was a punctuation problem. EG 'Monotone apologies' implies the biker is sorry. However, I found my way eventually.

Do cats get happy? Contented yes but happy. Dogs certainly appear to be happy but are cats the same?
NotQuiteSure wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 1:06 pm
.
When Happy He Would Drool


The softest black ...Is this fur? A soft black for me is like a Paynes grey. Honestly! Could also be referring to the black bin bag.
and warm, by age
unsighted and unsteady
mind still wandering ...I thought of an aging person, suffering from mental deterioration.
returned to me
one morning, early
in a bin-bag. ...I'd be tempted to break here, as you suggest. I now realised it couldn't be a person. :)

Saturday
brought the end of him
a biker in his leathers
monotone apologies
leaving much as a cat
might, this little death
at my door. ...Clever allusion to cat behaviour.



.
A touching poem indeed.

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: When Happy He Would Drool

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:37 am

.
Morning JJ.

At last! I've got it.

- Still recovering from the night before?
The biker is returning a dead cat in a bin bag, I think.
- You think correctly.
Sad little story which is actually very moving.
- Ya big softy.

Do cats get happy? Contented yes but happy. Dogs certainly appear to be happy but are cats the same?

- I was thinking their brains also released endorphins which is close enough to happiness (for me), and while
'contented' seems a bit ponderous, 'pleasured' would go in entirely the wrong direction. :)
Alternative titles welcome.


The softest black ...Is this fur? A soft black for me is like a Paynes grey. Honestly! Could also be
referring to the black bin bag.

- Yes, both fur and the bin bag. Thought about swapping 'and' in the next line for 'fur'. What do you think?
(That's a nice colour, by the way.)
...
mind still wandering
...I thought of an aging person, suffering from mental deterioration.
- Or in this case, an aging cat :)
...
in a bin-bag.
...I'd be tempted to break here, as you suggest. I now realised it couldn't be a person. :)
- Break it is, thanks for the confirmation.

...
at my door
. ...Clever allusion to cat behaviour.
:)


Regards, Not


.

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Re: When Happy He Would Drool

Post by JamesM » Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:56 am

Excellent NQS
For such a compressed piece, lots of little highlights- enjambment on unsteady being the best. My only nit is the Sonics of leathers and apologies, but doesn't really detract from the overall enjoyment. Might use David's comma to create a justified pause which adds a little bit of needed weight/pathos at the close.

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Re: When Happy He Would Drool (v2)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:18 pm

.
Thanks James.

A second vote for the comma? Fair enough.
How do the sonics of the revision sound to you?


Regards, Not


.

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Re: When Happy He Would Drool (v2)

Post by JJWilliamson » Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:46 pm

"When purring he would drool" Indicate the contentment.

Yes, I'd be looking to get 'fur' in there somewhere. Seems like a fair exchange to me.

It gets better with each read. It's often like that as the reader slowly engages with the poet, I find.

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: When Happy He Would Drool (v2)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:54 pm

JJWilliamson wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:46 pm
It gets better with each read. It's often like that as the reader slowly engages with the poet, I find.
Thanks very much JJ.

Ok. switched to 'fur'.

I think 'purring' reveals too much too soon, but ...

Thanks again.


Regards, Not


.

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Re: When Happy He Would Drool (v2)

Post by JamesM » Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:07 pm

Hello Not
Prefer the original I'm afraid. I never had a problem with the narrative. The cat and its demise became clear on a second reading. Not to say there isn't an odd syntax going on but that strangeness was part of the enjoyment. For that reason 'fur' is unnecessary. The dots IMO can be joined without telegraphing.
Temporal questions also needn't be niggled at as I assumed both days refered to Saturday. Requires a little bit of close reading but the pathos is apparent on first reading and the the narrative slots into place on the second.
Sonics? Make it apology.
Regards

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Re: When Happy He Would Drool (v2)

Post by bjondon » Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:34 pm

Hi Not,
swapping morning and Saturday is quite an elegant solution, as is splitting into two stanzas - but, along with the retrograde fur and funereal (both understood and more effective unstated) we have lost the weird combination of flow and trauma that was working here. Turning 'leaving' to 'left' also seems to deprive 'might' of its impactive pause.
I would return to the original but change the full stop after bin-bag to a comma and replace 'brought' with a hyphen.
J

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