Cycling Sportive for the armchair competitor

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1lankest
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Cycling Sportive for the armchair competitor

Post by 1lankest » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:06 pm

Version two

He listens for the latest, pimped, he presumes, like the rest
in licra, streamlined to the limit of human form. Helmet,
bandana, shades. A peloton of one, this rider 202
smoothed to the follicle inseparable from the air it’s pushing

its purr rising from a point on Kelmarsh Road
beyond the bend by the gate, exactly there,
before closing in, a whirr now, a blur engulfing trees
bins, parked cars. His house, his velvet reading chair.
He listens, marks the page -

This one, he resolves, this
and fixes the footstraps of his senses,
braces, kicks the cadence and accelerates into the chase
suddenly hawkmoth, ears to asphalt to the surging pulse
of spinning rubber, heat, until he catches
at the foot of Farndon Hill the slipstream of rider 202
and rides it humming to the crest.

Original

He listens for the latest incoming,
pimped, he presumes, like the rest, in licra
streamlined to the limit of human form.
Helmet, bandana, shades.

A peloton of one, this Donatello
rider 202 smoothed to the follicle
inseparable from the air
they’re pushing, their purr rising
from a point on Kelmarsh Road
beyond the bend by the gate,
exactly there, before closing in,
a whirr now, a burr engulfing trees,
bins, parked cars. His house,
his velvet reading chair.
He listens, waits:

crescendo, release —
This one, he thinks, this

and fixes the footstraps
of his senses, braces, kicks
the cadence and accelerates into the chase
- suddenly hawkmoth, Michelangelo -
ears to asphalt, the surging pulse
of spinning rubber, heat,
until he catches at the foot of Farndon Hill
the slipstream of rider 202
and rides it humming to the crest.
Last edited by 1lankest on Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

NotQuiteSure
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Re: Cycling Sportive for the armchair ninja

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:15 pm

.
Hi Luke,
lots to like, though aren't you one turtle short of a turn? Or whatever the collective noun for TMNTs should be?

S1/L1 - I'd like a modifier for listens, something that starts building his character a bit sooner.

S2 - If a 'peloton of one' why 'their'?
L2 - not sure 'smoothed to the follicle' works, though I know what you mean.
(Maybe swap 'streamlined' and 'smoothed'?
in Lycra stretched to the limit
...
rider 202 streamlined to the follicle
? )
L4 - do you need 'their'
L8 - 'buffeting' for 'engulfing'?
L9 - 'kerbside cars' ?
L11 - Listening, he waits: ?

S3/L1 - don't think this is adding anything. Crescendo was set up in verse 2.
L2 - This one, he thinks, this, this ?

S4 - L5 ... I think you need a faster rhythm here,
the cadence and accelerates,
in pursuit, ears to asphalt, racing pulse
of spinning rubber, heat, and getting closer
til - suddenly hawkmoth! Michelangelo
catches the slipstream and rides it
to the crest of Farndon Hill.


The ending is a little weak. How important is 'slipstreaming' when going uphill? And 'humming'
sounds too sedate.



Regards, Not


.

ray miller
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Re: Cycling Sportive for the armchair ninja

Post by ray miller » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:00 pm

Greetings, Luke. I don't think referring to Donatello and Michaelangelo does anything to help the poem, unless I'm missing something obvious.
A peloton of one is good, but I think you then need it's pushing, its purr rising.
a burr engulfing trees - I don't get that, I wondered if you meant blur.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Cycling Sportive for the armchair ninja

Post by David » Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:08 pm

ray miller wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:00 pm
Greetings, Luke. I don't think referring to Donatello and Michaelangelo does anything to help the poem, unless I'm missing something obvious.
Yes. I'm trying to detect a clever Renaissance poem here, but failing. And bikes I don't really know.

Cheers

David

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Re: Cycling Sportive for the armchair ninja

Post by 1lankest » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:24 am

Thanks David, Ray, NOT. Much appreciated.
Nothing renaissance about this, sadly. I’ve dropped the references to TMHT, with a pang of regret. Still think cyclists look like ninja turtles though!

Revision posted. Hope it clears things up. Ray, good shout re blur. Isn’t burr a word though? As in ‘a whirring sound, such as a telephone ringing tone or the sound of cogs turning.’

Luke

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Re: Cycling Sportive for the armchair competitor

Post by ray miller » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:44 am

Burr is a word, with several meanings, none of which refer to the sound of a telephone. Aren't you thinking of Brrr?
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

NotQuiteSure
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Re: Cycling Sportive for the armchair competitor

Post by NotQuiteSure » Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:30 am

.
Hi Luke,
No problem with 'burr' (a whirring sound) for me, I thought it worked well.
Licra? Lycra?
Maybe a name rather than the generic 'trees' ?
'rider' then 'rides' at the close is a bit disappointing.

Still confused by 'humming' - give us a clue :)


May just be me, but as enjoyable as the language in the first two verses is,
with the revision (and the title), only the last verse is needed.

This one, he resolves, this
and fixes the footstraps of his senses,
braces, kicks the cadence and accelerates
into the chase on Kelmarsh Road - suddenly
hawkmoth, ears to asphalt to the surging pulse
of spinning rubber, heat, a whirr now, a burr,
engulfing trees, bins, parked cars, closing in
until he catches, at the foot of Farndon Hill,
the slipstream of rider 202 and rides it
humming to the crest.


But ...

He listens for the latest, pimped, he presumes, like the rest
in lycra, streamlined to the limit of human form. Helmet,
bandana, shades - a passing pop culture reference -
a peloton of one, this rider 202, waxed to the follicle. Irresistible.

Purring from a point on Kelmarsh Road
there beyond the bend by the gate, exactly there,
rising and closing in: now a whirr, a burr,
engulfing trees, bins, now parked cars,
now his house, now his velvet reading chair.

He listens, marks the page -
This one, he resolves, this

and fixes the footstraps of his senses, braces,
kicks the cadence and accelerates into the chase
suddenly hawkmoth, ears to asphalt, surging pulse
of spinning rubber, heat, until he catches
at the foot of Farndon Hill
the slipstream of rider 202
and rides it humming to the crest.


Regards, Not


.

1lankest
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Re: Cycling Sportive for the armchair competitor

Post by 1lankest » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:34 pm

Hi NOT, I like your second version. Will ponder.
Cheers for returning,

Luke

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Re: Cycling Sportive for the armchair ninja

Post by David » Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:38 pm

1lankest wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:24 am

Nothing renaissance about this, sadly. I’ve dropped the references to TMHT, with a pang of regret. Still think cyclists look like ninja turtles though!
Ninja turtles! D'oh!

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Re: Cycling Sportive for the armchair competitor

Post by Perry » Thu Aug 29, 2019 5:04 am

There are a lot of words in here which are confusing me: pimped, peloton, 202, follicle, house, velvet reading chair, page, hawkmoth, 202 (again). In the U.S., Peloton is a brand of exercise bicycle (meaning stationery, you can't go anywhere on it). With the mention of a house and chair, I get the impression that the poem may be about a man riding an exercise bike having a fantasy of actually being a bicycle racer. If that's the case, the choppy language isn't making that clear. Since the meaning isn't clear to me, I don't think I'll critique the poem; but at least you know that I find it confusing, which may help. I ride a bicycle, by the way, though I don't do any racing on it.

Oh, I didn't notice the title. That seems to confirm my interpretation, though I'm still not sure.

I didn't read the other comments.
If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.

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Re: Cycling Sportive for the armchair competitor

Post by bjondon » Thu Aug 29, 2019 3:59 pm

Hi Luke - your usual burst of marvellously constrained and released joy, brimming with begged questions.
It's difficult to crit your poems because we so rarely seem to get into the latter - too much fun tweaking the former.
So I will dive straight in, picking up Perry's point.
We temporarily shelve the title in the excitement of those pell-mell first twenty lines - then we hit that velvet reading chair.
But, just before I settle into that . . . your dtermined misspelling of lycra - inevitably I googled and found (all over the net):
LICRA - Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l'Anti sémitisme - very active (since 1927) and interesting bunch . . . This would be kind of crazy, though 'streamlined to the limits of human form' for one starts to flower. (Yes, I can hear you choking with horror/amusement so I am only a quarter serious . . . you would need a footnote).

Back to the chair!
This is a gorgeously musical piece, brimful of what could be musical terms or at least the kind of language a conductor/arranger might be using - That feeling comes across much more clearly in V1 (altogether better) especially the excellent two line S3.
I note in V2 you've added 'marks the page' which I like. It changes the emphasis perhaps from listening to music on a stereo or headphones to maybe 'listening' by reading a score . . . There are really several levels hovering over each other here (a multi-cross-cut film treatment might be what is going on). The N could be watching the cycling on tv (though the opening line suggests a radio commentary and vintage timescale)- he's both imagining himself as a peloton of one and seeing in real time those typical aerial shots of the peloton flowing and engulfing the terrain like a single organism or stream of bacteria (I liked 'burr' too) - and it seems like 'his house' (love that phrase) is really on the route - they do actually whizz past - but there is a sense this is all in his head, and then that strange couplet:
'and fixes the footstraps
of his senses, braces, kicks'
- 'braces' could be a verb or a noun - he could be in a wheelchair, he might be in a different house now and that triumphant rise and cresting of the hill could almost symbolically or imaginatively/musically be him surmounting his disability . . . and maybe summoning memories of riding that hill.

Donny and Mick I liked though didn't get the connection . . . was thinking idealised images of the male body, but somehow the wrong physique for cycling.

Your new title sounds like an edwardian pamphlet or magazine article (if so I'd capitalize it all)

Best wishes,
Julez

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Re: Cycling Sportive for the armchair competitor

Post by 1lankest » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:49 am

Perry, Jules, thanks.
Perry, appreciate your engaging with this one.
Jules - Your analyses are often more beautiful than the poems under scrutiny. Bravo! Your readership is worth the entry fee alone!
As you say, this is from the point of view of someone sitting his living room, reading, as a cycling race goes past his house. He can hear each rider coming and going but uses his imagination to visualise what’s going on. He could be blind but doesn’t have to be. He chooses not to look, only listen, partaking through his senses.
I’m glad the musicality came through. This was the main aim.
Not sure it’s an epic but it wan fun to write.
Cheers all.

Luke

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Re: Cycling Sportive for the armchair competitor

Post by bjondon » Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:52 pm

Yes, it was the musicality that kept me coming back to this.
Do you remember an ad for some god-awful car where every sound effect, from all the changing road surfaces to the clunck of the door and the alarm's affirmative chirps are performed by a live choir?
I hadn't thought of the N being blind but that fits really well. Maybe one extra tiny clue?
Jules

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