Anything Goes

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penguin
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Anything Goes

Post by penguin » Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:22 am

She was a seasonal beast who slept through the summer;
I checked pockets and sleeves to flesh out a drama
and discovered that she hadn’t any clothes

apart from the bruises on leaves and on clouds,
the subtle contusions and those screaming loud
when the hammer is brought down upon the toes.

As each winter yawned she stretched and then started
to rewrite A History of The Antarctic
in twenty-seven different types of snows.

On our French rendezvous she performed ingénue
insisting that Seamus can rhyme with Camus
and poetry be chiselled out of prose.

Her favourite vice, her pastime of choice
was to gaze on the ocean while reading James Joyce
in the passage where she found all water froze.

At her wheel in the attic, she spun Mathematics,
adding bad habits to poor demographics,
divided by the square of Average Joes.

In The Oedipal Complex she danced with each sex –
an arm in a sling and a ball on her legs
to the rhythm of a million status quos.

Of an evening she supped with Beelzebub,
then threw it all up, that ain’t healthy but
it’s the going rate for alternate egos.

She wore a wide-brimmed hat with a paisley cravat,
she craved a moustache but couldn’t grow that:
she never saw what lay beneath her nose.

In her last book she slipped into Cyrillic script –
for a snip you can lift the lid off her crypt
if you wish to watch a body decompose.

I’ve trawled each search engine you might find a friend in,
there’s no happy ending for me and my penguin:
they all look much the same without their clothes.

Anything goes.

NotQuiteSure
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Re: Anything Goes

Post by NotQuiteSure » Fri Apr 24, 2020 12:00 pm

.
Hi Penguin,
a somewhat baffling but enjoyable read. A bit 'pot calling kettle' I admit, but the meter is frequently too loose, even for me. The title had made me expect a different rhythm.
I'd have preferred a slightly stronger narrative thread running through the piece, it began to feel a little bit list-like after a while.
It's almost certain that I'm missing something, but, I think it would be worth considering cutting verses 2, 4 (possibly my favourite verse, but doesn't seem to go here), 6, 7 and 10 (maybe).

Some cut n paste thoughts ...

She was a seasonal creature slept through the summer
while I checked her pockets to flesh out a drama,
too late discovering that she declined to wear clothes

save a wide-brimmed hat with a paisley cravat.
She'
d long craved a moustache but couldn’t grow that
and rarely saw what was right there beneath her nose.

Her favourite vice, her pastime of choice
was to gaze on the ocean while reading James Joyce
in the passage where she found all water froze.

('in' the passage?)

Of an evening she'd sup with Beelzebub,
only, later, to throw it all up, which ain’t healthy but
the going rate for alternate egos.

(going rate?)

As each winter yawned she stretched and then started
to rewrite A History of The Antarctic

using a method she called obfuscatory prose

Now, I've trawled search engines, and much to my chagrin
found no happy ending for me and my penguin:
they all look the same
when you see them without any clothes.
(don't understand why it's 'they', and this doesn't feel like a solid ending.)

Anything goes.

_____


At her wheel in the attic, she spun Mathematics,
adding bad habits to
Venn demographics,
dividing the sum by the square of your Average Joes.

On our French rendezvous she performed ingénue
insisting that Seamus can rhyme with Camus
and poetry
may be directly chiselled from prose.

In The Oedipal Complex she danced with each sex –
an arm in a sling and a ball on her legs -
to the rhythm of a million
million status quos.



Regards, Not


.

TrevorConway
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Re: Anything Goes

Post by TrevorConway » Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:05 pm

Hi Penguin,

I had a similar experience to Not: very enjoyable at times, though it felt pretty random, or maybe less together than it might've been if it was cut back. The rhythm is sometimes loose, but it doesn't bother me all that much. Kinda goes with the feeling of the poem. I wasn't sure with how "anything goes" fits with the theme/character overall, but that might be just me missing it.

It felt quite like song lyrics in the sense that the narrative felt loose and didn't progress in a particular direction, and I think that kind of straightforward description without narrative progression can work well in songs sometimes, but generally not so well in poetry. So I'd suggest deleting some verse and take things in another direction, most likely a straightforward narrative, maybe even with some sense of suspense without relying on it too much.

It's probably not what you wanted for this poem, but I can only give this reader's experience of it. As regards the verses I think could be cut, I'd say 1-3 and 7-8, and I think verse 11 might fit somewhere, but maybe not where it is near the end.

Enjoyed the read, anyway, and it's put me in the mood to listen to some of Bob Dylan's more abstract again this evening. Thanks for that :-)

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