Identity Politics

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Firebird
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Identity Politics

Post by Firebird » Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:35 pm

I like the idea 
that we’re all free
on the periphery.
But there are still
competing gravities:
I have sex 
with the same sex; 
have black skin; 
have two X
chromosomes.

Some find it easier
to fit in
because they don’t.

Unlike those
whose names stutter
inside their heads,
and feel a dizziness 
when clinging on
to their round-about of
routines.

And all
those denied expressions 
of not fitting in 
are like a piece of loose elastic 
around whatever shape 
some
wish to be. 
But they don’t have the money, 
sympathy or friends 
to see them through,
and are reduced 
to a piece
of old English pottery,
that implies 
what it might have been.
And here we are
again: 
something, anything
to identify with.

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lotus
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Re: Identity Politics

Post by lotus » Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:14 pm

Firebird wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:35 pm

that we’re all free
on the periphery.


Some find it easier
to fit in
because they don’t.

clinging on
to their round-about of
routines.

like a piece of loose elastic 
around whatever shape 
some
wish to be. 
dear Firebird
some most wonderful words out of your delightful poem

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

on a side note
about the ending
my mind went to

And here we are
again:
something
other than our identity within
“A poem should have the touch ... the way sunlight falls on Braille.” .......silent lotus

NotQuiteSure
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Re: Identity Politics

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:30 pm

.
Hi Tristan,
I think Lotus has cannily identified the strongest elements, though I'm not as certain about 'all free on the periphery'
- has elements of the 'Old West' about it.
'Competing gravities' is a nice phrase, but L.6-10 seem out of kilter, daring the reader to object?
Not keen on the switch from 'elastic' to 'pottery', and don't think you've got the ending, yet.

My two penn'orth ...

Some find it easier
to fit in
because they don’t.

they like the idea
we’re all free
on the periphery.

Some have names
which stutter
inside their heads,

grow dizzy, clinging
on to their round-about
of routine.

Some are wrapped
like loose elastic
around whatever shape

some
wish to be.
Holding on for fear

of being exposed

And all those denied
expressions
...


Regards, Not


.

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Re: Identity Politics

Post by Macavity » Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:16 am

hi Tristan

Very much enjoyed the thinking process pulling me into the thoughts. Of course, as always, there are options to condense to a couple of short form poems or a short form poem. I like the opening notion of being free on the periphery and what that implies in terms of individual/isolation/outsider, and the nod to gender and sexual orientations framed realities.
Some find it easier
to fit in
because they don’t.
Forcefully blunt.
Unlike those
whose names stutter
inside their heads,
and feel a dizziness
when clinging on
to their round-about of
routines.
Love the use of stutter. Had a sense of disorientated lightheaded, gripping onto the 'sanity' of routine. On a reader tangent, made me think of age promising not wisdom, but alzheimer's - we live too long! Either way, the gravity pull of inside/outside was a thread I felt in the poem.

The elastic/pottery imagery was interesting. Elasticity communicates that accommodation with identities framed in contexts (the list of money/sympathy/friends...the middle one caught my attention, I'm presuming a charitable 'giving' there).

The more challenging image is the pottery. For me, that was a broader thought on historical and national identity. What is it to be English, especially in the context of recent events/protests in regards to race. What it is to belong. There is a fragility about pottery, something easily broken, and the 'clinging' to the artifacts of the past.

Hope those initial thoughts helps some. The poem does tug in directions - gravitate to a conclusion.

best

mac

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Re: Identity Politics

Post by Firebird » Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:10 pm

Hi Lotus,

Really pleased you like it. I like your suggestion for the ending Very much and may well use it.

Many thanks!

Cheers,

Tristan


Hi Not,

I think you may be right about the ending not quite being there yet. Your two penn'orth is a very different poem to mine, though there are parts I like :D . Glad you like ‘competing gravities’. It was my favourite phrase, too.

Cheers,

Tristan,


Hi Mac,

Really pleased you enjoyed the poem and followed the thinking process behind the ideas/images. I agree, too, that a more condensed version or series of shorter poems could be made out of this poem, but that’s not what I really wanted.

Your reading of the ‘elastic‘ and ‘pottery’ was spot on. In fact, all of what you say is pretty much what I intended. I think I may well change the ending a little, as I think it can do more - re internal identity.

Many thanks for confirming that the poem is mostly working in the way I wanted it to. Very useful and much appreciated as I wasn’t sure at all.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Identity Politics

Post by TrevorConway » Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:46 am

Hi Tristan,

I quite like this. The thought process is great, especially how it works itself out at the end. The title felt a bit too blunt/plain. How about giving it a slight twist and just adding a slash between the words: "Identity/Politics"? Just a thought. I think the tone works well in general, but not the initial "I like". Anything else work better there, such as "I get the idea " or "There's this idea"?

Apart from that, a few comments below. Enjoyed this one, Tristan.

T

I like the idea
that we’re all free
on the periphery. [ ", but..."]
But there are still [Delete "still"?] competing gravities:
I have sex [Great line break decision here]
with the same sex; [Maybe commas instead of semicolons?]
have black skin;
[and] two X chromosomes.

Some find it easier
to fit in
because they don’t.

[Just playing around with the position of lines in order to reflect the idea of not fitting in]

Unlike those
whose names stutter
inside their heads,
and feel a dizziness
when clinging on
to their round-about of
routines. [This verse doesn't feel successful to me. Could be deleted or made clearer/more interesting]

And all those denied expressions
of not fitting in
are like [Delete "like"?] a piece of loose elastic
around whatever shape
some
wish to be.

[Verse break]

But they don’t have the money,
[the] sympathy or friends
to see them through,
and [so they're] reduced
to a piece of old English pottery, [Delete comma]
that implies
what it might have been. [Last 2 lines could be a little clearer. Not sure what pottery that implies what it might have been could mean. Broken maybe? But too much of a struggle to get to that understanding (or misunderstanding)]

[Verse break]

And here we are again:
[I feel like there's a line or a few lines missing here. It gets to the ending too suddenly from this point, I think]
something, anything
to identify with.

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Firebird
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Re: Identity Politics

Post by Firebird » Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:41 pm

Hi Trev,

Much appreciate your comments and pleased you like parts of the poem and the way it concludes. I can see the merits of getting rid of the ‘I’ in the first line, which I may well do, and getting rid of stanza three. I’m not sure I will get rid of s3 though as it gives a different direction to the poem, which I quite like. I like your suggestion for the title and will be changing it, along with a few of your other smaller changes.

Many thanks for your help.

Cheers,

Tristan

TrevorConway
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Re: Identity Politics

Post by TrevorConway » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:58 am

No bother, Tristan. Glad to help.

Good luck with it,

T

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