Exercise#1: Poetry at the crossroads

Beat writers' block here.

Re: Poetry at the crossroads

Postby Macavity » Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:34 pm

bodkin wrote:title?

upon the blasted heath flaps plastic sheeting
the two roads and myself climb up from town
past piles of yellow pipe with weather sleeting
in every crack and nook a sideways storm
and I'm here in my duffel coat with soup
for Uncle Bob whose Maglite guards the site
from behind the paper in his plywood booth
against whatever evil haunts the night

or threatens to fall drunken in the ditch
so up this dreadful night I'm sent by mother
to bring relief to Robert in the gloam
be glad to find him as this night's a bitch
but I cannot seem to find my Ma's old brother
or even (from all four directions) find my own way home


hi Ian.
Some relevant authentic colouring to evoke the scene -eg the yellow pipings -though perhaps some of the colouring can be left to the reader - dreadful/evil. Like the sobering realisation of the concluding line.

cheers

mac
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Re: Exercise: Poetry at the crossroads

Postby bodkin » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:48 am

OK, I think I will declare this exercise over now.

(Which is not to say you cannot still do it, so maybe I should rather say it has "matured"...)

--

My personal favourite is hard to choose -- split between kj's, David's and Jackie's -- but I think I will go for Jackie's because it has family history behind it, and a little personal context really adds something to the appreciation of a poem...

--

Thanks all!

Really gratified by the great response here.

I will start another exercise in about two weeks.

In the meantime I think Ros plans to start another challenge.

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Re: Exercise: Poetry at the crossroads

Postby David » Thu Nov 28, 2013 5:35 pm

bodkin wrote:Really gratified by the great response here.

I think we've all done very well. Especially Ian.
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Re: Exercise: Poetry at the crossroads

Postby Jackie » Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:13 pm

Dear Bod the Mod,

I only just saw your comment appreciating my poem with a family connection. Thank you! Your comments matter to me.

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Re: Exercise#1: Poetry at the crossroads

Postby RCJames » Sun Oct 09, 2016 3:05 pm

This is more like narrative poetry, if it doesn't fit, go ahead and chuck it. RC


South Rosedale, Miss., Inter. Hwys. 8&1, 1921

A beat-up guitar hanging over his shoulder,
tall, lanky, Robert Johnson, was on his way back
to Helena. A car left him next to the levee at a crossroads
on this full moon night. He thought about Son House
and what he’d said after Robert had picked up
Son’s steel guitar and started fiddling with it;
“Put that guitar down, you drivin’ people nuts.”
Robert meant to prove Son and everybody wrong,
he was gonna be the best blues player ever seen.

A tall, barrel-chested black man at the crossroads
asked Robert, “You wanna play that guitar like
nobody ever played it before, or you wanna go back up
in Robinsville again and play harp with Willie Brown?”
Robert felt the moon getting hotter than the noonday sun.
A black dog in the ditch was howling and moaning,
causing Robert to shake and shudder. The dog started
a soulful moan causing the strings on Robert’s guitar
to hum and sing with dark, bluesy chords that possessed
Robert. He looked into the dog’s eyes, glowing deep violet,
and he knew he was staring into the eyes of a hellhound.

The man said, “The dog ain’t for sale, but the sound
can be yours, that’s the sound of the real Delta Blues.”
Robert said, “I want that sound.” “It’s yours
if you just keep walkin’ north, but there’s consequences.
You’ll be in Rosedale at midnight under a full moon,
and you’ll have the blues like nobody has before.”
Robert asked, “What’s these consequences?”
“My left hand will forever be wrapped around your soul,
other words, your soul belongs to me.”
“Step back Devil-Man, I’m goin’ to Rosedale,
I am the Blues.”
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Re: Exercise#1: Poetry at the crossroads

Postby bodkin » Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:42 am

There are no hard rules, RC, only guidelines...

A new take on an old story I think?

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