Friday, October 9, 2009

Blind Review Friday

Blind Review Friday.

The author shall remain anonymous (unless they chose to divulge themselves in the comments.)

Those commenting are also welcome to remain anonymous if they wish.

Incendiary comments will be removed.

If you would like your piece thrown to the wolves send it to with "Workshop the hell out of this poem" as the subject line.

Last review's offering was from a Clevelandpoetics the Blog reader as is this week's selection.


Smoke at fingertips
dust creeping around the skull
trying to remember
“nothing at all”
linking interruptions rise with the Sun
teeth clash on days past
joints ache to re-grasp
crackling sizzles thin
hovers to hum
brass howls as rhythm chases
those that have faded
It’s hard to find warmth
against dewy gray clouds
and cracked windows
air seeps through and clings to skin
erecting hair follicles
Heavy layered dust wipes away with play
fades darkness under lids
as eyes roll back in time
soothing stacked in cardboard
and “feeling fine”
Bones of tube and amplifier
speak vinyl to needle
cuts with sunlight clarity
reanimating memory


Geoffrey A. Landis said...


I'm going to guess that this one was written for performance. There are quite a few places where the meter shifts abruptly-- this can work very powerfully in performance (because, of course, the poet knows when s/he is about to shift gears), but seems jumpy on the page (on first reading, anyway.)

I really love your use of assonance here-- "hair" followed by "layered" is brilliant, followed immediately by away/play/fades, and then going into the long riff on the long-i

Hard to find much to crit here, although you might think about whether you really need the latinate word "follicles".

I wonder it might not be a little stronger if you swapped the word order in the third-last line to
"speaks needle to vinyl"
to make "amplifier/vinyl" an end rhyme (well, half rhyme) instead of an internal rhyme. But I may be wrong here-- certainly your end couplet, where you drop back into iambic meter, works. I love it when a poem resolves so strongly.

Rob Smith said...

Poignant! Of course, I'm at the age where I understand that memory is the only real possession of the self (and that can get a little scratchy!)

I agree that punctuation would help the reader. Then again, I am "old school" and think that poetry is about communication and not inaccessibility.

Karen from Mentor said...

Music is such a powerful way to wipe pain, remember lost friends, recapture a place/time in memory.
Recapturing lost youth is wondrous even if the capture lasts only for the length of time the vinyl revolves.
I loved this.

Anonymous said...

"Smoke at fingertips" causing me to see stains from smoking. The next three lines take me to aging, and how the older we get, the harder it becomes to remember, "nothing at all". That was a clever thought in and of itself.

The line "crackling sizzles thin"... don't know why I got the visual of sitting in an abandoned house, using drugs here.

I love "brass howls", I certainly hear a horn, almost like "The Trumpet Player" Langston Hughes portrays. Excellent image there!

I felt those "hair follicles erect" from the chill through "cracked windows".

It seems that even in the midst of homelessness you can still hear the music.

I may be afar off with my feel of this work but it made me see an unshaven, elder man in dingy clothes, paper strewn, about in an abandoned building, remembering what once was.



Rob said...

To me "crackling sizzles thin" is the scratchy sound that worn records made. I'm old enough to remember that well. Of course it didn't help when we took my dad's diagonal pliers and cut off straight pins to use as needles so that we could listen to our children's records. It's an old technology now, but the needle floated on an arm that might have been a "bone of tube". The poem is by one who knows, and very descriptive.

Shelley Chernin said...

Love the double meaning of the title. Is "Sun" the record label?

There's a lovely weaving in and out here between the music and the person listening to the music. I like that.

I had some trouble at line breaks. Some line breaks indicate pauses, and some don't (like the break between "chases" and "those"). I don't know whether capital letters were meant to indicate the beginnings of sentences. I think that's inconsistent. If that's the intention, then "air seeps" should probably start with a capital letter. And I wouldn't want to have to parse the first "sentence."

Perhaps, if the intention is not to use full sentences with punctuation, you might be able to indicate pauses with line and stanza breaks only. For me, the use of a capital letter indicates that a sentence follows.


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau