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who are you


moonqueen

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(formerly 'but a dream'; formerly...)

 

revised piece below

 

 

who are you

 

the air fairly boils away

under the brutal sun

as it punishes from mid-sky.

white clothing worn by all

reflects light so brilliantly

my eyes ache, our sandaled

feet kick up dust clouds.

crowded from behind,

we pass the jostle forward.

claustrophobic, people-loathing,

an experience, unwanted.

 

in the din of unfamiliar sounds

is the tintinnabulation of small bells,

mingling with the sounds

of braying animals and languages

i cannot understand.

so much bawling and arguing;

the anger. nearby there is music

unknown to me.

 

the scents invade my senses,

cause my spirits to spin

in a fit of dizzy.

the bit of fresh fig you feed me

from your fingers, weeps juice

down my chin

stains my shirt front

pisses me off. the smells

of cooking meats, spices,

fresh fruit are overwhelming

when infused

with horrific body odor,

animal droppings and vomit.

 

obviously a market or bazaar;

never outside my own country,

frightened to find myself

in so strange a place, no notion

how i arrived

or where i might be.

i turn to you for comfort

and find, dear god,

i don't know who you are.

your face indicates you do

however, know me.

 

i turn to struggle

through the throng of people,

to lose you, but you grab my arm

and prevent me from running.

a smile plays about your lips

your eyes show no harm intended,

i let you pull me back to your side.

no one looks up

when the woman screams.

 

i whimper and cry out,

hair stuck to my damp forehead,

heart pounding, i am about to become

the next woman who screams.

 

you touch my face,

ask if i had a bad dream,

pull me close and say,

'shhhh, it's alright.'

it is the you i know.

 

 

rev. 05-31-13

07-29-11

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fresh fig you feed me

from your fingers, weeps juice

down my chin

 

THAT is poetic, especially. I love the curiousness of the piece as an outsider not in the dream. Nice. I enjoyed it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
David W. Parsley

Hi MQ, I like the way this one manifests the end to enact the experience of transitioning from disquieting dream to comforting reality. There are many ways to it-was-only-a-dream, each unique to its own unfolding. By showing (not telling!) that uniqueness, by letting it blossom organically through the movement of the poem, you avoid the trap of bromide, achieve the sincere and memorable. Nicely done.

 

Incidentally, I share your discomfort with the title, as evidenced by your continuing to tinker with it. You might want to tweak it again. I say that because I think the title still gives away the end and, as stated above, I think your way of bringing that about is a lot of How this poem Means. It also somehow belittles with that "But" a bond-validating sense that comes with recognizing the "you I know." Just a thought.

 

And while I am sharing (let me know if I am crossing the line), I can't help but wonder if the action could be made even crisper by tightening the opening lines. Considering the section below, I respond to an originality of expression, condensation of description, and sense of breathlessness in those last two lines. Nice!

 

the air fairly boils away

under the brutal sun

as it punishes from mid-sky.

white clothing worn by all

reflects light so brilliantly

my eyes ache, our sandaled

feet kick up dust clouds.

crowded from behind,

we pass the jostle forward.

 

But the lines preceding it do not have that every-word-counts-and-rushes-me-forward, this-is-why-the-reader-should-care immedicacy. The high adjective/adverb count is part of it. If you are inclined to polish this piece further, see if you can compress those six lines into three or four, while bringing more originally turned verbs and nouns into play. That is how I see the last two lines.

 

I hope these comments are welcome and useful.

 

Take Care,

- Dave

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dansalinger

I enjoyed the read...both times...made me think of the flea market when I was young and strangers...it could be a scary place with all those smells and sounds and crowds....almost forgot the title and was happy and relieved to be reminded it was only a dream....

 

dan

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dc & Dan, thanks for the read and the responses. This was an actual dream I had and it scared the crap out of me. I appreciate the attention.

 

t

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Dave, I'm having problems with the reply function. I will try again later.

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Hi MQ, I like the way this one manifests the end to enact the experience of transitioning from disquieting dream to comforting reality. There are many ways to it-was-only-a-dream, each unique to its own unfolding. By showing (not telling!) that uniqueness, by letting it blossom organically through the movement of the poem, you avoid the trap of bromide, achieve the sincere and memorable. Nicely done.

 

Incidentally, I share your discomfort with the title, as evidenced by your continuing to tinker with it. You might want to tweak it again. I say that because I think the title still gives away the end and, as stated above, I think your way of bringing that about is a lot of How this poem Means. It also somehow belittles with that "But" a bond-validating sense that comes with recognizing the "you I know." Just a thought.

 

And while I am sharing (let me know if I am crossing the line), I can't help but wonder if the action could be made even crisper by tightening the opening lines. Considering the section below, I respond to an originality of expression, condensation of description, and sense of breathlessness in those last two lines. Nice!

 

the air fairly boils away

under the brutal sun

as it punishes from mid-sky.

white clothing worn by all

reflects light so brilliantly

my eyes ache, our sandaled

feet kick up dust clouds.

crowded from behind,

we pass the jostle forward.

 

But the lines preceding it do not have that every-word-counts-and-rushes-me-forward, this-is-why-the-reader-should-care immedicacy. The high adjective/adverb count is part of it. If you are inclined to polish this piece further, see if you can compress those six lines into three or four, while bringing more originally turned verbs and nouns into play. That is how I see the last two lines.

 

I hope these comments are welcome and useful.

 

Take Care,

- Dave

 

 

Okay, finally.

 

Your comments and suggestions are of course, welcome. Anyone who responds as courteously and kindly as you do, is always welcome to point out things that could help make my work better.

 

I am not certain I've done what you suggested, exactly, but I have tightened up the entire piece.

 

 

 

 

who are you (formerly but a dream [formerly last night])

 

air fairly boils under mid-sky sun.

white clothing reflects

so brilliantly eyes ache,

our feet cause dust clouds.

crowded from behind,

we pass the jostle forward.

claustrophobic, people-loathing,

an experience unwanted.

 

in the din of unfamiliar sounds

the tintinnabulation of small bells,

mingles with sounds

of braying animals and languages

i cannot understand.

so much bawling and arguing;

the anger. nearby i hear music

unknown to me.

 

scents invade my senses,

cause my spirits to spin

in a fit of dizzy.

the bit of fresh fig you feed me

from your fingers, weeps juice

down my chin, stains my shirt front

pisses me off. the smells

of cooking meats, spices,

fresh fruit are overwhelming

when infused

with horrific body odor,

animal droppings, vomit.

 

obviously a market or bazaar;

never outside my own country,

frightened to find myself

in so strange a place, no notion

how i arrived

or where i might be.

i turn to you for comfort

and find, dear god,

i don't know who you are.

your face indicates you do

however, know me.

 

i turn to struggle

through the swarm of people,

to lose you, but you grab my arm

and prevent me from running.

a smile teases your lips

your eyes show no harm intended,

i let you pull me back to your side.

 

no one looks up

when the woman screams.

i whimper, then cry out,

hair stuck to my damp forehead,

heart pounding, i am about to become

the next to scream.

 

you touch my face,

ask if i had a bad dream,

pull me close and say,

'shhhh, it's alright.'

it is the you i know.

 

 

rev. 06-16-13

 

Does this seem better? How about the title? I rarely come up with anything 'catchy', but truely, it should not give away a piece with a surprise ending.

 

Thanks, I do appreciate the time you took with this one.

 

tammi

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

You know how much I can identify with this, near the top of favorites of yours. You take us to the new place invented by synapses and receptors that strive to find some logic. I like that you put us (me) there as if it's I smelling and sweating. I often wake, as must many or maybe all, just before certain death overcomes me. Yes, night sweats come with the visitors. The detail here is perfect to the emotions and movement.

If not presumptuous, I suggest "Stranger in a Strange Land," as a title, with apologies to Robert Heinlein.

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Dan and Franklin, I thank you both for your time to read and make responses. Sometimes the comments cause me to read back through and see it through the eyes of others.

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