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Our Basement Apartment

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Old 11-05-2016, 06:43 AM
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Default Our Basement Apartment


She’s throwing my things into the suitcase
we borrowed for the honeymoon; and lifting

a line of insipid dialog from her unfinished novel,
she says, “How did it come to this?”

I take in a long drink of warm wine and recall
the time we first made love in this room;

on the bare mattress, before we unboxed;
how she hovered over me on her haunches,

striped by shadows and bright light from
the high, barred window like an alien tiger.

I had so carefully extracted the splinter
of betrayal from her palm, but she kept it

hidden in a silver capsule beneath her pillow
and she stuck it in my side while I slept.

Now the walls of our once safe haven
are bowed to breaking; pushed inward

by tons of red earth and the roots of massive
trees planted long before the war.

Ahead of the collapse and without her noticing,
I walk out and climb the crumbling stairs

empty handed, into the cold and violent light;
certain there was nothing there I wanted.


(Damn. I misspelled "Apartment" in the title. Wish I could change it.)


Last edited by Myers; 11-23-2016 at 10:10 AM..
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Old 11-05-2016, 06:49 AM
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I'm hoping you misspelled violet.
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Old 11-05-2016, 06:51 AM
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Nope.

BTW, I'm talking about what it's like when you first go out from the dark into the bright sunshine and how it almost hurts your eyes and how they have to adjust. It's one of them what you call metaphors.

Last edited by Myers; 11-05-2016 at 07:25 AM..
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Old 11-05-2016, 11:54 AM
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Nice piece. I made some small comments. Red bits relates mostly to rhythm and I suggest removing them. If you want, in fact I highly recommend you doing this, try to make the form and rhythm reflect the idea of things falling apart. Right now it flows too well together and it's at odds with the topic at hand. Blue bits are general suggestions to make the poem flow better. Hope the comments help. I do like the violet light. Try make it feel more disoriantating if you can. Make the reader feel the shock of the change from warm to cold and from dot light. Again, nice piece


She’s throwing (why not just "she throw"? make the action more abrupt, echo the mood, so to speak) my things into the suitcase
we borrowed for the honeymoon; and lifting

a line of insipid dialog from her unfinished novel,
she says, “How did it come to this?”

I take in a long drink of warm wine and recall
the time we first made love in this room;

on the bare mattress, before we unboxed;
how she hovered over me on her haunches,

striped by shadows and bright light from
the high, barred window like an alien tiger.

I had so carefully extracted the splinter
of betrayal from her palm, but she kept it

hidden in a silver capsule beneath her pillow
and she stuck it in my side while I was sleeping ("slept"?).

Now the walls of our once safe haven
are bowed to breaking; (slightly redundant) pushed inward

by tons of red earth and the roots of massive
trees planted long before the war. (put more pressure for these two lines. Make them work more in terms of imagery and adding layers to the poem's theme.)

Ahead of the collapse and without her noticing, (clarify)
I walk out (needed really? Better without)and climb the crumbling stairs

empty handed, into the cold and violent light;
certain there was nothing there I wanted.(consider rewording. This sounds a bit too moppy. Put some feeling in whether it be anger, cold indifference or sadness)
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Old 11-14-2016, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post

(Damn. I misspelled "Apartment" in the title. Wish I could change it.)
Fixed
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Old 11-16-2016, 03:35 PM
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Elisa/Win, thanks for the read and comments. Some good ideas for edits. I especially like slept vs. was sleeping.

Originally Posted by Elisa/win View Post
If you want, in fact I highly recommend you doing this, try to make the form and rhythm reflect the idea of things falling apart. Right now it flows too well together and it's at odds with the topic at hand.
While things are falling apart, the narrator has the presence of mind to realize it and get out in time; and it's written from his P.O.V., so I think the form needs to reflect a certain clarity and even some indifference as things deteriorate. Your idea might work if this was about his desperation or panic, but it seems at odds with what I'm trying to get across. Regardless, I appreciate the suggestion.

Cheers.

Mohican, thanks!
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