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  #1  
Unread 03-02-2021, 06:33 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Default Love Her; Love Her Not

Love Her; Love Her Not

Goddammit! Lyssa—Madness—has arisen
from whatever underworldly prison
a patriarchal god had shut her in
before the Passion and the nag of sin.
Now that she’s back for cataclysmic fun,
you tell me: should I whoop or buy a gun?

Most of me wants to watch what's wrong—
a cruel
and drastic,
orgiastic,
global duel;
part of me just wants folks to get along.

My last girlfriend was so much like this goddess—
the sneer, the perky Sadism, the bodice—
that I concede a crush but, shit, I guess
there’s just no living with a cracked-out mess.
I ought to think of sweet things, think of others,
innocents, but if I had my druthers. . .

Most of me wants to gawp at vice,
at free
and wicked,
championship-ticket
anarchy;
part of me just wants folks to act all nice.

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 03-02-2021 at 06:53 PM.
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  #2  
Unread 03-02-2021, 10:33 PM
Allen Tice Allen Tice is online now
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I hear at least four or five Roman poets in this, and maybe a few early Greek ones (they seemed to have a different groan). Is she even real? The doubled rhythmic variation pattern invites the idea of sincerity. That has two prongs: it's clever and stylistically snappy; it's also not quite credible I fear. Too much attention to surface glitter? All chat and no ranch? I'd never say you weren't sincere. In matters of love, that would be hyper-crude. And how could I know? I'm not there, I'm not you. One thing I know is that she's not my cup of tea. If she baits you, she hates you on some level. Artistically this poem is quite interesting; emotionally, look out boy, she's a man eater. Duck and cover.

Best.
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  #3  
Unread 03-03-2021, 08:26 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Dear Allen, she is real.

Yes, I fear our tastes are just too radically different. Funny you critiquing one of my poems on the grounds of "sincerity"!
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Unread 03-03-2021, 01:20 PM
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Jane Crowson Jane Crowson is online now
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Hi,

There’s a hint of submerged menace as well as frustration in the last line which I really enjoy.

I love ‘Passion and the nag of sin’ and the idea of ‘cataclysmic fun’.

The whole poem takes me to D.H. Lawrence - The Rainbow - the passage where Will and Anna Brangwen are stacking sheaves by moonlight - the evocation, embodied as far as it can be in words, of destructive, but simultaneously inescapable (and very much physical) passion.

I knew ‘druthers’ - just- but had to google to check my understanding. I read it here as evoking an old-fashioned rakishness (because it’s close to ‘vice’) - it’s a very site-specific word. I think that works, although. It’s an individual site-specific word that I can guess from context and dimly was aware of.

It reads to me about freedoms, about lack of restraint, too. Of living in a mashed up present not looking to a stolid future, and the narrator’s ambiguous feelings about that.

For what it is worth, I half-read it as being a real account of a situation, but also half-read it as a metaphor for the world’s balance (politically, economically) after the shock of COVID. S1 gave me this reading - the sense of chaos being freed again.

Sarah-Jane
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Unread 03-03-2021, 03:09 PM
Allen Tice Allen Tice is online now
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Sorry, we are different, and can still be colleagues. That's what makes horse races and sumo matches. I heard Catullus, Propertius, even Horace about Pyrrha. That's not to say that stress and rivalry and irritation with a partner won't happen; they will inevitably on the bumpy road to love. I'm not going to enlarge on that beyond saying that when Lyssa reads this or hears you read it in public (which are quite different things), something(s) will happen.

My sincerity is wrapped in an enigma wrapped in two more enigmas wrapped in three enigmas wrapped in four or five ... truths.

I like the poem, don't misunderstand that. Also I hear "Odi et amo" etc. It's a universal feeling at some moments. Good luck with the poem. Good luck with Lyssa.

Seriously.
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Unread 03-03-2021, 04:37 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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Would you consider omitting the word "folks" from both places you have it? To me it would fit more with what I think the speaker is saying. I don't know who these "folks" are, but it sounds to me that the speaker is the one who wants to be nice and get along.

My only other small suggestion is to replace "you tell me," since I found it slightly distracting to wonder who the "you" was, and there really isn't a "you".
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  #7  
Unread 03-04-2021, 07:38 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Sarah-Jane,

thank you. Yes, it is both about a real situation (my recent ex) and a cosmic force--call it, "Lyssa" in Ancient Greek or "Allecto" in Latin.

Roger,

thank you for commenting. "folks," meaning "people" generally, is a North-Dakotanism that has stuck with me. Maybe I should put quotes around "folks. . . get along" and "folks . . . act all nice"?

I do like the "you tell me" in which I directly address the reader. The "You tell me" is a folsky version of the imperative: "tell me." I like that the speaker is asking the reader for advice. I also like the assonance of "you" and "whoop."

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 03-04-2021 at 07:41 AM.
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Unread 03-04-2021, 07:52 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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I completely understood what "folks" means. My concern wasn't that the word is hard to understand, but with substance. It didn't ring true for me that the speaker should be reflecting in general about wanting all people to be nice. After all, this isn't Rodney King asking "Why can't we all just get along?" but a particular person speaking about another particular person.

I like the folksiness of "you tell me," but it wasn't clear to me that "you" meant the reader, rather than some other unidentified interlocutor, especially since typical readers understand that they can't actually tell the speaker anything so they don't immediately register that the comment is being addressed to them.

But I've used a lot of words to address issues that I'm sure are ultimately minor. You'll do what's best, I'm sure.
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  #9  
Unread 03-04-2021, 08:44 AM
conny conny is offline
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this reminds me of Tom Disch.

ballade of the new God, a poem which i like a lot.

yours, i also like. Though to say i'd like it either all
as S.1, or all as S.2.

my preference would be the weird layout of S.2 which would work
alone imo. i think there is actually just too much going on in the
first 6 lines.

5/6 are great, but the loopy look of the layout is a
bit of a distraction.
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  #10  
Unread 03-04-2021, 01:19 PM
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Jane Crowson Jane Crowson is online now
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I liked the layout. It looks like a swirl, a whirlwind, and the change in rhythm echoed that.

If (I suspect strongly Aaron won't want to do this) if were centre indented and the kerning tweaked a bit it would make two whirlwinds quite easily.
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