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Full Version: The Eleventh Month
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The wind at Lometa is always blowing
off the northern plains
or south from the Gulf.
Yesterday it was blowing northeast across traces
winter worn fables of your passage:
your charcoal pit, the gardens you started around the cabin
a far flung empire of guava outposts
now burnt yellow by ice
like cabins raided by Comanches
the grove of oaks we cleared of cedar and brush
and the chipper, the orange metal beast
made all the way from China
we unboxed and reconstructed
and brought roaring to life
to make your dreamland mulch,
now wrapped in torn plastic tarps
huddled under a Spanish oak on the ridge.
Here in this eleventh month since that misunderstood monster
took you away from where I knew you
I remember you here
dreaming of these future works and days
growing hemp, raising goats.
Your passage was brief
but I was here to witness it
and like any apostle
I must testify.
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Hi TqB

The wind at Lometa is always blowing
off the northern plains
or south from the Gulf.
(I either want more geographic details, or cut these two lines)
Yesterday it was blowing northeast across traces
(‘across traces’ of what?)
winter worn fables of your passage:
(this seems out of context)
your charcoal pit, the gardens you started around the cabin
(you might cut this line, or reposition it, the next few lines are so much better)
a far flung empire of guava outposts
now burnt yellow by ice
like cabins raided by Comanches
(any way to avoid the repetition of ‘by’ here?
And tidy up the image, empire/outposts/cabins)
the grove of oaks we cleared of cedar and brush
(do you need ‘and brush’? It’s just you’ve ‘and brush and the chipper’, too many ands)
and the chipper, the orange metal beast
(I think you could reposition ‘orange metal beast’, maybe after ‘roaring to life’?)
made all the way from China
(‘made all the way from’?)
we unboxed and reconstructed
(either this line or the next one, not both)
and brought roaring to life
to make your dreamland mulch,
(is this detail relevant, to the poem? I don’t think so)
now wrapped in torn plastic tarps
huddled under a Spanish oak on the ridge.
(It all falls apart for me in this next/last part
the ’future works and days’ seems like restating ‘gardens you started ... cleared grove’ ... etc - and don’t advance the piece.
Is the ‘orange metal beast’ the ‘monster’?
You repeat ‘passage’ - not sure why. Or what it was you witnessed.
Personally, I’d try and return this to the always blowing wind, leave the apostle/testify stuff out of it. It’s too heavy handed (for me, anyway).
Here in this eleventh month since that misunderstood monster
took you away from where I knew you
I remember you here
dreaming of these future works and days
growing hemp, raising goats.
Your passage was brief
but I was here to witness it
and like any apostle
I must testify.



Best, Knot


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thanks for the read and the comments.  I'm afraid I can't give up my heavy handedness.  In this case, it's scripture.  I did change "misunderstood monster" to "misunderstood angel" since I'm talking about the Angel of Death.  (This has nothing to do with the poem but dammit, I joined a forum to talk to people:  Supposedly the Angel of Death complained to God about his job And God said "don't worry, they will blame everything but you") 

Also tinkered with the Comanches.  "Made all the way from China" is a deliberate mash up of Made in China and came all the way from China.

hoping for some more responses but whenever, i'll post edited version.

The wind at Lometa is always blowing
off the northern plains
or south from the Gulf.
Yesterday it was blowing northeast across traces
winter worn footsteps of your passage:
your charcoal pit, the gardens you started around the cabin
a far flung empire of guava outposts
now burnt yellow like cabins raided by Comanches
the grove of oaks we cleared of cedar and brush
and the chipper,
now wrapped in torn plastic tarps
huddled under a Spanish oak on the ridge,
made all the way from China:
we unboxed, reconstructed
and brought roaring to life
that orange metal beast
to make your dreamland mulch.

Here in this eleventh month since that misunderstood angel
took you away from where I knew you
I remember you here
dreaming of future works and days:
growing hemp, raising goats.
Your passage was brief
but I was here to witness it
and like any apostle
I must testify.
.
Hi TqB,
I’ll leave you with these thoughts.

Angel is better, I thought the monster was the wood chipper.

I’d still shift ‘made all the way’ (see below)

now burnt yellow like cabins as if raided by Comanches ?

cut traces (all the examples that follow are ‘traces’)


The problem I have with your second stanza is I knew it was coming.
Grief and loss underpin the first, they didn’t need to be made explicit
in the second (except, possibly, for you). Smile


The wind at Lometa is always blowing
off the northern plains, or south from the Gulf.
Yesterday it blew across your footsteps
the charcoal pit, the gardens you started
around the cabin. That far flung empire
of guava outposts now burnt yellow
as if raided by Comanches

Today, it blows through the grove of oaks
we cleared of brush and cedar, tears
at the plastic tarps of the chipper,
huddling under a Spanish oak on the ridge,
The one we unboxed, reconstructed
and brought roaring to life, that orange metal
beast, made all the way from China

Tomorrow ...



Best, Knot





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