I don't see her(mod edit)
#1
I don’t see her
but she is everywhere;
      in the morning
           cupboard doors agape;
in the sink a sodden, half-eaten creation of a nocturnal alchemist;
in the history tests and text 
      books oozing from her bloated pack
            that festers in the entry,
discarded clothes flaked 
like itchy reptilian skin                                                                               
      leading away;
in forgotten elementary lessons etched
into the ebony of the dining room table.
The blue Subaru’s gas gauge at empty,
       its rims excoriated against curbs;
in the detritus of a deciduous forest
       shed onto her bedroom floor;
in the quiet of the climbing moon
searched by anxious ears
for the late crunch of tires or creak
       of a darkened stair;
in her mother’s eyes
       and the breeze
as she blows through.
 
Should I see her
before she goes,
could I say goodbye?  Risk
the feel of smooth cheek against stubble,
hear the quiet words in my ear,
her arms tightening around.
Should I hold her
I would have to let her go.


I don’t see her

but she is here everywhere;

            in the morning

                        cupboard doors agape;

            in the sink a sodden, half-eaten creation of a nocturnal alchemist

with an appetite;

            in the history tests and text 

books oozing from her bloated pack

            that festers in the entry;

discarded clothes

flaked like itchy reptilian skin                                                                               

            leading away;

in forgotten elementary lessons etched deep

into the ebony of the dining room table.

The blue Subaru’s gas gauge at empty,

                        its rims excoriated against curbs,

lessons learned;

in the detritus of a deciduous forest

                        shed from limbs on her bedroom floor;

in the quiet of the climbing moon searched by anxious ears

for the late crunch of tires or creak

            of a darkened stair;

in her mother’s eyes

            and the breeze

as she blows through.

 

Should I see her

before she goes,

I could not say goodbye; risk

the feel of her smooth cheek against stubble,

hear her soft words in my ear,

arms tightening around.

Should I hold her
I would have to let her go.
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#2
I don’t see her
but she is here everywhere;
            in the morning
                        cupboard doors agape;

The spaces in the lines are done well. A glacier knocking. 





            in the sink a sodden, half-eaten creation of a nocturnal alchemist
with an appetite;


Nothing wrong here. The an works, keeping it homely.



            in the history tests and text 
books oozing from her bloated pack
            that rots in the entry;


Here the in does the same with outside the housely. 



discarded clothes
flaked like itchy reptilian skin                                                                               
            leading away;


leading away does have the fitness here.



in forgotten elementary lessons etched deep
into the ebony of the dining room table.
The blue Subaru’s gas gauge at empty,
                        its rims excoriated against curbs,
lessons learned;
in the detritus of a deciduous forest
                        shed from limbs on her bedroom floor;


The links of the sentence carry well through each ; and in so far.


in the quiet of the climbing moon searched by anxious ears
for the late crunch of tires or creak
            of a darkened stair;
in her mother’s eyes
            and the breeze
as she blows through.
 

And thus far.

Should I see her
before she goes,
I would not say goodbye; risk
the feel of her smooth cheek against stubble,
hear her soft words in my ear,
arms tightening around.
Should I hold her
I would have to let her go.



There's nothing that can be fixed here. All revisions are mere potshots at roses. 
Reply
#3
(07-05-2022, 09:23 AM)rowens Wrote:  I don’t see her
but she is here everywhere;
            in the morning
                        cupboard doors agape;

The spaces in the lines are done well. A glacier knocking. 





            in the sink a sodden, half-eaten creation of a nocturnal alchemist
with an appetite;


Nothing wrong here. The an works, keeping it homely.



            in the history tests and text 
books oozing from her bloated pack
            that rots in the entry;


Here the in does the same with outside the housely. 



discarded clothes
flaked like itchy reptilian skin                                                                               
            leading away;


leading away does have the fitness here.



in forgotten elementary lessons etched deep
into the ebony of the dining room table.
The blue Subaru’s gas gauge at empty,
                        its rims excoriated against curbs,
lessons learned;
in the detritus of a deciduous forest
                        shed from limbs on her bedroom floor;


The links of the sentence carry well through each ; and in so far.


in the quiet of the climbing moon searched by anxious ears
for the late crunch of tires or creak
            of a darkened stair;
in her mother’s eyes
            and the breeze
as she blows through.
 

And thus far.

Should I see her
before she goes,
I would not say goodbye; risk
the feel of her smooth cheek against stubble,
hear her soft words in my ear,
arms tightening around.
Should I hold her
I would have to let her go.



There's nothing that can be fixed here. All revisions are mere potshots at roses. 
Thanks rowen. Just to clarify, needs to be fixed or can be fixed?
Bryn
Reply
#4
Not fixed or criticized by me. You can revise if that's your hobby. I wouldn't. Unless there's something perfect you can add.
Reply
#5
(07-05-2022, 08:36 AM)brynmawr1 Wrote:  I don’t see her
but she is here everywhere;
            in the morning
                        cupboard doors agape;
            in the sink a sodden, half-eaten creation of a nocturnal alchemist
with an appetite;
            in the history tests and text 
books oozing from her bloated pack
            that festers in the entry;
discarded clothes
flaked like itchy reptilian skin                                  ii like the broken paragraphs with indentations for the most part but it can be distracting here, the contrast at the end with regular line breaks makes me think your thoughts are scattered and broken through here.  
            leading away;
in forgotten elementary lessons etched deep
into the ebony of the dining room table.
The blue Subaru’s gas gauge at empty,
                        its rims excoriated against curbs,
lessons learned;
in the detritus of a deciduous forest
                        shed from limbs on her bedroom floor;
in the quiet of the climbing moon searched by anxious ears anxious is how I feel, I'd almost prefer more symmetry between the beginning and end, like the middle is where your mind starts to lose it.  
for the late crunch of tires or creak
            of a darkened stair;
in her mother’s eyes
            and the breeze
as she blows through.
 
Should I see her
before she goes,
I could not say goodbye; risk
the feel of her smooth cheek against stubble,
hear her soft words in my ear,
arms tightening around.
Should I hold her
I would have to let her go. I was so distracted throughout, this last part seems to hold enough emotion to stand alone.  I'd want the entire first section to hold more weight, like it's too loose


I hope this helps, thanks for sharing
Peanut butter honey banana sandwiches
Reply
#6
(08-11-2022, 10:34 PM)CRNDLSM Wrote:  
(07-05-2022, 08:36 AM)brynmawr1 Wrote:  I don’t see her
but she is here everywhere;
            in the morning
                        cupboard doors agape;
            in the sink a sodden, half-eaten creation of a nocturnal alchemist
with an appetite;
            in the history tests and text 
books oozing from her bloated pack
            that festers in the entry;
discarded clothes
flaked like itchy reptilian skin                                  ii like the broken paragraphs with indentations for the most part but it can be distracting here, the contrast at the end with regular line breaks makes me think your thoughts are scattered and broken through here.  
            leading away;
in forgotten elementary lessons etched deep
into the ebony of the dining room table.
The blue Subaru’s gas gauge at empty,
                        its rims excoriated against curbs,
lessons learned;
in the detritus of a deciduous forest
                        shed from limbs on her bedroom floor;
in the quiet of the climbing moon searched by anxious ears anxious is how I feel, I'd almost prefer more symmetry between the beginning and end, like the middle is where your mind starts to lose it.  
for the late crunch of tires or creak
            of a darkened stair;
in her mother’s eyes
            and the breeze
as she blows through.
 
Should I see her
before she goes,
I could not say goodbye; risk
the feel of her smooth cheek against stubble,
hear her soft words in my ear,
arms tightening around.
Should I hold her
I would have to let her go. I was so distracted throughout, this last part seems to hold enough emotion to stand alone.  I'd want the entire first section to hold more weight, like it's too loose


I hope this helps, thanks for sharing
Hi CRNDLSM,

Thanks for reading and commenting.  I am trying to use the line breaks to give the first part a little more "umph" as it is really just a listing but I can see how it could distract the reader some.  I have been consious of the formating change, as well.  I stopped the indents because of the change in tone.  I will look at the first section regarding the line breaks and see how I can tweak it.
thanks,
bryn
Reply
#7
Hello, Bryn. Precise and evocative imagery throughout. Creative details help draw the reader into the scene. I am impressed by this piece. That having been said, I'll proceed to pick it apart:

(07-05-2022, 08:36 AM)brynmawr1 Wrote:  I don’t see her -- It's not bad to use your first line as the title, especially when you don't have anything else in mind. It doesn't hinder, but it doesn't help either. 
but she is here everywhere; -- I would choose either "here" or "everywhere." Unless she's a god, she's going to have to choose. 
            in the morning -- I don't mind the indentations. I don't see the point of them, but they don't detract from the reading either. 
                        cupboard doors agape; -- love how this image of cupboards with mouths leads into the abandoned food discussion
            in the sink a sodden, half-eaten creation of a nocturnal alchemist  -- Disgusting and intriguing -- all the things chemists would be called on to investigate. Alchemist is a great word choice for sonics and meaning, a perfect choice for a line break. Nocturnal is appropriate for raccoons and teenagers, so I approve.
with an appetite; -- not a fan of this coming after alchemist. It doesn't add much and weakens the previous line break. I would cut this since it's implied in the previous line.
            in the history tests and text 
books oozing from her bloated pack 
            that festers in the entry; -- introducing the death imagery is confusing at first (especially because the tone of the first part of the poem is lightly comedic), but it's ultimately appropriate given that the topic is presence vs. absence. Anyone who has school age children has that entryway problem, so the image is relatable. 
discarded clothes -- maybe put "flaked" on the end here
flaked like itchy reptilian skin  -- great sonics, and furthers the growth-of-a-child theme                                                                             
            leading away; -- leading where? This is an opportunity to add another house image like you did with the cupboards, entryway, stairs, and dining room table. I feel the same about this line as I do about "with an appetite" -- it's like an appendix (that is, expendable). 
in forgotten elementary lessons etched deep -- I don't think you need "deep." It gets in the way of the etched/ebony sonic pairing. 
into the ebony of the dining room table. 
The blue Subaru’s gas gauge at empty, -- Great sonics and details (again). It's the kind of example which highlights the irritation/joy of having kids. These are the things that you think you'll never miss, but you do after they've left. 
                        its rims excoriated against curbs, -- excoriated is a great word choice. I would end this line on curbs. 
lessons learned; -- a superfluous add-on, especially given that you have "lessons" just a few lines before. 
in the detritus of a deciduous forest -- yes
                        shed from limbs on her bedroom floor; -- maybe name a kind of tree before limbs, just to make it clear that it's not animal/person limbs. Those of us with wandering minds could become derailed by the ambiguity. 
in the quiet of the climbing moon searched by anxious ears -- comma after moon 
for the late crunch of tires or creak -- visceral 
            of a darkened stair; 
in her mother’s eyes -- Clarifies the familial relations. Lovely. 
            and the breeze
as she blows through. -- Sad and beautiful. 
 
Should I see her
before she goes,
I could not say goodbye; risk -- I think it would read better if there wasn't a firm break after goodbye ("I could not say goodbye or risk"), because then "risk" is unsupported and about to fall off the edge. If you want to accentuate "risk," maybe break the next line on "cheek" so that it has a partner in the shared "k" sound. 
the feel of her smooth cheek against stubble, "stubble" is a solid way to further define the relationship to "her." Excellent showing vs. telling. 
hear her soft words in my ear, -- Maybe naming the words here would be stronger. I think that "smooth" and "soft" are a little bit too close to each other and create a sense of redundancy. 
arms tightening around. -- tightening around what? 
Should I hold her -- nice call-back to the beginning of the stanza
I would have to let her go. -- A fitting gut punch for the ending. 

So, keeping it very real (and understanding that punctuation is somewhat of an artistic expression in poetry): I'm struggling with the constant semi-colons. It seems to be an attempt to break up the reading without creating harsh pauses. The traditional use of the semi-colon is to link together two complete sentences that have more of a relationship to each other than to the rest of the paragraph. Here, there seems to be an interchangeability of commas, semi-colons, and full stops that's making my editorial side twitch and seize. It didn't keep me from enjoying the poem, but it was definitely a distraction. 

All in all: superb content that can be either muddled or highlighted by your stylistic choices. 

Enjoyed the read. Good luck with the piece. 

Lizzie
Reply
#8
(09-05-2022, 03:35 AM)Lizzie Wrote:  Hello, Bryn. Precise and evocative imagery throughout. Creative details help draw the reader into the scene. I am impressed by this piece. That having been said, I'll proceed to pick it apart:

(07-05-2022, 08:36 AM)brynmawr1 Wrote:  I don’t see her -- It's not bad to use your first line as the title, especially when you don't have anything else in mind. It doesn't hinder, but it doesn't help either. 
but she is here everywhere; -- I would choose either "here" or "everywhere." Unless she's a god, she's going to have to choose. 
            in the morning -- I don't mind the indentations. I don't see the point of them, but they don't detract from the reading either. 
                        cupboard doors agape; -- love how this image of cupboards with mouths leads into the abandoned food discussion
            in the sink a sodden, half-eaten creation of a nocturnal alchemist  -- Disgusting and intriguing -- all the things chemists would be called on to investigate. Alchemist is a great word choice for sonics and meaning, a perfect choice for a line break. Nocturnal is appropriate for raccoons and teenagers, so I approve.
with an appetite; -- not a fan of this coming after alchemist. It doesn't add much and weakens the previous line break. I would cut this since it's implied in the previous line.
            in the history tests and text 
books oozing from her bloated pack 
            that festers in the entry; -- introducing the death imagery is confusing at first (especially because the tone of the first part of the poem is lightly comedic), but it's ultimately appropriate given that the topic is presence vs. absence. Anyone who has school age children has that entryway problem, so the image is relatable. 
discarded clothes -- maybe put "flaked" on the end here
flaked like itchy reptilian skin  -- great sonics, and furthers the growth-of-a-child theme                                                                             
            leading away; -- leading where? This is an opportunity to add another house image like you did with the cupboards, entryway, stairs, and dining room table. I feel the same about this line as I do about "with an appetite" -- it's like an appendix (that is, expendable). 
in forgotten elementary lessons etched deep -- I don't think you need "deep." It gets in the way of the etched/ebony sonic pairing. 
into the ebony of the dining room table. 
The blue Subaru’s gas gauge at empty, -- Great sonics and details (again). It's the kind of example which highlights the irritation/joy of having kids. These are the things that you think you'll never miss, but you do after they've left. 
                        its rims excoriated against curbs, -- excoriated is a great word choice. I would end this line on curbs. 
lessons learned; -- a superfluous add-on, especially given that you have "lessons" just a few lines before. 
in the detritus of a deciduous forest -- yes
                        shed from limbs on her bedroom floor; -- maybe name a kind of tree before limbs, just to make it clear that it's not animal/person limbs. Those of us with wandering minds could become derailed by the ambiguity. Ha!  I was actually referring to human limbs clothes again but also all the crap that collects.  I will think about this issue.
in the quiet of the climbing moon searched by anxious ears -- comma after moon 
for the late crunch of tires or creak -- visceral 
            of a darkened stair; 
in her mother’s eyes -- Clarifies the familial relations. Lovely. 
            and the breeze
as she blows through. -- Sad and beautiful. 
 
Should I see her
before she goes,
I could not say goodbye; risk -- I think it would read better if there wasn't a firm break after goodbye ("I could not say goodbye or risk"), because then "risk" is unsupported and about to fall off the edge. If you want to accentuate "risk," maybe break the next line on "cheek" so that it has a partner in the shared "k" sound. 
the feel of her smooth cheek against stubble, "stubble" is a solid way to further define the relationship to "her." Excellent showing vs. telling. 
hear her soft words in my ear, -- Maybe naming the words here would be stronger. I think that "smooth" and "soft" are a little bit too close to each other and create a sense of redundancy. 
arms tightening around. -- tightening around what? 
Should I hold her -- nice call-back to the beginning of the stanza
I would have to let her go. -- A fitting gut punch for the ending. 

So, keeping it very real (and understanding that punctuation is somewhat of an artistic expression in poetry): I'm struggling with the constant semi-colons. It seems to be an attempt to break up the reading without creating harsh pauses. The traditional use of the semi-colon is to link together two complete sentences that have more of a relationship to each other than to the rest of the paragraph. Here, there seems to be an interchangeability of commas, semi-colons, and full stops that's making my editorial side twitch and seize. It didn't keep me from enjoying the poem, but it was definitely a distraction. 

All in all: superb content that can be either muddled or highlighted by your stylistic choices. 

Enjoyed the read. Good luck with the piece. 

Lizzie
Hi Lizzie,
First, thank you for such a detailed critique.  I appreciate your time and effort.  You make many good suggestions and I will adjust accordingly.  Ah, the semi-colon.  Is it a lazy period or an ambitious comma?  I loosely based the formatting (and use of semi-colons) on a poem BY MAX SCHLEICHER called "Dream of Low Houses" that I like.  I'm pretty new at this poetry stuff so I was doing a bit of imitating.  Maybe doesn't work as well for me!

Thanks again.  Glad you are back and I look forward to returning the favor as best I can.
Take care,
bryn
Reply
#9
(07-05-2022, 08:36 AM)brynmawr1 Wrote:  I don’t see her
but she is here everywhere;
            in the morning
                        cupboard doors agape;
            in the sink a sodden, half-eaten creation of a nocturnal alchemist
with an appetite;
            in the history tests and text 
books oozing from her bloated pack
            that festers in the entry;
discarded clothes
flaked like itchy reptilian skin                                                                               
            leading away;
in forgotten elementary lessons etched deep
into the ebony of the dining room table.
The blue Subaru’s gas gauge at empty,
                        its rims excoriated against curbs,
lessons learned;
in the detritus of a deciduous forest
                        shed from limbs on her bedroom floor;
in the quiet of the climbing moon searched by anxious ears
for the late crunch of tires or creak
            of a darkened stair;
in her mother’s eyes
            and the breeze
as she blows through.
 
Should I see her
before she goes,
I could not say goodbye; risk
the feel of her smooth cheek against stubble,
hear her soft words in my ear,
arms tightening around.
Should I hold her
I would have to let her go.

I don't have much to add to the technical qualities of this poem, but was drawn to comment because of the imagery, and symbolism / connotations. I dig the flow of the poem as well. I keep wondering that the relationship is between the narrator and subject. My first thought during the beginning of the poem was definitely roommate / family though I feel it could be almost anything. I think the mystery is the strength of the poem. The first stanza is an interesting way of profiling a subject that I enjoyed.

Thanks for the read
Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.
--mark twain
Rob Cave
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