Draft 3: Unhomed
#1
Because the house is empty
a buzzing fly is all that can be heard,
tapping on the dusty glass that
an image fades and brightens through,
as if real enough to live in, until
it would soon rest upon the sill
with the others. But, I will leave
the window open and tear the screen.



Draft 2: Unhomed

Because the house is empty,
the buzzing of a fly
is all that can be heard, tapping on
the dusty glass an image fades
and brightens through, as if real
enough to live in, though the sill
would be where the fly will rest
with the others. But,
I’ll leave the window open
and tear the screen.


Draft 1: Dispossessed

Because the house is empty,
all that can be heard
is a buzzing fly, tapping on
an image kept by dusty glass
as if it was real enough
to live in, even if the sill
will be where it rests
with the others. So,
I'll leave the window open
and tear the screen.

Reply
#2
Hi Alexorande,

Been reading this over both yesterday and this morning.  It grows on you.  In a good way.  It also has a very nice beat to it.

I have a bit of trouble with the fly obsessing over a framed photo, if I'm reading this right.  Just because I've never seen one do it and that's how my overly literal mind works.

Tim

p.s. I have cut a screen myself.  Something there is about trapped flies.
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
Reply
#3
(02-16-2021, 04:40 AM)alexorande Wrote:  Because the house is empty, An empty house
all that can be heard a buzzing fly
is a buzzing fly, tapping on  ...
an image kept in dusty glass 
as if it was real enough
to live in, even if the sill
will be where it rests
with the others. So,
I'll leave the window open
and tear the screen.

Free verse construction: how did you decide on your line ends rather than the end of a natural phrase or clause? Could wordage be cut? - e.g. An empty house, a buzzing (annoying) fly tap, tap, tapping...

Strong imagery. Flies can buzz at anything. And I particularly like the sill covered in dead flies, potentially the resting place of the current subject. Thumbsup

Take what you want, bin the rest. Thumbsup
feedback award A poet who can't make the language sing doesn't start. Hence the shortage of real poems amongst the global planktonic field of duds. - Clive James.
Reply
#4
TranquillityBase,

The trouble with you reading it as a fly tapping on a picture frame is my mistake that can possibly be resolved with a simple fix. Let me know how it reads or if it still reads the same : )

John,

Thank you for the feedback! I wouldn't understand the sentence structure the way you rewrote it. To type it out simply, it would read: "An empty house, a buzzing fly tapping on an image kept in dusty glass as if it was real enough to live in, even if the sill will be where it rests with the others."

I should've made this clear in the OP but the reason I began with "Because..." is because the previous poem in the collection I'm working on ends with a question, and I just wanted to be bold (maybe too bold) to add to the flow of the collection. If there are other ways you would suggest I open the poem as if it were answering a question, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

As for how I decided where to end my lines, it was a combination of listening for the rhythm and deciding which part of the sentence to end on would keep the reader somewhat interested in what the next line would be.

Again, thank you for the feedback,
Alex
Reply
#5
Hey Alexorande, I enjoyed reading your poem. It reminded me of a documentary I watched sometime ago about alternative living and how the ways in which we live is somehow inharmonious with nature. Its a sad little poem, but the last sentiment of opening the window confronts that. It also speaks to migration in general, I'm thinking of the US/Mexican border struggle, or the Syrian refuge crisis, though i'm hesitant to think of these people as flies! Maybe i'm totally off your mark.. but thats where my close read took me. Thanks for sharing, some more comments below. 



(02-16-2021, 04:40 AM)alexorande Wrote:  Because the house is empty,  I'm not sure I have any particular feelings about starting the poem off with because but I suppose you could always try to get it in the title if you decide you don't like it in this line, but want to keep it. 
all that can be heard This poem is pretty tight with its economy, that said, if any line is disposable it may be this one! I think once you give us the sound of the fly it will be all we hear. 
is a buzzing fly, tapping on
an image kept by dusty glass I did read this as a picture frame my first couple of times, then I thought there is a photograph on the window sill? I'm making associations between flies being drawn to decay and how a photograph is of a past event. But actually my current reading is that the image is maybe whatever is behind the window, be that an exterior view or an interior view. Still not entirely sure. 
as if it was real enough
to live in, even if the sill
will be where it rests
with the others. So,
I'll leave the window open
and tear the screen. I like tearing the screen because its more aggressive/active than just opening the window. The narrator really commits to their conviction! 




Minor edit:
Changed the word "in" in L4 to "by"
Reply
#6
I do like this piece. I enjoy the first line, I love jumping into things. If you’re unsure of it you could always have the title add to the actual poem. The reader will read the title like a first line and then your actual first line will technically be your second, but I personally love a beginning that feels like I’m already in the middle of it, like a small snippet of a scene or of a moment...like a photograph.

Line 2: “all that can be heard” is unnecessary. The first line provides the image perfectly.

“...as if it was real enough/to live in” I like the idea behind that. I’ve read your poem numerous times and that line really makes it feels so human because it’s almost about settling and dying where you’re at instead of where you want to be. I really liked that.

I like your line breaks, especially lines 7 and 8. It made the last two lines more bold with the long pause, giving it more time to really sink in.

I really enjoyed your piece. It doesn’t try to be philosophical but it is. It was really a good, clean read that left me thinking about it.
Reply
#7
Hi Alexorande! I really enjoyed reading your poem. I totally agree with the critique that said "it grows on you." Every time I read it, I felt like a new line stood out to me and deepened my interpretation of your writing. That being said, I think my initial interpretation was different than what you might have intended. I thought of the "image kept by dusty glass" as a picture frame. To me, the fly repeatedly tapping it symbolized a person's mind inevitably returning to an old memory every time she finds her mind still (when "the house is empty"). After reading the replies to your original post, I quite enjoyed diving into your poem again, this time seeing the "dusty glass" as the window you presumably intended. I personally like the level of ambiguity your poem has! I think that it is a strength to be able to find multiple meaningful messages in one piece of writing. I also like how it takes a little bit of thinking to get to the poem's "real" meaning. However, if you would rather make your original intention more apparent, I think playing with the title could be a good way to do that. Your current title doesn't add much to the meaning in my mind and I think you could really use the title as an opportunity to anchor your message. Overall, I really enjoyed reading it! Smile
Reply
#8
Hi Alexorande, I'll add my praise to others. I enjoyed the beginning in "Because" as it's an invitation for a discovery, to understand a new piece of logic, and I didn't feel like I was missing the question raised in the previous poem (which I haven't read). As arbil_poeio perhaps also thought, the "as if it was real enough" is absolutely essential, that's where you break the physical dimension. I didn't even need to try and understand that sentence to be flow away (as if I was a fly) into nostalgia. And the "it" could be the house, or the fly, or the dusty glass--mystery.
One thing I wasn't sure of: the reference to a screen, as I'm not used to seeing screens on windows. Perhaps it's common where you live. It slightly stopped the flow of the poem for me. And can't you raise the screen, or lower it, instead of tearing it? I know you need to have some kind of action. Perhaps you just need to scare the fly away.
Reply
#9
Hey guys,

Thank you so much for all the feedback so far. I've tried to address as many of them as I could in this edit, so I hope this one is better in some way.

Frenchie,

I double-checked my window and now I'm sure there's no other way to get rid of the screen without tearing it lol

Miley,
Really liked that your critique included a more political interpretation of the poem, since that is what I was trying to achieve with the title. Thank you for the feedback Big Grin


Kind regards,
Alex
Reply
#10
.
Hi alex,
better for the revision.


just a thought ...


Because the house is empty,
the buzzing of a fly is all
that can be heard, tapping
on the pane an image fades
and brightens, as if real enough
to live in, though it will be
the sill where the fly rests
with the others. Today
I’ll leave the window open,
tear the screen and hope


Best, Knot


.
Reply
#11
Hi Knot,

Thanks for the feedback : ) considered your changes and worked in a couple of the really minor ones.

Alex
Reply
#12
.
Hi Alex,
better and better.
Minor points.
No comma at the end of line one.
Perhaps cut 'will rest' and replace with 'rests'?

There's still, for me, the issue that if 'all that can be heard' is the buzzing, then what about the 'tapping' (isn't that a noise too)?

Just because ...

Because the house is empty,
all that can be heard - tapping
on the dusty glass an image
fades and brightens through,
as if real enough to live in,
- is the buzzing from the sill
where this fly will rest
with all the others. But,
I’ll leave the window
open and tear the screen.



Best, Knot


.
Reply
#13
Hey Knot,

Made some changes with your feedback in mind. Pretty happy with the poem's progress so far! As always, let me know what you guys think.

Best, Alex
Reply
#14
Unhomed  As in unhoused/homeless?

Because the house is empty except for N, of course
a buzzing fly is all that can be heard, I don't think end line commas are needed
tapping on the dusty glass that they usually sound like they're bouncing off the glass to me, but OK
an image fades and brightens through,  This image is difficult for me, because I ask myself "what image?"
as if real enough to live in, until    If it's looking in N's window, then I'm sure N considers it real enough to live in. Flies do not see or think like humans do, which causes issues for me, but I guess anthropomorphizing a fly is OK for a poem.
it would soon rest upon the sill
with the others. But, I will leave Since N leaves dead flies on the sill, it seems a bit odd that this one is about to get special treatment. Why not toss the dead ones outside?
the window open and tear the screen.  With the window open, and the screen on the outside "...and tear the screen" may set the fly free, or it still may choose to fly inside the house through the open window. This confuses me as to what N wants to do- let the fly in the house, or expect it to take the escape route.

Referring back to your title, if I'm thinking that unhomed= homelessness, then I don't really get it, as most unhoused/unhomed folks are seeking to get in, not out. ??  So, I then read it as unhomed=keeping the fly out of your home.  You can't have it both ways, though: the fly will either get in or out. Also, by tearing the screen you're inviting more flies in the house, if the window stays open. I like the brevity of this piece, yet feel it requires more clarity.

... Mark


(ps. I can't believe that a fly startled me by landing on my hand as I wrote this.  So- I guess your poem literally reached out and touched me.)
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!