Draft 5: Always Space
#1
If we all leave for boba tea as the adults
sing on the karaoke, we could hear
their echoes surrender to a choir of frogs while
petrichor accompanies us on our walk
and runoff murmurs absently beneath the streets
about a past life that kept us waiting indoors.

We would be carried by our laughter---sometimes
interrupted by the dance of streetlit ghosts
of gnats---to a plaza where convenience stores,
a fast-food restaurant, Filipino market, and boba cafe
yield fluorescence to our reflections
passing in softly rippling puddles. But

today, those stores are wrapped in weeds into one
vacant edifice, brimming with silence that slowly
streamed into our estrangement; still, that moment,
crystallized by laughter behind rain, remains
in that familiar darkness between two worlds,
where there is always space for us.




Draft 4: Always Space

If we all leave for boba tea as the adults

sing on the karaoke, we could hear their echoes

give in to a choir of croaking frogs while

a petrichor accompanies us on our walk

and runoff murmurs absently beneath the streets

about a past life that kept us waiting indoors.



We would be carried by our laughter---sometimes

interrupted by the dance of warmly streetlit ghosts

of gnats---to a plaza where convenience stores,

a fast-food restaurant, Filipino market, and boba cafe

yield fluorescence to our reflections

passing in softly rippling puddles. But,



today, those stores are overgrown with sticker weeds

and thistle. They loom as one vacant edifice that

brimmed steady streams of silence into our estrangement;

yet, that moment, crystallized in rain and laughter,

remains in that familiar darkness between two worlds,

where there is always space for us.





Draft 3: Always Space

We could all leave for boba tea as the adults

sing on the karaoke, and hear their echoes

give in to a choir of croaking frogs, and

a petrichor might accompany us on our walk,

blankly murmuring beneath the street

about a past life that kept us waiting indoors.



And we would be carried, under streetlights,

by our laughter to a plaza

overgrown today with sticker weeds and thistle.



Those stores now loom in vacancy, as one edifice

diffusing a silence which estranged us; yet,

that moment, crystallized in rain and laughter,

remains in that familiar darkness between two worlds,

where there is always space for us.





Draft 2: Always Space



We could leave for boba tea as they sing

on the karaoke, and hear their echoes

give in to a choir of croaking frogs, and

a petrichor might accompany us on our walk,

blankly murmuring beneath the street

about a past life that kept us waiting indoors.



We would be carried, in the streetlights,

by our laughter to a plaza

overgrown today with sticker weeds and thistle.



Those stores now loom in vacancy, as one edifice

diffusing a silence that estranged us; yet,

that moment, crystallized in rain and laughter,

remains in that familiar darkness

between two worlds, where there is always space

for all of us.





Draft 1: Always Space



We will leave for boba tea as they sing

U2's "With or Without You" on karaoke,

their echoes yielding to a choir

of croaking frogs and a petrichor

that will accompany us on our walk,

mindlessly whispering beneath the street

of a past life that kept us waiting indoors.



We'll be carried, in the streetlights,

by our laughter to a plaza

overgrown today with sticker weeds and thistle.



The stores now loom in vacancy, as one edifice

diffusing a silence that estranged us; yet that moment,

crystallized in rain and laughter, will remain

in that familiar darkness between two worlds

as it always has.


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#2
Hi Alexandorande, this is an edit after thinking more about my reactions

"petricor" is a cool word, but too obscure to me; but I think it would make a better title
the best lines of the poem follow that word, so until i looked it up, i couldn't appreciate them.
to me they seemed the core of the poem.

I'm confused as to the change in tense at end of 2nd stanza.  I get it now.

But I don't think you need that last line.
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
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#3
(03-11-2021, 03:19 AM)alexorande Wrote:  I didn't think the draft I posted was ready for critique, so I had that thread deleted and am now reposting this poem. Sorry for any confusion.




We will leave for boba tea as they sing
U2's "With or Without You" on karaoke,
their echoes yielding to a choir
of croaking frogs and a petrichor (cool word, I just looked this up, fitting)
that will accompany us on our walk,
mindlessly whispering beneath the street
of a past life that kept us waiting indoors.

We'll be carried, in the streetlights,
by our laughter to a plaza (what does this plaza look like, what colour, texture, something)
overgrown today with sticker weeds and thistle. (nice image!)

The stores now loom in vacancy, as one edifice (say building instead, edifice is an old fashioned word)
diffusing a silence that estranged us; yet that moment,
crystallized in rain and laughter, (haunting!) will remain
in that familiar darkness between two worlds
as it always has. (interesting message! I love this ending line!)

I think that needs to be replaced with which, I feel it would carry weight in the poem.

Thanks for sharing!
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#4
(03-11-2021, 03:19 AM)alexorande Wrote:  I didn't think the draft I posted was ready for critique, so I had that thread deleted and am now reposting this poem. Sorry for any confusion.




We will leave for boba tea as they sing
U2's "With or Without You" on karaoke,
their echoes yielding to a choir
of croaking frogs and a petrichor
that will accompany us on our walk,
mindlessly whispering beneath the street
of a past life that kept us waiting indoors.

We'll be carried, in the streetlights,
by our laughter to a plaza
overgrown today with sticker weeds and thistle.

The stores now loom in vacancy, as one edifice
diffusing a silence that estranged us; yet that moment,
crystallized in rain and laughter, will remain
in that familiar darkness between two worlds
as it always has.

The pace and rhythm of this poem, in addition to the overwhelming flood of supporting and counter-supporting images tells a story that is both resolved by satisfying and imminently realistic and identifiable

Illuding to "With or Without You" so abruptly and obviously is one of the only places that I disagree with the poem, perhaps there is a way to allude to the song and the feelings of the song (which the poem is guided by and invoked by)

Something Like:
We will leave for boba tea as they sing

the lines, 
Through the storm we reach the shore
[font=Verdana, Arial]You give it all but I want more[/font]

then use the word karaoke

"their karaoke echoes yielding to a choir"

I've never had boba tea, but I would possibly like it, given your reference to the drink.
plutocratic polyphonous pandering 
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#5
Hey guys,

Thanks for the feedback! Came through with an edit. Let me know : )
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#6
I prefer to original beginning.  Why "We could", not "We will"?

I'm not crazy about the interruption of the song lyrics.

But from that point on, it's a beautiful poem.
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
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#7
TranquillityBase,

Thanks for the input! I agree, wasn't really feeling the song lyrics but I wanted to try it out to see what you guys would say. I appreciated thunderembargo's suggestion tho

As for why "we could" instead of "we will", I wanted the poem to sound more intimate between the n and the reader by having the first line come off as a suggestion rather than an authoritative foretelling of the future (even though the n and their friends going out to grab something to drink and hanging out is what will eventually happen). I think I personally like this beginning better because of that
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#8
(05-14-2021, 01:15 AM)alexorande Wrote:  TranquillityBase,



Thanks for the input! I agree, wasn't really feeling the song lyrics but I wanted to try it out to see what you guys would say. I appreciated thunderembargo's suggestion tho



As for why "we could" instead of "we will", I wanted the poem to sound more intimate between the n and the reader by having the first line come off as a suggestion rather than an authoritative foretelling of the future (even though the n and their friends going out to grab something to drink and hanging out is what will eventually happen). I think I personally like this beginning better because of that


Don't know if you already know of Ludovico Einaudi, but this is a piece called "Petrichor":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8xeStLTnhM
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
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#9
Haven't heard of them before, but it's a really nice piece. Personally, when I was writing this I was really inspired by this song by Hiroshi Yoshimura. Hope it's okay to get a little distracted on a critique forum lol

[Video: https://youtu.be/ZBXVpFhhmV4]
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#10
(03-11-2021, 03:19 AM)alexorande Wrote:  We could leave for boba tea as they sing   ---- all of this is wonderful to me, I get a burgeoning first love theme to this
on the karaoke, and hear their echoes     ---- From here to the second stanza. 
give in to a choir of croaking frogs, and
a petrichor might accompany us on our walk,
blankly murmuring beneath the street
about a past life that kept us waiting indoors.

We would be carried, in the streetlights,
by our laughter to a plaza
overgrown today with sticker weeds and thistle.  ---- all the way to here. Then I get lost. 

Those stores now loom in vacancy, as one edifice
diffusing a silence that estranged us; yet, ---Is this a former break up from the love lost?
that moment, crystallized in rain and laughter,
remains in that familiar darkness --- So multiple loves lost? 
between two worlds, where there is always space
for all of us. --- I get lost again.




Minor Edit:


Removed lyrics that were supposed to be alluding to a song in the first stanza. Switched out "you" in the final line for "us".




First Draft: Always Space

We will leave for boba tea as they sing
U2's "With or Without You" on karaoke,
their echoes yielding to a choir
of croaking frogs and a petrichor
that will accompany us on our walk,
mindlessly whispering beneath the street
of a past life that kept us waiting indoors.

We'll be carried, in the streetlights,
by our laughter to a plaza
overgrown today with sticker weeds and thistle.

The stores now loom in vacancy, as one edifice
diffusing a silence that estranged us; yet that moment,
crystallized in rain and laughter, will remain
in that familiar darkness between two worlds
as it always has.


I believe I have misread this entire piece. Not on the right ride??

It was all I could think of in my minds eye that they (two new loves, interested in each other) leave a familiar spot and walk into an unknown... sight and sounds, all matter not. I can see them gazing at each other in this walk through the imageary you give that they do not seem to see or hear but walk though blindly. 

Then I find in the last stanza, to me, that this may be love is lost, as many others may (familiar darkness?) have been. Always space? Not sure how this fits in for me... 

Again, this is the way I have read into this. I have not read any of the other comments as I find it my influence my position. 

Other than the misdirect from me , and I will read further and again, this was a very visually palpable read for me. The first two stanza are chock full of "get me out of here" imagery. Well done, and I hope I am close.
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#11
(03-11-2021, 03:19 AM)alexorande Wrote:  We could leave for boba tea as they sing
on the karaoke, and hear their echoes
give in to a choir of croaking frogs, and
a petrichor might accompany us on our walk,                                     For me, the poem really kicks off at this point
blankly murmuring beneath the street
about a past life that kept us waiting indoors.

We would be carried, in the under streetlights,                                   Don't know if "in" is the correct preposition here; "under" or "'neath the" might sound better?
by our laughter to a plaza
overgrown today with sticker weeds and thistle.

Those stores now loom in vacancy, as one edifice a single structure      I agree with Majestic Sun that the word "edifice" feels a bit out of place, though replacing it with "building" sounds a bit bland 
diffusing a silence that estranged us; yet,                                           to me.
that moment, crystallized in rain and laughter,
remains in that familiar darkness                                                       You might consider using "trickling" instead of "remains" (entirely different meaning, but I think it fits with the rain and all)
between two worlds, where there is always space
for all of us.

Overall I enjoyed the read Smile
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#12
tmanzao, ZonaIncerta,

Hope some of these changes do your feedback justice.

All the best,
Alex
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#13
Pleasure to see this poem develop; ending really has a new impact.  Thanks for the read.
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
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#14
I am loving the feelings this evokes - a sort of universal nostalgic youthfulness. “The adults” gives this the feeling of describing a whole different world - I would love to see an expansion on that theme of the world of childhood being different somehow.

We could all leave for boba tea as the adults 
sing on the karaoke, and hear their echoes 
give in to a choir of croaking frogs, [really amazing imagery, i can hear the frogs] and 
a petrichor might accompany us on our walk,
blankly murmuring beneath the street
about a past life that kept us waiting indoors.
[your reference to petrichor is interesting - i have never seen “a” used before it. is it the smell of rainy earth that is murmuring beneath the street? i’m not sure about a smell murmuring].

And we would be carried, under streetlights [an adjective would be good here],
by our laughter to a plaza
overgrown today with sticker weeds and thistle. [i am interested in how the plaza looked before it was overgrown. this stanza feels like it could be expanded].

Those stores [what stores? are there memories of a specific one? what did you do there?] now loom in vacancy, as one edifice 
diffusing a silence which estranged us [confused by this phrasing - is the building diffusing the silence? how so?]; yet, 
that moment, crystallized [good word choice] in rain and laughter, 
remains in that familiar darkness between two worlds [great callback to the beginning]
where there is always space for us. [would love to know who “us” is - friends? siblings? cousins?]
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#15
I'm not sure which version is which. The first version seems more clear, but the conditional nature of both weaken the poem. I am referring to the: "We could" or "We will leave", instead of just "we leave for". There are also some grammatical and typographical problems as well. I'll do a bit of editing on the first stanza to demonstrate a more immediate take.

We leave for boba tea as the adults
sing karaoke: hearing their echoes
return in a choir of croaking frogs.
Petrichor accompanies us on our walk,
murmuring beneath the street
of a past life that kept us waiting indoors. (I don't know how a petichor can murmur or be beneath the street.)

Also "and" never needs a coma.

There is some freshness about this but it seems overwhelmed by the grammar and typographical problems.

best,

dale
How long after picking up the brush, the first masterpiece?

The goal is not to obfuscate that which is clear, but make clear that which isn't.
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#16
Thank you both for the feedback! I'm liking how this piece is developing so I can't thank everyone enough who's given their input so far.

Erthona,

I'm leaning more into the conditional nature of the poem in this draft so I hope it becomes more of a strength rather than a weakness. I'm also trying to go for the feeling that the poem is directly addressing the reader, which is why it's being written this way. If it's still not working, as always, please let me know! :-)

Best,
Alex
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#17
If we all leave for boba tea as the adults
sing on the karaoke, we could hear their echoes
give in to a choir of croaking frogs while
a petrichor accompanies us on our walk
and runoff murmurs absently beneath the streets               nice addition
about a past life that kept us waiting indoors.

We would be carried by our laughter---sometimes
interrupted by the dance of warmly streetlit ghosts
of gnats---to a plaza where convenient stores,                   a fine image but I'd lose warmly; convenience store? or is that a colloquialism?, also called corner stores here
a fast-food restaurant, Filipino market, and boba cafe         not crazy about this list, but love next line
yield fluorescence to our reflections
passing in softly rippling puddles. But,

today, those stores are overgrown with sticker weeds
and thistle. They loom as one vacant edifice that
brimmed steady streams of silence into our estrangement;   a bit too much there; "that streams a steady silence..."?
yet, that moment, crystallized in rain and laughter,
remains in that familiar darkness between two worlds,
where there is always space for us.


Well, I really still prefer v.3 for its rhythm, but you've added a lot of good stuff here, so....
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
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#18
alexorande,

This last version is much better, more clear. I like the addition of "runoff" S1L5, it makes sense now. Much tighter from the version I read.

The "But" at the end of S2 seems contrived (plus it's not really needed). Better to start S3 with "Today". 

Could do without all the comas in S3.

Not sure what your reasoning is to break the sentence in S3L1-2, doesn't make much sense to me.

best,

dale
How long after picking up the brush, the first masterpiece?

The goal is not to obfuscate that which is clear, but make clear that which isn't.
Reply
#19
.
Hi alexorande,
improved with each revision.

If we all leave for boba tea as the adults
sing on the karaoke, we could hear their echoes
[surrender] to a choir of croaking frogs ............................'croaking' doesn't add anything to 'frogs'
I liked the specificity of the U2 lyric in the
earlier versions, shame it's gone.

while a petrichor accompanies us on our walk .............'a petrichor' seems a little off key.
and runoff murmurs absently beneath the streets
about a past life that kept us waiting indoors.

We would be carried by our laughter---sometimes
interrupted by the dance of warmly streetlit ghosts ......'warmly streetlit' doesn't work, and 'ghosts of gnats' seems excessive.
of gnats---to a plaza where convenience stores,

We could be carried by our laughter to a plaza
where convenience stores, and [take aways],
a Filipino market and [any alternative to repeating 'boba'?]

yield fluorescence to our reflections
passing in softly rippling puddles
and interruptions of [?] of streetlit gnats

today, those stores are overgrown with sticker weeds .... why 'today'?
and thistle. They loom as one vacant edifice
that brimmed steady streams of silence .......................... should this be present tense, 'brims'?

into our estrangement; yet, that moment,
crystallized in rain and laughter, ....................................can't reconcile 'crystalised in rain' with 'petrichor' (in terms of time/timings)
remains in that familiar darkness between two

worlds, where there is always space for us.


Best, Knot


.
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#20
Knot, Erthona, TranquillityBase,

Did my best to address your comments in this draft. Would love to read your thoughts!

Warm regards,
Alex
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