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Cities Burn

Breathing things, with circulatory systems.

I never stray far from the city
because all the bridges have been burnt--
or they're still blazing--
and there's no home away from there.
If you find a city, stay there,
because there's no living thing
that breathes like it,
and you can't leave

12 Aug 03

Rated 6 (6.3) by 1 users.
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Brilliant. Absolutely fantastic. I feel that I have reached a state of complete understanding with this poem, of utter comprehension. Its theme is one to which I am close, and thus, you score points. Thank you for this!
 — Moose

I love this, but this Moose keeps geeting in before me and I always seem to agree with him / her whoever - I'm not an acolyte truly,
 — susanna15

geeting? getting.
 — susanna15

Burnt brides: I rather like how you put that. The bridges; the only escape route from the city, has or is being burned down and so you are forced to stay. Again, I like how that was worded. Yet, I myself find the last statement confusing. What was the question that you said "No." to? I don't think the question was clearly defined here. Or maybe it wasn't a question, but perhaps just an exclamation, but still, why is "No," being said?~Chris King 10/10
 — FrChris

I agree with Chris about the ending. What was the question? There isn't anything threatening about an oak tree. Not sure where a circulatory system comes in. Afraid of natural places, afraid of missing life in the city? Can you explain it now that we've read it? Please?
 — Isabelle5

I appreciate the comments, and I don't mean to sound horribly pretentious--but I'd rather leave the poem as is, and without my own commentary. If you have ever been somewhere, and left it begrudgindly, perhaps you might more understand the way it feels.
 — unknown

That was enough of an answer. It helped, thanks.
 — Isabelle5

Welcome. --Swansong

 — unknown

are swansong and ersaph the same people/person?
 — unknown

Yes, I am now putting --Swansong aside my comments to signify "me" if I'm not signed onto "ersaph." --Swansong.
 — unknown

i don't get the ending.
 — unknown

This is great.
I wish you wouldn't have commented- I imagined you were saying no to being in this vast weird circulatory forest of what you feel so poignantly reflected within yourself. I like imagining it like that. Someone who has trouble feeling their wilderness cause of the city making him or her aliennated or just feeling so different. and the emotional bridges having metaphorically been burned.
Awesome either way. I know how it feels to want to describe your vision but you know, it's not only just "our" visions, as artists.
 — C

I love this!!!!!
 — Tomb

I don't know. Brilliant? Not to me. I like it a little but lines 2-3 seems a little too obvious. Burnt bridges?
 — basement

Not sure about the circulatory system reference but liked it otherwise.
 — boothben

ersaph this piece is fantastic. I never had the pleasure of stumbling over it until now.  I'm just.. blown away.  It has this Czeslaw Milosz quality to it.  It's the weight, the living city.  The line breaks are executed brilliantly. I'm not sure if you've edited this at all since first writing it - but this final piece is just.. meh I'm speechless.
 — beatbitch


Thank you.
 — ersaph

The words are completely right; not one is out of place. The only thing I wonder about is the spacing of the last line, if only on the basis of single-word last lines separated from any stanza feels like a bit of a cop-out to me. I can't think of an alternate way to place it, however, without being awkward. Maybe a comma at the end of line 8, and remove the blank space between 8-9? Though I don't really want to suggest ruining the two four-line stanzas, unless they were both balanced to five lines, but I haven't thought about how the first would really be affected by rearranging it to that. Just thoughts.
 — manikin

The way I conceived the poem, I liked the look of the word "anyway" on its own like. Like, I said this whole thing about how I can't live away from the city and then...well, in my opinion, the isolated "anyway" puts a space at the end of the poem that I intended to be there. Like when people talk for a long time about what troubles them and then they start their next sentence with "Anyway...". I don't know. I like this idea. Thanks for your comments.--Ersaph
 — unknown

leave the space.  I think that subtle pause adds so much in the reading of the piece. it adds another dimension too - of defeat. I think it's great : )
 — beatbitch

I sort of hate this one. People like it, though. The world is strange.
 — ersaph

 — unknown

^haha! i like ersaph's conclusion..."the world is strange."

i agree..... :)

this poem is very interesting...i rather like it :)
 — woman_power

 — marchhare

i found my city, and your poem is fantastic. and quite true.
 — adiscodancer

I LOVE it!  I just moved a year ago from Boston up to firstly, Bangor, Maine and then to Portland, Maine.  The displacement was profound and the cultural differences apparent.  I did this for the first time in my life at 39 years old and still struggle daily.  I love the message of this poem and I can FEEL exactly what it's speaking about.  NICE JOB!  I may even return to Boston next Summer because I belong there.  It's the city I just can't leave.  It's home.  It's all I've ever known.  Short and beautiful poem.  Keep up the good work!
 — starr

violin ... screech
 — unknown

Like this one. I live in a rather small city in Flanders (78000 inhabitants, but to our standards, that's actually not so small...). Whenever I visit a genuine metropolis (Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Köln, etc), I feel very much at ease, drawn into it, become a part of it somehow. The chaos, the sheer amount of people and buildings, the anonimity... (And those cities don't even come close to New York or Chicago. I hope to someday live in the US.) This poem nicely reflects my sentiments towards big cities.
 — unknown

What was I thinking. I've never been anywhere in my life.
 — ersaph