poetry critical

online poetry workshop



Heat Rising In Green and Gold
Isabelle5

I spent Summer of 1984 in Iowa,
 1
listening to corn go green.
 2
 
 
Corporate pig farms perfumed the air
 3
south of Sioux City,
 4
slaughter houses
 5
across the bridge to Nebraska
 6
mingled their raw breath
 7
with the Missouri's polluted red heat.
 8
 
 
I dated a man who worked the knife,
 9
as tall as the bulls he cut,  
 10
pony-tailed hair the color of corn silk
 11
and a natural way of plowing me
 12
like a Spring field -  I got inspired
 13
just looking at the buckle
 14
of his blood-spattered jeans.
 15
 
 
We got naked sometimes
 16
in the cool shadows
 17
of his uncle’s ice house - he took me
 18
from behind - my hands resting
 19
on the little window, watching the farmer
 20
next door riding his tractor
 21
in perfect hypnotizing circles through his fields,
 22
until I closed my eyes,
 23
listened to the moment with my skin.
 24
 
 
Welfare fraud was the hobby
 25
of women I met,
 26
that and marrying truckers,
 27
husbands who’d be long on the road
 28
and short on questions when they got home.
 29
 
 
Wives timed their men and teen-aged sons
 30
to see how quickly they could take their things
 31
and disappear when Social Services came to call.
 32
 
 
Summer was beautiful and earthy
 33
but the reality is that pigs
 34
can't take the stifling heat,
 35
nearly losing their will to live
 36
and so did I.
 37
 
 
I sometimes get up early
 38
to watch bullriding on A&E
 39
but it's all tangled up
 40
with the scent of sex in my head,
 41
memories of riding a live one,
 42
 
 
pain and sweat and saying good-bye
 43
while corn was still green.
 44

19 Jun 07

Rated 10 (10) by 1 users.
Active (1): 10
Inactive (0):

(define the words in this poem)
(501 more poems by this author)

(2 users consider this poem a favorite)



Add A Comment:
Enter the following text to post as unknown: captcha

Comments:

This is jam-packed with wonderful images!  What a fantastic poem!  A few suggestions though:

L2:  Listening to corn go green?  What is the sound associated with corn going green?  

L's 3-8:  I can actually smell these lines, however there is overusage of the article "the" and these lines would read much better without them.  May I suggest commas instead?

L's 9-16:  This is the approach I would employ in the aformentioned lines.  Good!
You might want to elaborate exactly what a "cow man" is also.

L's 22 & 23:  I'd change the preposition "round" to "around" or "through" his fields.
L24 is just perfect.  Reminds me of rain somehow and I don't know why this is.  Very sensual to listen to a moment with your skin.

L25:  I'm not so sure about the syntax here.  Why not just say the "majority of" and then change the verb to "were?"  

L28:  I'd change the verb to the past participle "had been."  It would agree then with the "were" in L25 (if you were to change it.)

L33:  Maybe change "and so did I" to "as I did?"

I love L's 34-39 but you could improve them even more by just adding in some more color/seasoning.  Watch the bulls do what?  L37:  maybe change "in my head" to "in my mind" or "in my mind's eye?"

While the corn was still green...LOVE IT!
 — starr

Corn going green - if you've never seen a field of corn growing, you can almost hear it growing and ripening, field upon field of green waves.  

Getting rid of some "the's," might work.  I need to call the river The Missouri but the rest can go.  

Welfare is rampant in Sioux City.  The women sign up, hide anything that makes it look as though a man lives with them, even though some had husbands, sons, brothers, all supporting them but they claimed welfare money, too.  I was distressed, no jobs available that summer but I would not go on welfare.  I'd rather starve - I did almost starve!  I weighed 103 at one point!

Line 28 has to be 'who would be,' for the reasons above.  They had to stay gone much of the time.

I'll go work on this.  Thanks for the comments.  Some I can change, some would change the mood I need.
 — unknown

Awesome in its newer version!  Much better!
 — starr

aww, shoot - kicks dirt and eats a bug.
 — unknown

Reading through my older poems, realizing I never thank you, Starr, for the help with changes.  
 — Isabelle5

0.331s