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Our Song
ersaph

Inspired by a letter I found on the ground in the parking lot of a university:

"Drea,

I'm so sorry bout the mean things I said. I love you so much. I was mad and what I said was not cool.
You are such a nice person that I feel lucky to have you as my roomie. I hope you are not mad at me. And the stuff I said  bout you and Ryan I didn't mean. I was just tryin to hurt your feelings. Ryan's great & your lucky to have him & his lucky to have you. I'm sorry if I say things to blunt and that they ever hurt your feelings.

Love Devon.

P.S. You r so not annoyin. :)"


From Solvang to space,
 1
and back again,
 2
Our song comes on the radio.
 3
The plucking of a banjo.
 4
The scrape of a zither.
 5
Bells. I see your
 6
screaming face.
 7
"I CAN'T DO THIS ANYMORE!"
 8
 
 
The first verse ends
 9
and I feel my arms twist back.
 10
The chorus shuffles in double-time;
 11
I see bruises beneath
 12
your lace sleeves.
 13
I see your yellow teeth
 14
gnash my pale flesh--
 15
Here's the next verse--
 16
I taste velvet.
 17
 
 
Our song reaches a crescendo.
 18
You're lighting a wax candle,
 19
you're binding my feet together.
 20
Here's our favorite part:
 21
The voices cry in unison,
 22
"Absalom, Absalom!"
 23
Your tongue whips across my eyes.
 24
"And on and on and on!"
 25
 
 
When you left
 26
I put our things
 27
in my closet.
 28
I retired the lash,
 29
would no longer feel
 30
its kind thresh
 31
across my back.
 32
I put our leather masks
 33
on hangers.
 34
I threw away the tatters
 35
I tore from your dress.
 36
I unplugged the radio
 37
and readjusted my spine.
 38
 
 
A lock of the straight black hair
 39
I pulled from your head
 40
remains in my
 41
bureau drawer.
 42
 
 
In restaurants,
 43
in the post office,
 44
in the market—
 45
I sometimes hear our song.
 46
But at home the radio's kept off;
 47
I can't bear to turn it on.
 48

7 Feb 04

Rated 8 (6.8) by 3 users.
Active (3):
Inactive (17): 1, 1, 1, 2, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10

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Comments:

I realize this poem may have been lost to you because of it's banal title, but I urge you to give it a try.--Erspah
 — unknown

I feel like lines 10, and 28 are not needed. (Keep in mind that I am just trying to help this be a great poem, instead of just a good one.)

Also, the four line stanza, I personally think it's holding back your poem's effectiveness. When you go from line 36, to 37, I don't like the way it leaves you with half of a sentence "I threw away" and then a big space before you read the next half of the sentence. I think it would be more effective if you just went like this:

From Solvang
to space--
and back again--
Our song comes on the radio.
The plucking of a banjo;
the scrape of a zither;
Bells. I see your
screaming face.
"I can't do this anymore!
The first verse ends
and I feel my arms twist back.
The chorus shuffles in double-time;
I see bruises beneath
your lace sleeves.
I see your yellow teeth
gnash my pale flesh--
Here's the next verse--
I taste velvet.
Our song reaches a crescendo.
You're lighting a wax candle,
you're tying my arms behind me.
Here's our favorite part:
The voices cry in unison,
"Absalom, Absalom!"
Your tongue whips my eyes.
"And on and on and on!"

When you left
I put our things
in my closet.
I retired the lash,
would no longer feel
its kind thresh
across my back.
I put our leather masks
on hangers.
I threw away  the tatters
I tore from your dress.
I unplugged the radio
and readjusted my spine.
A lock of the straight black hair
I pulled from your head
remains in my
bureau drawer.
In restaurants,
in the post office,
in the market—
I sometimes hear our song.
But at home the radio's kept off;
I can't bear to turn it on.

Just my opinion, don't have to take it.

lines 47 to 50 were my favorite. Nice job.
 — unknown

Thanks, I was actually considering changing the poem to that format. I agree it fits better, and I think I'll change it to it. Thanks again for doing all the "legwork" for me.--Ersaph
 — unknown

Okay, now that you changed it, I like it so much better. Not that I didn't like it before, but now it's better. Love it! Nice job.
 — unknown

Please read this.--Ersaph
 — unknown

Read?
 — unknown

PLEASE.--Ersaph
 — unknown

Really.--Ersaph
 — unknown

Ersaph,
A very good poem with some damned strong images. Nice and tight and, like most of your stuff, really disturbing on a gut level. Just a couple of nits:

Our song comes on the radio.
The plucking of a banjo.
Scrape of a zither.  <-- don't need semi-colons, sounds better without initial The here.

You've got the same event in lines 11 and 21. As it is stiking, I would decide where it has the most punch and only use it there. I like the feel of "my arms twist back" over line 21 (imo).

Other than that, I would revisit a bit of the punctuation (a few too many -- and semi-colons, etc.)

As you can see, mostly technical bits. A very strong work.
 — ka

stiking = striking. I hate typos. bah.
 — ka

Dominatrix eh? 27-35. Interesting! It's also inteteresting that someone would keep leather masks on hangers. Sounds like a neat-freak masochist to me. Lines 19-26 were the weakest ones I feel in this poem. Everything else seemed okay.~Chris King
 — FrChris

Chris, though this is a poem about sadomasochism, it isn't really about dominatrix(es). No one person is dominating anything, though they're each, in their own way, dependent on one another and volleying for control of the relationship. Anyway, I hope that the readers of this poem will come away with something more than just the cheap thrills evoked by domination; this is a love poem, primarily, and is meant to show the breadth of intimacies that one can come to yearn for.
 — ersaph

Ka, I don't know if this worked, but the reason that I repeated the actions is that one is evoked when the protagonist hears "their song," the other is a memory of it happening. Anyway, thanks for the criticism.
 — ersaph

I realloy don'at know waht to think of this.e
 — unknown

I thought this was enjoyable
 — unknown

Hey Ersaph,
Nice revision. Like the bound feet - works on a couple of levels. Ever see the picture of the 'hanged man' on a tarot deck - this works for that type of symbolism as well.

ka.
 — ka

Thanks ka. I've seen the hanged man, but wasn't really thinking of that, but it's a striking image nonetheless.
 — ersaph

I like this whole piece.  It has a darkness to it, the way mesh stockings and leather would sound translated into words.  Tattery and torn.  Very good clear writing, in my opinion.
 — Isabelle5

this shit cracks me up. i am so glad that you are my roomie...with a rubber hose.
 — onklcrispy

I'd love to know how this poem sprung from that....
and if you ever returned the letter?

this is a strikingly brilliant poem and deserves a lot more looks. Everyone, as erspah said, please ignore the banal title (how about changing it darling? )
very very astoundingly good work..
XxXx
 — Minx

Thank you Minx. I am glad you are such a fan of this poem. The reason I chose to keep the title was that I felt the poem subverted the banal implications of a poem called "Our Song." Everything, from the title to the dedication, is significant, or at least a conscious artistic choice on my part (This goes for all of my poems as well). Anyway, thanks for reading.
 — unknown

This poem is wonderful!
 — thesilencing

That's creepy, so it's real good, but not the best. It's a little confusing.
 — unknown

Much like your comment?
 — unknown

that is not what the word "crescendo" means. the rest of the poem is as cliche as that misuse of the word.
 — unknown

"Crescendo: To reach a climactic point of great force or volume." --paraphrased from www.dictionary.com.

Please inform me as to how the misuse of the word "crescendo" is cliche (I haven't seen that many people misuse it, myself), and then which parts of this poem are cliche (Asides from the cliches I obviously meant to subvert). Frankly, I am baffled by your comment, though I probably shouldn't be, considering how most of the people on this site hate me.
 — ersaph

read the paraphrase again. let's substitute that back in to that line, and you'd get

   Our song reaches to reach a climactic point of great force or volume

hmm. "crescendo" IS the process of reaching, not the climax.

there are likable parts, no doubt. i particularly like L38. i may have been overreacting to L8, now that i read it again. but maybe that is what you mean by subservience.
 — unknown

Read the actual definition of crescendo, unknown. I paraphrased it, but "crescendo" is the crest/climax of something, as well as the process by which that climax is reached.--Ersaph
 — unknown

"i taste velvet" was sweet, and the last 3 lines are great!
 — stilltime

I love this. And I love Solvang. lol. As soon as I read that I was hooked.
 — pennylane

It's a well-written poem except the ending, not turning on the radio to avoid hearing the song, seems trite.  It would be more interesting if the purson threw out all the radios or gave them to goodwill.
Also, you should send the letter to found magazine.
 — abby

cool
 — Brandxxx

this one's interesting. i like it.
 — shakeit

kinky.
 — akiikii

Solvang...dutch hell
 — unknown

This one is ridiculous. I have always loathed it--it was way too much work for what it ended up being: An attempt to recapture my glory days of BB and BR
 — ersaph

yeah, needs a better title, but otherwise rocks. the imagery is spectacular
 — tragicbubble

my name is cee and me and my bee we dont smokeweed but we eat sunflowerseeds
 — unknown

nice stuff.
 — jittery

wHAT the heck? The only thing to be gleaned is that you are a fan of RUSH and for that I'm thankful. More than likely you fell of their band wagon after the, "RED" album as I did. Anyways, pretty and tenuously grounded. A smear of pretty picturesque modern, colorful swath. Is it art? Hmm. Perhaps. I would like for you to share with us more, let the power come out in more definition. Focus our lense a little more precisely.
bryanmailus@yahoo.com
 — unknown

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