poetry critical

online poetry workshop

Africa: In the middle of Wyoming

power lines cut the sky above us
into two distinct hemispheres.
there is back and forward, nothing else.
just you, just me. sitting
there on the tailgate, a beautiful limbo,
in the middle of nowhere. drinking,
talking about coyotes, joshua trees. how we think
we’re in Africa. finally
i stop counting the power poles and how
they echo off into the distance. i stop
counting backwards. and we agree then
that the thick clouds glow with sun,
not moon –
        and it is way past midnight.

30 May 10

Rated 9.7 (8.5) by 5 users.
Active (5): 8, 9, 10, 10, 10
Inactive (12): 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10

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hay hay hayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!
well. keept it short since its late. i never rate. this is the finest poem i've read here in about 4 years which is how long i think ive been popping in and out. fabulous. really wonderful. some kind of blooming wonderful. Les
 — unknown

This is a seriously fine poem that has me ready for safari, landrover bumping its way into the bush. But I would have preferred a charging rhino finish.
 — Abracadabra

Suggest to me, what a charging rhino finish is?
 — unknown

nicely wrtten
 — manuka

Something even more eyeballing - dramaaaaah!
 — Abracadabra

I like the enigmatic finish. I would swap places with S1 and S2, del "finally" and "sitting" and "and we agree then/that"
 — NicMichaels

Very nice poem with a cool flow.  Kudos.
 — JKWeb


i'd check my linebreaks if i were you, or
find phrases that will work better in lieu
of the sentences. i'd also check for inner
rhythm or cadence, if any.

great imagery, though, although prose
can boast of the same feat. this has
great potential and better than other
witings here, including mine.

please keep on writing.

; )
 — fractalcore

i mean, i like this very much.
; )
 — fractalcore

Thank you unk, manuka, JK.

Abracadabra, I'm not sure a dramatic charging rhino finish would work with this one but I am considering several alternate endings. :)

Nic, I tried what you suggested, but I felt like it made the poem feel awkward. I may delete one or two words, if I can convince myself that they are not connective.

fractal, I agonize over line breaks. When I mess with them, the geography of my poem crumbles. These came naturally. Thanks.
 — unknown

you changed line 14. dont rmember what you had exactly but remember i liked it better. LOL
 — unknown

L14 was "and it is way past midnight."

You liked it better? Can you tell me why please?
 — unknown

A. and it is way past midnight.


B. and it is time to consider a direction


your not doing an npr show are you? all things considered? so we get to a "we" finally . . . why undermine that with a telling?: poetic license (whose head are you, the speaker, in at the given moment?) fumbling big brother omniscience? (ie B) whereas version A admits to the already agreeing, drops the poetic didactism in favor of at new tone: down to earth (9,8,7,6, . ... lift off . . .. or? anaesthesia or?), the heart exposed the emphasis on "way" pointing the way (direction implied by combing ln 12, the glow with "past midnight"). In other words? Carley Simon Says.
 — unknown

Well, if she insists. Thank you. My gut told me not to touch it in the first place.
 — unknown

Great job.
 — psychofemale

I love this poem!  It's beautiful.  I also love how the power poles "echo" off into the distance.  Nicely done.  :-)  
 — starr

Thank you, starr!
 — unknown

I love this.
I heart joshua trees.
 — mandolyn

succinct postcard poetry from a tourist in poetry land. if it's supposed to be good because of what it talks about and where the word-set comes from, then that's ok. probably, that makes the ending line fay and colonialist: someone else's head takes the ending and we're supposed to relax on the veranda.

it's nicely worded, but really just margarita ville verse, and that's a commercial and private thing.
 — cadmium

line one and two are a very drab opening sentence in a story. breaking it with your magic line-break tool doesn't make it metaphysical, doesn't really cause the reader to sigh between lines and suddenly feel a poetry rush. the rush comes because the thing itself, the poem, is posted as poetry, is defined as poetry and is supposed to be read as poetry. so, how do people learn to read poetry as this light-voice breathless thing? probably, here, from watching movies and close-up dialog. the author seems to feel that the poetry box app does most of the work, and any text typed into the box is turned to 19th century victorian sentimentality with a post-modern view of the village.
 — cadmium

i read this in 2010 and liked it then. apparently my tastes have changed quite dramatically. i think it kinda sucks shit in that its so very facile/mercantile. too much of that "in your face faux parfait" thang going on.

sorry for a thumbs ten downing street down down down

Missus Jones
 — Clara

Beautifully done
 — larrylark

hi. i think i have a crit in ehre somewhere from a ways back? but im not exactly sure.

at any rate. maybe i got it then. . but i am not getting it now .. if there be such a thing as 'getting it'

wow i hate this language. sounds perverted now matter what!!!

the title? and then we got joshua trees?

well. prolly just me. i flunked college level geography.

unless its a play on "why- om- ing"

then its very clever

not that those two are [nt] mutually exclusive

and not that they are conducive to driving while eating hedghogs

but . .. .

well . . . im must be the only drunkdumbblonde here
 — Clara

This is a GREAT poem!
 — aforbing

i love this.
i just visited some joshua trees, one of my many loves-- but i thought they only existed in the Mojave Desert and Israel? i miss Wyoming
 — mandolyn

I love this! You can almost  close your eyes and drift off to Africa without leaving your bed. I like lines 5, 6 and 7 :)
 — darklinstorm

Controlled form and images that work - that opening sets the tone well. I like the pensive vibe of two people discussing the scene around them, it becomes a portal to Africa and something that affected/moulded you. The yearning is balanced right and the only weak part is the ending. Maybe something like

it is way past midnight
moon holds on to yesterdays threads.

something to connect then to now
 — Caducus

I like the first 4 lines. Good words.
 — unknown

Good writing!
 — wolflarsen

beautiful rhythm. 90% of poetry is music so well done.
 — pmesler