Author Topic: My Cousin's Surprise Demise  (Read 1296 times)

Offline sjhunt2005

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My Cousin's Surprise Demise
« on: February 03, 2012, 02:14:18 AM »
WILLIAM, YOU LITTLE SHIT 09-12-10 revised from 04-09-89
William, William, you little shit.
For our closeness, I ache; I'll always miss.
You took the pills, drank the champagne
Now you have wings, slogged by the rain.

Yes you have feathers, you can fly high.
But now you’re gone, you left, you died.
Pain is one thing, dead is another.
I miss my cousin, my friend, my brother.

You tell me at night, that nothing is over.
But you left me alone, surrounded by fodder.
Do you watch my pain from a realm of wonder?
Do you see my life... all torn asunder?

You wrote me a note just before you left,
It was on the desk, next to your head.
“Goodbyes are not forever”, you said.
“Just the time we spend apart, instead”.

Go further into the depths of my mind.
I see butterflies, empty bottles of wine.
Insanity is a pleasure when I cross over.
Nothing is left with which to bother.

Genius does not come and go.
It speeds up, then breaks, dreadfully slow.
I grasp for my storybook reality
That happy story, once read to me.
I haven’t found it yet, but I still hang on
to a very fine vine that winds up and beyond
It’s my rope of hope, I lift myself up
It curls towards heaven, I will never give up.

« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 09:51:02 AM by ma100 »
Addictions are horrible afflictions, but at least they stick by you through thick and thin...

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Offline 510bhan

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Re: My Cousin's Surprise Demise
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2012, 05:55:35 AM »
Hi Susan -- not sure if the bouncy rhythm and rhyme serves the subject. Dancing about with the words relating to such a desperate situation seems like an unfair parody IMO

Delicate topic, which I'm sure you could explore with either more anger or more empathy -- at the moment something is missing -- for me anyway.
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Offline ma100

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Re: My Cousin's Surprise Demise
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2012, 09:59:43 AM »
Hi guys,

Having had a little chat with SJ I realise she would like some help. The poem is very personal as we can all see, but she would like to make it better and would appreciate any hints or tips to achieve this. Any of you poets out there that could give her some pointers would be gratefully accepted. :)

Offline kerygma

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Re: My Cousin's Surprise Demise
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2012, 10:05:24 AM »

sj--

The wings mentioned early in the poem is an overused image, a cliche of sorts. It may be a way of saying that someone has died, but that is openly stated later on, so it seems to me if you're going to use the wings image, you don't need to tell the reader that he has died; the reader can figure that out already. I think the entire S2 could be chopped, assuming you want to leave the wings in at the end of S1.

In S3, the word fodder seems out of place and weird. A better word choice is needed there.

S5 is mystifying to me. So too are the first two lines of S6. Maybe you could explain what you're saying there. But for me, they just seem out of place. S6 would be much better off beginning with line 3, I grasp for my storybook reality

Beautiful images at the end.

K
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 12:47:54 PM by kerygma »

Offline sjhunt2005

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Re: My Cousin's Surprise Demise
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2012, 02:31:52 PM »
Thank you very much. You are seeing the same flaws that I am. I wrote this over 2 years ago and haven't edited it since. I like the wings, slogged by the rain, its one of my favorite lines, so I may have to do something about repeating his death. Fodder has got to go never liked it, and using "story" twice in two lines is a boner. Thank you for your help, it is greatly appreciated.

Susan
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 02:49:01 PM by sjhunt2005 »
Addictions are horrible afflictions, but at least they stick by you through thick and thin...

I don't walk through the valley of death, I run like a crazy person...

Offline SparkyDashforth

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Re: My Cousin's Surprise Demise
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2012, 03:22:05 PM »
Yes a sensitive subject, but when you post a work on an open forum dedicated to reviewing poetry
then that is really not a consideration.  It will do you no good as a writer
if folks tread softly.  As a writer what you need is an objective critique not a subjective hug.

K is right about the line 4 S1  its cliched and fuzzy in its imagery.  A lot of the stanza's are
too mawkish.  I am not questioning your real pain and loss, and you have my
sincere commiseration, but when talking of loss and death in poetry it is best to deflect
the pain into everyday things. In other words, to keep the drama grounded.
Below are the stanza's I would salvage with some changes--


William, William, you little shit.....................you don't need the repeat of 'William"
For our closeness, I ache; I'll always miss.
You took the pills, drank the champagne
Now you have wings, slogged by the rain................you need to rewrite this linr IMO

You wrote me a note just before you left,
It was on the desk, next to your head.
“Goodbyes are not forever”, you said.
“Just the time we spend apart, instead”.

Go further into the depths of my mind.
I see butterflies, empty bottles of wine.....................I see butterflies?
Insanity is a pleasure when I cross over.
Nothing is left with which to bother.

« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 04:40:14 PM by SparkyDashforth »

Offline kerygma

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Re: My Cousin's Surprise Demise
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2012, 04:21:08 PM »

SJ:

I have to say, after reading that heartbreaking note, there is poem here that absolutely HAS to be written.
But I fear this is not that poem. I know you have the ability to put so much more into it than what you have done here.

K

Offline sjhunt2005

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Re: My Cousin's Surprise Demise
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2012, 06:47:45 PM »
Thank you both for such great feedback. I never intended to post this and not get criticism. And I am very interested in all of your ideas. We can make this a great poem, in tribute to my cousin. That's what I want the most, not some half-jammed piece of sentimental crap. He deserves better. Please remember, I just pulled this out of the cobwebs from two years ago. So hack away! I love it! I can take it, I don't need to be sheltered, I need honesty and integrity to get to the root of my sorrow. I've matured in my writing in the last two years, so I'll strip it down and see what I come up with.

Thanks again for giving me such great feedback, and remember, because it is a sensitive subject, I want to get it right. With your help, I will.

Addictions are horrible afflictions, but at least they stick by you through thick and thin...

I don't walk through the valley of death, I run like a crazy person...

Offline SparkyDashforth

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Re: My Cousin's Surprise Demise
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2012, 08:29:10 PM »
Good attitude. Go for it!

Offline duck

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Re: My Cousin's Surprise Demise
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2012, 05:41:18 PM »
Hi Susan,
I would sort out the images and feelings as they are very jumbled, as one might expect from the events. I would also pare away as much as possible of what was important emotionally but which poetically is either distracting or cliched.
As an example I would reduce this to :
William, you little shit
you took the pills, drank the champagne
left.

Pain is one thing, dead is another.

 This gives us a clear image of pain and anger on which to build what comes after. You may think much is lost by this - missing him for example - but you can build that in later.
Duck


sweetgirl09

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Re: My Cousin's Surprise Demise
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2012, 10:53:47 AM »
Susan, this is just a thought but could you start with the text of the note itself - make it into a 'found poem' in some way? It would be a very different approach from what you've written but potentially, with the juxtaposition of everyday life and the reader's knowledge of the shock that followed, it could be very powerful...

Offline sjhunt2005

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Re: My Cousin's Surprise Demise
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2012, 05:51:29 PM »
That is excellent advice! I need to let everyone know that I ended up going to the hospital, walking pneumonia...I'm just now recovering. Please don't think I'm avoiding anyone! This is the first time I've checked my email in at least 4 days...but I'm coming back finally...can't wait to dig in again. I'm printing this entire out and while I'm recuperating, I am going to work on this one. Also, I'm going to post another piece that I read at my grandfather's funeral.

There is a lot going on here. My mother's sister is the one that lost William. She also lost another child to a fire.

When my grandfather died, I was asked to write something for the memorial.  I wrote 'My Grandfather, My Champion', which mentions William.

When we were headed to the memorial, my , mother decided that it may not be appropriate to mention William. I was appalled. My mother had already read it, my partner had already read it.

When we got to the church, I pulled my Aunt aside and mentioned this to her, she said to please read it as is.

After I returned from Texas back to Florida, my home, I re-wrote William, William, because I was pissed at him. It's is actually a very old poem.

I now want to take it and make something more.

Thanks everyone for being so understanding....
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 06:33:25 AM by sjhunt2005 »
Addictions are horrible afflictions, but at least they stick by you through thick and thin...

I don't walk through the valley of death, I run like a crazy person...

sweetgirl09

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Re: My Cousin's Surprise Demise
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2012, 06:57:34 AM »
Hope you're feeling a lot better now and good luck with reworking the poem.

Offline sjhunt2005

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Re: My Cousin's Surprise Demise
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2012, 06:32:57 AM »
Thank you, SweetGirl, for your concern, it helps a lot.

Take care,

Susan
Addictions are horrible afflictions, but at least they stick by you through thick and thin...

I don't walk through the valley of death, I run like a crazy person...