Man, Posting Your Own Poem Is Scary!

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Man, Posting Your Own Poem Is Scary!

Post by Ha-Hee Prime » Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:21 pm

Hey y'all.

I wrote this about a decade ago, but it still means a whole lot to me.
This was pre-IDW-gives-me-everything-I-want-and-ends-the-war, when wanting that seemed like a foolish thing to hope.
Here goes.

Surrender:Absolution

Brother, I am finished.
I will fight no more forever.
I'm wearied so of war; of watching
Bright lives coldly severed

We turned our backs; I walked away
In anger from my brother.
But walking 'round the world just brought us
Back to face each other.

In you I see the opposite
Of everything in me.
Bound in that opposition,
We've never yet been free.

There's no hope of forgiveness
For all we've said and done.
But understanding might make space
For love where there was none.

So I come to you, my brother:
My Other Self, my Friend –
The mirrored image I must face
At every cycle's end –

I come to you in hope
That if we join our souls together,
Unite our mirrored dreams and pains,
We could end this War forever.

I must be strong for others;
But you know me through and through.
There's no one else to help me now.
I need you, oh I need you!

I'll open to you my utmost self.
(Please help me not to be afraid!)
I'll hold back nothing – not even shame.
(My pride's the price which must be paid.)

Lay down your anger and your hate;
Lay down your misery;
Lay down regret and loneliness,
And give them all to me.

I'll bear your burdens; you'll bear mine.
We'll offer up our grief.
When we are one, we're strong.
Let go, and in me find relief.

Then at last we'll walk together;
Side-by-side we'll find our peace.
We've long led throngs to war and hate.
Let's lead them now to cease.

So hold me and enfold me.
Let the peace with us begin.
I'm ready to lay down this fight.

I love you.

Come on in.

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Re: Man, Posting Your Own Poem Is Scary!

Post by Va'al » Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:35 pm

Hey Hahee! I'm not usually a fan of rhyme (except when used intentionally bad), but there is a lot of strong imagery and connective tissue in that piece!

Have you written anything since this piece, and since further development of the characters I think I'm reading into the poem?

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Re: Man, Posting Your Own Poem Is Scary!

Post by Ha-Hee Prime » Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:34 am

Va'al wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:35 pm
Hey Hahee! I'm not usually a fan of rhyme (except when used intentionally bad), but there is a lot of strong imagery and connective tissue in that piece!

Have you written anything since this piece, and since further development of the characters I think I'm reading into the poem?
Thank you for reading, and your encouraging comments!
I'm SUCH an old-school person that I still feel like if I'm not holding myself into rhyme and meter, I am a lazy cheat! Too much Shakespeare growing up. (There's no such thing as too much Shakespeare...) I wrote a couple other venting-the-Feels poems that don't rhyme, and never think of them as "serious"! Gotta work on that attitude, I guess.

As to your question..... my good sir, I have written my heart out in the "further development" of the characters you are most certainly reading correctly into this poem. I've written the development of the whole world and society, and the huge consequences of change. I've written multiple sequential novels of this universe, each building on the events of the previous one. It is the thing I care most about creating. I write for myself, because it's not the kind of thing that gets a lot of hits on the fanfic sites, but MAN I'm grateful when anyone else reads it!

Here's a link to my main ongoing fic-verse (this is me being brave):
https://archiveofourown.org/series/860964

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Re: Man, Posting Your Own Poem Is Scary!

Post by Va'al » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:57 am

Oh, I was thinking more in terms of poetry development than fiction, but will most certainly give that universe a spin! :D

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Re: Man, Posting Your Own Poem Is Scary!

Post by Pangolinart » Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:00 pm

1. I love the flow of this! There's a lot of lovely imagery and I feel like the verses come together really well. I'm proud of you for being brave!

2. We're on a forum again together, cool!! I guess things don't really change haha

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Re: Man, Posting Your Own Poem Is Scary!

Post by Ha-Hee Prime » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:35 pm

Pangolinart wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:00 pm
1. I love the flow of this! There's a lot of lovely imagery and I feel like the verses come together really well. I'm proud of you for being brave!

2. We're on a forum again together, cool!! I guess things don't really change haha
Hey pal!!!

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Re: Man, Posting Your Own Poem Is Scary!

Post by Pangolinart » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:07 pm

Ha-Hee Prime wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:35 pm
Hey pal!!!
Hello!!!!

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Re: Man, Posting Your Own Poem Is Scary!

Post by Ha-Hee Prime » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:57 pm

Va'al wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:57 am
Oh, I was thinking more in terms of poetry development than fiction, but will most certainly give that universe a spin! :D
Well, see, here's where it gets reeeeeeally tricky.
Because I resort to writing poetry only when I have things I cannot say in prose.
So yeah. I did write one more recently.
But, like, I ain't shown it to ANYONE I know yet. Because shame. It's posted on the anonymous web; but I don't wave it around. Ever.
See, though, now I'm sorta tempted. Because this one is free verse. And I've never had someone who also writes poetry look at my own poems. And I do think this one has some merit, even in just the guts of it.
Augh!

OK. We're remembering the shame element here. Be merciful!
But this poem is what happens when I'm a female masquerading as a male robot for ten years, and accidentally fall in love with an imaginary Megatron. Things get tangled-up, yo. So I wrote this in a fit of painful honesty, from of course Prime's POV. (But I wanted to try out a second-person narrative style, because it was something new I hadn't tried before)

Here ya go. *flees*

IMPOSSIBLE

You want it
Know you shouldn’t want it
No, you shouldn’t want it!
Tell yourself you shouldn’t want it
Want it anyway.

You want the warm slick slide of metal
Sudden snick of cold undoing
Wash of wet fire through your limbs
And taste of copper in your throat
To feel his fingers
Slither-slide-sneak in your systems
Soul unzipped and body open
Want the weight, the white, the overwhelming
Want the melting.
Want.

The want is hard and hollow in your gut
Your whole body is hole.
You reach for something that was never there
For something he can never give you
Something you can never give to him.

You wish you had the right equipment
were more selfish
more assertive
more fulfilled
More filled.
You wish you were, for once, the one who takes.

You tell yourself you will be faithful
Unselfish
Restrained.
You tell yourself this isn’t him
This isn’t you
(it is)
You tell yourself all of these things--
But still you want.

Want to be taken
Token
Torch aflame
Want to be overcome.

You want it
Shouldn’t want it
Know you shouldn’t want it
No.

You close your eyes and tell yourself
to stop.

You wish--
You wait--
You want--

You shouldn’t want--

You go.

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Re: Man, Posting Your Own Poem Is Scary!

Post by Va'al » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:58 am

Trust your guts more! This is great - visceral, even, to keep in theme with the metaphor. :D

How far into 'constructive criticism' do you want me to go? I'm an editor in one of my day jobs, but I'm happy just saying what was great in this piece too!

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Re: Man, Posting Your Own Poem Is Scary!

Post by domsalvia » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:51 pm

Thank you for sharing your work! I don't read much poetry but I very much enjoyed this!

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Re: Man, Posting Your Own Poem Is Scary!

Post by Ha-Hee Prime » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:16 am

Va'al wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:58 am
Trust your guts more! This is great - visceral, even, to keep in theme with the metaphor. :D

How far into 'constructive criticism' do you want me to go? I'm an editor in one of my day jobs, but I'm happy just saying what was great in this piece too!
Oh, dude, I would LOVE some concrit. I write in a vacuum. And while I study and try to learn all I can, when there's something I don't realize I don't know, I'm toast. (Of course, hearing what you liked would be nice too!)
domsalvia wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:51 pm
Thank you for sharing your work! I don't read much poetry but I very much enjoyed this!
Thank You!!!!! I really appreciate your time and encouragement!

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Re: Man, Posting Your Own Poem Is Scary!

Post by Va'al » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:52 am

Ha-Hee Prime wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:57 pm

IMPOSSIBLE

You want it
Know you shouldn’t want it
No, you shouldn’t want it!
Tell yourself you shouldn’t want it
Want it anyway.
The repetition of want so early does give the piece a sense of urgency which is clearly the crux of the poem, but I feel like his stanza in particular is more like song lyrics than page poetry. It might work read out loud better, but looking at it on the page makes it seem a little incomplete.
You want the warm slick slide of metal
Sudden snick of cold undoing
Wash of wet fire through your limbs
And taste of copper in your throat
To feel his fingers
Slither-slide-sneak in your systems
Soul unzipped and body open
Want the weight, the white, the overwhelming
Want the melting.
Want.
This is glorious. I'd just suggest tightening the ending a little, maybe into something like:

You (the repetition here is good, makes it into the obsessive element you have throughout) want the weight, the white,
the overwhelming, melting
want.
The want is hard and hollow in your gut
Your whole body is hole.
You reach for something that was never there
For something he can never give you
Something you can never give to him.
While I like everything else in this part (the image is great!), I'm not too sure about whole / hole, it feels little too forced perhaps.
Maybe:
..your whole body hollowed out.
You wish you had the right equipment
were more selfish, more assertive
You wish you were the one who takes
more fulfilled, filled, for once.

You tell yourself you will be faithful
Unselfish, restrained.
You tell yourself this isn’t him
This isn’t you (it is)
You tell yourself all of these things--
But still you want.
These two stanzas (which I've edited with suggestions), I feel, could be more similar, adding more 'you' in the first one! It might even work better to condense them into one, as the lines are spare anyway, and you might be diluting the poem too much on the page with single word lines in the final part as it is.
Want to be taken
Token
Torch aflame
Want to be overcome.
Token has that same feeling as hole earlier. Maybe remove, or find a longer line to fit it in? Maybe:

Want to be taken
torch aflame as a token
Want to be overcome.
You want it
Shouldn’t want it
Know you shouldn’t want it
No.
I like the parallel with the opening here! But as I had misgivings about the first stanza, they come back at this point too. It might not be necessary, as overcome lends itself well to directly flow into:
You close your eyes and tell yourself
to stop.
And similarly, for more emphasis and twist, skip straight to
You go.

Leaving out this other part, too.
You wish--
You wait--
You want--

You shouldn’t want--

Editing poetry is a horrible experience for the writer, and I hope I haven't been harsh on you or the piece! As I said, I really like the visceral, urgent sense of obsession and yearning, as well as the way in which you transfer the feeling of incompletion into the way the lines are laid out. The above are just suggestions!

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Re: Man, Posting Your Own Poem Is Scary!

Post by Ha-Hee Prime » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:43 am

This is so interesting, because so much (SO MUCH!) of what I write is driven by the way the beat and cadence rolls when I read it out loud or in my head. So my response to your suggestions isn't, "Oh, those lines look so much better," it's "BUT YER WREKKIN THE FEEL AN FLOW OF IT!"
This obsession with rhythm (and overmuch love of certain "clever" words -- you called out Token and Hole, which I knew from the beginning were a bit precious, but loved too much to take out) gets me into trouble more than any other thing.
I actually started recording for the first time tonight -- I've had a longstanding dream of making all my fiction into audiobook format, as well as some other stories I love a whole lot, and just got a new microphone which is my joy -- and really put a lot of effort into making the cadences work. So while you're right, and certain lines and repetitions look or read weakly, I'm *hearing* them in a way that I think is powerful. So you get in the first bit an unstoppable freight-train chug that stacks up on itself in variations like this:

You want it
Know you shouldn’t want it
No, you shouldn’t want it!
Tell yourself you shouldn’t want it
Want it anyway.

(Which, as I go through it now, makes me realize I probably should get rid of that "No, you shouldn't want it!" because it's one line too many and too clever by half and proud of itself. Another thing I liked too much to see it was superfluous. *facepalm*)

I really do like the way you've tightened up the "wish you had the right equipment" section. That really pulls the whole thing together better -- and it has a good rhythm to it in my head, so yay! I think I'd take your suggestions, and make it into something like:

You wish you had the right equipment
were more selfish, more assertive
could take what you want for once,
be filled and made complete.

(Augh, editing is hard -- I second-guess everything, and worry that I've only made it worse!)

I'll have to think about what to do with the more problematic bits. How to make it stronger and tighter, but still mine. I do have to laugh that every word you called out was one I knew was silly but put in anyway. I'm especially torn on "token." I love alliteration -- it's a problem sometimes. So I love the (again, unstoppable train-chug) of "Taken token, torch aflame." And here's the weirdest thing: I don't exactly know what token means in this. I just know it wants to be in there and feels right to me. I know I'm meaning something like wanting to go ahead and be the prize [token] even though you hate yourself for sinking that low. So token needs to be a thing in itself. Not sure how to reconcile all that.

Anyway, thanks very much for taking the time to put your Editor Powers toward making this better! I'll sleep on it, review all your suggestions, and see what I can do to improve things. Watch this space!
(I'll also try and put up a link to how this sounds read aloud.)

Thanks, and goodnight!

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Re: Man, Posting Your Own Poem Is Scary!

Post by Va'al » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:07 am

Ha-Hee Prime wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:43 am
This is so interesting, because so much (SO MUCH!) of what I write is driven by the way the beat and cadence rolls when I read it out loud or in my head. So my response to your suggestions isn't, "Oh, those lines look so much better," it's "BUT YER WREKKIN THE FEEL AN FLOW OF IT!"
This obsession with rhythm (and overmuch love of certain "clever" words -- you called out Token and Hole, which I knew from the beginning were a bit precious, but loved too much to take out) gets me into trouble more than any other thing.
I actually started recording for the first time tonight -- I've had a longstanding dream of making all my fiction into audiobook format, as well as some other stories I love a whole lot, and just got a new microphone which is my joy -- and really put a lot of effort into making the cadences work. So while you're right, and certain lines and repetitions look or read weakly, I'm *hearing* them in a way that I think is powerful. So you get in the first bit an unstoppable freight-train chug that stacks up on itself in variations like this:

You want it
Know you shouldn’t want it
No, you shouldn’t want it!
Tell yourself you shouldn’t want it
Want it anyway.
Oh I get that, very much so! There's a tendency with page only poets to disregard the sound qualities of the pieces, which at times works - a lot, especially if they're never meant to be read aloud, but only looked at and read - but other times it just limits the possibilities of the lines. That said, I feel you could get a much stronger intro to the poem if you tightened that opening statement a bit, as you're suggesting yourself:
(Which, as I go through it now, makes me realize I probably should get rid of that "No, you shouldn't want it!" because it's one line too many and too clever by half and proud of itself. Another thing I liked too much to see it was superfluous. *facepalm*)
As for 'clever' words or plays, the cliché in editing poetry is and always will be: Kill Your Darlings.
If only one line works in a whole poem, then maybe cut the rest of the poem and make a new one around the new line - or cut the line, and work on what the poem is doing instead. It sucks, but it also makes better pieces a whole lotta the time.
I really do like the way you've tightened up the "wish you had the right equipment" section. That really pulls the whole thing together better -- and it has a good rhythm to it in my head, so yay! I think I'd take your suggestions, and make it into something like:

You wish you had the right equipment
were more selfish, more assertive
could take what you want for once,
be filled and made complete.
I like it!

I'll have to think about what to do with the more problematic bits. How to make it stronger and tighter, but still mine. I do have to laugh that every word you called out was one I knew was silly but put in anyway. I'm especially torn on "token." I love alliteration -- it's a problem sometimes. So I love the (again, unstoppable train-chug) of "Taken token, torch aflame." And here's the weirdest thing: I don't exactly know what token means in this. I just know it wants to be in there and feels right to me. I know I'm meaning something like wanting to go ahead and be the prize [token] even though you hate yourself for sinking that low. So token needs to be a thing in itself. Not sure how to reconcile all that.
(Could also be a token of love/passion/appreciation, like a gift or concretised idea. But I do still think that it feels a little forced. Taken token torch aflame sounds, to me, more like a nursery rhyme than a poem about forbidden passion and love, and as it currently sits, it doesn't fit in tone and flow and rhythm with the rest of the piece - sure, it's fast paced, but the alliteration actually makes it lighter. (cf. pitter-patter, tittering critters for similar effects)

EDIT: As general pointers and inspiration, take a look at some of what Adam Sol's analyses do: https://howapoemmoves.wordpress.com/

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Re: Man, Posting Your Own Poem Is Scary!

Post by robocat » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:51 pm

Oh my gosh this poem is just beautiful! thank you so much for sharing!

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