P
literature

Peacetime Songs or Euthanasias

Daily Deviation
chapaV's avatar
By chapaV   |   Watch
61 24 2K (1 Today)
Published: January 19, 2013
I wanted a war-time melody for the aching ears of all the people who silently protest the military efforts of our time; a song to soothe, a flood of words in which to drown our battered hopes, for their mercy. So I conjured in my rib-caged eye the images of war,

the open minds of fallen soldiers, spilling New York and Los Angeles, Moscow and Baghdad onto the streets of anywhere; their mouthing wounds elevating cries into the city stench of gunpowder blackened buildings; the look on their eyes when the true meaning of damage and collateral crashes into their fleshy souls, begging in curses, wailing arms at them for a redraw of the cards: You instead, not my little boy! But every soldier is a little boy,

and as I saw them huddled beside Humvees, warding cold deserts with divine stories of mundane happenings at hometown proms, repeating to themselves this weapon is lighter than a wrench; as I saw them mourning for the friends that wouldn't recognize them, returned, victorious shells, I realized that war-time songs

are the only kind we've known. Because the Texas born marines that died in Baghdad also died in Palestine, and those who died in Palestine now died at Berlin's heart, and those who died in Berlin still float, face down, in the Achilles River. Being the trick so old, I grew silent

and somewhere in that silence a flak grenade went off, tearing teeth from gums and brain; somewhere there was a look on the eyes of a child who, facing the sky, knew those falling stars would not come softly; somewhere the empty magazine of history was drawn and thanks to that silence of mine, a new one was inserted.
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A poem on our long lasting state of war, in prose as a device to linger on details with powerful language overall.

I can't quite say this poem is successful, as I suspect the train of thought is not clear and readers are left clueless in the face of inductive leaps. (Were those deductive, Mrs. Inventor?)

So give me some feedback if you think the poem can improve and something can be salvaged from its exercise, a precise detail of my insecurities:

1) Do you feel, as a reader, that the poem wanders into gibberish? Where do you think the logic is weakest?

2) Are some of these sentences plainly too long? I feel the sound may not be worth the tiresome read in the case of the run on sentences. What do you think?

For the :iconwordsmiths-guild: Critique Plz! folder.

Recent critique: [link]
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When the McKinnons moved out from next door, they left their cat behind.  Nobody really blamed them.  The thing was an enormous fat tabby female which stank and had fleas.  It was, more importantly, a vicious killer.  Usually it lived on a diet of songbirds, but it would catch and kill mice, rats, other people's pets and whatever rare little furry creatures it could find.  Nobody really bothered to feed it after the McKinnons left, but it didn't grow noticeably thinner.  I never knew its name, but my dad always called it "you BASTARD, get the HELL out of my garden." Not long after the McKinnons moved out, Miss Timmons moved into their old ho
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Comments24
anonymous's avatar
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cliselle's avatar
cliselleHobbyist Digital Artist
This is beautiful. I can't help but read this outloud several times over.
Thank you so much for sharing!
KelpGull's avatar
KelpGullHobbyist General Artist
This perfectly personifies the bitterness and contention I have been sensing lately. Well done.
Seothen's avatar
SeothenProfessional Digital Artist
Beautiful; it's funny and sad that above this piece I see an advertisement for Marriott Hotels - it could be an ad for anything really, it's just that there's always an advertisement around every corner ready to tell us not to care, to be stupid and unfeeling and zone out.  This piece of writing of yours is a nice contrast to that message.
chapaV's avatar
chapaVProfessional Writer
Wow, thanks a lot. We are saturated with nonsense, I'm glad you don't find this in that haze. 
TheGalleryOfEve's avatar
TheGalleryOfEveProfessional Digital Artist
Congratulations on your well-deserved DD!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconlainloveplz::iconflyingheartsplz: :clap::clap::clap:
Blueeyes0001's avatar
Blueeyes0001Hobbyist Photographer
Very well written! Congrats on the Daily Deviation! :hug: 
LostGryphin's avatar
LostGryphinHobbyist Photographer
wow - amazing! Congrats on the DD.
Malbrecht's avatar
...throw me off the most. Sorry for the typos, I'm still getting used to the new smartphone touch keyboard in place of my old Blackberry.
Malbrecht's avatar
I love this piece and I'm very glad it was featured. There is definitely a publish-worthy poem in this, but I could see cleaning up a few things, particularly in the end. I like the stream of conscious style to it and after reading a few times, focusing on breaths and pauses where the semi-colons were placed, I feel the imagery and ideas really flow. I'm concerned that I needed your explanation in the comments to identify the meaning behind the "rib caged eye", but many great poems have imagery to "unpack". The part that left me a little confused was from "being the trick so old...stars would not come softly." I like the imagery of the last paragraph and how it sets up the fantastic final line, but the "trick so old" made foe a distracting and confusing transition to the final paragraph. I'm also unclear on the specific meaning of the geographical references in the second to last paragraph. My history is a bit rough, but is there a specific order and purpose behind the locations chosen? I felt like you were saying all our songs are war songs because we have always fought one war or another, but a more deliberate and recognizable list of battle sites may make this more obvious to the reader if that is you're intent. Really, the Palestine and Achilles River references throw
chapaV's avatar
chapaVProfessional Writer
You are spot on with what I was trying to say about the futility of writing war songs, and to clear things up a bit, I followed very arbitrary impulses when referring to specific locations. The overall intention was to imply that all wars are the same and that they all happen to the lot of us, no matter how far away they are being fought in time or space. You are a very insightful reader, and I thank you for taking the time to call the details to my attention. I feel very unsure about the closing lines, and your comments really cement the idea that it needs some work. 

Anyway, thank you very much for taking the time, it means a lot.
mizzmint's avatar
mizzmintHobbyist Digital Artist
Congratulations on having your piece featured as one of today's Daily Deviations! :heart:
Lintu47's avatar
Lintu47Hobbyist Photographer
Congrats on the DD! :dalove:
Have a nice day! :heart:
robson666's avatar
robson666Hobbyist
congratulations to the well deserved Daily Deviation  Clap
neurotype's avatar
neurotypeHobbyist General Artist
I don't mind the flow (but I don't read things as if I'm reading them aloud); the one thing I'd like to see is a little cleaning of imagery. Some of it works brilliantly, but what is a 'rib-caged eye,' for instance?
chapaV's avatar
chapaVProfessional Writer
Hey, thanks for your feedback. I agree that some of the images need to be revisited and adjusted. The rib-caged eye is meant to be the heart :)
neurotype's avatar
neurotypeHobbyist General Artist
Oooh okay. Makes more sense :lol:

I still like the overall conceptualization and all that. Thinking on it further, the big issue may be where you've chosen to put the linebreaks. I definitely think it should be spaced out, and not in a way that disrupts the flow from one concept to the next, but some of the current ones are jarring.
akkajess's avatar
akkajessHobbyist Writer
Hi! Your wonderful piece has been featured here [link] :heart::tighthug:
chapaV's avatar
chapaVProfessional Writer
I'm humbled :)
AzizrianDaoXrak's avatar
AzizrianDaoXrakHobbyist Writer
This is a little note to let you know I've featured this lovely piece in my journal!: [link]

Please consider taking a peek and faving the article to support the other artists :)
archelyxs's avatar
Beautiful and powerful work. This piece knocked the wind out of me.
chapaV's avatar
chapaVProfessional Writer
I'm thrilled to know that, really, it means so much to me. Thank you for the feature as well.
Itzala's avatar
I'm not sure the prose as poetry concept is working for you here. I understand why you tried it, but I feel that poetry allows for much more control of the pace than is really possible in prose. On the surface prose seems to linger more because the it's not broken up, but multiple lines of poetry can focus on the same image or thought in a way that would seem awkward in prose. I've tried to illustrate this by rewriting parts of the first paragraph in verse. I've changed some of the words and meanings and I do not mean to suggest that this is absolutely how it should be, I'm simply trying to show ways in which one can make poetry seem to linger.

I wanted a melody for aching ears,
for the people who silently protest,
who see violence in our time and despair.

I try to linger on the thought by starting with a phrase, and then jumping back in the syntax and continuing. In the third line I do the same thing but with a new element of the sentence. Also, the line breaks themselves create extended pauses which emphasize the lingering effect. It has around the same number of words in it but I think it has a slower, more contemplative pace than the sentence alone.

A song to soothe,
a flood of words to drown our battered hopes
to cleanse [something]

Another way to slow the pace is to extend your metaphors. A flood to drown battered hopes can also do other things, in this case I've suggested cleanse, but there are other possibilities to consider.

Also, I feel like your first clause gives too much information. You say you want to linger on details, but you immediately throw down the whole purpose of the poem. Roll it out more slowly. It feels more contemplative that way.

I will now finally actually get to your questions, which I probably should have started with, but I was distracted and I ramble. It does occasionally run into gibberish. I understand what you're saying but it doesn't always seem to connect. The biggest offender is probably the beginning of the second paragraph; I'm not sure what that's getting at. Is this some theoretical future war where people are battling everywhere? I think it just needs something to improve the clarity of the situation, because in this form it doesn't quite make sense to me. As for the second question, also yes, but not horribly so. A few more sentence breaks here and there would do it some good, but it doesn't generally cause problems.

I hope this was helpful.
chapaV's avatar
chapaVProfessional Writer
Itzala, don't you worry about rambling now, there's no problem. I appreciate you taking the time to reply so fully and being so motivated to suggest. Though I honestly can't see this poem in a traditional verse format, I can totally see myself rewriting it entirely for that "breath".

Thank you for your input, I know it's not easy to flesh out a full critique of someone else's work, but I also know how helpful they can be for the recipients.
anonymous's avatar
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