I love nothing more than to find a DD that has the Advanced Critique Encouraged badge on it. Just sayin'.
This is the time of all things read
I like the passage after this, but this line seems slightly off to me. Something about it just doesn't make sense as I read it through. I'm not sure specifically what it is, but give me a little bit and I'll get back to you.
This is the time
that finds the time to settle down
This part I like a lot more. However:
to open that smile with enormous plans;
to pound on metal rolled with rust;
to lie when lovers lie, alone, quiet,
in kitsch and style.
This is overdone. The images you're giving are a lot less fascinating than that original concept, and I think that hurts the original line to some degree. It's a shame, because I like the original line quite a bit.
I think the problem is that the images don't work well together. I don't get an image in my head. I get a jumbled set of half-images. And that muddies up the first bit.
to lie when lovers lie
The looping that you do verbally is nice, but this was overdone.
She wrote me:
I didn't say it up above, but this is a very nice framing device. It's visually interesting and it's effective with the content.
Death for some is a careless cat,
one that lacks a voiceand love
This middle part was my least favorite. I think it could be really dazzling with a bit of editing, but as it stands now things are too indistinct. While the cat metaphor seems to pop up a bit later, right here the voice/love doesn't fit with the initial statement.
and never plays chess.
I think this line could work if the rest of the stuff is tightened up. Right now it stands out too much, sorely. Good film, though.
But that is not my choice.
You see, I prefer the quieter sort;
This is my least favorite bit. It's too empty. You could remove these two lines and lose nothing from where your poem is going.
the kind of death
This phrasing is rather imprecise.
that stalks one
through shapeless blur,
I don't know. Some of the wording here is icky.
a caress of trust
This is also sort of icky.
now three, now two
Now three, now two what? Breaths? It doesn't work.
a sweet bluff
This is a nice turn of phrase.
and a face that looks
I think this only works without "only that's not enough". This seems nice, but it's only nice while it's concise.
I remember the films during which you cry,
I like the sentiment here, but this is another fairly prosaic line.
and the way you hide it, fiddling
with your change to make your eyes avoid
the two mice riddling some pocket full of holes.
This is another metaphor that didn't connect with me.
I remember the nights you tried to pray.
A much better opening line.
You clasped your hands and dreamt up God
Another bit where I like this part and not the part immediately following it.
and what he may or may not do.
However: I think this might work if you change the wording up a bit.
following November, came with you.
I don't dislike this, but it's not as strong as the best parts of your poem.
I remember the calls you made,
I think that needs to end in a colon.
arboreal affairs of historical silence,
but I thought it wrong to say I knew
that metaphorical was never your intent.
History never dies.
This part is a bit yechy.
The rains are worshiped here.
They bear a name that all chant
in line, and with a script scrawled
by sticks and minds, each has its own piece
and place to finally say what should be said
to be erased.
See, I feel you're treading the same ground again and again. Stuff like this and the stuff before it could all be mixed into something that's a lot leaner and tenser. It would make this a more effective middle passage. As it stands now, this stuff is fairly weak: it's something that reads better skimmed, which isn't a good thing.
Morning came early today,
and with itdread;
and with itrain.
This looks nice on paper. I don't know if I like it better like this, or as "and with it - dread and rain.". I think that if you do revise other parts of this poem, this part might seem more awkward than it is now.
Soon is where the rockets stop.
Very nice ending. Absolutely the best part of the poem.
I like where this poem is going, but I think that revision would help it take form immensely. Good luck for this and for future writing.