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    dots Submission Name: Jacks to Opendots

    Author: monad
    ASL Info:    64/M/California
    Elite Ratio:    8 - 1092/410/117
    Words: 192
    Class/Type: Deep Thought/Satire
    Total Views: 1396
    Average Vote:    5.0000
    Bytes: 926


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    dotsJacks to Opendots

    Dusty rooms with broken locks , that open on Styx river's docks . Acquiescent and serene , the broken shards of endless dreams lie shattered on the quay .
    Hyenas prowl , and vultures lurk , while ravens collect shiny baubles , and far across the tumultuous waters stands the devil's majestic hovel . A house of cards all full of light that speaks of vindication , while capturing self righteous minds with human degradation .
    Such a tentative position man , a flash of light on desert sand . Yet to the endless sea of time , a tortured wretch in pantomime ?
    To mock the Gods with books of lore , that delineate tomorrow's shores . With so many right and so few wrong , the devil weaves a simple song of perfected ostracizing , while social stigmatism's blind becomes its own creation , to tie the hands and feet of all and shadow our perception .

    Submitted on 2010-02-26 17:27:25     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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    ||| Comments |||
      Very powerful write. I get it too. Not sure how much of it is devil's influence. "tortured wretch in pantomime" - well put. Portrayal of sin isn't devilish as much as it's anticipatory. Even with all the good I contest the game is losing to itself. Mythological references to the ties binding us to the afterlife. With play on predators, prey, and the dismal fate of the dismayed. I like it.
    | Posted on 2013-11-18 00:00:00 | by Passionbyapathy | [ Reply to This ]
      Mythology is my one true love. Something that has never faded away no matter the age I find myself each year. The rhyming is also an added benefit. It seems to take me back to the reason I started to love poetry. My favorite poet isn’t Robert Frost or Ezra Pound, but Dr. Sues.
    I have to admire your rhyme with pantomime. Not an easy one, though this seems woven expertly together. I think I could almost sing this to my niece.
    I like the mock seriousness of this piece. You’re a wonderful writer, though I’ve not commented enough on your poems, more so out of intimidation than anything else. You have a wonderful mind, and I hope I’m not over feeding your ego, but I do enjoy all your works.
    This poem is a wonderful suggested read. It has given my mind something to ponder on while I putter around my day. Who knows I may take the time to memorize this. Thank you and sorry for how long it has taken to comment on this piece.

    Ms. Tint
    | Posted on 2012-09-24 00:00:00 | by ARoseyTint | [ Reply to This ]
      Hmmm . . .well, I love the title. After all, playing for big stakes requires opening with a big hand. Here, as I see it, the stakes seem to be tied up with humanity's downfall. Also, it's fun because it seems to be the first post you ever made on ES.

    I also enjoy the first line. The piece opens with a rhythm that is "catchy" and the rhythm is maintained throughout.

    I will say though, that after our recent conversations, I was surprised to see a reference being made to Greek Mythology. Also, I thought it was strange that even though we are on the docks of the river Styx, it is the devil we are dealing with, rather than Hades. At least if Hades were used, we’d stand a chance at redemption. As I’m sure you know, mortals went to the underworld and were then either punished or rewarded based on their actions while alive. I take it, this is more along the lines of what Dante had in mind.

    As far as the rest of the first stanza goes, I question a few of your word choices. First off, even though I recently broke my own rule, I find that it is better to avoid the use of the word "shards" whenever possible these days. It has become very trendy as of late (like talking about butterfly wings--which I freely admit I'm also guilty of) and therefore lends any piece it's in a sense of triviality or triteness somehow (at least for me). Your piece is NOT trite, nor trivial, thus my advice to make a new word choice there.

    I also find the word "quiescent" to be a poor choice. "Quiescent" carries a similar meaning to the word "serene" (therefore coming off as being kind of redundant in the sentence it's used in), but the other meaning for the word is "causing no trouble or symptoms" which seems false in this situation where the rest of the sentence explains that these docks are littered with "broken dreams". Dreams don't die in tranquility. They might die in apathy or violence or even lethargy, but not tranquility. Also, how is the water tumultuous but the quay quiescent?

    Maybe you could say something like "While seemingly serene, shattered bits of endless dreams lie strewn upon the quay" or something along those lines. That way you can show that first impressions of this place are false.

    I'm not trying to be nit-picky here, but I have similar problems throughout this piece. Calling the devil's house "majestic", and a "hovel" all at once, for instance. It just doesn't work for me. A hovel is typically described as a hut or a dirty little house. How could that be majestic? Perhaps you could get away with calling it an “ensorcelling” or a “captivating” hovel. I can see that you need “hovel” to stay for the rhyme scheme you have going.

    On a more positive note, I enjoy the line about the "house of cards". It goes along nicely with the title, and it indicates how nothing good could come of visiting this place no matter how enticing the light is within.

    In fact, I enjoy the tone and the idea being expressed throughout the work--it is very dark, but not just for the sake of being dark. There is a message here, perhaps even a kind of warning, that I find compelling.

    I think I would have written it out as others have suggested, though. For instance the next bit would look something like this:

    A house of cards all full of light
    that speaks of vindication,
    while capturing self-righteous minds
    with human degradation.

    Such a tentative position--man,
    a flash of light on desert sand.
    Yet to the endless sea of time,
    a tortured wretch in pantomime?

    To mock the Gods with books of lore,
    that delineate tomorrow's shores.
    With so many right and so few wrong,
    the devil weaves a simple song of perfected ostracizing,
    while social stigmatising blind
    becomes its own creation,
    to tie the hands and feet
    of all and shadow our perception.

    But enough about word choices and the way the piece is set out. What I really want to talk about is the subject matter at hand!

    I love the line about mocking the gods with books of lore. . . it points to the idea that we simple humans have no real shot at ever really understanding the amazing universe we are a part of.

    I also agree that we humans often fall to temptation and vilify others. We often sabotage chances at peace, love and happiness by blindly following someone else’s dogma, and rejecting--even destroying--those who don’t. We are also often consumed by self-hatred to boot.

    I can see why you would essentially say then, that the world is both figuratively and (perhaps even) literally “going to hell”. . . that we are doomed to only ever live with “tied hands and feet”, bound to the ideals others have set forth; sucked into this way of being self-righteous and self-serving all at once, and therefore never capable of realizing more from our meager existence than to be “a flash of light on desert sand” (one of my other favorite lines, by the way. I also really like “the devil weaves a simple song of perfected ostracizing”).

    And yet, I still hold out hope. There is such beauty here, on this planet of ours. Both outside and within. Such miraculousness.

    Yes, it is devastating every time I hear about a restaurant being blown up, or somebody being dragged from the back of some pick-up truck or beaten to death in some hate crime, or when I hear of the discovery of mass graves, or abused kids . . . or even when I hear someone use racial slurs . . . that there are people so cruel, so capable of evil terrifies and saddens me.

    But humanity is more than the some of all its atrocities. We are inventive, and creative and funny and yes loving. . . often even self-sacrificing. Think of fire fighters who risk their lives going into burning buildings to save total strangers, or the parents or siblings who have been known to put themselves in harm’s way to protect a family member in times of danger. Think about the fact that there are blood banks! That people actually go in in enough numbers to allow for it to be practical to build buildings to store mass quantities of blood for others! Think of charities and organizations who set out to feed and heal and teach. Think of even the smallest thing. I am often very touched just by seeing someone help a stranger on the sidewalk if they fall or drop something.

    OK. Enough. I’m sure you see what I’m getting at by now. We are more than tortured wretches in pantomime. There is more than just shadow here. There’s more to being alive than just blindly groping about until death. Like this . . . doing this. Forging connections. Reaching out. Being more than what is safe and comfortable. The devil can sing all he wants. I might even occasionally, mistakenly, dance to his tune. But I’ll never be his groupy. I’ll never put his poster on my wall. And I’m staying a good distance from that hut of his, too. There’s plenty of light out here for me.

    | Posted on 2011-12-05 00:00:00 | by JanePlane | [ Reply to This ]
      Got a tecnical suggestion. The verseform here is really successful because you have gone for such an elaborate pattern! It's wonderful. But as with any pernickety decoration, any imperfection of execution sticks out too prominently. For example, many a poem can well use the rhyme lore/shores, but for this one you need fully matching rhymes?

    The other thing I noticed is that the typography is a bit obscure, since it doesn't clearly display the verse-form on the page - as most literary verse does and people are used to that. This verse could either be framed as prose, in sentences and paragraphs, or else it could be presented with the lines separated, that is, double-spaced, and perhaps a clear "stanza" division where the turn is. Whatever; but this poem's typography seems to me kind of in between those two forms and that doesn't seem to work as well as you probably thought it would!
    | Posted on 2010-03-10 00:00:00 | by Glen Bowman | [ Reply to This ]
      Just gonna read all of your pieces here, but will only post these two comments today because there's a disadvantage to getting a lot of comments all at once.

    I can't remember if I met you before but anyway I'm a poetry fanatic and attempted writer living in the Twisted Mountains of eastern Australia, from which The Beginning Of Time is clearly visible and the local businesses each sponsor a galaxy.
    | Posted on 2010-03-10 00:00:00 | by Glen Bowman | [ Reply to This ]
      To which I reply
    "Nothing is neither good nor bad, evil nor just-until conscious thought is put to it." --Anonymous

    The use of some archaics...cool diction...

    But my opening quotes expresses what I retained from this piece. Form-wise it wasn't my cup of tea, and did alter the reading and comprehension of the piece for me, but that's only because I am myself accustomed to formly aesthetics when it comes to composition...blah blah anyhow...

    The World in its present force...and that which she once was, are contrasted accurately only in the eyes of a true cynic...

    Good read, and I look forward to more. Nothing 'too' constructive I can offer, for my style is that of its own as is yours.
    | Posted on 2010-03-07 00:00:00 | by Loquacious Mind | [ Reply to This ]
      Strong writing. Imaginative yet clear portraying this world through eyes that jest and a mind that quest. While the imaginary replicates Man is this world for, well not Dante, but realistically close enough to my thinking.
    Its very deeply scented in mythical lore and the crafts of mankind flavouring its own fabrications of stigmata of a third kind not so unfamiliar to me.
    Well to say the least – you sure have a deep insight in the condemnation’s of this universe so to speak, that we as mere lesser gods cannot make whole again that which we have Desecrated beyond every measure of decency and are now trying beyond our measure to rebuild it with facades of illusions of greatness and a grandeur I cannot quite fathom its shallowness. Well part of this “I am” and my grandiose efforts to rectify that which my ancestors wrecked havoc with, complies with Nought.
    I guess that this is what you are staging the scenes with. Well I think this is marvellous writing and preferable above your heavy saturated linguistics.
    I favour this. Regards. Joachim.
    | Posted on 2010-03-04 00:00:00 | by Joachim | [ Reply to This ]

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