Description: Look a little deeper before you judge for every picture hides a story...
You Think You Know Me? -------------------------------------------
I wasn’t always this way
You should’ve seen me then:
Arms of feather and fin
Heat seeking shoes
Open doors, red carpets
A CC & 7 chilling in the freezer
Awaiting my arrival
The world included me
Even asking for suggestions, and
I offered them, good ones too! Like
“ Don’t be afraid to use color. It doesn’t change
The size of the room as They say it does”
(They's people asked my people if we could do lunch)
My life was a DVD, guaranteed at Blockbuster
A novel on the New York Times Bestsellers List
(It got mixed reviews)
The CD went double-platinum
Crayola created a color in my likeness
(I felt it was brighter than me, but they’re the experts)
Love loved me
Hate hated me
Food tasted me
Wine got drunk on me
Sanguinity delighted in me
Fear was afraid of me
InTheWay got out of my way
Doubt hid itself in clouded coffee
Cold in a mug on someone else’s desk
Insecurity lay trembling
On black-light beaches
With broken heaps of jetsam and dreams
Crawling into seashells
Alarm clocks asked for wake up calls
Tour guides for directions
Deadlines held off ‘til I got there
Traffic lights had three colors:
Green, greener and yellow
(I never slowed down for it anyway)
Wise men begged for wisdom
Theologians sought translation
Verse plagiarized my prose
(It’s still in litigation)
Melodies aped my rhythm
Drums kept beat with my gait
meh. [censored]. hahaha! they censor "this s-uck-s!"
nah, you know I am playing.
There are several things I can ramble about with this poem, and I am confused as to where to begin. maybe the story perhaps? (no no , the picture... the effin picture)... you vividly painted the booooshie egocentric facade of this picture... but you subtley exposed the fine cracks underneathe it. but dont widen them please... even though I could be worng,, I enjoy contemplating.. ( I am selfsih I know.. he. he.)
Here are some tiny fault lines where I fell in...
Doubt hid itself in clouded coffee Cold in a mug on someone else’s desk Insecurity lay trembling On black-light beaches With broken heaps of jetsam and dreams Crawling into seashells
did this chaos seep in slowly or did it explode in a erruption? Maybe neither... I always get introuble for "neither norism".
but "I wasnt always this way..." yeah, here's "what was",,, but "what is" now is as couldy as the doubt in the cofeee mug."
(as cold as that dead prol?). but leave it subtle.. or maybe its not subtle,,, I am just making it harder for me to catch it because its more fun.
wow. the techinique...great teaching tool.
I am learing alot reading this...
The world included me Even asking for suggestions, and I offered them, good ones too! Like “ Don’t be afraid to use color. It doesn’t change The size of the room as They say it does” (They's people asked my people if we could do lunch)
like capitl.aizng They... added more dimesion to the stanza... your coloring the very heavy elemnts of power in the interaction here..
Love loved me Hate hated me Food tasted me Wine got drunk on me Sanguinity delighted in me Fear was afraid of me...This is my favorite part... I can relate to it alot...I really like this peom...great work...congrats!
After what you said i thought it would be apt to read this one. Perhaps one day i'll write something i think might just cover the feeling i get when someone connects to my poem, or i to theirs. I'll let you know. Thats one of those moments isnt it? - that you dont just forget (like the first time you make love with the one of your dreams...minus the physicality...lol) ANYway, before i start on that thread again, the poem. I need not say i love it. And if i add it to my favs i hope you know me well enough to know that it is not in return for your addition of mine, but merely a reflection of my equal respect and a mirroring of this, because, not in spite of...if you get me. This made me smile, i think its the piece to the jigsaw i was looking for - i think i was anticipating something delicously sarcastic and here, i found it. Have you ever tried crossdressing? My profile picture is of Lou Reed during his transvestite period...bit like Van Gogh. So i can almost picture you wearing lipstick and pouting like a fabulous Eddie Izzard (this being a good thing) Which i find amusing but also unique, dont think ive read A SINGLE poem on this site by a guy who actually flirted with these kinds of images, and so i dont think ive ever sat back and thought, yes he's at home with his sexuality...which made this different (as usual)
Hey you use brackets...<fancy joining my club?!>
And i wont pick my way through the whole thing, as its been done, but my absolute favourite line was: "Crayola created a color in my likeness" i mean i would write colour...but you know, thats me...we like dipthongs over here. But you know why i loved this? Because its true, every personality, if you think about someone you know, whether its through their poetry or through being in a relationship of some kind with them, you couldnt just place them to one colour. (color) I dont think the colo<u>r they would have invented for you would be a mix of any of the primary colo<u>rs. It would be something different. You couldnt just be a green could you? I was talking to my flatmate the other day about this, that there are some who think that there might be 'new' colours never before seen in other universes, which if we could see them, they would blow our minds. But we couldnt ever imagine them. Trying blows your mind. I couldnt imagine your crayola colour, for fear of going pop. what i trying to say is youre unique, i love to draw, but if i drew with 'your' colour i could never look at what i'd drawn, for fear of popping. Perhaps you could...so if you sent me one of those crayons, id draw with my eyes closed and send my picture to you, and you could tell me what i had drawn...this little metaphor, is what i feel it is to interact...to write to read to create, the whole jazzy thing, when i write something and you read it, its one of those drawings i cant see, or cant let myself look at, thats why your response means so much to me. I hope this is what you too get from feedback on your work...the odd clue as to who you really are, much love and hippie vibes :)
"InTheWay got out of my way" - I was blown away (forgive the colloquiallism). Some writers have a intricate taste for words, giving the reader sheer pleasure in speaking them out loud. Some create visual delights. But dammit, you do both, and Im stunned, yet again...You take the beauty - visual and auditory - of Eliot, and make it your own, with your feelings, your images, your thoughts....
This feels like a journey..through your life, through both your past and present all at once - and through encompassing them, accepting them you allow yourself a future...
Wow, I think you should go proffesional if you aren't already. I just really love the way you get your point across in such small words. You are my inspiration, and I have to say that I love the hidden meanings in your poems, and you even used some abstract, and that is very skillful. I loved the poem, and I will really read more from you. Peace and love,, -Aya
I'm a latecomer to this poem, and shame on me for that! This piece sings and I loved what you did with the comparisons, the then and now, and best of all, lines like:
"Doubt hid itself in clouded coffee Cold in a mug on someone else’s desk Insecurity lay trembling On black-light beaches With broken heaps of jetsam and dreams Crawling into seashells
Alarm clocks asked for wake up calls Tour guides for directions Deadlines held off ‘til I got there Traffic lights had three colors: Green, greener and yellow (I never slowed down for it anyway)
Wise men begged for wisdom Theologians sought translation Verse plagiarized my prose (It’s still in litigation) Melodies aped my rhythm Drums kept beat with my gait"
F'ing brilliant, man. Seriously. For me, the last line wrapped it all up, said "once I was great, now . . . I'm just gliding on old steam." If that's not what you meant, man, that's what it said to me and I feel this way often enough as I get older. Maybe we all do it, mythologize something about the past, but I always try to see my way clear to the improvements, the ways I'm getting better, stronger, and sexier everyday. They're there, my brother. They're there.
Great poem, bro. I think this will make, what? 3 faves from you? Yeah . . . this one's a keeper and now I see why it's your featured write.
hey, wow. I am SO late to read this poem. a million comments are already made, and my astonishment...my sheer respect for you leave me hesitating to dive into the deep waters of all I am feeling now that I have read this. I literally spoke this poem aloud from start to finish and took so much pleasure in that. I loved every singe thing you put in parenthesis so much I was beside myself. Such humanity in those words. I don't know you the way Alia does, and I read her comment because I realize that you have a connection and that her comment would be real and meaningful...and I knew that the words in parenthesis were insecurities, but I think when I read them I saw more than that, too. It was like they were side notes that the reader should know so they won't feel the poem is all screaming arrogance and gloating. They were a bit of humor and a way to relate to the "little people" so to speak...the people who are not a part of the shining existence that is being described. My favorite was "(I felt it was brighter than me, but they’re the experts)" HA! LOL. I could see the shrug and sideways smile that you might have as you say that...like, "hey, they're the experts...what can I say" d*mn, you are really somethin' you know. I'm sure you DO know that as I can see...just kiddin'. But seriously, I am sure you are sick of reading comments about this poem. So I just want to say that you f*cking just walked all over my guts with this one. I'm wounded with pleasure. annie
i'll start by saying that i don't care at'all for this title. it feels so marlon brando in "streetcar named desire" or that one movie where he says, "i coulda been a contenda."
well now. the rest of it:
it's important to begin at the end when you talk about how you've changed, i think. hindsight colors your words and tempers the temperature of your voice.
Chauffeur-driven conversation - this is a line that i multi-faceted like. so many jewel faces to take a shine to.
and it's the hindsight afforded me at your beginning that i can see both the glamour and the one dimensional, one way street of admiration. a split screen or two conversing/conflicting parties, if you will.
i like the comparison to the cream of the crop of media sales and the crayon. i want to be a crayola crayon color. i think we all have.
Love loved me Hate hated me Food tasted me Wine got drunk on me Sanguinity delighted in me Fear was afraid of me - very gung ho stanza, doesn't let up or allow my interpretation to be otherwise, a nice trick to pull after telling me a somewhat two-sided story of how it was. here it's all the way you saw things in your old self's eyes.
Alarm clocks asked for wake up calls Tour guides for directions Deadlines held off ‘til I got there Traffic lights had three colors: Green, greener and yellow (I never slowed down for it anyway) - i don't have a wise, wordy or sensible reason for liking this, i just do.
by this time, you've built up a nice, rhythmic momentum that is fun to chug along with and sounds sound like i imagine them to be. then the needle is pulled dischordantly across the record and the party lights become harsh florescent, the longing and the distaste for such a life i can hear in your words, not regret but missing some part of it anyhow.
great write - very hollywood, which i understand, having lived so close to the real thing my whole life, but yet applicable to any euphoria that comes with instant success and stranger's outpouring of love. thanks for sharing this. =]
I like that you didn't feel the need to wax philosophical about the decline of the person in the poem... that you didn't feel the need to become clichéd and show the "why" or the "how"... why am I this way now, or how did I get this way... You kept it simple... I used to be THAT way, now I'm not... what a bummer...
I can relate... and I think anyone going through a one-third life crisis (I'm too young for mid-life) can too... I remember life being so... big? fun? life-like?... I was invincible, I could do whatever I wanted and the world worked with me... but not so much anymore.
It's not like I've made some horrendous life choice and life is miserable... life just isn't the EASY thing it was. Perhaps it's a change in viewpoint... but this poem captured that in a nice, tongue in cheek/serious style.
great poem, its a kind of reflection on how one once was, but is no longer, or if everything were to change in an instant leaveing u lost confuzzed and drifting slowly into insanity , its a nice poem with a great flow and good wording i really enjoy'd reading this , ill be sure to read more of ur work
wow. excellent poem. life does have a way of disappointing us all. I don't know about the woman referred to in the other comments unless they mean the one you might be talking to, but it could also be a man so I would imagine but then we all have different perspectives and sometimes people don't understand what I am saying either. but that's not the point. this is a beautiful poem. you certainly are very talented.
this is funny but true .life does this to us.makes everything feel like the world is falling apart. . to many things going on to even think these days. i just like the poem for some odd reason especially the doubt and the cold coffee.
immaculate punctuation that makes a nevermind of the apparent lack of it so I suppose then that's how a LIFE LIKE THIS can be lived, which gives the whole piece currency. that and the word choice which is the mutt's nuts I think: los cojones del pero... Odd that you should suggest the beat that we've been dragged along by at the end of this - but then, it would have been odd to tell us the preferred cadence at the start too. that would have sounded too assertive and some of your readership (me included) would have made our own beat up. Oh, I see Harold Robbins (remember him?) writing about you writing this 'a stone for deadndreaming' or somesuch because it's pulp fiction and a bonfire of the vanities all rolled into one on the thighs of a Cuban virgin. i especially liked the reference to crayola. whilst you it seems were counting payola. whatever. a1 with a star and no 'see me' k
Oh wow. This poem is absolutly phenom. I read the poem before the beginning part. And it really contradicts the whole idea. but in a good way. I cant really get at what Im thinking with words, but Im assuming you understand... hopefully! haha. The only major correction I would have to give you would be to NOT capitalize every beginning of every line. It makes it ... not flow as well as it could, especially if its a sentence. Its like reading Something with capitals randomly Placed throughout the sentence. See? Its almost as if you want to jump to a new idea before you can get that one all out.
Everything revolved around the character in this poem, it told a story, and the person seemed to have wit and at the same time, wisdom. Now on to the absolutly brilliant parts I loved.
Love loved me Hate hated me Food tasted me Wine got drunk on me Sanguinity delighted in me Fear was afraid of me
and Traffic lights had three colors: Green, greener and yellow (I never slowed down for it anyway) It made me laugh. Because I can relate. Im not what you would call a... good driver. Infact, I loved this whole poem. You brought it together so nicely, and you really made it work for you. Im putting it under my favorites. Phenomenal job. -Andrya
I read the poem before the intro...and assumed it was you. I wondered at the end..."what happend that changed his charmed existence?"...drugs, drink, broken heart? Then I read the intro and realized it wasn't you...so I still wonder.."what happend to this old woman's charmed existence?"...guess we'll never know and the fact that I'm drawn in to care that much to ask means that you did your job with this poem.
I love your little comic assides. I am a big fan of throwing in little pieces of comedy into serious pieces. It's like little pieces of reality...that's how life is...whenever life gets too serious, you get a piece of comedy to lighten the load. "(It got mixed reviews)" "It’s still in litigation" These bring life to the piece...and your "voice" is loud and clear through them.
I'm a big fan of you now...your writing has specific soul and creativity. You own your words and your images are potent...Love it!
This is so original. First of all I love the title you settled on. In my opinion this part of the poem is the best. " Love loved me Hate hated me Food tasted me Wine got drunk on me Sanguinity delighted in me Fear was afraid of me
In The Way got out of my way" It's so original how you used them backwards and personifiied the nouns. Great write!
This is very interesting, but (if the poem was indeed about her) I didn't see any transaction being made between the "good" life" and the "bad" life. That's where I thought you were going with it. I really don't know what to say about this one. It's interesting, but I don't really know if I like it or not. I really liked the intoduction; it was a good story. I just don't feel anything special when I read it. Sorry.
Perfect. Thank you. This is exactly what I was looking for. I've been in a different world the last several years and returning to this one (poetry) I find myself rusty. Common words look foreign, like the whole lies/lay thing. I will make that change right away.
The arms of feather and fin alluded to that feeling of invincibility, able to fly or swim through anything...maybe a stretch but I like the way the words strung together. I also liked the meaning you got from it.
The green, greener, and yellow thing was originally greenish, green and greener and then green, greener and greenest. This piece actually describes the wonder of self-discovery and freedom I felt several years back when I had a wildly and surprisingly successful business. Man, how alive I felt, a world at my feet! The yellow represented the caution I saw even then, but ignored. It does sound rather cumbersome though.
The Theys was intentional, though maybe it should be They's...The play here was to represent "they" (as in "they always say blah blah blah) as a corporation, like saying "Burger King's people asked my people..." That whole stanza feels awkward...
And yes (much like this reply) it may have gone on too long...I was concerned about it being redundent but I couldn't figure out what to omit. Any suggestions?
Thanks for your observations. A critique doesn't have to be scathing to hit home and inspire change or growth. You don't know how much I appreciate your help.
This made me grin. I'm not sure about the implications at the open. Arms of feather and fin, are you alluding to clothing? Lizzard skin and ostrich plume? The theme is played out wonderfully, possibly for too long. All the examples are great but my favorite is the traffic light with green, greener, and yellow. (my mind wanted green, greener still and greener than that) I love detail so maybe that cocktail chilling could be a Gibson or a Dirty Martini. I saw a couple of typos, I think, theys people should be their people, and insecurity lied trembling should be lay, I believe that is the past tense. You've got insecurity telling a fib. The lines you chose to enclose parenthetically are all excellent. I really did grin when I read about the traffic lights. I've said something along these lines before, I tell people, I didn't always play golf this poorly, I've been at it for years. Sorry to disappoint, nothing to really chide here, Dave
The title works. The poem is terrific. We must not judge the downtrodden. There but for the grace...Etc. This poem is a terrific moral lesson, as well as a fascinating read. Some bits of humor, and wisdom are thrown in as well. I agree that life cycles between highs and lows, and your glimpse of the high side, and your statement of change, "I wasn't always this way" causes one to appreciate what they have at the moment. A thoroughly enjoyable poem, very entertaining. Thanks for sharing.
I think that your title fits it best, better then the one that you were going to call it in the first place. This poem sends a great message to everyone to read in between the lines and never to judge a book by its cover:
Wise men begged for wisdom Theologians sought translation Verse plagiarized my prose (It’s still in litigation) Melodies aped my rhythm Drums kept beat with my gait
Tempo is ever changing (Beat)
I wasn’t always this way
I think that everyone, in some point in their life, hits rock bottom, whether it is visible or not. No one, no matter what they say, will ever have the perfect life. It just won't happen. Your poem, that experiance that spurred the poem, shows that exactly. That woman may be as she was in your poem, or she may have been a normal woman who lost it all. Regardless, it isn't true that everything is in black and white. It isn't true that everything is as it seems, in fact, it's usually the opposite. Good write, and this is going in my favorites.
I often wonder too, about people I see like the woman you saw. What led them up to that point? It also makes me thing about older people... when does an old person start dressing like an old person?? Do they wake up one day and say "ok I'm gonna pull the pants up a little higher and wear long sleeved paisley shirts?" Anyways, I thoroughly enjoyed this, just like you seemed to enjoy writing it. I liked the lines in parentheses. It's like I can almost picture the woman saying it, as she looks back on her life and is explaining it to someone else... drinking a bloody mary with a celery stick. Great work.
Loved the flow and momentum of this poem. My favourite line is "In The Way got out off my way". It so simple that it sounds as if it it's been lifted straight out of a children's story or fable, but it holds a depth of meaning and seems to act as a hinge for the whole poem.
i had to read this through several times...and still i feel as though i'm missing something. maybe, it's because i'm not sure why the speaker is no longer "this way." i felt as though the last two stanzas are anti-climactic. i wonder if you could elaborate upon the idea that "tempo is ever changing" and linking that to the process by which the woman/speaker changes to arrive at the new state. i liked your personfication of hate, alarm clocks, drums etc. and the voice you chose for the speaker is brilliant. the rest of the piece has wonderful rhythm. *amrita*
I was disappointed by the very last line. I feel like the syncopated ending just didn't do this piece justice. It is almost hummerous a little cliché as well; Hollywood to has bin, One hit wonder, Still wonderful. I'd make the ending fit the beauty of the rest of this piece. it just doesn't feel done to me; walking out the last twenty minutes of a movie. My overall assesment is that this is a wonderful piece with a unfit ending. It just seems a shame to me. I love the description the three shades of trafic lights, the coffee, this is truely magnificent work. You are quite talented. peace