Description: I am writing a screenplay about a poet devastated by an affair gone terribly wrong. I just added this piece to it to try and descibe the torment and feeling of helplessness that he endures as he comes closer to the understanding that he's losing/lost his sanity. It is an early second draft so all comments no matter how critical are welcome. Any suggestions? I had 'an abstract weight' and changed to 'uneven weight' it still feels wrong. Help? PS keep in mind that form matters little here since the words will be spoken not seen in writing...
My darkness stretches for miles, like an umbral sky
I reach for your shadow, flickering
I stumble over untied desires
I pull back for stability
This is my sway and it won't go away
I feel an uneven weight, anchoring me
It holds me in place, anyplace
I long for you, but for far too long
I pull back for my sanity
This is my sway and it won't go away
My pillow is my mother,
(I yearn for her womb)
Rusted childhood games and car rides
Take me to evacuated dreams
Of firecrackers and baseball cards
Banana seats and buttescotch pudding
(I want to lick the spoon!)
I stare out the window
Awaiting the sunrise
Suspended in time
Coming back and reading this again after so long . . . then reading my comment I think I may have gotten this one wrong.
I like the repetition and think it has some punch there at the end that lingers like a long slow kiss. You take it with you when you go.
I dig the line about licking the spoon. It's one of the best things about being a kid that we miss when we grow up!
I wanna lick the spoon, too.
Course, I prolly wanna lick a lotta things, but I digress.
Hope you kept this one.
Been reading your work again, bro, and I can't put 2 and 2 together in my head (with your recent PM). Have you read these??? It reminds me of why I aspired to write better poems but struggled approaching your approachability (and wished I had an easier time of it many many times, and so hoped to learn from you).
Since this is meant to be spoken, I've read it aloud - and the auditory quality of this is wonderful...you've got an incredible study of a mind's breakdown here....
I think you could play around with this some more, and maybe make your protagonist be writing and thinking out loud at the same time...so some lines would be his poetry, some his insane reality - and of course, both are 'uneven' and 'abstract', so it would support your idea for the audience ( I think)
Also, that way you would be justifying that many 'I's...if he is seen scribbling furiously on random bit of paper, it would give the audience a more vivid image of his loss of the real world...So it would look something like this:
"(My darkness stretches for miles, like an umbral sky I reach for your shadow, flickering... I stumble over untied desires)
I pull back for stability This is my sway and it won't go away"
with the bits in brackets being his poetry, and the rest his soliloquy, so to speak....
If you do want to change 'uneven', though - how about 'spasmodic'? Same meaning, but sounds much more powerful, and also links in to his instability...his borderline existence....
I think you get my idea...I hope this helps even a tiny bit - or maybe just gives you some ideas for development :)
Hey, this has a nice feel to it. A little more character might be in order, as per Katia's suggestion <though there are a number of ways this could be achieved>. Something to make the character stand out and become unforgettable. Although as a screenplay, we don't get many opportunities to read poetry without the audience throwing popcorn and cherry pepsi at the screen! So, any poem you'd include would just HAVE to be amazing, fresh, new, beyond the pale . . . otherwise it's a foregone conclusion that it will be cut from a movie. As a poem this is good, but as something on film . . . maybe. With some work, maybe. "The Box In Brooklyn" is far more suited to being read on screen . . .
It's risky . . . and not something you can afford to miss with.
sometimes its nice to blow the dust off older pieces and this one deserves to again see some light.
i like the teetering that you portray with this individual. i take from this a kind of inventory of his journey. reliving some of the easier times can sometimes make the more difficult reality a little more bearable...or at least understandable as to how one arrived at such a destination. as always, enjoyable write...how easy it is to see your writing affecting others you have an amazing gift...thanks for sharing. -Nikki
heya! I wanted to get back to this now for a few days. I'm just gonna go through it line by line?
My darkness stretches for miles, like an umbral sky *I like this visual but it doesn't make any sense. Umbra means soul and a soul is not the sky. So what I read here is very pretty but it demeans the piece if it means nothing. However if you link explanations into your pieces... by explaining why the sky is like an umbral cloud then brings the piece into the red. Considering it's the starting line to your poem, I personally think that the intro should flow as seamlessly as possible, to really snare the reader's attention.
I reach for your shadow, flickering *I'm slightly confused if it's you or the shadow that's flickering? I stumble over untied desires I pull back for stability This is my sway and it won't go away
I'm liking this "sway" idea...
I feel an uneven weight, anchoring me *Anchoring you where? to what?* It holds me in place, anyplace *the place repetion doesn't work for me. I'd rather add a hefty whack of alliteration or a double rhyme here and get more across to the reader than waste space on a repetion that doesn't do much...
I long for you, but for far too long *I like the repetition here. The "f"s work well with the "long"s' dual context.
I pull back for my sanity This is my sway and it won't go away
*repetition of this working well again...*
My pillow is my mother, (I yearn for her womb) *Like that :)* Rusted childhood games and car rides *I could have a problem with "rusted". It kind of works in that I see them as old... but it's just incongrous here...* Take me to evacuated dreams *That's technically abstract, like the opening line was... how can dreams be evacuated or even vacated?* Of firecrackers and baseball cards Banana seats and buttescotch pudding (I want to lick the spoon!)
I stare out the window Awaiting the sunrise Suspended in time
It never comes
This is my sway and it won't go away
I really like the gentle lull of this piece which bears subtle currents of torment and insanity in places... It works alone, but also I think that the story which ties in beyond would be interesting. The piece is slightly diary, but not... there are bendable rules when it comes to poetry written as an accompaniment to a story. Do you have more of this series here? The last part went fine though, it ties up smoothly :)
As I said, I'm trying to read some older stuff to get to understand writings. I have to tell you, you've captured pretty much what someone goes through at the verge of a breakdown. I have had 20yrs experience in the mental health field, 10yrs of that in a hospital psych ward. Ramblings (if I can call this that) are very common. Quite often they refer back to childhood, mother, etc. Another thing they often obsess on is God and/or Sex. I thought this was very good.
i dont really know what to say but bluntly i really like this poem, for a unexplainable reason it just caught my attention , and i saw ur comment on, "twenty pink hearts", u may not recieve them but ur a mother u will always dizerve it, and they may not be visable and it may not always seem like it but ur kid cares more bout u then anyone , but its not like im that smart with this stuff im only 15 its just my point of view, thank you for contributing to this writeing comunity, ur a great writer and should keep up the great work, id like to read more.
This sounds to me like something your poet may be mumbling to himself as he tries to write; nearly in his element, but knowing the sway will come for him too soon. Disturbingly emotional. This should make an interesting play, I admire your ambition. As you work on it I hope you consider an earlier comment on all the repetition of "I", as the character would be a bore if they kept repeating I. Kinda pompous. ;) thanks for the unique and original read.
Dave - Written for a play. I would eliminate some of the "I"s. I think it would sound more fluent that way, more like the spoken word. Why have your character saying ,"I", "I', "I". Also, not knowing your character, I feel apprehensive about this next comment, but "umbral" seems a bit obscure and may lose your audience. If you mean, shadowy, eclipsed, or just dark, try another word here. As to the word "uneven", why not "unbalanced", since the character is approaching madness. In fact, why not use such inferences throughout the piece. Otherwise, I like this. Good dialogue. Sounds like a man going mad. Just tweak it Dave and you'll really have a winner. Good luck!
This is perfect! lalalaa! I'm all excited...I've read so much crap today! You do such a nice job of describing the lost feeling of this piece. I must say I appreciate the spoken word feel to this...I can hear the "voice" loud and clear. I'm big in to how things sound...it's the most important piece of poetry for me.
I love "uneven weight"...as if you're anchored to an unballanced sentiment...unhealthy yet unavoidable in the current condition.
"My pillow is my mother" as if your immoblilized to the bed...hoping to return to the womb.
I hear such a strong yearning for a simpler time in this...with the childhood memories...powerful and lovely piece...great work.
Wow, this is beautiful. I decided to come back and read the stuff of yours that I missed. I love "My pillow is my mother,/(I yearn for her womb)." Actually, that whole stanza is wonderful. I like "uneven weight" because it conveys that it feels off balance (That sounds brilliant, but it's 4 am).