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The Poet's Gallows

Author: deadndreaming
Elite Ratio:    6.74 - 1360 /1263 /83
Words: 119
Class/Type: Poetry /Misc
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Was suffering through writers block while working on another brought up these images. I'm sure it needs work, but what do you expect? It's inspired by writers block afterall!

The Poet's Gallows

My mind is a sterile ghost town
in these vacant Wild West plains,
with hollow gold-plucked mines
and infertile plantations,
seeking words as if water
to fill my dehydrated verse

Metaphors and similes
lay dead like bison hulls;
dried up black blood-littered
reminders of free-flowing
perfectly placed phrases,
lost in this parched, tasteless earth

Cactus traps the tumbleweed
that roll across like memories
of dilapidated stagecoaches
and broken-down saloons
where art is put to rest
in wooden cross-marked graves

My prose stands ‘neath the noon sun
(a showdown in this made-up town)
my rival, cool and grizzled
draws and fires into my heart
sparing me of a pointless death;
my blood shall fill this page!

Submitted on 2004-11-24 11:11:21     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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  There is a lot of scrolling down to do with your work, isnt there?

I'll try to keep at least one of my comments brief.

Take your enemy's weakness and turn it into your strength, they say - and you heard, and you did do just that. You used writers block as a twisted, devious Muse - and it worked wonders.

The 'western' allegory is very consistent throughout, and adds gravity to your amazing idea, using the dry, barren, spiky image of the land like that...

The only thing that came to mind was the title...the allegory you used made me think of Clint Eastwood's films...and I had this rather crazy idea about a play on his film titles....Like 'For A Fistful of Poems'...or something along those lines....links it in to the body of the text...and so on

Hmm, so didnt quite manage the 'short comment' - but I tried... :P

All the best,


| Posted on 2005-05-13 00:00:00 | by Katia | [ Reply to This ]
  See here in this poem you escape the heavy adjectives by grouping them into lines like:

My mind is a **sterile ghost town**
in these **vacant Wild West plains**,
with <hollow> **gold-plucked mines**
and <infertile plantations>,
seeking words as if water
to fill my <dehydrated verse>

Metaphors and similes
lay dead like bison hulls;
**dried up black blood**-littered
reminders of **free-flowing
perfectly placed phrases**,
lost in this **parched, tasteless earth**

Cactus traps the tumbleweed
that roll across like memories
of <dilapidated stagecoaches>
and **broken-down saloons**
where art is put to rest
in **wooden cross-marked graves**

My prose stands ‘neath the noon sun
(a showdown in this made-up town)
my rival, cool and grizzled
draws and fires into my heart
sparing me {CUT THIS->of} a <pointless death>;
my blood shall fill this page!

Still a LITTLE heavy, see <in here>, but neatly threaded **by these**. Some of the couplings are necessary, but too many of them and it just leaps out at you. I'd suggest the areas that lack <**entries**> are the best and **these** the second best. <These> need a little work, but like I said, a few are okie.

| Posted on 2005-06-01 00:00:00 | by Vancrown | [ Reply to This ]
  this was definitly an eyebrow raiser for me. so empty. i love that writing feels like a battle here.generally you hear that writing is free flowing and easy but you revealed that is in fact not easy, a struggle to come up with the right words and pour yourself, your blood into each line. i am a poem slave, and i think maybe you are too.

*wendy lee
| Posted on 2004-12-15 00:00:00 | by girlunderglass | [ Reply to This ]
  the ending chained me to some 5 sec enlightenment then left me saying "good piece" (another one of my short lived monologues when in all my weirdness... i replied to myself... "yeah... but i think good is an understatement" - wasted lil me)

to duel with our inner struggles is actually like making love to it and getting your pen in labor with your ink blooded offspring. this piece said that in a way that it made this really really vivid tattoo.

oh god i'm rambling again.

that was good. really good.
| Posted on 2004-12-10 00:00:00 | by ANGELO | [ Reply to This ]
  I wrote a writers block piece once.
It was complete crap. Yet everyone liked it for one reason, and one reason only. They could relate.
This, my friend does more for the reader than give relation to.
It brings up images and conveys the way every writer has felt more than once.
I loved how you compared it to the west, it seems as though everyone wants to go out west. But west is a desert. It seems as though thats where you brought your mind to. Im not sure if you realized that comparison. But thats how I took it. Just with the fact that... for example, singers talk about wanting to travel out west... but it just so happens that on the way, you run into desert.
Apparently I live in a "semi arid desert." currently it is about minus 5. And snowy.
I say that barely qualifies.
Anyways. I just thought I'd add that in.
Good work
| Posted on 2004-11-25 00:00:00 | by andrya | [ Reply to This ]
  And this you call writers block,lo so many would want your writers block.

You did a great job of keeping your western theme tight all the way through.

Very good write
| Posted on 2005-01-01 00:00:00 | by edthepoet | [ Reply to This ]
  this is truly one of the better pieces i have read on this site lately. what a great way you have described your writer's block while at the same time bursting magnificently out of it! your visuals painted this ghost-town, and i wanted to be there. i have a thing for ghost-towns, and this just sent me! great job! i'm going to fav this one!
| Posted on 2004-11-24 00:00:00 | by magnicat | [ Reply to This ]
  Sounds good to must be cured. You capture great images with your western feel. That whole ghost town thing...while not the most original of ideas on the surface...proved to work well for you, since your words are well chosen and images strong...

"of dilapidated stagecoaches
and broken-down saloons" These are nice images of the ghost town of your creativity. I'm thinking that if the page fills with your blood, that would be one hell of a good poem.!

"Cactus traps the tumbleweed
that rolls across like memories" may want to change rolls to roll.
| Posted on 2004-11-24 00:00:00 | by marysunshine | [ Reply to This ]
  I like the allegory of the ghost town mind. The images are very good. I like the unpleasantness of some of them ("bison hulls" and the art graves). I like the gunfight at the end. I've always felt that poets earn every word through pain. Some kind of fluid is involved whether it's blood or tears). I thoroughly enjoyed this.
| Posted on 2004-11-24 00:00:00 | by cuddledumplin | [ Reply to This ]
  Great job. Your metaphors work wonders, as does the imagery comparing writing to objects from the old west. We should all be so lucky to suffer from the same writers block as you.
Wonderful write.
| Posted on 2004-11-24 00:00:00 | by arkay | [ Reply to This ]
  Cool. I like how you turned the empty mind (which I am quite familiar with :P) into an old western ghost town. The imagery sort of modernized it to me, I liked it a lot. The only thing I would change is that I don't think you need the parentheses in the last stanzas. Good work
| Posted on 2004-11-24 00:00:00 | by rounin | [ Reply to This ]
  Wow, if I could write this well when suffering from writer's block, I would write all of the time. This is an awesome piece, the imagery is amazing. I never would have compared writer's inspiration being plagued by writer's block to a ghost town of the Old West; I've read many a poem about writer's block, but this one is by far the best. What an interesting idea. . .where did it come from? Anyhoo, great job.
| Posted on 2004-11-24 00:00:00 | by secret moon | [ Reply to This ]
  a vert interesting allegorical doesn't need any changing whatsoever.the comparison to old west imagery was really a flash of really have a noteworthy piece with this one.good luck and fare well.
| Posted on 2004-11-24 00:00:00 | by sickly | [ Reply to This ]
  David, I think I'll put myself in your poem. I'm your cool and grizzled rival coming out of the sun with guns blazing. But we're well matched you and I. My jackal excrement if I tweak it ever so slightly into coyote droppings would roll around with your metaphorical tumbleweed in our shared desert. Loved reading your poem. Damn, I would have loved writing it!
| Posted on 2005-01-03 00:00:00 | by hanuman | [ Reply to This ]
  Man, that was some mean mother writer's block! I think this is just great, really fresh and graphic. (blows the hell out of cats in the night for a metaphor lol). You pile image upon image of emptiness, in this dry gulch scenario., and even then this "made up town" suggest to me a movie set, so the illusion itself -is hollow and uninhabited.

I think what i liked best (and what's NOT to like-) is the "stock" spaghetti western imagery applied to the poetic devices and tecniques -the whole second stanza eg;"Metaphors and similes lay dead like bison hulls" and "broken-down saloons where art is put to rest in wooden cross-marked graves"-and many many more.
I wouldn't mind a case of writer's block if the remission yeilded such hale and hardy results,
It is late and i am babbling, not doing justice to this crit, but honestly, i can't find any fault. I thought the duel as finale was briliiant- the foe is vanquished western style, and the poet strides away wearinga white stetson.
| Posted on 2005-01-04 00:00:00 | by Silverdog | [ Reply to This ]
  Man oh man, writer's block sure does a number on you. I say always write just when you have it cuz it works for ya. This wuz great indeed. So powerful, your words. I don't think it needs any work at all... good from start to finish. Keep it up!
| Posted on 2004-11-28 00:00:00 | by WaxingPoetic | [ Reply to This ]
  This is a vivid extended metaphor, and one of the more interesting pieces I've seen a member submit on the subject of writers block.
Here is how I would look at the first stanza.

A sterile ghost town of the mind,
vacant Wild West plains,
hollow gold-plucked mines
and infertile plantations,
seeking words like water
to fill my dehydrated verse.

and to continue in S2

Metaphors and similes,
bison hulls,
dead, dried up,
black blood-littered
reminders of free-flowing
perfectly placed phrases,
lost in this parched, tasteless earth.

And I really like the rest as it is.

Just one other perspective to consider. I wouldn't suggest you use this without the perspective of others as well.

Good luck with an above average piece.
| Posted on 2004-12-02 00:00:00 | by Sandburg | [ Reply to This ]
  This is really impressive, lots of daring images and thoughts about death from the Dead. I like the way you've drawn a plot of sorts from the ghost town, makes me believe that when there is nothing there,
patience brings just what we need. I like, so good to see you're writing, even if it came from a well you believed was dry. Thanks for sharing,
| Posted on 2004-12-07 00:00:00 | by nansofast | [ Reply to This ]
  Dave - Brilliant! I love the old west, and to make a ghost town a repository for your writer's block, just screams brilliance. A great write. I'm fav-ing it.

| Posted on 2004-11-27 00:00:00 | by phil askew | [ Reply to This ]

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