A nice mosaic of romanticized urban scenery. Not that it doesn't merit the ode, but it seems a little too ideal in my mind. Sure, cities tend to form reputations for being a hot pot of culture and art and underground fascinations. Maybe because of its mass of locals, the varying degrees of status, the roots or the utter disrepair of certain areas in it. It also has a reputation for being corrupt and lost, disorganized by organized crime, etc etc. The evilest places on earth are cities, court houses and prisons, apparently. But it's nothing beyond a person's imagination (especially since they've been constructed). The allure of the city is an interesting one. I remember going to NYC and not being very caught up in it. I live in a city, so it was too familiar. I understand suburban folk being overwhelmed and probably getting heart palpitations from being in the city because of the noise and the lights and the smell, the architecture being so high and likely to plummet.
Anyway, onto the poem itself. Like a list of descriptions, there's only so much to read into it. There's only what's there to imagine. I'm not saying it's bad. I like how each sentence is a new aspect of the city and it lets the reader explore- but just a little. I think there could be a little more of everything in here. More character, per say. I'm not sure cities could be honored through poetry. As vast and as multi-faceted as they are, so does the poem/story/etc. need to be.
This poem has been up for a while so I don't expect any change. I like the pin-hole approach of the poem.
sheeesh, I have to go through these and make sure I aren't about to praise what I rubbished and vice versa.
I wont look, but will put it down to poetic growth or regression on my part... but see what you've done to me with this wordplay.
This voice is different for you. It has an understated quality and I very much enjoyed the shift in tone again in the final stanza.
The last three lines miss the mark for me in that they seem to let the poem drift with regard to pacing just when she had gathered herself and when I look at what you convey in those lines I think you would lose nothing if the closing lines were only the first two.
Well, I've been to Detroit several times, and with the exception of the river area on the Canadian border, it's quite a magnificent [censored]hole, if I do say so myself! But then, I grew up in the Chicago area, and nearly every smaller city I've seen in this country seems dirty and poor by comparison, at least to me. But it does have its charms! The people are pretty cool and laid back, and even the burbs have this run down feel to some areas, but the people again, are groovy. I was in this one mall once, man, it was like a city itself, but the [censored] place was deserted! It was like some underground complex where ppl went to escape the apocalypse! I bought a knife for a buddy of mine, and a few other things and I was throwing around money <as I am wont to do> and the salespeople were looking at me like I sprouted horns or something! Another time I flew in and stayed at someplace on the river, a highrise mall with hotel joint with this little hottie stewardess from Texas <ahhhhhh, what a night!> and that was the nicest part of the city I ever saw, lemme tell ya!
Hahahhaa, but then, we brought it with us!
One thing I liked, being a gamer fanatic since I was a kid . . . Detroit has some kickass hobby shops. A lot of "Magic The Gathering" and "Warhammer 40K" nuts. Been to lanparties and well . . . some of my best friends have lived there. Hopefully, I'll get back there someday. Been 5 years I think . . .
But you captured it's heart and soul, brother. That's what I was really trying to say!
I don't think I've ever been to Detroit, but this poem does not make me anxious to go there. This is a really great poem. As the commenter greensnake said, it applies not only to Detroit but to America in general, to the whole world perhaps.
Your imagery is incredible here -- I can see you put a lot of thought into it. Most of all I like the lines:
Artists draw bleak portraits of borrowed blood On a canvas of brick and mortar
Although, come to think of it, shouldn't it be "on canvases of brick and mortar"? I mean to say, artists is in plural form, so the canvas bit should be as well. But it's a great image here and I like the alliteration.
I have nothing to critique about this poem. I think it's of actual publishable quality.
Hmmm, now this should be interesting - a comment on a city Ive never visited (from a person who hasnt been to anywhere but NYC in the last 12 years)...
And I love the way you show the city through your eyes, offering the reader your vision of the streets, the pulse, the beat of the city...but (oh I hate it when there is a 'but') I feel I must be completetely honest with you...
I feel this is limited somewhat...you are relying on your audience to know what you are talking about...to have some personal stepping stones that are necessary to reach a level of satisfaction with this piece. Not even necessarily knowledge of Detroit per se, but a possession of those little cultural nuances that can either be known or intricately described. And I dont have those, and thus I feel somewhat left behind (and that just isnt fun)
The only thing I would suggest is write this for someone who has never been to the States. Who has no knowledge, yet possesses a grasp of internationally recognised images to be able to create a personal impression in their mind. I want an insight into the subject matter, I want to be able to build a connection with the piece - and whilst I adore your language, your command of words, I feel the connection is lost upon me. Basically like a film ina foreign language, without subtitles. And maybe that just means that I should leave this piece be, and not attempt to make connections...but its here, and thus I read it, and want to be able to see the meaning behind the image - and I dont....
*sigh* I hope you understand that this is only an opinion - but I think that as a poet, one should strive to provide the opportunity to connect with a piece - and I felt this one beyond my reach. This is just one voice ...but I felt I'd let you hear it, for I wanted to be honest...
P.S. Its all your fault anyway, for being so darned good...I now expect nothing short of great from you...
I can think of not ONE thing to change on this. I would love this regardless of where I lived, but being a "detroiter" (pronounced dee-troy-it-er), I love the DEAD-ON symbolism, and the biting in-jokes...
"Corruption stands on a soapbox" and "Lawmakers take breaks and break laws" seems a lot less funny in light of Mayor Kwame's newest debacle.
comment i received from Riekie Briel made me decide to take a look at this. what a wonderful piece! i live in camden, nj [the most dangerous city in the u.s.-yay!], so this is all familiar territory for me too. you've done a remarkable job expressing it here. so much contradtcition. i made this a fav! excellent work! have you submitted this anywhere? it's definitely worthy of publication.
"Colors are primary, unblended and unattached" love love love that line!
You've created such a fantastic slew of images that create an intiguing place...Detroit. Never liked Detroit too well...although I am from Columbus, Ohio...so I'm a little biased. I like how you put so many oxymorons in there...as if the city cannot be pinned down to one characteristic. You make the city seem oddly inviting and exciting as well as pathetic...a very good description of Detroit in my opinion .
All places have their problems. I shan't rant about those in the absolutely lovely town of Greenwood, SC. I like the Gertrude Stein-like "Perpetrators are victims are perpetrators." I suppose my favorite lines are "Lawmakers take breaks and break laws" and "Order is chaotic, chaos neatly sorted." I like the alliteration and assonance throughout. The last stanza really sheds light on the death throes of the American dream. This is excellent social commentary.
This is why you are one of my favorites. Nothing should be changed. It applies not only to Detroit, but to almost all of our cities and even small towns. I would like to send a copy of this to a friend with your permission.