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My Secret Genius

Author: deadndreaming
Elite Ratio:    6.74 - 1360 /1263 /83
Words: 387
Class/Type: Poetry /Misc
Total Views: 3271
Average Vote:    No vote yet.
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Thanks to Learah for coming up with the challenge and the great paulie d for suggesting the very open topic of "my secret genius"...hope I stayed within the theme...

My Secret Genius

I hide in here, this cove from reality —
like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon:
quadrangular checkered foundation
of baked brick, ‘neath vaulted arches
with roots of palm trees embedded
in terraces built above the ground of sanity.
streams of dreams flow down sloping channels;
irrigation from outside the mind,

the mind,
   to nurture grass of permanent green.
plums, pears and pomegranates,
plump and ripe on fertile branches,
to feed the imagination.

sky-blue flowered     and rich green
                            m                           g
                           y                               r
                            r                            a
                             t                         p
                            l                             e
                          e                             v

bloom at eye level and beyond
serving as ladders to wonders uncapped,
un clamped by the vises of conformity.

alas, it’s back to there, with them,
(where I can smile and try to fit in)
those heathens of technology
with steel and plastic-hiatry,
reality TV ideology
prattling of cars and football games
but why chat with them when I can do the same

with Nebuchadnezzar, who built this Eden
on "impulse deriving from the love of a woman".
as we climb the tower of Babel he babbles
of losing his mind over Amyitis.
I assure him that sanity is but a cage –

He says “look below and beyond us my friend,
these walls stretch for 50 miles.
Inside and above is every tree known to man
every flower, every fruit that can grow in this land
yet still, she is unhappy somehow...
So I ask you, am I not imprisoned now?”

I look down through the trees of ebony and olive,
past the sprawling juniper and slouching willow,
to the euphoric Euphrates.
I turn to the King of Mesopotamia and ask
“Can you swim?”

(We won’t stop ‘til we get to the Colossus of Rhodes)

Submitted on 2005-02-23 17:22:04     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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1: >_<
2: I dunno...
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4: Pretty cool
5: Wow!


  unique and eye-catching, like the way you use the letters to show the shape of the grapevine and myrtle, very creative...

dylanpoe's girl
| Posted on 2005-07-24 00:00:00 | by dylanpoe | [ Reply to This ]
  Myrtle and grapevines, indeed!

This is gonna be the shortest comment in history. You ready?

It's perfect.

I made it a fave. Don't change a word.
| Posted on 2005-05-17 00:00:00 | by Vancrown | [ Reply to This ]
  Dave - This is brilliant. Those are not just words, my friend, but as honest as I can be. Just to give you something to worry over, I'll nit-pick this later, but for now, know that I have FAVed this. With more than a passing interest in history, and a love of things ancient, this thrilled my inner self. The mind and the Wonders, does not the mind wonder?

"this cove from reality", the search for inner peace, this poem is full of mentality, "impulsive " construct, "sanity is but a cage", "plastic-hiatry", "am I not imprisoned", a mind on the edge, explaining the desire for freedom, "Can you swim?", " We won't stop 'til we get to the Colossus of Rhodes". All of this inner searching dressed in the Wonders of the Ancient World, Babylonian history, and a conversation with Nebuchadnezzar. It don't get any better than this!

The words are soft and sweet, no harshness to any of it, as an introspective would be. The format fits almost perfectly. I love the "myrtle" and "grapevine" affect, Super! There are some great alliterations "Babel...babble", all those P's and "plums...plump" too, all the way to the "euphoric Euphrates".

Dave, I think this is damned near perfect, but I will inject some criticism. On format. I know you love working with the look of things, and you've done some great stuff here, as I said, but maybe you go too far. "intoit" and "un clamped" raises the question, "Do they need to be written so?" If written as "unclamped", what would change? I guess what I'm saying is, format to add to the piece, not because you can. For me these two examples are fine as they are, but would also be equally fine written in a normal fashion.

Next- Tower of Babel - Historical timing. Nebuchadnezzar was several hundred years after its construction. Was it still there for you to climb? You're okay though, because no one is sure of any of this timing, it's all speculative. There is no proof even of its existence. It may just be legend. This in no way impacts on your poem, just a point of interest.

I would only add that no one is blowing smoke up your you know what, not on this piece. I read it, enjoyed the hell out of it, had to go back and read it again, and again, just for the pleasure. It flows (taboo)! It is whole and complete, a singular unit, made of many parts on many levels. Universal appeal? Maybe, though I think only history lovers will fully enjoy it. It is a wonder itself!

| Posted on 2005-04-20 00:00:00 | by phil askew | [ Reply to This ]
  richly descriptive... there's an outstanding quality to your poetry deadndreaming... im sincerely glad ive come across your talent...

this felt sort of esoteric but so grounded at the same time... very nice... i like your description of the garden... safe haven of beauty and joy... i felt as though i was standing right in the middle of it... very peaceful and soothing... then the reality mixed in with the mythological characters... gave the voice of your poem a more philosophical tone i find... i thought that was great... i love your presentation too... it's very stylish and fitting with your words... it creates an effective impression aside from being beautiful... i dont know what to say more... this is just incredible poetry :)

take care *hug* xx
| Posted on 2005-03-14 00:00:00 | by Fiine Moods | [ Reply to This ]
  There are no words for me to say, David. This is truely magnificant. I've read it 4 times already and still finding things I like most about it. I love the form you used, it adds to much to it.I especially liked the way you used the vines to escape in time and forsake all the bs around us. I really think this is one of the best proetry you've written, kudos,kudos,kudos. You da bomb.
| Posted on 2005-02-23 00:00:00 | by wannabe1 | [ Reply to This ]
  How odd, that of all the places... you chose Nebuchanezzar and this heaven, a hell for him..

It's so verdant; there's so much going on; I can SEE this place, because you've shown me. And you've made it real... ever hear of a tulpa? A thought-form that becomes something tangible because of the mental application to it; this gives credence to the idea of the writer's haven because, with something so considered, with every moment spent imagining it it becomes more and more realistic. If I closed my eyes and meditated on this I would surely find myself walking alongside the old king, counselling him on his women troubles, dropping to smell myrtle and to feel warm stone below my hand.

The point of my rambling is to say, how easy it is to imagine the narrator closing off and retreating from Earth and into his Eden.
I really liked where you *flip* back to reality; the modern "marvels" are so.. harsh in comparision to the wonderland you painted. How can we say that the civilisations of our times are more sophisticated, when we have litter and consumerism and global warming, and this ancient, undeveloped era had such beauty?

I'm not sure, but I think that you misspelled on "into it"?
Madness, and genius; what's the difference between the two? An IQ rating or ability to visualise?
Hmmm... this is deffo going on my faves so that I can re-read... there's too much to sink in on one go... but I think that the ending was marvellous... stretching the boundaries as far as they will go. Bloody good write!
| Posted on 2005-02-23 00:00:00 | by Learah | [ Reply to This ]
  Speechless, -when given a challenge you meet it head on! This is a compeeling reality built up here, yet of course it isn't real at all, but the emotional response is real, and it is hard to keep from re-reading.

I loved the formatting of the myrtle and grapevines, rather like Jack's beanstalk to another world-yes that's it this is a trip that transcends this plane in this time, but is reall nonetheless,. (Gawwwwwd-I am leaving in a few minutes for the city-or i would go on and on-) I Have to cherish this as a fave ( thank Jimmy there's no limit on Faves)-and I'll be back to fondle this one again, I promise.
What a trip.
| Posted on 2005-02-23 00:00:00 | by Silverdog | [ Reply to This ]
  Dude who are you and what the efin hell are you doing here?-Once again this is something I could never do myself. I'm finding that is what draws me to it and you , it's sick. Anyway I really don't even understand greek mythology all that well but, I know what I like. I enjoyed the spred out subtle rhymes, I really like that. This took me to a place that I've never been and never will go and up untill now I didn't care if I did or not, You are opening my eyes my friend, Thanks, Mike
| Posted on 2005-02-23 00:00:00 | by LameMansTerms | [ Reply to This ]
  this was very good, but I didn't find it exceptional, say, until Nebuchadnezzar came into the poem. Then it became something that stood out, made a STRONG impression, something that will last.

i love that his love created a prison for them both, im strange in that way that i love that kind of story and that twisted love (nothing i ever want to experience first hand though)
it makes me want to look into the story of Amyitis and Nebu-whatever.

~be easy
| Posted on 2005-02-23 00:00:00 | by Alize | [ Reply to This ]
  let me get this straight,
this cove that your hiding in is in Michigan?

all joking aside though, it is well written as you have indicated in the scribe itself
"streams of dreams flow down sloping channels" of the mind, unless they are coming off the walls, can only be fueled by an outside source.

as the subject matter indicates Love seems to be at the root of drive through an "irrigation from outside the mind,
the mind
into it"
(hate the cheap bridge of the word and)
shows the engulfing of.

hey don't look at me like i am crazy, this piece is way deep.
now if you thought you were crazy
you should see the interpretation flowing through my mind.
there is so much i would love to write on this
but i am writing on the actual screen on its time limit and would not like losing such lengthy content again

so Nebuchadnezzar ( A.K.A. Biff to his geeky school chums)
created through love an act of genius.

as you through love create masterfully a piece of art
full of metaphors
not to forget your slip back into reality
but for only a moment (maybe a car alarm went off)
as you beg to be walking with who you can best identify with.
but in all your screwball charm bring him to an awareness.
i love the way you used apples and oranges to get to broccoli!

more later
i still want to know
is your secret genius
hehe your muse?

never forget why some genius invented mythology,
to teach us of the stupid things we do in the name of love and sin and the probable outcome.
cause be dammmned we wont see it when we are in the middle of it.
great piece

outside the box
paulie d
i don't remember if it is
Einstein theory
but there is a formula
that reads

in love
break down
| Posted on 2005-02-24 00:00:00 | by paulie d | [ Reply to This ]
  I like this. I think you've done a pretty good job here. Conversing with a guy like Nebuchadnezzer would be interesting, to say the least [Steve Allen had a show like that on PBS years back, where he would host a bunch of historical figures played by actors and they'd have a conversation on various topics scripted by him. I think it was called "Meeting of Minds". anyway, that's what this reminded me of.
| Posted on 2005-02-24 00:00:00 | by joeyalphabet | [ Reply to This ]
  Just posted my genius too...Surprise surprise, its kinda angry. sok tho. i couldn't find the challenge so ima put that joint up in the challenge seciton.
| Posted on 2005-02-24 00:00:00 | by particularshard | [ Reply to This ]
  sometimes it's hard to find the threshold when you're in the city... somehow the hands won't let go... the numbers, the sound of the garbage truck, etc... but as you struggle you find a pea-sized hole and squeezee through.

i never let go of places like this. i try to hold on as long as i can. but sometimes, i can't even carry my own weight and its back to anatomy, physiology, neurology and all that "white wearer" crap.

anyway, this is a good way to depict the mind of a man... the mixture of reality and fantasy ala Gaiman... but i think yours is more... human. it is a good adaptation of paradise being taken from pieces of the outside and saturating it with streams.

"...alas, it’s back to there, with them,
(where I can smile and try to fit in)
those heathens of technology
with steel and plastic-hiatry,
reality TV ideology
prattling of cars and football games
but why chat with them when I can do the same..."

the voice in this stanza twisted the pedestrian shimmers. you know like... suddenly shifting to something completely grounded to make the readers long for more of the otherworldly.

most artist spend their days like this. thus making them all farmers and their crops would rather feed the soul than roll mindlessly on the superficial tongue.

i wouldn't change a thing.
| Posted on 2005-02-24 00:00:00 | by ANGELO | [ Reply to This ]
  Well, this is definately unique and interesting.

alas, it’s back to there, with them,
(where I can smile and try to fit in)
those heathens of technology
with steel and plastic-hiatry,
reality TV ideology
prattling of cars and football games
but why chat with them when I can do the same

That passage and the biblical Babylon make this remind me of The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. It's about a man who is writing a book about Pilate and Christ's cruxification, but he's being pursued by the devil (in the guise of a magician) and his cronies in Soviet Moscow. There's a lot of other stuff going on in the plot. It''s VERY complex, but that's the bare bones of it. Really, it's an amazing book.

It also reminds me of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, but instead of adventures, he retreats to this ancient, verdant paradise.

This is so vivid and amazing. I may come back and comment more. I need to dance this one around in my head for awhile.
| Posted on 2005-02-25 00:00:00 | by cuddledumplin | [ Reply to This ]
  this is an awesome poem. it made me curious about the hanging garden of babylon and Nebuchadnezzar. After reading about the ancient wonder and it's builder I grew even more apreciation for the poem.

Still yet even with the knowledge of the hanging garden and the story of Nebuchadnezzar and Amyitis the poem is about something else only using this ancient place as a likness to what it is describing. A way for the reader to relate.

So my interpretation is that this poem is talking about the writers imagination and how it is imprisoned in the day to day routine of work and life, unable to soar to it's full capacity.

The symbolism that the writer actually talks to
Nebuchadnezzer has not gone unoticed. It almost puts him in the role of Amytis. Someone who is unhappy with where she is, stuck in a place she hates, depressed in a marriage of convenience to bond two nations, and lingering in a artificial mockery of her homeland.

This is awesome man.

mister fizzle
| Posted on 2005-02-25 00:00:00 | by Mister Fizzle | [ Reply to This ]
  David, I'm sorry to come to drink at your well after so many others have sullied the water. I'll do my best to give you a fresh appraisal. I like exceedingly the first and last stanzas. I'm with you all the way on your odyssey. I haven't read such a good babylonian epic since "the Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold, his chariots all glistening and gleaming with gold" . I (personally only of course) don't like the blatant intrusion of the modern world into this fantasy. It jars and spoils it for me. I also (and totally personally of course) don't like the visual effect, because I believe that a good poem should stand up to aural delivery. It is David, a poem that stimulates me and fires my imagination. It is a style of poetry that I appreciate and can identify with. Thank you for an extremely enjoyable read. Boy, a Babylonian with as many syllables in his name as Nebeduchanezzar must be difficult to fit in a line even writing in cuneiform script! Arthur
| Posted on 2005-02-26 00:00:00 | by hanuman | [ Reply to This ]
  this is simply rich and vibrant with colours and textures and so much to feast upon. i've read it a few times and keep coming back for more. your opening stanza takes me to Rome where i spent some time a few years ago and long to return.

i won't give a long-winded response, as there is not much to say other than that this is magnificent, and you have risen quite exquisitely to the challenge. this will be tucked into my favs for future reference, and do i daresay i may have to begin stalking you, my friend. wouldn't want to miss a gem such as this. my, my, but you have a way with words...
| Posted on 2005-02-26 00:00:00 | by magnicat | [ Reply to This ]
  A lot of creative thought and historical add-ins you incorporated in this. I love the format. It worked really well with this. You have a way with words. I love the fact that the guy felt trapped because the woman was unhappy, even with all the wonderful things. Ironic. As usual, great write. :) Keep writing!
| Posted on 2005-02-26 00:00:00 | by borderlinetears | [ Reply to This ]
  Hi Dead, Alas, my friend, I have come to applaud your
genuis secretly thriving in the ancient world. How beautifully you describe this scene, the first stanza is magic. And your characters glow with human traits, it makes them feel authentic, and of course they would be, as they are a part of you and your heritage. Too, you give us a taste of our own world, the present, not so savory as the old, but a reality. The core of this reminds me of the Romantics attempts to build a sanctuary in the mind, it's a place to steal away when time becomes too real. This is great work, and I'm glad I came to read. It's been too long, my friend,
much love,


| Posted on 2005-02-27 00:00:00 | by nansofast | [ Reply to This ]
  by the way, you are the best poet on this site, in my estimation and if you are as talented with screen plays, you will not be on this site for long. this poem is as close to perfection as anyone can get. I know you admire Sandburg and a few others, but I really think you're alot better than they are. Awkward comes close but not very.
| Posted on 2005-03-06 00:00:00 | by sierramuse8 | [ Reply to This ]
  to me, this is a trip into the fantasy world.
perhaps your fantasy world, i would say.
it reminds me of the labrynth or something of that ilk, where you can just just shut your eyes and put yourself into a fantastical world and be the character you want to be and in the situation you want to be in. you can save damsels, slay dragons, put yourself in compromising positions and wake yourself up at given moments of trouble, then return to save the day and be the hero of eternity.
for me this is as much a look into your mind as it is what it is on paper.

so as a break, i would point out a few thoughts.
you have a power struggle between the old and the new.
you have the ancient use of words such as 'neath, which is shakespeare-esque, in fact it probably goes back to chaucer, perhaps even further.
and you have the modern formatting.
i am not going to give you my opinion on this but thought i would point it out.
is this intentional?
does it work?
should you lean one way or the other?
should your structure match your words?
i am sure there are arguments for both and i am sure that you will answer them in the way that best fits what you want.
i would say that it could work. i would say that there is nothing that you should not try, and i would say that you dont need to follow any set rule or path. i would not pay too much respect for the old, just acknowledge that it is/was there and move on in your own way.
you have the following two verses:
'alas, it’s back to there, with them,
(where I can smile and try to fit in)
those heathens of technology
with steel and plastic-hiatry,
reality TV ideology
prattling of cars and football games
but why chat with them when I can do the same

with Nebuchadnezzar, who built this Eden
on "impulse deriving from the love of a woman".
as we climb the tower of Babel he babbles
of losing his mind over Amyitis.
I assure him that sanity is but a cage –'
and they are a perfect example of the juxtaposition of the old and the new.
the fantasy and the reality.
the exciting and the mundane.

and they speak of a dream. and dreams can take you anywhere and do anything. they can be in any time realm; all time realms.

and so back to you.
i think this shows the more child-like side of your persona. whether it was written as personal thoughts or just plain fantasy is beside the point because it boils down to the same place in your mind. it reminds me of when i was a kid and i used to draw spaceships and battlescenes and i used to make machine gun noises as i drew the bullets. and i used to draw my favourite liverpool players and picture myself scoring the goals that i drew them scoring.

where has my imagination gone?
correct this comma and change this verse, fu-ck that.

and so i can relate. this is not the whole you, but it is a side of you that we should all hold on to as long as we can. in you and in us.
this is like the resistance of growing old and the rejection of all the things in the world that bring us down.
this is the superhero in us all who could change things for the better and make a difference.
this is the making the best of what we have and what we can do.
this is eternal optimism.

i would guess that you really enjoyed writing this and the challenge that you had with the other users. there is a slight competitve edge to it but it is still very personal and personable.

and i am going to read the others, and see what they have to show of themselves.

take care
| Posted on 2005-02-26 00:00:00 | by | [ Reply to This ]

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