Beneath the dust and love and sweat that hangs on everybody
Thereís a dead man trying to get out
Ė Adam Duritz Perfect Blue Buildings
there is a stain beneath the window
a watermark worn into the hardwood
and if you step on it, you will hear a creak
that echoes screams from sleeping dreams ó
I have to get out of this place
a walk will do the soul some good
to take in new air,
not this recycled shit I suck in
and spit out
and suck in
and choke on
like trying to get new colors
from the same damn dull pen
Iíve been writing with for years
maybe Iíll hop a plane
and land in San Juan by sunup
walk the beach behind the Radisson
let the waves knock me on my ass
jolt some kind of enlightenment in me
this wandering elusive awakening
that taps me on the shoulder
and runs from armís length
before laughing that schoolyard laugh
like the kid that kicks you behind the knees
and races off onto the blacktop
or catch a bus downtown
where I can mingle with the hustling vendors
and the happy vagrants
working me for a square, or some spare change
(I always opt for the cigarette;
it takes a lot of dimes to buy a pack these days)
skyscrapers in this city
seem like skeletons of giants
that once had such high hopes
only to see years of neglect and decay
reduce them to rememberwhens
or get lost in someone elseís poetry
of someone elseís pain
that I can relate to
but write off as being disingenuous
because the line structure is imbalanced
or it says there instead of their
or their instead of they're ó
feelings can be manipulated
especially when felt with poor grammar
or go water the garden
and marvel at the irony
of babyís breath and dragonís blood
growing side by side
and intertwining at points
much as do my desires
of recaptured innocence
and manufactured indulgence
but I find that wherever I stand
and whatever tricks I use
to divert my line of reasoning
I always end up with the same conclusion:
happy 200 days... haha... get a life? Man.. the feelings of stalemate... ahhhh. the longing, the creaks, this poem ranked of depression. Love [censored] like this.. and you had to bring the site into it... their instead of there... haha ... I do that [censored] alll the friggin time dammit. but must I say I enjoyed reading every single line of this sonnet of despair. But please sir, do go out and get some fresh air... let them waves knowck you on your ass! ha.
sigh...someone else wanting to get outta here huh??? i know exactly that feeling, more so as of late...
but the strange part is that we are (im pretty sure) glued to this place. maybe by the mutual love, maybe more so by the people. To see someone grow in their work is an amazing feeling. ES is always finding new voices, either our own or others...anyways..i ramble.
you have such an incredibly unique way to share your ideas, i loved the line:
"this wandering elusive awakening that taps me on the shoulder"
i think i nearly turned around myself!
and then you end with:
"and the floor creaks with indifference and my soul seeks an awakening"
i can see the frustration and the longing in this so vividly!
this is a very nice tribute to someone that you so obviously respect and miss. i think he will be proud and honored upon his return!
Hey man this really had me from the begining. I had a sense of hoe fdrom a perspective of someone who is searching for new meeans of this. Whether it is in yourself or another writer or anything, its good to have options. This is a fav-some of the lines were really clever ;like let the waves knock me on my ass jolt some kind of enlightenment in me this wandering elusive awakening that taps me on the shoulder and runs from armís length [this was good] or get lost in someone elseís poetry of someone elseís pain that I can relate to but write off as being disingenuous because the line structure is imbalanced or it says there instead of their or their instead of they're ó feelings can be manipulated especially when felt with poor grammar [but this [part was my favorite and made it to my fav list as well. Nice one-sometimes when I need a word to hrelp me describe something better I wish I could pull your head out of my pocket and look it upp cause you got enough of them-you WORDSMITH YOU lamemansterms
There are only two groups, still recording new material, that I've gone to see in concert. One was Sheryl Crow (twice) and the other was the Counting Crows. No corvid infatuation, just loved them both for different reasons. The Wall Flowers opend up for the Counting Crows, but that was before they were well known. Anyway, Adam is great. Don't know if he writes these lyrics, but I love Blue Buildings. I got the same feel from your poem, at different places. I didn't like the worn feel of comparing old sky scrapers to skeletons. And I think since this is about getting out of some place, that you spend a lot of time speaking about where you might go to, instead of why you need to leave the spot you are at. Presumably if it's so bad, almost anyplace would do? Nice imagery of the water mark in the wood floor and the leaky window. Great metaphors too, if anyone takes the time to think about it. Funny thing about places, circumstances are everything. You can stick a pin in any spot on the globe and find someone who is happy to be there and another who thinks that if God ever gives the world an enema, it's getting jammed in there. Sorry to ramble. Will we ever get summer in the city this year? D.
I think this was written by you for you yourself. And Mr Fizzle's departure allowed you to post it so that you could hide behind the screen door as he steps off the porch with the mustang keys in his left hand... Cut to fingers moving over a keyboard with a dirty e. Rob shares a view that I hold; that you write as though looking through thumbs and forefingers making a frame. I happen to like this way that you have of sitting me in the middle of what's going on. It is an effective way of passing on your thoughts and feelings: of relating. There is more than enough room for this way of writing; this way of allowing others in. I like it. The italicised bits are effective sheet anchors, holding the reader in place and providing a way point from which to set a new course. And this is a community of oddities - the real world sharing an ether beach. You get all your stuff out and don't bother with one of those sexy little tents and a windbreak. If you feel the need to hide, theirs (sic) always the RayBans... Take care mate, K
hi dave, i hope you are well. i think there is some interesting stuff in this piece and i think this is indicative of a style you seem to have or strive towards.
you bring a narrative-poetry-through-a-smeared-wide-angle-lens style to this site in the main, and certainly in this piece, which i think all in all is pretty refreshing, at least to me it is having read a hell of a lot of similar/same poetry here as of late.
and i can see where this would fit in with mr.fizzle, knowing the very little i do about him and how he portrays himself here on this site.
so this tells me that you know how to organise and direct a piece of writing; something that you would think would be easy and the first point of call of a piece, but it seems not to be the case all too often.
i enjoyed the bulk of this piece. i saw a few things that you have repeated a few times, like your analogy to reading poetry and such, but we all have our things that make us us and the things that we often subconsciously repeat, and so i have no real problem with this. again, this piece is very dreamy new york, or so it feels. it feels like most of us feel everyday. looking out of a window and dreaming of where we could be and what we could be doing; where we could be going and what we could be seeing. i find this a sad fact of our existence, that most of us can not look at our own life and the present in this way, i certainly try to, and see things about my life that i probably was wishing for in years gone by, but we are the only ones who can tell ourselves that, and you pick up and play with these emotions as you have many times before.
as far as criticism well most of it, if much at all, would only be personal preference which is probably quite irrelevant. i like that it is a bit dirty, dusty and tarnished. i am not certain that the lack of punctuation works here because your poetry leans towards the narrative, but again this is just personal preference and i had no real problems reading it except for a few lines that i had to go back across. but then i am a spanner.
as for mr.fizz, he ll be back. everyone comes back. everyone makes a fuss of leaving, and then everyone comes back. its all fu-cking drama, but it is of little importance, no one is missed for more than a week or two. someone new will always come along, someone old will always stay or die or whatever. good luck to him, but im sure we will see him soon.
I haven't been around much lately, so I didn't know he was leaving. This is a nice tribute to him though.
Boy, can I relate to this! I'm always just wanting something different. I like how it's told in a circular way. That's a nice device. Had I the money and the drive, I'd be tireless vagabond, but poverty keeps me chained to this miserable dump most of the time.
a walk will do the soul some good to take in new air, not this recycled [censored] I suck in and spit out and suck in and choke on as if trying to get new colors from the same damn dull pen Iíve been writing with for years
Yeah, I'm always trying to pull something new out of my dull pen, but it's not working all that well lately. You know, I can relate to thinking a change in anything will make things better. I feel like a new woman when I get new lipstick. I was talking about the taste of air the other day, and people looked at me like I was insane. That's one good thing about living in the sticks: the air tastes as sweet as honeysuckles.
but write off as being disingenuous because the line structure is imbalanced or it says theyíre instead of their or their instead of there ó feelings can be manipulated especially when felt with poor grammar
That made me like a rabid jackass because I'm so like that. Sometimes I'll quit reading because of a spelling or grammar error. I feel like a snob for doing it, but I do it quite often.
and the floor creaks with indifference
I like how you wrote creaks. Your typographical quirks always work so well. That reminds me of "Make War" a bit.
I could relate to this to; having to get out of this place. I've felt that way for years it seems. and the feeling that something better is just within reach if I only had longer arms. you have a way of capturing everyone's feelings in your writing, like a spider with his web. just another fantastic piece of poetry regardless of who you dedicate it to.
Hey this was a great write. I could really relate. The ending shifted gears a bit and maybe there could be a little more refinement there, because it felt a tad rushed to me, but it didn't hurt the poem. I would drop the last three lines and end at that point and I think that would really be a potent finish, but that's just me!
One change in the middle I wanted to see:
That felt more natural to me.
Great write, my friend. And a wonderful tribute to a departing and vital member of the ES community. He'll be missed.
maybe Iíll hop a plane and land in San Juan by sunup walk the beach behind the Radisson let the waves knock me on my ass jolt some kind of enlightenment in me this wandering elusive awakening that taps me on the shoulder and runs from armís length before laughing that schoolyard laugh like the kid that kicks you behind the knees and races off onto the blacktop
I like your imagination and your imagery because they jump off of the screen and make me stand up for attention...but I liked the ending the most. Because it was like irony. Because your waiting to sleep so that your imagination can wake up...am I right?
Well, after having a look at Mister Fizzle's work, I can see why he will be missed...
But - and Im being completely honest here - this felt a lot more personal that personified. Maybe this is because I dont know him, or your friendship - but it feels like this is you, and only you.
But maybe that's the point? For you understand his need to leave, and feel it as well, and by simply stating your own feelings you strengthen the bond of understanding?
Whichever way, this is a beautiful piece of writing. You create an almost claustrophobic atmosphere, bulding up the frustration...a silent feeling of growing inevitability...dissatisfaction and longing for changes...
"a walk will do the soul some good to take in new air, not this recycled [censored] I suck in and spit out and suck in and choke on like trying to get new colors from the same damn dull pen Iíve been writing with for years"
Your metaphors are delicious...you let the reader see the image, and understand its appearance - and, should they stop and think, let them in a little closer, open up a little more and bare your fears.
Thats it, fear. Fear mixed with regret. That was the slightly hidden feeling I got from this piece - but not striking horrifying fear...just a slowly building feeling, that you push to the back of your mind, and get through the day just fine - until you go to sleep, and hear the creaks....and you shake your head, and try to think of something else, and cant...
The stanza about grammaticall errors - amazing.
I am a little bit scared that the italics of 'I have to get out of this place' become normal font at the end....without the italics, they are much more decisive and determined...
But I think you arent talking about any particular place...its more a place in your mind, that you want to leave, want to shift and change the indifference, and sleep and awaken, and find a different colour in your world - or a new way of describing it...
And, for all I know, I may be way off on this one - but this is what I get from it, and I could easily go on for pages, telling you in detail what I think about every line - but Id rather just sit here and contemplate this semi-confessional masterpiece, and think, and try not to get stuck in places myself....
P.S. Will you, for once, write something I can actually criticise???
Didn't get to know the fizz as well as you did but I guess there is enough here even for me to warrant a word or two.
Actually I've read quite a lot of your work and I never have much in the way of anything intelligent to say, and usually by the time I get to it anything I might want to have said is already said by someone else -lol
I guess you've captured the mood of being caught in a charmless world, which is probably the unfortunate residence of over 90% of the world (That said I wonder who the 10% are ...), so in this way we can all relate to notions of being stuck with the mind ...
I like the bit about being tapped in the ass for some enlightenment on the beach. I don't know if this was a humorous device of wordplay on the title -lol. Kind of sounds like some guy who enters the water like he's walking down the street and doesn't even feel the wetness.
I guess this is a common theme on ES - seeking liberation- from a blank computer screen, but what makes this stand out is that you managed to avoid something insanely voidistic, like some latest canto addition to the spools of existential nilhistic philosophy and communicated it in every day language of experiences and thoughts.
I would have axed the last 8 lines, or at least the last three. I feel you've already said these things in the previous stanzas.
The collocation is beautiful throughout 'Watermarks' but I especailly like:
a walk will do the soul some good to take in new air, not this recycled [censored] I suck in and spit out and suck in and choke on
because it really captures the idea of breathing. I also find the imagery, sentiment and graphology in:
where I can mingle with the hustling vendors and the happy vagrants working me for a square, or some spare change (I always opt for the cigarette; it takes a lot of dimes to buy a pack these days) skyscrapers in this city seem like skeletons of giants that once had such high hopes only to see years of neglect and decay reduce them to rememberwhens and maybesomedayagains
exquisite. There is not really much else I can see which other, more eloquent people, haven't already said. Suffice to say this a beautiful poem, which I find evocative of the downtrodden, crushed, disillusionment I assocaite with New York. (I only know it from films). You are amazing.
I haven't really been coming here for long, but it already seems as if I need something else. I tell myself, I won't go there today, but I end up going anyway. I think it's because reading other peoples thoughts and emotions kind of helps me forget about mine for a while. Or maybe makes me think, I'm not the only one who feels this way.
'a walk will do the soul some good' To get away from it all. Seems like an ideal thing, but its hard to drag ourselves away from something that seems so much like home.
We all need an escape, but can we manage to find that door, and then bring ourselves to walk through it?
You have a way with words that makes the reader really feel and understand what you are trying to say. This is another exceptional piece, written with the need to escape this place, but also with the emotions that keep bringing you back, day after day.
Thank you for sharing your wonderful words with all of us. I really fee the need to add this to my favorites.
Brightest Blessings, I hope you find your escape. Crystal
Feeling trapped and wanting to escape, but to where? and to what? Same problems, just new scenery. That's what this poem reminds me of. It's great the way, you've worded it. As with most of your writings, I generally read it more then once, as I did this one. Thought provoking I hope your friend finds what he's looking for, and if it's paradise, perhaps he'll let us all know. Great write, Dave. Carol
Hi Dead, I haven't called you that since you were a baby here? Or was I the baby? No matter, this does exactly what you intended. It's a piece on wunderlust, whether real or imagined about nothing new to discover. It's funny we seem to travel in cycles here, good poets leave but new ones always arrive. Maybe Fizz will take another look in a month or two?
You manage to capture the feelings and hopeless longing that an artist can find death upon, so moving, and moving is the only option. Great job, David. peace and love, Nan
I do think it was a tad rude of me not to comment on this poem, but I have been reading it constantly. It's one of those poems that really strike a chord, or at least really gets to you, and you can't really say anything about it, but you have to keep reading it.
The frustrations and longings of a poet, who is desperate for something new, to escape to anywhere, as long as it's not where they're used to. It's like being in a place that you were once intrigued with, as a poet. You draw so much inspiration from it, you write and write..and then suddenly the place becomes dull, somehow it makes you sick..
hmmm..or maybe I'm just a little confused..
Let me just say I absolutely love the reference to 'watermarks'. Never heard that one before, and it worked so well with this.
a wonderful tribute to a departing poet friend. It's like we all understand the universal need to 'get out'. I can't think of anything else to say, except that this is probably one of the best poems I've ever read. I'm awed by your towering presence.
Dave - For Kam (Mr. Fizzle), so there must be some personal stuff in here. I'm not familiar with his work (my loss) and maybe I shouldn't comment on your poem, but it's just too good not to say something. I fear leaving is not the answer. You just bring it all with you. Same body - Same mind. Scenery, weather, lifestyles change, and maybe poetry sites do too, but what's inside is still inside.
I think the second stanza hits home for most of us. How can we be constantly original?
The third brought back memories of good ol' San Juan. I spent way too much time there.
Your downtown picture was not a pretty one, for sure, though I must say I've found big cities to be amazing places. To me they are alive and buzzing, morning, noon, and night (ah, the nights).
Then you take us to poetry and the garden, to escape in other writings and metaphorical plants. Wishing once again for the utopian ideal of a much better place, you complete this wild ride.
I find it difficult to say just what I like about this, the tone, one of longing for a better lot in life, or the form of it, your works are always visual as well as poetic, or your language, so well chosen and fitting to the usage;
"like trying to get new colors from the same damn pen I've been writing with for years."
Nothing flowery, just straught-forward plain talk, carefully chosen.
As ususal a great write, your language amazes me, I read your stuff and it flows so smoothly that I reread it to seee what I missed, and each time I find another hidden gem, like:
"this wandering elusive awakening"
It's terrific, as is this poem, and it's a great tribute to a friend who is leaving.
wow! this is simply stunning... i am in awe and i wanna be like you when i grow up...
i gotta get outta here. i could... i could... i could...i could... but no matter what i gotta get outta here.
the way you paint each different stanza, each different distraction is incredible. you make it so that i am right there... i can hear the laughter after ive been kicked in the back of the knees, feel the waves knock me on my arse and realise just how many dimes it takes to buy a pack of ciggies and yet all of those images seem somewhat irrelevant when you read the end...ive still gotta get outta here... no matter what... thats what it all comes back to.
even the difference in sounding of floor boards from the beginning and the end is well done... the start is like ive got to get out of here induced by fear of screaming dreams (that perhaps have not been fulfilled...?) and as i read it through again i think that each stanza is an unfulfilled dream... sky scrapers, rendezvous in San Juan, homeless beggers who arent living the life they invisaged as a small child etc etc and yet at the end... there is only indifference... there is no I HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE urgency... it almost feels like im compromising myself here... i wanted so much more but is any of it achievable anymore... i gotta get outta here but somehow ill always be here...
theres a very sad feel to this write... im really behind the times but would i be correct in assuming MR Fizzle is no longer here with us...?
i really honestly am in awe of this... it is a very well thought out and constructed piece. your a legend.
This is excatly what I wanted to read tonight! The whispering echos of what could be, the desire of what should be, and the slap in the face of what reality has given. I am a lost for written words but so much is running though my thoughts. This is a slow almost relaxing read that leaves you with unexpected tears running down your face and leaves you wondering how they got there. It skips over your brain and speaks only to your soul. The ending to this really got to me. The only thing I could see from a personal stand point on view is that the poem started off with hard words. Cuss words involved, not that I am downing that because I can lay them out like a sailor when needed, Then the tone goes softer, and then beautiful... okay I guess I need to think about it a bit more and get back with you when all these jumbled thoughts come together better for me. I will get back with you! Dana
i love it when a poem starts with an epigraph. it says so much about the poet, as well as the poem; i think this one sets the tone pretty damn well.
you know what? this poem actually reads like a watermark. it seeps into your thoughts and lingers there. leaves a stain.
my first thought upon seeing the title was about toni morrison's "song of solomon" (there is a watermark on a table, in the book, that a character covers with a vase of flowers, but the watermark persists), and i think that the thought made the poem connect to everything (in a way only poetry can, sometimes) even more. i'm rambling. on to the poem itself:
"that echoes screams from sleeping dreams ó" nice set up for the last line. also, interesting that you used "sleeping" as an adjective for "dreams"; avoids clichť, good :) (i always feel dumb when giving comments like this, because really, who am i to sound so condescending. pinch of salt, if you please).
"I have to get out of this place" you know, this line REALLY affected me, at this point in time, because i'm inbetween highschool and college (aaah the summer between), and i want to get out of this place (home) so badly. especially after my mom spent 30 minutes telling me what kind of bras i should take with me when i pack for college. probably more info than you ever wanted to know.
"...I suck in and spit out and suck in and choke on" i like repetition, with a twist.
i like that metaphor in the next stanza, connecting the wave to the naughty school bully. i'm jealous. i'm searching for metaphors and they aren't finding me. maybe i should hop a plane.
"skyscrapers in this city seem like skeletons of giants that once had such high hopes only to see years of neglect and decay reduce them to rememberwhens and maybesomedayagains" couple of things i liked here: skyscrapers like giants (so true. never thought of it that way); "rememberwhens/maybesomedayagains" (i like that you combined the words together, it creates a different effect, i think emphasizes their fleeting emotion and lack of depth of feeling). "feelings can be manipulated especially when felt with poor grammar" isn't it amazing how much is lost with poor grammar. i cringe, when i read what could be an amazing poem, if the poet had paid attention to grammar. it makes me sad. really.
"or go water the garden and marvel at the irony of babyís breath and dragonís blood growing side by side and intertwining at points much as do my desires of recaptured innocence and manufactured indulgence" i'm not sure where this stanza fits into the rest of the poem. the other stanzas talk about travel, getting lost in that journey. here, it's almost just an observation of something so close by that there is no need to journey. but of course, you could be talking about a metaphorical journey, so i might just have missed that...
"and the water seeps in beneath the window
and the floor creaks with indifference
and my soul seeks an awakening
but Iíve yet to sleep"
i like that these lines tie everything back together. it's kind of like wrapping up the poem with tattered ribbon, so that the packaging suggests the severity of what's inside...
not many criticisms (i'm afraid :)). i'll see if i can be harsh about something else haha.