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The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o'clock in the morning

Yep I'm in


Dec 28, 2012


In for sure. Great prompt this time.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004


ha, awesome, I've just been reading Skeleton Crew. So in.

Aug 29, 2012

I'm in. I'm also pretty sure you mean XXIV.

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Thunderdome XXVI: Keyboard Kings

[EDIT] Americans: careful with NZDT, that's GMT+13. In other words, EST+18 and PST+21--almost a full day ahead of continental US time zones. If you live here, your story is due in the early hours of Sunday morning. You have been warned. (Wait, was I not supposed to warn them?)

swaziloo fucked around with this message at 08:19 on Jan 16, 2013

Nov 17, 2012

"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."

I'm in. My acquaintance with supernatural horror stopped at Edgar Alan Poe, so expect some senile classiness... "Senile" cause it also stopped 10 years ago in high school. :downs:

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


Sweet avatar brother. :)

Yes. It sincerely frightened me at first glance. "Who the gently caress is that creepy... oh, wa.... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!"

EDIT: But of course I wear my shame with pride. Tis better to be a loser in the THUNDERDOME where hardened writers are made and the weak never show their face again, than be filled with fake hope/pomp and kittens and poo in all the other writerly forums, classes, friends and family smiling over poo poo story, of the universe. To lose and keep coming back = THUNDERDOME. (Even if you have to look at an insanely sad diseased PeterPan loser-tar. drat you Ph.D Bohner!!!!)

twinkle cave fucked around with this message at 08:53 on Jan 16, 2013

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007




I preemptively in'd myself, but just in case S. Muffin has better things to do than browse my posts in this thread I am in

Also it is cool to brand our comrades with Thunderdome avatars, that we might know each other by the marks on our flesh as we mingle with the weak and unblooded.

Apr 22, 2008
Can't post for 949 days!

Soiled Meat

Suggestion: after this prompt, all deadlines come in the form of EST so it stops being a thing that constantly causes discussion (and sometimes confusion). I'm in the UK, and I'd take EST just to have a consistent time zone; better than having to check what gasoline-huffing, lead-in-the-water part of our gay earth we're giving a gently caress about this week.

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

Etherwind posted:

Suggestion: after this prompt, all deadlines come in the form of EST so it stops being a thing that constantly causes discussion (and sometimes confusion). I'm in the UK, and I'd take EST just to have a consistent time zone; better than having to check what gasoline-huffing, lead-in-the-water part of our gay earth we're giving a gently caress about this week.


Dec 3, 2007

It's not hard to work out what time it is, guys.

Mar 21, 2010

Also: To limit brawls from making GBS threads up the thread,

:siren: I will allow one brawl this round. If you have a particular beef, state it, then budgie and I will choose the one pair that get to go. We may choose nobody, if we don't think any of the brawls will be interesting or entertaining. :siren:

Sep 2, 2011

I am so in. And this time, I mean it!

Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW

May 30, 2011

So by NZDT you mean this, yeah?

Oct 10, 2007


Fun Shoe


This is so right up my alley and I will utterly destroy you all.

sephiRoth IRA
Jun 13, 2007

"Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality."

-Carl Sagan

Please tell me how to be a better writer through constant abuse and constructive criticism. In!

Sep 2, 2011

Martello posted:

sebmojo posted:



What's it like the hate fun, Etherwind? I mean, the whole point of the varying timezones is to catch the weak and unwary out and have fun laughing at people who missed deadlines because they can't use google.

Dec 2, 2007

Unfortunately, we had to kut the English budget at the Ivalice Magick Ackcademy.

I'm in. Also, I'll have your crit up at about noon PST, areyoucontagious.

May 30, 2011

I apologize for being late on the crit, Zack_Gochuck. As apology I went a bit long.

Zack_Gochuck posted:

Admiral's Grove (358)

It's less classy now that you surround it with dicks
I read this as having two main ‘events’: the man reminiscing on his deathbed and the younger man meeting the girl. Which one do you want to focus here? The way I see it, the reminiscing is the frame of the story while the meeting with the girl is the actual story. If that’s what you aim for, I think there are several weaknesses in the poem. The framing, where the man was on his deathbed, I feel is a bit too long. Was there significance in the man’s youth? Did the meeting with the girl made him remember when he was young? Did her movements remind him of the gulls? The bit where the man listed down things he didn’t think about is especially grating to me. Consider trimming the man’s background to what is necessary, like the fact he can only think of one thing as he was dying.

The second problem I have with your current format is that the actual story feels a bit shallow on the impact. It might be just me preferring important things to be a bit more substantial for the senses, but the man’s description of the woman seems bare and too matter-of-fact. If she is what he consistently thinks about “week to week”, I would like to see the product of said obsessive thinking. Just one example: In what way is the dance a ‘good time’? Does the man just never dance with his wife or is her dancing something special? Is there elegance in her moves, awing the man with an alien concept of class? Is she perhaps a wild party girl, injecting the older man with enthusiasm while simultaneously intimidating him with youth? A bit of an exaggeration would work wonders here, since how someone embellishes their memories of the past could reveal a bit about his character.

You could also describe the sex a bit more if you think you have the chops.

Essentially what I am saying is that please decide which story you want to tell well. Is it his death moments, where his reminiscing always leads to that interaction with a girl? Is it his meeting with the girl, which would impact how he views his life on his death bed. If the former, you focus more on the present and how the past influences it. If the latter you zoom in into the past and see how much impact it had on the present.

Arr, we've reached a philosophical impasse, ye wench
I really like the man’s grammar slipping as the poem goes. It shows that as he nears death he loses his mind. It is a subtle effect and I thought it was very clever. However, I can’t work out why you choose to start his slipping so. The grammar slip first appears in ‘So I stands up’, which doesn't seem to have any significance. I know losing the mind could happen anytime, but I think there should be a significant reason for him starting to slip there. Is he standing up to meet her the first time she had a magical effect on him? No, she hooked him a line ago. So what’s so important about the standing up? I have no idea. The progression of the slips is good. All in all, I think this is a neat idea.

I have no idea what “b’y” is supposed to mean, though. Can you go with less abstract contractions?

The rest of my critique is minor grievances.

What’s with the additional line break between ‘I got her address…’ and ‘I thought about her…’? If it’s supposed to show a ‘going to the past’ effect, maybe add one at the beginning to make it consistent.

The wife and the son is automatically the family, so saying ‘my family, wife or even son’ is a redundant. Unless there are comics-level contrivances where the wife and the son isn’t his family, they were his CLONES!!!

A cod doesn’t hook a jig. It’s the other way around.

I felt the truth/tooth rhyme is lame, the grave/save one forced, and skin/again isn't one.

In conclusion, while there are neat ideas, the way the poem describes allegedly important events is lacking and as a result the entire work felt shallow and bland.

Canadian Surf Club
Feb 15, 2008


Good prompt, I'm definitely in.

Still owe twinkle cave a critique on his poem. That's coming tonight for sure.

May 27, 2012


I am in for my first Thunderdome. WOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Jan 3, 2007

Stupid Wrestling People

gently caress it, I'm in.

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

toanoradian posted:

So by NZDT you mean this, yeah?

NZ only has one time zone so you can't really get it wrong.

I just google 'current est' or whatever then make a mental note of what time that is for me.

May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


S. Muffin, I'm working on your critique. Poetry is pretty tough for me to critique, so sorry it's taken so long. Will be up today.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007




Too legit to crit

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004


toanoradian posted:

So by NZDT you mean this, yeah?

I think he means this

Dec 2, 2007

Unfortunately, we had to kut the English budget at the Ivalice Magick Ackcademy.

Commentary for areyoucontagious's poem for THUNDERDOME XXIII: DIE FOR YOUR POETRY

The poem seems to fulfill the requirements of a ballad and it does sound like something you might hear someone sing in Ye Olde Pub. As far as structure and meter go, taking into consideration my vague understanding of ballads, it reads like a ballad too (alternating rhymes, stanzas four lines long). The meter switches up but I don't believe there's a strict requirement on meter and beats that ballads must follow. Anyways, it definitely reads like a ballad.

"For every head that He did chop
And every bone He broke
The General’s grin grew larger
And began His horse to stroke."

The above line threw me off when doing a straight read-through. It just sounds awkward, more like it’s there to make the rhyme than the perfect thing that could go there. On the other hand, I really like the rest of this stanza for the imagery

"The day grew long as the battle raged
And men looked on their Maker.
Souls plenty sent to Heav’n or Hell
As they all sought favor

Of the fierce and mighty General.
But when He found the camp
Where the foe had kept their kin
He trod forth, raised His lamp"

though thoughts are broken up by stanzas elsewhere, this was the most jarring one. In all other places where thoughts are separated like this, it simply pulled me to the next stanza. In this one, however, I paused and was really pulled out of what I was reading until I realized it’s continued in the next stanza

"The General’s great laugh boomed aloud
As he mocked the child’s play
“What foolishness jest you young boy? awkward sounding
Your flesh I’ll surely flay!”"

"The General fell into the mud
And breath’d His life’s vapor
Out into that frigid black night.
He saw Hell’s demons caper."

The above is a nice image

Like I said, it's definitely a ballad. Action? Check. Alternating rhymes? Check. Tells a story? Check.

The whole scenario is cliche though, that old "warrior killed by his pride" chestnut. Imagery was forgetful except for a few stanzas and the language sometimes reads awkwardly when suits a rhyme.

Now, ballads aren't something I seek out to read for fun normally, but I found the whole thing a bit dull, which is odd for a piece in which one man butchers dozens of people. I don't need a bunch of gore necessarily, but I'd like to imagine this scene more vividly than just, "general talks to soldiers, general charges, general kills people, general encounters boy." There's some good stuff here though, and I'd be interested in reading a poem you wrote of your own volition and not in an involuntary style.

monkeyboydc fucked around with this message at 22:09 on Jan 16, 2013

Feb 6, 2008

Have you figured it out yet?

gently caress yes, definitely in for this one.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012

WEEK XXIII crit - Canadian Surf Club

Your choice to rhyme was detrimental. You come close to the ultimate sin of writing a "bard's tale" but instead went with a yeoman's fishing tale, only half a degree less horrible. You end up following a song pattern that tells a story with a shallow life cycle moral. Since you ignored palindromes(Good job on that. Who thought that was even possible? At this point some computer has identified them all, and they all suck.) You should have avoided any rhyme scheme and wrote something from the heart the black hole in your chest that has been ripped out from combat, instead of this thing.

It does rhyme, but it also misses quite a few beats where you could have cut a word or made a contraction. In general poetry needs to cut all the words that don't have weight or are connecting words necessary to make it understandable. I've done that below. Your poem is now 9 words. This line at least creates a metaphor, transforms the sun into a wheel/cog. None/next to none, other lines did even this.

Next time(assuming you ever want to lower into the depths of poo poo form known as poetry) start from this type of line and try again, without rhyming. And write about something YOU care about, something you could imagine yourself talking about to a friend or thinking (darkly) about on your commute to work. Even a dream you had is better than the "fisherman o' yore's" reflection's on the sea. Like you could've taken this same idea, and made it more modern, something tangible to a modern audience, like a scrubby redneck dude that does the bass pro fishing tour and sleeps in a camper shell going from one contest to another broke as poo poo eating beenie-weenies and that would have been

I give cred for getting bloody and throwing it down in the DOME despite years of no poetry. You did write a poem and it had vocabulary. I'll see you back on the fiction battlefield soon sir.


Palindromes can go to hell. Also my first poem in years so I kept the rhyme scheme simple.

The Fish on the Shore - 407 words

And the sun jumps another notch on the wheel. +++good line

twinkle cave fucked around with this message at 00:03 on Jan 17, 2013

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?

Thanks for the crit, Symptomless Coma (and also twinkle cave). I'm working on yours and will try and post it later tonight.

Not in this week because even though it's totally my kind of prompt, I have to work on something else for my irl creative writing class, which sucks because the people in that class are pussies and probably won't even critique it properly :argh:

Nov 5, 2009

Now that I have this dating robot I can take it easy.

gently caress it, I'm in. I've been putting this off long enough, time for the crucible of Thunderdome to burn away my imperfections.

Horror is my least favorite genre because I scare so easy, but gently caress it, Thunderdome! :black101:

Canadian Surf Club
Feb 15, 2008


twinkle cave posted:

WEEK XXIII crit - Canadian Surf Club

Glad you liked the line, I thought it would fall flat. I have to say though, there was a palindrome in the poem and it wasn't really about a fisherman, so I question the closeness of your reading. I agree about the rhyming and beats, it could use some sharpening up, but I sacrificed clever rhyme scheme to focus on drawing the extended metaphor more. Either way, I'm glad I won't have to do poetry again soon.

This will be less of a critique, because I'm sure you got a better handle on this style than I do, and more what I thought was good and bad and what my thoughts/interests were. Make of it what you will.


Exit 1

Pedro’s South of the Border looks like poo poo.
Class warfare prints were found at the scene, and suspected.
as in gender warfare, as in substance warfare, as in ideologue warfare, as in
junkies will forevermore go there to die.

Sets the scene and puts up front all the sorts of conflict found in the poem. At the scene because we're like a detective deciphering the landscape detailed. I probably would have used a different word than forevermore though.


But once Bernanke worked there,
and VCR repairman conferenced
three days vacation away,
sniffing over-chlorinated pools
wasted next to the interstate.

Effective stanza, you get the lowlife/deadend sense and I had the chlorine smell in my mind when I read this.


Where station wagon’s trolled the super lots
to embattle in mediocre joy and check-in
to future-now’s past radtainment of the new.

Had to think about that last line for a moment and got the sort of cheeky retro exploitation you find in old casinos and motels down south.


Envision Pedro’s asiatic stereo-caricature
apologetic retarded buckteeth greeting,
inviting to make sepia toned humor,
as skin sticks to synthetic upholstery,
debonding upon arrival,
wife slowly fantasizing
lonely suicide in floral prints
against a like floral print patio chair cushion
against like floral print highway scrub
and all the silent dually cruel
squelched dramatic night sex
squeezed out in the otherness
of tin-pan boxed AC motel leisure.

Everything is fake and full of distance and there's really no escape


The coarse enunciation of racial slights
before we had a black president would qualify,
“People who have nothing don’t know how hard it is,”
unpacking excessive compression from the modeled weight
a husband wore in the days when they came with hats and women gloves.

I get the 50ish time period you're referencing back to but not entirely sure on the 'unpacking excessive compression'. Those are rather technical terms, maybe there's a better way to image it.


Above Virginia there is gene mutation from richy
people overfucking expressed in adults with small childly white teeth
belonging to vampish ravenous empowered ingrates.
Below is evidenced gene overlap/cancellation resulting in wide-set eyes

I really got that modernist/contemporary poetry style with this stanza. It referring the following passage and the usage of the forward flash and dashes are something I've seen more in recent poetry. It's neat but don't know if I entirely agree with the use of the forward slash just because the words you're using here and kind of redundant, there's nothing changed or nothing new expressed by the substituting overlap with cancellation or vice-versa.


“I-95 is an accelerated axis of mutation polarized with opposing filthy indulgences”,
I mutter to floorboard,
and break slowly into the only stripmall stripperclub I might ever
hope for, shouldered to a “Spa” with blacked-out windows.

Well that puts it bluntly. Stripmall stripperclub is a nice little connection expression.


In my room are
cardboard furniture melted by nicotine,
silhouette-thin walls,
(The real barrier; mutually assured horror
of counter-occupant’s addle)
skeeve carpet like a deficiency rash on the lower abdomen etching downward.

I can relate with the thin walls and carpet imagery and enjoyed how you put it; "mutually assured horror of counter-opponent's addle". Been there.


Out the window, past skin peel curtains,
lot lizards slouch into their next mouthful,
(walleyed high-headed backwoods snake church scags with a little t and a big A
corralled into motorcade spooge glamour by determined trust in humanity
and a tingle in their cooters no amount of hair-tightening bun twists ever dampened)
wiping up whore bucks from whore masters, having the full rompleshit,
cause no attractive woman has parted pedro’s grime non-ironically in a lifetime
except the death seekers flogging for ruin porn.

skin peel curtains is really evocative. I can't even begin to imagine where rompleshit comes from. Also thought the "cause no attractive woman..." line was one of the strongest ones of the poem.


Me, deep now, beyond raising, plumed in Pedro’s musky crotch
where the heat is ripping sweat from my rear end
(that crease of fallow housing where the MD crammled the nuke).

Some scat level stuff, I just hope you're not referencing the snuke.


Half-life. What bullshit. What an rear end in a top hat.
The garbage human race lives too long,
with dick-to-rear end cancer the leading edge of quickly deluding machinery.
No need to patch a wounded wound,
while the aged rape the young by clutching the vine
withering it downard, soaking nutrients,
from salve to succubus they change,
and I saw the magazine face of our 43nd and knew
“He’s praying to the devil, that shitteration.”

No war but generation war. 43nd, downard typos? I think he might be right. I'll also have to remember shitteration.


I hear the trees boughing and black, down
to swat me from the stage.
No parlor tricking to a lower level to duck
yet head still yapping displayed.

See, I was initially skeptical of the whole shape thing because it seems pretty gimmicky, a way to break out of the line-by-line mold with something, but I got what it was right away and the shape might have helped with that. It's also not excessive with its shape so as much as I want to condemn it, it shall pass.


And I’ve seen the eyes of gently caress buckets
that breed the world with stains.
Eyes that will love no one ever,
the same I waited for but never paused on me.

The strongest stanza I think. We finally get something about this I you keep bringing up.


Gasolining the room brings to mind that first beaterbox
propelled by my spit and ingenuity,
and I pause, but no, this show will close.
There are always reasons for the weak to grasp;
I want to spread a few minutes across Pedro’s face,
swat pinballs into twitchy arcing elements
pocketed in his sombrero topped arcade,
run a hand along a poolside wrought iron fence,
bumble through the fuckwits and doofus hoarders.
But the fire is hot already,
laid up licking
at the fungled shower board
as if it where the cancer
coring my vitals.

Maybe there's hope in fixing things up, getting them going on nothing but spit and ingenuity, and maybe there's good things to be found here but god drat it everything's all on fire already welp.


Suicides crouch in a dark corner festering
like harmed animals, but I stare at the mirror,
extending the distance between my vertebrae,
and look at this blue eyed sack of creature,
and no nothing of it.

I'm a sucker for homophones so everything else in this stanza is second to the last line.


Life meant nothing;
less than the crumpled black edge of a dead leaf pasted to a storm sewer wall.

Think you could have gone without this.


Leaving behind only rear end in a top hat’s tainted radiation pellet,
which will rapidly approach zero but never zilch,
outlasting this earth and all in it.

More radiation terminology which plays into the whole theme of slow decay and degradation. Also like the zero but never zilch bit.


Organism vapid and dispersed beneath
the trailing edge of poo poo drug futureward.
Disgusted by ceremony, the handbag of sociopaths,
I’m torching the evidence.
Pedro’s going with me.

I burn this mother fucker to the ground.

Yes lets.

So overall you have something that touches on lowlifes, degradation, a land settled and left behind too quickly, the corner of the world where dust people settle to be swept away. But also purification, maybe redemption, your narrator is obviously not of sound mind and is simply observing everything around him in reflection of himself and by at least the beginning of the poem he's come to be disgusted with it. Palahniuk mixed with some McCarthy. But you know, I've been here, I know this cast, and I've seen how these things are and what they say. A good contemporary poem with some solid imagery and interesting lines, but cast in a familiar mold.

Prolonged Panorama
Dec 21, 2007
Holy hookrat Sally smoking crack in the alley!

Etherwind posted:

Rock solid, spot on, legit-as-gently caress critique.

Thanks man. Only thing I'll say is that the satire I was angling for (and missed) was trying to lampoon the idea that Death (the running down of an orderly process, whether a person, animal, town, star, etc) which is of course everywhere and one of the ultimate facts of the universe, would ever take any kind of special interest in life or humans in particular. That's not a new idea either, obviously, but I wanted to highlight the absurdity of it by having Death sort of zoom in on us unaccountably after being the unquestioned master of the universe for so long. (As I understand it satire is the overly credulous or enthusiastic acceptance of an idea, to highlight its contradictions, implausibilities, etc.) I blew it obviously, but there it is.

I know very little about poetry, so bear with this critique.

My voice upraised toward the sky in song,
I call my patron Muse. In youth I would
Frequently write soft words to earn your smile,
Yet now I tarnish every syllable
Invoking you for competition's sake.
The gods of Thunder rule this work be now writ:
With heavy heart to them I must submit.

Sing we the song of Cleon's fall with Urn.

Great intro, though I'm not sure it would work for a wider audience. Of course you could just start it with "sing we the song" but I like the little lead in and if you try to get this published don't hack off the intro because it only makes total sense to goons.

Tyger, profane Tyger, burning brightly, At least I recognize the Blake reference
Through forest deep and dry it stalked
Sly Urn and Cleon both, their men long dead
And bronze made molten ruin. Cleon ran
With Urn within his arms and screamed in fear. "with Urn within" strikes me as a little repetitive. Maybe try "between?"
Betrayed they both had been, and now the beast
Might burn the towns and kill again. Yet first
It came for Urn the sharp of eye, its mark
Upon his flesh and hunger on its tongues.
Fair Cleon could yet hurl him down and flee,
Hero not he, but bonds of purpose held
The men together fast, as did memory.

This is a good hook, loving the dual meaning of tongues, even though it took me embarrassingly long to get.

Met they within the charnel house, once home
To Urn the sharp of eye, all people gone
As ash upon the wind save he. Sly Urn
With bow accosted Cleon from afar,
Demanding "Who are you to come this way?
Dressed bright in bronze and fair of look are you,
But none know more than I that evil walks
Aflame with grace. Be gone before I shoot
This barb into your heart!" Not idle was
His threat, for many men had met their end
Unknowing whence the blow had came, or how I could be wrong, but isn't "blow had come" proper?
So small a man could shoot so far and true.

Now Cleon fair removed his helm and laughed,
Stentorian as booming voice that once
Against the edge of all the earth was raised.
He was a man still young and strong, untried
By world, untroubled he, for hopelessly
The path ahead appeared to have no end. Not sure I understand "hopelessly" here. Is it that Cleon wants to be tested and maybe meet the end of his path? If so then cool.
"A target fair I am to you," said he,
"Without this guard upon my head. Might you
Let loose against a man still garbed in bronze I feel like "let loose" breaks some of the immersion of your epic style. Any mythic or high fantasy person would only ever say "loose." Your meter constraints play in to this I know. Maybe change "let loose" to "let fly" if you can't work loose in by itself.
And cut him low, then you may be the sort
To aid this fair villain. For murderous
The course upon which I set out today."

I'm loving Cleon's characterization here. He's that pretty-boy fantasy protagonist douchebag everybody actually hated at the time, but makes it in to legend.

Sly Urn beheld the truth, many the times
Deceit tried creep into the hunter's home.
Like poor Tiresias blind-struck, mere chance
Left him alive but changed for worse compared
To who had he in youth once been. Also
Like poor Tiresias blind-struck, skill rare
Had come in wake of tragedy, the bow
The means allowing Urn to years survive.
Unlike Tiresias blind-struck, no god
With gift or curse had come, his sight still keen, I don't understand the significance of the line about the gods. Is this setting up for sea noticing him and taking pity? I feel like it is, but without knowing what Tiresias got from the gods it just feels out of place, almost random.
Still clear the gaze of Urn the sharp of eye.
"The beast you seek: I saw it long ago."

Tyger, profane Tyger, burning brightly,
Through tree and smoke it came for them, narrow
Its eye and fierce its roar. 'Neath canopy
In darkness Cleon stumbled far, heavy
The load of Urn the sharp of eye. For miles
Too great to count he gave a great account:
Onward he pressed when breath had left his chest
And only fear endured. Not only fear!
For kinship held to him when hope had fled
As like a lover holds when lust is spent. drat, nice.
Hero not he, Cleon bereft of bronze
Ran from the boughs and saw the cliffs distantly.

That last line, "saw the cliffs distantly" in particular, REALLY resonates. More so than "memory" and "resolutely." drat, it's probably my favorite part of this poem. The image is crystal clear, that it should set up a flashback is natural (you set it up with "memory," but even still). Very good work.

With men in tow across the land they searched,
Until at last its tracks Urn spied upon
The sand beside the cliffs: glassen the steps
Left by the beast. "Now soon," said Cleon bold,
"Revenge will come for Urn the sharp of eye,
Too long delayed." Sly Urn was not impressed.
"For what, or whom," asked Urn, "do you this quest
engage? Some death? Or glory offered you?"
Again fair Cleon laughed, then mirth dispersed
Lest he offend. "This task," said Cleon low,
"To win the praise of maiden bloody, queen
Of all within the stormy northern bowl."

The idea of the maiden queen being "bloody" is unsettling, and works well to foreshadow her betrayal. The bit about the "stormy northern bowl" is the only real world building here, aside from the rest taking place in a forest by the sea cliffs. Maybe one or two lines referencing that place or region by name would serve to ground this more? Where mythic stuff happens is usually important.

Said Urn, "The deed alone shall satisfy;
Your reasons are your own. Of deed let now
We speak. What means the beast can pacify?
There! See it moved away from sea? Perhaps
A fear we can exploit?" Fair Cleon smiled.
"No need," said Cleon sure, "have we of surf
Or rain to quell our prey. Advised am I
By queen of blood that flame cannot endure
With kin, so suffocate the fiend in fire
And see it snuffed." Sly Urn was not impressed.
"Let us but hope," said Urn, "this queen of blood
Is right. The blaze takes all it gives its mark." More foreshadowing I didn't understand at first then got later. I had a little trouble parsing that last line, with "takes all it gives" but I just had to read it a couple times. Could just be me.

Tyger, profane Tyger, burning brightly,
Through moonless night the pair it chased,
On Urn the sharp of eye its brand. At edge
Of rock fair Cleon stood, there leaning out
To hear the pound of wave on stone as like
The axeman counts the time in beats of drum "axeman" cought me off guard. I think this is referencing an executioner, but when I hear "axeman" and "counting time" and "beats of drum" together I think of a rock band (axe is slang for guitar in the USA, not sure about for you.) The dread was kind of muddled for me is what I'm saying. But it could just be my fault.
With growing dread and tightened gut, waiting
For rare reprieve or time at last his weight
To drop. His legs atremble, Cleon held
Against his breast sly Urn so small and still.
Hero not he, as glowing flame close came
Cleon bereft of bronze stayed resolutely.

In forest deep and dry a trap was set
To catch and kill the seething beast. Know all
Who read these stalwart names how great their work:
Pallas the still, Nestor the old, Stephan
The worthy, Callias serene, spartan "spartan Astro" jars me for some reason. I think all the other heros getting their honorifics after their proper names sets up a nice cadence, and breaking both that pattern and the line in the same dude's name is a snag.
Astro, the tall Alexander, Echo
The simple, Lucas, son of Callias,
Sly Urn and Cleon bright in bronze. All ten
Began the night arrayed against the fiend.
How long they hid! Until at last they heard
When Urn the sharp of eye drew breath and cried
"Tyger, profane Tyger! Burning brightly!"

At once the men to trees set light; behind
The smoke the Tyger slunk. Sly Urn was pale
With memory rekindled, now he looked
Upon that hell again. The moment stretched,
The fire toward the sky climbed high, all coughed...
Then crashing came the Tyger through the wall.
Tyger, profane Tyger, burning too bright, Great payoff on the Blake reference.
Made strong by forest set alight, so grew
That beast of fire, titian and dark. To ash
Went eight in flash of hate, and Urn
Blinded. Cleon shed bronze, raised Urn, and fled. This last line feels rushed. Then again it's appropriate for the situation. It has this bleakness to it that sets it apart from the overwrought stuff. I'm back and forth on it, but it would read better to me if you stretched that scene in to one more line somehow.

Tyger, profane Tyger, burning brightly,
Approached its prey. As tongues licked rock and scorched
His back, fair Cleon gave decree: "No man
So brave should fall alone!" So then he leapt Cleon's line is nicely ambiguous (is he talking about himself or Urn?), and fits his character perfectly.
To death with Urn, and down into the waves
The Tyger plunged with both, at last snuffed out.

The ocean wept to feel blind Urn embraced,
Her tears of salt welled up to flood the land,
And touching Urn upon his ruined face
Restored his sight, with kiss retreating back. He just needed some saline drops, eh? :haw: No actually these are the best metaphors in the poem I think.
Hero, he woke as dawn then broke, at peace
To hear fair Cleon's laugh upon the bay.

So they both get what they want I guess. Cleon flames out in glory, Urn lives to see the beast killed, and gets his divine recognition after all. The more I think about/read this poem the more I like it. Like I said before, I know very little about poetry and have read very very little of it. So part of this is just babby's first in depth reading in a long time. But this is some good poo poo.

I was emotionally engaged way more by Cleon than Urn, which I feel is a pretty good commentary on the eipc: who the hell wants to sing about Sir Sobersides Urn who is just skeptical and competent and careful all the time?Cleon the brash douchebag is where it's at, and you highlighted this well without beating me over the head with it. Unfortunately I have almost nothing to offer on your meter, I can barely figure out where the stresses are supposed to fall (even when I know), but it reads aloud pretty well and that's what I've always thought made poetry readable. There's lots of good imagery even though I'm sure I missed a lot of it. As well as the references. But I guess it's a good thing that a person so unfamiliar can still appreciate it. There's some unevenness in the degree of epic tone, but it's mostly just single words that seem out of place or more modern sounding than they should. If you can fix those things it'll really sound like an old epic. It's almost there, seriously.

I just wish I was equipped to do a closer reading and more rigorous critique.

Apr 22, 2008
Can't post for 949 days!

Soiled Meat

Thanks for the critique, it pretty much confirms a lot of what I was thinking. Good catch on the "had came", it's a typo that I totally missed on the reread (should be past perfect tense).

My plan for the revision is to change the poem to remove the in-jokes (apart from the stuff about the bloodied maiden, which can stand on its own even without being a Dante-styled call out to Sitting Here). The first stanza will remain, slightly changed, since the invocation of the muse is an important part of the form. There are a few sections where the scansion is rough around the edges and needs cleaning up - you totally called that right - and others where I need to decide whether the lyric play works like I wanted ("with Urn within" was intended for consonance). "Let loose" was in the sense of "Allow to loose," which was a comment on Urn's restraint and inaction across the years, but I can see how that's confusing imagery and therefore bad; the other stuff you flag up all needs tightening.

So bullshit aside, there's one point you touched on where I want to solicit further feedback. Let me explain what I was doing and why, and you can tell me what you think.

"Blinded. Cleon shed bronze, raised Urn, and fled," is the only line where I (intentionally) violated the Iambic Pentameter rule that the second foot should almost always be an iamb, and it also starts with a trochee. The idea was to make it seem like a sharp disconnect from the preceding flow, and therefore draw the reader's attention. So the scansion I intended goes: trochee, trochee, iamb, iamb, iamb. It's also very short and blunt with the action, light on imagery, which was another intentional break. The overall effect was to try and subconsciously set up the message "Oh poo poo, things just got real, here comes the climax."

Does this work? Is it worth keeping like it is, or should I rework it? Anyone and everyone is welcome to comment on this, but please direct feedback to PM so as not to clutter the thread (this includes you please, Prolonged Priapism).

Nov 14, 2006

The man was stunningly well dressed. He had a smart looking jacket, and a really neat looking cape, the lining of which was shimmering and sparkling in more than Oriental splendour, which is a great deal of splendour indeed, just ask Kipling.

On the one hand I have no reliable internet connection and have to keep using that of McDonalds, on the other hand, my track record with horror stories is impeccable, with my previous 'horror' story being described as 'horrifying' (and there were some other words but they probably weren't important) so I am going to say 'in' and see if I can make a horror story that is even more horrible (like, full of horror) than my previous one.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?

Sorry this is late, I have been a bad girl these past couple of days.

Symptomless Coma posted:

Saga Of Bird-Dog (500w)

Northumberland, where
The cold North Sea ravages
Protecting its oil

Wind whips the moors' mist
It gathers and rises,use a period instead of a comma? there!
A glimpse of the sun

Summer emerges.
Wheeling animals play, but
One remains alone

Bird sits on a wire
Expired telephone cable
Basking in the light

Bird scans horizons.
It sees further than us, and
There is much to view

Chaser becomes chased
Dances of death and life cliche, barf., as
Sparrows play their game

Bird looks for some shade
In between rocks, discovers
The creature called Dog

The pair is wary
Circling like boxing men This image doesn't work for me, as neither animal has any appendage remotely approaching fists
Nature's pugilists

Dog cocks wanton leg
A gesture of friendship, ahh-
But it is smelly.

Bird pulls up its breast
Stern ochre feathers, raised beak:
Northumbrian grit I like this image, but it's incongruous with the one before - I feel like you should go all straight, or all silly, but mixing them doesn't really work for me.

Bird and Dog make friends why? how?
(of disparate size and shape)
A crude alliance

The avian sight
With canine speed and power
No creature's a match

Bird-Dog ranges far
Striking out across the fields
A green tapestry

Thanks to nose and eyes
They come upon a barrow;
Ancient kings abide

Bird is circumspect
Dog senses buried gifts…here!
It's a finger-bone

Challengers appear
A pack of hounds, hunting
Muscled from the fight

Dog's tail is half mast
Ancient hierarchies control
He must surrender

Bird dislikes the hounds
Rages, flaps, flashes his beak
The hounds tilt their heads

Fury is unleashed!
A flying flurry of pecks
Blood stains the barrow

Bird-Dog rules the land!
Feathers and feet are enmeshed
In chimeric dress

This all men believe:
Violence is a friendship's forge
Hate; love's crucible I think this stanza might work better somewhere else, it ends up feeling kind of random here.

Bird-Dog's two is one
The halves unite on the plains
Under northern sun

Dog listens to Bird
Tales of lands unreachable
Sands and seas and smells

Autumn is coming
Green turns to brown behind backs Nice alliteration
As the world slows down

Bird-Dog watches leaves
Dog thinks they are a game, but
Bird has heard the call

Ancestral chevrons
Pattern the darkening skies
The emigrant flock

Dog is excited
Adventure's dreams before him
Moisten his nose This stanza and the preceding one are really nice haikus all on their own, I love the images they evoke.

Bird must away, but
The journey's long and seaward-
Dog must wait alone

The flock family
Welcomes and sweeps away
To broad sunlit coasts

Dog retreats, below
Tarpaulins battered by wind
Dreams of the barrow

Bird has months of light
Atlantic breezes warming
The watering hole

The jackals howl, through
Their african teeth, and then-
Bird remembers Dog.

The journey's a test
Bird plunges through fronts of cold
Holding a white gift

The northern rocks hide
No Dog nor sense of canine
In those frozen fields

Then, a distant sight
No more than the smallest speck-
Is Dog, a statue.

Bird nudges Dog, but
There is no flicking of tail
Nor panting response

Winter has claimed Dog.
Birds know it was ever thus:
Friendships have their time.

Bird leaves its tribute My mind might be in the gutter, but I immediately assumed the bird pooped.
The ferryman's deposit:
A tiny finger-bone.

The Dog lies in state
Guarded by the barrow's shade
The Bird keeps vigil

Northumbrian frosts
Cling to Dog and Bird, and hail
The unlikely pair:

Saga of Bird-Dog.
Chimera of northern lands
And terror of hound.

Considering you had to do the whole thing in haiku, I think you did a really good job of carrying the narrative through in a way that made sense and was easy to follow. Some of your haiku are better than others, as you might expect when you end up having to write like 50 at once. I like the meat of this poem, and I think it would probably be pretty awesome if you re-wrote it in a different format that would give you more freedom to play up certain images and make the narrative more coherent.
As someone who grew up in the Norf of England, I would love to see more of that landscape worked in to the background of the poem - there's a good opportunity to contrast that windswept desolate-ness with an (as there are multiple) African landscape when the bird migrates, which you only spend one haiku/stanza on here, but which I think would make the poem much richer in terms of imagery and setting, especially when you come back to the dog stuck on the Moors at the end.

Hmm, I feel like this isn't the greatest critique -- especially realtive to the one you gave me -- but I don't really know what to do with all these haiku. If you have any specific questions or want me to comment on something in particular, feel free to PM me about it!

Jan 10, 2006

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Thunderdome XXIV: Keyboard Kings
:siren: Write a supernatural horror story set in a small town :siren:

Supernatural is important: think more Stephen King than Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Upper limit is 1750 words. Deadline for signups with 11:59pm Friday NZDT, deadline for submissions is 11:59pm Sunday NZDT.

I don't understand NZDT, so I'm in, and here is 1613 cunts of words. Break me upon the wheel of the thunderdome.

The Hunter

"What a lovely job this is," David muttered as the heavy rain hit the windscreen, forming flowing waves as the wipers struggled, the splatting accompanying a continuously chiming low fuel light. The sky was a sullen grey with no hint of the warm summer sun that it surely concealed. On the seat next to him was a small parcel, wrapped over-securely in layer upon layer of packing tape and a large envelope with "DO NOT FOLD" stamped in large red letters across it.

"A lovely job, in a lovely place."

David had, in fact, never been to the village in Wales, but he stuck to the stubborn viewpoint of if he couldn't pronounce it then it was poo poo. Now, three hours into a five hour journey he farted and pulled off into a service station. After slopping some petrol into the tank he scurried to the kiosk and grabbed a basket, filling it to the brim with junk and caffeine. The floppy haired youth behind the register rang up the goods, and asked if he wanted a lottery ticket.

"What the hell," said David, "got a big score coming, I'll take ten!"


David's appearance in the community was commented on, and the information that a stranger had arrived was spread from each epicentre through dark looks and significant nods. He seemed to have brought with him an aura of gloom, he had certainly brought unseasonably poor weather. And so David spent the rest of the day attempting to gather information about his target. He prided himself on his work, he liked to think of himself as a contemporary Sherlock Holmes, gathering information on his prey and then striking. He was able to find out very little, it seemed that "Old Man Jones" was a modern day hermit, living at the old school house alone. During his investigations anytime someone had asked why he was searching out an old man, who had not been seen in the village for almost ten years, David had told them that he had something for him. This was, in fact, true.

He had driven with the parcel by his side visiting the pub, small supermarket and post office while water flooded down the cobbled streets, threatening to sweep him away every time he raced from car to door. His head was ringing with pain, and his back was sore, and his feet were soggy. Everything was poo poo. Finally he graced the B&B where he was to spend the night with his unique presence, bursting through the door like a sodden monster from the depths. Finally he caught a break when the old man who showed him to his damp mouldy room (and gruffly told him that the continental breakfast was six till seven, and that the front door was locked at 10pm every night), where the wind sang through the gaps in the window frame. The man acknowledged that it was he who took parcels and groceries up to the old school house, and that he might talk more if he was less thirsty.

The village had been scoured by the heavy rain, and what little colour remained from the holiday spot’s heyday was dulled by a grey summer sky. The cloud cover pressed down with promised showers and as David walked to the pub for his rendezvous the first few street lights flickered on, tricked by the dim glow filtering through the weight of ice suspended above them. The pub had been a great draw when the tourists had visited the village in order to experience nature and the sea side 5 miles distant, but now only farmers and pensioners visited. There were two beers available, an ale and a lager. David asked for a sweet white wine the landlord grumbled and stomped down to the cellar.

The man from the hotel joined David and, after a pint, and a whiskey chaser, he admitted that the old laddy had a few odd ways about him. He insisted that Neifion (for that was the hotelier’s name) open any packages and letters in the village, anything that was not addressed to Jones was to be disposed of immediately, and also anything peculiar. They decided to make for the house after a few drinks, so that David might be introduced to the hermit by a friendly face, and walked out the door as the last order bell was rung, early at 5 o’clock. Neifion asked exactly why David was here and after he used his familiar line Neifion insisted that they open the package.

They meandered back, and the half a bottle of wine sloshing about inside David made him feel thoroughly convivial. The day was growing darker, but by some miracle the sun had broken through the thick clouds, so that the ground before them was mottled with lights and shadows that deceived the drunken eye, making them trip and stumble. Nevertheless they were in fine spirits, and staggered up the stairs to the small dingy room that was to be David's lodging for the night.

They paused and rested, to consider the parcel, and to begin to drink the other half of David's wine from cheap tea cups that dinged when they hit their intoxicated teeth. After a few gulps David could hear the high pitched ringing in his ears that signalled the onset of true drunkenness, as well as the waves and the tolling of a bouy bell.

They gleefully set about opening the package, and attacked it with a pocket knife, hacking through the thick layers of brown tape to the sweet cardboard fruit. More and more carefully they teased open the final layers to find a small metal box. After pausing to refill their teacups with the sour vinegarish wine and to listen to the waves and bells David reached forward and opened the metal box. At once the room was plunged into darkness: the sun had momentarily lost its battle with the clouds and the waves roared through the walls. David quickly slapped the switch next to the door, and the pair blinked in the harsh light from the fluorescent bulb above them.

In the box upon a bed of cotton wool lay a tin thimble.

They laughed, embarrassed and disappointed, and Neifion said it was time to go, and was very surprised when David replied that he would just listen to the waves and bells for a bit, and finish his bottle. Neifion was anxious that they would return from the school house before dinner, and insisted that they leave straight away.

It took Neifion around an hour to acknowledge, through his drunken fog, that he was lost. Each time he considered it he dismissed the idea, he was raised here, man and boy. But every few minutes he was forced to stop, and would look around him at the trees and fields in a confused state and listen intently.
"I just don't understand it, the path is the same, but I can hear the sea! We should be miles away from it, the village isn't on the coast!"
David just smiled and nodded, and listened to the waves and the bells, and gripped the box in his pocket.

David was moving ahead of him now, faster and faster, until Neifion suddenly lost sight of him behind some scrubland - he started forward and saw obsidian waves lapping at a black sand beach. Waves crashed in his ears and he heard a buoy bell appealing loudly - he felt horribly sea sick. The wind rose and Neifion was buffeted to the ground by the force of the gale, the spray almost blinding him and his hands striking the freezing black sand. The clouds yielded up their harvest and the full force of the rain fell upon them, but David was unbowed. Neifion watched through squinting eyes as David put the thimble on his finger and held it to his ear. David’s face was a mask as he slowly but surely pushed until the thimble was enveloped by the soft flesh. Finally, with a shove the thimble was inside and David fell down, dead.


Neifion awoke to find himself in bed, with an IV in his arm. The nurse recounted how he had been found on the moors above the village, soaked through in a pneumonic state, and brought to the clinic where he had lain in state for three days. Next to the bed were two items that had been found in his jacket pocket, an envelope and a small metal box. Wild eyed he grabbed the box, but there was nothing inside. The envelope had a large crease down the centre, through the red letters stamped upon it.

Dear Sir,
We have reason to believe that you are inheritor of the estate of Mrs S___. Our agent will advise you of the particulars, and any expenses we have incurred in tracing the line of inheritance. While Mrs S___ passed away some time ago it has taken much expense to trace the sole beneficiary of the estate, and expect to be compensated for our efforts. We send with our agent an item which Mrs S___ specified should be supplied to the beneficiary as soon as possible following her death.
D. L____
L____ Associates

With the letter was a newspaper cutting: a woman’s body had been found at a beach in 1956, the morning after her house had been incinerated, husband presumed dead inside.

Neifion reached for the water next to the bed, and picked it up with a soft tinkle as his little finger hit the cup. The glass chimed on the floor, and the water spread in neat concentric ripples.


Slapping my words down, gently caress the haters.

CancerCakes fucked around with this message at 20:21 on Jan 17, 2013

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

CancerCakes posted:

I found it very hard to invoke a sense of place and unease. Instead I produced a boring story about two guys going to a pub and kinky insertions. Whoops.

Ditch this. Slap down your words and laugh in the face of any who'd gainsay them.

May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


entropy or something like it

After many long days I lay down
to sleep in the middle - who knew
rosewood had no smell? Bartolini
mkII and casual epiphany
stowed in a shoebox. poo poo
it's all coming back to me.

Tell me why you cry
kiddo. poo poo I know- I
just wanna hear you say it.
It's eating me inside-out and
that's just the dark cells; venal
things that never once said please.

what happened to my hands? You
always knew them better
than me. We met a man with rags
in his soul and had him drink gasoline;
the cosmic molotov- what we smallfolk call

You taste like cloves and you smell like
poo poo but I like that about you, kiddo.
You light my fire- you make my morning
like fresh-juiced OJ and little hairs
stuck in the shower drain.

In the back room of a pizza place
on Cuba we met a man whose head
was a brown peach. He had baby
gums- bare, pink and fragile. You remember?
He said “my lover has fat thighs and my guitar
has five strings and I teach both to sing in
the dead of night,” and he had us
dance until the candle burned down.

There's a fist of dark cells growing
around my heart and one day soon it'll grow
so big that even fire can't kill it.
It's young but it's got promise- it's making
friends, setting down a few roots. Come back
in a few months kiddo and it'll put on a show.

I got locked in the metro once- me
and this 5'2 French bloke smoking gauloises
from 3am til sunup 'cos “there's always
a train running in Paris. Just you wait.”
Nothing came out of that tunnel but
dead air.

We drank them down to the filters;
two hot inches of air to stop the shaking
in our hands. To shake is a fine thing-
it means your heart's still beating. I
shook when the peach man played-
shook until the candle burned down.
You taste like cloves and two inches
of hot air.

I know what you're going to say
kiddo. I just want to hear you
say it.

This critique took me a really long time because honestly, I don’t know where to start. Poetry isn’t my thing, so I’m gonna go with your prompts first.

I have no idea what this poem has to do with death, at all. Is the first stanza rosewood of a coffin? I’m not sure, since I don’t think they make coffins from rosewood. I know they make guitar bodies from rosewood, which Bartolini is a brand name in music equipment, so I assume you’re referring to one of your other prompts, the guitar.

The guitar imagery persists through the poem, and I think that’s a good theme. I think you could have done more with incorporating the guitar itself into the theme of the poem in a more physical sense.

As far as internal rhyme goes, its rare and far between, as though it were avoided on purpose instead of made to strengthen the work. I’m almost reading this now more like lyrics to a song, and I think internal rhyme is an important component to songs working well, so I would have liked to see more from it. I think it would have had a more musical feel to it, which would have incorporated well with the thematic imagery of the guitar.

Stanza 7 seems unnecessary, almost filler. You had a strong line about waiting for the train, and nothing but dead air, but it’s out of place. I interpret that as you had a great line you wanted to work with, but in the end had no place to put it, so you just went for it anyway.

I cannot comment much on meter because I am truly awful at it. For the most part the poem reads well, though there are some troubling line breaks that make me pause mid-sentence, when I know I shouldn’t because the punctuation doesn’t dictate it, yet nevertheless, I see line breaks as pauses. “Who knew rosewood had no smell” was one that stuck out immediately. I also see line breaks as a definite purpose as a function, but in the poem itself I didn’t always see why you chose to break a line when you did.

The inclusion of the words kiddo make the poem a bit pretentious. It heightened the silliness of the portrayal of the narrator. Like, man, this clove smoking, guitar playing, dancing guy is really cliché. You can’t go to any kind of divey bar in a young part of town without drinking beers with these kinds of assholes. They’re a dime a dozen and not worth glorifying, but yet you also didn’t go over the top enough if you were supposed to satirize them.

I think the poem should have been shorter under normal constraints, more directed and less (and I hate to use this word) hip. You’ve got some great images there, but it doesn’t seem sure of itself. I really, really want you to turn this poem into entirely about that peach headed man with his big thighed lover. I think that would be a much better subject. Play with images and have fun with it. The poem needs more fun.

I want to go burn down a thrift store now. Mainly because I never find anything that fits me in one, and everyone else I know always comes out of there looking great.


May 30, 2011

I'm in, like a...bin? Sin? Gene? Sp...leen? Hang on, let me find a suitable rhyme for this...

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