Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«150 »
  • Locked thread
Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 1938 days!


Soiled Meat

STONE OF MADNESS posted:

I mean, there have to be heaps of American poets that don't give a poo poo about proper English stresses, right?

They have the advantage of being part of the nation whose empire spans the world, though. Like, seriously, it's very easy to take that poo poo for granted.

Edit: putting a sock in it, sorry.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


sebmojo posted:

ps arguments about linguistic descriptivism can gently caress right off, tia
Ohoho if it comes down to this I will loving fight you. Presciptivism only works in fairy la-la land where language works like bricks instead of an angry snake. It's like trying to herd cats or nail jelly to the wall.

Peel
Dec 3, 2007



Much belated comments on week XX: The stories started with Chairchucker's here. It was a pretty good week, few real stinkers. Lots of stories where I couldn't, in a short reading, find much to criticise. Good work.



Chairchucker: Punctuality is next to Godliness (Justice)

The banality of divinity is a very worn theme and you didnít really bring anything new to it. Try something fresher next time. However, it was functional, and Dikeís line at the end was a little piece of gold.


SurreptitiousMuffin: the mountebank (The Magician)

This was enjoyable. The joke about find-the-lady on distant worlds was well-told and reminds me of Adams or Pratchett. But, in the end, it was hard to pick out a narrative under the phantasmagory. This is a monologue, not a story.


Kaishai: Signal Fire (The Hermit)

Thereís some good description here, but I think the language is a little elevated or overwritten for what little we know of the guy, which doesnít suggest that a poetic bent.


Beezle Bug: Home (Two of Wands)

Thereís the germ of a good story here but I think it was too wrapped up in trying to be fancy and literary in its style, and just ended up an unclear trudge of a read.


Capntastic: Scheduling (Death)

This was amusing, but you could have engaged more strongly with the idea of Death as transformation rather than just death. Also Iím having trouble visualising the mechanics of the dude killing himself by bumping a table from underneath.


The Saddest Rhino: Lessons (The Chariot)

I liked this a lot. It was funny. The description of the chariot and charioteer hit just the right level of overdescription. A good, sweet, charming story, and in the end thatís all you needed to win the Thunderdome.


gredgie: The Tricks of Six (The Moon)

Two generic police detectives interact with lots of ladies and not much clothing. No point is discernable. Sorry but please donít.


Greatbacon: A Cold Evening at George St. Croix Train Terminal (Wheel of Fortune)

Donít say Ďalmost infiniteí, itís a meaningless cliche. This is a melacholy, emotional story, but it didnít draw much emotional response from me. The strongest emotional event, his crying, just felt dropped in.


Nyarai: Victory or Death (The Devil)

This was really cringeworthy but in a good way, and god help me I felt a little bit of tension. But itís nothing stand out, like a lot of things this round.


swaziloo: Leaving HabSix (Knight of Cups)

I couldnít really work out what was going on here. But thatís been discussed in the thread. So instead, Iíll comment that thereís a glimpse of some interesting social stuff here, with the genescrambling and age-groups. I like that, it's one of the staples of meaty SF, so do some more sometime.


Prolonged Priapism: Improper Time (The Hanged Man)

This is a good SF setup but a little too anaesthetic, and while making that much time feel like it has passed is a challenge in 1000 words, itís not a challenge you quite managed.


Noah: A Motherís Love (The Empress)

This is a good twist on coma awakening, one of my favourites this week. My reservation is that it could maybe do with more punch at the end, but on the other hand, as is it evokes the emptiness of her life.


Meis: Two Ends of the Colour Spectrum (Four of Wands)

Likewise, this is cute, but needs a stronger ending. It feels like it arrives and leaves without doing much while itís here.


Tonsured: Shlorpís Speed, Mr. Parkinsons (Six of Wands)

Sometimes this is funny but a lot of the time it feels like pointless zaniness. Tighten things up a little next time. Itís an inventive method of FTL though, Iíll grant.


Erik Shawn-Bohner: At the Crimson Hotel (Nine of Swords)

Atmospheric, phantasmagorical. Though it didnít win, this was one of many entries this round thatís good enough I canít find anything concrete to criticise on a judging timescale.


Sitting Here: What is a Feast (Temperance)

I almost suggested this to win. It has good imagery, good language, good pathos. Keep doing whatever it is youíre doing.


twinkle cave: The Stars at Night (Two of Cups)

Typos, man, and youíre inconsistent with your use of the speed of light, I donít know if that was intentional. But youíre onto a good thing with the feel of this piece, it was engagingly surreal.


Tender Child Loins: Okadaís Tower (The Tower)

Thereís the germ of a good story here, but you could have gone further with it. Shown us more of Okadaís psychic collapse. Then itíd have been much stronger.


Zack_Gochuck: New Friends (The High Priestess)

You tried something really experimental here and you know what? I think it worked. Also, and this is by no means limited to you, thereís a lot of stuff in the Thunderdome featuring dudes getting eyefuls of ladies. Someone should flashrule the opposite.


WilliamAnderson: Late (Page of Cups)

This is a deliciously short work making good use of science, another one of my favourites this week. You did a lot with a little.


Etherwind: Intervention (The Heirophant)

People picked you up on the Ďnot unlikeí already. Watch for little things like that you can tighten up (and the rest of you). Creepy in a good way. However, you went too far towards leaving things unsaid for my taste.


Bad Seafood: Broken Pieces (The Star)

You think you were too blunt but I think you hit a good spot. Itís clear what it says but thatís not a bad thing. The result is an engaging story with engaging characters. Donít be afraid to be clear in future.


Toanoradian: Pigs (Seven of Wands)

Like many of the thrusts at comedy this week, this was funny. However, also like many stories this week, it petered out at the end, without coming around to a solid denouement or climax. The comedy needs a bit more bite.


Fanky Malloons: Alligator (Judgement) LATE

This has some good deadpan delivery. Mama Leveau is something of a cliche though, despite having a good line with Ďthereís an alligatorí. But archetypes are okay in comedy. To improve this, write it ten minutes faster. Then itíd have been in the running for one of the top few.

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 1938 days!


Soiled Meat

Peel posted:

Etherwind: Intervention (The Heirophant)

People picked you up on the Ďnot unlikeí already. Watch for little things like that you can tighten up (and the rest of you). Creepy in a good way. However, you went too far towards leaving things unsaid for my taste.

This solidifies what I think my biggest problem has been so far. Like, I can write out a story that's direct and to the point with its details, but what I love most in fiction are those stories that make you work to construct the full story and acquire clear understanding. It's probably no surprise that my favourite novel is "Peace" by Gene Wolfe.

For Thunderdome I've been intentionally avoiding those areas where I'm strong and focusing on the areas I really suck, and conveying a lot of narrative and background through small references is something I want to get better at, along with finding a voice to fit that style of storytelling. It's also helping me shift the rust from not writing in a long time (Sitting Here gets credit for some great help there).

Thanks for the criticism!

Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

A dog begins eating a dusty old coil of rope but there's a nail in it.

Fallen Rib

Didn't hit the word count but didn't feel like forcing fetid puke out of my brain just to lengthen a poem.

Wound Man

(274 words.)

The blade can cut its way down into
muscles, tendons, sinews, arrayed vessels.
The rash can spread its way across
the arms, the legs, the back, the breast.
Catalogued the body's scrapes and markings
upon one man to show inner workings.

Wound Man's virtue is his freedom from shame
which lets scholars memorize sufferings.
To carry pain and steel and illnesses,
burdens that grow and weigh upon the spine,
kind to us, open, as life's been to him.
He is just one man, to which all pain goes.

Cut back flesh reveals sick innards through gore.
Though his mind's state remains surreptitious,
through years of pokes and prods, scaldings and scrapes.
One can't help but wonder about Wound Man.
Broker body than mind, or vice versa?
No one really wants to figure this out.

But still, he's there in stained pages and minds.
Our thoughts dance around his bloodied body,
focussed on all but the sum of his parts.
To learn from him is to deny insight.
Lessons that blind (beyond gouged out eyeballs);
studies that numb (outside of torn out nerves).

Recoil, subconsciously, from what he means.
Implacable in face, just drawn that way.
Quartered by thousands of horses, to teach.
No mind, we hope, placed in that head, or else
it too, wracked with trauma, madness, and pain,
we find ourselves wanting to help. Too late.

We've seen that no blade, gun, or germ affects
Wound Man's deathless stasis, at least for long.
Stagnation is his shameless pride, always.
Envy of immortality is fair,
scholars might all agree; aside from that cost.
Wound Man is a cut above, and below.

Capntastic
Jan 13, 2005

A dog begins eating a dusty old coil of rope but there's a nail in it.

Fallen Rib

Peel posted:

Capntastic: Scheduling (Death)

This was amusing, but you could have engaged more strongly with the idea of Death as transformation rather than just death. Also Iím having trouble visualising the mechanics of the dude killing himself by bumping a table from underneath.

It was a glass table that, when he knocked over (the umbrella's weight dragged it down faster than normal), shattered into a bunch of shards.

SWAZILOO: I'll do your crit up eventually, I have to re-read your story to do it up proper. Just letting you know I hain't forgot.

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


I've rechristened this weeks challenge to

THUNDERDOME XXIII: POETRY SHITSTORM

And now I will attempt to spew some of this detritus back out of my mouth in your general direction after wading through it. The non-sight of the judges allowing a bunch of fic-heads to create a daisy chain of fucktarded poetry prompts(although HILARIOUS, and i mean that as sarcastically as possible) is truly of mindblowing proportions w/r/t FAIL. My first inclination was to line everyone against the wall(including judges by way of sneakery), pull the dune buggy around with the turret gattlin gun, and proceed to make the first human entrails abstract art wall mural in history. But being as I'm a warrior, I strapped my boots on and splashed around in the turd soup like the retard child TD has commanded me to be. DIE FOR YOUR POETRY indeed.

For those not included, I missed it, your last minute, or you ran.


STONE OF MADNESS - The Ballad of the Challenger (flash:describe thunderdome)
Well done. It had an arc, perfectly met its prompt (which was funny but lovely in the sense of how the gently caress is one to try to write a real poem from this), and stands proud with a bit of real life in the dome sprinkled over it. It is a nice ode to thunderdome and heroic feat of following through with effort and time on a writing prompt. Despite these accolades, it meets
DEATH,
because it is completely unpublishable and silly rear end (though not necessarily through the fault of STONE. The dome is cruel sometimes friend, by giving you a fail prompt).

SurreptitiousMuffin - entropy or something like it (flash: who the hell knows)
though i get the feeling you are one of the most accomplished poets here, you meet
DEATH
because i have no idea if this is for thunderdome week XXIII, a thunderbrawl, or just something you threw up. please label dammit, didn't even give flash rule to reference back.
EDIT: Thanks to bad seafood who hotlinked everything, I now know which of these things is your submission. I'm in such hate mode after reading eye-bleeding all this other schlock that I can't be reasonable, but it appears to be an actual poem, and maybe a good one, though I question the strope that includes, "you light my fire" and "fresh-juice", seems throw away and non-inspiring. I'm not crazy about the kiddo either but i get it, yeah, ok. The scene in the metro is cool, the lover of fat thighs maybe less so. The language is not cryptic despite this being a poemy poem, for that give XbonusX, but i can't draw out the entire feeling just now because my face is melted off by bard's tales. Anyway,
RESURRECTED TO UNDEAD STATE

V for Vegas - we left, and it was OK (flash: first and last word same)
You almost met the same fate as SurreptitiousMuffin due to not announcing that it was for the contest, but i pittied you and HUNTED DOWN your flash rule. You may thank the TD gods. You adhered to a rhyming scheme, but occasionally slipped into corniness. Nice for friends and family, but
DEATH.
Try reading a poem people actually care about and emulate that next time, not some 5th grader. (i hate poetry, so i feel your pain if this was an intentional bitching-out on assignment)

Noah - Bite of the Grind (FLASH RULE: Poem must be a sestina. Suck it, person below me.)
I remembered your flash rule, and you have been churning out the work, so you are graciously given a pass on the not labeling as your entry to TD Week 23 while also being in a ThunderBrawl.
The reason I remembered your flash rule is because Sestinas suck dick... as the evil bastard above you pointed out. Another great example of FAIL prompt
Servant of Heaven we are a tool
Tasked with souls to save,
Bask in the power.

Already wankery horseshit. Try being original instead of Tolkienish or whatever this is. There is nothing concrete here... no image, nothing interesting. "Soul, bask, servant of heaven, power" are all pretty much poetry hate words. Big and mighty and meaningless. We'll see if it gets better.
Ok, the 2nd strophe further sucked, but the 3rd one is pretty good.
Gurney rolls in, squeek rust!
Ventilator, electricity, buzz power!
Attach the cord, swing tool!
Rough skin, rough eyes, grind!
Ignore the sweat, forget the blood
Do it my way, save!

here you use actual things i can see, and the language is much cooler.
4th strophe is sorta ok. the rest wavers a lot.
It was imaginative how you tried to spin this around, and you did write a sistena (horrible bane of poetry poo poo on a shingle rear end gently caress thing) which is impressive. but, you knew it was coming...
DEATH
for not being awesome or concrete enough, sistena loving made it probably impossible.


budgieinspector, toanoradian - Itlacoanotzalhuan

"ghost of the moon" - Blech... if someone can find something more overusedish sounding phrase, please mail it to the windows of my eyes.

"godís blind miller grinds" & "lord" - poo poo you can write, but this craps gotta go... for a second I thought this was going to be actually good.

why are so many DOMERS resorting to schticky sword days scenes when they get prompted on poetry. this could've been cool (on the level of imagery and sophistication) minus the fucktacular film of "ole ye". obviously -
DEATH

toanoradian - Death on Death (u didn't post ur flash rule, and i'm not looking back)
scythe, skulls, bones - ARE THE ONLY SOLID THINGS IN THE WHOLE POEM!
poetry is about metaphor. metaphor takes something and makes it something new. that thing needs to have physical details or it isn't a thing, its just a bunch of words. and if not a physical thing then original language, but still things.
DEATH

Fanky Malloons - Every Day After (Flash Rule: can't use the word "death")
And now the phone bring
brings an anniversary every time someone calls
up
/
folded like stray DNA
/
drip of condolences, like an icepick (though "between the eyes" is over the top)
/
press my body into your outline
/
wouldnít look at me, their eyes fluttering
away from mine like frightened sparrows
/
-examples of good and real lines that i can see and grasp onto (take notes all dead people). This actually resembles a real poem one might read in a real book sometime after 1600 or not in the D&D section.

Fanky, I was hoping to read a decent poem after seeing how you handled synesthesia, and you didn't let me down. This isn't insane great, but its pretty drat decent. Some of the poofery and self-hugging aren't to my taste, but your assignment guides such to some degree, and whatever.
LIFE.

supermikhail - Non-western burial (another no flash included)
it didn't horribly offend me as so many others above, but it was life-less.... HARRRHAR. no really, there just wasn't much inspiring or intriguing to hold on to, despite being measured journeyman writing.
DEATH.

Symptomless Coma - Saga Of Bird-Dog (haiku... in long form??? which is slightly idiotic cause you basically made Coma write a years worth of poems for anyone serious about haiku, which hiaku is insanity to begin with... who the help-us-all does that)
Chaser becomes chased
Dances of death and life,
(holy poo poo, dances of death, really)

This all men believe:
Violence is a friendship's forge
Hate; love's crucible
(splat; not in a good way)

it does remind me a bit of "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" which is sweet, but that might just be because it has birds in it and the strophes are 3 lines long. there is some good language in here, and the garganutan feet of writing 500 words of loving hiccups, and it follows a path that is legit... but, and i hate to do, but by the words of Ph.D. Boneman, we can no longer accept anything but the best, though better than many of the rest(godam rhymes, see what happens when we do poetry), therefore...
DEATH

Etherwind - Sing we the song of Cleon's fall with Urn. (rule: homer blah blah)
Dude(Lady Dude?), thou arth noble for taking this on, but I can't even read this poo poo(directed at the prompt, not your writing). Under the broad-spectrum of becoming better writers and challenging ourselves to do new and challenging things, i get it... umm maybe... under the narrower spectrum of pointing toward professional writing this prompt fails(caveat, maybe in some farout fantasy this has purpose). Yay for us, yuck yuck, its fun to do zany unneeded poo poo, but DOME is about pain, not laughs. I blame Coma who now receives DEATH twice. Your soul has been exported to TD PURGATORY for your good deeds in fulfilling your duty where you wait for a more meaningful challenge.

Areyoucontagious - The General's Fate (rule: Poem must be a ballad, no shortchanging)

Throaty howls and the clanging steel
Filled the battlefield. (here we go again, straight to the Tomb of the Unknown Bard with the rest of them... I'll be sure to bury you with your lute)

And every bone He broke
The Generalís grin grew larger
And began His horse to stroke. (good image)

hahaha... baby killing... ok, that gets some points for originality at least. RAW.
Work did occur here. Regardless.
DEATH (by antiquation)

swaziloo - I Cannot Say
Flash Rule: Must contain the words "Mouth-friend" and "Frigorific."
Extra Rule: Do not use the same word twice.

Ok, I liked it. It seems you've broken the siege of mouth-breathing ingrate utterance mouth-friend. As a jolly roll in the rhyming nettles, it succeeds variably. It also had some great word choice and complex thought behind it(though it occasionally slips into SAT word scat). What it's lacking is in its form. Though impressive that you did this with couplets(?), it lends itself to an easyish game that is unlikely to be well received by readers of poetry, though maybe not. If this were in a book of other poems that were good, I'd take it, standing alone I'd rather see something with more funk and flame to it. But,
LIFE

HiddenGecko - Dem Bones, Dem Dry Boners - Flash Rule: Must be a limerick
"stay those heaving bosoms" - ha
I respect limericks for the pisswater they are. This one made me laugh a bit, but it didn't hit dead on with rhymes and the story flapped around like a fish on the shore, but without sick intense interest of something dying.
DEATH

Zack_Gochuck - Admiral's Grove - Rule: must have rhyming scheme
And so you choose couplets(?), you have one foot in the grave already, the school yard jump rope of poetry.
saltbox is a good word, I would go to a place called Admiral's Grove. those are the only two good things about it. A picture story in couplets, no deepness, complexity, or any of the other things that attempt to make poetry great.
DEATH

monkeyboydc - Death's Door - Flash Rule: Iambic Pentameter
gently caress iambic is right, another VICTIM of horrid flash rule.
It opened like a wake in deep water. - like
Only we're up - not even the baker. - hate
sorta trippy, so its got that going for it. but it's no Pablo Neruda or such n' such. it glides along in sub-mediocrity. try being more serious, or more trippy, or more something.
DEATH

BlackFrost - Mountain Climber - rule: acrostic "ONLY DEATH IS REAL"
another shitstain prompt rule. Because I read your intro, and admire your gumption, I lower myself to addressing it. WELCOME TO THUNDERDOME BlackFrost where you are immediately gang rapped by this acrostic crap.
real talk - Holy poo poo, are you actually sorta calling back to "A Road Not Taken" the poem about how all of humanity are a bunch of emotionally greedy delusion evil lying bitchholes, and not about smelling flowers, surely not sir.
Reads exactly like a story, and then you end with tomfoolery. You are dead has hell.
DEATH


RECAP: Try reading an actual poem from the last 20-30 years idiots. Here's a place to start. Best of Poetry any year, the Pulitzers and runners up any year, godforsaken McSweeny's for all you sarcastic catz, Nobel's that wrote poetry, a college lit book, Glimmertrain, Plowshares (50-100 others of these pretentious slag collectors), the goddamn internet filled with legit poetry. Write like you know how to read. And regarding prompts, you will very rarely to almost never find half of these ponyboner poem forms in anything that has been published seriously at all in the list above. Apparently we've become the COCK-JUGGLING SLAPSTICK DOME where any-ole-hehaw goes instead of THUNDERDOME were warriors of writing are made. Despite this, It really isn't your fault, while totally and completely still being your fault. Throwing down the gambit of the near worthless art of poetry in front of a bunch of fiction-soldiers was surely risky, but to then give them the reigns of decision making... where's the loving flamethrower and pointy stick, they should be kabobbed

Other than that, heroic cries of "HUZZAH" to the two souls that lived, and there is a special place in the 4th ring of hell who channeled your broadsword while writing.

LIFE - 2 champions to be lauded in story and song if all the bard clones weren't toast
Fanky Malloons
swaziloo

PURGATORY
Etherwind

RESURRECTED TO UNDEAD STATE
SurreptitiousMuffin

DEATH - 112 pitifuls souls ground to dust in the dome
V for Vegas
noah
budgieinspector
toanoradian
supermikhail
Symptomless Coma X2 (for super exciptionally bad homer-poo poo rule)
Areyoucontagious
HiddenGecko
Zack_Gochuck
monkeyboydc
BlackFrost
Judges X100 (for turning TD into a bunch of monkeys loving footballs)


-THAT IS ALL-

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


10 minutes remain, you guys better put the peddle to the metal. You know who you are.

Peel posted:

Bad Seafood: Broken Pieces (The Star)

You think you were too blunt but I think you hit a good spot. Itís clear what it says but thatís not a bad thing. The result is an engaging story with engaging characters. Donít be afraid to be clear in future.
This was better received than I expected, by you and Sitting Here. My faith in my writing tends to dwindle the longer it goes on, but I guess I pulled it off. Thanks.

Canadian Surf Club
Feb 15, 2008

Word.


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

Just as the minnow swims wide-eyed and free,
But knows no meaning of the wide open sea,
So goes the sailor before each morning's glow,
To find his own meaning between each row,
And on the distant shore a family arrives,
To build monuments which live the shortest of lives.

The sailor casts his line and waits for a fish,
And the minnow encounters a savory dish,
The parents lay tanning under a distant flame,
That ancient candle burning long without name,
One scene among many; countless in time's span,
But only questioned by that which we call man.

The minnow is hooked but it does not understand,
Any more than the family who ponder the sand,
The sailor smiles and brings in his next meal,
And the sun jumps another notch on the wheel.
Flopping and choking the minnow waits to die,
Catching its first glimpse of a wide open sky.

A gust of wind casts waves on the shore,
And the children go diving with a scream and a roar,
The boat in its whistling path bobs to and fro,
And the minnow flops into depths below,
Free of the hook and gasping for water,
No more aware of how it avoided all slaughter.

The sailor grumbles and curses his lousy luck,
Thinking he was better at hunting quail and duck,
The children swim and play in the cool water,
And the parents call out to their son and their daughter,
As the sun burns low with an orange glow in the distance,
An hour's chime from the grandfather of existence.

As night sets in and eyelids close,
Hooked by exhaustion in its final throes,
The sailor and the family lie quiet to dream,
Submitting themselves to the void's regime,
And while water reminds us where we're from,
Sleeping lays bare what waits when we succumb.

And in their sleep the children dream,
Of a dying minnow who cannot scream,
And a sailor smiling at a hook of gore,
Under a cloudless sky far from shore,
They wake in sweat and mutter a prayer,
Free of the dream and gasping for air.

Name now one man,
Who understands fate yet ran,
More than the sailor fishing for gold,
Or the minnow evading since times of old.
Just as they are gifted meaning by the sea,
So to does the void gift meaning to thee.

Canadian Surf Club fucked around with this message at Jan 14, 2013 around 05:10

Your Sledgehammer
May 10, 2010

Don`t fall asleep, you gotta write for THUNDERDOME

This was kind of a rush job but I won't make excuses - instead I'll go down fighting
Do your damnedest, Thunderdome.

Flash Rule: Must be written from the perspective of a dying man.
Word Count: 370.


The Long Grass

The last gleam of light left the big catís eye
All alone now, I began to cry
For soon, too, I shall die.

It wasnít this way at the start of the day
I quietly and expertly stalked my prey
Unaware of the horrible price I would pay.

The arrow was sharp and the bowstring was taut
I was too far now for this to be all for naught
I wouldnít leave without the animal I sought.

I saw the black stripes through the long grass
A tattooed cat, powerful and fast
The savannah went silent as a Roman mass.

I fired my arrow and the great tiger lunged
Teeth, claws, and blood; my memory expunged
Howls from us both as over the side we plunged.

We lay for a while at the bottom of the ravine
The golden wounded cat the most beautiful thing Iíd seen
And I began to reflect on the person Iíve been.

A great hunter, over animals I was lord
Pelts and heads and teeth Iíd horde
Evolutionís finest product, king of the food chain I roared.

In my rush for status, there was much I failed to see
I didnít understand how majestic my prey could be
My bloodlust reflected poorly on me.

The creatures I sought were valuable too
As worthy of life and respect as me and you
But instead we hunt them and cage them in zoos.

Only at the end did I realize the depth of my error
Lying next to the dying cat, I fought back my terror
Wishing for all the world that I had been fairer.

A shame that I learned the truth at so late an hour
We humans think we sit so high in our tower
But we do so much damage in our blind lust for power.

The understanding of this left me overwhelmed and shaking
But as I began to repent, the loose bonds of my consciousness were breaking
Spots danced before my eyes and the ground was quaking.

My painful self-understanding would follow me to my grave
And as the blackness took over, I tried to be brave
At peace with the knowledge that humans would never have the power they craved.

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

Flash rule: Must be a satire.

Round n (662 words)

Tick
Flowering of space-time-force
Tock
Macro dimensions crystallize
Tick
Ah, three plus one.
Tock
My favorite


Death watched intently
As infant matter and its opposite
Warred in the blackness

Attracting, repelling, touching
Annihilating
Orderly matter, both kinds
Flashing away to energy
Death was increased

A happily messy aftermath
The soup was thin now
And of only one kind
But it was not without order

Death watched intently
As hydrogen slowly massed
Barely detectable clusterings
Now diffuse clouds
Now tight knots

Less homogenous, yes
But clumping produced heat
And Death was increased

Death watched intently
The cloudy knots were thinning
No - clumping further!
Clumping locally!
And under the pressure

The stars were lit

Their fire was Creation
Complex helium
From simple hydrogen
Death was decreased!

But as a forge
Gravity is inefficient
The stars Created, yes
But much greater
Was energy lost as light
A fair enough trade
After the initial shock
Thought Death
As he increased

Death watched intently
As twenty-five new forms
Were birthed in the young stars

Most distasteful, to be sure
But Death increased all the while
And the stars were slowing down.

Then they began to explode!
Ah, how Death increased!
How silly to have worried!

He saw immediately
That new stars would form
But what of it?
So much energy ceded to him
For what? For what?

Cold fury, then
As he saw what the suicides
Had bought dear

Sixty-Six new forms!
Very orderly
Though many were unstable

Unthinkable! Blasphemous!
Yet Death had increased
And continued to increase
What was this gambit?

Death watched intently
As infant atoms formed molecules
Complex structure
But at a cost
Always Death increased

Death saw the gambit, now
New stars, heavy stars
Would coalesce from this dust

Death watched intently
As the heavy stars formed
Waited for their ignition
Creation at their cores

Nothing!
The new stars were stillborn!
Too cold, too cold!
Nothing but rocks
Leaking the heat of formation
The gambit had failed
Death was increased!

Death watched languidly
As the true second stars
Collapsed and ignited

But they were nothing new
Nothing to fear
And still Death increased

Death watched languidly
As the light of true stars
Fell on a fraction of the stillborn
And their surfaces warmed
Still Death increased

Death felt a pinprick
Cast about for its source

A stillborn star?
No, new structure
At its surface
Self replicating structure!

Death watched furiously
As the replicators multiplied
And spread
Their messy processes
Increased him always
Faster than before
But their ordered internals
Were the ultimate affront

So this was the true gambit
Such audacity!
To increase him
By building pockets
Where he could be murdered!

This went beyond
The Spirit of the Game
Beyond the implications
Of Conditions Initial
This was a cheat!

Death could never be decreased
By this insane process
It was true
But the irreverence on display
Was too much to bear

Death watched insanely
As life multiplied and branched
Always he increased
Even life increased him
As it lived
As it died
But this was forgotten

He'd seen the possibility
Right from the start

The Gambit within the Gambit

Ah, they awakened now
Self aware creatures
Aware of death

Death cared little for death
The ending of a process
At a specific level of abstraction

But these creatures feared death
And though they had not yet named Death
He knew they would
And they would scheme

Against their petty death
Against his ultimate Death
They would lose both battles
Always
That was obvious

But how disgusting
To waste an entire Game
An entire Universe
On a bad joke aimed at him

Executed by little machines
That would presume to
Take up their master's Standard!

It was time to interfere
Time to break the rules
As his opponent had broken them

Death hadn't interfered
In a very long time
Not for many Games
But this was personal
And he could use a challenge

After all
Spare the children and the rod spoils

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


Submissions are closed.

Iroel and Meis are both no shows and have shamed their ancestors. As for the rest of you, good job.

budgieinspector
Mar 24, 2006

According to my research,
these would appear to be
Budgerigars.



twinkle cave posted:

why are so many DOMERS resorting to schticky sword days scenes

...Tell me this is kayfabe.

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 1938 days!


Soiled Meat


I'm struggling to find the words to adequately convey how much this seems inappropriate. Much in the same way as you had trouble making sense of the prompt, I find it hard to wrap my head around your dismissal of the style when similar material gets published on a fairly regular basis. Admittedly, it's pretty niche stuff, but to say it's invalid is to make the mistake of putting too much weight on your personal tastes. I sympathise, as there's lots of poetry I really don't enjoy, but I think you're making a mistake that's potentially detrimental to your experience of the poetic corpus.

Anyway, enough genteel words:

Put up or shut up! Either have the balls to call it poo poo and tell me why, or let it pass. None of this weak purgatory poo poo.

Edit: unless you're just trolling, in which case, well done.

Etherwind fucked around with this message at Jan 14, 2013 around 05:19

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


Etherwind posted:

I'm struggling to find the words to adequately convey how much this seems inappropriate. Much in the same way as you had trouble making sense of the prompt, I find it hard to wrap my head around your dismissal of the style when similar material gets published on a fairly regular basis. Admittedly, it's pretty niche stuff, but to say it's invalid is to make the mistake of putting too much weight on your personal tastes. I sympathise, as there's lots of poetry I really don't enjoy, but I think you're making a mistake that's potentially detrimental to your experience of the poetic corpus.

Anyway, enough genteel words:

Put up or shut up! Either have the balls to call it poo poo and tell me why, or let it pass. None of this weak purgatory poo poo.

Edit: unless you're just trolling, in which case, well done.

I hear what your saying. And you worked hard. I respect that. But I stand by my words, and the heartless nature of the dome. I'm not an official judge, and my crits and proclamation are ultimately meaningless. They are meant to add flavor, enjoyment, and perhaps a bit of something intelligent from time to time about writing. The judges will surely see things different than my lowly rear end. Someone should step in who's more familiar and has the patience for this style of work and give you a meaningful worthwhile crit and tell my purgatory to go to hell. I have no qualms on being put in my place by other warriors.

And yes, it is VERY niche, if some journal that handles this at all exists (CHALLANGE). It isn't personal taste in this instance so much as the taste of the vast majority of important magazines and publishers that do poetry. See the list in my closing remarks.. or any googleable list of top 100 or so magazines. They don't publish epic poetry.

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 1938 days!


Soiled Meat

twinkle cave posted:

And yes, it is VERY niche, if some journal that handles this at all exists (CHALLANGE).

Off the top of my head, I'm pretty sure Arcadia does epic poems. They're in Oklahoma. A friend showed me an issue a while ago, he liked it specifically because it handled that niche stuff.

Edit: http://www.arcadiamagazine.org/
Edit: Apparently they're paying their writers now. I thought they were a non-profit. So there you go, a place to submit an epic poem and get paid.

Etherwind fucked around with this message at Jan 14, 2013 around 06:02

twinkle cave
Dec 20, 2012


Etherwind posted:

Does a non-profit count? Off the top of my head, I'm pretty sure Arcadia does epic poems. I think they're based in Idaho? They're in Oklahoma. A friend showed me an issue a while ago, he liked it specifically because it handled that niche stuff.

Edit: http://www.arcadiamagazine.org/

Challenge met. I defer.

From the website of Arcadia:
"Here at Arcadia, we have become increasingly aware of the limitations other journals pin on themselves. They only want a certain word count, a certain brushstroke, a certain aesthetic. We want to put an end to that. We want to see your very best work. Novella, short story, poem, painting, photograph, stand-up comedy routine, album, short film, mockumentary, epic poem about the Dukes of Hazzard, we don't care. We want to see it, read it, hear it, and love it. If it kicks rear end, we will find a way to publish it."

Let us part friends sir, or at least until we are next called to splatter the ground with each others blood in the THUNDERDOME.

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 1938 days!


Soiled Meat

twinkle cave posted:

Let us part friends sir, or at least until we are next called to splatter the ground with each others blood in the THUNDERDOME.

We're cool. Thanks to you I'm seriously thinking about submitting that poem (or a redraft of it) to Arcadia. I wasn't going to bother because their website said they only pay with a copy of the magazine, but I've been informed that's out of date.

supermikhail
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."


After reading such words as "linguistic descritipivitism" I feel like a high-school student who has submitted a critique on a physics Nobel work (that is, "I sure mashed some words together" ).

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


24 sign ups to 22 submissions, so on the whole not a bad turnout. Now comes the hard part.

Bad Seafood posted:

SurreptitiousMuffin - Submitted
Must contain a guitar, a tunnel, and a juicer.
If poem contains rhymes they may only be internal because English let's you finagle out of that sort of thing.

Noah - Submitted
Poem must be a sestina.

Capntastic - Submitted
Poem must be in iambic pentameter.

Hidden Gecko - Submitted
Poem must be in limericks.

Budgieinspector - Submitted
Every third line must contain an enjambment.

Swaziloo - Submitted
Must contain the words "Mouth-friend" and "Frigorific."

Iroel
Poem must be nautical in theme and feature zero birds.


Canadian Surf Club - Submitted
Must contain one line that is also a palindrome.

V for Vegas - Submitted
Must begin and end with the same word.

Toanoradian - Submitted
Poem must be in free verse with short lines divided into syntactical unit stanzas of 4 to 8 because V for Vegas hates you unintentionally.

Sitting Here - Submitted
Must contain a geologist.

Fanky Malloons - Submitted
Cannot use the word "Death."

Supermikhail - Submitted
Must contain a non-Western funeral rite.

STONE OF MADNESS - SUBMITTED
MUST CONTAIN THIS RADICAL PICTURE DRAWN BY SUPERMIKHAIL THAT I'M TOTALLY NOT GOING TO LINK BECAUSE YOU ALEADY DID.

Blackfrost - Submitted
Must contain an acrostic spelling out ONLY DEATH IS REAL.

Symptomless Coma - Submitted
Poem must be in haiku.

Etherwind - Submitted
Poem must be in epic poetry.

Zack_Gochuck - Submitted
Poem must rhyme but can never use the same rhyme twice.

Areyoucontagious - Submitted
Poem must be a ballad, no shortchanging.

Monkeyboydc - Submitted
Poem must be in iambic pentameter because Areyou is lazy.

Meis
Poem must be a concrete poem must be a concrete poem must be.
Poem must be upbeat and optimistic.


Your Sledgehammer - Submitted
Poem must be from the perspective of a dying man.

Prolonged Priapism - Submitted
Poem must be satirical.

Twinkle Cave - Submitted
Poem must be at least 5% nonsense words Twinkle Cave made up.
Time to meet your crit buddies. Each of you will be charged with reading and critiquing one of your fellow domers' pieces sometime within the next 72 hours. You are, of course, under no obligation to do so, but seeing as proper feedback is the most valuable thing one can receive, you're a louse if you don't and we'll exchange dark glances whenever you enter the room.

Capntastic, you are paired with Blackfrost.
Budgieinspector, you are paired with Your Sledgehammer.
Areyoucontagious, you are paired with Monkeyboydc.
Symptomless Coma, you are paired with Fanky Malloons.
Noah, you are paired with SurreptitiousMuffin.
Swazillo, you are paired with STONE OF MADNESS.
Canadian Surf Club, you are paired with Twinkle Cave.
Etherwind, you are paired with Prolonged Priaprism.
Hidden Gecko, you are paired with Sitting Here.
V for Vegas, you are paired with Supermikhail.
Zack_Gochuck, you are paired with Toanoradian.

Go wild gentlemen.

Bad Seafood fucked around with this message at Jan 14, 2013 around 07:01

STONE OF MADNESS
Dec 28, 2012

PVTREFACTIO


swaziloo posted:

Poetry is hard.
I Cannot Say

Look I'm going to have to be brief.
I liked some of your images,

"Gerrymander cross-stitched thighs
Supported flesh thick white zip tie"

especially.

I didn't get a sense of continuity throughout this piece; that is to say, I looked, but didn't find. Doubtless there is a thought-process behind these , but to me all is opaque. To my mind poetry of this kind is little more than word design (there I said it), accessible to the academy and those invested in it, perhaps by a kind of placebo effect as much as anything else. I know I'm not completely stupid - if a piece is communicating something, I should be able to perceive it and I just don't. I'm not even getting a mood here beyond 'help me, I'm lost in a hobo's notebook.'

If you were trying for a consistent rhythm in this piece, be advised that you may be leaning too heavily on audience interpretation; of course if performing this, you could speak it as you wished, but lines like "Perversion cunning evident" and "Frigorific seas shut it down" would need beat-play, or anacruses to fit the rhythm. If, I stress, if that was your intent; when meaning is allowed to elude the audience, there seems to be little point in trying to enforce any standards whatsoever (see also: everything).

This may or may not be a minority opinion, but when twinkle cave identifies poetry as a 'near worthless art', I think he's right. Especially today. If all you have behind your piece is a piece-building system or game, then I don't see why anyone should care.

Beyond a desire to seem hep:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfB6X0SHZPY

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

I got it wrong. Look, I'm well aware I got it wrong and uh, I got it wrong.


I put my flash rule at the bottom of the page. I didn't want it disrupting the flow of the poem; if the reader's trying to pick the prompt out, it screws with the reading.

Though I did forget to say whether it was main or brawl, yeah.

Noah, watch this space.


edit: here goes
The magic of a sestina is really in the word choice; you have to choose six words that are versatile enough to last the distance. While I applaud the fact you've made a coherent poem from the form (which is really loving hard so bravo), you made it unnecessarily hard on yourself by picking a static and rather cliche angsty-poetry wordlist. The last three could work but the first three drag the whole endeavour down.

Grind
blood
rust
tool
save
power

it's a bit loving maudlin, isn't it? It tries to do something pretty uplifting with them but by its very nature, it's not an uplifting form; the best sestinas tend to evoke a feeling of walls closing in: the form is so very restrictive, the reader can't help but feel trapped and twisted this way and that. With that in mind, words like blood and grind labour the point too much. A good approach is to pick six quite upbeat words and use the tension between the form and vocabulary to build emotional torque. In a non-morbid poem about death, you could've done a Prufrock sorta thing where you talk about big things in the least mythic way possible and in doing so, bring big abstracts like death down into more relatable and a lot more emotionally gutsy territory. Check this out (not a sestina):

T.S MOTHERFUCKING ELIOT posted:

Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophetóand hereís no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.
Can you see how unlaboured it is? It's a little guy talking about big things and the tension that creates is absolutely devastating when Eliot finally throws the punch.

Never talk about DEATH and BLOOD and OBLIVION on their own: show people on the ground thinking about them. Ground them- make them more human and they go from these big abstract concepts to "holy crap these are things that will happen to me and you and my awesome dog who I love", which is what you want.

With a sestina, it's impossible to be light with your form but you can be light with everything else and play off the tension. I feel like I'm repeating myself. Am I making sense, though?


Overall: B-. You shot yourself in the foot with poor word choice and would've been better off if you'd forced the point less. It's a solid use of the form though - I can never begrudge a man who puts out a working sestina.

Did Noah sink or swim? Dog paddle.

SurreptitiousMuffin fucked around with this message at Jan 14, 2013 around 08:32

Chairchucker
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.

Bad Seafood posted:

Careful Mikhail. You're starting to sound like me.

And it is always worse to submit nothing.

You'd think that, but no 'did not submit' ever became an ultraloser.

Also hey I'll be back in the 'Dome for real in just over a week. Woopwoop.

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 1938 days!


Soiled Meat

Prolonged Priapism I'm going to say straight-off that it's not clear to me what you're satirising. That's not to say that I don't like the underlying idea of death-as-entropy anthropomorphised and watching with growing discontent at the state of the unfolding universe, I'm just not sure what it's meant to be a stand-in for, and what the satire is meant to be criticising. I can think of a few things it could be (satirising all of existence as just a game seems like a good bet, or maybe satirising the prompt like a meta rear end in a top hat), but they're all shots in the dark. Maybe that's the point.

So first criticism: satire must be grounded, whether at the start or (better) becoming clear through the piece. I don't feel your piece achieves this.

Following on from what I said earlier, my second criticism (more a quibble) is that the definition of death is a bit broad, but paradoxically underutilised. You explicitly equate all entropy with death, and while this is a fine expansion of the subject, you never really follow the implications through, death's ruminations on all things tending toward him aside. I feel this could have been expanded upon: it's fertile ground.

So those are my high-level thoughts and first impressions. What follows is highly subjective: with that caution, let's tear in.

Flash rule: Must be a satire.

Round n Excellent title.

Tick
Flowering of space-time-force
Tock
Macro dimensions crystallize
Tick
Ah, three plus one.
Tock
My favorite

I can't help but feel you missed a perfect opportunity to use Iambic Pentameter (I swear, I'm not a fan boy) and work in some serious literary allusion. Do you remember the old Shakespeare sonnet

"When I do count the clock that tells the time"?

If the segments of death's stream of consciousness between each tick had been stylised to match the rhythm of the clock, it'd have been really evocative, especially since it's the only place in the poem where we're directly privy to death's thoughts.

I was initially confused by the break in subject between each line, and think you could have better used a formatting trick to make the juxtaposition between death and time more explicit. As it is, though, setting up the association between death and the passage of time in the first stanza is very appropriate and I think you handled it well, as it thematically signposts what's to come.

I can see why you went with "three plus one" dimensions (since your average reader is not going to be familiar with poo poo like manifolds and String Theory), but given that you go into some some pretty in-depth jargon, I feel you maybe should have gone full-out with the scientific detail there. You wouldn't have lost anything.

Overall a good introduction: you've got me interested.


Death watched intently An important motif: we'll come back to this.
/ / - / -
As infant matter and its opposite
- / - / - / - / - /
Warred in the blackness
/ - - / -

The first and third lines have a nice rhythm together, and that second line could well be blank verse depending on how you place the stresses.

Attracting, repelling, touching
- / - - / - / -
Annihilating
- / - / -
Orderly matter, both kinds
- / - / - - /
Flashing away to energy
/ - - / - / - /
Death was increased The second motif is well introduced.
/ - - /

The first four lines have a good rhythm and strong hooks, and the last line fits well into the rhythm you're building up while making a thematic break to what's come before.

A happily messy aftermath
The soup was thin now
And of only one kind
But it was not without order

Then here it feels like the rhythm falters. The first line is good (though you could have kept with the theme and used "afterbirth" instead of "aftermath"), but the other three stumble a bit, and lack strong hooks. I think I've said enough on rhythm for you to get a general feel for how I read the poem, so I'll focus on other concerns.

With some scientific background it's easy to see why you went with "soup", but I think it's the wrong word to use there. If you'd been developing the image of the universe as a meal for death it could have held, but on its own it feels plain next to the high imagery you've been weaving so far. That last line, about order, seems redundant given your reference to the orderly state in the preceding stanza. I think you'd have been better served with something like "intent", which would have better implied some plan afoot...


Death watched intently And then you go and use it in the next stanza!
As hydrogen slowly massed
Barely detectable clusterings
Now diffuse clouds
Now tight knots

What is death intent on? He doesn't do anything until the very end of the poem, and at this stage he doesn't have any real impetus to act. I think it's clumsy word choice. "As hydrogen slowly massed" is a great line and the poem could have done with more words like "massed", evocative of scientific terms while describing something entirely different. Excellent use of repetition with variation to suggest change and key back to the theme of time progressing, and good contrast between "diffuse clouds" and "tight knots." However, then the stanza ends without a final line to ground it, which feels like a break with the style so far.

Less homogenous, yes
But clumping produced heat
And Death was increased

This feels like padding. You could have taken the sentiment of the last two lines and put them on the end of the preceding stanza, to better effect.

Death watched intently
The cloudy knots were thinning
No - clumping further!
Clumping locally!
And under the pressure

The stars were lit

Taking the two proceeding stanzas as one, since they're directly linked. The phrase "Clumping locally!" feels clumsy, especially since "Clumping together" would go well with the repetition of the preceding line while conveying the same idea, and would have added some nice consonance in context with the lines above and beneath it. I'm on the fence about "The stars were lit" being on a line of its own. I get that it's a momentous event you want to give weight to, I'm just unconvinced that a hanging line is the best way to do it. Props on the enjambment, though: the poem could do with more of it between stanzas to link them together and further add to the onward rush of time.

Their fire was Creation
Complex helium
From simple hydrogen
Death was decreased!

Okay, so you've capitalised "Creation" like you've been capitalising death throughout the story. This is a good way to introduce another force at work within the universe, but you stumbled by not going on to anthropomorphise it in the same way. I get that this is a poem about death, but more concrete clues as to the nature of its adversary would have helped maintain the narrative. This aside, the inversion of the first motif is good, and lends dramatic weight to the introduction of an opposing force. It's an interesting dualism: creation against entropy.

But as a forge
Gravity is inefficient
The stars Created, yes
But much greater
Was energy lost as light
A fair enough trade
After the initial shock
Thought Death
As he increased

Would have been nice to cut back to a first person account from death for its reflection there. The engendering of death as male is begging for you to engender creation as female, and would have added a whole new set of subtexts to the story, but you never deliver.

Totally unrelated to the criticism, but why is death shocked by the emergence of new forms of matter? Actually, maybe this is relevant: you're assuming a degree of scientific literacy from your audience, so it's fair to also assume they'll know that the formation of matter under a dimensional set up like we have is demanded by the underpinning mathematics. This seems to sit at odds with death's expressed familiarity with the set up (it is, after all, "My favourite"). I totally accept and condone this omission for the sake of drama, so don't take this point too far to heart.


Death watched intently Now he has reason to be intent on something
As twenty-five new forms
Were birthed in the young stars

More allusions to motherhood.

Most distasteful, to be sure
But Death increased all the while
And the stars were slowing down.

I feel you could have brought the two preceding stanzas together, or otherwise added a comma to the end of the verse before this one to make the enjambment more explicit.

Then they began to explode!
Ah, how Death increased!
How silly to have worried!

He saw immediately
That new stars would form
But what of it?
So much energy ceded to him
For what? For what?

All of this is again crying out to come from death's perspective rather than the omniscient narrator. I think that's something you could have done with the poem: threaded death's perspective (which is established as limited) with the narrator's description, which would have helped keep the urgency. If you're going to anthropomorphise something, you might as well make use of it, and showing is better than telling.

Cold fury, then
As he saw what the suicides
Had bought dear

Sixty-Six new forms!
Very orderly
Though many were unstable

I'm feeling a subtext of order versus chaos, or disorder, with the latter naturally tending toward death's side. That's another thing that could have been developed more explicitly to complement the narrative.

Unthinkable! Blasphemous!
Yet Death had increased
And continued to increase
What was this gambit?

I get that you employ the word "gambit" in the sense of "calculated move", but the poem's story would gain some weight by having an implied stake. On the other hand, you may intend this solely to play up that it's all just another game, which works and ties in well to the title.

Death watched intently
As infant atoms formed molecules More allusions to motherhood!
Complex structure
But at a cost
Always Death increased

In light of this stanza, I think you deployed "complex" too early in the poem when you used it to describe helium. Here it has impact. Especially well handled is the introduction of this notion of cost, and there we have an underlying theme of the poem: all creation is made at equal cost. Dualism! If only this had been further explored, you'd have greater conceptual space to conduct an exploration of death as an entity.

Death saw the gambit, now
New stars, heavy stars
Would coalesce from this dust

Death watched intently
As the heavy stars formed
Waited for their ignition
Creation at their cores

Nothing!
The new stars were stillborn! Mother metaphors everywhere, but still no mother.
Too cold, too cold!
Nothing but rocks
Leaking the heat of formation
The gambit had failed
Death was increased!

Death watched languidly A new motif
As the true second stars
Collapsed and ignited

This motif is good: it better describes death's passive observation and state of mind. The problem is that it clashes with the previous use of "intently"; I expected it to be a contrast, but "languidly" is not a good contrast with "intently". I'd consider revising the first motif to something that better describes paying active attention, rather than paying attention with unexpressed intent to action.

But they were nothing new
Nothing to fear
And still Death increased

Death watched languidly
As the light of true stars
Fell on a fraction of the stillborn
And their surfaces warmed
Still Death increased

Death felt a pinprick
Cast about for its source

"Death felt a pinprick" is a line that would have worked well on its own. It gets the point across, no pun intended, and does it in an evocative and succinct way.

A stillborn star?
No, new structure
At its surface
Self replicating structure!

Not sure about the repetition of "structure", there. It sets up this idea of life being just an extension of what's come before, but the repetition so close feels clumsy, like it's drawing attention but achieving nothing.

Death watched furiously
As the replicators multiplied
And spread
Their messy processes
Increased him always
Faster than before
But their ordered internals More references to order being anathema to entropy.
Were the ultimate affront

So this was the true gambit
Such audacity!
To increase him
By building pockets
Where he could be murdered!

And here's where the poem smacks into a wall.

How can death be murdered? Give us some context. How does this threaten death? How can it harm him? "By building pockets where he could be murdered" is a muddled image that tells us nothing. If death is everywhere (and the poem drives this home over and over again) then how does excluding him from "pockets" (I'm assuming this is where you're going with the idea) murder him in totality? And - explanation aside - how can you take such a great idea and introduce it with such little gravitas?


This went beyond
The Spirit of the Game
Beyond the implications
Of Conditions Initial
This was a cheat!

Seemingly Random Capitalisation is Not a Good Thing. "Of conditions initial" seems out of place with the rest of the stanza and its flow.

Death could never be decreased
By this insane process
It was true
But the irreverence on display
Was too much to bear

I feel duped. The opening drew me in with a promise of hearing death's observations, and how we're just getting told them. Come on, man.

Death watched insanely
As life multiplied and branched
Always he increased
Even life increased him
As it lived
As it died
But this was forgotten

"Insanely" is poor word choice: he doesn't act insane. Irrationally, sure, but not insane. It's especially poor in context with the preceding stanza, where you describe what he witnesses as "insane".

He'd seen the possibility
Right from the start

No he hadn't. Look, sorry, but you just spent ages setting up how totally blind-sided he was by the whole thing. If this was an intentional contradiction to achieve some kind of effect I'd be totally down, but it doesn't seem to work that way.

The Gambit within the Gambit

Why is this capitalised? Think before deploying your proper nouns, and use them consistently. If you want to stress "gambit" to make clear the metaphor of the universe as just a game, you should have capitalised all the preceding appearances of the word. This just feels like you're trying to add drama to a dramatically weak line. My suggestion is to remove all other capitalisation - apart from that for death and creation - and render the first "gambit" within this sentence in lower case. "The gambit within the Gambit" better stresses the message you seem to be going for.

Ah, they awakened now
Self aware creatures
Aware of death

Death cared little for death
The ending of a process
At a specific level of abstraction

Confused imagery. You've anthropomorphised the concept of death, and now you're having him refer to himself as apart from himself. For this to work you really need to handle it a lot more clearly.

But these creatures feared death
And though they had not yet named Death
He knew they would
And they would scheme

Death sure is quick to see all this coming after being caught off-guard.

Against their petty death
Against his ultimate Death
They would lose both battles
Always
That was obvious

See, now you go and use the two different types of death in an evocative way. This is great, but you should set it up more smoothly.

But how disgusting
To waste an entire Game If you're going to do this, pick "Game" or "Gambit" and stick with it to better build the metaphor
An entire Universe A proper noun deployed in the general context doesn't read well
On a bad joke aimed at him

Executed by little machines
That would presume to
Take up their master's Standard! Who is their master? Or mistress?

It was time to interfere
Time to break the rules
As his opponent had broken them

Here comes the pay off for all the effort you went to stressing the passage of time!

Death hadn't interfered
In a very long time
Not for many Games
But this was personal
And he could use a challenge

After all
Spare the children and the rod spoils

This is a terrible ending. What's terrible about it is that it could have been so good if you'd worked in the idea of a female opposite, built on dualism, 'cause then "children" and "rod" would have taken on a whole new layer of symbolism. If you're not going that way, a wheat and scythe metaphor would probably go better, being more evocative of death. As it stands, you don't even tell us what death is going to do, which makes the rod pretty limp.

Overall I like this poem, but it feels like it has issues it needs to get past to really grab me by the balls. I think you could have benefited from stricter structure in places, used that to hone the imagery and progression of events and build real urgency. It doesn't need it, but right now it falls to the hazards of free verse.

I would love to see you redraft this piece, and hope at least some of the crap I've thrown has stuck in an interesting pattern.

Edit: I stepped away to make a cup of tea and go to bed, and realised I'd entirely ignored the most important part of any poem.

Man, I don't know how to break this gently: your poem doesn't really stir an emotion in me. Not humour (of which satire usually has a component), but at least not morbidity. The closest it comes is a feeling of detached interest, and while that suits some parts of death's observation, it doesn't really fulfil what poetry is mostly all about.

So it's kinda bloodless. It doesn't have to stay that way. You've got an awful lot going for it, and with some firmer grounding of the narrative in the perspective of death, you have the potential to inspire wonder and dread. With the right turns of phrase you can have us feel death's smug satisfaction, contentment, surprise, anger, bitter determination and then wicked cleverness. Give the old skeleton some teeth!

Etherwind fucked around with this message at Jan 14, 2013 around 20:22

Peel
Dec 3, 2007



supermikhail posted:

After reading such words as "linguistic descritipivitism" I feel like a high-school student who has submitted a critique on a physics Nobel work (that is, "I sure mashed some words together" ).

That's more to do with linguistics than literature. Descriptivism is the idea that the rules of grammar and usage describe how a language is used, prescriptivism is the idea that one should prescribe how language should be used. The latter is mostly frowned upon by people aware of the distinction. Scientific linguistics is all description, but prescription clings on among Internet nitpickers or governments who want to enforce a standard language or what have you.

A classic example is 'to boldly go' and other split infinitives. Some authorities claimed that it was incorrect because English grammar should be like Latin. So the idea that it's 'wrong' has taken root. However, because split infinitives are used and understood casually and naturally by native English speakers, descriptivists would claim that's nonsense - English is defined by its usage (and they're right). See also ending sentences with prepositions, 'My friends and me went to...', and so on.

Criticising writing requires prescription of a sort though, since we're talking about language as a tool.

Symptomless Coma
Mar 30, 2007
for shock value

Etherwind posted:

Edit: http://www.arcadiamagazine.org/
Edit: Apparently they're paying their writers now. I thought they were a non-profit. So there you go, a place to submit an epic poem and get paid.

And after this furore, you'd better do that. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

And Seamus Heaney did alright with his Beowulf, didn't he? You took the maw of my prompt and shoved a hairy clenched fist into it.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Supermikhail your poem definitely rhymed. I like poetry that does that. Downside - I could tell what it was about. That is not good when writing poetry. Too prosaic you know? Well, that's about my store of poetry criticism used up. This was a rough start to 2013.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


I told them we should have gone with the theme of "titties".

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

I'm here, reading the entries will have a list of crits posted by the end of the day.

supermikhail
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."


V for Vegas posted:

Supermikhail your poem definitely rhymed. I like poetry that does that. Downside - I could tell what it was about. That is not good when writing poetry. Too prosaic you know? Well, that's about my store of poetry criticism used up. This was a rough start to 2013.

Yeah... I could quote twinkle cave for you, but I doubt the dome would approve. So, instead, I agree with everything he says but I shall add that corniness could be less noticeable if it were a song. A corny hard rock song. It depends on whether you like to enter or exit with a bang, but "the lesson for which we all shall burn" would go in a later portion if I were writing it, although I wouldn't be writing it because I'm a brick-droppingly literal guy, so I zoned out two times while reading your poem. Sorry.

Oh, and the first line seems to set a rhythm with repetition, but then it all sadly breaks, though of course it wouldn't impede a desperate song, because they can wrap all kinds of words into any kind of rhythm.

On the other hand, some of the fancy words in it would sound strange to hardcore hardrock fans.

I'm out. Oh, wait, I've got one round left. That's sure to come in useful.

Great Horny Toads!
Apr 25, 2012


Martello posted:

The word stinkyhole is ever-changing

So, is the word "stinkyhole" ever-changing, or is it a stinkyhole made of words? Do the words change, or the stinkyhole? Is it a talking stinkyhole? A 365-day calendar stinkyhole with, like, a different word and definition every day?
cuntcuntcunt

toanoradian
May 30, 2011

The happiest waffligator



Win a week to find out! Winning will also literally fulfill all your dreams.

areyoucontagious
Jun 13, 2007

Hell is other people.


Overall your beats werenít always in perfect pentameter, but you were close most of the time. I wonít really point out all the places the werenít, but just the more egregious ones. Most of the comments will be on your imagery.

"There's a way to split your soul from body"
the note I found inside my text book said.
"It's a simple trick that anyone can learn.
If you would like I will show you the way."

"As you begin to drift to sleep tonight,
you'll need to look for an immense, dark door. boring imagery; so a big dark door? Clichť. Also, you donít need that comma there, it adds an unnecessary pause.
Passing through will hurt, but then you'll be free.
Going through will be just like a death."
A death? Confusing sentence, breaks your flow. Also, I count 4.5

I found the door - walking up its shadow.
To reach the knob, I had to climb its front.
Splinters, slivers, cut my fingers and toes.
The knob numbed me like my hands were in snow.
Donít use similes ďX like YĒ, they are very boring. Use a different way of conveying your imagery.

It opened like a wake in deep water.
My chest opened then too and I poured out.
My being, thoughts, feelings like a long piss -
dilute, expand and drift to find more souls.

Huge shift here that I donít entirely understand.
I see that you are a free soul examining your physical life, but at the same time I donít know who ďweĒ is, so itís hard to follow your line of thought.

We sit with our coffees warming our hands.
The street out the window is quiet still.
Only we're up - not even the baker.
Our eyes are low in the heavy morning.

Water runs warm, heated by the bonfire
that makes dashes into the dark forest.
Dirt and stones stick to our many bare feet.
We're up when the night bleeds to day, like souls.
^This last stanza was particularly difficult in terms of finding its meaning. Is it just meaningless pictures?
For a moment it's day during the night.
Lightning falls down on the valley below.
We point up and light splits sky like black cloth
on white screen that shears and shines from behind.

Sometimes I shrink, condense - droplets on glass.
I funnel to my source, to my body
to see how it's doing without me there.
It must be hard living without a soul.

Soon I find it sitting in a sleek building.
It has a crease etched in its brow line now.
Its tie cuts off air from reaching its lungs.
It's bent over a screen that I can't read now.

It forgets what day it is - they're the same.
It wakes with a girl who's name he doesn't
know and wonders as he walks home, what her
days are like and if she still has her soul.

Books sit, lonely now. "I don't have the time
anymore." I heard it say, Even that text book
lies uncracked, spine unbent, words unread.
This was something we used to do as one.

It sleeps on a couch, bathed in blue light from
the TV deep in a beer-sleep, snoring. Assonance here is p. good
I should be sad for it, but then I think:
If this is life, then I'll choose death. Clichť
The last three stanzas are okay, while I find your overall goal (a soul viewing its life and finding it unsatisfactory) to be interesting, if not overdone, I think your poem is somewhat poorly executed, due to clunky writing, overuse of similes, and a weird shift in perspective in the middle of the poem.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


toanoradian posted:

Winning will also literally fulfill all your dreams.
This is completely true.

areyoucontagious
Jun 13, 2007

Hell is other people.


twinkle cave posted:

RECAP: Try reading an actual poem from the last 20-30 years idiots. Here's a place to start. Best of Poetry any year, the Pulitzers and runners up any year, godforsaken McSweeny's for all you sarcastic catz, Nobel's that wrote poetry, a college lit book, Glimmertrain, Plowshares (50-100 others of these pretentious slag collectors), the goddamn internet filled with legit poetry. Write like you know how to read. And regarding prompts, you will very rarely to almost never find half of these ponyboner poem forms in anything that has been published seriously at all in the list above. Apparently we've become the COCK-JUGGLING SLAPSTICK DOME where any-ole-hehaw goes instead of THUNDERDOME were warriors of writing are made. Despite this, It really isn't your fault, while totally and completely still being your fault. Throwing down the gambit of the near worthless art of poetry in front of a bunch of fiction-soldiers was surely risky, but to then give them the reigns of decision making... where's the loving flamethrower and pointy stick, they should be kabobbed

So I went and checked out Versed, by Rae Armantrout, to try and expand my poetic experience, and I don't loving get any of it, which makes me feel stupid and uneducated. Is there an accessible poet of the last 20-30 years you'd recommend, or should I just keep pushing through Versed?

Edit: Like for real, I've read and enjoyed poetry before, but this feels like I'm watching the poet masturbate with the english language. I'm not sure how that makes me feel.

areyoucontagious fucked around with this message at Jan 14, 2013 around 18:26

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Student of the principle art of posting

Fun Shoe

Thunderbrawl submission
478 words

Hey jerk. How's it going? Hope you've got a real job in Chicago by now and you're not still blackmailing stage managers to put on your 'act', she writes with deliberate and sarcastic quotation. Don't wind up on a park bench, just come home if you run out of money. I'll give you my spare change to mow the lawn and cut you a very nice deal on the rent. Sorry you were sick! I know how hard it is to deal with the flu by yourself. Don't try to make those poor girls you pick up take care of you, god knows they suffer enough without having to deal with your diseased rear end on top of everything else.

Not much new over here, just the drat cat's dead and I'm trying to figure out how to break the news to Grandma. I've put her off for a couple days because I'm tired and I don't want to deal with the hell she'll raise, remember when the last one croaked? Plus this one is actually kind of my fault and I'm still trying to figure out how to spin it. Some sisterly advice: old cats unable to climb trees should not be left outside no matter how bad they smell. At least not when the coyotes are around. I'm sure you'll use it often.

She just looks so drat expectant, standing over by the scratching post with the catnip out shaking it around going ďhere kitty kittyĒ and I feel horrible because half the time I want to bust out laughing and other times I feel like a monster, but then she glares at me and accuses me of selling it to the new neighbors (Mr. and Mrs. Chen, specifically) to support my drug habit and MY GOD I just don't have the energy. Honestly I would've given the drat thing to them if they'd promised to kill it, so the coyotes probably did everyone a favor there. Sometimes I want to 'accidentally' lock her out there too, but I don't think the coyotes would even try to eat her bony rear end. Even if they wanted to she might be able to fight 'em off.

When you're settled more (defined as having both a bed and a couch, NOT A DOG BED LIKE YOU'RE CURRENTLY USING. Can't believe you bring girls home to that.) I'll try to come visit you for a bit. I might be able to get Aunt Marge to look after her for one week, although then I'll have to listen to her whine about the sacrifices she makes for a while. Might be worth it to see the city though.

I miss you, rear end in a top hat. Don't get stabbed to death, don't try to sell your body (Not that anyone would buy it) and good luck chasing your dreams. Write me back soon.

Love,
Your sister.

Benagain fucked around with this message at Jan 14, 2013 around 19:10

budgieinspector
Mar 24, 2006

According to my research,
these would appear to be
Budgerigars.



areyoucontagious posted:

Edit: Like for real, I've read and enjoyed poetry before, but this feels like I'm watching the poet masturbate with the english language. I'm not sure how that makes me feel.

I'm not familiar with Armantrout, but this is exactly how I felt throughout the entirety of the poetry class I took last semester. The instructor's value system was skewed toward avant garde pieces which eschewed communication for personal expression. She kept offering bizarre line-rewrite suggestions that had nothing to do with the voice of the student. (On a piece that used religious cliches to condemn sectarian violence, for instance, she wrote: "Instead of 'Jesus loves me, this I know', try 'Jesus loves me because he puts candles in my mouth'.")

Lead us not into pretension, but deliver us from wankery.

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 1938 days!


Soiled Meat

I did a year of English Literature when I was at university (different system from the USA), and it solidified in my mind the fact that not all criticism is good and not everyone with a degree - even a PhD - knows what they're talking about. Way too much criticism in higher education becomes people with their pet theories on a subject pushing them on students as though they're true, and subsequently marking appropriately.

A good teacher can teach you a perspective or model of analysis and then mark you on understanding it without demanding it become the thesis by which you approach all literature. You know that Fitzgerald quote about the sign of an intelligent mind being able to hold two opposite ideas at the same time? It's also the sign of an excellent critic and teacher, especially if they're trying to teach a creative process to their students (such as composing poetry).

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010



Legit Cyberpunk

Muffin/BudgieBrawl: Round 2

Prompt: English love sonnet

budgieinspector: Wasabigasm

This a well-textured piece that uses the form to its strength, with the rhyming back and forth as a ramp up to the final couplet. The mock serious description (KAMPAI!) and rich colour play real nice together, especially given the sensual payoff. Plus - sexy without being at all explicit, which is a nice trick.

I have no significant crits to make of this - meter is excellent (though I spotted you a grave accent on 'dredged', it's worth putting those in when you need them for the meter) The final couplet, with its faint, rueful lament, is pinpoint precise.

Surreptitious Muffin: on the rooftop we found new names for old stars

This played a little over-clever with the sonnet form - sometimes it's ok to be straightforward. Some of the enjambment messes with the rhythm (the internal rhyme of 'enough' and 'love', specifically), and though you pull it off, I would have been interested in how you managed a more vanilla approach to the sonnet form.

That said, I kinda like the way it unfolds on close attention, with the involuted thoughts of the narrator echoing his situation.

However! Last couplet! Does not rhyme! That is the point of English sonnets!!! I am pretty sure you could have rescued the poem with a better final couplet, but you did not.

HENCE.

Final Judgment

Budgieinspector wins the second round and the Brawl.

sebmojo fucked around with this message at Jan 14, 2013 around 21:11

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Thunderbrawl Round 2 or 3 v Benagain

Signs

words:423
Dear Emily,

We have finally found grandmother. Her dementia has taken a turn for the worst. In you, I will confess that her latest disappearance is my fault. I have been so exhausted from taking care of her that I fell asleep on the recliner while I was watching a movie, and she slipped out the back door. Not unlike an unruly dog, and of the same mind no less. Did you know in her attempts to escape her room, she clawed up the walls like a scratching post? They were everywhere.

Officer Johnson found her on a park bench, shivering, hungry and near hypothermia. Brad Johnson told me she was babbling about something, and she was very afraid. We did not tell the doctors of her this for fear they would find our home unfit, and though I would love to be rid of her, you know we simply cannot afford to house her anywhere else.

She stayed in the hospital for the night and the doctors checked on all her vitals. Sheís strong as an ox, unfortunately. But when it was time to take her home, she became instantly resistant. I was hoping her to avoid another fit until we got her back into her room, but you know Meema. After the sedative, and apologizing profusely of course, we got her into the car.

Then a funny thing struck me. She had done her best to claw me, and everyone else, but her nails were blunted and short. And I know what you are thinking, in her haste to destroy her bedroom she must have destroyed her nails in the process, but her hands were immaculate. Very queer.

I have no idea how Iím going to afford to replace the wallpaper, the scratching goes all the way to the ceiling, which, if she were to move her dresser about the room she could reach. However, there were no scrapes on the wood. The only recourse is to catch her in the act, which will probably prove to be another midnight vigil waiting for the fog to claim her again.

I hope college is going well, and I am glad that at least one our family was able to go. Perhaps I will join you if Meema ever decides to kick the bucket. I kid, I kid, but the exhaustion can make my humor a little morbid sometimes.

I think I can hear her scratching again. Maybe this time I wonít feel guilty about strapping her in for the night.

Love,
Your Father

ps. I know you must be very busy at college, but please E-Mail me back, even just to let me know you got my messages.

  • Locked thread
«150 »