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» The Ornery American Forum » Ornery Writers Workshop » "Counting On Strangers" by Pete

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Author Topic: "Counting On Strangers" by Pete
KnightEnder
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This thread for the discussion and critique of "Counting On Strangers" a poem by Pete.

[ May 27, 2005, 12:54 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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Pete at Home
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Sorry I goofed in the file title. The title inside the file is "Counting on Strangers." My wife prefers my alternate title "Life of the Party." What do you think?

Whatever I end up naming it, "Counting" is just a straight collumn poem. "Towers of B" is the only concrete poem I've ever written.

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KnightEnder
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Okay, I fixed it. If you decide to change it, all you have to do is let me know and I'll take care of it.

KE

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halfhaggis
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I prefer Counting on Strangers - the theme of counting runs through the poem, but the fact that it happens at a party isn't relevant to the message I got out of it.

I can't give you a technical critique (I'm an engineer), but the poem was very visceral.

The last stanza (is that the correct term?) was particularly powerful.

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Pete at Home
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Thanks, hh. "Counting" is my favorite name too; I think my wife was just being dark [Big Grin] Stanza is right.

Did it lose you anywhere, and what went through your mind with the "Mother Asphalt" kiss?

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halfhaggis
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Mother Earth gives life to us.
Mother Asphalt takes it with a kiss. The dark side of Mother Earth (and asphalt is black, which adds even more to this imagery) betraying us. The kiss even alludes to Jesus' betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane.

I could relate quite well to everything, so I never really got lost - but I'm not sure what you're trying to convey inthe 3rd stanza when you write "as if mistaking it for the bathroom"
I suppose a sense of confusion? If that is what you're aiming for, I think there might be better ways to do it.

I really enjoyed it

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Pete at Home
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I'm trying to convey drunkeness on his part, apathy on mine. He lurches to the front door in the way a vomiting drunk might lurch towards the bathroom; I vaguely expect him to return, but he doesn't. I agree the line feels weak.
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kenmeer livermaile
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""...the gulag of our times.""

I haven't read the poem but the qabove caught my eye.

The line may be weak but the slice of life it is meant to evoke is powerful. Lurching to the door like it were a waiting vomitorium...

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Pete at Home
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Thanks! I hope you check out the poem. It's only 1/2 page, & probably the best I've written. [Smile]
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RickyB
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The imagery is most excellent (where the hell does a good mormon boy get such a feel for bad parties anyway? [Big Grin] ), but the rhythm (meter, pace, whatever they call it in Lit-speak) didn't work for me.
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Pete at Home
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I was 16. Didn't find out the kid I'd been talking to on the balcony had tossed himself off Chapultepec tower until after the weekend. I don't go to parties like that anymore.
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