Friday, July 17, 2009


So, I'm asking for some help.

This little guy is the first new poem to come along in a while, and I can sense there's potential for something that might not suck, here. Still, it needs some help to get anywhere. If you wouldn't mind, take a second and give me some feedback on this, please? Here's the poem, then some questions after that I would love to have you answer in the comments section if you have a second:

Bitter Ravens of Winter

I keep part of each breath

trapped inside these days,

instead of barbaric voicings

among the tops of the world.

Meanwhile, Uncle Walt sings

in the background,

and I whistle a tune

he taught me about myself.

Too much noise!

Windows all night rattling

with the secrets each man

lets slip.

I burst with poems unwritten,

with the names of dour women

trapped in dead houses,

and solstice nights un-danced,

shunning bodies Walt would

ask me to celebrate. I know

the tune, Uncle,

I know it—

but the windows rattle with secrets

far into the night, and

more and more, the bitter ravens

of winter call my tongue,

rather than your body,

electric or otherwise.


1. in line 4, I'm struggling between "among" and "along". "Among" fits the image I want, but "along" might sound better--which do you like better?

2. The exclamation mark at the end of line 9 appeals to me in a sort of cornball, poetry of the early 60's, confessionals throwback way. Did it make sense as you read, or were you pulled out of the poem by it?

3. That "meanwhile" at the beginning of line 5 seems a bit Saturday morning serial...kind of "meanwhile, back at Commando Cody's lab"...but I still want that sense of things occurring at the same time without saying "at the same time", y'know?

4. Line 13's "burst" is a really melodrammatic verb...very stereotypical verb choice. Still, "explode" isn't much better. Suggestions for a different verb there?

5. Any other thoughts, impressions, suggestions are very welcome, negative or otherwise. Please drop a comment.


M said...

J- I'm not very good with poetry, but I like what you have so far. I'll leave it to someone else to fine tune.

J. Campbell said...