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 Post subject: Alien Sedition
PostPosted: 07 Apr 2018, 22:08 
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Joined: 30 Jul 2015, 11:14
Posts: 667
R#3

Guests dodge the withering rain,
pack the church, cough and stamp.

A bridesmaid, then two more,
mixed ages, breasts at the neckline
no bigger than water chestnuts.

Fashionable clothes wrap smoothly
over the sexless hips of women thin
as wonton soup.

The mother drapes a fur,
reads a Lin Bao poem, starchy
like an empress.
decorously places a red cash
envelope on the gift table.

The portly groom appears,
a rumpled, ruby colored tuxedo.

The bride is spotless,
each step reveals cleavage of toes
in buff white pumps, toes I know
tanned when she unfastens her dress.

She is Chinese, American Chinese.
Talks on radio. He trades, seems rich.

The rickety cupola next door serves
cocktails, dim sum. A child in turquoise
sheath plays piano, sings.
Accepts applause.

The clouds clear.
Time to think on a quiet, empty night.
I locate the moon. Saturn above
and to the left. String music sounds
surround me, every instrument a cello.

Look, I know this is just sour grapes,
my jealousy talking. Time to move on,
after all, it's only in American movies
a guy can lose his money
and still get the girl.


=============================================

R#2

Guests dodge the withering rain,
pack the church, cough and stamp.

I think she glistens, radiates.
I think of the opera for pearl fishers.

A bridesmaid, then two more,
mixed ages, breasts at the neckline
no bigger than water chestnuts.

The mother drapes a fur,
reads a Lin Bao poem,
directs starchy like an empress.
The portly groom appears
in a rumpled tuxedo. His arms
appear small, almost effeminate.
The groomsmen circle, seem stern
and anxious not to make a mistake.

The bride is spotless,
each step reveals cleavage of toes
in buff white pumps, toes I know
tanned when she unfastens her dress.

She is Chinese, American Chinese.
Talks on radio. He trades, seems rich.

Puddles on the terrace, high church
windows glower, real candles burn
in slender tubes, red cash envelopes,
fashionable clothes wrap smoothly
over the sexless hips of women
thin as wanton soup.

The rickety cupola next door serves
cocktails, dim sum. A child in turquoise
sheath plays piano, sings.

Accepts applause.

The clouds clear.
Time to think on a quiet, empty night.
I locate the moon. String music sounds
surround me, every instrument a cello.




R#1


Guests dodge the withering rain,
pack the church, cough and stamp.

I don't say she is Venus De Milo,
but her face and smile
gladden the heart of any poor
pearl fisher.

Three bridal attendants march,
mixed ages and breasts no bigger
than green grapes, the shriveled
mother drapes a fur at the neck,
the portly groom appears
in a rumpled tuxedo.

The bride is spotless,
each step reveals cleavage
of her toes in buff white pumps,
toes I know are tanned
when she unfastens her dress.

She is Chinese, American Chinese.
But he is the real thing,
probably a computer programmer,
or his mother pays for medical school.

Puddles on the terraced lawn,
the high church windows glower.
Real candles burn in slender tubes,
red cash envelopes, fashionable clothes
smoothly wrap over the sexless hips
of smiling women.

The rickety cupola next door serves
cocktails, even to me,
the loser of the year.

I saw her first, but not even
Confucius can repair my trampled heart.




Sitting Alone on Jingting Shan Hill
Li Bai

(Said to be one of China's great classical poets)

A flock of birds is flying high in the distance,
A lonely cloud drifts idly on its own.
We gaze at each other, neither growing tired,
There is only Jingting Shan.

Thoughts On a Still Night
Li Bai

Before my bed, the moon is shining bright,
I think that it is frost upon the ground.
I raise my head and look at the bright moon,
I lower my head and think of home.


Kate Tempest:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSVyyykaEOo


Robert Bly:

...It was a little like the night wind, which is soft,
And moves slowly, sighing like an old woman
In her kitchen late at night, moving pans
About, lighting a fire, making some food for the cat.


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 Post subject: Re: Alien Sedition
PostPosted: 07 Apr 2018, 23:46 
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Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Posts: 1003
Location: Between the mountains and the sea
Sugestions:
bridesmaids
her short groom

Nice first draft Bernie, I like it.


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 Post subject: Re: Alien Sedition
PostPosted: 08 Apr 2018, 00:54 
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Joined: 30 Jul 2015, 11:14
Posts: 667
Thanks, Frank.


bridesmaids
prefer no double plurals.



but i now take your suggestion about the short groom. now he is portly...maybe later i will make him plump. like the plump Buck Mulligan:


Ulysses.... the novel's famous first sentence: Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.


Kate is English, lot's of poetry awards.

bernie


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 Post subject: Re: Alien Sedition
PostPosted: 09 Apr 2018, 02:12 
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Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Posts: 1003
Location: Between the mountains and the sea
I'm not going to shoot you down
far from it
but it isn't as your usual stuff
there is something missing.
Bridesmaids is the standard English usage
but your choice.


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 Post subject: Re: Alien Sedition
PostPosted: 09 Apr 2018, 05:12 
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Joined: 24 Mar 2018, 16:53
Posts: 40
Hi Bernie, I like the story very much, the narrator’s jealousy, the final dig at the groom. Frank has left you many valid and thoughtful suggestion I know you will consider. I was only thrown a bit in s2. Loved the toe cleavage, but didn’t understand the black pumps. These don’t seem like a great choice for a white wedding dress, or is this her attire before changing into her gown? Or am I just missing something?


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 Post subject: Re: Alien Sedition
PostPosted: 09 Apr 2018, 05:18 
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Joined: 24 Mar 2018, 16:53
Posts: 40
Ah ha, you have me searching wedding photos, not many black pumps, but there are some. I’m beginning to see it especially on an Asian woman.


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 Post subject: Re: Alien Sedition
PostPosted: 09 Apr 2018, 06:13 
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Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03
Posts: 599
Great material here to work with... and I look forward to your revisions. The closing needs the most work...


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 Post subject: Re: Alien Sedition
PostPosted: 10 Apr 2018, 20:43 
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Joined: 23 Mar 2014, 11:27
Posts: 434
Like the story part. Very interesting.
Other than that I can't say much.

_________________
meenas17


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 Post subject: Re: Alien Sedition
PostPosted: 10 Apr 2018, 21:50 
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Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03
Posts: 599
It appears this poem is headed for a number of revisions...

This line doesn't work for me, but I do like the rest of the stanza. Why doesn't it work? I"m not sure...are the grapes 'green' because the dresses are green?

breasts no bigger
than green grapes

I like these lines esp.:

toes I know are tanned
when she unfastens her dress

Maybe mix in more Chinese references that you would see at a Chinese wedding or reception...not just the red envelopes...

The last two stanzas don't work for me at all....
the loser of the year is too telling, and merely sour grapes.

The " I saw her first" bit sounds like a mere childish squabbling. We already know from the tanned toes reference that the narrator probably "saw her first"....

Anyway, there is a rich source of material here, and I'm confident you'll end up with a polished, wonderful poem.


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 Post subject: Re: Alien Sedition
PostPosted: 10 Apr 2018, 23:08 
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Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Posts: 1003
Location: Between the mountains and the sea
Go for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Alien Sedition
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2018, 15:26 
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Joined: 24 Mar 2018, 16:53
Posts: 40
OK, just a thought, breasts like small tomatoes, perhaps over used; no bigger than green grapes, no not appealing; crescent moons, I,m thinking distant. The narrator is longing for love, he desires, I want the bridesmaids breasts to be inviting, like some kind of Asian confection, white flour dumplings, rice pancakes.


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 Post subject: Re: Alien Sedition
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2018, 23:24 
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Joined: 30 Jul 2015, 11:14
Posts: 667
Dale:


maybe...

water chestnuts....

A bridesmaid, then two more,
mixed ages, breasts at the neckline
no bigger than water chestnuts.



thinking about the image...i don't want to signal desire----he is focused on his lost love who now marries another man.

thinking...


bernie


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 Post subject: Re: Alien Sedition
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2018, 23:52 
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Joined: 24 Mar 2018, 16:53
Posts: 40
I like water chestnuts, good choice. I was thinking he was wishing the bride was his, but in a bigger sense was wanting anyone to love so even the bridesmaids had appeal. Great story by the way.


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 Post subject: Re: Alien Sedition
PostPosted: 14 Apr 2018, 01:44 
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Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Posts: 1003
Location: Between the mountains and the sea
Why do the breasts have to be a fruit or chestnut
why not just say bra-less.


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 Post subject: Re: Alien Sedition
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2018, 07:25 
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Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03
Posts: 599
There are wonderful images throughout, starting with that "withering rain". However, what's missing is clarity on the narrator's emotions regarding everything he is reporting. Is he jealous, angry, relieved? He must have heightened emotions if he is looking for calm at the end....

a possible start?

Guests dodge the withering rain,
but I can't escape the gathering sense
of lost opportunity, jealousy
sweeping through me
like a monsoon.
....


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 Post subject: Re: Alien Sedition
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2018, 21:10 
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Joined: 30 Jul 2015, 11:14
Posts: 667
Guys---

thanks for holding in with this endless series of revisions.

done now.

(promise.)


bernie


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 Post subject: Re: Alien Sedition
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2018, 21:57 
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Joined: 24 Mar 2018, 16:53
Posts: 40
Bravo, hard work pays off. The ending far superior to those before.


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 Post subject: Re: Alien Sedition
PostPosted: 16 Apr 2018, 05:34 
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Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03
Posts: 599
For one thing, the poem feels smoother....it felt quite choppy till now. I love a good flow. One nit...Shouldn't wanton soup be "wonton soup"? And you appear to have a typo or two in this line:

I guy can loose all his money

Since I'm getting as picky as I can, "Red cash envelopes" as a standalone sentence sounds odd.

The ending is much better....another enjoyable one! Thx for the ride


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 Post subject: Re: Alien Sedition
PostPosted: 16 Apr 2018, 12:15 
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Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Posts: 1003
Location: Between the mountains and the sea
Glad you stuck at it Bernie,

Bob is correct wonton soup.

A much improved work.


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 Post subject: Re: Alien Sedition
PostPosted: 16 Apr 2018, 21:42 
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Joined: 30 Jul 2015, 11:14
Posts: 667
Guys---


i'm no longer deep in wanton soup---not even the wonton.

smoother? great!

red envelope....now decorously placed on the gift table. i love that word here, decorous. oh yes, decorous. and that ruby colored tuxedo.

I saw all this on my travels....LOL.


thanks, one and all.


bernie


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