CRITIQUE WANTED The Workshop

Discussion in 'SHOWCASING' started by RiverNotch, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. October


    I. The Demon


    i must away for break of dawn has come
    wings are sprouting from my scapulae
    my mouth becomes a beak; i thought
    i was a demon, not a bird

    there are no birds in hell:
    the ground festers, the trees
    their branches all weighed down by ropes,
    and the malebranche are avid hunters

    or so i thought: not feeling, my God
    turned me, into, a Dante: i have
    been in hell for so long now,
    i may as well be dead: my body as decayed

    as all of theirs, as corrupt, that now
    like maggots even feathers grow
    from earth like flowers
    suicides reaching out to sky


    II. The Ninth Circle

    sweet suckle, sin like a whoresmouth
    Satan's satisfied face reflected on
    the screen, the mirror, the showerhead
    steam of the morning shower, on the mirror

    written, into the exhausted wrist
    stitched: hunger
    or regret -- Satan
    suckling on thinning hairs, my fellow traitors

    hanging over ice, two by the threads,
    one by the throbbing head -- sweet
    suckle of the grave, you have the pleasure
    of life and breath, of fire and motion, while the rest

    lie deeper and deeper in, without even room
    to throb, to choke, to drown, the shower's
    pool of semen chilled by the morning
    madness into a mirror


    III. The Bedroom

    only in your presence can I become
    a woman, only in your presence
    am i considered as impotent
    as i truly am, only

    in your presence
    can the silence
    sound like voices,
    drumtaps, and the walls

    distorting, giving way
    to mirrors, doors, though in no way
    concrete or able to be drawn, the way
    a patient lies all day in bed, the way

    you turn your head towards the door and say
    "you are the word, I am the word made flesh --
    to be with you is to be impotent,
    and I have a mission to fulfill"
     
  2. from PIPS, December 2017

    Vertumnus and Pomona



    He. And should we explore the purposes of love
    by subverting the most ancient opposition?
    But the way is dark: a tree stands for its end.

    She. And on that tree hangs
    the lovelorn Anaxarete.

    He. It was Iphis who hanged himself:
    Anaxarete, for rejecting him, turned to stone.

    She. And around the corpse, apples
    ripe and heavy. But even as you drop
    your warty witch's face
    here at the end, your nails remain uncut,
    your arms still sag with age,
    and your breasts...

    (He seizes her. For a moment, all is still.)

    She. You've already transitioned,
    my brilliant little god.
    Now peel me like an orange.
     
  3. Baptist

    this is the voice of one crying in the wilderness
    listen to the man whimper like a pup
    his robe is rags, his hands are covered in stings
    he dips his hands into the river, hoping for a miracle

    he wants to make the river straight
    he wants to build a dam and a canal
    the first to give power, to supersede fire
    the second to prepare the way for his lord

    his head on a platter, his body in a ditch
    the king full of fear, the daughter of lust
    a city rises in the wilderness
    it smells like wet dog
     
  4. more IISZ 2018

    The Queen's Dreams



    1. Seltzer explosion ejaculatory image. Shoes and youth as fetishes, or perhaps mementos of a childhood without latency.

    2. Sexual jealousy, or unbirth.

    3. Consider palpable fertility of the royal sister, along with recent rumors regarding Lady---

    4. Porcelain figurine suspected to be about a poem written by one of her clients in praise of Saint Cecilia, as well as the incident at the masque. For a deeper reading, porcelain figurine and magnificent imagery surrounding evoke strongly if indirectly fashionable royal portraiture.

    5. Sympathy for the Jews, mixed with appropriate self-loathing.

    6. Anxiety concerning recent declarations of a Golden Age.

    7.

    8. Medicines literal, surgical, confessional. Shelf distance, distance of HMelancholy. Shop depth recalls womb. Jar burial urn (a most unconventional choice: possibly influenced by audience with Moroccon envoys? Shown shone. Brightness recalls portraiture.

    9. Illness.

    10. Relief at execution of former favorite? Imagery obviously tied to triumph at the channel, but such feels both too easy and too difficult, especially with the subject herself being underwater. Could be about disasters crossing the Atlantic, but reports came after the dream. Will consult colleagues.

    11. Vision remains inscrutable. Mr. Dee willing to allow for the Supernatural:

    9. HM judged by an actual vision of the gods, possibly concerning either , or her audience with Morocco. (Preposterous)

    10. Prophetic dream, noting rumors .

    11. With the crew's safe return, and tied to the other dreams referred, possibly blessings from three of the Gods, orange being the color of Copper, red Iron, and yellow Lead (paint. Insightful)

    12. Erupting mountain phallic image. Faces and ornaments as fetishes: still anxious, but more comfortable, more genital.
     
  5. Syncing

    Saturday morning shower hair
    pillow at my bedside damp and salty
    stains, teardrop pearl
    headphones plugged into my phone, into your naked
    ears: deep in the world, you breathe
    "I've got your music."
     
    #246 RiverNotch, Jan 31, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  6. The Ganja Dream

    They'll find out what isn't
    there to be found when they look
    deep into your gaze and guess
    by the stench of three-days-living-on-the-bed
    something else, something less
    than the snowglobe of your stupor.
     
  7. more IISZ 2018

    Fallout


    There's the bright orange of my room's two lights.
    There's the darkness outside pitted with brief lights.
    There's the half full moon inverted
    over our voyeur neighbor's house.
    I'm naked but the aircon's never cool enough.
    I suspect I'm not in the right country.
    I think my phone is dead but say lobat
    then look out over the sterile snow...

    Sometimes I mingle memories with dreams
    but this one I remember clearly: her elaborate
    right arm tattoo, her mousy face,
    her thin frame glasses and the piercings through
    her nose, her ears, her half-American voice,
    my gaze shifting here and there...

    Sometimes I watch her welcome me
    in a foreign tongue,
    toss away her legged bag and lift
    her dress above her chin.
    Sometimes I look out
    over her shoulder
    and see the world passing us by,
    then rage against my choice
    of looks, words, advances,
    as if there was a choice.
    Sometimes I close my eyes.

    ...that suddenly turns to mist like those rough bodies
    we proselytizers and infertile mothers loved, hands clasped
    in the dark. No I will not succumb. There is no night
    that will not lead our eyes to close, nor blindness when oracular dreams
    refuse to answer Hineni, Hineni. There is no turn approaching.
    There is a voice crying out
    over the wilderness,
    over the eternal fireworks
    lighting up Boracay,
    over the sterile snow


    Show Spoiler
    Home, after a restless vacation


    There's the bright orange of the two lone lights
    still open in my room: the eye-glazing screen
    and the power-sucking bulb; there's the darkness outside
    pitted with brief lights
    and the half-full moon inverted
    over my voyeur neighbor's house; I'm naked but the aircon's
    never cool enough; I suspect I'm not in the right country,
    I think my phone is dead but say lobat,
    I look out over the sterile snow


    Sometimes I mingle memories
    with dreams
    but this one I remember
    clearly: her elaborate
    right arm tatoo, her mousy
    face, her thin frame
    glasses and the piercings
    on her nose, her ears
    her half-American voice
    my gaze shifting here and there

    Sometimes I watch
    her welcome me
    in a foreign tongue,
    toss away her legged bag and lift
    her dress above her chin.
    Sometimes I look
    out over her shoulder
    to the world passing by,
    then rage over my choice
    of thoughts, words,
    advances,
    as if I had a choice.
    Sometimes I close my eyes.


    that suddenly turns to mist like the rough bodies of those we
    proselytizers and infertile mothers loved, hands clasped
    in the dark. No I will not succumb. There is no night that will
    not lead our eyes to close, nor blidness when oracular dreams
    refuse to answer Hineni, Hineni. There is no turn approaching.
    There is a voice that cries
    out over the wilderness,
    over the eternal fire-
    works over Boracay,
    over the sterile snow--
     
    #248 RiverNotch, Feb 10, 2018
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  8. lost boy dream fragment (open)
    Pan's not the only one who fell in love. There were six of us with him, each more mortal than that perpetual youth: each remembering the love of a mother, a sister, even a lover.

    But you'd take only him into the garden, to dance with the pixies. Only with him would you sit on the rocks, dip your toes in the water, and talk with each passing mermaid about love and growing up and raising kids. Then the two of you would hush your voices, wait until dark, and climb up trees, towers, mountains, just to kiss.

    Peter and Wendy, playing mom and dad: as if some of us played with sand, and not fixed the day's lunch.

    Soon enough, his luck ran out.

    When I woke up, I remembered everything clearly: Hook skewering the boy, Slightly carrying his corpse to some Piccaninny altar, myself lying next to the body -- claiming, with my red skin and slanted eyes, that I knew certain *victuals*, *victuals* to make dead meat green again. Then I played, played the fool, Peter Pan, feeling his face, hands, genitals, with a mixture of fear and delight. Whereas you felt only delight.

    And I watched Peter knife-fight angels in the heavens, force Jesus down the silver, just to get back to you. But after that, I don't remember.
     
  9. Thunbergia

    The vine
    catches a flower
    plucked by the wind.
     
  10. improv (open)
    i'd like to hang out with you
    under the sun on the sands of boracay
    we'd get two crosses and have the sea wind
    blow on our faces dying of thirst
    tomorrow's breakfast daing
     
  11. Lumps in the Mousse


    God added the black too quick
    or failed to stir correctly.
    Most bits flow smooth,
    some get stuck in the past.

    (too many funerals this year,
    too many failures this month)

    He needs the blender
    with the long blades.
    I need another pack of cream:
    a white girl who knows how to dance.
     
    #252 RiverNotch, Feb 25, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
  12. This is the Future, and the Future is Bleak


    I remember when I was a kid I knew right from wrong. I stole the pen from the fat girl in class because I thought she was ugly, and it was alright if we took from things we thought didn't belong, right? Of course, I didn't belong either, and someone back then tried to take my self-respect from me: I think they succeeded, although self-respect is too abstract a thing to actually lose.

    I remember when I was a kid I knew right from wrong. But then right and wrong are kinda abstract, too. I remember I stole the book from one of my dearest friends, who at the time was growing apart from me. Or I was growing apart from him, or we were growing apart from each other, although right now I don't feel grown up. We were under the arch that marked the entrance to our school, and cars were passing under it, and we were walking beside the cars like carnies stroll beside elephants. He showed me the notebook: its cover was a piece of black cloth with red streaks all over. I think those red streaks were figures, but really I don't remember.

    I think I kept that notebook, out of fear of returning it to him. I never touched it, though. It was still his, even as I've left it gathering dust in our old house.

    He told me his new girlfriend took it. His new girlfriend was three years younger than either of us, but that didn't mean anything, especially since we were still kids. I'd already saw her by then, and I wasn't impressed. I wasn't jealous either, or maybe I was, but jealous of what? The love that he was receiving, or the love I wasn't? Anyway, I told him I wanted to check the notebook out, grabbed the notebook, and slowly walked away. He thought I was joking at first. It was four o'clock, so we had all the rest of our stuff with us. He started quickening his pace, shouting after me. I started running. The next day he asked for the notebook, but I told him I forgot to bring it. The day after that, too, and the day after that, and the day after that, and so on. Eventually he forgot about it.

    Then I put it on the bookshelf. Four years later we moved to a different house, a cleaner house, with white ceramic instead of moldy parquet for a floor. The notebook's still there. I never touched it, not even to put it on my shelf. It floated out of my bag.

    I remember when I was a kid I knew right from wrong. I didn't know what was right and what was wrong, though, at least not in all matters. I didn't know masturbation wasn't right until it was too late. I didn't know masturbation wasn't wrong until it was too late. I didn't know sin wasn't concerned with right or wrong, it was concerned with the breaking of boundaries: mildew on a sock, eczema all over one's arm. I suppose I stole my virginity from under my future lover's nose, but that doesn't really mean anything.

    Neither, I think, does stealing looks from all the girls I've liked. My gaze over their eyes, their hair, only occasionally their breasts: what did I take from them, that wasn't too abstract for them to lose? Not even their comfort, since I could never maintain eye contact, not with the fat girl who lost her pen, nor with my friend who lost his notebook, nor with my future lover who doesn't mean anything. I remember when I dreamed up my future lover, I couldn't even focus on her emerald green eyes, her nose was a far greater comfort...

    But that was when I was a kid. Now I own a computer. Now I own a cellphone. Now I own books, and a watch, and notebooks and pens of my own. Now I own robots, robots who cook and clean for me, robots whom I could occasionally fuck. And when you have robots whom you could occasionally fuck, why care about right and wrong? Why care about right and wrong, when you'll have all the comforts of the world?

    ...even when her nostrils flared, and she cried I was sucking her dry.
     
  13. THE END OF HISTORY
    An attempt at making a somewhat cohesive suite via daily prompts during National Poetry Month.


    Yeah, I'm finishing late. This is not all of the poems; some of the pieces didn't fit with the theme very well, or were just sketches for the sketches you'll see here. Really, there's only two or three pieces left.

    Also, word of warning: some strong language and somewhat disgusting musings appear after "The End of History: An Accident". Best skip to Soulmates, then to the concluding pieces I'll post later this month.

    Finally: some thanks are in order for @Pahn , since "Soulmates" was written with the PIPS prompt in mind.


    The End of History



    John's standing next to a fruit stand, the one by the Caltex at Fairview, waiting for a jeep to take him home. Annie's there too, fresh from the Manila bus, about to board a tricycle. She sees him. They haven't met each other in three years: a pleasant surprise.

    John! Annie runs up to him. They hug.

    Anna! Or....Annie? I don't know what to call you now.

    John's iPhone is plugged into the car radio, playing St. Vincent's latest album. His dad's driving. Annie's in the backseat, alone, pressed between the door and a stack of boxes.

    Oh right -- you knew me before I was called Annie. Don't worry, you can call me whatever you want.

    The car passes by Ortigas.

    We do have quite the history together, he recalls. I still like you, you know. I never stopped liking you. I can't imagine a future where we won't ever meet again.

    They stop. To the right, NAIA Terminal 3, with scores of people lined up at the entrance. To the left, the Manila Marriott, the Shrine of Saint Therese, and a parking lot. John steps out of the driver's seat and unlocks the trunk.

    Annie grabs her stuff. Me neither. But I can't believe, of all my friends, you're the only one left to drive me here. Don't you have any plans to go abroad?

    To follow you, perhaps. They laugh.

    John doesn't know what album to switch to, for the long and lonely drive back home. Annie takes a Stilnox once she's boarded. The airplane takes off after the usual hour-long delay. John spends an hour waiting in traffic: half at EDSA, half near Fairview.

    When Annie wakes up, she's in Manila again. She thinks time's not touched the place one bit, for better or for worse. She hails a cab.
     
    #254 RiverNotch, May 2, 2018
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
  14. The End of History


    Annie works for the government
    per her tita's recommendation.
    Money's big on paper,
    none of which they'll dish out
    (the managers, not the clients).
    The clients give more than needed,
    and it makes Annie uncomfortable --
    'Well honey', says her tita,
    'you shouldnta taken that art degree.'
    'You need the experience', says mama.
    'I won't for your anime' -- papa.

    She tells me she'll go to Korea.
    I tell her she'll make it big.
    'There's eight of us friends met this evening
    and you're the one with a job.'
    She laughs as we turn the corner.
    'But you were the one with a future!
    You played with all the big words...'

    'And they're bigger than how they sounded --
    in fact, I'm still sounding them now.
    In fact, I'm all out of breath.'
     
    #255 RiverNotch, May 2, 2018
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  15. Renaissance Medicine


    here. i'll write you
    a prescription. ciprofloxacin -- antibiotic -- twice a day.
    for pain: spasmomen, thrice a day.
    a diet of bananas
    to harden your stool. yakult, yogurt.
    and the weakness? the restlessness?
    what year are you? course? thesis?
    i see. what's your thesis about?
    what species? and where are they from?
    how do you examine them? and what are you looking for?
    is that it?
    who's your adviser? is sir -- still teaching?
    what does he teach?
    i see.
    it might also be psychosomatic. you need to rest some more,
    sleep better, maybe exercise. walk briskly
    for thirty to forty five minutes each day, that's enough.
    what's that singing in the background? the church?
    makes me wanna message my friends
    and sing karaoke...
    and eat well. bananas, yogurt, anything you'd enjoy.
    you'll be alright.
     
  16. Afterthought


    You'll know you've left your Golden Age
    when you begin to remember
    not in images for the canvas
    but in lines to be traced along
    a chronicle or a sonnet

    while your brother the future is strapped
    to a canyon of pain (or pleasure)
    gorging on Eagle Rare
    and other imported spirits
    for what seems like forever

    and the woman the two of you love
    offers herself to a job
    a house a child a life
    you'll only read about.
     
  17. XXX


    A Cross...

    for the Risen Lord,
    may he rest in peace --

    for the sniper who hits,
    or the artist who draws eyes --

    for Annie the girl whom I loved,
    I love, and will forever love,
    may pseudonyms always protect you --

    for Annie the anime artist,
    who always posts fan art on Twitter,
    who wins competitions on Tumblr --

    for Annie the nineteen year old porn star,
    whose ex kicked her out of the house,
    whose dad is dying of cancer,
    whose sis needs heart medication,
    whose agent is one massive bitch,
    whose wallet won't let her go home --

    a Storm is blowing from Paradise
    and has got you caught by your wings:
    it drives you toward a future
    to which our backs are turned --

    yet the Lord still rests in peace.
     
  18. The End of History


    The pastor claims we must take our trials with a smile, that we must become more than men. He gives, as examples, Saints Stephen, Paul, and James. He gives, as an example, his life: the trials he faced when outside of the church, the trials he faced when within it. How the family home burned down, and his father died soon after; how he plowed through a kid while speeding, and the kid left the hospital scrapeless.

    I stop listening -- how could I not? -- and open the book to Job. I remember the madness of prophets. I remember the tears of our lord.

    Let the congregation scatter. Let the church walls fall. Let the holy book burn. Let the holy relics crumble into dust. Let the grass wither. Let the flower perish. Let the humble be humbled. Let the rich be crowned in thorns.
     
  19. Renaissance Medicine


    it can't just be confirmation bias.
    not all geniuses back then were burned,
    i'm sure. there's an element of truth
    to it -- not enough of us believe in it,
    anyway. we don't have enough phlegm,
    or blood, or even that mysterious fiery fluid,
    choler.

    no one wants to wear a long-snouted mask
    and stuff their nostrils full of rosehips
    anymore. no one wants to swing a thurible
    and chant the jesus prayer a thousand times
    on the way to a patient. no one wants to diagnose
    with the humors, or the stars, or the voices in their hearts.
    no one wants to become a mind:
    to abandon the body as immaterial,
    reason as utterly gross.

    i throw my head back. this is the answer:
    this is the secret fire. the problem is scholars today
    are too full of black bile.
    we don't know what it means to be jovial,
    or martial, or solar, or even venereal
    anymore. we allow ourselves to be choked by green serpents
    or swallowed by roasting chickens.
    we don't see that mercury
    is also melancholic:
    that the material will always pass,
    that we need to talk to our past

    or forget it altogether.