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acuncular (shark pool)

dream awake
the doorframe waits
smudged with drifts
collisions in passage

a lamp burns
and a fossil television
eye beams

scrapes and bruises
bumps and cuts
while a cold fuscia
morning crouches
at the window

The steam ghosts
rising from gas vent
across tar and brick

"my debt is thick"

glitter stare like trinket
bottles and coffee table
scene stained touch

a melted chocolate bunny
cause you don't eat so much
slumped in sleep
curled up

while a lonely sun
for hope
like the last
shot of
vodka in your cup

Editing stage: 


b..(is all this correct..I couldnt find the out there poem I wanted to put in and gave up trying to
post paste after an hour....I have to practise more on this as I see its a function of sharing
something I have always found an issue...however very glad to be here and am enjoying
the honest and great efforts of the workshop!! this is in a style I write in included as many
obscure and vague style and typical Eskerish writing......Hope this is a good inclusion! )

author comment

I think it is my turn, isn't it?
 To start with
I felt unfamiliar with the title so  looking it up in the dictionary I couldn't find the word, so I thought maybe it is meant to be "avuncular" maybe or a special expression?

I read the piece over and over again . Each time I found some good imagery but the problem was always to find a connection among these images in the first place and to the poem itself secondly.

What I suggest?
I think Esker needs to * give a title that would imply at least what is the piece about .
 *and then to put a greater effort in making the images look more connected to each other and to the story of the poem. 

a typo  fuscia       should it be fuschia ? 


Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

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Happen such as a murder in a sleepy village where nothing ever happens

Suggestions aren't the same as critique - but I do think you made some good points about presentation of the poem.

You made the point about the title and was the title spelled correctly. I think that was a relevant - and I would now like to know from Esker if it was wordplay (which I do a lot) or just a misspelling... this was also for my own learning - I do not do pay enough attention to titles.

I would like to know, from your point of view as the person critiquing the poem, what was it about the form of the poem which made it feel disconnected to YOU? Was it the phrasing, the words used, the length, the lines, syllables - why, through critiquing the poem, have you felt a disconnection through the poem. As a reader of your comments, I want to know why you felt that, the places where you felt that disconnection... What was it about this poem which left you feeling discontented with the form of the poem? Please note, I know discontented is MY word and may not reflect your feeling at all!

You said you liked some of the images - but which ones and why? Why and how did those images work for you and how did those images fit the poem?

These are just thoughts, dear Rula...have fun! This is a brave workshop!

Jenifer Jaspa James

titles are prompts for my brain to start turning...not always connected to the poem
or are a deeper obscure peice...Because they are inherently a part of the poem
if they are a leader to the body then its important that they tie in and make the
transition work for the most part.... Thank You!

author comment

Rula's critique, I believe, has been the most honest about Esker's writing I've seen so far. It contains most of what I would have raised.
I totally agree with her that Esker's writing has this disconnected feel to it. It creates the unique, Eskerishness of his poems and makes them stand out. But presents a barrier to any worthwhile analysis.

At this point, I would kindly request any brave Esker lover to present us with as thorough an interpretation as they can provide. I just want to see how such poetry is digested.

She mentioned that which remains true about his work, the beauty of the imagery. The last stanza here is incredible.

I love that he also explained his title, and a little about how he thinks about them. Great stuff!

Suggesting that he makes his poetry clearer, within the poem, may ruin the abstract beauty. That's why there's the last few words section.

Throw more light on your work, Esker. :-)

No verse is free for the man who wants to do a good job. - TS Eliot

I've read as much of Esker's poetry on neopoet as I can get my hands on. I personally don't discount any lack of intellectual meaning. Esker's poetry is three dimensional and upon the first word, I'm sucked into a place of his choosing. So much is implied so the words don't get in the way of the suckerpunch of emotion. I've read plenty of famous poetry, even post-modern stuff and I would put Esker's ability to create and sustain a world of emotion up against anybody, Sylvia Plath on down. What's being done here is people who are used to passing writing through the mind, understanding it, then letting it access the emotional centers are put off because Esker is aiming at the emotional centers first and foremost, skipping steps one and two. Some may call it a defect, I personally call it the most interesting and developed voice on neopoet. There is a sense of forboding brought about by disconnected images that bruises the soul. If the title were a lead, the point where a man realizes he is no longer attractive to young women but there is far more than that here. There's the sense of someone observing and taking care of a
hopeless alcoholic and an overall sense of claustrophobic trapped despair. Sometimes poetry speaks to the gut and this one does for sure. Great job Esker!

Blue Demon77

"What I want is to be what I was before the knife,
before the brooch pin, before the salve, fixed me in this parenthesis:
Horses fluent in the wind. A place, a time gone out of mind."

The Eye Mote-Sylvia Plath

Very nicely stated. Couldn't agree more.



We have to be vigilant about these topics: Esker's work is often phenomenal and when the critiques simply state " I didn't understand it" it is either a cop out to avoid taking oneself to those dark places (perhaps never experientially having been there or read about it) or a complete blindness to what Joyce called "epiphany", where the words are there for shadow and the light shines from behind them.

I'm not the greatest critic; I think I'm too conciliatory at present but I'm working on it. With a Dionysian craftsman such as Esker, however, he's speaking my language with perfect elocution and diction.

Love the work Steve! I hope you pass through this hard time unscathed and with massive inspiration.


Blue Demon77

"What I want is to be what I was before the knife,
before the brooch pin, before the salve, fixed me in this parenthesis:
Horses fluent in the wind. A place, a time gone out of mind."

The Eye Mote-Sylvia Plath

my life is a crumpled wreck and in the room darkened by the keeps watch
and torch and the chatter loud the dreams fell
dark like the wings of rain howling in the torment and silence by the peace
of those in line in the pens in the ranges in the yard walks

I will sleep somewhere tonight or pace and walk till morining comes
finding my paycheque and maybe a friend or two anew
there is so much left some new paperwork some new direction to the
mess my life is and was and perhaps will be

but until then im just walking tonight freed of all that was around me
thinking of what I am un becoming
the monster fretful and hurting................

maybe the rains will cleanse the visions

author comment

As usual, I love your writing, though I hope it is a narrative device that you are going through such hardship. I've never experienced what you've described in your most recent post. My dark issues were combating addiction earlier in life, clinical anxiety, and some of the dark places and situations my "pious experimentation" into the darkest possible spirituality has led me to. Now I've seen and heard things that my conscious mind and intellect can't reconcile. These are part of an individual existence and can't be shared with others simply because they would suggest psychosis or at least neurosis. I comfort myself by saying that Kafka, Burroughs, Camus, Nabokov, and many others expressed these aspects of their perception in their work, as symbolic or literal. I sincerely hope you aren't going through these things but AA did a lot for me along those lines in the 90s and I am a happier and much more present person for it. Thanks, Bro, take care of yourself and keep them coming.


Blue Demon77

"What I want is to be what I was before the knife,
before the brooch pin, before the salve, fixed me in this parenthesis:
Horses fluent in the wind. A place, a time gone out of mind."

The Eye Mote-Sylvia Plath

lah lah land
the tour of that abysmall reach

rains falling
damp welcome

been just with me
something I avoided forever
even though i stay to myself

examining what I am
what it was I was so driven about
because all of that no longer matters

finding matter
a business
of topical thought

thank You and Im still going
got back
clothes and all that stuff
that is important when you
dont have it

and of course this place
to come write at the hour
in the library

socialable things
rather then just sitting
alone in the basement

been with people lately too
rather then the eight years
of good bad and ugly times
locked in

not sure what the something
is yet
but Im grateful for this time to
just be alone examining

author comment

This workshop is now ended.

Please give me feedback, either on the workshop thread
or by PM, as to how you benefited from the workshop, criticisms and ways future workshops could be improved,

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

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