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Long Season

darkness falls from night
I am still here waiting
after you are gone
azure veined seraphim
i think of you through this long season of my life
like swallowed ivories

you always said you did death best
and haven't made a gasp since
laid out in the field face down
my grey goddess of the wan sinless moon
smiling vacant
mud mandible
tempest that beats the grass

are you here
shrouded wave
is the wind your voice?

are you a smatter of molecules
a floating eye
a voluptuous ghost shaken din
in a sea of burning nights
sleep and wake
the living dead
and the dead living?

i could swear you hover
arches over arches
a continent of form
like heaving clouds
red legs and wafer thin shoulders
dancing ballet in a prismatic wilderness

flaming tongued angelic heads
burn lanterns of lust and gloom

Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Editing stage: 


reads like butter.
i think of you through this long season of my life
like swallowed ivories

One can never understand what that means, but it feels. This is good poetry.

It's good to break up the surrealism to get us into the narrative

you always said you did death best
and haven't made a gasp since

a very telling statement, raw and honest .

I think you mean "swear" in " i could sware you hover..."

How interesting I just noticed you like Ocean Vuong. I went to a writers workshop yesterday at a local bookstore in which several fine readers read and discussed his work. Ocean Vuong when he's good (which is not always) is great, leaving you with the poem wanting more and at the same time feeling you have enough. He creates images and his values well, and guides the reader at a great pace. He may turn out to be a major poet, he's so young. Very good beginning!
For me he got a lot from Merwin. and that's a great thing.

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

Yes a misspell on swear...will fix

I agree completely about ivory not making concrete sense but in terms of poetic theater it works as a sound and there in lies I think a great challenge for all poets To write paying the utmost attention to the sound or textural comingling of words or poetry gets clunky and becomes weighed down by making points, James Joyce I think puts sound and meaning together masterfully in some of his poems The Joycean ideocratic language of Finnigan's wake is in my opinion a testament to the shear impossibility of using English too both be literal and aesthetically liberated; so personally I've opted for the liberation as much as possible because it feels like an emotional imperative in that Im literally sickened by the clunk of gravitational concrete writing

When I read if the sounds of the words don't puzzle together beautifully the piece loses me almost instantly. Conversely I think its fair to say from our conversations that if the concrete literal isn't there it loses you just as fast

To do both well in the same poem seems like the great true challenge of poetry

Yes I think Vuong is immense when he hits it right but like all the rest of us the consistency will waver or he may become a bit redundant He teaches at Smith 5 min from me where Plath was a student You should hear him read on the Poetry Foundation He really plays the breaks ( silences ) just so strategically you feel every inch of the read

Best Z

author comment

this poem does share a little with his sentiment and expositions of theme.

To me Vuong fails mostly when he publishes things which are unreadable. I can't/read a poem/that's written this/way because I/think it's contrived/ bullshit. Nor can my eyes deal with how sometimes his lines jump all over the page so I just can't comfortably read them. If you can't read a poem, it's like seeing a painting in the dark. why bother? Don't experiement JUST to be different. That is contrived. Also his "fragments" and poems on masturbation are just beyond puerile to me. His editor should be hung. a collection needs some sense of discipline, not every scribble on file...

However, in so many of his poems he shows such brilliance and control as to just blow the reader away. He is making a lot of noise. We are talking about him for a reason, after all. At this rate, in 20 years or sooner he will be our poet laureate.

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

What a great friction you have with him .....Im laughing my ass off!
What's most important to me about what your saying gives credence to the shear madness of so called objectivity even though I believe in the idea of objectivity
Your comment goes to the heart of he problem essential to the critique
How can one have perfection in a reality, literary or otherwise when each sees through a different lens?
Sometimes what's good about someone blows their bad to smithereens
Finnigan's Wake is hard to read!!!!!!!!!
so I guess I wouldn't touch that fat fiction even with somebody else's cock ;)
Oh damn there go my hopes of a PHD

Best Z

author comment

I mean physically reading. My eyes won’t let me read some of the form poets who jump all over the page. I can’t read it if it’s written as a crossword puzzle. I get that graffiti is art which uses words. I am able to physically read it. As to using words to fill a shape... I only enjoy that when the text is written eligibility under the form poem.
Hey I’m the reader, a around ok but make it readable. Content like Joyce. That’s a whole other thing and it don’t have to be easy

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

Are you speaking of Vuong or me ?
I assumed it was Vuong from the thread but what confused me is you told me to play around You could not say that to Vuong and as far as I know you and he are not friends and why would you address me in this context since above you say my poem reads like butter???

With regards to Vuong I was perplexed by the form of his poem as well Then I listened to him read it
He reads in a remarkable way; beautifully, touchingly with breaks that add great power
I ask my self in light of his lauded reputation is there something Im missing as a reader that obstructs my sensitivity or situational awareness in the context of the poetic structure he employs?
I have a lady friend who teaches at Smith with a PHD in English Lit She adores him

It would be interesting to get to the bottom of this

Best Z

author comment

In particular "my father writes from prison" and "In Newport" from the recent book Night eyes don't let me read them.

I've recently spent some time researching the philosophy of the margin and line breaks in poetry, its relation to rhyme and free verse enjambment... there's a lot of well stated opinions (hey, I asked Siri ,got a half hour lecture.) I'm considering my own opinion, in the from of an essay, which is how I sometimes need to do to solidify ideas...but as long as I can physically read the poem that's a start. Like we do need light to see the a painting. Can I send you a copy of my essay? (almost done)

And we all need opinions in our art. If it's all great, then its all fake news.

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings


author comment

"dancing ballet in a prismatic wilderness." a beautiful poem about a friend who has died, it seems. you do a great job at relating to the common reader ("is the wind your voice?") while elevating and bringing creative honor to the poem's subject ("arches over arches")

Many thanks for your so very kind comment It lights my day Greg :)))

author comment
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