This Poem was Submitted By: Mark Andrew Hislop On Date: 2006-05-15 18:53:35 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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The white magnet

What looks for all the world like a blank page, inert as bone piercing a desert's crust, is chaos, dawn, the day of creation, stunning the grasshoppers.                                         All attention comes down to this: a suburban train line gurgling work dirges every twelve minutes, twin ribbons of cars waxing road water while the ashphalt screams, parrots tearing air with tongues like nail guns, and me and my chin quivering over steam-quills of coffee. And I ask, What to do? The grand project has whittled down to a twee accretion of irreconcilable moments, bled from air. I may have a horse, a daughter, a four-poster bed made of history, a blank look on my face, and an apple, but I will not soon astonish Paris. Like god's paraphrase, the magnet compells sedans, escarpments, into my ears, eyes, out through my fingers and onto its void. None of it makes sense, nor will it ever since I cannot lift its veil or stop its Eurydicean fading to grasp what, beneath filings, organises this world.

Copyright © May 2006 Mark Andrew Hislop

This Poem was Critiqued By: arnie s WACHMAN On Date: 2006-06-03 11:45:55
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.91667
Remember that song:"Pave paradise and put up a parking lot?" This is very reminiscent of that.Although subtle you make your point. "Steam quills of coffee?" Must be an Aussie phrase. Never heard it before. Good on ya Mate.

This Poem was Critiqued By: Mark Steven Scheffer On Date: 2006-05-23 12:01:03
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
MAH, I suppose I could roll up my sleeves and find places for "improvement." I suppose. And it will remain a supposition, because I do not have, and have never had, the inclination to do that to another's poem, and absolutely despise the workshop approach to poetry. And I say "suppose" because I do not see any faults, and am not sure I could find many (one?) is I had the absent inclination. Anyway, I don't think I have ever read another poem from a "peer" that has so affected me. Another dilettante, another dabbler reaching for poetic immortality addresses the blank page before him, subsuming that narrown topic in a swirl of galaxies and the infinite. My own response was "On Reading Hamlet" - which I no doubt decided to post after my quick read of this, my intuition telling me my poem and yours were somehow kin. Each poem revealing our own peculiar differences in the midst of our similar obsessions. There are still poets out there who think that their role, that a role of good poetry, is to entertain by astonishing. It is our way of giving fate the finger, the mating or war dance of what may be nothing more than a grandly plumed bird or beast, soon to be ungrand and unplumed. Too soon. Which is why your line I will not soon astonish Paris almost reduces me to tears. It has the cadence of a death knell. The ultimate failure. And the phrase, "stunning the grasshoppers" is magical. And exactly what a good poem should do - always my view, and evidently yours. For if the blank page stuns - the mere potential for a poem - what should the poet, with his poem, be capable of doing? But alas . . . maybe 390 poems out of every 400, which is about the amount I've written in the last six years. Maybe 10 stunners - and, even granting i'm hard on myself, it's still a self-assessment, subject to the self-delusions we naturally incline too (good God, is their 1 good one?). So I feel so close to this poem, as though it were written by an alter-ego. Orpheus and Eurydice. I was gonna critize "Eurydicean," but the myth is so close to me, and the import is so strong here, that the knee-jerk criticism is only voiced now as the ghost it has become. Keep at it, mate. One of us may stun the grasshoppers again, or at least, yet. It is sad, and yet grand, that that is what motivates us. MSS
This Poem was Critiqued By: April Rose Ochinang Claessens On Date: 2006-05-17 05:59:58
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
hi mark andrew, this poem is kind of melancholic for me.and have written poems of the same tone.i think i write better in that tone.anyway,i just have a comment on the 3rd stanza: with tongues like nail guns, and me and my chin quivering over steam-quills of coffee. And I ask, What to do? The grand project has whittled down to a twee accretion are u by any chance belgian? or dutch? coz the word "twee" means "2" in belgium. or if you have had an error in typing it (well it happens sometimes),then i think you have to do something about it to make your poem better. and i think "accretion" is not the right word for it coz its like contradiction itself, you know like "whittle down" then "accretion..."something is amiss, i think.and the second line in the above stanza "...quills of coffee," i think has to be replaced with something else.this is just an opinion, the last say is still up to you.sorry if i made these comments/opinions.i have no intention of hurting you or something. i just want to help u. generally i liked your poem because its like some of the poems ive written, the tone, i mean.
This Poem was Critiqued By: marilyn terwilleger On Date: 2006-05-16 15:13:52
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Hi Mark...Ummm the musings of a poet...who or what does organize this world? Certainly not one who owns a horse, a daughter, a four-poster bed made of history(I wish I had this) a blank look and a apple...nor me..who has lost too much to mention. However, we still forge on doing the best we can with what we have been given and what we have earned as a member of the human race. For some that is a lot and for some it is not enough and those are the ones that keep striving. So pick your poison. You have used some grand descriptors here... inert as bone piercing a desert's crust, is chaos, dawn, the day of creation, stunning the grasshoppers...............very creative and when I read these words I was compelled to coninue the journey your words would take me on. gurgling work dirges every twelve minutes, twin ribbons of cars waxing road water while the ashphalt screams, parrots tearing air with tongues like nail guns, and me and my chin quivering over steam-quills of coffee...........I wish I knew where in your mind you go to find these captivating words...I wanna go there too, has whittled down to a twee me here...I don't know what "twee" means and neither do two of my dictionarys! Another well written poem that begs to be read many times son just came in...gotta go. hugs..Mazza
This Poem was Critiqued By: Jordan Brendez Bandojo On Date: 2006-05-15 22:50:25
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.61538
Hi Mark, I am glad that you are back and so with MSS! I was so "magnetized" by your title "The white magnet". What came up in my mind is the word "Physics". We actually worked on magnets in our Physics subjects before. But the desciption of the magnet being "white" makes me wonder. There must be something here! So, let me read on...Yes, I can see your own trademark in writing. Originality and style you have them shown. Imageries, yes, abundantly crafted. I may not know the crux of your intent but what I'm sure I know of is you have made me salute to you poetic ingenuity. Jordan
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