This Poem was Submitted By: Mark Andrew Hislop On Date: 2006-06-29 18:49:30 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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Now that I am dead

Now that I am dead, I understand why we struggle for life, and why kites clamber up a thread, gripping, gripping at the sky, or I think I do. I just think we must, like the atoms that squeeze light from the sun: it's simply in the nature of our dust to nurture seedlings in congealing streams or sink to hell and melt into those rocks that rise and shine at me across ravines pointless as a goat. Now that I am dead all those veils are wafted from my skin like sunblock, which only let that light in that didn't kill me. Now that I am dead it's open season on my flesh, the toll of life thrums unrestricted in my head: I see a kiss that grips a lover like a vice, a sermon rape the whore it hates, a mother mine her child with her breast's spike, a billions' squalour garnish my viands, all at random. Thus I conclude that we're  bobbing in air on threads from children's hands who never grow, who never die, and who never learn humility from mountains  or mercy from ants. All they ever do is throw their hands and kites into the sky, bet the chance of our aerodynamics, and discard us that can no longer fly.

Copyright © June 2006 Mark Andrew Hislop

This Poem was Critiqued By: Dellena Rovito On Date: 2006-07-06 14:22:37
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.60000
Mark, A quick note to say this is very good! Got my vote. Deep thoughts you have......' Dellena

This Poem was Critiqued By: Jordan Brendez Bandojo On Date: 2006-07-06 00:28:57
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.75000
Hi Mark, I am patiently waiting for this poem to move up to my critiquing list so I can give a take on this one. I have read this several times and found this to be a wise writing. I mean it takes experience, it takes knowledge and wisdom to come with this piece. And of course I am thrilled to cast my vote on this. I am sure, that anyone who can read your title would be drawn in. After I read the whole body of the poem, I exclaimed, "You should be a great man!"
This Poem was Critiqued By: arnie s WACHMAN On Date: 2006-07-04 21:37:47
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.87500
An interesting possibility. Some people are dead but are still alive.This could be what a lot of my depressed patients have gone through. I see a kiss that grips a lover like a vice, a sermon rape the whore it hates, a mother mine her child with her breast's spike, Over all this is far and away the best part of this piece...Very ingenuous and creative.
This Poem was Critiqued By: DeniMari Z. On Date: 2006-07-03 21:47:30
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Dear Mark, A little morbid, but a good read. It's very thought provoking, and deep - very deep. You've used some clever lines in this - that stand out and make the poem, a very interesting read. The title is eye catching, who wouldn't want to read something that started with "Now that I am dead" to see where it goes? First verse leads me to feel some intensity, of how precious life is - and yes, why we struggle for it. The dead, if possible would probably be the greatest teachers of life - and how to live it right. But, that's impossible - so we go, and we grow, and we do the best that we can. In my opinion, this verse reads exceptionally well: I see a kiss that grips a lover like a vice, a sermon rape the whore it hates, a mother mine her child with her breast's spike, with kiss, grips, rape and hates - rhyming, enhances the poem. I'm glad I read this poem - good luck with it. Sincerely, Denimari
This Poem was Critiqued By: Nancy Ann Hemsworth On Date: 2006-07-02 10:18:41
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
I love the rhyme and theme of this work. You have done an excellent job with your rhyme and images ..never seem forced. You have made this reader wonder and ponder on your thoughts. This is a really unique angle to write in.."since I am dead" would surely give the viewer a much different and clearer view of things, it is interesting to me that you have managed to see this so clearly while still caring the beat of your heart..perhaps that is "why"..really enjoyed your perspective..and your words.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Lora Silvey On Date: 2006-07-01 17:22:46
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.84848
Hi Mark, Well I have to tell you that I added this to my voting list before I reviewed it, which is a first for me. The form you presented this in made it for and easy read. I have to be honest that it was your title that drew me in. I read the title, chuckled and thought before I read the poem, Mark is at it again, his dry whit and somewhat sardonic/satirical humor is surfacing, hope I haven't offended you with that statement. This poem is pure you from start to finish. It takes your reader on a wild ride or(perhaps it's the meds I'm on) anyway, my thoughts were all over the place. At the end I was reminded of people viewing an ant farm and wondering if we were no more than ants in some one else's world. OK, I confess, been watching too much "twi-light zone". Never the less, I enjoyed the read, your analagies and verbiage and wonder when I will be discarded for my wings aren't doing much to keep me airborne lately. We should all fly and never land, it is in the landing that we are lost. Best always, Lora
This Poem was Critiqued By: Turner Lee Williams On Date: 2006-07-01 04:21:57
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.83333
Mark--Well at least the observations/monies of/for these social ills no longer sore your eyes or tax your funds. Great visuals/ excellent write, although, somber. TLW
This Poem was Critiqued By: Ellen K Lewis On Date: 2006-06-30 11:22:09
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.70000
Oh Mark. This is a chilling poem throwing punches at reality. I feel the sense of bleakness through and through. Your last verse ties with your first-never losing track. I understand why kites grip at the sky is an awesome analogy. I'm not sure why kites 'clamber'....hmmm..maybe you will want to change that word someday.... Up a thread, gripping, gripping at the sky (I would like to suggest that you move the first word of the next verse ^up^ as in: Up a thread, gripping, gripping, at the sky (or) I think I do (do? Your grammar teacher would not be happy with that open end-smile) 'the nature of our dust' that's great! I think you could omit the next verse. It's good, but just not that profound. pointless as a goat. Now that I am dead all those veils are wafted from my skin like sunblock, which only let that light in (awesome) 'the toll of life thrums unresticted in my head.'...(I'm not sure-maybe it's the word 'thrums' that threw me off course; or maybe just the whole notion that life is going to haunt me after I die.. "I see" from the next line is good. Better to look on than sorrow over. a sermon rapes the whore it hates, (I love it! sermons have the ability to do that-you have the gift of saying it ever so smoothly. It has that power of a double rhyme with a two edged sword. a mother mine her child typo? Bobbing on air, in a childs hands, on a thread-good descriptive words that again reinforces your title, and the points toward that futility you have displayed. These never dieing children are a cross between a joyful bird and a wicked tyrant. I love the notion of learning humility from the mountains and mercy from the ants. Original thinking, thought provoking. And finally; your truest relection shows itself with; is throw their hands and kites into the sky, bet the chance of our aerodynamics, and discard us that can no longer fly. This last verse is profound and stunning. However, since 'you' are already dead you might consider something like this: betting the chance of our aerodynamics, discarding those (that) (who don't) fly. Simple matter of tenses. I think it would be good to stick with the past tense clear through. This is a really good poem. Your tempo remains as one 'among the dead'. I like the analogy you have created! A very unique and original concept. Sad, but ever so truthful. Hope those few suggestions can be helpful! Smile, Ellen
This Poem was Critiqued By: James C. Horak On Date: 2006-06-29 20:57:48
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.75000
I am reminded of Don Marquis, this is such a frolic for thought. But there is exceedingly powerful imagery that makes me wonder what you might know of the ancients. The line, "a mother mine her child with her breast's spike" touches on what the Spartans, specifically, sought to adjure, i.e., a child acquiring any form of dependence beyond what was absolutely necessary. For this reason children were turned out shortly after they could walk, to fend for themselves. Stealing was the main way they could survive but if caught, they would receive brutal punishment. Almost inconceivable, the Battle of Thermopole is no fabrication, 100 Spartan soldiers held off tens of thousands of Persians for days at that Pass. Lycurgus, the Spartan Law Giver, said something truely remarkable when pressed about the short length of Spartan swords and the smallness of their shields. "My arm makes up the extra length" and "I do not fight with my shield". Manhood can be the grandest of all achievements. We like to think sports can give it, but that is just the beginning. Accountability is a precious aspect of manhood, and I am always impressed with the instincts your poetry portrays by adopting a clear expectation of things to be accountable. Even from the grave. JCH
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mark Steven Scheffer On Date: 2006-06-29 19:56:46
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.85714
MAH, I can be as morose as - not the next guy - as MAH. Don't think you can outmorose me. :) The big difference between us is our diction. Your language, your "style" is much more modern. Perhaps it is the air we breathe; these musty tomes I surround myself with have become too friendly. Yet I've never had a desire to speak to or for anyone. And never will. You are my antennae to this age, mate. Another solid poem in your foundation. You give me hope in modern literature. You have the potential of bringing some real substance, filling out the contemporary dress with a real body. And it is definitely a mutual pleasure: the way I feel having your poems around. MSS
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