This Poem was Submitted By: Mark Steven Scheffer On Date: 2016-06-11 11:22:09 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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The Long Reach (Detroit, 1967)

                                                             they're throwing condoms                                                               off the roof at Flaherty's,                                                              used and soiled                                                              in the gutter rain                                                              and the guitar man                                                              has cut his strings,                                                              for the echoes precede                                                              his beginning to play                                                              it is all written                                                              to the period points                                                              of your rage                                                              to the question mark                                                              of your lips                                                              to your exclamation fist                                                              in your monkey cage                                                              you’ve come a long way,                                                              baby                                                              not to breakfast                                                               at Tiffany’s                                                              or the Sorbonne                                                              soiree                                                               but to the midnight etch                                                              of the flaming finger                                                              to memory’s reach                                                              for the trigger                                                              to the prophets of the spiraling                                                               drain.

Copyright © June 2016 Mark Steven Scheffer

Additional Notes:

This Poem was Critiqued By: Joe Gustin On Date: 2016-06-28 11:02:23
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.66667
Again so many excellent images that draw pictures perfect in their pain. There is a underlying sadness profoundly stated

This Poem was Critiqued By: DeniMari Z. On Date: 2016-06-15 12:43:57
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
I've met someone from Detroit who said the city "destroyed" them; My take on your poem has the feel of destruction yet my memory is lapsing on what happened there in 1967; several things come to mind but I don't want to guess wrong. Your style and embellishment stands out - you are always fueled with passion when you write - I'm a fan - and always will be, blessings, Deni
This Poem was Critiqued By: Tony P Spicuglia On Date: 2016-06-14 11:51:07
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Sometimes I have to extract myself from what my experiences have given me, and reinsert myself into what the artist is trying to say. I am a strong proponent of the adage, (I made up) that writing only respects the reader, and never the artist. It is the reader who finds the treasure; it is the writer who must place the possibilities. Often the treasure is distinct and of only relative to the possibility. So, this is an interesting piece to me. It is interesting because of personal reasons. The primary reason is Blind Pig Records is one of my favorite blues recording organizations. It has been for years. As with many “Blind Pig” references in society, they all have links to the Detroit, 1967 Riots at the Blind Pig music club. The reference has been a part of my life for at least 20 years (that’s when I first bought a Blind Pig blues product), and referenced the name. Prior to that, I was not familiar with the Detroit ’67 riots. So here I am, deciding to jettison the existing in my mind to put my mind around your tale. The contrast in your verse is obvious, but the context is obscure for me. I understand, in reading that Tiffany’s and Sorbonne, are a culture much different than the attendees in Detroit (those who made up the riot), I understand the rage, and in your verse the contrast is, of itself, a powerful metaphor. In my ignorance I miss the reference to “condums off the roof at Flaherty's, but the guitar man and the essence of the club is fluent. I haven’t read an indepth article, (probably twenty shorter essays and news pieces), so assume “monkey cage” is a direct quote from someone referencing the club, and the “flaming finger” having to do with the burning down of the buildings. The timbre of this piece is as stark as the historical moment. Prophets? As Jeffrey Tambor (Maura) says in the last episode of of Amazon’s Transparent, “I didn’t rape you.” (A true statement spoken for most men in general), prophecy has no necessity for a moral core. It just is. Then again, this might all be a simple reference to a moment in your life that I can only be privy to via your verse. That too is well done. Great piece, as usual.
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