Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nie Nie Fundraiser Today / and always love

Nie Nie Benefit Sale Now!!!




and always love



mme
Carolina Maine said...

I really love this poem. I like its passion and sincerity. Thanks for sharing:)

JKA said...

Vivid and engaging. Good stuff.

Annie King said...

I like this poem a lot. I feel the build-up in the poem, to the summing up, to the life-affirming conclusion.

If you're looking for feedback, I have a couple of suggestions (actually deletions, and two uses of the active voice) that I think will strengthen the impact of your vivid imagery, and won't upset the poem's meaning or the rhythm. I'll share them, if you'd like.

Maggie May said...

annie go for it!

thank you carolina, and jka- i'll have to come see your page.

Annie King said...

Hi Maggie,

This long version is for you. In a few minutes, I’ll send a brief version you can post if you want, but I won’t feel bad if you choose not to post it at all. Whenever I give somebody feedback, I always tell them, use what you can, or ignore my suggestions completely. Only the author knows their own intent.

My main suggestion is to delete the repeating line, “give me things I cannot lose” in the first five stanzas after the first, because I think it interrupts the build-up of your powerful images. Then, in the sixth stanza, I suggest taking the active voice, because there is a transition there, from description, to interpretation. I also think you can leave off the final “give me things i cannot lose,” ending the poem on the powerful line: “…attach as fast and surely as I can lick stamp and sing it inside my skin.” Also, I’m not sure you need the Great Depression image, because it seems to place the speaker of the poem in a different era (unless that was your intent.) I’m suggesting a possible way to use the idea without the Great Depression reference.

It’s a great poem already. Here’s my suggestions, with additions or changes made in blue.

(Whoops – I tried to copy and paste my changes, and the comment form won’t retain my cross-outs and blue ink and formatting, so I’ve just made the changes I’m suggesting to your text, and you’ll need to ignore the format and compare it to your original.)


give me things i cannot lose-
permanent marker in maps across
my face, tattooed infrastructure
of loss across my heart, a coalition
of hungry children panting and rolling
their eyes in the sweat lake of my eye.

a rattling snake bite in small furious
zippers machine gunning the length
of my arm, standing strangely in the
sunlight like a holocaust survivor, blinking.

surgery scars plucked into the belly
with puckered stitch mouths, fat
bellybutton tongues, small red welts
left hanging hard and fast to the rim.

burn mark smile on the calf,
motorcycle parts, a hot boozy
wound of fire breath and hard
laughter, cleaned with alcohol left
to gather it's dripping skirts and run.

memories stamped marking me
unpure, unstable, un-UN,
a thing structured prettily but built
without supplies or access to love.

things i cannot lose
secure me like scar tissue.
i cling to the wound like a great
pregnant spider, baby balloons
chiming and popping around my head,
these places of birth
marking passports across my body;
i move beyond this homeland
with skin trailing burnt
and lost behind my hands.

give me things i cannot lose-
faces, voices, the nape, the water
laugh and sky softening, dirt pleasure
heavy breast, deep sleep, safety.
one by one i tap the barnacles loose
i could not lose for so long,
replacing them gently with the
things i cannot lose: love, and love,
and love, and love, and always love,
and ever and after as much as i can
attach as fast and surely as i can lick
stamp and sing it inside my skin.

Annie King said...

Hi Maggie,

As I said, it’s a great poem already. Whenever I give somebody feedback, I always tell them, use what you can, or ignore my suggestions completely. Only the author knows their own intent. (And other readers may not agree with me at all!)

My main suggestion is to delete the repeating line, “give me things I cannot lose” in the first five stanzas after the first stanza, because I think it interrupts the build-up of your powerful images. Then, in the sixth and seventh stanzas, I suggest taking the active voice, because there is a transition there, from description, to interpretation. I also think you can leave off the final “give me things i cannot lose,” ending the poem on the powerful line: “…attach as fast and surely as I can lick stamp and sing it inside my skin.”

Again, wonderful and unique imagery. I liked the motorcycle burn reference: “a hot boozy wound of fire breath and hard laughter, cleaned with alcohol left to gather its dripping skirts and run.” I’ve never been burned on a bike, but I used to ride (as a passenger) before my son was born, and that was always a worry.

Maggie May said...

Annie you are so generous to take such time with my poem! Seriously, thank you. I'm going to read over your version and sit with it and see what I think.

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