Kirsten I Mike I Heather L. I Shawn I
I was think- ing of you, allie, beat- ing yr brow and the future hung in be- tween our houses. What do Sat- urdays do, the tech- nique of yr person- a, mine is all ways bleeding. Cd you hold my hand, I'm terr- ified of age- ing, the movie sd we'd go diff- erently, stand, as the credits roll in.
From: email@example.com (Kirsten L Thorpe) Precedence: bulk humble first impressions (well, second, kindof)/ a quickie: i can't put my finger on it, but this sounded a lot different when *you* read it out loud, than when *i'm* reading it (i liked you better). but, i still think the line breaks have a nice effect, especially, because of the way this poem deals with the passage of time and how they play along with that. i love the first and last stanzas, and especially the ending because of the 'different ways' we as readers (parallelling the personas) can go, but i wish in the middle there was something more, something connecting it to the rest or going a little further maybe. hmm..sweet and clever. kirsten
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Magee) Precedence: bulk I had a similar reaction to Kirsten, in terms of wanting more - but then this is one of my common reactions to Jessica's poems and there's always the corresponding issue of what might be lost by way of addition, so I'm always struggling with that in critique (Kirsten's work can be similar, in a poem like "Oh Man" which I think most of us have heard: you certainly wouldn't want that poem to be longer even though you'd like to hear more -- but lately it seems, Kirsten, that you've gotten a kind of expansion out of sound-play). Anyway, I think, Jessica, that *trying* to expand, as in just seeing what happens if you simply start adding, would be a useful thing even if it turns out that you don't keep anything you added. You have this incredible facility w/ a sort of emotional short-hand, which is to say you are very good at saying a lot with a little - but sometimes what we're best at, and our reliance on it, can hold us back as poets (I feel this way sometimes about my use of humor in poems). So, that said, I still really like the poem: "What do Sat- / urdays do" - that's quintessential Jessica-poetry and I never get tired of reading it. -m.
From: email@example.com (Heather Laszlo) Precedence: bulk I love hearing Jessica read her poems, so her voice, not mine, is what's in my ears when I read this. The insistence monosyllabic breaks at the line stills seems gentle, despite (if it weren't jessica's voice I read) that they're somewhat staccatto they're still sweet sounding... beat- be- Sat- tech-... talking about the past and fretting the suspended future, the tension makes for a nostalgic worry but I'm held up when I hit ...the tech- nique of yr person- a... which is my most favorite spot as well, a snag in the fluidity of what is going on around it, that ends, it seems, with a rolling motion more mechanical and technical in itself.
From: Shawn Walker
Hi, Jessica. I've never heard you read your poem(s), so here are some thoughts on just reading this one. This insistant line breaks (staccato as Heather pointed out) feel as if the poem wants to push some language *almost* out of sensical, grammatical patterns, yet is whipped back into them at the last moment. In this stanza -- 'I was think' -- 'you, allie, beat' -- 'hung in be' -- seem to want more independence, but they are ties by the hyphens to the movement of the wideer sentence. I'm torn between wanting to succomb to the language moving in all sorts of directions but sensing that it feels it *should* move in just one of them, or provide the illusion that it is doing so. > > I was think- > > ing of you, allie, beat- > > ing yr brow and the future > > hung in be- > > tween our houses. Again, the 'Sat--' hanging as if it wants to be all of itself leaves me with a sense of stasis (that word again) in this poem as well. A sense of rising and then sitting deflation, in the middle of a very intriguing question -- 'What do Saturdays do' -- which blends with the sense of stasis because the people and their personas seem to be so effected, as if Saturdays have more volition than they do. > > What do Sat- > > urdays do, the tech- > > nique of yr person- > > a, mine is all > > ways bleeding. 'Mine is all / ways bleeding' relies more on familiar poetic language than some of your more linguistically subtle moments, so here is where I want that More most. > > Cd you hold my > > hand, I'm terr- > > ified of age- > > ing, I LOVE this moment idea-wise -- the momentary gesture of comfort overlaps the long, drawn-out process of aging. However, again I feel the tension I described above because the line breaks don't seem as meaningful. I can't tell if I'm supposed to read each line and each word very carefully, or if the hyphens are just supposed to disrupt the otherwise natural flow of a beautiful, lyrical line. So I'm left asking: how do you feel your hyphens functioning in your poetry? the movie sd > > we'd go diff- > > erently, stand, > > as the credits roll in. I'm not sure about this ending. I can see you at the movie on Saturday, but if this is clinching it, I feel I'd like some more connections earlier. Thanks, Shawn