Reviews for Brodie
Amaris chapter 1 . 11/17/2002
It's good. Full of meaning. hehe, the magnesium. Know where that came from. I wish you'd try writing poems that followed a set pattern. It seems like you have the potential - I think you'd be able to do it if you practiced and tried to do so.
Mike chapter 1 . 11/17/2002
Change the third line of

If you weren't transparent,

would I be satisfied?

Or simply saturated?

beause the poem isn't as good if there is a double question in the stanza, especially at the end.

Other than yeah.
frenchfries chapter 1 . 11/17/2002
i like!
peachykeen chapter 1 . 11/16/2002
I like this one a lot. I thought that I my vocab was getting better, but there are just SO many words that I don't understand. (i.e. - "magnum opus," and "chutzpah") Tres bien, ma amie!
A.J.Peart chapter 1 . 11/16/2002
This poem strangely reminds me of John Milton. Sadly, I can't say that it's his writing that it reminds me of...wait, what am I saying? That's a good thing! If you were writing like Milton than you wouldn't have anyone paying any attention to you except to point a gawking finger as they would to a giraffe that was waiting to catch a subway train. However, as I was saying, Milton was very impatient to write his big thing, whatever it would turn out to be (Paradise Lost being the end result). It's a theme that can be found in much of his writing leading up to it.

For example, one of his poems/elegies called "Lycidas" is supposed to be like a lament of some kind for this friend who drowned in a shipwreck. The poem is wrapped around the death, but it continuously hints at Milton's own worry, since the drowned man was also a poet (not a very good one, though), and if this man's life could be cut short before his masterpiece than so could Milton's.

So that's what that poem is all about, pretty much. But, like all of Milton (sonnets an exception), he's one of those authors who just never seems to shut up. Good though! Damn good! But excessively loooong.

That's where the comparison to Milton applies to your poem though. "My magnum opus is past its due." It's also a little wordy and does seem to go on a bit, rambling and such, just in such a way that makes you want to say, "Shut..." Oh, was I typing that? Crap... (You must know I'm kidding, come on!)

Parts of this poem do seem to reflect on one of mine, I think it's "These words of mine" or something, which suggest that you're infringing on my, I mean that you're demonstrating that many writers often feel this way. I think the example of Milton, this poem and mine all seem to point to that. I'm sure many others would be inclined to agree. There's a certain ounce of doubt towards this chosen field of artistic tallent, where words are "eternally abandoning" us, meaning the meanings of the words, surely. Our lives, as writers, depend on the meaning of words, and if we can't find the right word than we get frustrated. At least, I get frustrated. That's when the dictionaries come out. I have at least three for various purposes. I still need a fourth for symbolism.

I quite like your use of comparing vocal words to writen words. It's something unique from (what I've read of) Milton and my own writing. I especially like the part where you say, "I do not write in meter or rhyme, / but in decibles" which, though meter and rhyme quite often come into writing poetry, poetry is about 99.9% writen to be read (decibles being a term for sound, thus the voice).


I like this reference. It can be easilly tied into the art of writing, since when writing a novel or short story, Now is when the story takes place. Therefore, "Now shifts." That entire stanza relates to it, and from the look of it, that's what you intended. It's quite blatent (not in a bad way).

You then juxtipose vocal words on top of writen words where they become like flames, and (in this way of interpretting it) exist only in the breath of the speak, devouring their exhaled breath for life but extinguishing when there is nothing left to breath, thus disappearing as though never there - "as if it never happened."

I'd almost go as far as to say that the two lines: "Solar flares are the such - / All of life is haunted" almost clearly sum up the message of the initial ideas being cast through the first few stanzas, much like an Ezra Pound poem, "In a Station of the Metro":

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;

Petals on a wet, black bough.

That's the whole poem, which is why I bothered to write it in. It apparently started as something much longer, but Mr. Pound felt he could shorten it. I'm not saying that you could/should do that (frankly, I don't think you can just cut everything but these lines), but it's interesting to think about. It's like you're talking about the solar flares being the words again, appearing and disappearing the way you've described them, which is a lot like the actions of ghosts; "all of life is haunted."

The "you" in "If you weren't transparent" I would say was actually reffering to spoken words, trying to make them exist as the words on paper do (only, in their own way), hence the "Would I be satisfied?" line, suggesting again this whole issue with words being the key to the writer's carrer and how spoken words are perhapse more powerful yet nearly non-existant. Being saturated by a spoken word that does exist would suggest that it would appear in the form of water, which makes sense. If it appears as fire when non-existant, than water would be a suitable opposite to fire when becoming existant.

As far as magnesium goes, all I know is that it burns white, meaning the colour of the flame or whatnot. I've seen it once or twice outside of fireworks, but only like 6 or 7 years ago. It wasn't the sort of substance my chemestry teachers thought highly of burning at random. That makes me want to be a chemestry teacher now. If I was one, I would so burn things all the time. It's like, "Good morning students. Today we *were* going to talk about the gas law and all those other boring formulas for measuring gas, but instead I've filled a ballon for each of you with hydrogen. Now everyone light your candles..."

You hear that? That's the sound of my carrer as a chemestry teacher blowing up far before becoming a reality. It's a good thing too.

Urns generally hold the cremated remaines of our passed loved ones, when reffered to as holding ashes. But this urn is holding the ashes of spoken words, so it's empty. Strange. But why magnesium? Let's decline the verbs and nouns, shall we?

Magnesium is a metal that burns. It burns white, as I mentioned, though I don't believe that's even remotely necessary for the purpose here. "Ideopathy" has me stumped. My crummy dictionary doesn't know it and I'm too lazy to look it up, so I'm going to just pretend that it means something to do with ideas, since it kinda looks like it might. So, it could be said from this assumptive interpretation, that these are flakes of burnt words and of your "fleshy" ideas...fleshy ideas, that sounds interesting. Perhapse I'll have to focus on this a bit, even give it its own paragraph.

{This is about where I was when I said I was almost done}

Fleshy ideas, perhaps we're talking about the ideas of one made of flesh, as opposed to those diabolical ideas of world domonation being had by that mischeivious tree on the lawn across the street. Or maybe, as flesh burns relatively easily and with a rather unpleasant smell, the idea is that when these ideas burn, these words put on to paper in the form of writen words. In other words, it's unpleasant when they're burnt. That then doesn't have to be taken literally. You see, magnesium being used for fireworks and having a brilliant white glow to it's burning, is a rather plesant experiance, though rather short lived. But more that simply plesant, it is something that is different every time and always the kind of thing that gets your attention. Burning flesh, on the other hand, is increadibly unpleasant, but more to the point, is also something that gets your attention, but is probably fairly constant in its affect on you; it never really changes. So while these things are different, they are much the same...

Now that I really think about it, I'm not sure that really makes much sense, or even should be taken as is. I think that last paragraph is entirely flawed somehow, but I'm damned if I can tell what it is, let alone fix it. Plus, it's a quarter to four in the morning, so I'm too tired and lazy to care. It is, after all, just one stanza. I've still got one more to lavishly gouge my literary wordiness over, which I think I'll commence quite promptly.

"My magnum opus is past its due" I have already talked about, so I'll only glaze over it now. This stanza is really about the possability of regret. And actually, it almost reflects what I sometimes feel about my university education. Yes, the wonderful question "What if...?" It's the very question that has spawned such a wide variety of fiction since the dawn of the art. But what if you hadn't given up the whole egotistical thing, you being figurative.

For the most part, this poem has had the narrator being any poet in general, or even a writer of any kind; it didn't really matter who. But now, here at the end of the poem, it seems to narrow it down so that the narrator actually becomes someone. Still, there is no real identity, but now there is someone with a past that can be applied to all that has been said up to this point.

First it was a poet, any poet, who is frustrated with words and their meanings and their general interpretation. Now it becomes a little more about success and what the mind is doing in anticipation of that success. What the mind is doing, of course, is beginning to doubt the abilities of the poet. Everything up to this point has been just that, doubting the ability of the poet to write words with the same power and dignaty of these spoken words that can exist without existing. The poem itself is about self-doubt, despite ending it on a high note.

The final line, "I look better in camouflage anyway," is almost like the poet's way of delaying the mind from giving up. It presents a new idea though, which I'm not entirely sure of being a good thing, though I'm pretty sure it's not a bad thing (a sudden solitary theme). I suppose this theme was introduced originally in the opening stanza, but not nearly in a jump-out sort of way as this line. However, this is NOT a complaint, nor do I suggest you work at changing it; I think it's fine the way it is.

Therefore, I believe I've come to the end of my analitical breakdown of this poem. Sometimes I think I spend too much time writing these and not enough time writing essays for school. Sometimes I think I'm right.






Hopefully there's less scrolling this way.

yay suicidal jumps to spectacular failure...I suppose it would be kind of spectacular to fail at killing yourself by jumping from a height...unless that height was less than one storey.

Cum libri flummas convenient, lucem videbis.

grey spirit chapter 1 . 11/15/2002
I like the title a lot; very original. I am always a fan of wordplay, so the double meaning immeadiately made me crack a smile. I felt compelled to go back through it and look at all of the possible allusions hidden beneath the black and white pixels. There is a lot of fire and haunting imagery, which fits to the poem nicely. As for self pity, we all need an outlet sometimes, and sadly these walls of flesh and bars of bone confine us to what is known by us as humans... or so it is assumed. Well, best of luck with your work, even though I basically rambled, and didn't really help.

~grey spirit
Obake-chan chapter 1 . 11/15/2002
Naruhodo naruhodo(that means "I see" or "I get it," but not quite).

This poem reflects quite a lot of what I think. About Now and stuff. Arg.

The sixth stanza is probably my favorite. Although I'd choose the first choice without a thought. Hah. I'm this big jolly ol' optimistic runaway from reality kinda person, so everything should be happy and satisfactory. I haven't said this in a while...

I love your poems and your writing style. Perty.

Reminds me of science...
the Queen of Jupiter chapter 1 . 11/15/2002
*falls to knees and sobs* All right, I've lost this review twice already (maybe it's too long?), and I'm really getting harried at . So let me try this one more time, and if it gets lost again, I'm just going to submit the following sentence:

"Basically, I see this as a poem about poetry."

Now for the nice long review (which I hope will not disappear again):

"Words are fickle friends today

eternally abandoning, never staying -

the moment is always Now."

Could you be talking about writer's block? I feel the same way: words slip away and out of my mind whenever I need them, and I'm left gaping like a fish. "Where did all words go?"

"And whenever you or anybody speaks,

a glistening profile

swerves out from a spine of thoughts

to lick at me as if a flame,

then retreats back into bone

as if it never happened."

You draw inspiration from other peoples' poems. I do it all the time (I have your "Pigeon Suite" and Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn" on my bulletin board, to read whenever I need inspiration). Which brings me back to the previous stanza:

"But Now shifts -

a thousand references to

places and events at which

I was never present,

never there."

Sometimes you've never actually experienced the things you're writing about, but through reading other peoples' poems, you feel as though you have, and you can relate to it, either directly or indirectly.

"Solar flares and the such -

all of life is haunted."

Life is inexplicable (haunted), so you write poetry to try to make sense of it.

"I do not write in meter or rhyme,

but in decibels

of death, or love, or both."

Death/love inspiration (you directly experience death or love); or something else entirely that you see death/love in; or (taken literally) you write about death/love.

"If you weren't transparent,

would I be satisfied?

Or simply saturated?"

Poetry is generally metaphors upon metaphors. If you didn't use metaphors, would the poem still carry the same effect? Or would it be weighty and generally awful?

"This ebony urn

holds the ashes -

flakes of burnt magnesium,

my fleshy idiopathy."

I see the ebony urn as a poetry notebook of some sort. The ashes are the poems. The flakes of burnt magnesium are the feelings/emotions that inspired and are expressed in those poems (sorry I'm running through these so quick).

"My magnum opus is past its due

but here I am, instead,

worrying about the thousand selves

I could have been,

and what a waste it was

to shove away my chutzpah -

but I look better in camouflage anyway."

This nearly lost whole "it's a poem about poetry!" take on this poem gets sort of chopped off here. BUT, in an attempt to try and tie it in with that interpretation...

I read it as the speaker not writing about how they *really* feel in their poetry, instead, sort of...toning it down, or shielding it, or protecting it, or something. "but I look better in camouflage anyway" - the speaker feels that even though their poetry isn't really what they want to write about (or even the truth, even though that's a bit of a more extreme word), the poetry they *do* write is better than the poems they *could* write, which would be the poems that truthfully express their feelings.

Wah. Now let me press "submit review" before this gets lost into the swirling void again.

P.S. "Brodie" is going into my favorite stories, too. *grin* And I'm printing it out. I always fall for poems about poetry.