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:: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 ::

:: Sean 5/23/2007 07:47:00 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, August 06, 2004 ::
Alison, I like the rewrite / revision / whatever. It does somehow seem clearer, and I get more of a sense of Shaggy than I did the first time. The speaker's voice also seems to be more solid, and I like the almost weary tone that pervades the whole poem. I still love that final metaphor, too. Great.

I'm still working on something, but I got derailed this last week helping Tiffany get a couple of things together for our fall faculty conference. Fun.

Soon and soon and soon....

:: Rob 8/06/2004 11:33:00 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, August 03, 2004 ::
OK. Here's one. more rewrite than revision. If I'm too far off this time, off to the burn pile we go.


Shaggy’s Soul Food Open Soon,
Said the Sign outside of Tallulah

I used to believe the message hand-lettered
on one side of a vacant building.
Now I put my money on the wrecking ball.
Since the four-lane opened a half mile
off the strip, only Bubba Suds Laundry
and Free Junque—an antique shop—remain.
No music but the blues for Shaggy.
With no prep work and no mouths to feed,
Shaggy could be anywhere. He could be
the reckless pilot of this duster that dives
with a roar before rising to shrink its shadow.
He could be cuffed to the chain gang
that picks the highway for its crop of trash,
or living at the motel between jobs.
You know the type. No money for food,
but able to scrounge change for a Lotto ticket,
figuring one day he’ll collect a windfall
of unlikely numbers. For now, it’s hard luck
in the land of the lone gas station
that sells shotgun shells and chicken wings.
Land of the blind man with a harmonica
for a mouth. He breathes the blues, I’m telling you.
Breathes the blues like he’s witness to what
pains us most. If he sent a postcard, the letters
would start out square and get smaller, a diagram
of trumpet sound, the volume down.
:: Alison Pelegrin 8/03/2004 12:26:00 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, July 28, 2004 ::

Uncross your fingers and write. I can't wait to read your new stuff.  I'll have one for this weekend, maybe two.  And I'm trying to finish of the definitive version of my chapbook soon. It's kind of an albatross.


:: Alison Pelegrin 7/28/2004 07:32:00 PM [+] ::
I'm still here, just forgetful of looking at the Blog more often.  I like the revisions to the "Choose Your Own Adventure" poem.  I really love those second and third stanzas--just enough narrative to draw you along but with just the right amount of metaphorical heft.  Nice.

I'm working on a couple of new pieces I hope to get up here by the end of the week.  Fingers firmly crossed.


:: Rob 7/28/2004 02:00:00 PM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, July 27, 2004 ::
Umm--Hello out there . . . Have I scared everyone off?  Please someone put up a poem. Otherwise, I just feel like I'm talking to myself.


:: Alison Pelegrin 7/27/2004 07:43:00 PM [+] ::
:: Saturday, July 10, 2004 ::
Hey Rob--

I revised this poem with your comments.


Choose Your Own Adventure

You know the book—the one you read in secret,
last on the rack at the paperback exchange.
The rattlesnake uncoiling as you thumb
the corner pages warns you’re down the wrong path—
you’ve misread the horoscope, commandeered
the wrong scenario— you thought the stars
were saying “teach,” but they meant “learn
to play the saxophone,” or “hunt for trash
with petty criminals.” Your choice now is to skip
ahead or dabble in the work of it, more and more
a god of thieves as the temperature rises.

Convict or not, come lunch you could snooze
in the shade, or break for the tree-line and the refuge
you know must be written somewhere behind it—
a woodcutter’s cottage where you read old papers
and drink milk still warm from the goat.
If the bloodhounds break your wretched sleep,
no matter—open the book to another page, to a day
in your life as a wife gone fat to pad herself
against the Mister’s steel-toe alligator boots,
or work as a miner and spend your last page
trapped, the water rising like a tide of ink.

Open the book again and you are here,
in the spot you started, a hunter unable
to recognize as his own the tracks he follows.
You stand there, the world’s best dilettante,
part journeyman and part Quixote, posed
safari-style on a wildebeest crumpled by a blind shot.
Or scratch that and begin once more, in medias res,
as a cowgirl more freckled than her appaloosa pony.
We’d skim the book in every combination
to find why she pauses here, at this desolate crossroads,
facing west to a barn full of shadows.

:: Alison Pelegrin 7/10/2004 10:28:00 AM [+] ::
Rob--Thanks for getting back to me. I have written and unwritten and rewritten that damn poem so many times--I'm almost ready to give up. Thanks for your as usual on mark comments. I'm so glad you mentioned he ending lines and the windfall line--those are two places in the poem I was ready to cut because I was unsure. Maybe this poem needs to rest a while.

:: Alison Pelegrin 7/10/2004 10:25:00 AM [+] ::

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