Author Topic: Life Ends  (Read 816 times)

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Offline SkaaDee

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Life Ends
« on: July 24, 2012, 12:52 PM »
Life ends with robotic arms and strange machines
- the colour white, and antiseptic - familiar tunes
played badly - out-of-date magazines with smiley ads
and waxy pages.

Life ends horizontally with anguish deep down,
yet smelled by the ones holding flowers
but not the ones holding clipboards.

Through the window seems someplace else and sudden,
breezy and green. When life ends people whisper
and smile, but no one drinks wine or lights a cigar.


*********** 
revision #1


Life ends with robotic arms and strange machines - the colour white,
and antiseptic - familiar tunes played badly - out-of-date
magazines with smiley ads and waxed pages.

Life ends horizontal with anguish deep down.
The ones holding flowers smell it
but not clipboards.

It ends eight and a half by ten
but not the best way to cook a rutabaga
or the dampness of a hanging garden on the skin.
It ends the way it began, without a clue.

Offline seraph

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Re: Life Ends
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2012, 01:31 PM »
SkaaDee,

The first two stanzas are strong and powerful. The last stanza feels weak and confusing.



Through the window lies someplace else and sudden,
breezy and green.
- This seems incomplete and awkward.  I would insert the word lies and take out the and.

 When life ends people whisper
and smile, but no one drinks wine or lights a cigar.-
Sometimes people do toast to the dead. I get the cigar but not the alcohol. However, it is true neither action would be seen in the hospital or hospice.

Anne

Offline SkaaDee

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Re: Life Ends
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2012, 09:52 AM »
Hi Anne

I suspect you are correct regarding the third stanza.
I could see the finish line and wrote quickly.



thanks
Scott

Offline SkaaDee

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Re: Life Ends
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2012, 02:49 PM »
any better?



Offline Bill

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Re: Life Ends
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2012, 12:06 PM »
Skaa Dee,

Consider that you might be leaning too hard on prose construction, and in doing so, decrease the energy of each descriptive.  In other words, consider better line breaks.  Since each item is a stand-alone visual, each item could stand to have its own line.  In addition, build to your conclusion, don't lead with it.  Finally, phrases like, "played badly," do not communicate well enough what "elevator music" really sounds like.

For example, (and with apology) take this reconstruction of S1.

With robotic arms and strange machines,
colours white and antiseptic,
echoes of familiar tunes,
smiley ads and waxed pages
adorning out-of-date magazines
life ends.

In S2, the inversion of "deep down", that is, that it follows rather than leads, "anguish," also drains some of the energy, because it doesn't read naturally; horizontal deep down anguish...

In addition, a single word is not sufficient to make "clipboards" the cold-hearted clinical approach it strives to be.  If some are holding flowers and smell, then some others are holding clipboards and doing what?  Not smelling is implied, but not sufficient to distance them enough from the emotional moment.  Find a verb for the "clipboards."

Your concluding verse contradicts your main premise.  In S1 and S2, you've given clues as to "how life ends."  Your lead into S3 implies another clue.  Thus, to sign off, "without a clue," does nothing to advance your theme.  You need to build up to that by negating what came before, somehow or other, as not really how life ends.  And, because of my ignorance about rutabagas in general, and no clue as to what "eight and a half by ten" refers to in cooking them, that is, without reference points to guide the average reader, S3 is a leaking tire, not an explosive blowout.

If I don't get it, I mark it up to me, but if I want to get it, I put that on the author.

Keep writing,
Hew

Offline SkaaDee

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Re: Life Ends
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2012, 06:30 PM »
excellent critique Bill.



Offline 7

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Re: Life Ends
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2012, 09:37 PM »
- the colour white

green or blue or blue-green is far more accurate

but not the ones holding clipboards.

it's unfortunate that you see it that way, and in most cases entirely untrue
it's obvious that you don't work in the medical field, specifically: patient care

When life ends people whisper
and smile, but no one drinks wine or lights a cigar.

I'm guessing you've have never attended a traditional Irish funeral
we celebrate (and that's being modest) the life that was lived

.......

All in all, this piece wants to be believable
shoot, I want it to be believable—

but unfortunately, for me anyways, it really wasn't

what I did appreciate though is its starting point: the "end"
and its revised ending: "the way it began, without a clue"

go figure


Alanis Morissette - Ironic (Video)


10:30
pm addendum— and almost an hour later

my suggestions: lose everything/ lose nothing
and create a very strong minimalist piece

Offline SkaaDee

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Re: Life Ends
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2012, 11:30 AM »
thanks 7!


I have edited a bit more:


Life ends with robotic arms and strange machines - the colour white,
and antiseptic - familiar tunes played badly - out-of-date
magazines with smiley ads and waxed pages.

Life ends horizontal with anguish deep down.
The ones holding flowers smell it.
The ones with clipboards move on.

It ends eight and a half by ten, single spaced
but not the best way to cook a rutabaga
or the dampness of a hanging garden on the skin.
It ends the way it began, without a clue.













minimalist may be:


Life Ends

the way it began; white, robotic
and beeping.


 

 

Offline 7

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Re: Life Ends
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2012, 06:16 PM »

minimalist may be:


Life Ends

the way it began; white, robotic
and beeping.
 

but—

not everyone dies in a hospital, so
even that falls into the same trap

non-believable

but the "without a clue" part, that
is universal

am I right or am I right? what's left


Life Ends

—the way it began, without a clue.




Offline SkaaDee

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Re: Life Ends
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2012, 08:11 PM »

am I right or am I right?



you're right for you



Offline 7

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Re: Life Ends
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2012, 12:54 PM »

am I right or am I right?



you're right for you

lol I suppose, in regards to the minimalist approach and my opinion on that
but as far as "universal" is concerned, by definition—  is right for everyone.

not trying to beat a dead horse here (pun intended). Take care

Offline the beholder

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Re: Life Ends
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2012, 01:13 AM »
The ending is force fed and off kilter withe rest of the piece seems u loose your drive and angst somewhere midway through
It's a long dark terrifying ride out of hell;but only a short fall from grace into it