Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The prairie underscores the bright blue
of the 10 a.m. sky and a train slices
the whole scene diagonally:

running beside the long straight
black of route 66

carrying the cogs to some massive
machine that makes another part
of the world run

but not this part

if every train stopped and every
telephone pole fell and all the
wires tangled in sparks on the
ground, nothing would change here.

These red rocks
thick clay
scrub bushes
lean hawks
don't mind.

1 comment:

nckhrkman said...

i really like the contrast of geometry in this. the scene feels like all lines and sharp edges at the top, and then rounded and earthy at the end. you take it one step further with the contrast of color with the black road and the red rocks. there appears to be this wonderfully passive conflict at work with the natural and man-made worlds. i enjoy this understated conflict even more than the imagined apocalyptic scenario that you create.

i feel like this is either half of a poem or one-and-a-half of a poem. i would pull out the end of the world vision and allow the subtle contrasts to play with each other, or i would introduce more of a personal, playful voice with the speaker as he or she imagines the crumbling mechanical world, something to allow for an injection of light-hearted human emotion and insight.

motion is also a key component to the conflicts you've created. you've already got the contrast of geometry and color, but i think reinforcing the contrast of motion could also be really cool. all of the movement is currently being done by the mechanical world, and the natural world sits statically at the end. this in itself is a contrast, but i think it could be strengthened by some verbs that imply lethargy or stillness at the conclusion. i am also a little fuzzy on the perspective of the speaker. i think the implication in the first two stanzas is that the speaker is in a moving car, but that may need to be reinforced. if you opt to bring in more of the speaker, i would toss in that detail. if you opt to cut the speaker out, i think the implicit contrast of the moving mechanical vs. the unmoving natural will work on its own.

i love the phrase 'lean hawks.'

i'm stuck for a title, but i would aim for something dramatic or even bellicose. something to set the reader up for a conflict that they won't be expecting.