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Catch You Later

by hailfabio 

Posted: 30 August 2005
Word Count: 101

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I take a glance
it goes unreceived.
Talking without audio
trying to catch wandering eyes.
Churning up fake interest
with false conversation.
I know the story
I heard it before.
As hedgerows race past
jet trails in the sky.
I think about thinking
broomsticks flying round my head.
If only instant travel were possible
take me apart and back together again.
My particles in the sky
could I be a different person, in a different place?
So back on the merry-go-round of life
where time can be seen dancing with the devil.
Can I get off this rolling carriage
and dance?

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Comments by other Members

James Graham at 20:17 on 31 August 2005  Report this post
I like the idea you have in this poem, the irony of 'sharing' time with someone who pays absolutely no attention to you. There are some minor things that could be fixed, and a couple maybe not so minor.

The most minor is to put 'I've written it' rather than 'I've wrote it' - unless you mean the poem's speaker's grasp of grammar to be a little shaky!

'So many planes in the sky' puzzled me a bit. Is the train passing close to an airport, or an RAF base? To avoid the reader asking a question the poem can't answer, why not just put 'Jet trails in the sky' - which is indeterminate and could be anywhere?

I'd leave out 'it is' in the second last line.

'What must the birds think/ when jets play on the tree tops' - this seems a rather commonplace idea, the more so because you've just made a really interesting leap from planes to broomsticks. This leap seems to call for another one, taking us a little further into fantasy. If a plane flies low over a rookery, do the birds think anything at all, or are they just plain scared? Instead, I would think two lines that tantalised us with some of the well-known superstitions about witchcraft - anything from black cats to pincushion dolls - would make us take a second leap after broomsticks. It might have another effect too - to sharpen the irony. If the poem's speaker had really had a conversation with the person opposite, what would she/he have made of the stranger who brought up this topic? I feel it would strengthen the poem to replace these two lines with a new idea.

The title isn't quite ok for me - not pointed enough, not doing enough to characterise the poem. After only the second reading, I found myself thinking that if I'd written a poem based on a similar theme, time sort of shared with a stranger but nothing really being shared, with the closing two lines in mind I'd have called it 'See You Later'. Maybe you'll think that's too jokey. If it was me, I'd go for it.


lieslj at 06:28 on 01 September 2005  Report this post
Hello Stephen,

I also found the title a bit problematic, but thought that your line 'talking without audio' would make an excellent title.

The other statement by the voice of the poet that 'I don't exist' feels like an exaggeration, when the voice clearly does exist and strives for connection.

I feel the strength of the poem starts to show in the second half, starting at 'As hedgrows race past', but agree that the merry-go-round creates a dislocation for me.

For what my opinion is worth, I feel you are really pushing yourself to create more intense images that enable the reader to experience your revealed self. Less and less do I feel that you are telling me what to think or how to respond. This is great progress, because it takes courage to move into this realm of trusting that the reader will 'get' what you say and respect your truth. Well done.

Warm wishes

Tina at 07:58 on 03 September 2005  Report this post
Hello Stephen

Late to this dialogue - sorry - reading down and down this again and again I am draw back to comment because there are images that work for me and others that are off centre. There is a lot of energy in the need to be noticed and be in communication with anotherand this is reaching out from your writing.

I like the images indicating speed of time passing - like the hedgerows and planes - I think I would like more of an 'ending' and agree with the closing comments by James above.

Lines 5-8 with the rhyming ending is the weakest part for me and ther is more energy and 'need' at the end of the poem.

Hope some of this makes sense


hailfabio at 11:44 on 05 September 2005  Report this post
Thanks for comments.

This definately needs more direction and focus. I didn't really have a specific setting/subject when I wrote it but the idea of sitting on a train and talking to a stranger is a good one.

I definately need to clarify my poems before I start writing, as I end up with lots of different ideas and directions.


James Graham at 18:47 on 08 September 2005  Report this post
This reads better with the new title and other changes. But I'd still tinker with it a bit. Wouldn't 'I've heard it before' be better than than 'I read it before', since the whole poem is about oral communication?

Your time travel idea is better than the birds in the tree-tops. It seems more like another sci-fi idea, teleportation, instantaneous travel, getting from London to Manchester in 0.01 seconds, whereas time travel is getting from 2005 to 2050. You could have 'instant travel' instead of 'time travel'. Now, 'to get from A to C without B'? I was never any good at maths but I don't quite get this. I'm not sure whether it's time travel or instantaneous; it reads more like just taking a short cut. For me, an inventive way of conveying instantaneous travel would be something like 'If only instant travel were possible/ to get there before...' (i.e. before something that happens very quickly has time to happen). The idea contained in 'before you can blink' but something much more original.

Even as it is, though, the poem has improved from your first draft.


hailfabio at 11:07 on 12 September 2005  Report this post
Final edit..... maybe?

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