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Florida

by KittyBee


The window is cold with tropical rain.
The leaves of palm trees are scratching at its glass.
 
Outside birds are hiding in their nests.
Floridian crocodiles are peeking their big eyes up through swampy water.
Turtles are hiding under the dock.
Cars are zooming on the highway, ignoring all but the radio.
 
The ocean is angry.
It’s sending grey waves with tints of green to crash against pale sand
and drag it’s heavy fingers through mounds of seaweed and garbage.
Cigarette butts are drowning.
 
Heavy winds are sending the pine needles soaring like Seminole spears through the air.
 
Everybody’s suburban driveway is flooded with a stream of dirty rainwater.
 
Ducks have begun to swim in the small lakes that were once people’s front yards.
 
Miami apartment owners are cursing the sun right now.
And a man behind the register of a gas station is hoping that those thugs keep their distance.
The Zoo is closing, and large Cuban families are mumbling old, Spanish profanities under their breaths as they are evicted.
Beggars on the high way wave signs up into the sky with their grey, long sleeve shirts that say 
 
“Will work for food”
 
“Trabajará para la comida”
 
Fishermen are winding in their catches, and quickly searching for some shore some where.
A Haitian woman loses signal from a phone call to her younger brother.
She starts crying.
An old man refuses to leave his bench on the bus stop even though the newspaper over his head is now running ink down his face. 
The bus is turning through puddles to get to him.
 
When it rains here, in my oceanic concrete jungle,
everybody freezes
and with every fast pacing drop
another hair of sanity falls onto a cosmopolitan floor.

 


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53 Reviews


Points: 82
Reviews: 53

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Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:03 pm
Killyouwithwords wrote a review...



Wow, beautiful imagery and fluid writing; this poem was fantastic! You did a great job of showing the dark side of an amazing place. I really like your style of writing, I could feel the rhythm of the poem very well in most spots.

You should work on the different sentence lengths though, some of them were very wordy when they didn't need to be. For instance:

“An older man refuse to leave his bench on a bus stop even though the newspaper over his head is now running ink down his face."

It felt as if you didn't put much effort into the rhythm of this line, like you just wrote a sentence and part of it didn't fit so it ended up on the next line. Maybe you could break it up, for example:

“An old man refuses to leave his bench at a bus stop,
even though the newspaper over his head
is now running ink down his face."

There were very many lines that should also be broken down, and one more in particular:

The zoo is closing, and large Cuban families are mumbling old, Spanish profanities under their breaths as they are evicted."

Might sound better as:

The zoo is closing,
And large Cuban families are mumbling old
Spanish profanities under their breath
as they are evicted.

You should edit again, but overall it was a great poem. I especially liked the last stanza where you wrote: “in my concrete jungle." That shows that despite its flaws, this is your home and you love it.


Just keep writing-
Killyouwithwords




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331 Reviews


Points: 10565
Reviews: 331

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Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:55 am
Blackwood wrote a review...



This is a very interesting poem that is very literal and captures the sense well. Overall I say that the whole piece is a job well done.

Outside birds are hiding in their nests.
Floridian crocodiles are peeking their big eyes up through swampy water.
Turtles are hiding under the dock.
Cars are zooming on the highway, ignoring all but the radio.

The repetition of 'hiding' here is a big no-no for me in poetry. This doesn't seem like an intentional repeat at all as both lines do not follow the same structure. When I read this I feel like you wrote it in the heat of the moment and forgot that you just used the word hiding. I suggest that you change either the bird line or the turtle line to something other than hiding.

Also in the middle of the poem you have these huge gaps between lines. Why did you do this? You could combine them into a paragraph together.

and drag it’s heavy fingers through mounds of seaweed and garbage.

I love this imagery.

Good job.




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Points: 33
Reviews: 890

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Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:01 am
PenguinAttack wrote a review...



Hi KittyBee,

I think you have an interesting poem here, it's obvious you have strong feelings for Florida and the way you've written this shows you want to expound of every aspect of the place. That said, I think you have more than one poem here. I say that because you have a lot of images and they all deserve to be spoken about and explained, but there are too many of them at the moment to look at each one in the way they deserve. You list a lot of the descriptions and then throw in some true imagery so I think I feel a back and forth tug between them.

"The ocean is angry." for example, is a much better image than the turtle under the dock, because you can feel that, the grey sea pounding forward. I would love to see more of this kind of description, and ones like the old man with ink down his face. Because they are the kind of thing I think this poem wants to say. Even though the cars and turtle and stuff are important to a story I think this poem is mostly about the storm. I love the image of the beggars, but again think they might fit in that other poem, the one which is about the cosmopolitan Florida, not about the stormed out Florida - you might think they're the same creature, but for me (as someone who has never been to Florida) this poem suggests that there are two sides. To clear it up, you'd need to condense some of that imagery, consider which ones are the most important and use those to begin with. I think you could easily use a lot of this poem for one or two more poems on top of the main one.

I really do like this image of Florida you give, but it needs to be tighter in imagery and meaning for me, at least. You're going in totally the right direction, but I think this poem needs to be broken up.

Thanks for posting. If you have any questions, queries or just want to chat, hit me up. :)

- Penguin.




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83 Reviews


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Reviews: 83

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Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:57 am
skorlir wrote a review...



Take with salt; mind with care.

The window is cold with tropical rain.
The leaves of palm trees are scratching at its glass.


Replace "its" with "the." The window was already the subject, and that can carry over into the next sentence due to the semi-poetic nature of this work. And consider revising your punctuation.

Conjugations of "to be" I classify as mildly egregious. There are certain words - entire classes of words, actually - which I call the "Egregious 'P's." I wrote a little about what they are, why they are egregious, and what to do with such words here.

Outside birds are hiding in their nests.
Floridian crocodiles are peeking their big eyes up through swampy water.
Turtles are hiding under the dock.
Cars are zooming on the highway, ignoring all but the radio.


You do not need the word "outside." By the context, and because I presume the trees in the last line were outside anyway, this is simply redundant. Redundancy is also egregious.

Consider breaking slightly more often. For instance, the second line, about crocodiles. You could break around "big eyes" and "up." Try to be more consistent with line lengths, unless there is some significance to the inconsistency.

Again, the fourth line could break in the middle. If you so choose.

The ocean is angry.
It’s sending grey waves with tints of green to crash against pale sand
and drag it’s heavy fingers through mounds of seaweed and garbage.
Cigarette butts are drowning.


Superficial correction: The second "it's" does not need an apostrophe, as it shows possession.

You do not achieve poetic flow in this stanza. While your figurative language is good - "heavy fingers" - and while your description is astute - "gray tinted green," "drowning" cigarette butts, etc. - you are still not flowing. And your topic is water. Flow.

Heavy winds are sending the pine needles soaring like Seminole spears through the air.

Everybody’s suburban driveway is flooded with a stream of dirty rainwater.

Ducks have begun to swim in the small lakes that were once people’s front yards.


Egregiousness alert: "a," "of," "the" -- stop with the particles and prepositions.

Remove "the" before "pine needles." Change around the second line, remove "a" and "of" around "stream." These words I am pointing out are all unnecessary. All egregious. Stop being egregious.

Otherwise, the imagery is quite strong. And very good. I like the ducks, it gives perspective to the severity of the storm.

Miami apartment owners are cursing the sun right now.
And a man behind the register of a gas station is hoping that those thugs keep their distance.
The Zoo is closing, and large Cuban families are mumbling old, Spanish profanities under their breaths as they are evicted.
Beggars on the high way wave signs up into the sky with their grey, long sleeve shirts that say

“Will work for food”

“Trabajará para la comida”


"Breaths": remove the 's.' And "high way" is all one word.

The spanish is confusing to me, but I appreciate how it fits contextually and suits the story. For curiosity's sake, what is the translation? -- Nevermind. Duh. I missed that line.

I am beginning to appreciate the simple beauty of what is, essentially, a common but tragic event in Floridian life. But you must surround the simplicity of that beauty with simple, serious, and well-cropped language. Right now, you have chaff in the mix. Remove the chaff, refine the words such that they better suit the message.

Fishermen are winding in their catches, and quickly searching for some shore some where.
A Haitian woman loses signal from a phone call to her younger brother.
She starts crying.
An old man refuses to leave his bench on the bus stop even though the newspaper over his head is now running ink down his face.
The bus is turning through puddles to get to him.


"even." Remove that word.

"The bus is turning through puddles to get to him." Consider rewording this to bring the verb closer to the object. "The bus splashes through a turn." Something like that.

Other than the last line, the language in this stanza is excellent. I enjoy it more than those previous.

When it rains here, in my oceanic concrete jungle,
everybody freezes
and with every fast pacing drop
another hair of sanity falls onto a cosmopolitan floor.


"Fast pacing" is a weird descriptor. Consider revising in favor of greater clarity. I think you are trying to say something somewhat fascinating with those words, but I can't get it without elaboration.

Your concluding line is very good, although somewhat inconsistent. You describe homelessness and oldness much more recently than suburbia, and the conflict between those images and anything "cosmopolitan" has me a little put off. Otherwise, it has strength, and poignancy. It feels deep. Just add some real depth to it; describe, perhaps, affluence, as you do the experiences of beggars.

Altogether, this is a great poem. It has rough edges, and it deserves a little revision. But it is still excellent.

I hope to see it again.

Be forever hortatory,

~Skorlir




KittyBee says...


Thank you for the long review! I appreciate it when people take the time to actually go over important details rather than just slathering me with mindless compliments or insults. I posted it knowing it had many errors, and without edit (which is hugely rare for me) because I wanted to see what people could say for it.



skorlir says...


No problem. :)




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