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twenty fourteen syllables: a history in fragments

by Pompadour


Fragment One*~


i had a panic attack on blue twilight,
fifteen days ago, when the eleventh month began to die. 
i buried her in my backyard and wrote an epitaph: 
twenty fourteen syllables on a calendar.
the photographs November gave me, i tore 
to make a collage; you saw it nailed to my front door. 
and you knocked against the soggy, German-glued masterpiece
to see if i was okay. 
                                     [ i opened the door, but that was only because
                                             i would open any door in the world for you. 
                                               and you came inside like a shadow.
                                                              the truth is
                                           that you were the centre of gravity 
                                   in my house made of cards.]
   twenty fourteen syllables i showed you, 
over cups of hastily-brewed tears
and cling-wrapped consolations. and i told you
of my faults and my unrealistic ambitions
now that November was dead.
you didn't say a word when my trains crossed the summit, but i saw 
dunes shifting in your smile, your eyes uncertain. 
you held me close when my words derailed and lied through your teeth,   
                                                              'it's going to be okay.'    

Fragment Two*~


our tomorrows saw us building streetlights
to light up our alleyways;
but the walls were still dark and grimy from where
too many sooty dreams had gathered over the bricks.
so we covered them with graffiti
(to hide their pain). 
and i hid electrons in my pockets; there were
               protons in yours. 
                             [you were always conventional.]

i turned my streetlights on, so i could see your face. 
when the world was spinning
the right way around, and when i had begun
to smile, you leaned down and whispered in my ear.
your voice was like gargoyles, if they learnt to speak, 
and though it was warm, it chilled every neuron 
that i possessed.

you reminded me 
of November. 

                                                                                        your hand was gentle on my shoulder, 
                                                                                                  but i couldn't hear you anymore. 


the electrons fell from my pockets. i turned the lights off, 
but the darkness's umbrella only gave
you confidence. and you said that
that afternoon had been an        ~        existential crisis;  
       i taped my ears shut and scribbled 
   'memory' over my eyelids with a permanent marker. and even when
you dabbed at my eyes with spirit swabs, it didn't erase the ink. 

i was FOP positive, you said;
                                                             ('forget all problems,' i said.)

Fragment Three*~


 i sang to the sound of the static in the car  
the entire drive home, pretending
i couldn't hear you
and belted out the wrong lyrics to 'Tomorrow never knows.' 
[you sang twenty fourteen syllables under your breath.
twenty fourteen. twenty fourteen.
an epitaph written in blood-red ink, 
crusted over with grime and sweat.
twenty fourteen. twenty fourteen.]
i stared out the window; the sky looked like
it had been given a blood transfusion. 
[twenty fourteen syllables lining the sky.]

Fragment Four*~

i told you, long ago, that i had always been afraid  
of wearing my heart on my sleeve, not because
i thought it ugly but because i didn't want
my aorta to catch in the sink when I did the dishes at night.
you asked me where i kept it; i never kept secrets from you, back then.
so i told you it was in my attic, in a coffin that was
gathering rust. 
you said you wouldn't tell a soul. 

you didn't. 
            but i did. 

Fragment Five*~

you stole it when i wasn't looking. 
you slid my heart out of its casket and you
turned on all the lights. 
and you gathered all my electrons
and strung them up in my backyard. 

i woke up to sparks in my empty ribcage; i woke up
to a sand dune smile, but the winds in your eyes
were still.

you swung open my rib cage, added a last syllable and pressed
my heart into the moth-eaten membrane, twining it firmly inside me
like a cloud. 
'twenty fifteen syllables,' you whispered. 

that night, i read an epitaph to December
by the light of the blue moon.


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Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:54 am
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Apricity says...



It's 2015 and I'm still loving on this.




Pompadour says...


<33



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Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:47 pm
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Morrigan wrote a review...



Hello, Pompie! I'm here to review, as you asked.

First of all, I suggest you don't use *~ after the fragments, as it changes the tone to something more uplifting than I think you want. Also, I wouldn't bold them.

1)

I really like this, and all the imagery you put into it. Very nicely done.

I don't know if I'm a fan of the repetition of "twenty fourteen," but that's up to you, as it doesn't make that much of a difference.

the photographs November gave me, i tore
Try rewording this. Say "I tore the photographs November gave me" or something like that. As it is, it's awkward.

I don't know if I get the "German-glued" thing.

in my house made of cards.]
Take out "made." Trust me. It'll make a difference.

now that November was dead.
November is dead, yes, but I want to know what killed it. "Now that you've killed November" is more powerful than simply saying it is dead.

you didn't say a word when my trains crossed the summit, but i saw
I suggest breaking the line after summit, as it's a stronger word to land on. Also, I think you should somehow work in trains earlier in this fragment, as it's a bit jarring to suddenly have such a new and prominent symbol near the end.

2)

but the walls were still dark and grimy from where
too many sooty dreams had gathered over the bricks.
Combine these two lines. Try using a stronger verb than "were." I would do it like this:
"but the walls still gathered sooty dreams on its bricks" as it means the same thing without you laying it out for us.

so we covered them with graffiti
(to hide their pain).
I don't think the parentheses are doing anything for the poem there. I think I'd stick "to hide their pain" onto the end of the preceding line, minus the parentheses.

your voice was like gargoyles, if they learnt to speak,
While learnt and learned are correct, the NA spelling is learned, so I don't know whether you are UK or US, but I thought I'd tell you about that.

I love the visual spacing in those broken up lines.

i taped my ears shut and scribbled
'memory' over my eyelids with a permanent marker. and even when
you dabbed at my eyes with spirit swabs, it didn't erase the ink.

i was FOP positive, you said;
('forget all problems,' i said.)
You lose me here, pompiepoo. It seems like such a sudden switch between a conversation and this volatile reaction of the narrator. Also, what is FOP? I like the use of "you said," "I said" even though it's confusing. I just think more of a transition between the previous part and where this quote starts would work better.

3)

I like this a lot, but this fragment doesn't really go anywhere, just sits and marinates in the horror of death and the object of the horror. Though it does say that the car is going home, so it is going somewhere, just more at the beginning than at the end. I think you should remind the reader that the car is going home at the end somehow. Though really, I like this one, so you could leave it if you wanted to.

4)

I like the idea of this one, that the person who had the secret told other people but told them not to tell, but I also have an issue with the heart on the sleeve cliche, though that's really the subject of the whole fragment, so it would be difficult to change that. I also suggest adding in a little connection to other fragments-- just a little one. A train, a dune, a collage. Something. An image that connects to an earlier fragment but does not necessarily repeat anything. If that makes sense. It feels disconnected from the other ones.

5)

Oh, here. Here it all comes together and it's wonderful. A sensible ending to all the confusion, a bittersweet ending to the year and to the emptiness of the narrator's chest. Oh I love this so much, Pompiepoo.

twining it firmly inside me
like a cloud.
I don't know if I'm a fan of "like a cloud" being so separate from the rest of the phrase. Experiment with line breaks here.

Pompadour, I think this is definitely ready to be submitted to the journal. I hope that you found this review helpful! Happy poeting!




Pompadour says...


I adore you thank you for this <#



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Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:02 pm
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LadySpark wrote a review...



I heard you're begging for reviews. Ask and you shall receive.


Fragment One-

i had a panic attack on blue twilight.
fifteen days ago, when the eleventh month began to die.
i buried her in my backyard and wrote an epitaph:
twenty fourteen syllables on a calendar.
i tore the photographs November gave me
to make a collage; you saw it nailed to my front door.
and you knocked against the soggy, German-glued masterpiece
to see if i was okay

I fixed the grammar a bit, cause it feels a lot better this way.

twenty fourteen syllables i showed you,
over cups of hastily-brewed tears
and cling-wrapped consolations.

These are cliche metaphors. 'hastily-brewed tears' especially.

Out of all my fragments, this is my least favorite. It's the weakest, as well. You've got a few good things going here, but you've also got a big stanza that just doesn't flow (the one above) and is worded oddly.

Fragment Two-

so we covered them with graffiti
(to hide their pain).


and i hid electrons in my pockets; and there were
protons in yours.

Move the and

darkness'

There shouldn't be another s.

Fragment Two is better. I could get into it more and I felt like I was invested in what was going on, at odds with fragment one where I felt like I was just a bystander watching.

Fragment Three-

If I were you, I'd combine fragment three and fragment four.

Fragment Four-

back then i never kept secrets from you, so you asked me where i kept it;
and
i told you it was in my attic, in a coffin that was


Fragment Five-

and strung them up in your backyard.


I changed it to your because it just makes me FEEL something.



I still adore this and want this read at my funeral. I literally have nothing else to say because you could honestly never change anything and it would still be perfect. And I never say stuff like that.




Pompadour says...


I heard you're begging for reviews.
When you say that I sound like a YWS fakir lol

THANK YOU FOR THIS, SPARK, I NEEDED THIS <333 NOW TO EDITING.



LadySpark says...


<333333333



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Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:13 pm
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TimmyJake wrote a review...



Timmy here <3

Since you have so many comments and yet so few reviews, I am going to try my best to leave this as a review - and not just a garbled rush of compliments (although everything I want to say is compliments. why you no write stuff I can critique? >.<) I will be completely honest with you here: It took me all of five days to figure out you were talking about 2014 and 2015 in your poem. Chalk it up to me being silly and ignorant again (well, that is just blind), but I honestly read it several times, looked at it to review - and then finally it hit me while in the shower. So, yeah. I finally came to understand what you're saying here, and I am so happy I did. Now I can fully appreciate the piece for what it is. Is that a nitpick? Absolutely not. While poetry is supposed to make people think, this time I was just being a dunce. I even sounded it out like one would the year, but never made the connection. So I suppose it's a good thing I waited until now to review the piece. hee-hee

I am going to read through as carefully as I can, and try to find something else to say.

blue twilight


Um, yeah. Bear with me here. I once used the word, blue, and a writing instructor almost killed me - insisting there were over twenty synonyms for blue, and I needed to be more original and not stick to the boring names for it. Um, I didn't actually notice that until I read it for the twenty fourteenth time, but there it is.

unrealistic ambitions
now that November was dead.


For some reason, NaNo came to mind here - the unrealistic ambition I had for the month. xD

but i couldn't hear you anymore.


you said that
that afternoon had been an


I thought you said you couldn't hear him? In the first part I pulled out, you were saying that, and in the next stanza you are taking about how you're taping your ears shut (dun try it. pulling the tape of hurtsss). It seems to me like this may need a little attention to smooth the conflictions over.

darkness's umbrella


You Europeans are silly people at times, so I don't know what your rules are on this. But I have always thought when a word ends with an "s" and is possessive at the same time, then you only do: darkness' - American?


I have no more to say. I wish I could go and find something to talk about for you, since you're always so helpful with my pieces, Dory, but this was as perfect as poetry gets. Someone asked me yesterday to give them the best piece of poetry on YWS, and I knew right where to go - your portfolio, and found this one. You are an absolutely epic writer of anything you go for (I still remember those amazing pieces you did for the YWS Hunger Games), and this piece proves it with every word. <3 You keep writing along, okay? And keep up with pieces like this. The world needs more writers like you, who can bring a tear and smile at the same time. Who can make me come back time and time again to the same piece, just so I can experience the poem one more time. Who can make me feel perfectly content at the end of the piece, and yet still have me wanting more. Thank you for that. I always come to your pieces with the intent to review them, because that is what you and I do, but I always fail epically at doing anything save for gape at your poems for a half hour while I try to think of something less-awkward and silly to say than normal.

(And you need to write a collection of these, and publish them. These are the poems I would take from my book shelf late at night, and read to the flashlight under my covers.)
~Darth Timmyjake




Pompadour says...


This is the nicest review I have ever gotten. Thank you <33 My poetry doesn't deserve a friend like you lel. XD



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Thu Dec 11, 2014 11:27 am
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Blackwood says...



Hi
blah blah
hate hate hate here's some dosage of hate.
*Bows*

Oh yeah and tldr lol




Pompadour says...


Hate's nice stuff on a summer day. <3



Blackwood says...


Hate is the colour of life <3



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Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:07 pm
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retrodisco666 wrote a review...



Hello my dear, Retro here to do a little review. As was my usual style I shall do I a few nitpics then talk about what I afored.

Now my nitpicks are going to sound pathetic and just suggestions because this was near flawless. To start with the different colour font in the first stanza. I can't see any reason that it adds anything to the poem. It just distracts if anything. So I would potentially change that. and my only other comment is that I'm not sure twining in the lad stanza works that well. And think a better word would fit better there. But again these are just suggestions.

However, that being said this poem is frankly outstanding and I've no idea how you could craft something so harrowingly beautiful. I am in awe at your ability to write like this. So well done, a thousand times over well done.

Keep it up,
Liked!
~Retro




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Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:08 pm
Dessie wrote a review...



I'm here to review! I do have to say, there's not much to correct! Everyone's saying stuff like "that was wow" and "that was woah" and "best poem ever." My favorite fragment was fragment five. However, I do have a small nitpick: if you're not going to capitalize the beginning, why capitalize at all? The capital letters seem awkward. Well, see you around.




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Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:25 am
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EPICnumber1 says...



This is great best poem I have read on this site and I'm not just saying that. keep writing~~~




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Sat Dec 06, 2014 6:06 am
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Burrow says...



That was wow.....




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LadySpark says...



this is whoa




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Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:51 pm
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Lumi says...



I want this read at my funeral.




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Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:24 pm
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Lava says...



Pomp. I always will love your words. <3





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