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Give me that cigarette

by Snoink


It's funny because when we met, we thought we were different
You with your black trench coat and slicked-back hair
And me with my dumpy brown hand-me-down sweater
holy in the sleeves and elbows from too much sitting and
thinking and sitting and dreaming and sitting and thinking
about how to keep myself from sitting (and thinking).
We rushed past each other without a thought,
me not knowing, you not caring
and if it weren't for my weak ankles which collapsed under your eyes
perhaps we would have never met.
But you caught me as I fell
wrapping your tobacco-stained jacket around me
until all I could smell was smoke, laced with your voice as you told me
to stop screaming.

You bought me lunch that day, though I think your motive was guilt
of seeing a proud woman fall crippled to the ground.
Embarrassed, I accepted,
letting you steal my curly fries as I ate in silence.
Twice, I think I cracked a joke or two, hoping to penetrate the
smoky film noir moment when Ilsa and Rick looked into each other's
eyes and realized that it was not the heart or the tanks that throbbed but rather
the horror of separation that burned in their breasts, knowing that
the train had to leave.

In jest, I think, I asked you why you smoked and equally playfully you asked
why I didn't, flicking a cigarette near my nose
laughing as my face crinkled and ankle throbbed.
I told you with a smile that your lungs would hollow out
Slowly, painfully, until tubes stuck out your nose
and every moment was a struggle for oxygen.
But you just laughed and leaned closer to me
your breath taking over my face
and whispered, "When isn't it?"

I told you that life was
more than that but my indifferent face betrayed me and
You knew I was a hypocrite.
For your eyes leapt uncannily to
my white fingers, clutching my inhaler with such force that I wondered
whether Newton would be impressed.
And I could feel my throat closing with every moment you stared at me--
I wondered why, I remember.

And I remember wondering why I wanted to be like the cigarette in your mouth
held lightly between your lips--

With a broken voice, I asked you when we would meet again.
You only shook your head and, with a flick of your wrist,
the cigarette fell from your fingers.

At that moment, I could hear the plane land and I knew
that all the usual suspects had been rounded up.
You stood up and waved goodbye, leaving me
alone with a plate of cold potatoes.

I couldn't breathe.


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Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:56 pm
Princess wrote a review...



OMG you are a great poet! where do you come up with stuff like this? the only critique i have for you is when the girl fell, why did she fall? did she faint? or did she have an injury or something? other then that, it was really really really good!
:lol:




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Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:25 pm
rach says...



Wow, I loved this poem! It was so interesting the entire way through. You did a great job incorporating a ton of detail, while still maintaining the flow of the poem.
Oh, and I love the last line. It's a really cool ending. --rach




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Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:36 am
listeningforthemuse wrote a review...



Very good
I like how its a poem about something unusual
its not another poem about clouds or whatever
but trying to capture and understand a few seemingly insignificant moments

I kind of got confused where you said something about the movie and you were trying to crack a joke
but I reread it and I was okay


All in all, nice job!




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Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:27 am
Snoink says...



Edited!

The original version is in the spoiler, if you want to look at it...

[spoiler]
Give me that cigarette
so that my lungs can turn as black as yours
and I can have a reason to gasp.

It's funny because when we first met, we thought we were different
You with your black trench coat and (gorgeous eyes) slicked-back hair
And me with my dumpy brown hand-me-down sweater
holy in the sleeves and elbows from too much sitting and
thinking and sitting and dreaming and sitting and thinking
about how to keep myself from sitting (and thinking).
We rushed past each other without a thought,
me not knowing, you not caring
and if it weren't for my weak ankles which collapsed under your eyes
perhaps we would have never met.
But you caught me as I fell
wrapping your tobacco-stained jacket around me
until all I could smell was smoke, laced with your voice as you told me
to stop screaming.

You bought me lunch that day, though I think your motive was guilt
of seeing a proud woman like me fall crippled to the ground.
Embarrassed, I accepted your offer,
letting you steal my curly fries as I ate in silence.
I think I cracked a joke or two, hoping to penetrate the
smoky film noir moment when Ilsa and Rick looked into each other's
eyes and realized that it was not the heart or the tanks that throbbed but rather
the horror of separation that burned in their breasts, knowing that
the train had to leave.

In jest, I think, I asked you why you smoked and equally playfully you asked
why I didn't, flicking a cigarette near my nose
(I almost died from an asthma attack)
laughing as my face crinkled and ankle throbbed.
I told you with a smile that your lungs would hollow out
Slowly, painfully, until tubes stuck out your nose
and every moment was a struggle for oxygen.
But you just laughed and leaned closer to me
your breath taking over my face
and whispered, "When isn't it?"

I lied and told you that life was
more than that but my indifferent face betrayed me and
You knew I was a hypocrite.
For at that moment, your eyes leapt uncannily to
my white fingers, clutching my inhaler with such force that I wondered
whether Newton would be impressed.
And I could feel my throat closing with every moment you stared at me--
I wondered why, I remember.

And I remember wondering why I wanted to be like the cigarette in your mouth
held lightly between your lips--
you sucking me away until we would become one
hollow creature and you would
throw me to the ground and stamp out my light
so that nobody could touch me in the way you did.

What else could I do but stand up and beg you to stay?
With a broken voice, I asked you when we would meet again.
You only shook your head and, with a flick of your wrist,
the cigarette fell from your fingers.

At that moment, I could hear the plane land and I knew
that all the usual suspects had been rounded up.
You stood up and waved goodbye, leaving me
alone with a plate of cold potatoes.

I wanted to die.[/spoiler]




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Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:55 pm
LoveableLittleSock wrote a review...



Give me that cigarette
so that my lungs can turn as black as yours
and I can have a reason to gasp.

It's funny because when we first met, we thought we were different
You with your black trench coat and (gorgeous eyes) slicked-back hair
And me with my dumpy brown hand-me-down sweater
holy in the sleeves and elbows from too much sitting and - you could take out a couple things here
thinking and sitting and dreaming and sitting and thinking
about how to keep myself from sitting (and thinking).
We rushed past each other without a thought,
me not knowing, you not caring
and if it weren't for my weak ankles which collapsed under your eyes
perhaps we would have never met.
But you caught me as I fell
wrapping your tobacco-stained jacket around me
until all I could smell was smoke, laced with your voice as you told me
to stop screaming.

You bought me lunch that day, though I think your motive was guilt - "thought" not think
of seeing a proud woman like me fall crippled to the ground. how about "fall to the ground"
Embarrassed, I accepted your offer,
letting you steal my curly fries as I ate in silence.
I think I cracked a joke or two, hoping to penetrate the
smoky film noir moment when Ilsa and Rick looked into each other's
eyes and realized that it was not the heart or the tanks that throbbed but rather
the horror of separation that burned in their breasts, knowing that
the train had to leave.

In jest(,) I think, I asked you why you smoked and equally playfully you asked - take away that comma
why I didn't, flicking a cigarette near my nose
(I almost died from an asthma attack)
laughing as my face crinkled and ankle throbbed.
I told you with a smile that your lungs would hollow out
Slowly, painfully, until tubes stuck out your nose
and every moment was a struggle for oxygen.
But you just laughed and leaned closer to me
your breath taking over my face
and whispered, "When isn't it?"

I lied and told you that life was
more than that but my indifferent face betrayed me and
You knew I was a hypocrite.
For at that moment, your eyes leapt uncannily to - no comma
my white fingers, clutching my inhaler with such force that I wondered
whether Newton would be impressed. - haha
And I could feel my throat closing with every moment you stared at me--
I wondered why, I remember.

And I remember wondering why I wanted to be like the cigarette in your mouth
held lightly between your lips--
you sucking me away until we would become one
hollow creature and you would
throw me to the ground and stamp out my light
so that nobody could touch me in the way you did.

What else could I do but stand up and beg you to stay?
With a broken voice, I asked you when we would meet again.
You only shook your head and, with a flick of your wrist,
the cigarette fell from your fingers.

At that moment, I could hear the plane land and I knew
that all the usual suspects had been rounded up.
You stood up and waved goodbye, leaving me
alone with a plate of cold potatoes.

I wanted to die

I liked this poem I did, but you could have done much better. It's not "sucky to the 8th degree" because the poem isn't that bad, and you did use many good adjetives and nouns and verbs and the like. Very descriptive, and the reader has a very good idea of what, at that moment (whatever moment is was) of what the narrator was thinking.
GREAT JOB!




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Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:38 am
Snoink says...



Oooo... thanks for all the comments guys. ^_^

What "it" was about was the struggle for oxygen. Perhaps that wasn't clear? And the line, "round up the usual suspects" refers to two scenes in Casablanca... mainly the last scene, which I will not spoil, if you haven't watched the movie yet. ^^

So Cade (and anybody else who's read it) would this sound better?

It's funny because when we first met, we thought we were different
You with your black trench coat and slicked-back hair
And me with my dumpy brown hand-me-down sweater.
We rushed past each other without a thought,
me not knowing, you not caring
and if it weren't for my weak ankles which collapsed under your eyes
perhaps we would have never met.
But you caught me as I fell
wrapping your tobacco-stained jacket around me
until all I could smell was smoke, laced with your voice as you told me
to stop screaming.

You bought me lunch that day, though I think your motive was guilt
of seeing a proud woman like me fall crippled to the ground.
Embarrassed, I accepted,
letting you steal my curly fries as I ate in silence.
Twice, I think I cracked a joke or two, hoping to penetrate the
smoky film noir moment when Ilsa and Rick looked into each other's
eyes and realized that it was not the heart or the tanks that throbbed but rather
the horror of separation that burned in their breasts, knowing that
the train had to leave.

In jest, I think, I asked you why you smoked and equally playfully you asked
why I didn't, flicking a cigarette near my nose
laughing as my face crinkled and ankle throbbed.
I told you with a smile that your lungs would hollow out
Slowly, painfully, until tubes stuck out your nose
and every moment was a struggle for oxygen.
But you just laughed and leaned closer to me
your breath taking over my face
and whispered, "When isn't it?"

I told you that life was
more than that but my indifferent face betrayed me and
You knew I was a hypocrite.
For at that moment, your eyes leapt uncannily to
my white fingers, clutching my inhaler with such force that I wondered
whether Newton would be impressed.
And I could feel my throat closing with every moment you stared at me--
I wondered why, I remember.

And I remember wondering why I wanted to be like the cigarette in your mouth
held lightly between your lips--

With a broken voice, I asked you when we would meet again.
You only shook your head and, with a flick of your wrist,
the cigarette fell from your fingers.

At that moment, I could hear the plane land and I knew
that all the usual suspects had been rounded up.
You stood up and waved goodbye, leaving me
alone with a plate of cold potatoes.

I wanted to die.



...to me, it feels like it's missing something key. Oh well!

More comments? :D




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Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:19 pm
Cade wrote a review...



Snoink, you're such a darling.

I mean that in the you-as-a-person-sense and the you-meaning-the-speaker-of-this-poem sense. It's strong because the voice is so personal. You manage to have your speaker address someone else but you haven't forgotten the reader.

Fluff. Ah, but the poem is too long for its own good. Length in and of itself is not a problem, as this, as it's telling a story, will be decent-sized. Some parts, though, are unnecessary and redundant and they can leave.

Give me that cigarette
so that my lungs can turn as black as yours
and I can have a reason to gasp.
Though you bring back this idea of gasping for breath later in the poem, I think this whole beginning can just go. I just...don't see many redeeming qualities in it. Besides, the next line ("It's funny...") works much better as a beginning.
You with your black trench coat and (gorgeous eyes) slicked-back hair
You can easily toss "(gorgeous eyes)". It interrupts the flow of this line, it's awfully cliche for the romantic interest to be described as mysterious-but-with-gorgeous-eyes no matter how true it is, and besides, the speaker says something about his eyes later. It doesn't aid my understanding of the story.
holy in the sleeves and elbows from too much sitting and
thinking and sitting and dreaming and sitting and thinking
about how to keep myself from sitting (and thinking).
Obviously this is a point where we could take out a few things. I see the effect you were going for, but it doesn't need to be this garbled to work. I'd do this:
holy in the sleeves and elbows from too much sitting and
[s]thinking and sitting and[/s] dreaming and sitting and thinking
about how to keep myself from sitting [s]([/s]and thinking[s])[/s].

But really, I'm not even sure you need that section. It could be cut without hurting the poem very much. If you want to give the impression of your speaker as the sitting/thinking/dreaming type, it'd be easier to do it without forcing that description to tie into the sweater.
(I almost died from an asthma attack)
Unnecessary interjection. The inhaler is mentioned later. The inhaler part could come in now, if you like, but there's no need to have two mentions of the speaker's asthma.
I lied and told you that life was
more than that but my indifferent face betrayed me and
You knew I was a hypocrite.
No need to say "I lied"--we know that if the speaker's face is betraying her, she's lying. So rephrase:
I [s]lied and[/s] told you that life was
more than that but my indifferent face betrayed me and
You knew I was a hypocrite.

And I remember wondering why I wanted to be like the cigarette in your mouth
held lightly between your lips--
[s]you sucking me away until we would become one
hollow creature and you would
throw me to the ground and stamp out my light
so that nobody could touch me in the way you did.[/s]
Erm, yes, chop that. It seems to me just like semi-romantic dreamy babble. Yuck. But the first part is really good--leave us with that image without expanding on it. It's so much more...exquisite as just those two lines. It's like when someone gives you a really good tiny piece of German chocolate and it's the most delicious thing you've ever tasted but you know that if you have another piece it'll ruin the whole thing.
What else could I do but stand up and beg you to stay?
This can easily go; we know the speaker likes the smoker, so it's inferred from that previous knowledge, and from the "broken voice" in the next line that she wants him to stay.

Ending. I am so incredibly conflicted over the last line. On the one hand, I love it--it's succint, reflective, wistful. But on the other hand, it's so...emo, for lack of a better word, and I can't help but feel that something better could go there. This comment is rather pointless, actually.

Diction.
dumpy brown hand-me-down sweater
Those are three very...safe adjectives to use for "sweater". They don't say much about the speaker as a person...after all, aren't all semi-shy protagonists in ANYTHING wearing unimpressive, shy clothing? Why not just "sweater"? There are more important things to spend your adjectives on.
tobacco-stained
That's pretty sweet.
cold potatoes
That's such a depressing little statement...I like it. It also makes me think of "cold turkey." I don't know if that was intended.

(I may return for more. I may not. We'll see.)
-Colleen




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Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:53 am
Jasmine Hart wrote a review...



Sucky? Are you joking? This is brilliant! I love the detail, and the flow is great. I especially like;
"And I remember wondering why I wanted to be like the cigarette in your mouth
held lightly between your lips--
you sucking me away until we would become one
hollow creature and you would
throw me to the ground and stamp out my light
so that nobody could touch me in the way you did."
it's really great.

The beginning is very good, and really caught my attention.

The ending is great, though I'm not sure you need the last line. I loved "Cold potatoes."

I'm not sure about ""When isn't it?" It's a bit unclear as to what the "it" is.
Your description is great throughout.

I really love this, Snoink, You rock.

Jas




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Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:45 pm
Leja wrote a review...



Give me that cigarette
so that my lungs can turn as black as yours
and I can have a reason to gasp.


This is a nice intro to the rest of the poem, but it ended rather abruptly.

It's funny because when we first met, we thought we were different


I don't like the "It's funny because..." here. Maybe start right with "We thoguht we were different"?

And me with my dumpy brown hand-me-down sweater


I <3 internal rhyme. Whether it was intentional or not ^_^

holy in the sleeves and elbows from too much sitting and


Did you actually mean "holy" or did you mean "holey"? I suppose I could see it going either way.

thinking and sitting and dreaming and sitting and thinking


I like the symmetry of this line! It's a nice characterization of the person in the brown sweater. Though now that I think about it, there's a lot of description of brown-sweater-person, and only one line of trench-coat-person. Is he really the type of person who can be summed up in just one line?

and if it weren't for my weak ankles which collapsed under your eyes
perhaps we would have never met.
But you caught me as I fell
wrapping your tobacco-stained jacket around me
until all I could smell was smoke, laced with your voice as you told me
to stop screaming.


I didn't like this part so much. It seemed very [event][event][event] to me. Though I did like the "...smell was smoke, laced with your voice" line.

of seeing a proud woman like me fall crippled to the ground.


"like me" is unnecessary. We know who the proud woman in this poem is.

and whispered, "When isn't it?"


I don't get the "when isn't it?" part. What is he referring to?

I lied and told you that life was
more than that but my indifferent face betrayed me and
You knew I was a hypocrite.


This seemed overly-telling. Maybe skip right from "...l that life was more than that" to "You knew I was a hypocrite"

my white fingers, clutching my inhaler with such force that I wondered
whether Newton would be impressed.


I don't know if Newton is a necessary reference here. If there were things like this throughout the poem, I could see, but it seems rather random here.

throw me to the ground and stamp out my light
so that nobody could touch me in the way you did.


"in the way" --> "like" would be more streamlined. The rest of that stanza is nice in the context of the poem, though, because it's not all prosaic story-telling [though yes, I realize this is narrative poetry]; it's highlighting something, and in doing so, gives details about what's happening rather than just telling the events as they pass.

that all the usual suspects had been rounded up.


I don't see what this has to do with anything.

You stood up and waved goodbye, leaving me
alone with a plate of cold potatoes.

I wanted to die.


Nice ending.


In all, I think you could be a little more detailed. Things like the film noir moment with Ilsa and Rick were nice like that because they gave depth to the moment and a tone to the rest of the poem.




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Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:14 pm
Lilith says...



This is just amazing and I love it.
I wish i read more of your stuff now.
But really, i loved it.




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Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:15 am
Adnamarine wrote a review...



Sucky? Not in the least! The last thing I'd call myself is a poetry expert, but even I can see that it's brilliant!
I'd never actually read anything of yours before. I can see now what I was missing out on... *sighs* just brilliant.
I guess this isn't exactly the stinging crit you were looking for, but it's always nice to know someone loved it, right?




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Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:29 pm
Moony says...



this was great really great
actually it was really awsome!!





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