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$5.98 Is a Venti Latte

 

She sits next to me

In the stained chairs by the pharmacy counter

(Has my doctor called?)

 

And we talk about a youtube

video: the thoughts every

woman has walking through Target

 

She laughs, agrees, tells me

her process, the time spent

choosing the absolute best stamps,

not those first stamps for $1.55,

to go with the ink pad for $2.99, and after

ten minutes, she tells me she would decide

$5.98 is really too much for these stamps

that she doesn’t, in truth, need

 

$5.98 is a Venti latte,

and a latte, well, 

that’s a whole latte

 

I change the subject, 

I lower my voice.

I hold her eyes in mine,

and I say, like a secret,

and it is—

no one else in this pharmacy is to know

 

Slowly, precisely, sacredly:

 

One day,

We will have a big house.

 

With a pool.

 

And a dog. 

 

And all the stamps and lattes 

you could ever need

 

Her doctor can’t write 

the exact prescription she needs 

to see

 

But I am glad to climb the stairs,

Despite how much I dread stairs,

To throw my voice down to her

and say,

 

Yes, I see it:

 

A big house.

 

With a pool.

 

And a dog.

 

And all the stamps and lattes

you could ever need.

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$5.98 Is a Venti Latte

 

She sits next to me

In the stained chairs by the pharmacy counter

(Has my doctor called?)

 

And we talk about a youtube

video: the thoughts every

woman has walking through Target

 

She laughs, agrees, tells me

her process, the time spent

choosing the absolute best stamps,

not those first stamps for $1.55,

to go with the ink pad for $2.99, and after

ten minutes, she tells me she would decide

$5.98 is really too much for these stamps

that she doesn’t, in truth, need

 

$5.98 is a Venti latte,

and a latte, well, 

that’s a whole latte

 

I change the subject, 

I lower my voice.

I hold her eyes in mine,

and I say, like a secret,

and it is—

no one else in this pharmacy is to know

 

Slowly, precisely, sacredly:

 

One day,

We will have a big house.

 

With a pool.

 

And a dog. 

 

And all the stamps and lattes 

you could ever need

 

Her doctor can’t write 

the exact prescription she needs 

to see

 

But I am glad to climb the stairs,

Despite how much I dread stairs,

To throw my voice down to her

and say,

 

Yes, I see it:

 

A big house.

 

With a pool.

 

And a dog.

 

And all the stamps and lattes

you could ever need.

 

 

I like this and I know this isn't a critique thread at all but I would kill "has my doctor called" and end it at the end of the first italic section because the kind of mythic repetition quality is already covered by sacred, and everyone read of mice and men or didn't but everyone knows about this like litanical phrasal unreal dream repetition thang and I don't know I think people got too used to it so u can only get away with once in this crazy 2017

 

I'm also not sure about the line from the poem = title of the poem trick? what does it mean for a  line of the poem to be the title of the poem? I think maybe its better in novels where like, there's like 1000000 lines and u wanna put a little bit of underlining under one to make everyone wasn't asleep on that page but w a poem if you're reader is reading yr poem with any degree of poem-reading intent then he and she knows all the lines, at least to the extent that they are featured in the poem

 

but if this invasive tell me and ill stop - forever!

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in fact it's kind of like gatsby + of mice and men, like the shirt throwing scene of gatsby is the latte and the italics are george by the lake, is it called a lake, i dont know so, pond, with the skittering heaven, like the dog is the rabbits, and the latte is the shirt. or the latte is on the farm, it comes out of the cows, and they're wearing the shirts - the blue cotton depression ones

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i wrote this and then thought i had finished it and 2 mins later paid 12euro to send it to a poetry comp even though im sure it's not a poem and the grammar is impossible, i just can't make grammatical sesne of one bit in the middle, but i think it felt like objectively finished in the sense of, not being over, but of having a finished quality, in the sense of when someone says that abouta  table in a dream

 

 

edit(scared of google's secret power)

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although I do think the venti line has an obviously centrifugal quality even though I don't know it is, a venti latte, but I think it's too much like the title that a poem would have if like, a poetry anthology was made into a person and named all the poems inside it, it's too logical, formal

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:lol: it feels like a very pop culture sort of poem. Venti is just starbucks' stupid word for large. 20 in italian, i suppose? But we're starbucks drinkers, so thats just being true to how we talk. You have laser-like focus on this, and you found its weaknesses. The 'Doctor called' line is a reference to Dana Carveys new standup special, an in-joke i was too eager to throw in. The poem could certainly end on the first italics but i did have the stubborn intent to glorify/overkill highlight these words i said. And I wanted to try to capture the fact that she can never plan or see too far into the future, whereas i do things like email blast professors to figure out what my ten year career path is because ive already got a five year career path down mostly. Kind of ties back into the doctor in the first block, but they could both be excised, if thats the right word. As for the title, i just got lazy by then and was too hurried to post it so i just skimmed it for a line i already wrote. Maybe ill make these revisions some time. Thanks! And dont worry about your feedback. One of the few rules here is constructive criticism only, so pretty much, anything but heckling. I like giving constructive feedback if i can think of something.

 

Oh, and submitting, ive found most publications wont accept a submission if youve posted it anywhere online. I dont think i could ever just wait the average six months for acceptance/rejection and not post it here in that time. Where do you submit?

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Oh, and i really like your gatsby/george analysis. I was thinking about that exact of mice and men scene while writing it. Your poem above hasnt yet clicked with me. My brain is kind of garbage right now after a 14 hour shift. Ill let you know when i revisit it and it clicks with me.

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ye - i think that as this is a protected forum, it's safe to post - unless the editor happens to be a moderator of mt in which case they may pick up on it. (but actually maybe not, maybe there is software out there..

 

i submit to loads of places. ive submitted 142 times according to submittable, and probably another 50 through direct emails, journals with other systems, so probably about 200 times... and i've probably had about 20-30 things published, so 10%.

 

i definitely wouldn't say a 6 month average - average of 2 months, maybe? maybe even less. there are some places that always get back to you in about 2-3 days, but there are other problems with that (hermeneutic chaos is one - but obviously such places tend to be extremely small). 

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this is a bit of a dumb site but it got popular since duotrope (sp) started to be need money - basically gives acceptance times for difference magazines - duotrope also gives % acceptance rates 

 

http://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/

 

i culled the poem cos i thought maybe it's possible whoever i submitted it to might somehow stumble across it, google or worse

 

 

 

this is a methodology

 

 

Poetry: inevitability minus time. But how does this relate to fun (it’s what everyone asks)? Well, certainly in fun there is presuppositionlessness, but very quiet presuppositionalness, which it really serves no one to talk about. If you’re of one of those people, then perhaps one statement concerning the very quiet presuppositionalness of fun will be okay – as long as it goes unnoticed. Write it down, that is, then get the fuck out of there. Use the rest of the text as your escape route. I mean: the conclusion seeds the escape from the conclusion – over the fence, with a certain elegance, and then off: the fields of rye just keep on going, as long as you keep on moving through them.

 

 

Maybe get the 8.30 train, the most north pointing one. The baptism of sheer of direction: so pure you don’t even end up with a name at the end, as so you often do when you compromise – the north north wests and so on. The list really is a long one. It’s not a matter of taking the first available exit: as long as that list would be, it’s possible to think of other, longer lists – the Bible is certainly full of them. Mentioning the Bible is fine, but shouldn’t ground your escape. As a station on the way, as a hotel with a seaview, etc, a breath of air in an otherwise smoky place, it’s fine, but the ground needs to be lighter, a touch more organic. Hence the fields of rye, the hop over the fence. And there’s a touch of memory in that too – I have hopped over fences, run through fields of rye, so at that point, at least, the imagination can rest. And once it’s rested, without being ignored, you find it asserting itself dramatically – and that’s the moment to really go for it, to let loose, to glide slightly above everything, and then more than slightly, and then high, and then look down and you see the path you were looking for, snaking away at a tangent, and flap back down and that’s pretty much it – you’ve smuggled yourself out of the poem. Smuggling is quite reasonable analogy, especially when you think of the drug mule who you read about earlier in the day. The cocaine capsule burst and the powder went right for the intestine, which means death.

 

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thanks, Hugh! I hope I can get something published outside of MT some day. thanks.

 

A Fond Farewell to the Executive Office

 

We’re going to a Women’s March this

Saturday,

in the morning

downtown Los Angeles

by the Chinese theater

 

and I feel

so many things

 

I couldn’t sleep

last night

thank god the store had something

over the counter for me

 

a lot of us felt it, this feeling, this ache

we can’t sleep

a lot of us don’t know

that we’re not ready to say goodbye

to Mr. Obama

 

because we have so many things

to say to Mr. Obama

 

and we are just now realizing

that one of the things we don’t

want to say

to Mr. Obama

 

is goodbye

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so I submitted my 4 most recent poems to that one well-known magazine in NY, NY (if I'm gonna start, why not start big?). I owe you one, Hugh. I also fixed up the presentation of the words as best I could. Here's what I sent:

 

A Fond Farewell to the Executive Office

 

We’re going to a Women’s March:

This Saturday,

in the morning—

downtown Los Angeles by the Chinese theater,

 

and I feel

so many things.

 

I couldn’t sleep last night.

(thank god the store had something

over the counter for me)

 

a lot of us felt it: This Feeling, This Ache.

We Can’t Sleep.

a lot of us don’t know

that we’re not ready to say goodbye

to Mr. Obama

 

because we have so many things

we want to say to Mr. Obama.

 

we are just now realizing

that one of the things we don’t

want to say

to Mr. Obama

 

is goodbye.

 

 

 

Thoughts My Fiancée Has Walking Through Target

 

She sits next to me

In the stained chairs

by the pharmacy counter

 

And we talk about a youtube video:

The Thoughts Every Woman Has

Walking Through Target

 

She laughs, agrees, tell me her

process, the time spent choosing

the absolute best stamps,

not those first stamps

for $1.55,

to go with the ink pad for $2.99.

 

after ten minutes,

she tells me she would decide

$5.98 is really too much for these stamps

that she doesn’t, in truth, need.

 

“…$5.98 is a Venti latte,

and a latte—well,

that’s a whole latte.”

 

I change the subject.

I lower my voice.

I hold her eyes in mine,

and I say, like a secret,

and it is—

no one else in this pharmacy is to know,

 

 

Slowly, precisely, sacredly:

 

 

One day,

 

 

We will have a big house.

 

 

With a pool.

 

 

And a dog.

 

 

 

And all the stamps and lattes

you could ever need.

 

 

 

Bukowski on His Way Home from Work

 

at times,

there is the search for numbness:

in the flimsy handle of a case of beer,

after swerving into the gas station

and walking out steady, knowing there is a way

to not be entirely here tonight.

 

some times,

there is even the idea

of losing everything;

not: letting go,

but: smashing to the ground.

 

somewhere,

there is the idea of

reaching for life, untethered,

that the hands would burn if I could

hold so much;

that in the end, I would have

more than I can comprehend

when I see how it all lands,

and how much of the mess wasn’t

mine alone.

 

already,

I live in-between:

Forgetting enough each night

to wake up

and reach again.

 

 

The Moment I Realized I Needed to Find a Divorce Attorney

 

I once thought of you

as a way out.

 

now, I’m amazed at how you

stepped back and disappeared.

 

maybe you are not different,

and it’s only that I will never know you better.

 

It’s 2:16am and you’ve been snoring

for an hour now, maybe

with an aggression

even in sleep, after a night like this—

still you have no rest.

 

as I think about what apologies I have to give

to the friends who were here, when the lights

were still on—

Dread, oily and thick, sinks me further into the bed.

 

How many times will this happen again?

I realize, it’s been more often

despite everything we’ve tried.

 

I think, floating up from the mattress,

a slight distance upward,

This is never going to get better.

and there are so many things I have to do now

that will take so much of my time.

 

I close my eyes and try to think

of what the new walls will look like, and I believe

that when I open them, I will see a different room

and there will be silence.

 

for how long?

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sometimes I feel like eating until I explode

sometimes I feel like... smoking until I cough up blood

 

sometimes i feel like... working until i die

sometimes i feel like... the Debt is too high

and it will take so so so many Hours

to punch the calculator

the clock

y'know?

 

sometimes i feel like shouting like HAnk

DO NOT MESS W MY ART!

sometimes.... i feel like lying in my bed and grow i n g  s o ... c o l d

I could stay there forever... 

nevr Fall... asleep

just.. stay away... y'know?

dreaming?

Daydreaming?

you know...

 

sometimes I wonder, would I rather bleed out

would i rather die of Frst Bite

would i rather unload on the whole goddamn world, ha (i don't mean to scare you)

(please, do not be afraid)

...

are you ok?

 

hmm

 

i hope so

 

sometimes i feel like staying inside Vromans and taking my time

my time

all

my

time

 

to find

 

 

what?

 

who?

 

who knows what?

 

 

Who Knows What

 

(it all gets reversed, sometimes)

 

 

 

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Mozart?

Hmm Ah: too many notes…

or maybe i could just borrow a few?

 

Beethoven?

Oh, so sweet, Bay-toh-ven.

A poor little german orphan boy and sister

 

but i cannot be stuck on beethoven forevr

 

how about… 

 

my bloodier valentines or do i not know them well enough? idk

 

or…

 

an earworm? and his/her kilt/skirt and rain and why me and scotch and gibson

but also maybe fender(?) in a way? or……. roads, macadamized… who knows…

 

idk

 

jazz or blue like jazz or an am-nas-ee-ac?

just one little radio head walking around, idk

 

just lost in America, idk

 

k or que or c w/e idk

 

who knows…

 

b lue like jazznesiac 

(something borrowed, some thing blue)

 

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these are from monastery, i don't know why i started fucking my line breaks, i was writing with a pen and it felt good, it somehow conveys a sense of seriousness / consideration 

 

 

poem

 

the accoutrements of solitude

                        were flung about him - shoes 

without origin

                        wildly unbranded

                                                and near them 

jumpers of inimitable loss

                        old socks, lacking distinction

and yet his face - such a nice face

                        clean, even, in places.

a window was open and one can imagine

                        the cold, heartless,

                                                unnecessarily beautiful

                        world

            just beyond it 

            shrubs and beetles of course

but also a carved lion

squatting its pounce

into rock

 

poem

 

 

bent nearly indescribably 

 

into sidewaysness this dog

 

must have come a long way –

 

how sad then

 

that all we have for it

 

is this ruined poem

 

 

and a tiny glass of water

 

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some more: ) : ( : ) : ( 

 

poem

 

Eight. Or seven. Sheila works

The garden like crazy. Flowers and

Strangeness go hand in hand,

Here at least, with her ears

So open yet so else.

Wingbeats as the ferry

Slops off. The sea on the beach,

Shjdsssssssssssssjhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkssssssssssssssssssssssjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj

language rolled up like

A travel blanket – but

The air above us, fat with past

Loves, what you did, what

You won’t do again. Autumn.

I would say something,

Hello even, if not

For all these things.  

 

 

poem

 

I’m sure he wouldn’t do

That. He is a nice boy

Inside. Sure his outside

Can be stupid but

Everyone has purity

Somewhere. It’s just

A question of

A question about

Where

How

When

Did everything start

To go wrong like this?

No restraint?

In all directions?

Without warning? Without

Gesture without remorse

Without subtlety planning

Emotional expressivity

The tiniest spark

Of curiosity

Will to live

Desire love origin spoon-fed

Original magic

Open doors light

Brim-high beauty heartfelt

Flowerings of roses of things

Luxury items

At good prices

Drifting down

The best inverse ratio

Open like a mouth

To kiss 

 

poem

 

with apples

does the man walk down the street so interestingly

with beauty

does the song fall

precisely there

on the mud with astonishment

do the girls eyes

astonish with caution

does the mouse do everything, possibly ever 

with vagueness does the language replicate itself our hearts, unfortunately 

with blood does

the body do

with word

does the tongue

spill with constant

abandon and

a red colour

which defeats me utterly  

 

poem

 

You could have not

but you didn’t

the most insistent is nearly always the most intelligent the day

protracts so expertly

can’t we learn

if not learn, listen if not listen

nothing, accidents of autumn,

unhappening becauses rent

with casual meanings, references to sky,

sex, great refurbs

once I played cards with my grandmother under a low sky forever

no vulgar wingspans, moon the butt

of no joke here in my room

the word hello stretching like a cat

this fur here

the sun finishes it

like okay, maybe

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