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My Cell

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  #1  
Old 07-19-2014, 01:20 PM
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Default My Cell


In my cell
I deviously plot my escape
But I have no tools
No tricks
Just words
My computer
My notepad
To write my way out
Of my cell
I keep getting foiled
Caught by the guards
Who arrests me
And bring me back
Back to my cell
Then the walls laugh louder
And remind me again
That this is my home
That my world is a cell
With a million comforts
For which I'm thankless
Except for the words
My computer
My notepad
The key to the door
Of my cell

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Old 07-19-2014, 04:50 PM
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I have no cell, I'm free
I live in a room, without bars
my past does not, imprison me
my mind wanders among the stars

I wonder why, I wasn't killed
clawing my out of demolished cars
my fate was never sealed
I fantasize about life on mars

life made good with a little skill
once again you start to heal
justify the war, you had to kill
time goes on, eat your meal

I am at home, no roadside bomb
remember your friends and they're not dead
every breath you take the reaper you rob
that's enough, think about what you have read

Live the life that is ahead
or go back to the past, you left behind
stand in one place until you're dead
And the grass will grow through your sandals and over your feet.


please write a happy poem there is enough dark in the world.

if I have hurt your feelings then I'm sorry - but I have told you of my plight and hopefully made you smile, pm me if you want to curse me out - that way neither of us will be kicked of the WB.

smile or I will write more bad poetry.

Last edited by max crash; 07-19-2014 at 05:45 PM..
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  #3  
Old 07-19-2014, 05:17 PM
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It's ok. I didn't mean it to be that sad. It was meant to be about writers block.

I like your poem. Glad the cars didn't get you.. and life on Mars would be horrible wouldn't it?
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:33 PM
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happy you took it well, but I've seem several of your poems and you could use some happy. I'll look for a happy one next time. today I had writers block and instead of writing a poem I went to the casino - I only play the penny slots but there is something about the repetitive motion that gets my story going most of the time, and today I won ten bucks.

Last edited by max crash; 07-19-2014 at 05:35 PM..
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:53 PM
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We call them "pokies" over here. I've won a few times on them. Usually I back horses though. And greyhounds.

What did you do with the 10 bucks?

*Yes I see what you mean, it sounds like teenage emo shit.
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Old 07-19-2014, 06:39 PM
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It's not just sad, it's paranoia of Twilight zoned proportions.

Take a nice long walk in nature on a sunny day.
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Old 07-19-2014, 07:47 PM
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Well I'll have to wait for a while till the weather improves. Why does it seem paranoid?
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Old 07-20-2014, 02:48 AM
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Read it.
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:09 AM
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Yeah but I wrote it so I have no objectivity.
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:02 AM
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It does come across as a bit as another emo rant. Maybe if you're writing about writer's block, you could somehow exploit the irony of that, or at least make it more self-deprecating and less whiny.

I'm not going to address the form, that's another ball of wax, and I hesitate to rewrite, but here's an example of how I might milk the metaphor, simplify and cut out redundancies by looking at things from both sides.

in my cell
I plot my escape
I have no file or saw
just words
to write my way out
then I’m foiled
apprehended
by guards
wielding blank pages
who drag me back
inside walls that mock
and again remind me
this is my home
with a million comforts
for which I'm thankless
except for my words
in dreams
in stories untold
they are the keys
to my freedom.

Last edited by E. Zamora; 07-20-2014 at 08:10 AM..
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ki11j0y View Post
Well I'll have to wait for a while till the weather improves. Why does it seem paranoid?
You plot your escape, your key your writing, the guards stop you, and the walls themselves laugh at you, louder than they did the last time, so you're in a hopeless loop . . .

That has a distinct paranoid feel to me.
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Lon Palmer View Post
You plot your escape, your key your writing, the guards stop you, and the walls themselves laugh at you, louder than they did the last time, so you're in a hopeless loop . . .

That has a distinct paranoid feel to me.
That's how I feel about writers block. :/
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:58 AM
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Default My Cell (draft too)

My thoughts bounce off the walls
My dirty heart pines for freedom
The heavens are deaf to my calls
My concepts transcend the universe
I am like a tulip
Thrown into a tub of nitric acid
Glittering in mud
A star too bright for the human eye
Today time passes ignorantly
As cosmic tragedy is born
My hand to the trigger
The soil of my brilliance
Blasted on the walls
Leave my body to the maggots
That have already eaten my soul
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by ki11j0y View Post
That's how I feel about writers block. :/
Writers' block is your friend, silly.

It tells you when you've taken a wrong turn.

"Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change." (Wayne Dyer)
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:12 AM
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Coming from someone who has done some time; it can't be that bad. Real jail cells stink, hurt, and starve. I've felt so hopeless just yearning for human touch and affection. Your poem reaches for this place. Except the way you portray your feelings it comes off as a much more cerebral incarceration. Which is where the writer loses the reader. Make me feel your isolation, your hurt, your longing; without relying on thought words too much like:
I ponder
I plot
I wonder

Give me the experience of your isolation through imagery firmly rooted in the senses. Like:
A fan hums cutting the musty air,
Cold, unwashed concrete beneath my legs,
Nearby wails awaken my uneasy sleep.

Stuff like that works. The tricky part is taking evocative images and stringing them together to tell a story that flows naturally.
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Last edited by JackStraw; 07-20-2014 at 11:15 AM..
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:30 AM
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Does stuff like that really work?
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:14 PM
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If you have enough tension in your piece, sure. What do you want me to do? Take a poll? How do you make someone feel what you are feeling? Unfortunately we can't be John Malkovich. So, we can describe our feelings to others, descriptions that rarely transport that emotion to the recipient. The writers job is to make people quiver, hush, and tingle. Similar to the songwriter's role.. you want someone to say, "Woah, I really understand what that guy was feeling." Some writers have that electrical gift. I may not be gifted, I may be rusty, I don't know but, I do have my moments. Here is a perfect poem touching on a longing or pining, this one for another.. while k1llj0y's was a longing for release..

This is The Taxi by Amy Lowell

When I go away from you
The world beats dead
Like a slackened drum.
I call out for you against the jutted stars
And shout into the ridges of the wind.
Streets coming fast,
One after the other,
Wedge you away from me,
And the lamps of the city prick my eyes
So that I can no longer see your face.
Why should I leave you,
To wound myself upon the sharp edges of the night?
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:34 PM
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I have a decent handle on how to use figurative language and why. I was commenting on the particular examples you provided.
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:36 PM
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When I go away from you
The world beats dead
Like a slackened drum.
I call out for you against the jutted stars
And shout into the ridges of the wind.
Streets coming fast,
One after the other,
Wedge you away from me,
And the lamps of the city prick my eyes
So that I can no longer see your face.
Why should I leave you,
To wound myself upon the sharp edges of the night
Yeah that's some really good showing. I think the consensus seems to be that a jail cell is a way too pretentious and hyperbolic metaphor for writers block. Making it even more abstract would exacerbate this.

I'm sure there's been some really good poetry written on what it's like to be in a cell, given the natural boredom of prisoners. Do you know of any, JackStraw?
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:38 PM
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I know you do, I've read your stuff. Those three lines I provided may belong to a short story instead of a poem. I'm just trying to steer someone out of the pages of a diary and into the hearts of men.
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ki11j0y View Post
Yeah that's some really good showing. I think the consensus seems to be that a jail cell is a way too pretentious and hyperbolic metaphor for writers block. Making it even more abstract would exacerbate this.

I'm sure there's been some really good poetry written on what it's like to be in a cell, given the natural boredom of prisoners. Do you know of any, JackStraw?

Not off hand. The poetry of a prisoner sings the blues. It's found in the respite of laughter. In the letting go, in the acceptance of a punishment. I remember in my cell someone had scratched into the concrete 'Eris Lives' That little bit provided me much entertainment. Haha.. two words inspired me to fill in the blanks with a story. Anyway.. I'm not sure of any poems about detainment, incarceration, what have you. I'd wager that Nelson Mandela had a sage perspective on it. He being a man, as Bob Dylan said in his song Chimes of Freedom, "misplaced inside a cell".
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by JackStraw View Post
I know you do, I've read your stuff. Those three lines I provided may belong to a short story instead of a poem. I'm just trying to steer someone out of the pages of a diary and into the hearts of men.
I agree. There's too much blatant emoting around here and people telling you outright how they feel instead of using imagery.

I think it's just a very difficult thing to explain to someone. You're on the right track though; people struggling with this should read a lot more poetry. That way it will sink in, more by osmosis. It's not going to happen based on providing a few lines out of context.
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by E. Zamora View Post
I agree. There's too much blatant emoting around here and people telling you outright how they feel instead of using imagery.

I think it's just a very difficult thing to explain to someone. You're on the right track though; people struggling with this should read a lot more poetry. That way it will sink in, more by osmosis. It's not going to happen based on providing a few lines out of context.
You hit the nail on the head. Great writers are also great readers.
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:09 PM
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There's some interesting poems here
poetrysoup.com/poems/best/jail

Locked Box
Come out to play,
Come out to play,
They say as I hide beneath the grey.

They want me to join their game of cops and robbers.

I say no, but I'm hesitant,
Being chased looks like a lot of fun.

I poke holes in my box,
To release the grey,
The light burns my eyes,
There is no way that I can play.
I can't let this phase me,
So I try to play,
Anyway.

I come out of the dark,
And into the sun,
I've committed a crime,
It's time to run.

You're the cop,
And I'm the robber,
I'm a kid,
And you're a father.
Chase me down,
For my illegal act,
You catch me when I'm cornered.
You take me down,
To a cell,
It is here forever,
I will dwell.
I've come to grips,
Kinda sort of,
Until I eat the meal,
That you had ordered.
A sloppy mess,
On a cafeteria plate,
This food in my stomach,
May decide my fate.

A television set,
With no remote,
It's purpose here,
Only a hoax.
I have only the thoughts,
Within my head,
Some of guilt,
Some regret,
I can't believe I made the bet.

I thought I could get away,
Leave you in the dust,
And still be free today.
My odds of winning,
Slim to none,
Russian roulette with a fully loaded gun.

I should've stayed,
Inside my box beneath the grey.
Bored but free,
Free to play,
A game less consequential,
Would've been okay.

Now I'm stuck,
Within four walls,
Bored and boarded,
Inside a locked box.

Locked Box
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:26 PM
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Hey Killjoy,
I liked the first one enough, but draft two is an immense improvement. Loved the tulip and soil blasted on the wall. Hey, be you as much as you can!
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by poe View Post
Hey Killjoy,
I liked the first one enough, but draft two is an immense improvement. Loved the tulip and soil blasted on the wall. Hey, be you as much as you can!
Thanks poe. Yeah, I was a bit upset by the criticism of My Cell being to self-absorbed and depressing. So I tried to make it a bit more uplifting.
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by E. Zamora View Post
I agree. There's too much blatant emoting around here and people telling you outright how they feel instead of using imagery.
How do I love thee, let me count the ways . . .

Guess that's a crummy poem then, eh?
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Old 07-21-2014, 03:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Lon Palmer View Post
How do I love thee, let me count the ways . .
Pretty sure she follows that up with some imagery.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach...
That's spacial imagery or metaphor. She's suggesting the soul is something with dimension. Do see anything in your head when you read that? Because I do. And of course, there are others.

Otherwise, don't be obtuse. I'm speaking in terms of degrees.

Last edited by E. Zamora; 07-21-2014 at 03:34 AM..
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Old 07-21-2014, 03:49 AM
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How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/h...thee-sonnet-43
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:01 AM
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Of course, the poem uses some pretty compelling abstract comparisons too, even if they don't bring to mind a specific image. There are certainly other tools in the box.
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