That night when the black lip of Arizonian summer dusk split open and we watched from the balcony these bats of Sedona I swear the both of us thought them sacred
their weightless aggression yarn on their tails knitting with the colour of the air into the headdress of a tree
and from it issued forth the last of the rust red little mountains and a vortex of soundless antipodes were blowing back the shroud to all we did not fathom
but don’t speak of truth - whatever bland taxidermy you people use to still the wings, to know of things
I don't mind if they weren't bats after all - if they were just some common swifts feasting on the bugs below the condo lamps i'll always remember anyway come gods or chaos we both had the same hallucination.
The piece screams: "refined stream of consciousness" due to the intentional lack of punctuation and capitalization. The end is reached and we find the piece refined into something that, due to the almost randomness of the first two-thirds, reads wonderfully.
Just a couple of minor things:
- dusk seems random and out of place.
- <I don't mind if they weren't bats after all - if they were just some common swifts feasting on the bugs below the condo lamps i'll always remember anyway come gods or chaos we both had the same hallucination.</i> is a great stanza yet not perfect in my opinion. I would love to see "anyway" on a line by itself to emphasis the punch I hear from the word.
Great piece. I am finding more and more that I would like to read again and my faith in dA is slowly being restored. Thank you.
Beautiful evocation of a bat emergence - in my opinion, one of nature's most magical phenomena (and one which I would love to witness in person some day)!
I question the use of the word "antipodes" in the third stanza: there is a bit of a tangle of mixed metaphors going on, and "antipodes" doesn't seem to fit coherently into the image of the "[soundless] vortex ... blowing back the shroud..." Did you have in mind that the bats opposite each other in the vortex are antipodes? I could see that making sense, but the image it conjures up of a solid, rotating planet seems inconsistent with the airy, blowing vortex in the surrounding lines...
The apparent incongruity of "antipodes" gives the impression that it may have been chosen for its sound as much as (if not more than) for its meaning. It sounds wonderful - especially when read aloud - but it detracts from the imagery that you are trying to convey. (To quote a playful adage of Lewis Carroll's, "Take care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves.")
The other stanzas are far more consistent in their use of metaphor: the sequences, "yarn on their tails / knitting / with the colour of the air / into the headdress / of a tree," in the second stanza, and "truth ... bland taxidermy ... to still the wings," in the fourth, each conjure up vivid, compelling images by taking a single analogy (flight-path:knitting, truth:taxidermy) and expanding on it. In these stanzas, the reader gets a clear idea of the image that you, the poet, had in mind.
The poem makes good use of rising and falling action to convey a story, not just of an evening, but perhaps of a relationship. Where the first stanza sets the scene, and the second begins a description of the bats and the powerful impression they make on the watchers, which builds to a climax in the third stanza, the fourth stanza hints at a disagreement that threatens to break the spell...
The use of second person in the poem allows for some ambiguity in interpretation, but it seems that the character who is the other half of the speaker's "us" in the first and final stanzas is also among the skeptical "you people" in the fourth. This oblique reference to tension between the two characters (presumably, though not necessarily, a couple) who, outside of this isolated moment, have profoundly different ways of viewing the world, is what lifts this poem from pure descriptive imagery into the realm of storytelling.
The fifth stanza brings the poem back to the initial image of two watchers on a balcony, on a summer night, witnessing something magical. Even though (as hinted in the fourth stanza) it calls into question the reality of the experience (were they really bats, or merely common swifts?), the true magic and wonder of the shared moment remains unbroken.
if you both had the same illusions doesn't it make it real? i think it did in this poem. i've read a few more of your poems [and not commented on them-> not good] and feast on the ones i like, save more for later. i like to read what you write more than once.
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