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the girl who worked at the carnival
william

She read palms
 1
for a living
 2
but at night,
 3
she read psalms:
 4
 
 
all carnival red,
 5
and biblical brown.
 6
 
 
She was stuffed,
 7
air was salty,
 8
as was sweat
 9
on her knees:
 10
 
 
confessional red,
 11
and bored-boardwalk brown.
 12
 
 
In a booth
 13
in the summer,
 14
in the church
 15
in the eve:
 16
 
 
all coastercar red,
 17
and bishop's-crook brown.
 18
 
 
A gypsy
 19
unto profit,
 20
and into
 21
prophecy:
 22
 
 
all crown-of-thorns red,
 23
and burnt-popcorn brown.
 24
 
 
She read palms
 25
for a living
 26
but at night,
 27
she read psalms:
 28
 
 
all carnival red,
 29
and biblical brown.
 30

27 Mar 03

Rated 7.4 (7.4) by 12 users.
Active (12): 3, 3, 5, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10
Inactive (21): 1, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10

(define the words in this poem)
(34 more poems by this author)

(8 users consider this poem a favorite)
aerol
Ananke
Bruce
Cella
inutile
Jsmiles05
lenster
restless



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Comments:

i like this--reads almost like a eulogy. the last two lines are repetitive, but don't do any real damage.
 — lennox

Actually, in my mind it was a eulogy -- I'm glad to hear that that mood got across. I was considering, actually cutting it off at either line 24 or 28; do you think either would be an improvement?
 — unknown

a sort-of-eulogy, that is. not necessarily literal.
 — unknown

I really like this
 — greylin

I think its great the way it is, don't lose anything.
 — lostvoice

beautiful
 — Ananke

intricate color combo's, like popcorn brown, but the brown and red together feel a little yuck after they're repeated a few times (and that makes me a little nauseated). Beck-like style ode in your wordplay; creative: psalms and palms, etc.
 — C

I don't know what it is exactly but I like this alot, i think it's the simplicity of it and the referrence to red and brown.
 — SeraphSoul

mmm. nice flow.
 — starryme

I love the way you play with color and subtle feeling in this poem, the only problem is the lackluster title, it takes away, I think, from the effect of the poem
 — jwest

the title is part of the poem. it is lacklustre, but something that explains who she is right away is pretty important. i tried reading it without it, and it just didn't work. i love how the images of the carnival and spirituality alternate with the colors. line 12 sits as too many syllables. i don't think "bored" fits in, anyways. it seems to contrast the setting of the rest of it, which is relatively intense. this is on the edge of really saying something, but for now it just sits as an interesting description.
 — jade

i read this in the anthologist today. i think i liked it better this time. the wordplays really struck a chord with me, or something. but then, upon reflection, i also felt they're too calculated, which takes away from it, i think. i don't know. at any rate, cheers for being published.
 — username

The Poetry God says this: My hat is off to you, william. You are a wonderful poet. Very, very well done.
 — unknown

I like this a lot the way it is. Don't change this. But the spatial side of me wants to know what it might have looked like with the lines all close together like one stanza from Keats' Ode to a Nightingale. You're so talented that I'm green with envy.
-z
 — zepplin42

Hey... is this a villanelle?  It has such a catchy structure, much repitition.  I really like this a LOT.  If it is NOT a form poem, I bet you could easily turn it into one.  Check out your choices at shadowpoetry.com.  Go to the "Types of Poetry" section.  A formal structure could inspire you to greatness.  For instance, with a villanelle, certain phrases are repeated at certain intervals and it makes for a unique poem.  Villanelles are really HARD.  However, they are also VERY well respected.  I believe that I learned on this site that the famous Dylan Thomas poem ("Do not go gentle into that dark night") was a VILLANELLE.  Yeah, no shit.  That poem is WAY famous and well-loved.  Try it out... see what you think.  I will do my best to find my Villanelle poem and post it here soon.  Keep your eye peeled for it.  It is called "Not a Man of the Cloth".  Good luck with this.
 — aforbing

excellent stuff! LOVE the concept!
 — unknown

It's not exactly a villanelle, but it has ritournelli which are used to splendid effect. Besides, the final stanza of a villanelle has an extra line, and this is a perfected form.
-z
 — zepplin42

nice.  I like the brown and red metaphors.  Very interesting.

L12, you don't need a hyphen.  Just "bored, boardwalk brown" or "bored boardwalk brown"
 — Mirm

I would beg to differ (if no one minds). The hyphen is perfect. The hyphen is used to make past participle a modifier for a nominal adjective. (I know it seems like a stretch, but it's a brilliant construction.) It tells us that the boardwalk is bored. Otherwise, "bored" would be a modifier for "brown" and not "boardwalk".
-z
 — zepplin42

I liked this instantly It's surreal and real at the same,
"all carnival red,
and biblical brown" this is brilliant and makes the piece.
Well done poet.
From,
Ayedorite
 — unknown

Just popped in for another read, this poem is just excellent.
The voice you have chosen is mesmerizing,
and the words perfectly crafted.
One of the finest here,  lines 5/6, 11/12... stunning.
 — Ayedorite

line 24... I would say burnt popcorn is normally BLACK.
Other than that, this is flawless!
 — aforbing

hmmm.ok, this is weird i like it, its really artsy. You have to have the passion for poetry to enjoy this. Just  like thos pieces of art thats just scribbles... You have to have the passion
 — unknown

There's nothing particularly bad about this poem, save the fact that it doesn't inspire me to give a shit.
 — collyrium

it did feel like a eulogy. that's not a bad thing, though.
i liked it.
 — shakeit

Love it in a weird kind of way
 — BlkJeans

it has uniformity, I like the repetition of the last lines, it brings the reader back to the beginning.  great work!
 — Angelfire

i like the repetition.... not lines 19-22... too many multisyllabic words... slows down the flow in a bad way....  and... i'm OCD... so... i don't like the switch of carnival imagery and biblical imagery in lines 23-24.
 — omega

It reads not only like a eulogy, but like a very very very very very toned down Queen song. Imagine this one backed by Freddy Mercury's falsetto...mmmhmm.
 — Miscarlet

i like it. i also like the way each stanza is short, brief.
 — aerol

If i'm honest, it didn't really do anything for me....I didn't get an emotional attachment to it.....the ideas are good but it didn't move me in any way
 — unknown

THIS IS CRAP!!! QUIT WRITTING!!!
 — unknown

to the last unknown:

YOUR COMMENT IS UNCONSTRUCTIVE, INVALID, USELESS CRAP.
QUIT COMMENTING AND KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!!!
 — unknown

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm......................... .....................
 — unknown

this is really well done...the visual it gives me is of blood drying...
 — driving

I like "bored-boardwalk" (line 12), but it keeps "interrupting" me while I was reading, which is strange. But I think maybe this is because unlike the other bits, line 11 ("confessional red") has no "all" before it. I suppose that threw line 12 off, so you may want to change it. Great poem though.
 — laud

More Marxist than Bolshevist, belligerency burgeons en the fourth line- Marx scantly conceding persuasions of primitive faith. Line five supplements remonstration of communism. I construe line six derogatory source, en pertinence a Holy Writ. Alluvium ventilates the proletariat.

Line seven adumbrates irony- Reds were famished. Coterminous trois: attestation a Communist animus. Double solos: Stalin's show trials of 1936. Stanza two bits: booth equivocates depreciated economical value, summer irony: refreshment being facetious en Soviet Union- bethel likewise.  

"profit and... prophecy" symbolize Capitalist forces ("unto profit"), alluding a McCarthyist mysticism. L24 phantasmagoriates proletariat. Twentythefifth-eight binates Soviet tantamount maltreatment.

Wonder-fabulous composition scrutinizing antipodal sides!

Wedlock tintinnabulum for McCarthy and Stalin! Scrumptious slip of "Eve" (Holy Scriptures) en 16.

Nonpareil poetic Communist Manifesto!

May Damgalnunna Be Your Muse!
 — KualaCIV

It reminds me of prayers being intoned in a monks refuge someplace.  I like the red/brown contrast throughout.  Reminds me of how we mostly live, with one face for the physical and another for the soul.

Good writing.
 — Isabelle5

wistful and wonderful. a favorite :)
 — Catbox

omg!!! love it. the repetition at the end is brilliant. and i love the various reds and browns. love plays on words and this one was great.
 — Dom

absolutely gorgeous
 — WordsAndMe

wonderful random treat. Carnivals are part shoddy glamour, part sulking magic.
 — borntodance

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