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Morning Commute

The highway to Salem
is a straight line
bisecting dull Winter grass
into fields of solitude.
Old men clog the fast lane
centered between
their wavering hands,
tensed at ten and two o'clock.
Their slow minds lumber
beside stubborn hearts,
longing to palpitate
for a few miles more.
Traffic flows around them
like leaves in a gutter,
spilling into the lanes
of patience and truckers.
Lane lines and mileposts
mark the minutes
as we draw each nearer
our journey's end.

8 Jan 07

Rated 7.3 (7.3) by 6 users.
Active (6): 2, 7, 7, 7, 8, 9
Inactive (0):

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dead poetry.

speaker voice. all static.

and nothing compelling

to bring that ear closer

to the speaker.

you don't know you don't know you don't know.
the source material.
ate you.
 — bologna

So how can I improve it?
 — rocket

The last verse is my favorite.  I don't understand about watching your six or the ticket revenue line.  I also like old men as leaves and the lanes of patience and truckers.  

 — Isabelle5

Thanks Isabelle.

I realized I had some spare parts and chucked them. I think this revision is a bit better.
 — rocket

I don't know if this is a good thing or not, but after reading your poem I felt just as the driver probably did. Either you really got the feeling down or you need to spruce up the poem. I vote the former.

As a whole, this made me smile. You have some great, clever imagery here. It took me places, through your experiences and experiences of my own, and all at a leisurely pace. Can't fault this.
 — stateofmind

Much revised, I think this is better. Now though, the last stanza doesn't seem to fit within the structure that emerged. Maybe the answer will fall in my ear while I sleep.
 — rocket

nice piece. it captured a cold mood quite uniquely. i do suggest that you revise your ending. i felt that it ending too bluntly and boringly. perhaps you could add a personal reflection. nonetheless nice poem. by the way thanks for your critique on my piece. rock on.
 — lanezfairy

Thanks for the comment. I agree completely about the ending. It's a sore thumb. I've got the right idea, the words just haven't come to me yet. Which is annoying, since I'm pretty happy with the rest of it. One of these days.

I'd appreciate it if you'd indulge me with a rating. That jackle bologna gave me a 2, which annoys me. I really shouldn't care, but I admit, it gets my goat.
 — rocket

I think I my last stanza finally arrived, curious to hear what you think.
 — rocket

For what it's worth, I like it - it hints at a reality we all get to unless we get bumped off prematurely
 — Markjdrews

Thanks for the comments.
 — rocket

I like most of this rocket.
L3 & 4 seem overwrought
S2 S4 and S5 read really well for me
S3 is deadweight imo, it's like S2 repeated, but written poorly.
 — unknown

Good points to consider, I very much appreciate the blunt feedback. I'll try and revise this weekend.
 — rocket

New and improved for your viewing pleasure.
 — rocket

hello rocket,
I read this a while back, here and there, didn't comment, just followed.
I know the last stanza has been worked on but it reads run-on and difficult to envision/feel, which is probably just me.  
I like what you're saying, it's just a mouthful for me.
It is an interesting poem, nice glimpse of everyday life on the a.m highway.
My favourite is S4, spot on! (as chef ramsay would say).
 — jenakajoffer

A helpful observation, thank you.
 — rocket

I'd love to see you drop the extra words.

What about :

Salem highway
bisecting line
through dull winter grasses
fields of solitude

You could work on the rest also...
For instance, why is the word THEIR nrecessary on line 9?
It could be:
Slow minds lumber

WOW so far I'm enjoying your poems.
You're thoughtful and introspective!
Very refreshing to find you here!
 — violet

Hi rocket,
I like what you have done to the final stanza. Violet's sugg to omit "their" in line 9 is a good one.  If I suggest a thought, something entirely picky,
I want to ask:
Do leaves really "flow" in the gutter?  I know they whirl, gather, and blow, but flow sounds like fluid to me, even though "traffic flow" is right on.  What if you get rid of "like" in L14, to not compare, just say?
Just a thought.
 — jenakajoffer

I prefer the alliteration of like leaves, and am not fond of the omitted word style you suggest, although it is a valid alternative. Just a difference in preferences I would say. To me the sound of line 13 is slow, and 14 is fast, which I like. The sound of "like leaves" almost feels like acceleration to me.

I'm a bit hesitant to remove the "Their", because then it would be a general statement about slow minds versus description of the old men. I'll think on it further.

Small leaves will indeed sail along the top of water in a gutter until they snag on something or go down the drain. As I child my friends and I used to race leaves in the gutter. Maybe because I don't explicitly describe a gutter filled with water the image you're getting is different than I intended.

Thanks for the comments.
 — rocket

I didn't realize that the gutter would be filled with water.  The leaves flowing now make a wonderful image but I wouldn't have got that from the poem.  That's just me though.  Opinions obviously vary, but I can see why you would keep the words that were suggested be removed.  
Thanks for explaining the leaf flow,  =-)
 — jenakajoffer