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Heat Rising In Green and Gold

I spent the Summer of 1984 in Iowa,
listening to corn go green.
Corporate pig farms perfumed the air
on the south side of Sioux City,
while slaughter houses
across the bridge to Nebraska
mingled their raw breath
with the Missouri's red heat.
The man I dated bought
and sold cattle; nearly as tall
as the bulls he cut, with a knife
as long as his arms,
pony-tailed hair the color of corn silk,
and such a natural way of plowing me
like a Spring field, I got inspired
just looking at the buckle
of his blood-spattered jeans.
We got naked sometimes
in the cool shadows
of his uncle’s ice house - he took me
from behind - my hands resting
on the little window, watching the farmer
next door riding his tractor
in perfect circles through his fields,
until I closed my eyes,
listened to the moment with my skin.
Welfare fraud was the hobby
of the women I met,
and marrying truckers,
husbands who’d be long on the road
and short on questions when they got home.
Wives drilled their men and teen-aged boys,
timing them to see how quickly
they could take their things
and disappear.
It was all so beautiful and earthy
but the reality is that the pigs
suffered in the stifling heat,
coming close to losing their will to live
and so did I.
I sometimes get up early
to watch bullriding, A&E on Sundays,
but it somehow still mingles
with the scent of sex
in my head, the memory
of riding a live one that summer,
all about pain and sweat
and saying good-bye
while the corn was still green.

19 Jun 07

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This is jam-packed with wonderful images!  What a fantastic poem!  A few suggestions though:

L2:  Listening to corn go green?  What is the sound associated with corn going green?  

L's 3-8:  I can actually smell these lines, however there is overusage of the article "the" and these lines would read much better without them.  May I suggest commas instead?

L's 9-16:  This is the approach I would employ in the aformentioned lines.  Good!
You might want to elaborate exactly what a "cow man" is also.

L's 22 & 23:  I'd change the preposition "round" to "around" or "through" his fields.
L24 is just perfect.  Reminds me of rain somehow and I don't know why this is.  Very sensual to listen to a moment with your skin.

L25:  I'm not so sure about the syntax here.  Why not just say the "majority of" and then change the verb to "were?"  

L28:  I'd change the verb to the past participle "had been."  It would agree then with the "were" in L25 (if you were to change it.)

L33:  Maybe change "and so did I" to "as I did?"

I love L's 34-39 but you could improve them even more by just adding in some more color/seasoning.  Watch the bulls do what?  L37:  maybe change "in my head" to "in my mind" or "in my mind's eye?"

While the corn was still green...LOVE IT!
 — starr

Corn going green - if you've never seen a field of corn growing, you can almost hear it growing and ripening, field upon field of green waves.  

Getting rid of some "the's," might work.  I need to call the river The Missouri but the rest can go.  

Welfare is rampant in Sioux City.  The women sign up, hide anything that makes it look as though a man lives with them, even though some had husbands, sons, brothers, all supporting them but they claimed welfare money, too.  I was distressed, no jobs available that summer but I would not go on welfare.  I'd rather starve - I did almost starve!  I weighed 103 at one point!

Line 28 has to be 'who would be,' for the reasons above.  They had to stay gone much of the time.

I'll go work on this.  Thanks for the comments.  Some I can change, some would change the mood I need.
 — unknown

Awesome in its newer version!  Much better!
 — starr

aww, shoot - kicks dirt and eats a bug.
 — unknown

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