A NEW POEM: Work on the Memphis series of poems continues. This is one of the first. It will be up for just a few days. Since these are shaping up into a book-length -- or at least a series of connected poems -- it may seem a bit out of context. Your comments are appreciated.

Poof...it's gone back to revision land. Thanks for the comments.


Lisa Allender said…
From "Sweet sick smell" to ..."away", you draw me in---into this decadent, destructive life/lives, speeding towards--?

The last line clicks for me as well:
"still too sober..."

My only "criticism" is that I'd like to know HOW Tina is driving--is she alot faster than other folks on the road?--or is she being especially careful(so as not to be seen by a cop) BEFORE she grabs the wheel, and licks the rim of that bottle of booze?
Wow. What a lusty image that is, Collin!

And all this going on in---did I understand you to say--- it was RAINING???!!
thank you for sharing
Collin said…
I've had a couple of back-channel emails saying it's hard to get into the poem because the "set up" poems aren't there. This is uncharted territory for me -- writing a series so specific -- so I'm really just looking for thoughts on images, tone and if interests you enough to want to know more about who these people are and where they are going.
Definitely interested enough, and I don't need the set up poems (though would of course like to read them for their own sakes).

The images are almost too vivid! The first two lines of the second verse put me off for a minute, and the sentence seemed to be going on too long and getting too involved (echoing, no doubt, the whole desultory feeling of that bit of the journey) - then "but Tina needs booze" slammed me back into the present moment. The one in the poem, that is. And from there I'm in the car with you all the way ... except for having to adjust my Aussie sensibilites to understand what driving on the left implies in the US. The next line about "the two-lane" clarifies it. (That's an expression we don't have here, but it's so graphic it needs no translation.)

Yes, I am intrigued enough to want to know more. But even if I never do, this vignette is complete in itself.
Anonymous said…
I know a little about how this poem was inspired but even if i didn't I would want to read more to see what happens to the people you talk about. I get the Tina and Carolyn part it seems pretty obvious. The mention of Ken is the only thing thats kinda left hanging.

Peter said…
Oh my . . . I'm bracing for the car crash that's sure to come, either literaly or metaphorically or both.
Anonymous said…
I would not worry about the context issue yet. This brought to mind Hacker's Love, Death & The Changing of the Season. Some of the poems stand on their own, but others lose impact if you haven't read the entire sonnet sequence. Still, Hacker's collection is wonderful and something to aspire to even if you don't write in form.

Pris said…
This works for me and holds my interest for sure. Tim isn't clear but since you said this was part of a series, that didn't distract me. I figured he was already or would be presented in another poem.
ezb said…
metronomes my brain... That's such a good image.

by the way C-diddy, I am tagging you for the Super 8 meme. Get me!me med em me’d

jenni said…
Poems about Memphis?!

LOVE it!

Memphis is my fav city, ever. It's dirty, poor, dangerous, but heartbreakingly beautiful too.

Enjoyed the poem. Hope you'll share more of these.
I enjoyed this piece, Collin. Good form and language. Especially liked stanza three.
DeadMule said…
I like the poem, Collin. I was drawn in from the beginning. I guess I've done so much study on the 60s (civil rights era) that I just assumed this took place then, that they weren't going too fast, that all roads were two lane roads, (only if that were so you wouldn't bother to say it was a two-lane) and that although drinking and driving has always been dangerous, people didn't talk about it so much back then (if it was then). Maybe when it happens doesn't matter. I didn't expect a crash. I thought these people were drinking because they had to. That's what interested me. Why did they have to? And what is the "fool's errand" they must do? Helen Losse

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