Cry From the Abyss by Michelle Dutcher


Tell us what you thought of the February 2010 issue.

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 805

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Post February 22, 2010, 06:26:11 PM

Cry From the Abyss by Michelle Dutcher

Is this your poem bottomdweller?

My desire for the taste of your skin
Chains me to you,
Dragging me ever deeper into your nether realms.


...er... is this an intended double entendre? :lol:

I do like the last line of the poem a lot.

Overall good work.

Hero
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 845

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee    USA

Post February 23, 2010, 10:18:25 AM

Cry From the Abyss by Michele Dutcher

I read this poem the first day this issue came out.

I'm still pondering it.

I think it's powerful stuff, but poetry so often baffles and escapes me, that I have my doubts about it.

Because I am, and (hopefully) always will be, a skeptic, I wonder if this isn't some kind of joke on Michele's part. She's made some interesting comments on poetry these last few weeks that cause me a bit of consternation when I read something like this, from her.

When we were discussing the poem FORGOTTEN, by Mr. Bruno, she whipped-out this supposedly off-the-cuff vignette which ended something like (and I'm not researching this, this is just what stuck in my addled old brain):

But I bought groceries for us
But I bought groceries for us


As some guy is leaving her--again--for some bimbo.

I truly got the impression that she thought this was some kind of simpering, crap poetry.

But it touched me. I could feel the banal, common emotion that those lines evoked. I actually crafted a response saying so, but I chickened-out at the last minute.

So I don't quite know what to make of her Dark Lord poem.

I can see the scary, morbid, self-destructive intensity of the desire--apparently unfulfilled--on some levels, and I suspect that she's just messing with us, on others.

Nothing says it can't be both, of course. Sometimes I start something thinking that I'm just trying to mess with someone and then it turns out that a little bit of truth rears its ugly head.

So I'm in limbo, on this one.

I like it better than most of what I read, but I have my doubts about the motivation behind the words.

In any case, it evoked both an emotional and a cerebral response.

Clever girl, either way.

No?

Bill Wolfe
"I am Susan Ivanova. . . .I am the Right Hand of Vengence. . .I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 1329

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kentucky

Post February 23, 2010, 10:21:24 AM

Cry

This is why I can be so cavalier in my critiques - because sometimes I write stuff as well, and expect people to be brutally honest. I revel in your distain! We gladly feast upon the flesh of those who would subdue us!! (Adams Family motto)
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.

Senior Critic

Posts: 263

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: California

Post February 23, 2010, 12:54:36 PM

Cutting to the chase:

A vampire or zombie piece?

Haven't decided yet.

gino
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 1329

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kentucky

Post February 23, 2010, 01:01:32 PM

Cry

I was thinking Vampire - the ones that don't sparkle in the sunlight. By the way, is the cover this time supposed to be one of those new vampires exploding?...hmmmm?
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 805

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Post February 23, 2010, 01:47:45 PM

Bill wrote:

Because I am, and (hopefully) always will be, a skeptic, I wonder if this isn't some kind of joke on Michele's part. She's made some interesting comments on poetry these last few weeks that cause me a bit of consternation when I read something like this, from her.


I think it's interesting that we might interpret this poem differently based on Michelle's recent comments about other poems. To be fair shouldn't we try to interpret the poem on its own merits?

This reminds me of some of the stuff I’ve read about literary criticism. There are various approaches to literary criticism, some that look at the work by itself, some that focus on the author's intent which examine the author's background and cultural influences, and some that focus on the reader's response to a work regardless of the author's intent. So I think it's perfectly valid for us to record our own reader responses to the poem regardless of whether Michele was serious or not. What is really interesting is to interpret the poem seriously, then interpret it again assuming Michele was being facetious, then compare the two interpretations. :)

I think the poem works well either way. However, personally I don’t think there is enough in the poem itself to let a reader unfamiliar with bottomdweller know that she was writing satire. So unless she was only writing it for a few who would get the joke, I think we need to read it seriously. But if we read the poem seriously, I might criticize the subject matter, the vampire lover, as being overused. It is pretty hard to come up with subject matter that isn’t overused in the realms of sci fi, fantasy, and horror though. So taking the poem seriously we might just consider this a good example of a genre poem that isn't trying to be overly original in its subject matter. Then we are left with looking at how well the poem performs as a poem about a vampire and his/her lover. This takes us back to the point Wormtongue brought up when everyone was discussing Bruno’s FORGOTTEN. He said:

The only reason I included it was that I thought it did its job: to create an emotional response in the reader by striking a chord within them.


I think Michele’s poem does the same. :)

Hero
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 845

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee    USA

Post February 23, 2010, 03:36:17 PM

Re: Cry

bottomdweller wrote:By the way, is the cover this time supposed to be one of those new vampires exploding?...hmmmm?


From the post: New Issue Online. . .

doc wrote:. . .much thanks to Robert Moriyama for stepping in at the last moment and putting together our cover, which features our esteemed Senior Editor, Dan Hollifield, celebrating Guy Fawkes Day or some such nonsense.


And as for getting something different from a piece of work based upon what you 'know' about the artist. . .well, you ever heard of typecasting?

I mean, no matter how good an actor he may have been, I can't see Bob Denver (of Gilligan's Isle and Dobie Gillis fame) as Braveheart. Can you?

You'd just see The Skipper whacking him on the head with his hat every time he picked up his Claymore or tried to give a rousing battle speech.

It may not be fair, but it's a tried-and-true phenomenon. We all judge the work by what we know of the person presenting it. Some folks manage to break typecasting, but it's a tough, uphill battle.

Maybe we should judge the work entirely on its own merits, but we don't.

We just don't.

Bill Wolfe
"I am Susan Ivanova. . . .I am the Right Hand of Vengence. . .I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 805

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Post February 23, 2010, 04:29:44 PM

... so are you saying Michele is Gilligan and that if she wants to be taken seriously she better quit throwing so many banana cream pies?

:wink:

Hero
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 2379

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Post February 23, 2010, 05:23:41 PM

Where would Gilligan get a banana cream pie?

davidsonhero wrote:... so are you saying Michele is Gilligan and that if she wants to be taken seriously she better quit throwing so many banana cream pies?

:wink:

Hero


Where would Gilligan get a banana cream pie? It would have to be made with improvised ingredients (substituting for cow's milk, eggs, butter, flour, and sugar). I'm sure the Professor could come up with something (including an oven powered by a bamboo bicycle), but I'm not sure how edible it would be...

which might well justify throwing it instead.

Never mind.

:?
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Jack London (1876-1916)

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 805

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Post February 23, 2010, 06:57:28 PM

Robert,

I recommend you don't tug on any Gilligan's Island threads, the sweater unravels pretty fast. :lol:

Hero
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 845

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee    USA

Post February 24, 2010, 11:59:36 AM

Re: Cry

All very well and true. But don't we always judge our response to anything, be it Silverberg, Heinlein, Asimov or Shakespeare, by what we already know about them?

Is there an honest way around this?

I know how it works in science, but art is a different matter, altogether.

Thoughts?

Bill Wolfe
"I am Susan Ivanova. . . .I am the Right Hand of Vengence. . .I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 805

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Post February 24, 2010, 01:40:51 PM

Bill wrote:

But don't we always judge our response to anything, be it Silverberg, Heinlein, Asimov or Shakespeare, by what we already know about them?


We don't have to. We can choose a specific approach to literary criticism in our examination of a particular work that ignores the background of the author or even their intentions in the work. I'm not well versed enough to explain these at length myself, but if you are really interested in delving into Literary Theory, check out New Criticism and Reader Response for two examples of ways of critiquing a literary work without concering yourself with the author:

New Criticism was a dominant trend in English and American literary criticism of the mid twentieth century, from the 1920s to the early 1960s. Its adherents were emphatic in their advocacy of close reading and attention to texts themselves, and their rejection of criticism based on extra-textual sources, especially biography.
-- excerpt from Wikipedia

or

Reader-response criticism is a school of literary theory that focuses on the reader (or "audience") and his or her experience of a literary work, in contrast to other schools and theories that focus attention primarily on the author or the content and form of the work.
-- excerpt from Wikipedia

Hero
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 1329

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kentucky

Post February 24, 2010, 01:55:27 PM

Cry Baby from the Abyss

I'm just waiting for this month's Flash Fiction challenge in the Fun & Games section. Submit.
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 805

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Post February 24, 2010, 02:36:29 PM

Is that a threat...?

Hero

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 805

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Post February 24, 2010, 02:44:37 PM

...maybe just a challenge? :D

Hero
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 845

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee    USA

Post February 25, 2010, 09:52:00 AM

davidsonhero wrote:Is that a threat...?

Hero


She said: "Submit."

It wasn't a question. It wasn't a request. How else can you interpret that?

Submit!

BW
"I am Susan Ivanova. . . .I am the Right Hand of Vengence. . .I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 3244

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kaukauna, Wisconsin (USA)

Post February 25, 2010, 10:43:27 AM

Re: Cry Baby from the Abyss

bottomdweller wrote:I'm just waiting for this month's Flash Fiction challenge in the Fun & Games section. Submit.

??? You mean, to read and vote on? The challenge has been out there for a while. You'd have until 9 tonight if you wanted to write something. I'll post the stories for voting around 10.

There's only 3 stories so far. I'm just not going to have time for one myself. Got to get a few more ice sculptures done before Saturday morning. The candlelight ski at the state park is Sat. night and we're doing an "enchanted woods" theme. Hope to have all the "enchanted creatures" spread around the trails (lighting them from below with LEDs) so when folks ski by, they come across a glowing ice turtle, or raccoon, or eagle, etc. that illuminates the woods. And Pooh, Piglet, and maybe Eeyore as snow sculptures if I can get him done in time.

I really hope it doesn't flop. Was a lot of work, but also good practice for me.

Nate
Hardcover, paperback, pdf, eBook, iBook, Nook, and now Kindle & Kobo!
Image
A cooperative effort between 17 Aphelion authors. No part of any sales go to Aphelion.
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 1329

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kentucky

Post February 25, 2010, 02:24:10 PM

Flash Fiction stories

The setting for this month's Flash Fiction challenge is just so austere, with so many excellent authors already writing about that hollowed ground - it was too intimidating for me. Dan L. Hollifield, Roger Bennet, DK Smith, Kate Thornton - So many others. And 72 installments already. The tradition is just too rich for me to offer any writing up. But I'll enjoy reading other author's stories.
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.

Return to February 2010

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware.