If and when someone comes along with some worthwhile critique, I'm all for it, and do take note. A relative new regular, George Dance, offers some good critique, and recently Karla Rogers wrote a thoughtful one on my "red Lipped Stranger" poem. Here's that post, and a link to the song/poem:
> In article
> Will Dockery says...
>>Red Lipped Stranger
>>Her creep crawls
>>the narrow stairway
>>of the Candlelight Motel
>>to watch for her
>>from a window.
> The above doesn't make sense - there's missing information. The creep (a
> following "her") crawls on some stairs of a motel to watch her from a
> window? Is
> the window in the staircase? Is he crawling while he's looking, which the
> present tense "crawls" seems to indicate. I like the alliteration of
> crawls" and "Candlelight". Also, "her creep" works well to show state of
> the unhealthy mind at that, thinking there's a bond between himself and
> he's following.
>>to his vision of her
>>as the red lipped stranger.
> You do this a lot in your stuff - sentence fragments. In poetry, it rarely
> well, and so I'm commenting on that since you've labeled this effort a
> It's also a telling line, not a showing line. You're telling us that he's
> rethinking...clinging. Consider getting inside his head and having him
> spit out
> thoughts that show the same thing. The reader has a nice surprise with the
> line "as the red lipped stranger" realizing that the "creep" isn't the
> Also, wouldn't "red lipped" be hyphenated? Someone else weigh in on that.
>>the desk clerk's cat
>>the service entrance.
> This stanza, so far, seems superfluous.
>>on a motorbike
>>to the westbound bridge
>>werewolf on her back.
> Some people like that (paraphrasing prettystuzz), but I think you've
> dunked this
> verse too far under water by referring to the vampirate and werewolf in so
> of space. Your choice of course, but I'm thrown out of the weaving of the
> into a fabric by the (pop) naming. Consider suggesting by description the
> vampirate and werewolf.
>>Ginger at riverbend
>>smacks her foot
>>on the bright red clay.
> This stanza feels pasted into the poem. If Ginger is the red lipped
> make it clear, otherwise you've introduced a new person, and seemingly
> started a
> new poem. Both her watching gunboats and smacking her foot on the bright
> clay are good details, but I'm worried that I won't find out why we need
> to know
> that she smacked her foot on the clay. It's stuff like that the pops
> readers out
> of a piece. They'll maybe hold on for a bit, but they'll not trust you
> you fulfill it, answer the question. I admit to a suspicion that you
> meant another word besides "smacks", maybe a word suggesting that she's
> her foot? It's perplexing.
>>Ginger gives good lyric
>>she wrote this poem
>>she's no bum.
> I feel like we're still in a new poem here. What happened to the creep
> the stranger? With respect to craft, I have no comments.
>>But she's not there
>>on the other side
>>of the greenish wall.
> Are we back in the creep's head? Ginger's not on the other side of a wall?
> did we take the diversion about Ginger at all. You will lose your audience
> this point.
>>Through a three-inch-wall
>>rustle of dry-hump,
>>some guy's mumbles.
> Is this the creep listening?
>>Hears the fat blonde waitress
>>whip it in bondage
>>lull him to sleep.
> Is the fat blonde waitress the red lipped stranger? What is she whipping?
> is "it"?
>>The hand of Uncle Sugar
>>still taking notes
>>as a new standard bearer
>>hands out trophies
>>to the winners.
> If the creep is asleep, is the above stanza a dream? Uncle Sugar appears
> to be
> doing some automatic writing. "a new standard bearer" is boring, invokes
> nothing. In fact, that audience that just left is lucky. Where once we had
> mystery, there is meaningless detail. Why did we hear about the cat? the
> on the motorcycle? Ginger? Not much ties any of them together.
>>His trillion dollar gash
>>flakes from the bone
>>as gravity tears
>>a pound of dust.
> Well, the creep is asleep, right? so we're talking about Uncle Sugar? Why
> is it
> important for us to know he has an expensive gash? the science of "gravity
> / a pound of dust" isn't working as you've left it. Perhaps if you have
> his bum
> cheek brushing on a scythe in its downward descent.
>>Clings to a picture book
>>the missing part of himself
>>as if perpetually
>>to his invisible erection.
> Here's a sentence fragment again. Are we back with the creep? It sounded
> Uncle Sugar is done for in the stanza preceding this one, so who is
> clinging to
> a picture book? The lines are telling, not showing. The revelation should
> riveting but its a dull thud.
>>At Lucky Seven Lounge
>>not to reveal herself
>>but she stubbornly clutches
>>her empty shoes.
> Ginger or the red lipped stranger? The way you've written the sentence, it
> sounds like "she" doesn't want to reveal herself but does so by clutching
> empty shoes. The "but" is what does it. Is she revealed because they see
> stubborness? her clutching shoes? both?
>>in the broad daylight
> I have to mention that "in the broad daylight" made me think of Emmy Lou's
> "Leavin' Louisiana in the Broad Daylight."
>>when the details
> Is there a murder? Is the creep a serial killer who displays his victim?
>>All that remains are
>>her flat black hat
>>her oversized lantern
>>her broken laptop.
> Had we seen these items earlier, they might mean more now that she's not
> in the
> scene (she is Ginger? the red lipped stranger?)
>>No poor boy on the street
>>can speak of her
>>or the island on the river.
>>Or about her return...
> I'm at the end and unsatisfied. You write it like a story but leave the
> shaking in the breeze. The focus moves from a stranger, we are with him
> and then
> suddenly we're with Ginger, and then Uncle Sugar, and then someone losing
> and geez, I can't remember. Can you see why this isn't working as a poem?
> at the end, I'm perplexed about why no one could speak of her. Nothing
> me of that in any of the preceding lines. The best that can be said about
> last lines are the alliteration: river, return, resurrection..."
Thanks to Karla Rogers for her very helpful critique of my "Red Lipped