Monday, December 3, 2007

New poem

Here's one I've been tinkering with for a month or so. I guess it's ready for a dress rehearsal. [Note: several changes have been made from the original post, so some of the helpful comments may not make as much sense now as they did in response to the first version.]

Mandate

He finds little notes in the pockets of his suit
Citations are written on his bathroom mirror
The Lord speaks to him through his cat

He can decipher coded messages on billboards and cereal boxes
His radio turns itself on to deliver old revelations for a new world
God gives him assignments in his dreams

He preaches in a storefront on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings
And makes frightening predictions
Or reveals the deepest secrets of his congregants

He can feel the doubt
He can hear the discomfort in the scraping of feet and the coughing
But he goes on, because he must

The numbers dwindle
But the messages do not go away
And he will deliver them


5 comments:

Rob Hardy said...

For some reason, the word "congregants" sounds wrong to me. How about "congregation"? And the last line puzzles me, leaves me unsure of the syntax: "that source"? Do you mean "that the source is what he says"? And I suppose, overall, I was unsure of your tone throughout the poem. Satirical, approving, worried?

Bleeet said...

Please stop writing poems about me, Jim.

How did you know about the cereal boxes?

Also, mayonnaise jars... but only SOME mayonnaise jars.

Greg said...

This is quite good overall. I think I would drop the last stanza...seems to tie it too closely to current affairs and thus limits the universalness, so to speak, plus the language seems a bit flat there, unlike everywhere else in the poem. what would then be the ending would stand quite well and leave the poem open ended for the reader's imaginative participation.

Jim H. said...

I agree with Greg about the final stanza -- it is now gone, which also eliminates the mistake Rob spotted. I agree that the tone isn't quite right, but I haven't figured out how to fix it.

I still know what the original idea was with this poem, and I know that it doesn't fully express that idea yet, but it's better thanks to the comments.

Greg said...

A good attempt made very much better! I like this version a great deal.