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November 15, 2013
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            The strokes are dreamt permanent,
the only lasting demarcations of claiming existence,
and the collective artists who painted them majored in Biology,
or Accounting, or English and Professional Writing, or dropped out
            as so many do when they wake up.

The poet paints them into existence with his words:
                        “ideas are illusions, and all words are untrue.
            And we nod our heads and sip our coffees, indeed,
put a price to labors and words and even to thoughts
because we no longer want freedom if it costs us the freedom
of saving face and keeping pace with the ebb and flow
            of market equilibriums and unemployment tides.

                        We are a limited people,
staring at barren white walls white walls white walls;
            Feeling nothing but existence, and remember nothing
except that I once considered my heart whole and unfettered,
            that even these austere facades will recede into anonymity.

                        I never once claimed to exist.
To use language is to limit one’s self to modes of perception
                        already inherent to that language.
            So I never speak unless spoken to, and then
                                    only to agree.


                        The Voice of a City

            The lights, they trip and fall around me
with all the grace and majesty of heart flutters, polyrhythmic
strokes outlining skyscrapers and the common man
                        even as I walk.

            And all I can do is stare as we
picnic in the streets and rest our heads in ‘fragile’ homes
                                    -this side up-

                        It’s cold outside.
            Seven people huddling together for rent,
            imagining we are seeing something beautiful,
                        rather than breathtaking,
through these sterile, fingerprint littered glass lenses
            (fogging with every meticulously counted exhale).


            one.

                                    I stood alone.

Smothered in a crowded tunnel, I stood like a starved wolf
waiting on time as the afternoon awaits the guiding neon lights
that lead us to intoxicated runways we never take off from;


                        two.

            Finding beauty in the nuance of language
            and hearing ruin upon a graffitied tongue:
The smoky rasp of wrappers crinkling and bottles shattering
            upon blacktops and at bus stops, spilling out into the tracks,
            breaking needles just before the train pulls into the station
                        an emergency stop too late;


                                    three.

                        The voice of a city,
            defaced with disjointed identities and obscenities,
daydreaming of night, a moments respite from high-heeled conversation,
weight loss pill cleared throats before and after the clang of fork on glass,
shotgun subtlety trigger in hand, in mouth, card distribution: pre business
            casual suffocation – Windsor knot decorating a ceiling fan
            like a present on Christmas when you asked for coal.


                                                four.

                                    I can sell you lies
                        so good, you’ll sell yourself.


                                    breathe.


                        Yes, I am daydreaming of night.
When greens and yellows and reds glow with a life of their own upon glass
speckled in a clinging mist that leaves everything to the imagination;
            We populate foreboding alleyways with our minds
                                    - shadows and secrets and sex -
                        strip malls down with visibly shaking hands,
            bare their steel bones to an unhealthy relationship.

                        The voice of a city,
            identities and obscenities nightdreaming of bleach
                        in languages foreign only to each other.

            I stand surrounded, suffocated, exhausted,
kerchief to mouth resuscitation, legless and numb, knowing only
                        that I truly know nothing.

            It is in this moment I come to the realization
                        I’ve never felt more alone.

Activities to enjoy while waiting for the apocalypse.


            The Only Shrine - Sunbathers

            Standing in an abandoned parking lot -
sunbathers beneath lamp posts at midnight, cardboard towels
            and shopping cart designer handbags -

            heated arguments with car alarms,
doors always set to lock when slammed,
reach out to catch the fringes of my soul
            stuck between two pieces of cold steel.

You can only stitch something back on so many times
            before you start to lose feeling.


            No Glory On This Side of the Hole

So you drown, drown, drown under the sea of debts unpaid
            and wages lost in wardrobe wrecks and oral sex
            and bounced checks annexing the futures
of that delinquent lying face down at the bottom of a rust-stained pool.

            You do this and I’ll be lost, sometimes,
because if you don’t get lost every once in a while
you’ll never give yourself the opportunity to be found;
you’ll miss your chance to be inspiration for a dying art.
                        I am dying art.

I lay on a drying rack, my arms hanging off the sides,
blinking away that damned sun that always rises before me
exclaiming from the pulpits and the newspaper crier's throat
                        that another day is coming,
            but never that another day is forever gone.
Days pass but nothing lasts.


I was tempted to put this in the concrete poetry section.


For LiliWrites's Great Lit Crit Event! & theWrittenRevolution (critique):

I) The numbering in the second section, 'The Voice of a City', would you mind giving me insight into what you take it to be? Does it seem out of place? Is their use as points of transition distracting or detracting?
II) The third section, 'The Only Shrine: Sunbathers', does it have its place in the piece, or does it come across as disconnected?
III) Does this piece come across more as a narrative, or as poetic licensing?
IV) Strengths? Weaknesses? Comments of decryment or jubilation?
Add a Comment:
 

Daily Deviation

Given 2014-07-16
Graffiti Dreams in Black and White by Carmalain7 shows (as the suggester puts it) a "mastery of language", inviting you to a noir city center's inner monologue. ( Suggested by saevuswinds and Featured by ShadowedAcolyte )
:iconstringsofsanity:
Critique by stringsofsanity Nov 16, 2013, 12:44:35 AM
This was absolutely beautiful. The Voice of a City really, really showed an immense level of imaging, and the way you wrote it out made the story sound just that much more perfect. The imagery, scenery and vision this created is fantastic. The Only Shrine, not much of a story but that is what makes it beautiful, is that last line, that mends together perfectly the 7 lines before it. No Glory On This Side of the Hole, humourous title it may be, it conveyed a whole different topic than I was expecting. I was not expecting it to be that political, and in depth. All of these, are raw in their own special ways, but still amazing in overall terms. Bravo.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
5 out of 5 deviants thought this was fair.

:iconmysticdeviant:
This was breathlessly beautiful! The way you made the words flow was miraculous. The detail in the story made visioning it most easy. Then the stanza when you wrote, "The lights, they trip and fall around me
with all the grace and majesty of heart flutters, polyrhythmic
strokes outlining skyscrapers and the common man
even as I walk."
was I think my favorite because I can relate almost and I could picture it very clearly. Job Very Well Done :) I can honestly say being on DeviantArt for this time, I can say that your work was the most amazing in detail and vision.
The title of this was quite humorous and made me wonder what the poems was about but reading it took my breath away. Very Very Good Job.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
5 out of 5 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

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:iconhopeburnsblue:
hopeburnsblue Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is eerie! I like it!
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014
Much of this is actually a narrative, so it's funny to hear that my life comes across as eerie, haha. =D

Thank you, good miss. :thanks:
Reply
:iconhopeburnsblue:
hopeburnsblue Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I guess I mean the way you captured it.
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014
I love it. =D
Reply
:iconazurenebulae:
AzureNebulae Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is beautiful. The words you have used fit together so well, and it flows. Your words have the ability to move the readers :iconsweethugplz: <3
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014
Thank you kind miss, I know this isn't an easy read, so your words really do mean a lot.
:tighthug:
Reply
:iconazurenebulae:
AzureNebulae Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome :iconsweethugplz: <3
Reply
:iconliliwrites:
LiliWrites Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:squee: Sorry I'm late, but congratulations on the DD! :D:D:D Very happy to see this piece featured in particular.
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014
I didn't know I set a time for the event, there is no late, in fact, you're right on time. Just the fact that you'd find it and send your congrats when you were away for it speaks volumes, Lili.

It means a lot. Missed you, Lil, good to have you back.
:tighthug:
Reply
:iconliliwrites:
LiliWrites Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Good to be back. :hug: I can never stay away from ya'll for long.
Reply
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