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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
:iconaprilwednesday:
aprilwednesday Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2014   Writer
the skill in this is just amazing. the rhythm is perfect - the poem seems to take on a life of its own as you read it, and i think in that way you've perfectly captured the life and movement of a city, while at the same time managing to convey a sense of stagnation and helplessness. the images are visceral and beautiful. and i love the internal rhymes :heart:
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2014
Coming from such an accomplished writer - especially one whose works (the featured pieces quite poignant and certainly contemporary and boundary testing, or, at least those I came across during DLD's time and the few DDs I remember) I have oft admired from afar - it means more than I (a self-acclaimed poet?) can put words to.

Thank you.
:iconbowplz:


Also, internal rhymes love you too, fair miss.
Reply
:iconaprilwednesday:
aprilwednesday Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2014   Writer
oh jeez, you're too kind :blush: i'm honestly so honored that you like my work! thank you so much for the watch - i'm a little surprised that i wasn't watching you already. fixing that now :D

and you're very very welcome. honestly, this piece was wonderful :love:
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2014
Than let's just say that those watches were a long time coming for the both of us. :nod:

and, honestly, you're beautiful; thank you!
Reply
:iconaprilwednesday:
aprilwednesday Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2014   Writer
:tighthug:
Reply
:iconlollirotcat:
lollirotcat Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014  Student Writer
I love this! it's amazing :heart:
Congrats on the DD! :D
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
It loves you too! :heart:
Thank you so much for saying so and for the favorite, good miss. :thanks:
Reply
:iconlollirotcat:
lollirotcat Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2014  Student Writer
lol you're welcome! :)
Reply
:iconlunarmoon99:
LunarMoon99 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This was amazing- overall  I just love your way with words, the style expressed through each section. 
Each section brought new light to the poem while flowing from one line to the next beautifully. (Personally, the first two 'sections' were my favorite, but each was well written and basically, beautiful. 
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
Thank you for saying so, it means a lot that you were able to get so much out of it and enjoy the way the words found themselves. I would say that 'new light' is one of the few things I don't find in the urban lifestyle, but to hear someone finding it in my observations is a elating testament.

All the best, good miss, thank you.
:iconbowplz:
Reply
:iconedges-to-everything:
Edges-to-Everything Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014
            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 will read this entire work once a day for a week, and I know that I will be drawn in by a different aspect of it on each of these days.

Regarding the third section - it has its place, in my humble opinion. Why not, because 'nothing lasts' anyway. 

Bravo! - Michael
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2014
I'm not sure higher praises exist, good sir, especially coming from someone I respect so much; what an honor.
Reply
:iconedges-to-everything:
Edges-to-Everything Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2014
:blushes:
Reply
Flagged as Spam
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
It loves you too. :heart:
Reply
Flagged as Spam
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
Thank you very much, mermaid maiden, to receive such compliments from one such as you without it being an effort to lure me to a water end, it is quite kind indeed. ;p
Reply
:iconslendycreeper:
slendycreeper Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautifully written!
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
Thank you so much, Miss Abby, I very much appreciate it. :thanks:
Reply
:iconslendycreeper:
slendycreeper Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It's a pleasure~
Reply
:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Congrats on the DD! :dalove:
Have a nice day! :love: by CookiemagiK
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
Thank you so much Miss Queen of Love & Cats & Love of Cats, it is an absolute honor to hear from someone of your distinction.
:iconbowplz:

Have an even nicer day, good miss.
Reply
:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I was away until now and i saved this comment for last; it was the nicest way to be welcomed back here. You are indeed a master of words :nod:
Reply
:iconsmith4891:
smith4891 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I still don't feel experienced enough to know how to give a proper critique, but I enjoyed this very much. I believe that I recently joined one of the groups that you are an admin (at least) of, and am grateful for that as well. Congratulations on your DD! :)
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
Good sir, just the knowledge that it struck a chord with you tells me more than I could ever ask for (and believe you me, that experience will come quite quickly with the rate that you are getting involved and reading piece here on dA).


But yes, I had the pleasure of welcoming you to theWrittenRevolution which I admin at, I hope it proves tro provide you a great forum for improving your writing, good sir.

All the best, and thank you again.
:iconbowplz:
Reply
:iconhiland-rose:
Hiland-Rose Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Emotive response: pity, revulsion and connection... I get it, and I have mirrored the same thoughts about city life and the futility of this modern progressivism that has been swallowed whole, people striving for dreams, conned into thinking survival is living... (shakes head and pulls back a bit....)

I The numbering changes up the rhythm but makes perfect sense in the context of the piece... a brilliant bit.
II Yes... it describes a reality that many try to simply walk over around or ignore.... it belongs here... as it is a part of the city scape.
III Poetic and this is good...
IV Technically, I am astonished and pleased.  There is so much metaphor and lyrical rolling to the way this is written... I started reading the thumbnail and got sucked in... I think the stutter feel is apropos and I like the way images flash and shimmer, like a dream scape moving and connected but each section feels unrelated at the same time... well done and aptly titled.   Your imagery is clear and you take the reader with a frankness into the reality behind the fantasy of city night life and the ideals of "success"  It's a good piece... You deserve the DD. 
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
The American Dream: it's funny how long history takes to realize when ideals and identities have moved on, isn't it? People are strange creatures in how much pride we place in days long past and that truly had nothing to do with us.

But yes, thank you very much.
:thanks:

I'm glad that my snapshots could captivate you so and that you found the meanings in the writing on the wall. Some people look at it as vandalism - writings on the wall, that is. Some, as art. But, since before there were 'walls' to write on, I think it is just identity - some semblance of permanence. A snapshot of existing beyond one's self, until the state, or time, or innovation washes the stain of people away.


It's an important cycle. Thank you for being a part of it.
:iconbowplz:
Reply
:iconhiland-rose:
Hiland-Rose Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
You sir are most welcome.
Reply
:iconayeaye12:
AyeAye12 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014  Student Writer
Hell yeah! Well done on the DD! :clap:
Reply
:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congratulations on your well-deserved DD!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconlainloveplz::iconflyingheartsplz: :clap::clap::clap:
I’m very happy for you!!! :iconloveloveplz: :tighthug:
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
It's always a pleasure to see a comment from you, Miss Eve, that newfangled badge next to your name just looks so much like it belongs there. Elated to see that the community decided to bestow it upon someone who so truly earned it.

Thank you and all the best.
Reply
:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ohhh my dear, how sweet!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconsweethugplz::iconflyingheartsplz: Thank you so much for your kind words!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconloveloveplz::iconflyingheartsplz: You touched my heart!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::happycry::iconflyingheartsplz:
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
Not nearly as much as you've touched the hearts of many, many others, good miss, but I'm glad I could convey at least a bit of what the community would be fast to tell you. =D
Reply
:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aaawww dear thank you for this, really!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconaawplz::iconflyingheartsplz:
Reply
:iconayeaye12:
AyeAye12 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014  Student Writer
A sociopolitical poem that doesn't go over the top with its critique. Brilliant stuff :applause:
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
It is always humbling to see a message from you on here, good sir, and for it to bestow such praise - the best.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that I don't feel very critical, just cognizant and observant. I'm still just a drop - but the oceans weren't built in rivers, no, they were built in drops. I enjoy being a drop. =D

Thank you again, fine sir, all the best.
:iconbowplz:
Reply
:iconayeaye12:
AyeAye12 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Student Writer
Silly old me?! :lol:
Wow, I'm honoured... thank you so much for saying such a thing. :blush:

"But what is an ocean but a multitude of drops?" 

You are most definitely welcome, haha :meow: 
The piece is well deserving of any praise, for sure.
Reply
:icondailylitrecognition:
DailyLitRecognition Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2014
Your wonderful literary work has been chosen to be featured by DLR (Daily Literature Recognition) in a news article that can be found here. Be sure to check out the other artists featured and show your support by :+fav:ing the News Article.

Keep writing and keep creating.
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
:iconbowplz: always the highest of honors
Reply
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