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December 20, 2004
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Born of a bitch made of bolts,
And a dad who sold microscopes,
He slid out one Friday night.

His heart jump-started by electrical shock,
Thrown into incubation and kept under lock,
He spent three months in that cold tank.

Suddenly, ethereal hands grasped his tender thighs,
Dragging him out from mechanical skies,
Lucy took him home and tossed him into bed.

As he lay there, with eyes fluorescent blue,
He found the environment strikingly new;

But did it even matter where he was?

When he awoke the next morning,
He let out a guttural cry for some milk;
A maid gritted her teeth and mixed the formula.

Manufactured milk doesnít taste as sweet,
As that processed from a motherís teat;
But when itís all you have, itís good enough.

And when he needed an urgent change of clothes,
It was done because of the olfactory, not the nose;
He was made to be clean on Inspection Day.

Oftentimes at night he would attempt to dream,
Wishful thoughts puffing away like steam,

Itís hard to imagine being a machine.

Although his physicality upgraded over time,
His emotions were primitive, fallow, and barren;
He didnít understand why he didnít understand.

As seconds turned to restless days and somber years,
He gazed with disgust at the children whose tears
Splattered the carpet of the kindergarten floor.

And while at school, he sat by the swings,
His mind being rotated and pulled by springs;
His head churned while the other kids played.

Insipidness plagued him like a dreadful ghost,
Torpor was the parasite, and he was the host;

He lived in a permanent frost.

And the snow could have frozen or perhaps even burned,
If pain receptors existed within his bones;
Some people considered him lonely.

But whatís lonely when you canít feel?
And whatís skin when youíre dressed in steel?
Where would such a child belong?

So his school years chugged along like a factory line,
People failed to see his stare of screws as a sign;
He drifted between conversations like city smog.

Blue eyes glinting with metallic glare,
He grew to hate those who could care,

Sprockets popped and a malfunction occurred.

Starting with one or two cigarettes a day,
He soon progressed to several packs;
The chemicals gave him a tiny buzz.

But why have tiny when you can have large?
He would use his stolen credit card to charge
Dose after dose of DXM.

But the drugs stopped working after a year,
And because rotary functions know no fear,
He went out to the train tracks one Friday night.

The yellow lights blinded him in their approach
Like an exterminator picking off a roach,

He knew he could not wait any longer.

He took a deep breath and counted to six,
Sticking his fingers out, and then his wrist,
He hoisted himself onto the tracks.

As he dove into the train head-first,
He felt his trepidation suddenly burst
Into striking, utter horror.

Thriving on the sick and twisted emotion,
With glee he examined the motion
Of the object of his collision.

Wanting something, anything, everything,
He hoped the terrible vehicle would bring

Ecstasy, relief, terror, respite, solitude.

And, once, he felt his heart leap like a tired frog,
But it banged its head on a metal wall;
Its clearance did not have high priority.

He felt the cranks rotating far too quickly,
And they snapped and they broke and they tore.
The gears were suddenly ripped out of place,
He was scrap iron, and nothing more.

And so, his life ended as soon as it began,
He crumpled down into a pile of tin.
And liters of oil slathered the tracks,
With birds, buzzards, circling for snacks.

When they found his body the following day,

The train never stopped.
He was in its way.
This is one I wrote over the past 3 days or so. I really feel it's my best work yet.
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:iconjazblack009:
jazblack009 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2005   Writer
three line stanzas, thats an interesting concept
my favorite bit must be then ending, but a good ending can only be achieved by a leading up to it from something that should be considered good to begin with.
i'm a fan of rhyme and i believe you used it well, it doesn't matter what words you rhyme with, its the message the whole stanza gets across
and variation of non rhyme aswell, poetry with the lot
it is a conceptually dazzling poem because of the storylines originality and the way you chose to express it

bravo
Reply
:icongazzy-h:
gazzy-h Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2005
I have to admit that giving critique to poetry is not a strong point of mine. I've never really been a great fan of poetry. But even I can see that this is an amazing piece that clearly took great care and consideration and for that you should be congratulated :) This is a piece that I will keep coming back to.

Well I can at least try to analyse this in depth.

When he awoke the next morning,
He let out a guttural cry for some milk;
A maid gritted her teeth and mixed the formula.

Manufactured milk doesnít taste as sweet,
As that manufactured from a motherís teat;
But when itís all you have, itís good enough.

And when he needed an urgent change of clothes,
It was done because of the olfactory, not the nose;
He was made to be clean on Inspection Day.


This strikes me as describing a child in an orphanage or Victorian workhouse, in many the children were all made presentable for 'Inspection Days' when rich families would go around trying to find children to become servants, or in rare instances, be adopted.

Unfortunately I have to go now, but I will come back later with some other thoughts. Once again, well done on a fantastic piece.
Reply
:iconcelia69:
celia69 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2005
What I gathered from this, and I have a feeling i'm completely off because i've only read this once:
Person goes out, has LSD, ends up in hospital.
Gives birth to child who is possibly retarded cause of parent's drug use?
Gets depressed and addicted to drugs and kills himself on a train track.

I think I might be pretty off! Whatever this poem is about, it doesn't matter. You've used some excellent metaphors which contribute most of what makes this poem so good. The rhyming scheme is in a free style and could probably be more fluent but is well done anyway. The storyline has a bittersweet feel to it, and some little bits of your piece are just gripping.

Some of my favourites were,

"Oftentimes at night he would attempt to dream,
Wishful thoughts puffing away like steam,
Itís hard to imagine being a machine."

And the last few lines,

"When they found his body the following day,
The train never stopped.
He was in its way."

It seems like you started this piece a bit bumpy but as you went through you got better and better.
Fantastic job, thumbs up from me. :thumbsup:
Reply
:iconedoc:
Edoc Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2005   Traditional Artist
One of the best poems I've read on DA, ever. I simply LOVE it when it's obvious how much care has been taken in the writing of it. I really dislike the label of 'free verse' used to describe a poem that can't be bothered to have a structure. Your poem has a structure, and this structure allows it to be magnificent, polished, and a joy to read.

There are so many great touches - I could analyse this for a long time. You have alliteration, puns, a generally excellent choice of words. My favourite bits:
Born of a bitch made of bolts
The idea of Mechanical skies
He gazed with disgust at the children whose tears...
And, once, he felt his heart leap like a tired frog, But it banged its head on a metal wall;

Some criticisms:
- It's a bit of a clichť to have him hooked on cigarettes and drugs. He's a machine... could you not find some sort of clever mechanical alternative? It could be humorous, e.g. greasing oil, because it makes his "muscles" go loose. I quite like the idea of a robot being addicted to oiling himself.
- I'm not altogether sure that I like your deviations from the rhyming scheme. But then I'm extremely partial to a good rhyming scheme - I believe that if you think hard enough you can always come up with something good that fits. But in this poem I guess I could overlook it; it's such a good poem otherwise.

As a story overall, it's a nice original idea. I like the clinical, detached way in which you tell it - but at the same time creating a considerable feeling of sympathy within the reader. The irony at the end is lovely and poignant :)
Reply
:iconthistlemachine:
thistlemachine Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2005
Thanks for the kind words and obvious time you took looking over my poem. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much!

To your critiques:

About the rhyme scheme critique: Yeah, I figure people either dislike it or like it. If I did let go of it, I would have to let go of the first two lines, since bolts and scopes don't rhyme. And I don't know if I can do that, 'cause those are two of my favs! :P Plus, I kind of like having a bit of complexity in the rhyme scheme as opposed to keeping the same old boring pattern throughout the poem.

About the cliche critique: That's a very interesting idea! However, if this makes any sense (and it probably doesn't, I might have to clarify :) ), I feel that the example you gave is too directly robotic. What I tried to do in this poem is refer to human things in a mechanical way; greasing oil seems too directly mechanical to me. But, I do enjoy the concept of changing those stanzas into something indirectly mechanical; I didn't even think of that! Thanks for the suggestion, perhaps I'll work up a few alternate stanzas and see what comes of it. Would you mind looking at them if I do, and telling me what you think? As soon as I can think clearly again (New Years and all last night), I'll begin work on that.

Extra tidbits:

He is born on a Friday night and dies on a Friday night. A robot's gotta have consistency, right?
The person who takes him home (Lucy, it's supposed to be his mother but it works on several levels such as the maid etc.) is named, but the main character isn't. This is yet working again on the idea that he's robot like; he doesn't have a name because he's mostly a machine and not human at all, and we all know machines don't have names! Except maybe in Star Wars. :D

Anyway, thanks again! Respond back if you have any questions!
Reply
:iconedoc:
Edoc Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2005   Traditional Artist
Of course I'll have a look at your extra stanzas. Just drop me a note on my page when you have them done :)

Your extra tidbits are fascinating. I like your choice of leaving him unnamed, but I didn't pick up on the two Fridays :) Once again, fantastic thinking behind the poem!
Reply
:iconmangohooka:
mangohooka Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2004
Suddenly, ethereal hands grasped his tender thighs,
Dragging him out from mechanical skies,
Lucy took him home and tossed him into bed.

I really love the allusion and this piece is definitely great. It shows that you put a lot of time in and I always say that hard work is more important than talent. In this case, I think that you might benefit from using a structure like slam poetry or spoken word instead of the very confining dynamic you have now. The content is really great but the structure of the rhyming in couplets seems very forced. A lot of the time, rhythm defines poetry more than anything else, and I think that that is what you really need to find for this piece.

Thanks for letting me have a read and I will definitely be back to look at some work later when I have the time.. if you get the chance, let me know what you think of the last piece I put up.. I really am anxious about hearing what someone has to say.
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:iconthistlemachine:
thistlemachine Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2004
Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I am generally a free-verse man, so I know what you're saying about confinement. :]

It is kind of difficult for me to completely alter the structure now, though. I can see several of my rhymes seem slightly forced, but I think quite a few of them are not. Of course, that is coming from the writer, so there are probably more than I actually see. :D I'll perhaps edit it a bit and see if I can make it more free-versey, since that is my preferred style.

P.S. I think you will probably like my other work as well, considering it is all free-verse and probably more your style. :]
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:iconmangohooka:
mangohooka Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2004
I enjoy structured work just as much as free verse... though I tend to ride the free verse train.. but definitely wanted to articulate that when you use a rhyme structure you have to make sure you are listening the syllables more than anything else. It is definitely difficult to have the content be completely impactful and, at the same time, play by the rules of the structure.
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:iconthistlemachine:
thistlemachine Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2004
Oh yeah, I totally agree. I'm gonna look back over it and see whether I can work on that. Thank you.
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