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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.
Reply
: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. :]
Reply
: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.
Reply
:iconmangohooka:
mangohooka Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2004
oops.. haha.. computer illiterate
Reply
:iconmangohooka:
mangohooka Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2004
anytime! ;)
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:iconmangohooka:
mangohooka Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2004
anytime! ;)
Reply
:iconuncertain-mass:
uncertain-mass Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2004
i think that many of the rhymes are too cliche and overused. you might do better to write something without trying to rhyme at all an instead concentrate on vivid imagery. it sounded a bit too "humpty dumpty sat on a wall..." to me. (yes i know, highly advanced literary terms i am using to critique...) :p
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:iconthistlemachine:
thistlemachine Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2004
:P Humpty-dumpty, eh? Could you give me some examples of what you mean?
Reply
:iconuncertain-mass:
uncertain-mass Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2004
blue, new ... years, tears .... i could go on. i just think that the rhymes get a bit grating after a while... and they are short simple words, like a nursery rhyme.

but you said you wanted scathing, so there! :p
Reply
:iconthistlemachine:
thistlemachine Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2004
Oh, I am not offended if I appear to be. I was just wondering what rhymes you were referring to. :D

Hm, well you seem to have been the only person bothered by that... I think that although the words are partially cliche, the way in which they are presented is interesting and adds to the overall effect of my piece. Still, thanks for the input! :]
Reply
:icontrutholder:
trutholder Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2004
Oh my f***ing god!! This is BRILLIANT!!

Such strong, poignant words.. such an emotional outpour!!!!

Very, very good... a gusty preview will make this piece perfect, however. Just a thought ;)
Reply
:iconm32:
m32 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2004
I hope this is the worst comment you ever recieve, but it's the best I can do when faced with a poem like this:

THAT WAS FREAKIN' AWESOME!

<thumbsup>
Reply
:iconclawprints:
clawprints Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2004   Photographer
Wow. I liked this poem. It was very well written ;)
Reply
:iconprimesuspect:
primesuspect Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2004
i really like it,length is good and the bold parts are cool
Reply
:iconlornox5:
lornox5 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2004   Photographer
Gdamn kid. Ridiculous.
I didn't think there were that many mechanically connotated words in the language.
The length was awesome.
The only thing I'd say is that when the rhyme scheme broke in the two lines following every bold (except the 5th) it was kinda jarring, and I don't really see a reason to do it. If there is, then I am trounced.
Reply
:iconlornox5:
lornox5 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2004   Photographer
Word. I get you.

Oh and I was just thinking about it, your meter change at the end is freakin awesome. So you know.
Reply
:iconthistlemachine:
thistlemachine Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2004
It's there for a couple reasons.

1. It gives me a little bit more flexibility in starting the next stanza and gets rid of the need to awkwardly rhyme with certain words. (Selfish, I know)

2. It gives the poem a little "jarring" effect, like you said. I usually don't rhyme at all, and when I do, I certainly don't want it to be monotonous. So I just thought that made the rhyme structure a little bit more interesting. Some people like it, some people dislike it. :]

I'll check out your poem in a sec.
Reply
:iconeustressor:
eustressor Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2004
This is a very good poem. I like the fact that you're telling a story, as opposed to lobbing cute turns of phrase at the digital page until you've circumnavigated your point. The linear progression is refreshing. I find this to be very ambitious; direct, but not preachy. Nice rhythm, good pacing... except...

I was directed here with a request to scathe... hm... I will say that the bold lines do two things. They stop the flow at regular intervals. Whether or not this is a good thing is, I think subjective, but the other thing they do is bring to mind that these weighted points are really what you want to say most. Envision then an eight line poem comprised of nothing but your bold lines (not bold, of course). Certainly more abstract, but possibly saying everything you want to say with a minimum of author's direction. Let the reader tell themselves the story and fill in the blanks...

Would such a poem be better? Don't know. You do have a number of memorable lines which would be lost. That's as close to a critical review as I can get, because by and large, this is excellent poetry :thumbsup:
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:iconthistlemachine:
thistlemachine Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2004
You got the bold lines down pretty nicely! That's exactly what they're meant to do; say what I want to say most. I think a lot of people miss that. A lot of my other poetry is more abstract, and follows the "fill in the blanks" a lot more closely. So, I know exactly what style you're talkin' about. :] However, I think I'm gonna keep the length the way it is, as I feel that people tend to like that I actually explain myself for a change. However, I do know what you're sayin'. Thank you for the obvious time you took critiquing! :]
I'll go look at yours now.
Reply
:iconeustressor:
eustressor Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2004
:) I wasn't meaning to seriously suggest you change this piece, but you asked for a "scathing" critique, so I thought I'd grab at that for a few sentences. No, this is good stuff, right and proper as it currently sits on the page 8-)
Reply
:iconhayley-the-band-geek:
Some of the verses rhyme, yet others don't..... that bugs me a little, but otherwise this is drop-dead WONDERFUL!!!!
Reply
:iconthistlemachine:
thistlemachine Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2004
All of the first verses after the bold don't rhyme.

Thank you.
Reply
:iconlandry38:
landry38 Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2004
Awesome job using the length! I thought it was a bit daunting at first when I saw that it was that long, but it kept me riveted! Very good!
Reply
:iconrancidfan:
rancidfan Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2004  Hobbyist Writer
It is really well done. Good choice of wording. Good job.
Reply
:iconangel-soul:
Angel-Soul Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2004  Professional Photographer
wow it reminds me of Edward Scissor hands lol, I particularly liked the end few lines

"When they found his body the following day,

The train never stopped.
He was in its way."
:clap:
Reply
:iconcaduca:
Caduca Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2004
Kind of...disturbing. Very good use of vocabulary to create a stunning effect, great imagery.
Reply
:iconparadiserain:
paradiserain Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2004
Wow.. that's sorta like... a deep poem... o.o good though! :D
Reply
:iconmatsaada:
matsaada Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2004
great poem even though like others said a bit to long but very well written.
Reply
:iconsolaceparoxysm:
SoLaCePaRoXySM Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2004  Hobbyist Writer
I liked this piece a lot, though I felt the lines "And when he needed a change of clothes,
It was done because the olfactory said so, not the nose;" were too forced to rhyme. "And liters of oil slathered the tracks,
With birds, buzzards, circling for snacks." was a phenomenal line. Very nicely done.
Reply
:iconmirrorweiss:
MirrorWeiss Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2004
Rather nice piece, very visual I really liked it.
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:iconfiredaemon:
firedaemon Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2004  Professional Filmographer
Ooo purty, the 5th stanza seems awkward as it breaks the rhyming scheme

It works well. The structure is good with the longer stanzas at the ned to indicate the change. It generally flows well and you paint some nice images. Good portrayal of the story.
The first 2 stanzas are my favourite though ^_^
x x x
Reply
:iconnocturnal-creations:
nocturnal-creations Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2004
I like it! When I saw that it was long I though "oh damn, lots to read, probably boring" but I started reading and I really got into it! The bold really helps with the feeling, and the rhyming is wonderful, not cliched or false like most that I've seen! Very well done, I think I'll be fav-ing this one!! :P
Reply
:icondragon-bz:
Dragon-BZ Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2004
.....*Blinks* Woah. That is really, really wicked! I wish I could write like that. My writing tends to be flat, boring and hopeless. :P Lol, ah well. I really think it's great!!!
Reply
:iconnosugarjustanger:
nosugarjustanger Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2004
This is a good piece of work... I could never write something like that because it requires a much deeper understanding of machines and etc... good use of vocab, nice long length and the bolded text gave it more character, I think,

Nice job..keep it up.
Reply
:iconstefanhertrich:
StefanHertrich Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2004
wow, very nice
Reply
:iconsticks-n-stones:
Sticks-n-Stones Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2004   Writer
This is a fantastically visual piece. It provokes images of a lonely machine, on a tired journey. Well done, though very complicated/complex in its meaning. It sounds like a story you would hear a very deep voiced man reading in dimly lit surroundings.

:clap:
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:iconmartinguy:
MartinGuy Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2004
so whats self explanatory about it? please, do not cut yourself short. good meaning, a little longish, but still good.
Reply
:iconshortidiva19:
shortidiva19 Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2004   Filmographer
Wow....How do you express full thoughts like that and still manage to create perfect rhythm? Brilliant!!!!! :clap::rose:

:rose:
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:iconsamfox:
samfox Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2004
thats great, i like ur choice of words, looks like it took a while...well done!
Reply
:iconreap0r:
Reap0r Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2004   Digital Artist
wow, that must have taken you ages to think of all that. Looks like it took alot of thought, very nice work.
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:iconwinewriter:
WineWriter Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2004
This is a good poem because it is very interesting and well written. I'm luvin it.
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:iconzombiemetalfreak:
ZombieMetalFreak Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2004
Wow! I wish I could write like that! Very good.
Reply
:iconstar-be-born:
star-be-born Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2004   Writer
Ryhme is awesome, very nice. I like it a lot.
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