Walking on Water

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Joined: September 29th, 2004, 8:40 am
Location: Tennessee

Walking on Water

Post by jbrianlong » September 29th, 2004, 1:27 pm

I spend the change of my days
in the slick car bays, down hard
in the rust of the seeps.

But the gaskets I slap
neath the hood of the Dodge
drip drips to the lip of the pan,

and the pipe-sleeves I pin
to the cracks in the chassis
slip slack against the rack
where it’s split.

Nothing holds. All I touch

either weeps or it bleeds;

stops pop, gush sludge

at the brush of a wrist.

But then she plops in my lap,
damps a kiss at my neck, leaks
all this work with my hands
makes her wet; O,

she is sail, she is lee,
she is naiad and anemone;
in the cup of her hand
and the cleft of her breath

drift the low dream-sounds
of the sea. Let the o-rings
plip, let the petcocks spit,
let the pipes hiss grey
water snakes down the drain;

she treads the troughs and the scends,
waves a lull over the main;
she is Christ to my faith in me.

Posts: 43
Joined: September 10th, 2004, 12:16 pm
Location: South Africa (American)

Post by Sierra » September 29th, 2004, 3:19 pm

This is beautiful.



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Posts: 8
Joined: September 29th, 2004, 8:40 am
Location: Tennessee

Thank You, Sierra

Post by jbrianlong » October 4th, 2004, 5:58 am

Thank you for your kind words.

--J Brian Long

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Zlatko Waterman
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Joined: August 19th, 2004, 8:30 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA USA

Post by Zlatko Waterman » October 4th, 2004, 9:56 am

Dear jbrian:

There's a first-rate sense of invention and improvisation here, with words like "plip" slipping in just where they belong.

Gorgeous, euphonious words like "anemone" orchestrated into the group of other lexical voices chorusing together.

And all held gently in a matrix of rhyme and careful attention to rhythm.

Thus, a form which Vachel Lindsay might have used is wryly in the service of a mocking, but somehow sweetly lyrical aubade, at least in terms of intent, if not clock time.

A fine piece of work.


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Doreen Peri
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Posts: 14293
Joined: July 10th, 2004, 3:30 pm
Location: Virginia

Post by Doreen Peri » October 4th, 2004, 12:48 pm

zlatko- may i suggest that you spring for the $11 for brian's book, "the singing of the wheels"? I did. And I'm absolutely delighted! many more wordsmith joys are found between the covers. Link and info in Gen Discussion forum if you're interested

and Brian - i totally agree with all the comments here. Zlatko said it much better than I could, though ;) .... what you do with assonance and consonance is wonderful and your brevity awes me... also, check out wylde's work on these pages... he hears the music in the words, too... i always have enjoyed your writing and admire you for how you have developed your craft through the years. I'll be honored to publish your work on the Studio Eight writers pages. Thank you for being here.

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Posts: 8
Joined: September 29th, 2004, 8:40 am
Location: Tennessee

Thank You

Post by jbrianlong » October 8th, 2004, 10:23 am


Thank you for the very eloquent response to my poem. Your
words are deeply appreciated.


At this point thanking you is becoming redundant; you have
done so much...

Thank you, though, truly.

--J Brian Long

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