Gangrenous Snow

 

Here is an evolving poem: Drafts 1, 2, 3 and 4

 

 Draft 4

Walking long shadows on a late winter day
Pale yellow sun gasps above the southern stack
Blocks, our hives, self-sabotage: defend the scum
Protecting the cold, wind swept filth from the sun

Warmth breaches higher and longer each day
Annual battle, the tedious old phase
The dying scourge of winter, winterfied white
Bleach’d first impressions: deceptive, ugly, lies

Gangrenous snow embalmed by cruddy filth
Hiding from ‘roidal spring in shit, scum and piss
Its icy heart, sav’d by litter, fumes and slime
Slimy granular organ that doesn’t want to die

Wrapp’d in soot and trash of this modern life
Foul-crust slush-flesh fights for its cool-cold rite

Draft 3

Walking long shadows on a late winter day
Pale yellow sun gasps above the southern stack
Blocks, our hives, self-defeat and defend the scum
Protecting the cold and wind swept filth from the sun

Warmth breaches higher and longer each day
Annual battle, the tedious old phase
The dying scourge of winter, annual white
Bleach first impressions are deceptive, ugly, lies

Gangrenous snow embalmed by cruddy filth
Hiding from spring under shit and piss
Its icy heart, insulated by litter and fumes
Slimy granular organ that doesn’t want to die

Wrapped in the soot and trash of Gobal Warming
Helps littery foul flesh fight for cooling

 

 

 

 

Draft 2

Walking down the sidewalk on a late winter day
The pale yellow sun will soon rise up above the way
South side blocks on every street and defend the scum
Protecting the cold and wind swept filth from the sun

Warmth holds the street longer and longer each day
Fighting an annual battle, as long old as grace
Against the annual white scourge of winter
First impressions are deceptive, ugly lies

Gangrenous snow embalmed by cruddy filth
Hiding from spring under shit and piss
Its icy heart, insulated by litter and fumes
Slimy granular organ that doesn’t want to die

City snow’s protective crud is global warming
Made littery black flesh like gods Word became

Draft 1

Walking down the sidewalk on a late winter day
The sun will soon rise up above the apartments
On the south side of every street and invade the blocks
sweeping in like the Eighty-Second Airborne
Holding the street longer and longer each day
fighting an inevitable battle, as old as humanity
Against the annual white scourge of winter
First impressions are deceptive, ugly lies
gangrenous snow embalmed in cruddy filth
reaching along the gutter out towards spring
The spring that will kill it with a wooden steak
Of sunlight through its filthy black heart
Its a heart, tubular and replaceable
A slimy granular heart that doesn’t want to die

 

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11 responses to “Gangrenous Snow

  1. Pingback: What is poetry today? « Wildlings

  2. I started with that line and the couplet

    gangrenous snow embalmed in cruddy filth
    reaching along the gutter out towards spring

    I wish I had the time to dedicate to writing, sigh

  3. cameronwilding

    Interesting how it came through as one of the strongest lines, since you came up with it first. I have trained myself to go with the first instinct with the first draft. I had been starting to doubt myself too much. I’m not sure if it works very well (I’m very rarely happy with anything I write), but it makes it easier 🙂

  4. I’m obviously not accepting the first impulse, this is getting to be worn thin with polishing.

  5. I really disagree with you there, Stafford. The first impulse remains strong — you’re fine-tuning it without losing anything.

    Like the scupltor who was asked how he created such a beautiful elephant: he replied “I just took away everything that didn’t look like an elephant.”

    Also, glad you took my advise. It works.

  6. Jo,
    Your kindness is appreciated. I want to be able to work on this, or another poem, some more and soon. I think I’ll be over thinking it soon. The problem with this (public revision) is that it makes me want to endlessly revise it.

  7. Hi Stafford,

    The changes between Draft 1 and 4, in my opinion, do not compromise the integrity of the work. The changes in meter were neccesary, Gangrenous Snow#4 reads excellent . I stumbled a bit over one and two– both were stillexcellent. Put your pen down sir….although I would be curious to see a draft 5

  8. Yeah,

    I think I’ve sort of run into the end of my energy on this one for now. In think the next one will be a parody” What becomes of a muse deferred.”

  9. Pingback: “Queens Boulevard Driftwood” « WQueens7

  10. Pingback: What is poetry today? « Parallel Consciousness

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