city nights

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Poetics Night at dVerse and our guest host is Oloriel

Greetings to one and all! Oloriel here, tending the poetics and the bar tonight.
One of the topics that marked my previous year, and melted into the current one, is definitely the topic of home. I was born, bred, raised and still live in the suburbs. There is things and emotions you notice, that differ, at least for me, when I travel from my place to another. Over the years there has been images that etched themselves in my head as “suburban things”. Recently, I have begun noticing and exploring how it is so very similar in poetry. I discovered poems characterized as Suburban poetry, and it is what I would like us to attempt tonight.
What makes a poem into a suburban poem? I would not want to go on a limb and define it myself, nor use some strict formula or definition. I would say it is the feel that the poem leaves, the difference in scenery, the constant physical and metaphysical presence of animals, wilderness, gardens, curtains. Combinations that seem esoteric, worded that way, whilst in a modern poem they would be a normal thing.

dull yellow lampost light falls softly

onto the glimmering rain sodden pavement

alcohol noise broods heavy as the pubs empty

hands thrust deep into pockets

fighting the biting cold

sirens wail and menace looms

you scrunch as a discomforting feeling

knifes you between the shoulder blades

glancing behind there are only ghosts

it’s not comfortable here tonight

even the cats are nervy

dreams of bed and hot tea

whisper you homeward

it used to be fun

a night out in the city

16 thoughts on “city nights

  1. Oloriel says:

    “it used to be fun” – such a powerful sentence. Your poem had a very fast pacing rhythm and dichotomy, almost felt sweaty and riddled with fear. I really love how you created that atmosphere, it also makes me think how nowadays we don’t really enjoy anything, we just try and rush through it, to be done.

  2. Bev says:

    Your urban thoughts, unfortunately, speak for the fact we are schooled in today’s world to be looking over our shoulder. Sad but true. I liked the phrase “even the cats are nervy”. Well, actually I liked it all!

  3. Grace says:

    The discomfort is very visible with the sirens and looming menace ~ I guess it depends on the company you keep Paul ~ But staying home warm and cosy is good for me too ~

  4. Waltermarks says:

    There’s no place like home. Wish i had ruby slippers. A night on the town for us ends at 6:30 or 7:00 latest, (unless somebody’s in the ER). To me that’s a great picture of life progressing into the burb years; when you want to get away from the racket and go home. Thanks

  5. kim881 says:

    You’ve captured it so well, Paul, in the ‘ dull yellow lampost light’ that ‘ falls softly
    onto the glimmering rain sodden pavement’ – only in the suburbs and the city – not where I live! No street lights and not a pavement to be seen – we walk the country lanes at our peril. But I remember the scene you have painted and it hasn’t changed much since I left.
    I love the lines:
    ‘you scrunch as a discomforting feeling
    knifes you between the shoulder blades’
    and
    ‘even the cats are nervy’!

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