Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I need your help (not spam)

Dearest friend, recently .... money... bank account. No but seriously, I need your help. Please comment on the poem below. I need it perfect for a contest involving poems about Queens -- as in NYC Queens.

Be harsh, I want to make it as good as possible.

The Beauticians of Queens

Jamaica Kew Gardens
Astoria and Forest Hills

they put down their curling irons
leave the blow-dryers on full

rise away from the toxic puddles
of nail polish remover,
the sad piles of tweezed eyebrow hair

the mounds
of fluffy bleached curls
strewn like rushes on the checked linoleum

they float up over the 99 cent stores
the dry cleaners the funeral parlors
basketball courts and bodegas

the bridges humming with cars like shining eggs

the subway lines singing their mechanical vibrato

their acrylic tips their aprons
the scissors in their pockets fall away

their lipstick peels away to nothing

and high, high above the borough
that is shaped like two clasped hands

they sprout wings


5 comments:

Sam of the ten thousand things said...

I like this poem. Good motion in the lines. Good ending. I like the imagery. One suggestion - a minor one - for this section:

they rise up over the 99 cent stores
the dry cleaners the funeral parlors
the basketball courts and the bodegas

the bridges humming with cars like shining eggs

the subway lines singing their mechanical vibrato

"The" appears 7 times. You could trim that to 4 or 3.

One suggestion that might not be so minor. I'm not sure about the form. I like the breaking of lines, for the most part, as they appear to the left of comment box - when I click to show the original post. The breakings there add a certain tension that's not in the form as it appears on the blog page. Something to think about.

Christine said...

Thank you Sam!! I actually have a rewrite of this already -- I'll post it soon. The lines break are as you suggested, they're just not showing up in the post on the blog for some reason. I killed some thes. ("the's"

Valerie Loveland said...

I like this a lot--great images in this one. I love the mounds of bleached curls, cars like shining eggs, sprouting wings, and especially the borough
that is shaped like two clasped hands.

There were 2 spots that didn't seem quite right to me. Puddles of nail polish remover is a little weird to me since it is either in a bottle or dabbed onto a cotton ball for use. I also thought that they would not have press on nails, since they work in the industry, I think they would have acryllics.

Rethabile said...

Send it in and win. It's a good poem. Coming into it, the first time I automatically read "left the blow-dryers on full" and had to go back and start the line. Don't know what that means, I suppose I mistook the "put" for a past tense. Good luck. Solid work.

Christine said...

Valerie -- yes, acrylic tips, that's much better -- you're right.

Rethabile -- thanks for commenting! Let's hope it works. It's a big contest. If I win I get to be queen -- sort of.