Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPoetry · 1 decade ago

I have no direction for this one, suggestions?

This is not yet a poem, but I don't want to just throw out the lines, the problem is, I don't actually have a vision in mind. I was hoping for suggestions, what do you see in these lines?

Hear her click

against the night.

piercing urgency.

heals on asphalt.


she knows the neon

halo of streetlights

and the secrets they

watch and assist.

She knows the

collective scream

of sirens and brakes.

and the lonely winds of

4 a.m. cars.

these are her streets

she is their walker.

She knows the whispered

story of old brick buildings

crumbling decay, Greek ruins.

culture of poetry

between lines of graffiti

ripped up isolation of souls

sewn together by proximity

this great fabric of society.

This is her world,

she records the history.

She is witness to

brilliant sidewalk


and the cracks

they fall through.


oops.... thanks Loose Change,

Everyone, her HEELS are clicking, not her heals...


Update 2:

Cosmo, dear, I appreciate your position, however, I refer you to some good friends of mine, Robert Hass, C.K. Williams, James Wright, there are countless others. Look them up. You'd be hard pressed to find a peom of their's that rhymes... and they are all well-respected in the domain of poetry, they are considered masters in fact. I think more a function of poetry that is more important than conveying emotion is conveying an idea that transcends the parameter of the poem. This is why this is not a poem yet, not because it does not rhyme or convey emotion.

Thanks for your thoughts, I encourage you to expand your knowledge/definition of poetry!

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    At the end hooker comes to mind. At first I was hoping for a nurse walking home, or a cop, but "these are her streets/she is their walker" eliminates those possibilities. Why? Because of overwhelming cultural assignations. It reminds me of Manhattan at 4 a.m. when nothing much is going on: some worlds are going to sleep, some are beginning, but you can take a moment to study the details of the sidewalk and buildings and the dreams of the city. Thanks for sharing this and GOOD LUCK!

    Edit: Willow, I've been thinking about this on and off since I read it yesterday. You start of using sound to create the imagery of the city and that is wonderful. What happens however, because of the undefined nature of the narrator, and some of the imagery, one spends a bit of time puzzling over who/what "she" is: given the "clues" of the poem ("click/against the night" "Heels on asphalt" "lonely winds of/ 4 a.m. cars" "these are her streets/she is their walker") one invariably winds up with a prostitute. A woman alone wearing heels out at 4 a.m. doesn't leave much room for anything else. Most of the women that I've ever known--even going to work/home from work, wouldn't wear heels for concern of being heard by unsavory persons as well as comfort. In fact, most would drive.

    Contrary to Dancing Bee's comment, it DOESN'T work if the gender's are reversed.

    I'm not sure if this is what or where you were going with this, but it would seem as if it begins in the first few lines with the sound effect of "heels." If this IS where you're going--the world's oldest profession living in cities as old as Athens--well, you're on the right path. If not, you might want to state her identity (poet, EMT tech, janitor, etc.) sooner so that you can get on the meat of the work and re-think the first verse.

    You have a great balance between the narrator and the city that she knows; you might want to take it in a direction of what the city KNOWS of her. She is a concious person in a populace that is perpetually half-asleep to the machinations executed by and on them.

    I think that the last stanza is fabulous and would work anywhere in this work.

    My apologies for running on.

  • Todd
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Hello Willow,

    I would have to go with prostitute too. To say that these are her streets and she is their walker is a clever way of saying street walker. The time, the heels, the streetlight line all seem to enforce the image (not to mention loads of other more subtle details). There are some really beautiful lines here if it isn't a poem yet for you--it's a near final draft. Wonderful ending. You set the scene so well here. I'd be happy to go into a line-by-line critique if you'd like, but dental surgery in the morning (oh yay) and I better get some sleep.

  • 1 decade ago

    Wow! It is poetry! The kind that i love very much: a multi-layer one. The imagery, mood, atmosphere, onomatopoeia , symbolism all go hand in hand in the direction of the theme.

    Yes it is talking about the poet, the artist, who is lonely but understands the language of all the people and the things. See how the sidewalks, buildings and everything seen in this city has something to say. and this is the sensitive poet who is so alert to get them and read between the lines.

    Beautiful and unique metaphors and symbols:

    -fabric of society, this one killed me; awesome

    -piercing urgency

    -secrets they watch and assist.

    -ripped up isolation of souls

    -the cracks they fall through

    Dear willow you made my day with your beautiful poem. That was an epiphany.

    Keep up the good job.

  • I have no suggestions for direction, but if I may comment, I'd say that there is a strong musical quality to this piece: heels on asphalt, sirens, I was going to say the winds of the cars passing by, (but I re read that they're lonely or maybe just few, as it is 4am). The heels on asphalt were echoing through the entire piece (click clack click clack). There is probably a reference to something I have'nt read in greek mythology in the fourth stanza, but I'm not sure. I really like:

    culture of poetry

    between lines of graffiti

    and I absolutely love the last stanza.

    This poem inspires me to write. Thank you.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Funny, after reading the posts here, I did a little experiment. I replaced the "she" with a "he" just see if prostitution comes out of it. No, it did not. I took the city to be a metaphor for the world and society. I took the person in it, to be a poet, someone who sees the crumbling of society and the stars beyond.

    Gender bias is a creepy imp that flies just behind our heads and whispers. Sadly, both the reader and the writer need to be vigilant for it.

    BTW, Willow, you are another of the writers who posts here that I think should be posting somewhere else, somewhere with more seasoned poets who will help you to move to the next level in your writing. I think you would find a good move to alsopreview or web del sol's writer's block. Something to consider.

    Do well.

  • 1 decade ago

    I see a young woman with an old soul who remembers the ancient past, is caught up in the present, but also sees what the future has in store for her and all those around her. She seems to take in the essence of everything around her, yet wants solitude and it escapes her no matter how much she yearns for it. People still want to be around her as they leave calling cards of where they once were.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    One of the earlier posters said something about a prostitute, and I actually agree. Especially when you mention things like her heels clicking on the streets at 4am or that "she is their walker". After all, who would know the night and the streets better than someone who lives on them. It could almost be like the "hooker with a heart of gold" who sees the desperation and grittiness of the streets. BTW, I love the poem as is. ;D

  • 1 decade ago

    I really like it. Finally a real poet in here. I am just glad to see a poem that doesn't rhyme, a poem that doesn't sound like it was written for a crappy Hallmark card. Excellent work.

  • Troasa
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Sounds like the introduction to a mystery or spy thriller but it has absolutely nothing to do with poetry. If your words are not going to rhyme then it is prose and the words need to convey emotion. This is just a description of a woman walking in the city early in the morning. My advice would be to move this one from your poetry folder and put it into your short story folder. Add some intrigue and romance and you're on your way to a nice interesting novel.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It seems to me as the beginning of a wonderful saga. I want to know who she is, but I don't know yet. Do you? I think you should keep exploring this. There is nothing I would change so far. Okay, one teensy thing. It's "heels" not "heals"

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