Monday, October 23, 2006

One from the closet

Found it!

I'm posting two versions. The first version is the old, classic one that I read for the group many months ago. The second is a revised version that I wrote not long ago. No title for either.

The first one:

Why are there children in my quadrangle?
They should not be there.
This is a place for adults with complex relationships.
I am a fairly well-dressed individual
I do not have a minute to spare
For your scraped knees and simple quips.

Please get off my cigarette-tapered lawn
And take your recreational throwing-orb elsewhere
You are distracting me from my studies
I, a fairly well-dressed individual, yawns
For I am tired and you have dared
To keep me from the nap I need because all night I was distracted by my buddies

I cannot believe I just said"buddy."
That is a child word
And I am not a child
I am a fairly well-dressed individual
I eat sophisticated things like bean-curd
Why, world, why do you let you children run wild?
Please take these children from my quadrangle
They should not be here
It will soon be passed their bedtime.
I am more than a fairly well-dressed individual
I am groomed with the utmost care all the time
And, unlike those children, when I speak, I wouldn't dare rhyme.

And, the new one:

Why are there children in my quadrangle
They should not be here
This is a place for adults with complex relationships
They have no prescheduled business
They do not contribute, nor perform in a reliable manner
They do not understand; but me
I am a fairlywell dressed individual
A repsectable straight-edge-laced totheclock citizen
A pillarmoral figure of civic faithlaw
Precise, mochablended, and statuewary

Please get off my pinstripe lawn
And take your overly rotund recreational throwing-orb with you
I scoff at its obtuse form which lacks sharp edges of trust and responsibility
Have they not heard of wholesomewheat? But me
I am a fairlywell dressed individual
A man of the straightback
Eyebrow furrower of the wakeup shapeup morning newsathon
Well groomed to the toothcomb
They call me just-the-right-curd-of-bean
Applied at the appropriate times, accu-first-rate

They should not be in my quadrangle
They must reedulocate
Learn to discipline contibutevote and maybe we'll talk
For we, the fairlywell dressed
We go down the workweek sled
And you, casualman
It's off with you to bed


KT said...

The second version is much stronger, less fractured by asides to childhood. you've already stated you're an adult, so continuing with that theme not only makes sense but also keeps the reader on target.

Be careful with odd words, though... reedulocate is a few too many pronouns to really get at what you're trying to say.

Jenny said...

I really think you need to combine parts of the two, but I'm really glad you found the first copy. You must keep the ending from the first- it's superb, far better than the second. The whole "buddy" could be stronger, I think; that's where you might want to draw in from the second. I agree with KT, use some of those awesome words you make up, but not all of them.

Manisha said...

Okay, for once, it seems I must disagree completely with Jenny.

Of course I love the first version (don't we all--it has, after all, become Writers' Community history), I have to say that, just as in the first version, the speaker gets more sophisticated by the stanza, this poem itself seems to get more sophisticated by the version. Cute and ironic as the ending about rhyming is, "And you, casualman/ It's off with you to bed" is so so effective in summing up both the indignation and victory in the speaker's tone of superiority. And I absolutely love all the combination-made-up words, their predominance in the second and third stanzas to me signals the speaker's agitation, as if he is summoning up the power of his vocabulary to combat the indignity of children in his quadrangle.

The one thing I do like a lot in the first version (although "pinstriped" has its own prim corporate associations), is the idea of his "cigarette-tapered lawn".

Either way, what a classic poem!

Ankit said...

I definitely like parts of both of them. I almost want the buddies...I can't believe I just said buddy. I also like the made up words...they seem to enforce the point of the poem.