God Lives (new version in last post)

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CalebPerry
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Tue Jan 18, 2022 8:02 am

God Lives

God lives in the dance hall, not in the church.
He rented the church one time to rest his eyes.

God lives where hips sway, groins grind, lips meet;
where feet move to rhythms that shimmy up the spine.

God lives in the drag and the snort and the drink
(just a little, not enough to make Him blind).

God lives in sweaty arm pits and red cheeks,
in desires so strong that they lead to crimes.

God lives in fingertips that grope and feel.
(He knows where the good parts hide.) Like us,

God takes, uses and keeps. God knows how
to have a good time. Sadly for me,

I live in the church; it's time to sleep.

~end~

I'm in a dry period, so I'm posting poems from the past that have not been critiqued.
Last edited by CalebPerry on Wed Jan 19, 2022 8:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Macavity
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Tue Jan 18, 2022 8:52 am

I like the fun, uplifting elements in this Caleb. The opening got my attention. Of course, I was taken in by the joy in life, and I understand that the personal reality needed to be told, but the end did deflate. Could you lie?

Gladly for me... :D

best

Phil
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Firebird
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Tue Jan 18, 2022 12:39 pm

Hi Perry,

I agree with Phil. The opening and main body of this poem work really well, but the ending is a little bit of a let down. Can the ending be changed?

Cheers,

Tristan
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CalebPerry
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Tue Jan 18, 2022 8:28 pm

Thanks, folks.

I thought the ending was clever and funny, not depressing. The poem actually reflects my views, both about God and about myself. The Seth Material, which forms the basis of my beliefs, says that God experiences our lives as we live them, and God wants to experience life in all its ramifications, including the bad and wild stuff. But it's also true that I have been a very cautious person all my life (thus the ending).

Joni Mitchell wrote a song "God is a Bogey Man", and I think that Maya Angelou (or another African poet) may have written something similar, so this poem is part of a genre.

I'll see if I can't give it another ending.

Thanks again.

==================

Okay, here is an alternative ending. What do you think?

God Lives

God lives in the dance hall, not in the church.
He rented the church one time to rest his eyes.

God lives where hips sway, groins grind, lips meet;
where feet move to rhythms that shimmy up the spine.

God lives in the drag and the snort and the drink
(just a little, not enough to make Him blind).

God lives in sweaty arm pits and red cheeks,
in desires so strong that they lead to crimes.

God lives in fingertips that grope and feel
(He knows where the good parts hide). Like us,

God takes, uses and keeps. And if some bad
man comes along and causes us to die,

God shouts, "Do it again!" The party starts up -- [Is "One more Time!" better?]
in another life, and never seems to end.

~end~

This ending reflects my belief in reincarnation.

There is a pattern of long I's in this poem: eyes, grind, spine, blind, desires, crimes, hide, die, life
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If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.
Macavity
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Wed Jan 19, 2022 8:56 am

Hi Caleb,
I like 'One more time.'

Would 'bad day' be an option to 'bad man'? The latter feels too dark.

best

Phil
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CalebPerry
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Wed Jan 19, 2022 10:35 am

I guess I put "bad man" in there because I watch a lot of true-crime shows about serial murderers. I'll come up with something. Thanks!
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If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.
bjondon
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Thu Jan 20, 2022 3:05 pm

Hi Caleb,
Both the sound world and the rolling cadence help the mood here.
None of the endings quite work for me. The top version is fine apart from the last four words which seem too peremptory and flat ('Sadly I live in the church' is fine). Threading back to God resting his eyes with 'sleep' was a good idea, however the sleep meant by the narrator is completely different from the brief rest to recharge of the deity. Is that the joke? If so I think it needs to be a little clearer.

I like the idea of this God who wants us to witness everything, the bitterness as much as the joy. More than anything he seems to want us to be awake, might perhaps react fiercely to this desire for peace/death. So 'God shouts' feels right but it should perhaps be a reaction to the 'sleep' (or even to the living in his church) rather than to some anonymous disaster.

Best, Jules
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Thu Jan 20, 2022 11:48 pm

Well... You've picked a subject that has been exhaustively explored so I was immediately looking for something new. But no — nothing. I would think a better way to approach the topic would be to focus on a distinguishing characteristic that defines "your" God.
The best version of this version of God (you mentioned that this fits into a genre of poems about God — not sure there is such a thing — but here's one of the best I've heard of "God" poems: Joan Osborne's "What If God Was One Of Us". Here it is:

John Lennon's "God" is magnificent.

But your take doesn't connect with me.
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CalebPerry
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Fri Jan 21, 2022 12:44 am

Jules, thanks for your comments. I'm sorry that neither version works for you.

God resting his eyes in the church and then the reference to reincarnation were not meant to be related.

The God represented in the poem is pretty consistent with the Seth Material (the psychic readings of a medium named Jane Roberts who died in 1984), which forms the basis of my religious views. Seth said that we exist within God and that God lives through us, and so wants us (not just human beings, ball all life forms human and alien) to experience existence in all its possible forms so that He can experience it too.

Jimoonan, you don't seem to like anything about the poem, which makes it impossible for me to incorporate your suggestions (since you don't make any). I knew that I was dipping my toe into a genre that already existed, but I did it with my own words, and that's all I can do as a poet.

Jules, I'll keep working at the poem. Thanks.
If you don't like the black theme, it is easy to switch to a lighter color. Just ask me how.

If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.
littlebirdsaved
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Mon Jan 31, 2022 6:37 pm

At first, I thought it was going to be a purely Christian poem. Then, it became more and more interesting. I liked the use of repetition. It was also interesting to read this poem coupled with your view shared in the comments. Keep writing!
LeeOston
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Tue Feb 01, 2022 5:15 pm

Hi Caleb,

Really enjoyed this - thought about it a lot since reading it. I thought the shattering of the central repetition daze using the last part was clever and dramatic.
(just a little, not enough to make Him blind).
Seemed slightly clunky to me.
"Not much, not enough to make Him blind"
I think sounds a little better. But great poem overall.

Thanks,
Lee.
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Wed Feb 02, 2022 12:16 am

Amen to that brother!

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CalebPerry
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Mon Feb 07, 2022 10:46 am

Thank you, guys, for the additional comments. I wasn't paying attention for a while, and I apologize for that. I didn't think I'd be getting any more comments on this poem.

LeeOston, I'm glad that somebody likes the poem.

This is one of those poems that I never quite finished to my satisfaction. I always try to make my poems smooth and rhythmic but don't always succeed.
If you don't like the black theme, it is easy to switch to a lighter color. Just ask me how.

If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.
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Lia
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Mon Mar 28, 2022 9:08 am

I hope you don't mind me bumping this, but it's such an excellent poem and I wanted to tell you so, Caleb.

I only had one suggestion and it was in the last line,

I live in the church, and it's time to sleep.

the reason is that I wanted to be slowed down. An and would do that with a comma before it.

This is just so good. I can't help enjoying the subtle humour underneath,
God lives where hips sway, groins grind, lips meet;
where feet move to rhythms that shimmy up the spine.

God lives in the drag and the snort and the drink
(just a little, not enough to make Him blind).

God lives in sweaty arm pits and red cheeks,
in desires so strong that they lead to crimes.
Great writing! Many thanks,

Lia
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