Sunday, January 30, 2011

Improv 1, Week 3

Carson McCullers by Charles Bukowski

she died of alcoholism
wrapped in a blanket
on a deck chair
on an ocean

all her books of
terrified loneliness

all her books about
the cruelty
of loveless love

were all that was left
of her

as the strolling vacationer
discovered her body

notified the captain

and she was quickly dispatched
to somewhere else
on the ship

as everything
continued just
she had written it

Hemingway by Benjamin McClain
Stoic hero
Silver-fox warrior of joie de vive
Lived war and bulls and drink.
Only a legend could take you,
Crushed under your ice berg, with the scatter cannon
wrapped in battered paws.
Unaccompanied, Lost with Henry and Jake .
Farewell Tenente,
I’ll bury your grace in the effort of my safari.


  1. Ben,

    The first word of your improv states the tone of the whole piece. The short, curt lines resemble the abbreviated life of Hemingway, and overall it sounds more like a tribute to him than a revelation of anything tragic. I like line three the best because it expresses the polarities of his personality.

    Your draft's structure contrasts the airy, drawn out one of Bukowski, and your last line does not seem to carry the same impact as his. I suggest you add more imagery which can perhaps provide more material to bounce off of in the last line.

    BTW, it should read 'joie de vivre' and
    'Lost' does not need to be capitalized after a comma. I'm a grammar nerd.

  2. It's interesting the elements you built off of from "Carson McCullers". Without borrowing any language, "Hemingway" instead imitates short lines and the theme of losing an accomplished writer. In contrast, your piece employs bulkier and more ambiguous language. I like the phrase "scatter canon wrapped in battered paws" for the language play; it's very fun to say.
    I agree with Pauline about the last line lacking impact and second the suggestion of expanding the imagery in order to find somewhere else to go with it. Maybe you could begin generating more images by describing broad terms such as "legend" and "grace".