Saturday, May 19, 2012

Poetics: the retread LI(f)E

wall art, Richmond, VA

Vzzzzz/thwip/thwip/thwip
thwip/thwip/thwipt/shhhh
psssst[pop]thunk

Vzzzzz/thwip/thwip/thwip
thwip/thwip/thwipt/shhhh
psssst[pop]thunk

hot off the press, we'd shave the nipples
off with hooked razors & check
treads for cracks of foreign L-M-Nts
that slipped the mold
REpair (make[look]new) with filler or
buff out blemishes before
loading them on trucks to showrooms
& you'd never know the difference

once, i watched a man's arm rip
right out the socket & even over
the
      HiSSpopClank
           HiSSpopClank
of mechanical arms & conveyors
his SCREAAAAM ascended,
as it hung by stretched tendons

inAttention will do that, especially
in the mundane - i mean, a dull blade
or mentally vacationing

Vzzzzz/thwip/thwip/thwip
thwip/thwip/thwipt/shhhh
psssst[pop]thunk

another tire on the palette, dinner plates
in the sink to soak, TV on to fill the silence,
bedAlarmCoffee bRUSH your teeth, sh--
shower, shave, kids to school, work, take
your pills so the heat won't get you, PSi building, UN-
intimate machine keeps spINN-NN-ing,

Vzzzzz/thwip/thwip/thwip
thwip/thwip/thwipt/shhhh
psssst[pop]thunk

until the blade dulls just enough---

 Vzzzzz/thwip/thwip/thwip
thwip/thwip/thwiptschLorpP
kShunk[pop]ArRgghhhAaeiii

Today at dVerse Poets, Karin has quite the JOB for us in her poetry prompt and while I don't like talking WORK JARGON on the weekends, I decided to take a look back at my college job in the tire factory. Really did see the man's arm get ripped off, that was pretty intense. Any way, so Karin will be opening the doors at 3 pm EST.

83 comments:

Mary said...

One

Grace said...

I love the sounds of this...I was actually thinking of this during the last few days while busy at work. I was turning into a work machine myself, and this scared me for a moment.

And talking about my job is the last thing I want to do on a long weekend ~

Mary said...

That would be one heck of a job, Brian. The sounds you injected into the poem made me feel as if I was with you, and that arm ripped out of its socket??? Yikes! A nightmare for a lifetime.

the walking man said...

Brian that is an AWSOME fucking piece of writing. I have a friend who did 32years on a GM assembly line and he does a performance piece about that...you got the factory rat life down in such a way that them who have never been inside see it.

I guess we both are thinking similar thoughts again today!

Excellent piece...practice the machine noises though so you get them just right when doing this piece...and you know you will have to do it too!

Daniel said...

Life has its rhythms that can lull us into a daydream. We can so easily miss everything that is going on around us. Then pow.

Claudia said...

whew...you took a tight example with the wood worker environment to remind us of how careful and thoughtful we need to be in our relationships and marriages... we may not lose and arm but everything else if we pay not enough attention...loved it..

happygirl said...

I can't imagine seeing that kind of injury happen. loved the sound effects and the description of the retread...

Claudia said...

ugh..tire factory..somehow..with the arm i thought it's wood worker..see..these germans...

kaykuala said...

In a wood molding factory where I was once, a 3"x2",6ft long suddenly shot off the machine and went thru a guy's belly. He was conscious when bundled off into the ambulance with the sawn off wood still there. He didn't make it! Apparently someone had switched on the machine without realizing a piece was still lodged in it. Accidents happen because of carelessness.
Good write Brian!

Louise said...

Yikes...poor bloke....so easy to wander off into thought...especially when it's doing a mundane thing...good writing as ever, Brian...

DJan said...

You write graphically about how it happened. Ooohh, gross to actually have seen such a thing.

Suz said...

oh ick....about the arm
trauma to a young mind
I see

Anyes said...

Very traumatic lesson...Vivid description...Being present in one's life is the lesson here...

Anyes said...

Very traumatic lesson...Vivid description...Being present in one's life is the lesson here...

Myrna R. said...

I'm such a dreamer, I'm glad I never worked in a factory. Fear how many accidents I could've caused.

I really got the feel in this one. The sounds, the labor, the pain in order to have the finished product.

Christine said...

Oh my gosh amazing write and intense, my husband worked for a pulp mill once, he has stories that would curl your nose hair.

Daydreamertoo said...

The sounds are so authentic as to what machines would sound like. I once saw a girl's hand crushed due to her not paying attention and there not being a proper safety guard fitted on the machine. I doubt if I would ever forget someone's arm being ripped off. Yikes.
Gripping read!

Sue said...

These are interesting prompts you've been getting lately.

I did hear the machines.
And the screams.

Caught a pretty good visual, too!

=)

Matt said...

Ow ow ow my nipples hurt just thinking about it! Kind of a disturbing one today, but I enjoyed it! Great job.

LadyFi said...

Oh goodness - what a terrible thing to witness!

Very gritty writing.

Valerie said...

The bit about nipples was bad enough but the arm being ripped out of it's socket finished me off. Other than that, it was a good piece of work... grins.

Brandee Shafer said...

Aren't you so thankful you don't work there, anymore? Your story about the man's injury reminded me of a story of my dad's; he saw a man chopped to death by plane propellers. (They served on a flight deck, Vietnam-era.) Ugh.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Brian,

Very gruesome post and made me feel scared. You are using words so skilfully that it creates tension and panic.

Best wishes,
Joseph

PattiKen said...

Great capture of the sounds and humdrum mindlessness of the factory, Brian. A past life invaded my mind when the guy's arm was ripped off - all I could think of was product liability lawsuit.

Mama Zen said...

"inAttention will do that"

Lots of truth in that line.

Mary Mansfield said...

You really had me scared for a moment at the beginning of this..."shave the nipples off"...makes me cringe, then the dismembered arm...thank goodness my factory experiences were not nearly this grisly! Very nicely written, Brian!

Anonymous said...

Ciao Brian! vraiment un livre de merde! et le bras une histoire horrible.. mais plus horrible sont les personnes qui participant de ces blogs de guttae! change pour moi.. police a l'attaque!

Modern Day Disciple said...

Ouch and ouch. Fighting the dullness...keeping the love and fight alive, pinching myself awake from sleepwalking through life. Sharp images...thanks for sharing ...

manicddaily said...

Ooh, Brian! very effective this, the words and the home life and that sense of assembly line even in things one loves, and all those sounds. I love the word buff - ahem -- as a verb. K.

Wander said...

the sound of pain is distinct for sure!

wander

bodhirose said...

Yikes! InAttention can be very painful! Loved this...and the sounds you created, Brian.

Eva Gallant said...

Reminded me of the summer I worked in a factory...the noise, the heat!

FrankandMary said...

Great place for those devoured by a passion to view tragedy.
~Mary

Joan Barrett Roberts said...

Busy impact of work & tragedy ~ good overlay! Enjoyed the word action! Thanks !

Joan Barrett Roberts said...

Busy impact of work & tragedy ~ good overlay! Enjoyed the word action! Thanks !

Natasha Head said...

Pretty intense? Talk about a defining moment! EWWWE! Would have to stay with you and no doubt venture into many pens...love the music of this one, the sound effects...but ultimately, the image of the armless one I think will linger long!

Gloria said...

what nice Brian! lol

Shawna said...

"hot off the press, we'd shave the nipples" ... What a hilarious line break. :)

How awesome (I mean horrible) to see a man's arm ripped off.

This is a masterful transition, Brian; I did not expect this at all:
"another tire on the palette, dinner plates
in the sink to soak, TV on to fill the silence"

"bRUSH your teeth" ... Great use of caps.

Essentially, your message is to not zone out too much, or you might lose the pieces of yourself that matter the most.

hiroshimem.com said...

It reminded me of Bjork's songs in Dancer in the Dark... with a masculine twist! Really strong as usual. I especially like the way sounds and capitals are used to create the rhythm.

Marbles in My Pocket said...

I couldn't have done a factory job; just don't have the patience for it. I actually quit a job when I was 20 that I'd been on for two+ years, and was one of those set-for-life jobs. I would still be doing the same thing today if I'd stayed. No way.
Nice write, Brian!

ordinarylifelessordinary said...

I thought this was very cool before I knew what the prompt was, and now I love it to bits, nicely done!

Victoria said...

OMG, the horror! Really love how you portrayed this: the onomatopoeia, the verbs you chose. Yikes, though.

Ash said...

Oh dear! I must say I'm extremely scared of factories, especially the ones with big noisy machines. Brilliant writing

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

oh dear ~ powerful words ~ not my 'cup of tea' ~ but honor your ability and style ~ well done ~ thanks, namaste, ^_^

Syd said...

Not too many of those factories left now. Ouch on the man's arm!

Secret Agent Woman said...

Good Lord!

Secret Agent Woman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tara Miller said...

Your words are so vivid! Fast paced piece but makes one feel a bit in a rut. Routine vs rut?

KB said...

Yikes! Whitesnake used to work on a production line. He's still paying the price for the injuries he sustained doing repetative work. Nicely done.

oceangirl said...

You brought this live.

hedgewitch said...

Sorry to be so late to the party, bri--this is really full of verbal assaults, and the central comparison hits home--a lot of things are ripped away from us while we slow down or tune out living the working life--sometimes even when you don't. Also, never reach your hand into a garbage truck compactor to see why it's jammed.

Vicki Lane said...

Wow! I'd like to hear you performing this!

marousia said...

Gruesome images - fantastic write

DQPoetry said...

You've got a really interesting style which is fun to read even when the subject isn't so pleasant!

janaki nagaraj said...

Love the way how you bring the imagery to your poem...:-)

pandamoniumcat said...

Ouch! Sound effects are great... is this the mundane drill of the assembly line...feels like it...though don't like the image of the arm!

Dave King said...

I have to say I agree with DQPoetry and this sure was fun. Guess what I liked best about it was that it confirmed in me how glad I am that I'm retired!

anthonynorth said...

Layer upon layer on this production line.

sallyjblackmore said...

Right on target Brian. I wasn't expecting the arm though...good contrast of the truly mechanical with the routine tasks as well

adan said...

"inAttention will do that, especially
in the mundane - i mean, a dull blade
or mentally vacationing" -

very chilling inside the other stanzas of noise and repetition, whew!

nice work brian, glad you're doing other work now ;-)

sage said...

What a job tat must have been!

Olivia said...

Like always you have done an intense job of bringing out the capture from your mind! What we see stays in us in some way or the other... the words, the capitalization n the sounds... one hEck of a job!

hugs xoxo

Hannah said...

I so enjoy all the sounds you included with the verbs from your chosen work...it really brought the poem to life, Brian!

Factories are super intense and the lurking danger of inattention is very real.

Great write!

Lorraine said...

you'd have to read minds to know the noise inside mine...Love always what you say and how you say it

poemsofhateandhope.com said...

Brian- this is great...so good. Stylistic and creatively unique- your voice is just so pronounced. Love the metaphor in here - gotta stay sharp...otherwise life will chew you up and spit you out- just like in the machines of our 9- 5 mundanities....man- I don't wanna fall asleep only to half my arms pulled out ...soooo good

And yeah- the party was cool thanks! My sisters b-day- git to see my bro from Canada- he's now moving to Australia! Defo gonna hit him up for a holiday home!

Neva Flores said...

Awesome poetry Brian, even though I winced in pain at some of the images you painted. Excellent verse.

CiCi said...

Inattention in this techie life can indeed be disastrous. I think that people who work mundane repetitive jobs need to be up and walking every hour. It would be safer as well as better production results.

Again, I admire your written sounds. I sure wish I could think like that.

@ami said...

Excellent use of onomatopoeia.

{ami}
http://sundrysumthins.wordpress.com/

Laurie Kolp said...

Ouch! I would have passed out, I'm sure. A few days after I had extensive foot surgery, I did just that when they unwrapped it for the first time.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this piece with the sound and movement, as well as unique verbs... especially-

hot off the press, we'd shave the nipples
off with hooked razors

(I'll have to wait and post mine for Tuesday Open Link)

Annmarie Pipa said...

I had a factory job in college... my stories provide the best reason to my kids why education is key.

Pat Hatt said...

That was fun
As you gave the noises a run
And really delved into assembly land
Your descriptions were grand
As always as you Gawk away
Each and every day

tinkwelborn said...

Wow. KaPow.
and to think...
that was a much more comfortable job
of the civilized 20th century!

One CANNOT even imagine
what it must have been like
at the start of the Industrial Age!

Great Verbal choices!
a lot of imagery in the Sound-Words.

wood said...

i used to own a coffee shop, and now i find myself working in a pallet factory. i run a conveyor belt and lift pallets (over 3000 a day) 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. i hoped i would never have to do this kind of work again, im getting too old for it. sometimes i think about sticking my arm into the conveyor, let the machine take my arm, so i can feel something again... and never lift pallets again, heh. very well written

ayala said...

Intense write, Brian.

Andrew Grant said...

Brian, The sound of the machine is almost hypnotic, a mechanical mantra!! One would want to escape into himself and his own thoughts doing a mundane job, but the results of losing focus can be catastrophic!! Your style opened the factory door for me Brian, put a hard hat on my head, slapped me on the back and said," Take a walk around man, it aint pretty."

Goofball said...

reminds me of charlie chaplin's movie

Sharp LIttle Pencil said...

I agree - Modern Times, where Charlie is caught in the gears! Also brings back memories of the GM factories that were in full force before the jobs shipped overseas.

Such a wickedly fab/fun/furious pace to this, Brian, good on you! Amy
http://sharplittlepencil.com/2012/05/20/shot-glasses-and-shop-classes-dverse-poets/

Raven said...

Oh my... I know this was funny, but I am a literalist by nature and this hurt! Well, not all the way through ... I made myself get with it! ;)

thejuliebook said...

You chose a job I know nothing about--and your poem makes me glad that's the case! I wold love to hear you perform it, with all of the great sounds you've written in. If you ever do, make sure you get a recording to post for us.

william said...

yes indeed work can take a grip if we let it, I only work 16 hours now and even thats too much lol..

missing moments said...

Enjoyed the rhythm of this one. Important not to let life lull us into inattention ... we can accidentally end up somewhere we don't want to be!

Magpie said...

Don't really know what to say...graphic, gripping, but spot on.

ordinarylifelessordinary said...

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1.Thank the blogger who gave you the award.
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