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The Gay Agenda

we unpacked the car in hundred-and-ten degree heat
home after our three-months, big-haul supermarket run
stared at the late season watermelon
we grabbed on an impulse
I got the cutting board and a bowl for rinds
you got the never-dull, wedding-gift ceramic knife

we tore into our pieces at the same time
swamping desert thirst in southern fruit
pretending we were comfortably cool
believing it during each bite
I opened a new paper towel roll (we had been out)
you gave me the next slice, cut yourself another

we ate the whole damn thing in one sitting, not talking
just munching one icy wedge after another
until I mumbled a joke you made me repeat
(had to slurp-swallow to do it)
I said, “I said, I think this makes us—”
you, with a fresh juice smile, finished: “—a couple of fruits.”
A poemlet. Thanks to *AGMeade for inspiring the thing--she mentioned her love of watermelon and I started telling a story and then it sort of fell into a poem.

Questions for critters:
Is it too long? What is most cuttable?
Is it too prose-like? Does it need more sonic devices (rhyme, alliteration) or rhetorical awesome (imagery tricks, metaphor) to justify it as a poem?
Too cute?
Add a Comment:
 

Daily Deviation

Given 2013-02-08
:iconarthisa:
I clicked on this DD on impulse, because the title caught my eye. I really liked this poem.

The first stanza is great. I love the succession of hyphenated phrases ("hundred-and-ten", "three-months", "big-haul", "never-dull", "wedding-gift"). It really adds to the lack of punctuation and creates a feeling of hurriedness, like you don't have time to explain but you put in all these details in anyway, and it really drew me in. I also really liked the way you used line breaks, especially for "stared at the late season watermelon/we grabbed on an impulse". That later line surprised me, and at the same time it was a good way to change the focus from the heat, the season, and the watermelon, to the "we" and their interaction.

After that, though, the second stanza was a bit disappointing. I really like the first three lines of the stanza, but after that, the pace slows down. I thought the line "believing it during each bite" took away from the feeling of the previous line – no need to explain any further that eating the watermelon makes them feel refreshed! It's pretty obvious already. Then, the parenthesis was a bit annoying. Not only did it cut the flow, it didn't really add anything to the poem. I would use parenthesis in a poem like this to say something that's somewhat in juxtaposition with the current image/message, not just to add in detail. (Also, the word "new" already indicates that fact that they already had a paper towel roll, and who opens a new paper towel roll before they need it? the "(we had been out)" is slightly redundant.)
In general, this whole stanza could be be a lot tighter.

The last stanza was also great. To be honest, it took me a little while to get the ending joke (and I still think it's a pretty silly joke – although also very sweet) but even before I did, I love how you managed to line up the two lines so that the joke reads naturally from one to the other, and one has subconsciously already gotten the end of the joke before one reads the last line – and it just makes the whole thing so much more terribly sweet and cute (in a good way.)

Too answer your questions: It's not too long per say – I don't think there's such a thing as set length limit for poetry – but I do think there is stuff in there that you can cut, as mentioned earlier. It's not too prose-like – again, I'm not even sure there is such a thing – it's a very particular style that reads off the tongue and feels very honest and direct, and I think rhyme or alliteration would only take away from that. If you wanted to be more "poetic", adding more imagery could do the trick, but I think it's a great poem already.

Congrats on the DD, and I hope you find the critique useful. =)
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
7 out of 7 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

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:iconwithin-the-silenc:
within-the-silenc Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I love the joke though LOL 
Reply
:iconhopeburnsblue:
hopeburnsblue Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2014  Professional Writer
What's wrong if it's too cute? :) I love it.
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2014
Haha, thanks.
Reply
:iconlankadoodle:
Lankadoodle Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013
I love this, it's just so playful!
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2013
Thanks! That's 100% the goal, so I'm glad you found it such!
Reply
:iconfoxfire96:
Foxfire96 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This made me smile. It's really cute and light-hearted, and a lot different than what I'm used to reading in regards to the topic of homosexuality. It's refreshing.
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013
Thanks! I actually really like writing happy, joyful pieces about homosexuality, because too much of the literature is caught up in the negatives. And while there are unpleasant stories out there--I've lived a few myself--there are so many underreported joys, too.
Reply
:iconcybergranny:
cybergranny Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Congrats to the DD, the title caught me and I really liked it, though I agree with Arthisa about the second stanza. And I learnt smth by reading the comments, I didn't know gays were called fruits, I thought you were referring to the male parts hehe :p
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013
Thanks very much for the comment.
Reply
:iconpyrianassassin:
PyrianAssassin Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I like this! This is one of the best pieces of literature I read in a LOOOONG time!
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
Thanks for the kind words! There is a lot of great literature on dA to read!
Reply
:iconpyrianassassin:
PyrianAssassin Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Your welcome!
Reply
:iconazeilarose:
AzeilaRose Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That was very cute, but not too cute. I loved it. :aww:
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
Thanks! I think it's almost too cute. Hopefully not all the way.
Reply
:iconazeilarose:
AzeilaRose Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nope, the world needs more happy like this! ❤
Reply
:iconstrudel--cutie4427:
Strudel--Cutie4427 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013   Writer
Well done XD It's really well worded. I didn't expect the ending and I love it when something so obvious is so well hidden. It's really clear and easily understood too.

I think it was the perfect length. as for poetry - I didn't know it was one until you mentioned it, but now reading it again it deffinately is poetry
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
Thanks for commenting. I'm glad the end caught you off guard.
Reply
:iconwanderlings:
Wanderlings Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Beautiful piece, and congrats on the DD :)
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
Thanks very much!
Reply
:iconmesuki23:
mesuki23 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
very good! ^^ god bless you for making this! im from Texas and i support the LGBT cause! homophobia pisses me off, and i cant stand it one bit >:U God bless you for writing this, and i hope you have a great weekend! :D
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
Good luck with that in Texas! Thanks for commenting. Homophobia is certainly very annoying.
Reply
:iconmesuki23:
mesuki23 Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks, i hope it get better here too. and you're welcome. it is! i admit i used to be homophobic when i was in middle school, but i just was for no reason until i actually met a gay guy and his boyfriend who lived right down the street from me. they were both pretty cool (one dude who used to be B.B. King's bodyguard!! i can believe that since he was 6 foot 2 inches and 220. you couldnt even tell he was gay. he was VERY funny too :D), so my homophobia quickly faded into nothingness. glad i met them, or else id still be quite more hateful towards people. i call certain things gay, but only because my friends are around me. i get really mad when people make gay jokes around me that are meant to offend gay people, not just to satirize a comment a friend made, and all of my friend call me gay or say i get "butt hurt" if i say something (which i rarely do because of my friends), and im tired of that crap. like Kurt Cobain once said, "I'm not gay, but I wish I was just to piss off the homophobes.
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013
The most reliable anti-homophobia technique is having a homophobe get to know a nonstraight person really well.

Hang in there with your buddies. I remember when I was in high school, I used to yell at people for saying that stuff was "gay", until it go so that people started intentionally using the word like that around me to try to piss me off. However, it didn't piss me off at all, because if they were trying to do that on purpose, it meant that they were thinking about what the word really meant, which meant that I had reached them.
Reply
:icongraphixs6:
GraphixS6 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
TOTALLY GAAAAAAAY! Nice work.
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
It's so gay.

(Thanks for commenting.)
Reply
:iconmidnightscastedangel:
MidNightsCastedAngel Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013  Student General Artist
It's excellent, and too cute. Love it.
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
Thanks. I hope it isn't overboard with its cuteness.
Reply
:iconmidnightscastedangel:
MidNightsCastedAngel Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Student General Artist
Not at all~~
Reply
:iconeldru:
eldru Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Congrats on your DD. :)
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
Thanks very much.
Reply
:iconarchelyxs:
archelyxs Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013
Again, so lovely. Congrats on the well-deserved DD! :heart:
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
Thanks!
Reply
:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013  Student Writer
This does sound very prosy to me, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. It's simple, straightforward, and I think that suits it. Could it just be prose instead? Probably. But there's no reason it should be. With regard to your other critter questions: not too long, and not overly cute. :D

I'm in two minds about how that last line is set up, though. It works overall, but I feel like I'm almost having to guess that it's a gay couple. Between the title and the wedding-gift knife (isn't that supposed to be bad luck?), there's a pretty strong hint, but it seems almost like it's up to the punchline to give you the rest of the joke. Okay, for anybody who found this through one of the groups, it'll be unavoidable, but the body of the text really doesn't give you a lot to go on.

That's really a small quibble, though: I'm very glad to have read this. :-)
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

I have no idea about knives being bad luck as wedding gifts--I love our wedding knives (they are ceramic and so they don't ever need to be sharpened and they are SHARP). A quick Google does indicate that's not an uncommon superstition, though. Certainly wasn't what I was trying to invoke, so I might have to play around with that line.

I commented more on the subtlety of the joke below.

Thanks for the kind words. (I really like that you don't just say 'this is awesome bye' but add a 'maybe there's some room for improvement here' as well--those are valuable comments.)
Reply
:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Student Writer
With the knives, I also Googled just to check it was more than a local superstition. Given that it's related to marriage, it may even spread through families rather than across geographical areas. But I also saw that some people provide a token amount of money with the knives to be sent back so they can be "bought" rather than given. If even superstitious people are doing that, it seems like a reasonable enough gift.

And no problem. :-)
Reply
:iconrowanartist:
RowanArtist Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Hobbyist
I don't know much about writing but I think too many more hints that they are a gay couple and it wouldn't be cute anymore. Right now it's understandable, though not unarguable I guess.
Anyway, from my understanding the important part is they are a happy couple who did something impulsive and the last bit shows that they don't care what people think of them.

*I reply to this comment instead of just commenting in general because this is the one that sparked my brain.
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
Thanks for stopping by to engage in a discussion!
Reply
:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Student Writer
I have to admit, I wasn't totally sure about making that suggestion--and definitely agree about not having too many hints. Personally, I can't suggest any single thing to drop in. My main concern is that, if you saw this completely out of context (not in any groups, no title, etc.), there wouldn't really be any clue that they were gay up until the "couple of fruits" quip (which wouldn't make sense with a straight couple). The title easily gives enough to go on--and that's reasonable--but I do wonder if it's the best way of doing it.

And no problem about replying. :-) I do that too.
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
In my opinion, a piece of literature without its title isn't out of context as much as incomplete. The title here is absolutely necessary for the poem to come full circle and make any kind of point at all.

It might not be the best way--for sure--but I enjoy that when you read the title a second time at the end it carries a different meaning than before you've read the poem. In many ways the fact that every other detail could have applied just as thoroughly to a straight couple is 'the point'. Does that make sense?
Reply
:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Student Writer
That makes sense. :-)

It's quite reasonable to include necessary information in the title, but sometimes (not necessarily here) I feel like it's put under too much strain. The clearest example would probably be those six word stories where most of the story is told in the title itself. Using the title to put the reader on the right track seems fair, and is often worthwhile if it frees up even one word to improve the story, but frequently seems sloppy if it's absolutely vital: the famous Baby Shoes story, generally considered to be a good example of the form, is almost always told without a title. Obviously the title is more of an issue for these stories because the tiny word limit is a huge part of the appeal, but it's not limited to them.
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
Ah, the good old six worders. They are annoying, and yes, titling them intensely is working the titles too hard.
Reply
:icontristancody:
TristanCody Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013  Student Writer
Well deserved. Just too well done. :handshake:
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
Thanks very much!
Reply
:iconinvadermayhem:
invadermayhem Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013   General Artist
Yep. Far too cute. <3
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
*grin* I was afraid of that!
Reply
:iconinvadermayhem:
invadermayhem Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013   General Artist
But why is that a bad thing?
We need more cute in this world.
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
That makes me think of [link]
Reply
:iconinvadermayhem:
invadermayhem Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013   General Artist
You are a cheeseball. LOL I love you! <3
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
Being thoroughly, crazily, insanely, ridiculously in love with your spouse can do that to you. *wink*
Reply
:icontalkingfern:
talkingfern Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
This reply makes my heart melt. See, there, it's a puddle on the floor. ;) <3 you both!
Reply
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