Doing the “I’m Self Righteous” – Feedback Please

What’s the old saying? “Never piss off a writer”.

So here’s a new piece, second draft, and written as an experiment in rhymes and half-rhymes.

I’m really keen on getting feedback on it – critical suggestions of ways to improve it, lines which you think work, or don’t work.  Not just “I like it” or “I don’t like it”, but specifics.

If you have time, please leave a comment. Or if you’d prefer to do it more discreetly, email me (you can find my email in the “about mistakenforarealpoet’ page at the top of the screen).

If I get significant feedback, I’ll post a summary, and the next version of the poem.

Doing the “I’m self righteous”

So he meets her in the café

and he lets her buy the coffee

and he does the “I’m self righteous”

and she does the “I done wrong”

 

He’s kept a mental tally

and he’s working up this theory

that she only wants his money

and he’s laying sanctimony

on his outraged acrimony

and his heart is cold and brittle

for he’s found that she is fickle

 

He thinks of times together

How she showed him how to love her

How she proffered him her body

How she led him to believe her

yet was sleeping with another

and she hid the other lover

It was easy to deceive him

 

so he does the “I’m self righteous”

and she does the “I done wrong”

 

And he knows this final meeting

she might think his heart is bleeding

but he’ll cover up his needing

he refuses this competing

with another man she’s cheating

and even though he’s yearning

for her touch his skin is burning

 

and he sensed that she was changing

but was caught up in his courting

so he couldn’t see the markings

yet it only took one question

‘til she whispered her confession

and it hit him in his stomach

like a hammer blow or gunshot

 

Did you do something you regret?

Yes I took a man to my bed

She’d been feeling sad and needy

The words slipped from her easy

In drunken stupor lusting

For a man she’d known before him

and she knew the price that she’d pay

 

So he meets her in the café

and he lets her buy the coffee

for he’s kept a mental tally

and they play their roles precisely

he whips up his indignation

and seeking vindication

leaves her sitting in stunned silence

 

yes he’s feeling  so self righteous

and she’s feeling so damned wrong
  

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14 thoughts on “Doing the “I’m Self Righteous” – Feedback Please

  1. Interesting but I don’t know enough to comment on the metre and iambic whatever….see what I mean.
    sorry I cant help but just want you to know I read it !!!

  2. Maybe you could stand to tighten it up a little? It seems to me that it covers the same territory more than once. But what do I know? i’ve written a grand total of one longer poem, so I’m not exactly an authority. I like what you have; that I can tell you!

    • Thanks Lisa. Good observation. I think I’m focussing on the stanza beginning “Did you do something you regret” as needing trimming, though I like some of the lines in it. This is the hard part – cutting stuff you like.

  3. I meant to add and got sidetracked — the dance between the two people comes through very well here. You’ve done a great job with that. If you do decide to revise it, I’d love to see the final.

    • I’ll put a revised version up over the next few days Lisa. I’ll see if I can do it in a way that shows the changes made. Had some good feedback. Most of it has been by email – seems poets don’t like to make their criticism public 🙂

  4. I know that when i read this..
    i could hrar a rhytm playing
    and at first i couldn’t find it
    but the melody reminded
    of Suzaane takes you down
    to her place by the river…..

    rave on Mr C

  5. Mike, sorry I’m late. It’s been a crazy busy summer on this side of the pond. Here are my thoughts.

    I think here is where the poem really picks up it’s speed and grabs your attention.

    “And he knows this final meeting

    she might think his heart is bleeding

    but he’ll cover up his needing

    he refuses this competing

    with another man she’s cheating

    and even though he’s yearning

    for her touch his skin is burning”

    From there out the meter is smooth, your dramatic use of slower meter and stops clearly defined and well placed. The lines before this point, that set the scene, aren’t quite as smooth and speed transition is a little stippled. (Does that make sense.) If I did anything to the poem I would probably look at those lines and the word choices to reset the pace and make the transition less noticeable. But I wouldn’t touch anything from the line “And he knows this final meeting…” forward. I think that part is perfect!

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