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April 27, 2006
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The
OLD
TESTAMENT


The Book of
ASH

1  This is how you will know to mark the young among men,
    for this is the prayer they pray, again and again.
2  It is these who should be marked and minted into lives worth being spent.
3  These are the words they speak in vain,
"Our father who art in us, tradition be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, in me as it is in him.
Give us this day our lovely sins1—those of youth and innocence.
And forgive us our deviance, as we forgive those who differ from us.
And lead us not into similarity, but deliver us from the collective.
For thine is the prison, and the scorn, aimed at abnormal men."2

1:3  1 7 Lovely Sins, Quintessence 1, New Testament
1:3  2 Hope’s Prayer, Quintessence 43, New Testament

The
New
TESTAMENT

The Book of
Quintessence

1  Behold, these are the sins
    for which you shall be told to repent
    and labeled youthful dissidents.
    Embrace these with passion,
    for they are your roots.

LUST
2  Words and beats thump and flow through my mind
    like sex; a primal pulse, an insatiable impulse to untether,
    unleash and loose myself to this primal pull—
    it's this bump then grind with a run and slide,
    I can't decide to which I should surrender:
    let run through my blood and bones, then tickle nerves
    ‘till I stop to serve the worthy verse
    with every pound, inch, thought and thrust,
    each the embodiment of audio lust.

GLUTTONY
3  Words—knowledge—stuffed
    into my ears and eyes
    so I may marinate in ideals:
    eyes and ears oozing
    sugary sweet knowledge of the world
    but not OF the world; all the while
    I’m secretly scorned or pitied by the pitiful masses
    who writhe in apathy and cynicism; spew venom
    at anyone not like them—me—envied and scorned
    as the embodiment of wide-eyed gluttony.

SLOTH
4  Stuffed with knowledge of consumer's prison
    might I wisely dodge the yoke
    and slip into the Soft Slippers of Sloth.
    Shuffling around as the embodiment
    of "decaying moral fabric" just
    to steer clear of the chains. Working to be
    but not a working being, all the while
    sucking satisfaction out of life under guise of sloth—
    not quite tied to the Circle of Lies
    (the ones about Consumption's Prize—20 to 65
    depending on what you buy).

PRIDE
5  I hear: Pride cometh before the fall of high standards.
    So I decide my standards and I are too young to die—
    too young and proud
    to join the crowds with shattered expectations.
    I think: If pride cometh before the fall—
    the fall should happen either way but finds in pride
    its one delay. I pray: for pride to dwell deep inside me.
    I try to swallow but find it lodged in my stomach,
    feeding off me; find it has grown past the point
    where I could shit it out—so full of pride I can't eat
    yet mysteriously nourished; my standards and I, somehow
    thriving off pride alone. All the while I’ll be vilified
    for having the gall not to let my dreams die, as if
    this mass of pride was mistaken for a second gall-bladder
    in a world where extra organs and too much gall
    both call for consequences.

ANGER
6  I'll join in with the might of youth
    to fly the flag of feral dissidents; spewing
    satire and dissatisfaction while watching
    the Great Inundation: 40 years of
    days and nights under cardboard skies
    raining fluorescent light. Seethe anger
    and disgust for "the way things are"
    out of some sliver of hope that these ills
    might subside before I dive in
    under glowing lights (which, by the way,
    are only good for growing debt and death.)

GREED
7  Sweet and innocent—still inoculated
    against the ways of the world:
    chasing the dream-job of freedom
    with greed and hope, too naive to realize
    it's all a joke—a wolf in sheep's disguise.
    I'm free, of course, to take responsibility
    and forsake the right to flee
    ‘till after sixty-five, when most of life
    has passed me by. Despite the joke,
    still sweet and innocent, awash
    in too much greed to ‘lease wants for needs—
    hunting freedom with hungry eyes,
    hoping it hides not, under guise.

ENVY
8  Green with inexperience and envy:
    Enough of one not to know
    life isn't like the movies
    and too much of the other not to covet the clean,
    happy endings that trail off to the sunset.
    Absolutely verdant with the youth and life
    implied in both the former:
    radiant with the crisp, rich green
    of all the easy money movies bring this way;
    pushing my publics to mirror this envy,
    jealous I've yet to go green
    with life—that specific shade we grow
    after the fire of youth has burned through
    all the passion, hope and love we care to lose,
    leaving the Bitter Ash of Ire loose to suck the sunshine
    out of life and dye its greenhorns blue.
This is a resubmission of sorts. It's changed a little, but not too horribly much, since I've had it here. I was going to send it off to some journals, despite the efforts of a few people to talk me out of it, until an unrelated suggestion sort of changed it all. Someone pointed out a metaphor they thought was cliche, I agreed and changed it and ever since I haven't been able to help but see the piece as good for what it is, but falling short of what it could be, as far as good metaphors go. Since I put a good bit of work in it and am now considering it axed, I thought I'd put it back up here.

I'm still proud of it, but I think I'd be selling the topics and situations here--which is where the real loyalty of the piece lies--short by getting this published before it's anything short of the best I can do with it, in language and the strength and structure of the ideas/metaphors/visual presentation. I'm going to be hacking it back apart and seeing where the idea really needs to end up over whatever amount of time it takes, so wish me luck. Feel free to comment as loosely or critically as you wish--but this preface is a bit of a warning that any critique will probably not be rolled into this version of the piece (so don't be disappointed, I'll still read it and if you're making good points consider those when I'm reworking things.)

*there are some formatting limitations that prevent the presentation as-intended. :p

***Big thanks to =JenniferStarling for suggesting this. She's wonderful. Go read some of her poems, or a few chapters from the BOOK she's working on!
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Daily Deviation

Given 2006-04-28
7 Lovely Sins by ~myskran is one of the more ambitious pieces I've read lately. Not another "obvious" take on the Seven Deadly Sins, ~myskran uses this pieces as a political commentary. Thought-provoking and definitely worth a look-see. ( Suggested by JenniferStarling and Featured by imperfect )
:iconastraea293:
astraea293 Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2007
I really like this, especially the slant rhymes at the beginning. It reminds me a lot, in terms of the sins, of Piers Plowman by William Langland, an alliterative longline poem of the 14th century that you really should take a look at if you haven't already.

I'm not entirely sure if each of the parts are told from a personified sin (as in Piers Plowman) or if there is one central narrator. Perhaps that could be clarified.

"There was laughynge and lourynge and " Lat go the cuppe!'
[Bargaynes and beverages bigonne to arise;]
And seten so til evensong, and songen umwhile,
Til Gloton hadde yglubbed a galon and a gille" (5.337).
Reply
:icontearsfornothing:
tearsfornothing Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2006
Well I like it very much. I didn't see the original, so I don't know *shrugs*
Reply
:iconeloquim:
Eloquim Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2006
Unique is the first word that comes to my mind. The concept is interesting (I'm not quite sure how much I like it just yet, I'll have to brood over it a bit longer and read it a few more times) and I am rather intrigued. I'm not so sure I like the similarities it has to the bible, but that is my own personal preference and doesn't detract from the piece at all. The language is... beautiful, although 'technical' might fit it better. It very much has the feel of a religious text to it, which I think is what you were going for, and you did an excellent adaptation of the Our Father at the beginning of the piece. The only thing I really didn't like was the phrase 'it has grown past the point where I could shit it out' because it was rather crude and didn't quite fit into the other language you were using. You have everything phrased so eloquently with such a wide range of vocabulary that it just didn't seem to belong. Overall very well written, but I'm not so sure I got what the 'cliche' metaphor was... but that could just be a failing on my part.
Reply
:iconpeacefroggie:
Peacefroggie Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2006
Hot damn summer in the city, how long did this shit take you? I could go on and on but you look like you've got a lot on your plate here...that bit on sloth really speaks to me...the Biblical angle gives you a lot of extra poetic/analytic material to work with as well obviously, that's what really puts this poem over the top for me.
Reply
:iconmyskran:
myskran Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2006   Writer
The original writing took place over 2 or 3 days back in December. Sometimes it all just falls into place amazingly well, but it wasn't too bad since I set out to write each little part on its own--it was really easy to portion the work out. I spent a while after that working on revising it, a few months, and made a reasonable number of changes over that timeframe.

You're hitting on where I really want to come back at the topic again, fresh. I think the Biblical parallelisms and connections are some of the strongest parts of the current poem but that it was under-done in general, as well as some reasonable theme issues that come up.
Reply
:iconiobieofshianna:
iobieofshianna Featured By Owner May 4, 2006
Oh my Lordy Lou.

Sweet... Lordy...

*bows and kisses your feet* Teach me your ways!
Reply
:iconapocalyptica:
apocalyptica Featured By Owner May 3, 2006  Hobbyist Writer
HOLY WOW!!! This is amazing! Simply amaazing. A Deviant FAVORITE!!!
Reply
:iconjustb:
justb Featured By Owner May 2, 2006   Writer
I thought this adaptation might suit:
(and slip into the Soft Slippers, Sloth. )

in a world where extra organs and too much gall both
call for consequences.

raining (a) fluorescent light. Seethe anger

might subside before I dive
under glowing lights (which, by the way,
are only good for growing debt (/new line)
and death.)

in too much greed to ‘lease (want) for (need)— (those work fine as generalities, and the pluralization can be removed)
hunting freedom with hungry eyes,
hoping it hides not under guise. (take the comma out after not. is it really necessary?)


with life—that specific shade we grow
after the fire of youth has burned through
all the passion, hope and love we care to lose,
leaving the Bitter Ash of Ire loose to suck the sunshine
out of life and dye its greenhorns blue.

(every once in a while, i'll be reading a poem and this one thought comes into my head. END IT THERE!
And it's a very difficult piece of critique to leave because it's kind of pompous. You want me to cut out the end?
Screw you pal. I have a poem to write, not a fantasy of yours to create/enact. Nevertheless, my senses pressed
for the ending after "grow." I like the concept of ending it with that hopeful notion of growth. not good nor bad.
just growth. separate from our distinction of good vs. evil. in the end, there will always be growth. hurrah!

So, what do you think about throwing a comma after shade, and a period after grow?
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:iconmyskran:
myskran Featured By Owner May 2, 2006   Writer
just wanted to say something immediate so you know I'm not blowing you off: finals week and I'm studying like crazy before the shit hits the fan, I read over about half of this and I'll certainly be reading it all when I finish up (along with the 50 freaking pieces in my inbox that I haven't had time to read) :p

Thanks for the crit. <3
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:iconjustb:
justb Featured By Owner May 2, 2006   Writer
okay, Travis, my friend. take care in the meantime.
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