The Good Guy

 

for Big Tent Poetry prompt: List Poem
http://bigtentpoetry.org

The Good Guy

Odd Thomas keeps odd hours.
A fry cook, he rises before ticktock
of dawn, walks through shadowfires,
down strange highways, sometimes hearing
whispers of dragon tears.

From the corner of his eye, he sees dead people
who fear nothing, yet seek out brother Odd
to help them move through intensity
of the bad place which keeps them one door
away from heaven.

Though his endeavors make him one
of the good guys, they mark him, shorten
his life expectancy, targeting him to be defined,
as forever Odd.

Elizabeth Crawford  12/30/10

Process Notes: Am currently rereading the novel, Odd Thomas, by my favorite author. This is an attempt to write a somewhat poetic review of that book, using a list of other novels written by the same author, Dean Koontz. The underlined words are the titles that constitute far less than half of the published works created by Koontz. One of my own peculiar concepts of a list poem.

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About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here: http://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ https://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
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19 Responses to The Good Guy

  1. vivinfrance says:

    Never having heard of Dean Koontz, I haven’t a clue what this is about! What genre does he write in? I’m feeling particularly dense today, as Robin is “sorting out” my computer and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to find anything again!
    Sorry, Elizsabeth

    Viv, please don’t apologize. I knew there might be a problem when I posted this. I have been reading Dean Koontz for about 35 years, and enjoy his writing immensely for several reasons. He writes psychological thrillers, suspense, and is often identified within the Horror genre of fiction. However, he works hard to balance all of that with a great deal of earthy humor and a keen sense of the human psyche. I also read him because I seem to have a strange bond with the man, although I have never met him. Everytime I read one of his books, I find something in them that relates to me, my own person, and my current situation. I have written about that and the essay may be found here:
    http://1sojournal.wordpress.com/the-yellow-brick-road-to-synchronicity/
    It is on a side bar page of that site.

    When I saw the prompt for today, I was a bit disappointed. Didn’t feel any particular inspiration, but was rereading Koontz’s “Odd Thomas” novel. So set up a bit of a challenge for myself and made a list of his titles and tried to write a poem using some of them. Although Koontz has an incredible following of readers, and most of his titles do end up on the best-sellers lists, I don’t think he has a lot of readers who thrive on poetry. I may be the only one, lol. I knew that when I posted this piece. Sorry, if it caused you distress. Was just pleasing my own peculiar tastes.

    Elizabeth

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  2. LOVE Dean Koontz! Well done, interesting poem! (Have read most of DK, but not read Odd Thomas. Yet.

    Hi Joyce Ellen, and I am so glad to hear that. I really thought I was the only poet who thinks the man is a fabulous writer. And you need to read the Odd Thomas series. It is so funny, and although the subject is about interacting with dead people, his characters are so earthy and utterly human that you just have to keep reading to find out where it will all end up. I have about twenty-five of his books in my library and he is the only author I go back and reread on a regular basis.

    Elizabeth

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  3. cool! you’ve done sort of a wordle with the titles. 🙂

    Hi Carolee, glad you like the idea. I know the poem is a bit strange (due to those titles), but I enjoyed the challenge. And every poem can’t be beautiful and a knock out. I’m just satisfied that I satisfied my own peculiar interests, lol,

    Elizabeth

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  4. Kim Nelson says:

    Makes me want to revisit Odd Thomas!

    Thank you Kim. I will be starting the second in the series later this afternoon, lol.

    Elizabeth

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  5. Using titles for inspiration is a great idea – I have done it before, and it forces new phrases into a poem. I like that you focused on one author – that is something I have never done. Good job.

    Donna, thanks for your kind words. I do this a lot with song titles, and yes it does bring about new ideas and thought patterns. And sticking with one author was simple. I have more of his titles than anyone else’s, lol. Have a great New Year,

    Elizabeth

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  6. What can I say, but Bravo! Excellent poem! Well done!

    Annell, I don’t think it sounds much like me. Might be because it is someone else’s words. Yet, I sense me the organizer and conceiver, there in the background. And I think it is great to sometimes jump totally away from the niche we tend to get comfortable in. This wasn’t difficult to do, I used to do similar things in my classroom. The hardest part was standing in front of the bookcase and writing down all those titles. The man is definitely prolific. Thanks for your comments, and meet you at the bonfire,

    Elizabeth

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  7. vivinfrance says:

    Elizabeth, you didn’t distress me. I was just puzzled, as it was so unlike what I’ve come to think of as your style. I’ll look out for his books, though I have to say that horror doesn’t appeal these days. Humour does, though!
    ViV

    Thanks for coming back, Viv, I appreciate that. And I think it is a good idea to occasionally immerse oneself in someone else’s words and thought patterns, it often acts like a zing of energy. I think I was also leaping into the whole idea of the New Year (perhaps a bit too much), lol. I truly do love Koontz’s writing though, especially the things he has written over the past ten or fifteen years. He has found a wonderful balance between darkness and the light that laughter brings to dispell it. His work is not for everyone, and I know that. Many people are surprised at my enduring admiration for the man’s talents and skills. He does make a lot of clear and profound statements about the human condition and the psychology of the personality and psyche. Just another reason why I enjoy his words, and usually keep a pen and notebook handy while reading his books. I underline a lot. Find it interesting to go back reread, and see the different colored inks, what hit me in the past, and how often it still remains pertinent to me and my own way of thinking.

    Hope the sorting had good results,

    Elizabeth

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  8. brenda w says:

    Elizabeth, Not being a reader of Koontz, you’ve inspired me. Think I’ll start with Odd Thomas, as it’s your favorite. Interesting poem, you’ve hooked me. ~Brenda

    Now all we have to worry about is my judgments concerning literary talents, lol. And Odd Thomas is a series of books, and a wonderful place to begin. Hope you enjoy and come back and let me know what your response is. Have a wonderful New Year, and thanks for stopping by,

    Elizabeth

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  9. wayne says:

    not familiar with Koontz either……but you did a really nice job with this prompt….thanks for sharing

    And thank you Wayne for stopping and commenting. As I said before, Koontz isn’t for everyone, but I learn a great deal from what he has to say. He makes me think, and I believe he is wonderful company,

    Elizabeth

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  10. I have read some of Koontz…a bit unnerving. I really enjoyed what you did with this. Makes me want to do something like it. But my favorite author is Harper Lee and she only wrote one novel. Ha! Actually she’s one of many favorites. Happy New Year.

    Ah, but that might work well for the WWP prompt this week, about taking words from a book and somehow making it into a poem. I rather like those kinds of challenges. It isn’t always easy working with someone else’s choices, but it does make for some surprises. Happy New Year, right back atcha,

    Elizabeth

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  11. b_y says:

    Fun. A bit like the game Calvino plays with titles in If On a Winters Night a Traveller.

    Yes it was fun, but now I am the one not familiar with the work you mention. I often did this as a challenge in my writing classes, with song titles, or a collage of images. And usually enjoyed what came out of it. My students always groaned of course, but then sink their pens into it and were also pleased with the outcome. Thanks for visiting and hope your New Year is a warm and welcoming one,

    Elizabeth

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  12. Well that’s a surprise! When I worked at our local library, Dean Koontz eas one of our most popular authors. We do have a lot of patrons who enjoy action=adventure books. Your poem was really well done, I wouldn’t have guessed it as a wordle except for the underlined woreds, which were all familiar.

    Thank you Marian, glad to hear from you. I haunted the library when I was young, and worked in it when I was in high school. I have an eclectic taste in reading material, but own more Koontz than any other author. Somehow, he speaks to me. Hope your New Year brings some good surprises,

    Elizabeth

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  13. pamela says:

    Elizabeth very clever use with the titles.
    I have enjoyed a few of his books, but I have changed my genre.
    Now horror stories scare the wits out of me. I never could finish
    Dracula and that was a while ago. I am wishing you a wonderful
    New Year.
    Pamela

    Pamela, I have always loved suspense and thrillers, and one of the reasons I like Koontz is that he’s got a great touch with his characters, makes the scary parts very realistic, but somehow keeps a light touch, has an incredible view of society and the nature of being human, and balances it all with a wonderfully wicked sense of humor. You might say I’m a bit of a fan. I enjoyed doing this poem, but also knew it might be a bit obscure for many. Thanks for your comments and hope you have a good one, as well,

    Elizabeth

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  14. Cara Holman says:

    What a creative idea Elizabeth. You’ve worked in the titles so seamlessly. I’ve never read Dean Koontz before– it makes me curious to check out some of his novels.

    Thanks Cara, if you do check him out, I recommend Odd Thomas, but my very favorite is The Watchers. It has a wonderful golden retriever who is, hands down, the star of the show.

    Elizabeth

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  15. Laurie Kolp says:

    Very intriguing list poem. I found myself reading it over and over again! Happy New Year!

    Hi Laurie,
    it’s not, as Viv pointed out, my usual style, due to the use of someone else’s words. But, I do like it because of those words. Glad you liked it and hope your New Year is full of poems and other good things,

    Elizabeth

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  16. Tilly Bud says:

    A great idea for a poem, Elizabeth; and the result is excellent.

    Happy New Year to you and yours 🙂

    And the same to you Tilly. It was just offbeat enough to draw me in. It really doesn’t take too much these days, lol. Thanks for stopping and a good New Year to you as well,

    Elizabeth

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  17. Erin says:

    What a great idea for a poem! You’ve done Dean Koontz proud. I used to live in Orange County, where many of his books take place. :0)

    Now that’s what I’d call both impressive and intriguing. And I wonder just what he might think of this. Maybe some day I’ll find a bit of a batty old woman who writes poems in one of his books and spend the rest of my life wondering if he found out about me, he, he, he. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Erin,

    Elizabeth

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  18. Mary says:

    Horror as a genre does not do much for me. I was interested, however, in one of his titles — In the Corner of His Eye — so much like the title of my blog, and I never even heard of this book. LOL. I like the way you adapted the challenge to your own particular way. Your poem worked!

    I actually have that book and it was a very interesting read. I know that the genre is not everyone’s cup of tea. I like his stuff because of everything else he puts into his stories. I especially like his comments about being human and how we often trip ourselves up in so many little ways that we aren’t aware of. Thanks so much Mary, for taking time to read and comment. I do so like hearing from you,

    Elizabeth

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  19. Clever. I intend to try this technique.

    Mathew, I have done it with many things, song lyrics, song titles, collage images, even words gathered from other poems, poets, and other types of reading material. I’ve done it with photos as well. I used to teach writing and used the exercise in many different ways. Thanks for commenting,

    Elizabeth

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