A re-write. If I change the title to "El Paso", would that make any difference?

The eagle struts around the rim of night

As coins in cloudbursts rattle to the ground;

Coyotes sidle by, then slouch from sight,

And desert winds will void the world of sound.

The sandstorm that drops dollars in the heat

Has quenched in dust the fire that turns to ash;

The soldiers in the compound do not eat,

But drink the salty sweat that drips from cash.

Forbidden river cleaves the land with hate,

As merchants shout and haggle for a deal;

Tequila stink of burnt wood haunts the gate,

As Montezuma screams upon the wheel.

And all the while the eagle struts, his eye

Is fixed with madness on the weeping sky.

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  • I don`t think `El Paso`…something less definite.

    Your last couplet`s of genius… following some choice phrases too..

    I can scent, feel between my fingers the irony here

    and it is pungent, tacky , brilliantly written.TY.

    ( I just `coined` an expression from this too…`Tacky Money`. I.shall use it –

    or you might or anyone might)..

  • Not to me. But, I feel like you are talking in metaphors and symbolism that represents a place. If the effect you are trying to have is mysterious, graphic, rugged and sort of macho why would you want to tell us the actual name at the beginning. Why not leave the title mysterious too? El Paso means ‘the passage’ you could make that the title. Or pick some thing else that hints at the place but leaves us guessing like ‘Across the Border’.

    See also  Can someone give me a topic for a lyric poem?


  • Two observations:

    “Tequila stink” is an offensive expression for a decent drink. “Tequila scent” (I think) is better.

    Is the historical reference to Montezuma necessary? I consider it a fill-in detail.

    Coins in El Paso and Montezuma don’t match together; Also “Montezuma” means something that you do not wish to have in such a good sonnet.

    Best quality of the poem: The “Flow”. Better than most sonnets I’ve read lately.

    Very decent and experienced work.

  • Oh yes that is El Paso, very nicely done.

  • Very nice. It could be a prelude to a movie.

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