poetry critical

online poetry workshop

put on your choke face

go well into the night rainy day snowman
tuck your shadow into your slippers
among the walking wounded
flakes of  decay and black hell
falling from mouths
trotting rum soaked palsied marionettes
we all have the drowning disease
wait like the fox in his hole  
for our boy to leave his flower  
climb down from his asteroid  
make us tame  
trees the color of old copper
creaking in smoky sorrow of the heavens
wilted eucephalus’s
wail for their slain baron vons:
“Oh Tuesday, what hast thou done to us?”
days are epilogued with perforated edges
long affairs with a short glance
shakes us off like a case of fleas

23 Mar 05

Rated 8.9 (7.3) by 15 users.
Active (15): 1, 4, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10
Inactive (25): 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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2 nice imagery.
i wish i had thought to steal from raymond briggs. before now.
(an irrelevancy: i was on tele in a raymond briggs ballet adaptation once. not one of my proudest moments. but still i was on tele. and for three moments knew what it felt like to be one thumb tall)

i'm not sure you need their in 5. i'm not sure you need any other word in it's place either. i have trouble seeing that the their refers to the walking wounded.
and i may add a they to 6 and change the present continuous to the present tense. but only if i changed 5.
to make the subject clearer. it's a very me thing to do however. so it may not be a your thing.

oh. 10 and 11. shades of le petit prince.

15. eucephalus. is that a daisy tree? daisies. daisies! love daisies. i might tell everyone i'm called daisy jones. today. well worked in phalus by the way.

i'm sure baron von's are flowers too. but i'm not too sure. not much in my memory banks about baron von's apart from the obvious vampires and munchausens. etc

tuesday is especially popular today; wednesday. i like that.

would you be terribly offended if i said that the first thing that came into my head was blow-jobs?
 — kaleidazcope

and abimelech riseth early in the morning,
and calleth for all his servants,
and speaketh all these words
in their
and the men fear exceedingly
and lo, it was good.

 — unknown

I think the only line I understood (and like a lot!) is 2.  What a fun thing to be able to do, if we could.  I'm sure I'd like the rest if I could figure it out.  I envy K below with the in-depth ability.  sigh
 — Isabelle5

okay. i'm baffled. reads like dada, but makes more sense
but only if i'm sideways to the screen
it's incredible imagery throughout
but what am i seeing?
 — Bloodfetish

you could be seeing something about the transitory nature of all things, or observations on those afflicted with terminal uniqueness, or something about loss and ennui. maybe it's just poorly written blues. maybe.
 — onklcrispy

the first and second and last strophes are beautifully wrought.

15-16 have me fuzzled. i know of alexander's horse, and i know what cephalus refers to as far as it's a head but what's wif the eu? am i just dense?

this is quite loveful as pure writing and imagery go; i'm afraid i'm not smart enough to follow the thread, tho.

-noodleman, onklfan
 — unknown

This had all sorts of images pop in my mind:

Snowy days that turn into rainy days by time the snow/rain reaches you.
Telephone polls.
Mardi Gras.
Dogs--scratching dogs.

15-17 great!!

I fell comfortably in this poem and I'm sure, if I keep riding along, I'll figure it out.
Til then, I certainly do enjoy the seat. ^^

-Rixes, with his cup of toomuchorangejuice
 — unknown

onkly. don't explain yourself. you are understandable at the fringes of the mind. in the look away corner of the eye. you are perfect. your point was very well described before you explained it. meet me at the tree house. lets play.
 — kaleidazcope

 — unknown

i really like your new stuff.

while your command on language has always been above superlatives, your control over tone and imagery has gotten a lot more subtle.

i hope you take that as a complement.
 — root

or maybe i have become more liquid, or less transparent

either way i enjoy your poetry more these days than i did before.  thanks for writing so garsh darn well.
 — root

i thank you  10,000 times
you comment truly made my day

you are good scout, did good things to make smiles
buy yourself milkshake!
 — onklcrispy

haha, i'm glad to give you commentary, usually i just don't know what to say.

however, i guess i can also say that your livejournal is simultaneously one of the strangest and coolest things i've ever seen;  i spent hours there one weekend a while ago looking at all of your stuff.

i can't imagine knowing you in real life... i wonder if you are as onkly day-to-day as we get to share here and on your LJ.
 — root

i really like lines two and 11/12

nice imagery
 — unknown

i like this pome.

this comment was by noodleman who liked this pome.
 — unknown

The first two lines make me want to cry and so does the end. This is the most beautiful thing I have ever read in a long, long time and I wish that I could send you a joey in a pouch.
 — wendz

 — unknown

tuck your shadow into your slippers  2
Love this line and the image it conjures up!
 — LauraLea2

"All wait like the fox in his hole
for our boy to leave his flower
climb down from his asteroid
make us tame"

 — MissMay

 — noodleman

Holy shit, this is good!  No wonder it's on the Billboard Top Ten.
 — aforbing

This poem makes me happy to be alive. I'll tell you why.

This image that you have written so profoundly, so seemingly calculated but thown together is nothing I have ever read before. It's art like this that brings me out of depressions. It's the kind of young intelligence this poem emits that inspires me to live and create art. This kind of art restores my faith in humanity. People are capable of something beautiful and new.
 — unknown

I also want to add that it is

       b e a u f i t u l.
 — unknown

that is one of the nicest comments i think i have ever recieved. i am incredibly flattered by your sentiments unknown, it made my day. thank you so very much. thank you.
 — onklcrispy

Wow, t'is a beautiful poem. I love lines 8 - 12. Truly inspiring.
 — shadowskiss

hints of Dylan's "Do Not Go Gentle..." in line 1
a twist on Shakespeare's Julius Ceasar in line 8 (gotta love that jealous Cassius)
a little Genesis from the Good Book in line 17

I love allusions almost as much as I love onklcrispy!!!  

Hellooo, favorites, off we go!
 — LauraLea2

This is wonderfully done, not too wordy, I like it a lot.  The lack of capital letters works very well.  Lines 4-7 read a bit clumsyone suggestion: line 5, maybe make "fall" into "falling" or "fallen."  Line 10: "For our body to leave its flower"
On fifth read, I really love this poem, thank you!
 — slancho

brilliant imagery taste and feeling throughout
i can only say that i love it
 — Bloodfetish

l2 is great.
 — unknown


I crawled out of my hole this morning and was pleased to see this poem.

Brilliance throughout. Powerful and vivid images masterfully put together.

A poem filled with rainy-day snowmen, creaky trees and a sorrowful heaven. Who could ask for more?

Lines 18 and 19 approach perfection.

You have channeled your creativity and your imagination into something very compelling here. In my book, your best writing, which says a lot because your writing has always been extraordinary.

"each day is epilogued with a perforated edge". Bravo!!

My only complaint is that the "case of fleas" didn't work for me. The image provides the meaning you needed, but it didn't fit for me into the whole setting you created.
 — rob

I too, agree with Rob. The "case of fleas" is a little bit..real.
I came back for another read, because my choke face is on.
And because I got a snowman in the mail last week.
I named him "Rainy Day".

I want to cry every time I think about this.
 — wendz

How can you be so incredibly gifted and imaginitve and still be alive?

Are you sure you're not technically dead?

I just sneezed on the computer screen. Yay, colours!

Excuse me.
 — Lia

i love it. the imagery is mad
 — deity

What an eye popping surreal and fantastic set of images.Loved l1 and 2 in fact i like all the lines.Recalled for me the last dark poems of Sylvia Plath.
 — larrylark

very sigh.
 — OKcomputer

i miss my brother
 — onklcrispy

he he he.  i like this
 — BoundFeet

 — unknown

so many amazing lines. great images throughout.

i like this.
 — mould_jesus

how cute


does it really ave to be so sad?

now really

come come
 — unknown

Every single freaking time this comes up, I am impressed all over again.  And I just noticed that I have never added it to my favorites.  
 — Isabelle5

Very good.
 — lieskilllies

Oh, wonderful random!  I love this every single time!
 — Isabelle5

seems sometime in my poetry reading life here at pc i have read this, favorited it, and rated it a 9. but i have no memory of this poem. i scoured the comments for my name to no avail. what was i thinking about the last time i read this poem, that I have so soon forgotten it? I have no idea. The only thing that put me off to this poem was the opening, too immediate of an allusion. (Oh, I know they are everywhere here, and I do love them, but the beginning is nearly hitting you over the head with it). Line 7 is my favorite.
 — Ananke

Oh, YES!  I needed to see this again!
 — Isabelle5

especially good ending.
 — unknown

I love this poem
 — theair

nice. even though in my head this jumped from place to place, i greatly appreicated the orginiality. line 7 was seriously good. i liked how your individual lines were so well-developed, unique, and descriptive. job well done. rock on.
 — lanezfairy

this is depending on sounding cool, and it doesn't really. it's a cover of a generation covering wallpaper flowers and dumbing it all away with martinis. this is like something from ikea, even, so buildable you can do it yourself. all the nuts and koks and ready to pretend you don't pretend, sitting in the corner at the party. very depressing to read because it's so fashion and so unconscious. it there anything here but cheap shots and tears?
 — mikebauer

look how cool mikebauer is!

he spells cocks with only K's!

ONLY Ks!!!!!
 — unknown

this little dude "unknown" must be total KKK and wanting royalties. he writes like he doesn't like to write reviews, and here he is reviewing his kok for us, like it meant something to notice that something's spelt different; like his english class had a dictionary with one word: cock, and it was carved on his desk and that's the only word he really felt affection for. the rest of us, the writers, kind of get it on with a lot of words. "choke face" is a lamer piece, a child's drawing hung on the refridgerator. why would i change my opinion of it just because you think i look funny. nobody else would either; in fact, you're totally isolated now and everybody knows what's going on in your pants. gag.

total disaster for "unknown". .... "drats, foiled again".
 — mikebauer

"...a child's drawing hung on the refridgerator"
thank you for noticing!
 — onklcrispy

wow!!!! this is what poetry is about. ambiguous nature, complex symbolism and deep, deep emotions!!!! loved it!!!!
 — unknown

poetry is about poetry. the illusions and emotions are fake-outs by the author. we're writers, right? and that means we see the tricks and admire the slight of hand. this one is a little bit clumsy. kids like it though cause it's sticky and suggests to them what life is going to be about when they turn fourty-five.

"creak in the smokey sorrow of heaven"; "we all have the drowning disease"; "shakes us off like a case of fleas". very victorian, very lace curtain proper. a costume epic brought down to life in this stunning recreation of new york in 1947.
 — mikebauer

shots of cheap tears for sticky 45year old kids!

i have to say, while i find your convoluted criticism very entertaining and enjoyable, i am totally confounded as to what your talking about.
 — onklcrispy

well, that's probably all that matters. i just thought there was more poem here than you left us, and i kinda like poems.
 — mikebauer

there was more left, you just may not have taken.
 — onklcrispy

ummm, i really like poetry and look for it all over the place. this one has some nice tiles on the walls and a door step dating from the early 1900's. the tour guide did one of those "dressed just like" tours, and showed us what life will be like when we're 45 and pointless. it was an interesting visit but they could have had a concert or something to make it fun.
 — mikebauer


you didn't think much of the poem.

do you have to ramble on endlessly to say so?
 — unknown

if this is what life is going to be like at 45, i had no idea.
i think you have missed the mark.

is this what life is like for you:
"a child's drawing hung on the refridgerator, describing life at 45."
 — onklcrispy

jeez, you wrote a lamer poem and i tried to get you into poet space. now you're doing some shit about how you're just as you are but you don't want me to be just as i am. fascist dude, go drink strawberry martinis.
 — mikebauer

relax. please forgive me as i dodn't want to arouse any hostility or bad feelings.
i want you to be whatever you want you to be.

what i am saying is:
your critique(s) is/are vague and miguided. you make absurd accusations that totally miss the point, and make very little sense. for someone who clams to be a lover of poetry, your responses overly defensive and borderline insulting, instead of helpful.

the only advice i could give you, would be to re-read it.

again, i apologize if you feel i've insulted you in anyway, and i wish you the best in this holiday season.
 — onklcrispy

i diin't occure that i might have something to say about you're being a poet instead of a successful guy in PC. PC is pretty much a half-way house, and everyone's so head-pat and it's pukey and i think that poems come from the physical internal consciousness of body reacting to mind... hummm, this is probably too much information for you already. just grab the individual concepts in my post and then put them together. remember how in this poem of yours you were trying to sound omniscent? get to work.
 — mikebauer

see what i mean.
 — onklcrispy

no, i don't, and i think you might want to consider that interesting. you've got some real slams on you in some of the other people crits, if you read between the nice-nice... why do you think you're done with this one?

ask some genius writer friend to translate my posts for you.
 — mikebauer

Remember well, mikebauer,
where Mozart was heavily critiqued --
it is not his critics we remember,
but Mozart.
 — unknown

Remember well, mikebauer,
where Mozart was heavily critiqued --
it is not his critics we remember,
but Mozart.
— unknown

totally, and i assume that these little posts of yours will be glanced at by some biographer of my life.  

you understand that you don't really know very much about mozart? that he was pretty much everyone's baby boy and they loved to have him around? pick another composer? ... Partch, maybe, who invented a kind of very radical music and has survived into being a cult hero. are there critics of his music? who remembers, and that's kind of what you're getting at, in your own polite way. if mozart had a friend though, who could show him that he was too glib sometimes, or not really paying attention to the mechanics of the instrument, then that would be a valuable friend, though you might say that he too was a "critic". did you know that mozart hated the sound of clarinet, though he wrote works for it? and if someone were to say, "you asshole, you hate the clarinet" -- would that be a critic or simply an insipidry, like the dude who thinks i'm not talking the way he can understand? mystery.
 — mikebauer

and you, mikebauer,

can't understand anything
but agreement with
your own principles
and ideas
 — unknown

"...thinks i'm not talking the way he can understand..."
 — unknown

"...thinks i'm not talking the way he can understand..."
— unknown

actually i like this, and i wanted it to look this way. do you see how it kind of suggests bumping shoulders with him while we're walking and talking? it's kind of a "poetic" image and i thought it might be a revelation to someone still wanting a strictly message oriented verse.
 — mikebauer


I really like the bones of this poem. There are places where you've drifted (unusually so) into worn carpet, but as a whole, the message and imagery are fantastic.

I don't like the "into the night" in your first line for Dylan Thomas reasons, and could see "into the sun" or "water" or what-have-you because it works better with your image. Rainy day snowman is le mot juste. I was caught by it completely and dropped into the story.

The places that could use a bit of tightening, for me, are the places where you drift too heavily into modifiers. The images are striking and can speak volumes more if you prune the tree. For example:

while amongst the wounded  3
flakes of  decay  
fall from mouths  5 (note: mouths/trotting gives me a bit of pause)
trotting about, palsied marionettes  7
we all have the drowning disease  8
wait like the fox in his hole  9
for our boy to leave his flower  10
climb down from his asteroid  11
make us tame  12
trees the color of old copper  13
creak in the sorrow of the heavens  14
wilted eucephalus’s  15
wail for the fallen baron vons:  16
“Oh Tuesday, what hast thou done to us?”  17
days epilogued by a perforated edge  18
a long affair with a glance  19
shakes us off like a case of fleas

That's my experience of it, anyway. Pardon the chopping; I've no doubt you have better to offer than my haircut.


As I said to you in forums, a critique is supposed to be about guidance or illumination of your experience. Castigation and insult don't deliver this aim.

Speak plainly and be understood, sir. That's all we ask.
 — ka

ka, who's asking again? do you reallly think you're the standard language owner here? fascist. let me write the way i write... that's what you're saying you want me to accept from you. except that this is a poem piece and belongs to the literary world now and not sesame street. get real -- writing is written by writers, and i like writers and want them to be free to write anyway they want, not just clone and paste from movie memory.

if it has to be the case that kid's writing goes only in kid's space, and is looked at only by kid's, then you're going to have to convince me that PC is just that space. it looks to me like people like me are already here.

fashioned up teen haircut blond at Capitolia: this is OUR beach and we don't want any nudists here.
 — mikebauer

onkl i love your poem and that's all that really really matters before death.

i am gagging on somethin wordy.
 — OKcomputer

ka, i agree, and edits have been made. more at 11.

thanksa yoo
 — onklcrispy

line 6, make it "rum-soaked"

and i would appreciate some commas, so i know where to pause the first time through.

this was pretty obscure. i didn't get into it that much. it didn't grab me.
 — unknown

Well, I love how this comes back to the best list every now and then.  It deserves to be there!  I never get tired of this poem.  
 — Isabelle5

 — dominiuqe

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