poetry critical

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a summer and letter since returned to its sender

It was then we began
the postcard sonnets and wayward packages.
You sent mixtapes, brightly coloured
candles from Mexico. I sent a bottle of Loch Ness
water. The two of us spent
a year apart, a summer together, waxing
predilection or maybe desire.
In the New York of free
Shakespeare in the park and greying
marquees; the New York of AIDS
and your apartment sardined
with old newspapers and hypodermics
from residents who'd given up
their ghosts- the glassy, candled skin of junkies -
to the New York of Us, gloriously,
victoriously poor. You left me
careful clues, enough notes and calculated
sketches of my sleep to make a coffee table novel.
We parted in true bohemian fashion, leaving
our marks in the apartment, our discovered novels -
hidden precisely in order to be found.
"She still has a boyfriend. Should I make my move?"
Maybe you have a woman now, foreign,
feline and still, and if so, there is hope for us
yet. Her eyes like pricks of flame
at the foot of your bed. Perhaps
she will arch herself to the boiling of your lean torso
grey in the night, her hair
afire and honey-brown, to form a canopy that drapes
as rain falls brazenly. After
you will perhaps make yourself
a sandwich, a snack of men, and climb back into bed
and forgive me. Because I need it, here,
this you who's forgiven me,
to find the me who's forgiven
you, and I'm waiting to stop
waiting for these letters to disappear.


7 Mar 06

Rated 8.6 (8.8) by 14 users.
Active (14): 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 10
Inactive (12): 1, 1, 8, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

(define the words in this poem)
(13 more poems by this author)

(10 users consider this poem a favorite)

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This narrative pulls me in, leaves me curious.  I love your portrayal of New York.
 — jerotich

This is wonderful. A beautiful story supported by beautiful use of language. Its difficult to pick favourite lines, but I do like 1-4, and 27-31. I don't really have any suggestions of change, other than that the liniation could be played with in order to make it slightly less essay-like, and more appealing at first glance.

Well done, lovely words.

 — musicwords

I really am rubbish at line breaks, but thank you.
 — unknown

I have nothing new to say though.
 — Meep

oh well.
 — unknown

are the line breaks any better?
 — unknown

changed again
 — unknown

so. now you know who the author is.
 — Bombazine

it's ok.
 — unknown

dissapear = spelling mistake


daniel's girlfriend
 — unknown


Danny and I are still writing letters. Just thought you should know.

 — Bombazine

i am bi.

me and danny love your rouge lips.

 — unknown

This is beautiful.  I love the imagery and the enjambment.  The narrative vibe is excellent.      Loved.
 — WordsAndMe

Daniel.  My favorite name besides Michael.  Lovely.
 — Isabelle5

nice poem. the girl got talent but not my number.
 — unknown

пожалуйста, неизвестный человек. :)

я изучаю русскии язык. по я толко панимаю небольшого русского.


also, thanks wordsandme and Isabelle.
 — Bombazine

Was wondering when this would fall from top rated.
 — Bombazine

Ah, apparently it's at number 66.

hurr hurr.
 — Bombazine

back up to 13 :)
 — noodleman

Glorious. From someone named Daniel, a 10.

 — teo_omega11

oh my, this is lovely writing.  The narrative pulls me in without obliging me to take sides, which is particularly appealing to any non-partisan reader and makes your poem very powerful.  The descriptions you offer are trips in themselves, like the light feeling of dizziness one gets from taking the journey with you.  I am no good at line breaks either so I am loathe to offer any suggestions, though they do read awkward at times, especially the latter part of the poem.  

line 15 - is there any specific reason for the capitalizatio of "us"
lines 14 - 16 - personal favorites, there is a painful kind of truth in your words.

I am not sure I care for line 22 at all, it takes away from the palette of previous images.  It could just be me though.  

line 25 - I am wondering whether "still" instead of "yet" might work better.  I do realize this will cause a problem of repetition with line 24.  Do you think you can figure something out?

line 27 is a favorite, "she will arch herself to the lean boiling of your lean torso," very  delicious, I can picture the frozen sculture.

Beautiful writing to share with a cup of wine on a Saturday evening,
thank you
 — slancho

this is really beautiful. you master the art of poetry, feeling your every word, placing it to create a perfect flow, conjure the atmosphere you want to conjure in a way no other has done before you and no other will ever be able to do in the same way. I love your unique imagery and the sly lines 20-21 especially.
I also really enjoyed the ambiguity of the last few lines (especially 34-36), the way the enjambements change their meaning, its one of my favorite things in a poem.
wonderful work!
 — sparrow

Amazing.  I can't describe how much this affected me.  I love the New York references and such.  This is lovely.  Nice job.
 — fallinforyou

this is amazing,
i love it :)
 — FrayedSkirt

this poem isn't overly long which is a strength. you let us get lost in this. thanks.
 — listen

This might sound weird but I think that maybe this poem ends on line 21
Sacrilege - How can he say that?
I know that there are some great, fantastic lines later in the poem 23-30 are just beautiful.
But if I was to edit this to send to a magazine like the Paris Review,
which I think it is good enough, I would leave out everything after line 21.
Before line 21 we really get a sense of the emotions of the poet, through the use of the objects and so the reader is drawn into the poem without feeling that they are being told what to feel by the poet.
This is masterful writing. My only gripe line 6-7 I don’t think you need to explain "waxing predilection or maybe desire" actually leaving this line out still conveys this idea by the situation "the two of us spent a year apart, a summer together"- this lets the reader wonder themselves about the relationship. In my last year of University I wrote a paper on how the main difference between published first person "I poems" and unpublished internet fare is how the published writers pare back on their own thoughts and emotions while still including them through various devices.
Anyway I love this and you're a far better writer than me anyway, so good luck with whatever you decide to do with this piece.
Cheers in awe
 — Tentative

this you who's forgiven me,
to find the me who's frgiven

and v. lovely
 — starr_D

amazing. not a nit.

 — midare

very familiar notings here. the mixtapes and the postcard...

nice storytelling. i like the form and the content. and nothing to change or alter...we all hear our own breaks.
 — ilenelush

this is excellent.
 — changeling

 — jumpoline

just great.  here it is, the real thing.  and it is wondrous and terrible all at once, vivid and memorable and heartbreaking.
 — unknown

i would very much like to post this fine poem on my blog.  james lineberger.  you may contact me at .  
 — unknown

i'm withdrawing my invitation.  it's obvious, from the numerous responses the piece has received, that you have no need of further publilcity.   but if you expect to keep this following, you might have the couortesy to reply to their comments.
 — unknown

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