poetry critical

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jamie watches the weather channel
rosemary

in between making mochas.
 1
jamie always wears
 2
the nicest sweaters, the
 3
simplest t-shirts,
 4
and keeps her hair gelled,
 5
cropped very short.
 6
 
 
she says it's supposed to
 7
snow in the city
 8
this week, and i can't tell
 9
whether she's talking to me,
 10
to god, or to the whirring she hears
 11
from the espresso machine.
 12

14 Jan 07

Rated 8.4 (8.4) by 7 users.
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Comments:

i dig the all-lowercase vibe.  i think repeating the name Jamie in line 2 is a little unnecessary.  line one continuing in from the title was a little confusing the first time i read it because i saw the period at the end of line 1 as a comma (for some reason). so, i thought you were saying "in between making mochas, jamie always wears the nicest sweaters."  i thought that was wild... anyway, some suggestions perhaps...

in line 6, i think "cropped quite short" might work well, the alliteration boosts your rhythm...thing is, i think i liked how "very" had 2 syllables, so perhaps it in fact would hurt the rhythm after all. consider it anyway.

in line 10, i think "talking" easily trumps "speaking."  try it out.

lines 10,11,12, maybe try out this edit.

whether she's talking to me,
god, or the whirring noise
of the espresso machine.

i personally like that more, but perhaps it's not YOU, and if that's the case, just go with what you FEEL is better.

cool style though, really. i liked reading it!

thanks for sharing!
steve
 — steveroggenb

This poem is wonderfully understated, clean, and spare; it doesn't leave a lot to discuss, but many times that's a strength, as it is here.  The poetic voice is very light and unbiased; a reader can assume nothing about the voice save it is someone who buys coffee, and that allows the portrait of the barista to be the focus of the poem.  Excellent work.

My only suggestion for revision is so minor that I feel somewhat ridiculous even bringing it up: it would be better grammatically to read "to me, to god, or the whirring she hears" instead of "to me, or god, or the whirring..."

Fine work.  Thanks,
 — mikkirat

it reads like a mouth full of loose teeth
 — unknown

what the hell is that supposed to mean?
 — rosemary

I enjoyed this very much, but it also reads like the beginning to a short story that I desperately want to read. The voice is right on point.
 — jezkuh

steveroggenb, thanks for the detailed critique. i decided to go with "talking" for the alliteration.
thanks again for being so detailed.

mikki, thanks for reading. took your suggestion; i hate being grammatically incorrect. :)
 — rosemary

sounds very indie
i. like. it.
 — fahrenheit

Really stylish. I wish i could write like this and sound sincere

Larry old phoney Lark
 — larrylark

I agree with Steve about jamie on L2, that lept out at me as I read it. "she" would be fine. S1 is a bit run-on. Consider separating thoughts instead of the long line. Or perhaps move L5-6 after 2 and hang them all over wears, in a head to toe sort of progression.

Great alliteration all over the place. Your sense of sound is excellent.
 — rocket

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