poetry critical

online poetry workshop


Goth metal is a cacophonous skin
I paste, sticky, over my own, closed in the
bathroom, the only place I know where one
is allowed to be lonely, alone. Here, in safety,
with a mother’s love, I caress the puckered scars of
cigarette burns I gave myself as permissive gifts,
a chain of tiny releases meted mercifully in self-
soothe. They are little round mouths, whiter
than the encircling skin, permanently wearing
gape-faced, startled Os, manifested astonishment
felt when reality comes hard, full-frontal. After all,
so much climaxes, ends in a bellyful scream:
dreams – agony – joy – fucking – life.

16 May 07

Rated 8.5 (8.5) by 4 users.
Active (4): 7, 8, 9, 10
Inactive (0):

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

(2 users consider this poem a favorite)

Add A Comment:
Enter the following text to post as unknown: captcha


wow thats blunt.

L2 - "locked" instead of 'closed"? that sounds like it'll fit.
L3 -  "lonely alone" sounds redundant

this poem isn't really my kinda thing...but it's good.
 — mister9a

Thanks, Mister9a. I can appreciate that this might not be your thing, and I am glad for your comments. Your suggestion for L2 actually is very astute and reflects the original wording! Guess I should've trusted my first impulse...
 — DrakeScott

well, this certainly rained on my silly hat parade this morning.
I wasn't ready for a heavy, I suppose. =-)
I know why some might thing L3 contains redundancies,
but I think it's because there is no pause.
you can be with a crowd of friends and still be lonely, I like what you did there.  Just suggesting a break in the line, or some punctuation to seperate the words.
I have a wordiness problem with the 3rd stanza.
lines 5-8 are my fave.  
 — jenakajoffer

Thanks for your thoughts, Jen! I have integrated your suggestion for punctuation in L3 and am mulling the rest.
 — DrakeScott

 — unknown

hi DS,
L4 reads clearer now,
to be more specific,
L10 is an overkill for me.
gape-faced, startled O's, manifested astonishment;
aren't they all relatively the same thing?
I think there are too many descriptions
(I need to bone up on my grammar, cuz I don't know the proper terms anymore; adjectives, modifiers etc. whatever, you know what I mean eh?).

"permanently wearing
startled O's, manifesting astonishment
when reality comes full-frontal..."
"everything climaxes with a (bellyful?) scream..."

you know, just tinkering around, it's your poem,
just glad to read, thanks again.
 — jenakajoffer

I really appreciate your thoughtful suggestions. It's a rare honor to have someone give such considered comments on Poetry Critical.
 — DrakeScott

Yes, I can see what you mean about the comparison you made.

This is very good. I like the images you use, almost like a dark, sticky cocoon with a Nine Inch Nails soundtrack where the narrator shifts, molts into something unseen and startling.

Your use of internal rhyme like "own, closed" in line 2 and "only," in line 3 with "lonely" in line 4 as well as "alone" in 4 and "one" in three betray a love of form even in the midst of seeming chaos. Nicely done.

The contrast of what most people think of as a "mother's love" and intentional cigarette burns is very forceful. I believe that we need pain to know pleasure. Hell, the line between the two is blurry and you caught that well.

Very concrete, brutal and strangely beautiful.
 — blee73

Thanks, Blee73, for another thoughtful response. I appreciate it immensely!
 — DrakeScott

this is good. Truth shines in poetry and you make me want to get the sunglasses out. bravo...
 — Trish77

Thanks, Trish... it is one of my truths, no doubt about it. Take care..
 — DrakeScott

A lot to like here. I think the ending is the weakest link. The trick here is to conclude with what it means to you without wording it in the "sweeping declaration about life and everything" style. Not all dreams, lives, etc. end in a scream, so when you write in that style you create a distance between you and some readers that detracts a bit from an otherwise solid effort.

 — rocket

Thanks, Rocket.. that's an excellent point! It easy easy sometimes to get caught up in sweeping generalization.
 — DrakeScott

It's in 3-D!  Deep, dark and disturbed; very eloquently put to words.  I could never have done such a sadomasochistic work of writing such justice.  It's beautifully horrendous.  
 — starr

p.s.  The true beauty in this poem lies in the last two lines.  Everything climaxes, indeed.  SO true.  
 — starr

Thanks, Starr! Though everything climaxes, the previous comment that it's too universal may well be true, as it applies to the bellyful scream... I'm considering a word change in L12.
 — DrakeScott

Yes!  Better!  :-)
 — starr