poetry critical

online poetry workshop

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Welcome!

Welcome to Poetry Critical, an online poetry workshop. To post your own poetry you'll need to create a user id by typing a name and password in the box above and hitting 'New User'. If you just want to critique or jump into the discussion, however, you can go ahead and get started!

Random Poem:

look, look
DeformedLion

i.
 1
 
 
can't praise you, can't
 2
make the show
 3
 
 
with the people rushing us like leaves,
 4
gentle Keiran, old sun
 5
 
 
verse with sympathy,
 6
think i am the same hag
 7
 
 
whistling light, or biting motion
 8
he summons Pan from bird-song
 9
and thinks that crunch ...
 10
 
 
oh, cantos of gravity. he laughs,
 11
look look.
 12
 
 
you couldn't tremble as hard as he laughs,
 13
too wonderful the crown you think, to arch your
 14
back and simmer down into age-
 15
 
 
crushed grapes   again.
 16
 
 
ii.
 17
 
 
Keiran was grandfather
 18
i wanted to be the wife, or the orbiting moon,
 19
someone the stage could pretend to love.
 20
 
 
i watched his silver locks and treasured smile
 21
from the cutoff.
 22
 
 
days went missing as i watch him stride into place, one shoe over two cracks in the floor.
 23
 
 
we go for peking duck on the saturday before the curtains open, and he is volume and silence and tooth.
 24
 
 
see him pick at what it meant to let another into his soul.
 25
 
 
i was nervous when he kissed my cheek,
 26
suppose even old brides can miss their fathers.
 27
 
 
iii.
 28
 
 
the laundry was done off-site, when it came back you could hear the pipes still groaning in the apron strings, or imagine
 29
anyway.
 30
 
 
1992 came and we got laid off, i was 34 and all my skills became cheaper to rabbit off to China.
 31
 
 
by then the factory had become murky, outside you could see the sky shying away, inside; all the little things stayed but somehow everything became harder to fit.
 32
 
 
my boots were the only thing i liked.
 33
 
 
eventually got that place out of my hair,
 34
unstrung, left my apron for the ghosts.
 35
 
 
times were tough, K.
 36
 
 
iv.
 37
 
 
last night i heard applause from across the street,
 38
two weeks ago it was gunfire,
 39
in 1996 i had a part-time job enough life for sympathy
 40
and a poem in mind.
 41
 
 
something like "you can't kiss a pig into kindness,
 42
a beast is just a beast."
 43
 
 
my poetry was glad i got cancer, i kidded myself that kids were just cute little pigs, slight shells of men.
 44
 
 
by then i was sharing a house with Richard, 45, and kind.
 45
i was on my back and pinching a tissue when i told him, watching the fabric tear:
 46
his face screwed up, hand crept away
 47
i guess kindness has layers.
 48
 
 
by then i figured i was 63 percent dead anyway, where was the bright lie?
 49
 
 
the hospital put me back in the factory, told the doc in a haze i didn't want to wake up in China. his brand of kindness came with a knife.
 50
 
 
1996 and my ovaries and insides had been turned into medical origami.
 51
 
 
v.
 52
 
 
i got thin, browse
 53
the library of people thin,
 54
like an apron covered
 55
poem; ballet of skeleton.
 56
 
 
bones so awkward they pissed themselves of belief.
 57
 
 
saturday nights spent planning tuesday routines-
 58
counting out coins for the subway,
 59
inching towards the fridge,
 60
drawing versions of myself out of old people
 61
on the same line,
 62
dead stare at the newspaper headline tucked
 63
strongly beneath the mans couture,
 64
his coat like armour,
 65
colour the same as my dissolution.
 66
 
 
that hospital ride broke me into a jigsaw piece.
 67
 
 
vi.
 68
 
 
sex worked the same, like work
 69
i guess.
 70
 
 
i was less cold, plump, drunk on three years
 71
of misfortune
 72
 
 
and a new millennium had come to throw up on us.
 73
 
 
Y2K and i was a dinner guest to a guy i knew
 74
back in high school, we had met at the reunion
 75
after we sort of hit it off at the previous reunion
 76
but he was married and i went looking for a light
 77
or a baby to coo.
 78
 
 
impressed that he remembered my name,
 79
delighted with the smoke he brought, tucked in a little tin,
 80
i penned him in as Marley on my Nokia
 81
 
 
and second chances come sooner if you survive
 82
to fuck the first.
 83
 
 
the sex was the same as needing a saline drip,
 84
or watching people new to meet be polite then
 85
open up and let their mouths take over the proceedings.
 86
 
 
all wanton and life affirming, though life is kind of short.
 87
 
 
another image of crushed grapes:
 88
a swell on my lips, my belly so flat
 89
i could tell him to leave it in.
 90
 
 
fireworks startle the Labrador- his name was Charlie,
 91
and i leave at first light, kiss of dog fur,
 92
and his murmured wife's name
 93
like wine
 94
 
 
stained lips, i take a breath
 95
and fondle the thought that we might
 96
meet in another ten.
 97

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