poetry critical

online poetry workshop

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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:

Peter Pan Girl At Her Worst

Why do her forearms swell with excess cells
and why have they lied a dozen times
surely her mind is too old to
conjure up such a hiccup
of a thought. Could it be that she – a self by which
one of her other selves is shamed – is so
doily-like that her hemoglobin goes pop,
it cries because the couch is too soft, and she complains
that she complains while complaining that
she has no right to complain and if that wasn’t dumb enough
she complains about that, too.
Train tracks are on her brain’s back but the inner core is derailed.
Despite that, she knows that she is the train
and the tracks and the fuel and the steam
and the engine and the conductor and the passenger
and the passenger's lover
and their joint hopes
and their individual secrets that the other never, never can know
and yet on varying levels of consciousness, depending on their moods, do know:
his ads for other women
her safety net of other men.
And the tracks are circular,
the passengers, whomever, are everyone.
But this is all she’s ever done:
screw herself and write it off.
Today her eyeballs screw her,
their irritated oscillations,
hoping by their moping to punish you.
Despite that, she knows that punishing you
is punishing herself
and punishing herself is punishing you.
So why does she pursue
it with whatever makes one who is in love
uneasy and scared.
Why, even as she realizes that it makes no sense,
is her grand plan to tomorrow soak in ice. Why
does she needlepoint, I mean fabricate, that there is safety
in this road which if traveled all the way to its end
would make her most sad --
but not as sad as she could be.
Don’t worry, there is some surprise:
how frightening her unsurprise is.
Nothing need happen to cause this,
but maybe something did,
nestled right in between
the extended periods of nothing happening.
Maybe she was skewered, put on a grill, not just a burning hot grill
but a grill full of mesquite chips
so that when you take a bite out of her, she is smoky.
Smoky like a growling senior citizen who hasn’t yet had
her driver’s license taken away
but growls as she complains
that they are going to take her driver’s license away.
Does this old lady become so overwhelmingly pissed off
that she crosses into an intersection when she should not
and hits a kid? Not very badly, but hitting a kid with a car at all
is probably hitting a kid with a car too much
and then the highers up
have to take her driver’s license away... Yes. That most certainly
can happen and may have happened even more times than reliably
observed, no matter how sensitive the grilled girl
is to letting her pathetic hallucinations lead her down
whatever path is necessary to translate
these hallucinations into the translation of reality
that she goes on to see -- whatever that unclever
volcano inside of her makes her see.
Just earlier today she worried about cancer and then
about being fat, then about overpaying the scammers
who help you to fix all of that,
but all they insure is that they end up not just profitable
but maximally profitable, not just from your fears
but by mandating that you -- either by your mind or
your fears or your checkbook or your automatic debit -- are fearful.
So long as you’re fearful enough of sudden ill health,
terrible accidents, or getting caught not paying,
fearful just enough to pay it up.
She laughs at your big premiums,
things you a bigger sucker,
or just sicker, then feels guilty, because she is the sucker, who pays
only to avoid doctors like the plague,
avoid them until the throbbing
in her kidneys itself throbs --
then she’ll get her money’s worth! But not
her current money’s worth, her money’s worth
from years ago; see, that’s written that into
the system too, so no, she never really gets her money’s worth.
As night falls
she realizes that some people are scared of alcohol
and some people most certainly are not.
So tonight she’ll make an infrequent choice for her,
and will be all the marginally better for it
as she acts in the sober way
that her drunken self hates: withdrawn.
At least if she was drunk enough
you might have the opportunity
to hear why she’s so pissed off.
Of course, it wouldn’t make sense if you heard it,
but as we’ve seen, it doesn’t make much sense sober, either.
And if in the deepest depths or most forefront fronts of your mind
you now conjure up an image of a red flag, we understand.
And if you realize that in one way, or another, she put it there
then maybe it can become a beautiful thing.
Beautiful like fire or erosion,
rawly beautiful like the fear of your coat
falling off of your shoulders
and the Seraphim catching it,
or something like that.
Something destructive but captivating,
dangerous but necessary to be explored.

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