poetry critical

online poetry workshop


at the station
my brother, stinking of
piss tobacco menses
puts his hand to my throat
his eyes not seeing
asks the cunt for all her money
but; i am still surprised, at how
age makes a grown man's face grotesque
i wonder if the deformity of hisoul
is my fault
in the kitchen
my sister, her hands
have grown into a man's,
scartissue skin is unable
to feel
she does not cry out when i tear at her
i am wanting to set her free
from the sins of her father
and yet shame holds her in strong arms;
pulls away
on the floor
my mother, sitting splayed
the lines around her eyes
have become dark
she is too old to cry
her voice is steady
asks me daughter what is this
how did, i don't remember
this blood getting on my hands
i bend towards her, she
wipes on my face
what color is my face
tell me
in the dark
my father, his face
is hidden from me
his form far away from mine
in a room with no sound
ache to return
and sometimes i wonder,
who what kind of man is this
is my father; a man
who tells what kind stories
i want to listen
whose dreams
i want to feel

edit: 1x.

17 Sep 06

Rated 7 (8) by 1 users.
Active (1):
Inactive (7): 2, 6, 7, 7, 9, 9, 10, 10

(define the words in this poem)

(1 user considers this poem a favorite)

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


i really love this. there are a few places where i don't know what the point is, though.
 — livella

thanks (: what places?
 — ruyi

This harrowing, haunting, beautiful.
It makes me feel terribly sad.
 — lacklusterrr

Who, where, he, she, cunt, why..Syntax problems are rampant throughout this piece which is not very well assembled at all.  It starts out kind of interesting but then goes off in too many directions all at once.  Any way of pulling this together more fluidly so that the reader can distinguish between the many characters here?
 — unknown

syntax problems? where? every word, every linebreak, every mispelling was made with purpose.

anyways. at the moment i suppose the work is bit too personal, and that is why it does not seem coherent. i tried to distinguish between characters by doing the numbered sections, are there any parts in particular where you are confused, unknown?
 — ruyi

Brutal. I disagree with the unknown. You can tell that the line breaks, syntax and spelling - the smashing together of words like "hisoul" - were done with careful purpose.

I'd suggest formatting each verse similarly to the others; visually, it would make a little more sense. The first two parts already have the same number of lines, and you're halfway there with making the last two the same. Maybe something like this in section three:

i bend towards her, she wipes my face
what color is my face
tell me

and something like this in section four:

who tells what kind stories
what kind of

Otherwise, well and viscerally accomplished.
 — jcameron

Very dark and emotional!  Sad that this may be your reality???  But still, I like it!
 — unknown

thanks for suggestions jcameron! yes i was trying to do exactly that (: hm i feel like i want to separate her wiping the blood on my face from me asking what color is my face with more than just a line break, because it's kind of a shift of voice. when she wipes the blood on my face, i am continuing in the whole i-am-just-kind-of-making-observations voice, but when i ask what color is my face, i am actually trying to dialogue with the reader, i am asking the reader a question, it is not my mother talking.

well actually i guess it could be interpreted as her voice too. however you like to read it!

i will keep working with though! thanks for help again!
 — ruyi

The edit works very well! Nice repetition in part 4, too.
 — jcameron

this is definatly going on my favorites.
 — gonewrong

You lost me when you said your brother smells of menses.
 — unknown

what's to get lost about? you are supposed to be intrigued and creeped out - you are supposed to wonder why does he smell like menses?
 — ruyi

 — unknown

This is good, but uneven. The overall theme feels complete, but the first two stanzas (the first in particular) feel somewhat contrived. Not necessarily in feeling of tone, but definitely in structure and pacing.

My main issue with those first two sections is some of the devices used. In l3, the descriptive words without verbs or punctuation falls flat to me because it doesn't show up anywhere else in the poem. It aids the line, but it harms the poem because it's out of place in the flow of the poem.

Similarly, the uses of compounded words "hisoul" and "scartissue" feel off putting to me. If they were used all throughout the poem, it'd be one thing. I wouldn't think it was good, but it wouldn't be out of place. As it is, they fall off from use just before the good parts of the poem, sections 3 &4, perhaps tellingly. They're devices that may look good in an individual line, but not as a whole.

Those interruptions are my main issue with the poem. I think some other things could be phrased more elegantly, for example, perhaps l40 doesn't need to specify "from me", as it's already established it's hidden. Little things like that.

Overall, well done. I hope my comments may help.
 — dandy