poetry critical

online poetry workshop



Not Exactly Okay
Cella

If I drank,
 1
    I would be a mess
 2
    right now
 3
If I was a junkie
 4
    I would be on the bathroom floor
 5
    right now
 6
But I am cursed
 7
    by the worst
 8
    malady of all:
 9
The tragedy of suffering
 10
    from no
 11
    malady at all
 12
 
 
The state of not being predisposed to
 13
    the convenience of
 14
    self-destructive behavior
 15
This is what experts call
 16
    "psychologically mature
 17
    dealings with a sense of loss or failure"
 18
A victim of
 19
     "common sense,"
 20
     "self respect,"  and
 21
     "knowing better."
 22
 
 
I don't have the privilege of a disease
 23
    on which to blame my
 24
    poor decisions
 25
Nothing runs in my family but
 26
    small bones and
 27
    near-sighted vision
 28
So this prison of
 29
     mental health finds me
 30
     scrawling poetry
 31
A few tears tracing cliches
 32
     down my cheek
 33
     to the tune of the new
 34
     Norah Jones CD
 35
 
 
When I say I'm not exactly okay
 36
    they don't
 37
    believe me
 38
Funny how you have to draw blood
 39
    to be taken
 40
    seriously
 41
No, I am not fortunate enough
 42
    to be locked up
 43
Because tomorrow I will
 44
    wash my face,
 45
    and go to school,
 46
    and eat lunch
 47
 
 
And if I try really hard
 48
     and have any luck
 49
I can feign
 50
     passive-agressiveness
 51
     and at least wish
 52
     myself drunk
 53

16 Jan 04

Rated 4.5 (7.8) by 2 users.
Active (2): 4, 9
Inactive (56): 1, 1, 1, 3, 3, 3, 3, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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

(44 users consider this poem a favorite)



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

Comments:

Its long. :(
 — fidah

finally someone who understands

you need love

but where on earth do you find it?

your love,

I see love
and i can say that your love is somewhere

but i wouldnt dare rob you of finding it yourself
because if you dont

you will never be able to feel it
;)
 — kronah

This is just good. line 5: s/b malady

Line breaks could use some work - if you want an example of what I mean, drop me and email and I'll show ya. Cascades of strong emotion need stanza breaks to give the reader a bit of time to breathe.

Well done.


 — ka

Wont rate yet, but lines 13-16 are really good. Will comment and rate after a few more reads. Just thought I'd mention the lines that really jumped out at me on my first read through.
 — mgill

aweful differs from awful. I think the title IS actually aweful, which is OK, but not exactly.
 — unknown

i think this just could be the best poem on the site!!!!!!!
 — loonytune

(Line 20 should be "Norah" just so you know.) I really like this. It's awesome. Suggestions on titles could be: "Drawing blood" "Mallady" or "I know better."
 — Jsmiles05

Thanks for all the comments. I fixed the spelling, changed some line breaks, and added stanza breaks. Better?
 — Cella

I think your title is fine. I like your poem too, especially the 'cliches' and the way it talks to us simply and with humour. Uncomplicated but not uncomplicated. Well done.
 — unknown

...this is to good
 — unknown

Line 48: "And" is not needed.
Beyond that--this rocked my world. You rock on with your bad ass self!!!!!!
 — aforbing

I really like your simplicity, the use of short descriptions really paints an imagine.
 — Bloved

This is fabulous.  I would simply suggest, if you would like to tweak this a bit, that you re-visit each line and examine whether or not you TRULY need to CAP each line.  Especially the "and" & "or"'s.  Great Job!
 — aforbing

POEM: Before I read a poem, I look at it's length. Usually if it is over 40 lines I don't hold much hope for it-but read it anyway. I was surprised at this. It is a beautiful piece of writing. Sensational. I think the title is perfect, because it is not the general topic. It would have been terrible if you had named it "Drunk" or "Prison" or something in association with that. Keep up the good work.
LANGUAGE: In lines 7-12, the repitition isn't really working for me. Instead of sounding good, it just sounds like you couldn't think of anything else to say. Try to work on that.
RATING: a perfect 10
 — unknown

If lines 7-12 were iffy, then why did you give this a 'perfect 10' ?!!
 — unknown

I love this.
 — dkm

I like it, too. It works.   Rob
 — unknown

Brilliant!
 — jooles

i like it.  nice and engaging!  (but that left me with the disappointment of wondering what was the loss or failure.  it's not clear to me that it is just a general sense.  but it sounds like it is not.  i wish it was clearer, one way or the other.)
 — gnormal

crap is the technical term for it.

Teen angst prose, but a little better than most.
Reading some good poetry can help.
 — unknown

I think the first stanza could be good if it is worked on and made less explicit, the second stanza can be got rid of, it rambles and says nothing, stanza 3 has some good observant bits. Lines 36 -41 could end the poem, as the last part again is too explicit and just piles on what you've already overtly stated several times before.
Have you read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath? - a novel, but she captures exactly the feelings you describe and it might help you formulate this in a less obvious way, as it has potential.
 — opal

you do need love
but ratinals can't afford such luxuries
 — catcher

not bad but lines 32/33 say it all - too many cliches
 — felicity

wow
 — HighonU

amazingly good! i love this very much!
 — woe

Nice. The title is perfect.
 — unknown

you have an amazing way of capturing the confusion felt by so many
 — crazygurl

I think anyone can relate to this poem some way or another.
 — darmrocks

maybe name it prison of mental health or mental health prison.  awesome, by the way.  i've always felt exactly like that.
 — unknown

I really love this poem.  Also I wouldn't change the Title.  I think it fits.
 — escondo

i dont get it..........
 — unknown

ths is genius..
 — unknown

This is almost reminding me of christina rosetti for some reason. You have talent girl, keep it up.
 — Jsmiles05

come on.  lines 32-35 is just that - cliches!
 — mandrakeman

the new new norah jones album has been released in the UK and will shortly be arriving in ALL shops, please feel free to buy it as they give us LOTS of champagne every time its at number 1 (getting drunk at lunch time - my fav pastime...)
XxXx
 — Minx

to me, it explains too much

show don't tell
 — Ananke

i agree with the cliche comment. it just doesn't seem very original (and that still counts for something for me sometimes). it was said pretty well though.
 — username

It's so true it hurts. I know the feeling. Very well described!
 — unknown

How about for the title: "There's no sense in being common"

A little too emotion charged, but indeed very good.
 — silolater

It took me a few lines or more to actually wrap my mind around what this poem was about but once I did I fell in love with this poem.  I can't relate at all but in my opinion it is wonderful.  Good poetry is able to jump across the line of relating to the topic and this poem did just that.
 — unknown

Interesting way of putting lifes confusions on the table. Great work!
 — unknown

Get rid off header note - your title is perfect!!
 — unknown

ok its ok its understanderble good
 — unknown

nice, attacking a difficult position of normality
 — unknown

i liked it, but the beginning could lose the doctor's report vibe. um i liked the way u conveyed how u don't have to have a terrible lifestyle or upbringing or health or any of those things to be unhappy. lol i don't like norah jones, i could stand to lose that verse, but everything else is good, lol i love cliches =)  
 — beekers

I really like this.  It doesn't have needless blah and spaces and page poetry.  It's simple.  It gives the message, but you still feel like you're reading a poem while going through its depths.  I think I'll favorite this one.  I rocks my socks, shoes, and hair clips. And I know how the speaker feels.  I feel the same way.
 — Mirm

You describe how I feel sometimes. The curse of being too smart for your own good. nice.
 — unknown

I know the feeling--hate it--love the poem though
 — llama

This poem is really powerful if read by the right people.  I want to share a little advice that gets me through the hard times,

        "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."
                I think there is more to you than what people see,
                        Your,
                            Sarah or Stes0007
 — stes0007

very interesting. it's like ur reading my mind! ur poem can totally be related too and uses strong words to get ur point across.
 — unknown

i really liked it, totally can relate.
 — unknown

it should be ten lines long!!!!!
 — unknown

Cella, it sounds like you suffer from being in a cell. Your obsession, it seems, comes from not being celled existentially enough and perhaps socially. It's very poignant the names we choose and are given.
I used to want to be sick so I wouldn't have to do compulsory education. I yearned to have an excuse to simply be free to enjoy life. I got sick, and now, I'm regretting my choices. I'm even less free, less ah.
I like your title. (C)
 — unknown

i love the mechanics of this piece.  you have great usage of sound and word choice; however, unless i read it in the voice of one mocking people like this, the stereotypical high schooler, i can't really connect with the speaker.  for me it's great as a satirical piece, so i hope that's what you were going for.
 — lillas

I like it.  It held my interest all the way.  People who complain of "cliche" are themselves becoming too cliche.  This piece is far from repetitive in standard word-fare. Instead I found it clear and concise with a cadence easy to follow.  Kinda reminds me of the Al Sheedy character in The Breakfast Club...my own character 40 years ago.
 — tinkerman

I like this, the teen-angst poets running rampant on this site could learn a little something from you.
 — abby

Funny you say that, because I am the QUEEN of pathetic teen angst poetry!
 — Cella

I liked the construction here although not perfect (what is)
it's light years beyond most poems of this genre.
Excellent work
 — Ayedorite

i really like this. i can totally relate. feels like you've captured everything i feel. great job. i like the line breaks too, makes it interesting.
 — DiVeRiGhTiN

omg! i loooooove the last stanza!! it is my new saying~you kow I love ur stuff
 — meghanmidget

excellent. its going on my favorites list.
 — mazzy

actually this is a topic that it would seem that everyone writes about. but they usually suck this however didn't. good job.
 — Drastic

the way the words flow into each other and you understand all of it is great you display pain and suffering of nothing but something in utter amazement i LOVE it definetely one of my favorites
 — speech_less

This would make a great slam piece .... nice work
 — Dinky

beautiful!
 — innersense

I am too new here to critique on grammer, but I have to say it's so true when we are "normal" we aren't afforded the luxury of using a barrage of excuses for our behavior nor are our crieds for help taken as seriously.  Excellant!!
 — robin_lynn

hmmm
 — Brandxxx

it's really long, and you didn't really pull me in so my mind started to wander. i love lines 39-41, how true...
 — scribeastray

Wow, I enjoyed this thoroughly, really I do, you capture my every-so-often nights where I lose track of time and wander down some trail that leads me to the wonderment you have just presented, I love it.
 — dmartin

its good and all, what i like in particular about this is that it manages to write about a topic, a very cliched topic, without it being cliched. my thoughts, anyway.
 — wendz

I think this is just simply and directly fabulous. I don't see this as 'teen angst' at all. I assume you are teenage(purely due to the school reference) but it doesnt read like it. Direct and succinct. Fantastic job.
 — feebadger

i like this, and it's very well written i must say. i think everyone feels this way sometimes, and i think that you portrayed it beautifully.
 — stainedsteal

awesome
 — unknown

I really enjoyed this poem as well. you did an awesome job capturing the feeling of being okay and not okay at the same time...
well, i just did a terrible job of explaining what you did so well...but you get the picture. awesome ;o)
 — peanut

how unfortunate huh? when life's going ok, there isn't much to mull over.
lovely how you placed it all.
 — thirdeyris

U SUX
 — unknown

This is one of the best Iv'e ever read on this site. I flows really nicely.
 — unknown

I really like this piece, it is both very sad and tickles the funnybone at the same time. Very expressive, and very real as well. Good job.
 — wraze

I can so relate to this. Only i do get drunk, i do draw blood, i do make them notice. but as soon as i start eating and talking again they pretend like it never happened, untill next time, when it happens again.
Congratulations for being able to put it into words, and good ones, at that.
 — Lia

You've put into words what i've felt most of my life! You did this excellently! I wanna read more of your stuff now
 — Dark_Spark

Great great great.
 — unknown

Oh, the pitfalls of being normal and fairly happy with your life.  Nicely written.
 — Isabelle5

Great poem! Greatly written. Well done!
 — WildSymphony

You're deep, dark and disturbed.  This is a good thing.  The poetry is your comfort over drugs/alcohol.  Stay UP.  Starr  I really like the opening lines of the first stanza, by the way.  
 — starr

Like like like. Will comment properly in due course.

x
 — musicwords

I like this a lot and would only change one thing--L32  change tracing to chasing cliches
 — unknown

A very good 'Weltschmerz' poem!
 — Seahorse

3
 — unknown

I love this. I really mean that. I have tried to convey these exact thoughts without success. 10
 — BoundFeet

0.509s