poetry critical

online poetry workshop


Dave and Kyle had been best friends since
second grade, their frustrations over the years
only secondary. Then Kyle was diagnosed with
schizophrenia and everything changed.
They split his brain. Not literally, but they
may as well have, it would have been less painful.
They said he was in a delusion to ever think they
had any reason to respect him,
and in the halls, people kept saying,
“They’re coming to get you,”
behind his back.
They were coming to get him. And ironically they
could achieve this by ignoring or taunting him.
He tried to get help from Dave as this happened, but
he couldn’t; he didn’t want to bother him,
and it was of course very difficult to even think about
accepting his illness, people yelling, “Kyle’s a schizo!”
at the top of their biased lungs.
With all this chaos, it was a miracle his friend hadn’t
found out yet.
He liked to believe that if he told Dave the truth
their friendship would last, but now he wondered.
After the way people treated him, why would his best
friend treat him any different?
After awhile he decided that it was pointless to hide
it, especially from the one he thought cared.
He arranged for a meeting, a hang out, where
hopefully it wouldn’t be a proverbial self-termination.
When they met, he explained what he had.
Dave had a blank expression on his face, followed
by a “hidden” look of revulsion and pity.
“You know what?” Kyle wanted to say,
“forget I ever told you. Forget we were ever friends.”
But Dave did that for him. “Kyle,”
he said, with casual extrospection.
“Get out of here.”
Kyle did as he was told. Almost cried. But didn’t.
It wasn’t worth it. All people seemed to care about
nowadays was discrimination. Which meant
the previous relationship had
been nothing.
And then Dave came around,
to his house, and apologized.
For hours, it seemed.
And after that everything was alright
The way it should have been.

15 May 08

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gee, there could be about a hundred and fifteen poems in this! it's not a very good short story though, and i can see why you had to crinkle the edges to make it look arty. there's just so much not happening in this -- it's turning in on itself as language -- each cliche' turning into a tangent. i wonder why you thought this might be a poem? is it because the sentences seem connected to each other and you're talking about emotional stuff. that's not a poem... actually, it's not even emo.
 — joey

i am sorry my style isn't up to your standards.

but, style isn't everything.
 — listen

your content is the issue. your content is "me say this". when you get your content down really solidly -- really have a voice -- the style will follow naturally. no poem is without style, but every joe has an opinion in him.
 — joey

yeah Joey. you're right. all of my junk has been coming out prosey, in an attempt to tell story.

thanks for commenting. and being honest. my vision is blind. and rapidly going down the drain.
 — listen

this thing we have to do, write stories must be real, because it never lets go. but, writing a story or novel is really almost impossible for a poet -- the only case i know where the poetry was authentically only for itself, but written by a story writer, is the poetry of emily bronte", and that's a story in itself.

we have to make this pattern picture cinema of relationship -- putting ourself in the real world. but, short stories are so fucking obvious, so boring in form. and a novel is just not a collection of short stories stitched together. why not just re-write this one out as paragraph writing, and see what moves internally to the surface -- what feels like it should have been in from the first -- stuff like that. i've read probably, what, 100 to 200 novels a year since i was in high school, and that's 40 years... the thing is, is that i'm not a genius about this, i know what a novel looks like yet can't write one. i know how to read the story in this one of yours, because i'm very inwoven in that way of saying words as music without music. there's some prose which works on that level of inducting us into the reading on several levels -- as though your body and your mind were reading in sync. can you have two dialogs in your head at once? that's the problem for me, because i don't know how to synthesize them into a single narrative. a poem like "naked", which evidently seems paltry as plot and comment, is actually heard in my mind as several contrapunal gestures. i feel in this poem of yours that there's so much energy inside it, running in green glowing neon tubes, working as "feeling generators", and that the release of that glow would be, well, atomic.
 — joey

wow Joey. i'm impressed with your comment. thank you for the generosity.

i will ed it this, bring together the lost pieces. bursting the lights could prove difficult, but i will give this poem a go at a fix, and try not to just make this poem a flat, quick fix.

thanks. you have spoken mountains with me. and i appreciate that.
 — listen

great subject to work on more, listen.
and it's good that you're listening to joey.
this has really great promise.

and i'm a schizo.
or so i think.
: )
 — fractalcore

make that


i'm a schizo
or so
i think

maybe not
think not

shut up
my back

written 05/24/08
thanks, listen.
: )
 — fractalcore



i'm a schizo   |   or so i think
maybe not   |   think not
shut up   |   scratch my back

written 05/24/08
thanks, listen.
: )
 — fractalcore

double up on the triple.
: )
 — fractalcore

Fractalcore, thanks for giving this a chance. some wouldn't like it because the length doesn't make up for the cliches. but, this poem is under edit, to make it stronger.

i will fix it. i just need to figure out where to cut, what to strengthen.

 — listen

coming at this (post edit?)...

the content is poetry ... and good enough to  be poetry

the form is fine... and fine enough to be poetry

there is plenty happening in this... plenty enough to be poetry..

..it is told directly, as is, as a story within the form... and is a style acceptable as poetry...
 — Mongrol

"Your brand of imitation causes conditional schizophrenia because it's mental abuse.
— unknown"

Talking to yourself in this way, Unknown, is a clear sign of schizophrenia... get that checked out why don't you ;)
 — Mongrol

"Actually it isn't.  Do you think you can read minds?  You're clearly having new ideas, branding people as insane based on your own prejudice.  You haven't trained as a psychiatrist.
— unknown\"        

My my, seems to be a degenerative type of mental abberation you have.... you need Meds, clearly.... or at least a smaller button to push...
 — Mongrol

"I have actually, and I have been told by experts that your brand of mockery causes conditional schizophrenia.
— unknown"

At you're not 'mad' enough to know when your buttons are being pushes... well done you ;)

~ Mong
 — Mongrol

 — Mongrol

"What can I do, you're so far up your own arse that you don't accept the facts.  You're having new ideas.
— unknown"

You can first stop being a target for my ridicule and humour... next you can simply let it go and get on with something better, while I make my own purile little jokes at your expense...

 — Mongrol

"No, your inability to accept criticism and truth leads you to use racist slurs and bandy about your own brand of pseudo psychology whilst having new ideas.  If anyone is degenerate, it is you.  
— unknown"

Your illness is getting worse.... this kind of self-referencing is symptomatic of the emotionally and mentally distrubed.

Seek help. :)

~ Mong
 — Mongrol

"It drives people to suicide.  I've known people who have committed suicide because of this sort of treatment.  I know it's mental abuse.  Stop doing it.
— unknown"

Deary me Unknown, shut up not before you make yourself out to be an even bigger moron that you are coming across as you are, right now.

Honestly, take a sage piece of advice here... shut up. :)

~ Mong
 — Mongrol

"Bullshit.  You can't accept criticism, that's your problem.
— unknown"

Offer me something that is actual, then we shall see, your problem is you THINK you know, but you don't, your attempts to infer and read me are way off the mark...  :)


You really, really don't know much .... ;)

~ Mong
 — Mongrol

Talking to yourself like that is a sure sign of a degenerative mental illness.

You need help mate. ;)

~ Mong
 — Mongrol

This is rather sing-songy, which is not good in a poem, I don't think.

Can you make this more urgent?  The ending does not feel very strong to me.  It's like reading a little Bible story for children with a moral at the end.

That is not to say that it can't be fixed to be a more poetic piece.  It has good bones, just too much meat to hold it up.  May I make a suggestion or two, show you what I mean?

Dave and Kyle, best friends
since second grade, no secrets
until the diagnosis -
Kyle, Schizophrenia,
the world suddenly divided.

Do you see what I've done?  Chop away the leaves to show the limbs of the tree.  The reader will put leaves where they need them.  Putting every word that you would use in speech is not always effective.  
 — Isabelle5

thanks Isabelle. for giving this a chance. i will see what i can cut, i'm just having difficulty i'll admit.

but i'm getting there. thank you for your help.

Mongrol, i'm glad you commented. i appreciate it.
 — listen

i miss this piece.

thanks, listen.
: )
 — fractalcore

thanks for reading it, Fractalcore; a common problem pointed out is it is too long. i'm glad it doesn't deter you.
 — listen

Jackal and Heidi is a longer work
so i prefer this one.

write on.
: )
 — fractalcore