poetry critical

online poetry workshop

Darkling - Tenebria Dying on Stony Thought Paths

Like others of your genus,
you skitter over hot topics,
make your way to the
cooler side of things,
often getting flattened
in the process of escape.
You have a set of
rudimentary wings
(disguised as gonads),
that would save your life,
if you would only open yourself
to the gentle touch of kinship
from the world around you,
instead of hugging your
carapace as closely
as a black (and suffocating) shroud.

27 May 08

Rated 9 (8.3) by 2 users.
Active (2): 8
Inactive (10): 4, 5, 6, 8, 8, 8, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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

(1 user considers this poem a favorite)

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


so something like this appears less often than a blue moon. curiosity will stalk me. this was too good to finish, but I am a greedy reader.
 — banditfemme

I would like this but for l13.
 — unknown

maybe you don't need "hot" in like two, if this is written for people who are as bright as you are? they'll get the point, and the extra bump doesn't scan so nicely, no matter how smart it reads as prose.

"disguised as genitals" for the rhythm, and you wouldn't need the "greatly"... which i think is a back thought of the poet, feeling that something was opened and had to be closed... but, i think it was the "o" in "gonads", only a vowel and not a concept.

"if you would only" --  prosaic wallboard... there has to be a smarter way to show this motion, and i think here the "greatly" made you think that there was some extended thing you had to say, or could say, which would make the poem "great"...

that would aid you,
open you to the change
and gentle breath
of people who might love you.

[ end here, cause the last stanza is just mannerist and self-consciously literary ]
 — joey

I need hot, hot topics as opposed to the usual and customary dribblings.  Hot as in what men don't like to talk about.  Considering the 'greatly' point, Joey.  Thanks for the comments.  
 — unknown

L13's "winds of change" is cliche.  The rest is cool where it's written as an address in the 2nd person singular.  I like how u did that.  :-)
 — starr

Let me ponder the winds of change a little.  
 — unknown

Okay, some big changes made.  Thank you.
 — unknown

Much better.  :-)
 — starr

you need "hot" -- but that's because you're a conformist. you're really happier looking at everything from a distance -- that's why you throw all the cliche' phrases in -- it's not that you couldn't make up your own wording, it's that it's safer for your plan -- to be accepted as a normal. it won't work, cause anyone writing poetry is already outside the discount food store.

members only is for people who don't start their own clubs.
 — joey

I need hot because it's the word that fits, Joey.  Please stick to the poem, not critiquing the poet!  I'm confident in my choice of words, thank you for the comments, though.  
 — unknown

it does is this is a show off poem by someone who'd not written enough to have a feeling for how be natural in writing.
 — joey

the "poet" used the wrong word. why is the "poet" posting here if the "poet" doesn't want to read what other "poets" think about his work? is this american poet idol? are you trying to manipulate the judges? it's not a contest here -- the top picks are actually the ones people think are the most obvious -- they're there to attract flies for spiders. spiders love to say "i like this... next."
 — joey

like others of yur genius
you long for hot tropics
and babes in bikinis
and mountain bikes.

you look good in profile,
and that's why you seem
one dimensional -- but,
are in fact so one sided,
that you only here
your name in lights.

now, instead of hugging
your knees in paranoia,
you lift the pizza box cover
and dare that anchovy.
 — joey

Thanks for making my point, Joey.  
 — unknown

you don't have a clue as to what you just wrote. do you actually think that my writing a poetry response to a poem isn't what we're supposed to do here? do you think that we're supposed to praise each other for having better thoughts and being more sensitive than ordinary people? ordinary people don't give a shit about poetry -- they like stories and vivid melodrama. look in the mirror and tell yourself how really better your ideas are than they used to be.
 — joey

Yes, Joey, I like this poem.  I like what I saw before I wrote this poem.  I've been writing poetry long enough to know how to put the words together.

I am very much aware of what I wrote when I responded to your witty little piece.  I no longer wish to discuss your impression of me or this, though.  You've had your say, give someone else a shot.  As for my ideas, yes, they are getting better with each poem.  Not sure who you think you're talking to.  I'm not a beginner by any means.  
 — unknown

so, can you tell us something about the structure and the way of writing of this poem that makes you like it? cause i don't really care at all if you like it -- it's supposed to "be" you, not a pointer to your sensitive soul.

show me the moves in this which i'm not getting -- the poetry stuff that's hidden inside this melodramatic soap -- be subtle with me, cause i'll be here in the morning.
 — joey

If you don't like it, move on to another poem!  Not every poem is every reader's taste, geez, why are you talking it to death? I feel no compunction to explain why I, as the writer, like this!  If you can't like the bug, the genus of bug, the names of them - Darkling and Tenebria, then I can't help you, Joey.  

Personally, I love words, the sound, the texture of them in my mouth, the way they can fit together to form a poetic mosaic.  I like the poem.  I am not here to write for you, I write for me and those who recognize the voice will hear me, those who don't, won't.  It doesn't matter that not everyone will care about this.  I, as the writer, care about it enough to stand by it.  If I had not written it, I would still like it.  
 — unknown

you may love words or flowers, but, really it's how you're arranging them in your sensibility -- for your own personal aesthetic -- which makes them lovable. it's not enough, here in poetry critical, to just shit a poem and leave. we're expecting you to be intelligent about the process of writing -- aware of how you wrote this and, more importantly, able to report what you were not aware of, in retrospect, and how you'd re-write this if you could. in other words, we're expecting you to treat us as intelligent readers -- certainly as intelligent as you are -- and not like the slobbering clones who've been giving you "A"s in writing class and sharing their bodies with "my little poet".
 — joey

You're welcome to your opinions, Joey.  You are not welcome to keep saying I don't know why or how to write.  Not all poetry fits a nice little form, you should know that by now.  It is a nice small poem, it makes the point I meant to make for the person I wrote it for originally, an entymologist who taught me many things of life and bugs.  
 — unknown

you're not educated enough to be helpful. it's obvious, given that you're posting as unknown -- you don't care about understanding the talent of the writer -- you don't allow us to contrast and compare your works -- that's the humble thing, and the thing which would allow us to know you as a poet. you could be the unknown who wrote "eat my sperm" for all i know.

there are no small poems, any more than there are small people. i know each poem which i've posted here and can talk with you about them -- i'd like to, because i don't really know what they're about -- why and how i wrote them.

being casual is ok, but don't expect us to love you for your casual interest in our vocation and identity. next time, hook up with an etymologist.

why are you posting this blog entry here if it's just a piece of kleenex to you? and why are you reacting like O.J. when you're caught out as a slacker?
 — joey

I wish I had a copy of the original. A subtle cliché in an engaging poem isn't necessarily a flaw. I remain smitten with this poem. Your style befits the content beautifully. I like the delicate balance. You haven't gone crazy with personification. Insects are remarkably poetic creatures.

Two observations:
the hingepoint of lines 5-6 made me stumble with two prepositions. I was thinking you might use "crushed" or "trampled" instead of "stomped on." And consider removing the brackets in both instances.
 — banditfemme

well-done...almost perfect.

well, the concept is perfect;
execution is really good but
could be better.

unk, joey has rudimentary wings
disguised as (hot) genitals. and
he is a very lovely but not easy
a person to love.

it's your poem though, so other
people can only do so much.

thanks for the great read.
: )
 — fractalcore

metallic decoration on the exoskeleton, all mushy on the inside...

... are we not insects?

nicely written joey - especially lines 2 to 4 - concise, precise..
 — Mongrol

oops my bad.. not a joey written poem :)

re: nicely written 'unknown'
 — Mongrol

I posted as Unknown because there are some who see my name and immediately give me crap, simply because it's me.

To all who hate posters who do it as Unknown, that should not matter.  The name of the poet should not be important to the poem.  Knowing who wrote something should change nothing.

Go ahead and compare now, Joey.  But you of all people, with your self-grandizing comments, should know that a poet can write in any voice they want, it's not that good to be comparing one poem to another to see if they 'measure up.'  Sometimes you hit the nail, sometimes you hit your thumb, you still keep writing if you're a poet, which I consider myself to be, good or bad.

 — Isabelle5

oh pooh. i would never have guessed this was yours. it is so not your voice.
great writing, isabelle.
 — unknown

I enjoyed this regardless Isabelle :) - known or unknown should mean little regarding the writing...

... unknowns are useful to a point... it's when there is no point to their posts makes them of no use...

... but you've allowed me to shift my view a little on the 'unknown' factor here :)
 — Mongrol

this is good poetry Isabelle :)
 — Mongrol

Thanks, Mong.  I've been watching these interesting little beetles this year as I walk.  I just fell in love with the name Darkling - it evokes so many things.  
 — Isabelle5

Tasty.  I'm sorry I missed the earlier version(s), but what I'm looking at would be excellent in a collection.

I'm undecided on whether the parenthetical "disguised as gonads" of line 9 is great or an awful distraction, I think that's just because I'm not sure I want to be amused at this moment.  I've only two suggestions for revision: the word "enable" in line 10 ("that would enable you to soar") feels a bit fancy and technical, like it was chosen to avoid a more simple and direct "let" or "make."  I'd suggest that despite the subject matter being a bit clinical and scientific, the reat of the language is more direct and casual than "enable you to soar."

Second, I'd suggest replacing "that" of line 14 so it reads "hugging your/carapace" instead of "hugging that/carapace," as the "you" addressed is already buggish.

Nice work.  Thanks,
 — mikkirat

Mikki!  Thank you.  I've changed the enable line to be realistic.  These bugs cross the road and get squashed flat, though they have wings they could use to get them to the other side safely.  I also changed the 'that' to 'your.'  Good call.  
 — Isabelle5

"Thanks, Mong.  I've been watching these interesting little beetles this year as I walk.  I just fell in love with the name Darkling - it evokes so many things.  
— Isabelle5"

gotta love beetles for the intriguing, strange, deeply fantastical creatures they are...

we used to play with one type called the Click Beetle here... you turn it on its back, and with a snap of its wing casing it flips itself back over with a loud snap...
 — Mongrol

this poem makes me jealous that i didn't write it.
 — raskolniikov

isabelle, you're playing tennis with a leaf of cabbage. you had good words from me about this, and you had strong words when you responded like a teen O.D.'d on acme cream -- trying to save face isn't the same as trying to get at the poem which needs writing. sometimes you write in this style -- it's easy for you for some reason -- and, when you're really upset, really wounded -- you write in a new and stream-true way, only saying what has to be said. when you fuck around like you're doing in this one, don't post it here -- it belongs in writers cafe -- if you don't want it to be read as a serious attempt at making words into poetry. the worst thing about you here is that you want it to be american idol and you want praise and applause, even when you goof and write dorky verse.

 — joey

Thanks for your comments and opinions, Joey.  I have made several changes   that made sense to me, after taking into consideration all the comments from poets.  

I would be happier though, if instead of commenting on me personally, you kept your comments and opinions on the poem.  This isn't Psychiatry Critical, right?  
 — Isabelle5

comments on you personally... it doesn't work that way here, because we're all poets in this together. you should complain to the management if you think i'm being fresh.
 — joey

Actually, rudeness, telling anyone they are 'fucking around' simply because they are not up to your standards is not acceptable.  If you doubt that, YOU can take it up with the management.  No one here deserves that kind of comment on a poem.  Shame on you.
 — Isabelle5

I love the ambiguity of this piece. The same can be said of man and bug.
 — grneyeddevil

Ah Isabelle! Good one.
 — grneyeddevil