poetry critical

online poetry workshop

I Am Smoke

                a                        )      )      )
                  small               (      (      (
                         voice         )      )      )
                                that   (      (      (
                                     you'd absorb me
                                        you are lungs
                                         I am smoke
                                        inhale, let me
                                        obsess in you
                                         exhale and I

8 Jul 09

Rated 5 (8.4) by 3 users.
Active (3): 10
Inactive (15): 1, 1, 3, 7, 7, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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

(5 users consider this poem a favorite)

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


I think I've read three different versions of this and this is the first time I've commented.  I like "dissipate" at the end better than what you had before and the way most of the poem is in the bundle at the end.  The form is tighter.  I don't like the word "small" in Ln 6.  It's a little bland.  I'd like something more descriptive, interesting about the voice to characterize this other person.  It just seems like everyone always says a "quiet" or a "small voice."  Also, it doesn't make sense to me that a person with a small voice (submissive) would absorb or inhale another person (dominant).  
Most of the poem has no punctuation, except for those two commas.  It works without punctuation because of the spacing and line breaks.  You should take out the commas because they aren't needed either.  It's fine to just say "inhale and let" or "exhale and I".  Unless you wanted a really strong pause.  In which case, you should separate them by line breaks to create a pause.  But again, I don't think you need a dramatic pause in those places.
Also, Ln 13 sounds strange to me.  I'm not sure that you got your point across by saying "obsess in you".  It leaves the reader wondering what you are obsessing over.  You only tell us the location in which you are obsessing, but you need to write what you are obsessed over.  You could say "let me obsess over you" and then when she exhales it's like you are letting your thoughts about him/her dissipate.
Anyway, this is way cool.  I like the concept a lot.  But I would like to see those few kinks worked out.
 — SodaKid

They tell asthmatics the trick is to keep breathing.
 — Ananke

i like your pipe.  never saw that yesterday.
nice repost.
 — jenakajoffer

I took out the commas as per your suggestion...still workin' the rest
thanks for your insight  :)
 — JKWeb

Thanks Doctor Ananke :(
 — JKWeb

I'm glad you like my pipe... so to speak...
thanks for stopping by...hmmm
 — JKWeb

I have liked this since your first posting but I am enchanted by the smoke rising.  I always saw the pipe and am newly facinated by this art poem.  
 — Isabelle5

A very cool shape poem! Especially the rising smoke a good touch. :-)
 — Redlander

Thank you very much Isabelle-
I looked at this again this morning and decided to revise
glad you like it  ;)
 — JKWeb

Thanks to you too Redlander-
I appreciate it...   :)
 — JKWeb

smoke up johnny
 — unknown

Don't mess with the bull, you'll get the horns.
 — JKWeb

smoke is sexy

thank you

 — unknown

No...thank you hamlet
 — JKWeb

Yes, quite creative JK.  I like your pipe poem very much.
 — PaulS

Thanks PaulS for having a l@@k
at my poem shape poem...
 — JKWeb

Very clever.  I generally don't care for this style of poetry as it rarely comes off well, but you've done an exceptional job here.  Love the title.
 — sybarite


shape works, man.

: )
 — fractalcore

thanks for having a read
and I'm glad you like it  :-)
 — JKWeb

I was hoping you'd see this one-
I'm glad to have your stamp of approval...
 — JKWeb

I'd love to smoke this wee pipe! How delightful! The word absorb too. Mmm. Well done.
 — shadowskiss

thanks for checking out my poem
and I appreciate your kind comment :)
 — JKWeb

I mean  * shadowskiss...sorry :(
 — JKWeb

Very good poem.
 — Braska

cool typography & i gift you a 1o based on technical alone.
 — Liliana

give me some of that carmafiguratum going up in smoke -- a small pipe is salve for the major ills of the world -- nicely done JKWeb
 — AlchemiA




Thank you all very much for having a l@@k & for cool comments ;)
 — JKWeb

nice effect, poorly written poem.  
 — unknown

I guess hidding behind the veil of unknown allows you to take cheap shots...thanks for the 1...being in the top 10 was fun while it lasted   :(
 — JKWeb

Well I still like it so here's a second ten from me to counter unknown's poetic vandalism
 — Redlander

So how can you give webbster a second 10?
 — unknown

Easy, type a comment rate it a 10 and press submit
 — Redlander

Thanks Redlander, but it's doesn't work that way unfortunately...
 — JKWeb

Poetic punks like you are jealous and afraid to confront. So instead of skipping poems that you don't like because they are better than any of yours you rate them a 1 under unknown because you're not man enough to be judge by your poems. So every time I see you give some poet a childishly snide remark I will give that poem a 10 so they will get a 9.5.
 — Redlander

Whiners just attract onesters. Get used to the fact that if one of your poems gets onto the top ten list then there will be people her who think that, whilst it isn't a pile of shit, it still in no way deserves to be advertised as one of the best poems on this site. You have to remember that there are also people on this site who score everything they like, even dislike, a ten. rarely anyone complains about them. The onesters generally just cancel out the tenster tossers.

For your own piece of mind please stop whining.
 — unknown

 — BxPR

unknown! vandalizing real poems again? What's your screen name if you have the gonads to give it.
 — Redlander

How about this then? Redlander
 — unknown

How about the unknowns equalizing the unknows? Redlander
 — Redlander

Thank you BxPR-

...who was whining?  All I said was that it was nice being top rated...and I think you're wrong about people giving 1's...I think it's done out of envy most of the time or for kicks but don't give 1's just because...give a fair assessment or leave it alone...that's people's work you're poopin' on...I've never rated anything under a seven and it's because if I don't care for a poem, I won't comment at all...besides, I would never give a 1 because I didn't think it was good enough, there's a reason it's there in the top rated...anyway, I know you'll remain unknown because you don't want me to look at your poetry, do you?
 — JKWeb

Well said. I don't think unknown is honest or mature enough to understand it though.
 — Redlander

I've been in the top rated quite a few times JKW and eventually the onesters drive my stuff out. That's how it works here at PC. It's good in a way because it means that poems don't hog the top ten list. I remember ananke (I think) had a poem called "my dad" that had twnety ones yet still managed an occasional re-appearance in the top rated list. I've been here almost from the start and the most important thing about this site is being able to exist as an unknown. I'm sick and tired of folk blasting unknowns as cowards because it is a fantastic way for me to get REAL crit and not sycophantic rubbish from people that I've been nice too. It also means that each poem I post is judged by itself, is not compared to previous failures, and not trashed because I happen to be someone who comments as I see fit and, surprise, surprise, scores poems using all th numbers available.
 — unknown

Okay...fair enough unknown-
but didn't it chap your ass just a little when your first top rated poem was up there and someone screwed you with a 1?  That's how I felt anyway...you do what you feel you have to do unknown but I'm still not going to hand out 1's...
 — JKWeb

Cheers, Jk. It did piss me off the first time especially as just to get rid off me one person changed their score from a 7 to a 1 (in these days the tenster folk were few and far between). Nowadays I feel that a 9 carries more kudos as there are far too many people dishing out these ludicrous perfect scores. Anyways, I've never complained as too often I've seen folk driven away from here because they've made themselves into targets by being far too precious about their poetry. You would be a great loss as whilst you *never* comment on my stuff you are very busy elsewhere.

unk ;)
 — unknown

I did comment on your stuff..."Ted Snit"...right?
 — JKWeb

To say very plainly, I love this idea. Love L9
 — cubbzor

thank you cub-

thanks for having a l@@k
and glad you you like it...
 — JKWeb

I like the way the first line is like the trail of smoke leading away from the main content of the poem, whihc is either like a fire or a cigarette burning down to the heart of the matter... nice visual poem.
 — andyleggett

thanks andyleggett-
for digging this one from the recent archives--
glad it was visually cool for you...
 — JKWeb

One of the best poems of all time is a concrete piece by William Carlos Williams, "The Red Wheelbarrow".  The thing I like about concrete poetry is that it becomes a personal trinket for me—the ones I like. From now on, when I see a smoking pipe, I'll see your words in its form. It's viral.
 — leroyle

hey, thanks for reading...
I'll be sure to check out "The Red Wheelbarrow"
glad you like my (concrete) effort
 — JKWeb

cheers, nice graphic.
 — unknown

thank you unknown-
glad you like it..
 — JKWeb

few edits to a relic
 — JKWeb

nice shape but the words fall well short of the interesting mark
 — unknown