#1
i asked if i could kiss you and in your moment of hesitation, i thought about the ohio river valley, the place i was born; how a glacier had lurched so silently and unforgivingly over the humming soil with strides the size of entire states, carving out hills and ravines, where years later, native people would pull fish from the streams with sewing needles and years after that, small pox blankets would hang from trees like lynched and disembodied artifacts, ones we know so well, woolen and swollen with rain.

and the longer you waited, the more obvious it became: we could not contain the size of these icy monoliths or the scars they left on land. if ever we could bridge these distances, it would take thousands of years of cooling and isostatic rebound; that we can’t blame genetics any longer, but only the places we were raised. somehow, we could hear the murmur of ice sheets in our backyards as kids, at night, our ears pressed to the floorboards, absorbing the vibrations through the house with our skulls. and we’d race outside in the morning, in the slim light of the midwestern sun, and see tall trees and faint indian trails in the forest, but never the cold and luminous shine of the driftless continental ice sheet. but in the dense fog that sometimes fell, it would feel like, at any moment, the water vapor would condense around our limbs and we would finally feel the touch of what keeps us motionless and bound so firmly. i can’t blame you when you look back at me and i see the rime in your eyes, the black ice we’re slipping on when feeling for this context: we know how this starts, and it was our favorite part when we still were young, but standing atop this building at night, wondering how lost i’ve become in this ice block, curious only about how long the cold will hang around me like a thin blanket, casting doubt upon the city in lighter flickers and the sound of my soles, i am no longer young and intrigued. the lines on my face are the deep grooves of my hometown, and the indecision in yours are the miles of frozen liquid between our hearts.

we all carry that one kiss on the velvety pillow of our tongues that could melt even the antarctic ice sheet, that rests at the intersection of desire and service, glowing with warmth and sweat; but we’re too selfish to give it away, clutching it like stones to our chests. walking with you, i will never blame you for keeping your mouth sealed. inside me, blood lurches unforgivingly and silently, that even when i open my mouth, it fills with ice so quickly the warmth from my kiss fades like an ember in a snowstorm.
#2
This could use some tightening up but I really do love the imagery and aesthetic feel you have going on here. The focus you show is great as well, being able to alternate between an intimate moment where you're about to kiss this girl, and the grandiose setting of moving glaciers, the Antarctic, etc. The dichotomy is striking, and I think a little trimming will do wonders for this piece. Great reading you again
here, My Dear, here it is
#3
Not a Crit, but nice meet a fellow wisconsin er!
Doug the cactus rode the pavement for our sins.
#4
not actually from wisconsin, the wisconsin stage is the term for the ice age when the glacier was covering the great lakes region, which kind of relates to the images in the poem.

Subway, thanks for the kind words. any specifications on what could be tightened would be nice, unless it's simply a matter of trimming the fat. i tend to write a lot then slim it down≥
#5
I would try to be cognizant of when you lead the reader into an image-intensive passage. In my opinion you dove into these types of passages a little early instead of building and culminating the reader's experience into it. The juxtaposition of the intimate setting and the glorious, icy landscape is definitely striking as I said, but it was also jarring in the way that you dropped it on us from the jump. That's what I was referring to when I said I think it needs to be trimmed. As focused as this piece is, I just think it needs a little more discipline to assist the reader in the journey. hope I'm making some sense. If not shoot me a message. Love reading your stuff.
here, My Dear, here it is
#6
revised. added more than i trimmed… wasn't sure if the ending feels a bit short now or not.

i asked if i could kiss you and in your moment of hesitation - with the north country boundlessly stretching it’s old bones out beyond the lights of the town, illuminating the slippery ducts on this rooftop we had scrambled up - i thought about the ohio river valley, the place i was born; how a glacier had lurched so silently and unforgivingly over the humming soil with strides the size of entire states, carving out hills and ravines with blind tact, where years later, native people would pull fish from the streams with sewing needles and years after that, small pox blankets would hang from trees like disembodied artifacts, ones we knew so well, woolen and swollen with rain.

and the longer you waited, the more obvious it became: we could not contain the size of these icy monoliths or the scars they left on land. if ever we could bridge these distances, it would take thousands of years of cooling and isostatic rebound; that we can’t blame genetics any longer for the disasters that unfold before us, but only the places we were raised; the geography of our childhoods written upon our hands, carved in the leather skin. somehow, we could hear the murmur of ice sheets in our backyards as kids, at night, our ears pressed to the floorboards, absorbing the vibrations of the slow-moving mass through the house with our skulls. and we’d race outside in the morning, in the slim light of the midwestern sunrise and see tall trees and faint indian trails withering away, but never the cold and luminous shine of the driftless continental ice sheet. but in the dense fog that sometimes fell, it would feel like, at any moment, the water vapor would condense around our limbs and we would finally feel the touch of what keeps us motionless and bound so firmly, of the plague that we wrap around ourselves to fend off the chills every heartbeat brings. i can’t blame you when you look back at me and i see the rime in your eyes, the black ice we’re slipping on when feeling for this context: we know how this started, and it was our favorite part when we still were young, but standing here, wondering how lost i’ve become in this dense ice block, casting doubt upon the city in smoldering gazes and shallow exhales, i am no longer young and intrigued: the lines on my face are the deep grooves of my hometown, and the indecision in yours are the miles of frozen liquid between our hearts.

we all carry that one kiss on the velvety pillow of our tongues that could melt even the antarctic ice sheet in seconds, that rests at the intersection of desire and service, glowing with warmth and sweat; but we’re too selfish to give it away. we keep it close, clutching it like stones to our chests. walking with you, i will never blame you for keeping your mouth sealed.

inside me, blood lurches unforgivingly and silently; that even when i open my mouth, it fills with ice so quickly the warmth from my kiss fades like an ember in a snowstorm.
#7
The first time I read this it was too close to home. The power and weight you give to a single moment in this is magnificent, and brutalist at the same time; the feeling of an entire glacier, your entire ancestry pressing down on you. I like the revisions you made also.
#9
As a Wisconsin native, I had a good chuckle at this while freezing in the negative twenty degree windchill. Nice written song, but could use some work, but I like the revisions you made( I visited prior to revisions).