#1
She’s not right in the head these days,
or at least so she tells me
over a cup of coffee and an overpriced cake.
She continues and claims,
it would suit her the most to be either
more than she is, or otherwise simply dead.
There is no middle ground for her, naturally –
stubborn as I know her to be - perpetuating the common
girl she’s always been under those polished nails and
well groomed skin and hair.

She says that she feels just like a metaphor, of the person she once was,
and a weak one at that.

I wanted to protest and tell her
that she was the other, that she was more,
but I didn’t feel like lying just then, my quota was full for the week.
So I rushed the cup to my mouth,
to sip on the coffee, which was as it was, much too hot.
I could sue them,
people do.
Instead I took the burn on my tongue as a punishment
for the untold lie, and
said she was right.
She was just another weak metaphor of
something better.
This is not a pipe
#2
Hey Carmel i know you guys here are busy and usually don't have time to post pieces.

But Anyway i don't truly know what to make of this. It's literal in a good way and i espicially love the way that this can suffice into a protest poem or w/e. Also i really liked the last four lines of the final stanza it really created climax and that's something quite a lot of people around here lack with their ending lines.

No technical improvements needed except maybe the comma in "So I rushed the cup to my mouth," should be a simi colon?

But anyway that's my two cents, keep them coming girl.

i loved this BTW
#4

I'd love to say that I'll blackdot this, and get back with a full crit, but I dont wanna break that promise and i can't see it happening, as I never critique these days. But suffice to say that I'm glad you posted, and this was clever. Much easier on the eyes than some of your other work, much more as it is, rather than what is was like, y'know? simpler. More my kinda thing. I love it.




love is a dog from hell.



#5
It felt a little fake at first. Like someone straining to be poetic about a slightly poetic situation, until I read the final stanza which triggered a much more postitive reaction. I did enjoy it, but reading over it again it still has this underlying air of falseness... I'm not really sure where that's coming from. Maybe it's just me. Certainly a great piece nonetheless.

I'm pretty sure the final sentence isn't gramatically sound, though. It sounds off.
#6
I like it, mostly because I like poems that read like a small part of a larger story in general, but it's well-done noneetheless. One thing I'd say would improve it would be replacing "metaphor of the person she once was" to "metaphor FOR the person she once was," I think that makes more sense.

If you could crit the one in my sig it'd make me a happy man.
#7
She’s not right in the head these days,
or at least so she tells me
over a cup of coffee and an overpriced cake.
The opening sets a tone that's
comfortable
common
conversational.
I noticed that you put it in the present tense.

She continues and claims,
it would suit her the most to be either
more than she is, or otherwise simply dead.
There is no middle ground for her, naturally –
stubborn as I know her to be - perpetuating the common
girl she’s always been under those polished nails and
well groomed skin and hair.

She says that she feels just like a metaphor, of the person she once was,
and a weak one at that.
I'm not sure why you extended the first line of this section.
other than perhaps to make it peak to the right.
for the visual when looking down the page.
It feels like the read would be slightly better
if the part after the first comma came as the next line.
And what would then become the third line
could even be detached and delayed,
... giving it more weight.


I wanted to protest and tell her
that she was the other, that she was more,
but I didn’t feel like lying just then, my quota was full for the week.
I very much liked the second half of this line.
So I rushed the cup to my mouth,
to sip on the coffee, which was as it was, much too hot.
I could sue them,
people do.
lol
Instead I took the burn on my tongue as a punishment
for the untold lie, and
There's a pleasant ambiguity here.
Are you punishing yourself for thinking a lie?
Or punishing yourself for not telling it?
It feels more like the latter.
But the fact that one has to stop and think
makes it a little more enjoyable.

said she was right.
She was just another weak metaphor of
something better.
another felt unnecessary.

I thought it unusual that the third part of this piece
changed to the use of past tense
even though the piece appears to be sequential.
I'm not quite sure why you did that.
But it doesn't seem to cause any problems.
In fact it makes the end seem a bit more 'finished'.
Not in the sense of polished,
but as if the events can't be changed.
Meadows
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#8
So there were a few questions...

Quote by skagitup
I'm pretty sure the final sentence isn't gramatically sound, though. It sounds off.


I don't see it. It seems fine to me.

Quote by flame843
"metaphor FOR the person she once was," I think that makes more sense.


Again, I don't see this. Metaphors are of things, not really for things. This kind of change would change what I meant to say.

Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
I'm not sure why you extended the first line of this section.


It was purely fot the visual effect to separate it from the other stanzas.

Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
another felt unnecessary


This also relates to the move into past tense. Basically this shift was to indicate that rather than being a unique occurrence, this is something that happens a lot, the entire scene described in the first stanza, only this time it ended differently, with the truth - but this is not necessarily for the best, if you know what I mean.

Hope you understand what I chose what I did better now.

I will get to returning critiques today. Thank you everyone.

Carmel
This is not a pipe
#9
You know how I crit. If I sound harsh, I didn't mean to.

Quote by carmel_l

She’s not right in the head these days,
or at least so she tells me
over a cup of coffee and an overpriced cake.
Good. Sets the scene well. The third line is something we all can relate to, I guess. I liked the alliteration of 'so she' and the ending S in 'tells'. It helped the flow. I liked how you said 'the head' instead of 'her head', it gave it kind of an impersonal feeling which you would expect from a crazy person. Nice.
She continues and claims,
it would suit her the most to be either
more than she is, or otherwise simply dead.
The flow here is great. The alliteration of 'continues' and 'claims' is great. First two lines read so fluently. I like how 'she continues' and how you perfectly executed this by putting no full stops or anything. I can't say I really liked 'simply dead'. It was a bit bland, lost a bit of the eloquence you had built up.
There is no middle ground for her, naturally –
stubborn as I know her to be - perpetuating the common
girl she’s always been under those polished nails and
well groomed skin and hair.
I didn't really like 'perpetuating'. I like the image presented here; it's one of those girls everyone knows, I guess. I liked most of this stanza, but I can't really say you've really grabbed my attention yet. It's just a description and while I surely want to read on, I haven't really been sucked into this.

She says that she feels just like a metaphor, of the person she once was,
and a weak one at that.
I really liked how you put this. You don't quote her directly, but you go 'she says that..' which I immediately related to her being this metaphor. I liked the depth I got out of that, I don't know if that was what you were going for but that doesn't matter, I still got something out of it :p The comma after metaphor bugged me though.

I wanted to protest and tell her
that she was the other, that she was more,
but I didn’t feel like lying just then, my quota was full for the week.
Tense change. Interesting. I'm not sure of this. 'that she was the other' seemed unfinished. The other what? Not a weak metaphor? It feels like something is missing. I really hated 'my quote..week'. It was so bland, it really ruined the whole atmosphere for me.
So I rushed the cup to my mouth,
to sip on the coffee, which was as it was, much too hot.
I could sue them,
people do.
I liked the first line. You don't want to lie so you quickly take a sip. So easy to relate to that. I would've liked it better if you had just said 'which was way too hot'; the wording was a bit over the top IMO. I didn't really like the sueing part either. I feel it's so irrelevant to the story.
Instead I took the burn on my tongue as a punishment
for the untold lie, and
said she was right.
I'm not sure of the line-breaks here. I kind of like how the first line is long so that punishment really grabs the reader's attention but on the other hand it's quite a strong word on its own so you might aswell make the lines more evenly divided. That's probably just me though. I liked the flow in the last two lines here.
She was just another weak metaphor of
something better.
I've read the comments about this 'of'. I understand that changing it to 'for' would change the meaning, but on the other hand when I first read this, I read 'for something better', almost instinctly. I'll leave it at that. I kind of do agrere with SYK on the 'another'. I read the whole piece twice, once ending it with reading the 'another', another time leaving it out and I thought it was much easier to link it to the previous metaphor line (the one in between the stanzas) when there was no 'another' in this line. If that makes sense. I guess it works either way.


While I liked a lot in this piece, I have to say that I'm not fully satisfied after reading this. I could relate to a lot of the images, but I kept getting the feeling that this wasn't 'real'. It seemed so.. constructed, I couldn't really feel it.
Now that I think about it though, this might aswell be part of the whole set-up, i.e. her being a metaphor and not being able to 'feel' and this being shown in the poem.
I'll think about it.

Check this please if you feel like it.
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=790462
#10
"overpriced cake" - felt too forced, your not that cynical about small things ever in your writing

I liked the ending, I thought it suited the purpose and fitted well.

I was quite surprised to see such a lack of any real structure in this piece from you but it worked well, the flow never tripped or became difficult to read which can happen when there's no regular meter/structure to lines.

It was nice
#11
I agree with Jamie on the over priced cake. I thought it just felt like you took it a step too far. I'm not sure if I explained that properly.

When reading that, it sounds fine. But when I read it a second and third time it kept sticking out as "odd". The poem as a whole felt like it was a cross between intentional simplicity and intentional complexity. A good example of this is the contrast between the eloquence of the first stanza. Then it seemed to achieve a simplistic tone that really suited the piece. Line three 3rd stanza was great. The next four lines in comparison to it felt too weak. I mean, the whole sue bit was clever to be able to link it up with the punishment but I just felt the way it was executed wasn't 100% effective. I dunno, tis up to you.

Last lines we brilliant. I really liked this overall. I'm just being a git and nitpicking.
#12
But I liked the overpriced cake line!

My main (and probably only) qualm was the beginning of the third stanza. I thought it was rather weak/general compared to the rest of the piece. The vagueness of it had me uninterested for a second and I felt like you didn't know as much where you were going.

I liked the ending, I see an interesting twist, there.

Good job .
#13
This is really nice.
Reminds me of "The Love Story Of J.Alred Prufcock"...which is good...
I cannot help but believe that the female character herself is literally a metaphor for something.
Is she?
I'm not going to criticise flow or anything because that is entirely subjective...
(obviously sometimes it is applicable, but at this level I'd say it really isn'tt necessary...I mean Bukowski rarely flows...)


I really liked it, all in all, it was poetic prose and very nice.
There was definitely two sides to it, you had the descriptive narrative and reflective narrative...
And it has crystal clarity...also (for once on this site) not one cliche I could find.
Well done

here is my recent one.
if you've got time to write but a paragraph just to say what you think
I'd be pretty happy.

James
#14
Hi. I'm back.


Quote by carmel_l
She’s not right in the head these days,
or at least so she tells me
over a cup of coffee and an overpriced cake.
She continues and claims,
it would suit her the most to be either
more than she is, or otherwise simply dead.
There is no middle ground for her, naturally –
stubborn as I know her to be - perpetuating the common
girl she’s always been under those polished nails and
well groomed skin and hair.

Not gonna lie, I thought the first three lines were cringe worthy. First and second are cliche... like crazy. Then you hit the third line and overprices just seemed out of place. To minute of a detail for what you are presenting. Almost takes the focus off of the girl. Line 6 was overly compex, I'd recommend shortening that one. I guess more or less the last 5 gave me that feel. It read like prose trapped in a poem's body. It reminds me of my initial style of writing, it just feels like you are trying to say too much. It's not neccesarily sloppy, just a little unsettling to a reader who is trying to read it with some sort of flow. (By the way, I can't spell today and am too lazy to spellcheck, Sorry).

She says that she feels just like a metaphor, of the person she once was,
and a weak one at that.

Needs another line break to me... I think the ideas would be better presented if it were broken down so it didn't feel like I was reading one line forever and the next line flew by... I missed the punch because the first line was dominant over the second.

I wanted to protest and tell her
that she was the other, that she was more,
but I didn’t feel like lying just then, my quota was full for the week.
So I rushed the cup to my mouth,
to sip on the coffee, which was as it was, much too hot.

I didn't like other... felt too vague... I can connect it, but it took work on my part and it ruined that part of the piece for me. However, this whole section was amazing. I did want for a line break putting "my quota..." on its own line though.

I could sue them,
people do.
Instead I took the burn on my tongue as a punishment
for the untold lie, and
said she was right.
She was just another weak metaphor of
something better.

Eh, this was a little confusing to me... I guess the last two lines were. I didnt' fulyl grasp what you were lying to her about... Were you telling her she was great once but she just needs to pick herself up? Were you telling her that she isn't a weak metaphor, and is still herself? It left me confused.



This piece wasn't bad, but I felt like you were presenting too much. There were so many sidestories and anecdotes within this story, that it was hard to fully grasp what was happening. There was the coffee and your thought process about that, there was he being broken down, there was lieing, there was describing her character... etc. I felt like you needed to pick one and focus on it. The ending, specifically the part about the coffee+ your conscience made up for a very weak opening... but this whole piece just begs to be either chopped down into something more on spot and meaningful or lengthened so it can fully tell a story, in all its complete details.

sorry Ms. Carmel, I wasn't a huge fan. Hope I was helpful though. If you get a chance, any comments/critiques on Sunburnt Penguin would be appreciated. Seems to be some controversy as to whether its good or not .

-zC
#15
Zach, I think you got a bit confused here and there with the meaning, and I think you kind of missed a lot of the points.

Most of your ideas for lines breaking are probably correct (Others have mentioned it before) and I don't really bother to fix up structure much on here, but I do take the comments to heart.

I do think however that you allowed your (tired) preferences to cloud your view of the piece in the writing aspect. "Cringe"? Hehe, I'm sorry, I don't even take that as a valid word of critique.

Hope you'll like some of my stuff another time.


I'm done critiquing for tonight, I'll get your piece tomorrow.
Sleep tight
This is not a pipe
#16
Quote by carmel_l
Zach, I think you got a bit confused here and there with the meaning, and I think you kind of missed a lot of the points.

Most of your ideas for lines breaking are probably correct (Others have mentioned it before) and I don't really bother to fix up structure much on here, but I do take the comments to heart.

I do think however that you allowed your (tired) preferences to cloud your view of the piece in the writing aspect. "Cringe"? Hehe, I'm sorry, I don't even take that as a valid word of critique.

Hope you'll like some of my stuff another time.


I'm done critiquing for tonight, I'll get your piece tomorrow.
Sleep tight


I wasn't going to do this, but I can't resist.
I think Zach has some valid points in his critique. It just seems like you won't accept them.

Zach, I think you got a bit confused here and there with the meaning, and I think you kind of missed a lot of the points.


I think you might be wrong here. Your reader does not know what meaning you wanted your piece to have. If he has 'missed a lot of the points' and 'got confused here and there', that says something about your poem, not about Zach. Your reader should be able to get something out of this, and Zach did, but now you're almost attacking him for 'not getting it right'.

"Cringe? [...] I don't even take that as a valid word of critique".

Why isn't "cringe" a 'valid' word? If it makes him feel like that about the piece, I guess it says something.


And this will probably make you hate me again, but it seems like you want the kind of criticism that goes 'OMG I LIKE THIS.' You have tried to refute every point of negative criticism, while people were genuinely trying to help you and you just blow them off.


As far as this piece goes (and so that this reply won't be blown off as spam), I gave it one more read.

Like I said before, I can't feel fully satisfied after reading it. Like Zach stated, it's pretty vague. While reading it again, I also noticed that I didn't really like the tone of the piece anymore. There's no liveliness (or, if that was what you were going for, the opposite isn't there either); it feels empty to me.
I could appreciate it from a mere poetic point of view but as far as the personal aspect goes, I didn't feel it.


Just my two cents after reading it x times.
#17
Joris, seriously, I was talking to Zach and what I got from what he said was that he didn't really "get" some of the points. I have no idea why you think you can reply for him. Leave it alone, I wasn't talking to you.

Regarding what you said about your feelings towards the piece, fair enough, maybe you'll like my stuff another time.
Next time try to concentrate on that rather than analysing what you think I took from his critique and what critiques I like to receive.
This is not a pipe
#18
I don't like the tone you're replying with. I didn't attack you or anything.

I wasn't replying for Zach. I was stating stuff in general. I didn't forget the last time I posted a critique.

That's all I had to say.
#19
Joris, stop talking, seriously. In your reply you quoted my reply to Zach rather than the piece.
Are you seriously claiming that the focus of your reply was my piece? You barely said 2 sentences about what you thought of it, you just analysed my reply to Zach.

This is the only reason I'm putting you on the spot. I'm not even upset and I have no "tone".

This is not a pipe
#20
Quote by carmel_l
Zach, I think you got a bit confused here and there with the meaning, and I think you kind of missed a lot of the points.

Most of your ideas for lines breaking are probably correct (Others have mentioned it before) and I don't really bother to fix up structure much on here, but I do take the comments to heart.

I do think however that you allowed your (tired) preferences to cloud your view of the piece in the writing aspect. "Cringe"? Hehe, I'm sorry, I don't even take that as a valid word of critique.



Hi again.

Actually, now that I've re-read this, I still contest I'm not confused. I've tried reading it as a metaphor, I've tried reading it for straight meaning and I still find it too vague to really touch me. And I still contend that it reads too muhc like prose to have the poetry style structure really work. As to cringe, yeah... I meant that. Your first three lines read like something a newer writer (myself included) would have written... it was cliche, and I know you are capable of much better. Thus, when I read it my initial reaction was repulsion. I was expecting much more from you, thus, I cringed.

I do have to agree with Joris, it seems like you are just blowing off all negative critiques. You are dismissing any negative comments as soon as they are given, because the piece "makes sense to you." I have the impulse to do this everytime I get a negative review as well. It really does seem like you are blaming the critique and not the writing for not picking up on ideas and what not, because when I put up my thoughts, you accepted the postive and blew off the negative saying that I "didn't read into it enough" instead of considering maybe a reader who doesn't have your first hand knowledge of the piece can't pull something out of it.

I don't mean this as an attack on you or your character... as I honestly do think you are a very cool person. I'm just letting you know how it makes me, as the critic on this piece, feel when you blow off comments that you have asked for when posting.


-zC
#21
Oh Zach, I'm just not a person who argues the points after they have been made. By no means did I dismiss all other things you have said, I just take the critique as it is. I am not going to sit here and say to each point, "you're right", "this I think you need to reconsider", I just give a general reply.

Quote by ZanasCross
As to cringe, yeah... I meant that. Your first three lines read like something a newer writer (myself included) would have written... it was cliche, and I know you are capable of much better. Thus, when I read it my initial reaction was repulsion. I was expecting much more from you, thus, I cringed.


Now see, this explanation gave me much more than you just saying you cringed. Understand?
I don't expect people to like all of my pieces, but I do expect them to back up the points they are making when not liking things. This is all I meant. I only said you were tired because your reasoning felt weak to me and I couldn't actually get anything out of it. You said "weak opening" but didn't say what made it weak, you said "presenting too much" but didn't actually said how you'd chop it down... All I am saying is that I appreciate more specific critiquing, rather than a comment that at the end of the day doesn't help me.

Now, that is generally speaking, I really did take some of the things you said and will surely apply some in the future, but I don't ever correct major things on my pieces after they are posted (I mean in the thread, not on my private file).

I will get to your piece later tonight, I am doing some courses work at the moment.


Carmel
This is not a pipe