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    Mother, 1995

    Deer stuck in my skin.

    My mom’s smoker cough.

    Still echoing in the auditorium.

    27 years of nothing

    Along a railroad.

    A deer jumps out.

    And my mom hits.

    Him with her car.

    And goes to the party.

    After anyway.

    How should we live.

    When we can’t smoke?

    She dreams of feeding us.

    As kids. There is no food.

    And we go on like that.

    For years maybe.

    Until one day.

    We don’t.

    What we love about it

    Wow! I didn't expect some of the language in this poem, and I was particularly excited by some of your line breaks.

    Suggestions to strengthen

    With lines like "There is no food / And we go on like that" I was a bit confused by the directness of the line "How should we live. When we can't smoke?" What would happen if you cut that from the poem? How might that change the direction of this poem?


    The house you love. Imagine that. The one you love filled with people who terrify. If you create the tether, you must want it. All things we want we gamble for. Heat snarls around my back while I read about The Temple of lightness. Pain is a flower, I know because I read it. When did I become so desperate? The man I turned to in the kitchen, the one who kissed like he was giving me things back.

    What we love about it

    I was shocked by some of the language in here, particularly the use of the word "snarls"! Great work.

    Suggestions to strengthen

    I wonder about the form here. Is the prose form the best possible option for a poem like this? What would happen if you attempted to work with couplets? I also wonder about where the poem stops. Is it possible there's more to this poem than we can see?


    Me and my friend are not friendly

    because she does not talk to me

    and I have not seen her in 5 years.

    What if she hates me?

    What we love about it

    The opening surprised us!

    Suggestions to strengthen

    The poems seems a bit undone. What if you worked on expanding the poem by writing 5 or 6 more stanzas?

    Blue Man

    Alone he walks in the dark blue streets.
    In the coldness and fear of the dark blue nights.
    The blue man alone always reaches,
    The old blue river where he will be affright.

    He stands there and think about all the old nights,
    When he thought of ending things for the final time.
    He always knew it would end by the river,
    But he never thought it will end tonight.

    What we love about it

    This poem does a great job of creating a moody atmosphere, and the language pairs well with the dark vision that's created.

    Suggestions to strengthen

    What were those lonely nights? Could the title do a bit more of the heavy lifting by providing more context to what this blue man's life was like?