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Alphabet Soup

by Kaylaa


I'm sorry--for that one time,
when I said that one thing,
at that one place.
On your lips I can see the
quiet start to manifest, as you ask a single
"Why?" that breaches the silence
in a soft-spoken choke.

The words move astray in the air,
frost-ridden; 
I can see your breath exiting paper bag lungs.
I can see it melt
into the thin air.
I can see all the words,
that got stuck in-between your teeth.
I can see you,
swallowing them back down.

Your lips are a dock,
sinking into a frown;
one that your words will bound off of
only to drown in the air.

You're a landlord of your words,
as I am of of mine,
but you seem to be able to keep yours
hiding in the craters and crevices of your teeth.
Mine are always finding their way through,
by way of narrow passages and
dark alleyways.

Your name and the words, "I'm breaking up with you." 
are the only ones that reside
 on the back of my tongue.

I don't know how it happened.

In my stomach,
I can feel the chemicals breaking down,
words decomposing like melting ice or
alphabet soup.
I don't know about you,
but I always liked my words better,
when drenched in tomato sauce.


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64 Reviews


Points: 11
Reviews: 64

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Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:04 pm
Kazeybear wrote a review...



Hey! Kazey here for a review!

So, I am very impressed with this poem. My favourite of yours so far. In the past, I've been sort of confused by the amount of mismatched imagery in your poems, and, I have to confess, rather critical.

However, I loved this. It had a story, which I lov e in poetry. It is my opinion that, although not prose, poetry should still tell a story. This did, one of a difficult yet ultimately prevailing love. And it was beautiful.

I loved the last two lines. They're so original and probably my favourite poetry quote ever (and I'm a sucker for quotes). I took it to mean words "seasoned with salt" so to speak. Correct me if I'm wrong.

However, there are still things to improve upon. You have some throwaway imagery, such as the dock you speak of and melting ice. They could be omitted altogether to be fair.

Honestly. I felt outclassed in this poem and incapable of reviewing it. One of my favourite ever. Thank you for sharing it so very much.

~Kazey




Kaylaa says...


Thanks for the review!



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Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:54 am
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Kale wrote a review...



Hello. I am here as requested to review (and I'm actually in time to do a Green Room review :o).

So, confession time, I don't really like this poem. I think it has great potential as a concept, but the execution leaves me feeling a bit out-of-sorts, mainly because you jump around a fair bit with your imagery without clear reason to or tie-backs to your core image of alphabet soup metaphors.

The third stanza is the most egregious instance of this image-hopping with how you introduce nautical elements that only appear in that one stanza, in addition to them being straightforwardly-played cliches. If you take out that stanza, the poem loses nothing substantial, and I think would actually gain a bit more cohesion. So consider nixing that stanza.

The fourth stanza also suffers an instance of image-hopping, but this one is pretty interesting, and I think it has potential to be woven in more cohesively into the rest of the piece. At the same time, that would require reworking pretty much the entirety of the second stanza, and while you could do that, I think the building metaphor for self-control is strong enough that you could split it off into its own piece so it gets the focus it deserves.

Cutting out the fourth stanza I think would be the simplest choice though as it would allow you to focus more on the alphabet soup metaphor.

With that said, I feel the metaphor is a bit lacking in context because that last line feels like it should be impactful, but what is tomato sauce in the context of this poem? It's tossed into the last line as almost an afterthought, and there's no clear thread tying the tomato sauce to the alphabet soup metaphor.

Thinking about it a bit more, I think what you were aiming for was the contrast between the tomato-based soup that alphabet soup is commonly made with versus the words in the stomach acid, but because of the lack of focused imagery, that contrast is a bit lost.

The easiest way to address that lack of focus I think is to remove the ice imagery entirely from the last stanza. While it does tie into earlier imagery in the second stanza, it also draws focus away from the contrast between the two mediums of stomach acid and tomato soup (tomato sauce would be pretty terrible as a soup base without modification, by the way).

So basically, nix "melting ice or", condense the third and fourth lines into one, and see if that works out for you.

And I think I've said enough for now. XD




Kaylaa says...


I can understand that, yeah. The imagery does happen to hop around quite a bit which is my big flaw in poetry it seems, and I hate it. To me it makes sense? To others it doesn't really. Thanks for being so honest about it, the review helped!



Kale says...


Well, you just have to figure out what the missing piece is that makes the things make sense to you so you can incorporate it into your poetry so that it makes sense to others. If that makes sense. x_x



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471 Reviews


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Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:07 am
Lightsong wrote a review...



Hey, I'm here to review, representing Resources crew. ;)

I'm sorry--for that one time,
when I said that one thing,
at that one place.
On your lips I can see the
quiet start to manifest, as you ask a single
"Why?" that breaches the silence
in a soft-spoken choke.


This strikes to me as a stanza that belongs to romance department. Two people at a place, and the speaker says she's sorry. For what, we don't know, but it must have something to do with what she's said, and You responds, rather nervously and sadly, 'Why?' In order to break my illusion that this is a romantic poem, I have to read on.

The words move astray in the air,
frost-ridden;
I can see your breath exiting paper bag lungs.
I can see it melt
into the thin air.
I can see all the words,
that got stuck in-between your teeth.
I can see you,
swallowing them back down.


So here I learn that it's the time of Winter (words move astray in the air, frost-ridden), You has problematic lungs (paper bag lungs), and further nervousness in You (last four lines). So I know the time, a bit about You, and I am still waiting for context. Like, what is exactly their story? Moving on.

You're a landlord of your words,
as I am of of mine,
but you seem to be able to keep yours
hiding in the craters and crevices of your teeth.
Mine are always finding their way through,
by way of narrow passages and
dark alleyways.


So! Interesting juxtaposition. I am currently admiring You, because You is able to control his words and I in the other hand seems to have them 'finding their way through'. I am a believer that if your words, if uttered out loud, will bring more bad than good should be contained until the right time and the right place comes. So yeah.


Your name and the words, "I'm breaking up with you."
are the only ones that reside
on the back of my tongue.

I don't know how it happened.


It is a romance! A sad one, but romantic nonetheless. So I wants to break up with You, but this time, the words are held back... and I 'don't know' why. Well. I need clarity here. For me, it seems like I still loves You, and the reason for the breakup has not yet shown itself.

The last stanza needs an unused degree of analyzation because the focus is switched from the people to the words. I do not know what it is trying to convey, accept that alphabet soup is for kids and tbat I is trying to say she's passed that and like her words to be in tomato sauce instead, which means she likes them to be produced in a fiery, hot way? It's confusing! Please enlightened me if I'm wrong.

Overall, an easily comprehensible poem at most parts. Keep up the good job! :D




Kaylaa says...


Thanks for the review! The alphabet soup and tomato sauce thing was mostly a usage of imagery with digesting all the words that "You" had said and that's the most of it. There, I enLIGHTened you :p.



Lightsong says...


Ah, I see. xD Thanks for enlightening me. :3




Remember: the plot is nothing more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.
— Ray Bradbury