Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Poetry » Dramatic


Claw Machine Man

by Chaser


I am a claw machine, forgotten and ignored at the entrance for all the comers and goers. Rumored to be fixed, and only ever visited in doldrums of irony. Still, today I have attracted a believer. They analyze me, my glass edges.

The quarters slide past my orange tongue, landing in my stomach, and, like some ancient stone guardian, my claw begins to move.

It whirs out, seeking the treasures that lay within my confines. Of course, I can’t see them myself, but the operator assures me that they are there, twists my joystick and presses me on.

My claw suspends from a grid, geometric angles seeking the formless inspirations below. It hovers around, delegating the manipulator’s pick. All else becomes nothing, my trick the sole focus of everyone’s eyes.

After hesitation, a nudge, and a bit more hesitation, my claw descends, tightening perfectly around a single stuffed bear. But just as hope begins to show, the metal fingers twitch themselves to disaster.
It is perfect logic, and infuriating denial. The claw slips empty, and rises.

I have become used to that disbelief, that common complaint, that lament of error by one or two centimeters. My chest has suffered frustrated kicks, and my feet still ache from one particular onslaught.

And they always walk away. But when that one person comes that tries over and over again, the taste of quarters floods my mouth and sickens me, until I beg them to stop. But I always regret it when they’re gone.

The empty tines of my mind invert and return to their position, waiting for another believer to play the claw game of me.


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
129 Reviews


Points: 1820
Reviews: 129

Donate
Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:51 am
Wriskypump says...



My claw suspends from a grid, geometric angles seeking the formless inspirations below. It hovers around, delegating the manipulator’s pick. All else becomes nothing, my trick the sole focus of everyone’s eyes.

After hesitation, a nudge, and a bit more hesitation, my claw descends, tightening perfectly around a single stuffed bear. But just as hope begins to show, the metal fingers twitch themselves to disaster.
It is perfect logic, and infuriating denial. The claw slips empty, and rises.

I have become used to that disbelief, that common complaint, that lament of error by one or two centimeters.


this is really the part that makes this piece come alive. That lament of error by one or two centimeters?!?! This is pretty cool, even if it is to be disbelieved and lonesome




User avatar
21 Reviews


Points: 560
Reviews: 21

Donate
Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:05 pm
WyvrynScribe wrote a review...



This is well written, with a nice perspective from an Inanimate object. It's a bit obviously put out at first, which feels a bit jarring, but Kyllorac hits on that part better, so I'll move on to my next point.

They analyze me, my glass edges.


This is a compound statement, but I think the comma unnecessary. A conjunction would be better, me and my glass edges, and I think that you should describe what they are analyzing more, what are the glass edges like? Why are there edges(Most claw machines I've seen have sidings to cover the intersections on the glass)? Among other things.

It is perfect logic, and infuriating denial.


The 'perfect logic part' seems a bit strange, what exactly is logical about it? Is it logic to the user? To the owner? To the claw machine? How? Why? etc, etc.

I have become used to that disbelief, that common complaint, that lament of error by one or two centimeters. My chest has suffered frustrated kicks, and my feet still ache from one particular onslaught.


I love this paragraph! Most people are familiar with the frustration of losing to a claw machine, and seeing it through the eyes of one shows us the flip side, the beatings the claw machines take for their programmed odds.

I like a lot of it, but I also have a lot of problems. For one, there's no mention of anyone getting the prize. While rare, it does happen. It could be interesting to talk about how one triumph leads to more believers only for them to leave in disgust. I think that's a big missed opportunity. Hope that my 'insight' helped!




User avatar
820 Reviews


Points: 27057
Reviews: 820

Donate
Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:03 pm
View Likes
alliyah wrote a review...



Hi Chaser! Here to leave some thoughts.

So, first off I would echo what Kyllorac said that maybe making the fact that this is about a claw machine more subtle might make it easier to connect to the poem. Rather than even using some of the very specific language about claws see if you can find substitutes that could apply to a person -- like rather than the quarters maybe substitute food? or value? or something that a reader might be able to connect with. The same with "joystick" and then "claw suspends from a grid". I think allowing the poem to be a little less specifically about the claw machine would allow the reader to better imagine themselves' in the place of the speaker generating an emotional connection to the content.

This poem has a lot of potential in a unique metaphor of personhood to this claw machine, you begin to directly explore this in the last line "The empty tines of my mind invert and return to their position, waiting for another believer to play the claw game of me" -- which makes me think this poem can be read as an extended metaphor of a speaker who feels like they're used for other peoples' profit/joy but they are abused or are unappreciated and their relationships are treated as games by the people they encounter. Now all of that gives the opportunity for a lot of meaning in this poem, and I think something that a lot of people might be able to connect to. But it's hard for me to place myself in the mindset of being the claw-machine until that last line, I think you could more directly give indication of the metaphor throughout the piece rather than just the end.

I do have to say I really enjoyed your use of language in the poem. You use a lot of perfectly specific words (like doldrums, infuriating, lament, and manipulators) that really elevate this piece. In fact all of the descriptions you used were engaging and poetic, I think if you hammer the meaning out a little bit more directly this poem could be really interesting.

Good luck in your future writing, please let me know if you have any questions about my review!
~alliyah




User avatar
1079 Reviews


Points: 0
Reviews: 1079

Donate
Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:01 pm
View Likes
Kaylaa wrote a review...



Hi there Chaser. This is Kays here dropping in for a review on Wednesday afternoon in attempts to plunge us closer to our goal of 1500 reviews for both RevMo and Review Week. With that being said, let's delve right in, shall we?

I haven't reviewed prose poetry in awhile because there hasn't been any in the Green Room so opening this was quite the pleasant surprise--I always enjoy giving my take on prose poetry and seeing the different experimentations made by different people. The best and most interesting part of this poem however doesn't regard the structure or aesthetic (even though I do want to talk about the aesthetic and the lack of appeal there later on) but instead regards the perspective. The speaker being the claw machine works quite well because the idea is fresh and this makes way for poetry that's less likely to fall into cliche and instead paves the road to more creative themes and lines.

The title seems a little weird--I don't know why the claw machine needs to be a 'claw machine man' but I suppose this makes sense to suggest that the claw machine holds human characteristics and to be honest I more wanted this to be one large example of personification--which in a way, that's what this is. I agree with Kyll in making the poem more subtle and less blunt because that adds a level of hazyness in the reader's mind and more of a reward when the reader finds out from context clues and subtle hints that this is a poem in the perspective of a claw machine.

'The man with the three-pronged hand' or 'the man with the metal hand' can suggest this if you're looking for another title that includes both the 'man' part and a part that hints at him being a claw machine. While the perspective is unique and I quite enjoyed that this can be more subtle and can have a stronger, less rigid flow to make the execution even stronger. Going back to the lack of appeal of the aesthetic that I said I'd talk about earlier--the piece isn't particularly pretty to look at and there's also a bit of bareness in terms of imagery.

Fixing up phrases and fixing up the flow is the main priority such as in the main line at the end with 'comers and goers' not flowing very well because that'll make the poem easier on the eyes or easier to read and other than the clunky flow, blunt inanimate perspective, semi-lack of imagery and the aesthetic being a little weak I quite like the points made and the content here. The part about the taste of the quarters and the last stanza with 'waiting for another believer' as well as people kicking the claw machine are a few parts of the poem that stood out in my mind. With revision and editing I can see this even stronger, Chaser! Let me know if edits happen because I'd love to see them. The points done well are done well--remember that!

If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask! I hope I helped and have a great day.

Image

Image

Image




User avatar
1220 Reviews


Points: 72525
Reviews: 1220

Donate
Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:58 pm
Kale wrote a review...



Hello there and happy RevMo (even if I am a bit late to the reviewing party)! I, a bold Knight of the Green Room, am here today to review you.

Pieces written from the point of view of inanimate objects are always interesting to read and analyze, and I think your choice of a claw machine was quite unique. I'm wondering what inspired you to go with this particular subject, too.

With that said, I felt a bit hammered over the head with the "this is a claw machine and this story is told from the point of view of a claw machine" thing, and I think that this piece would be much improved if, instead of stating that the claw machine is a claw machine, you implied it a bit more.

For example, the opening sentence could read "I stand at the entrance, forgotten and ignored by all comers and goers." Without the "I am a claw machine", the opening sentence leaves the reader wondering why the comers and goers ignore the narrator, and that little bit of wondering helps hook the reader into continuing onto the next sentence, and the one after that.

Giving the reader a bit of a mystery by not stating up-front or directly that the narrator is a claw machine will help keep your readers engaged, and make the moment where they realize that the narrator is a claw machine a lot more rewarding.





Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate.
— Sigmund Freud