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missing the wind

by niteowl


I remember when chocolate 
still tasted sweet
and the wind was a nuisance. 
 
Now all I know is wood and bars
and bumpy roads, and no wind
enters breathing holes. 
 
Mama said don't talk to strangers, 
but how do you say no
to old Mr. Johnson
from three doors down? 
 
He said he had chocolate 
and now it's all I eat. 
Lord if I get home safe,
I'll never feed Rover 
the brussel sprouts again. 
 
We jerk to a stop, and he 
says I have five minutes 
to answer nature's call. 
 
"But remember sweetheart, 
if anyone asks, tell them 
'We're fine'"


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Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:51 pm
Trident wrote a review...



Hi niteowl, this is a creepy little thing. Good though. My thoughts:

I remember when chocolate
still tasted sweet
and the wind was a nuisance.

Now all I know is wood and bars
and bumpy roads, and no wind
enters breathing holes.


I enjoy your first stanza here. It's simple and nostalgic and sets up this sort of emotional distance that your narrator shares with us. I am not completely getting the "wood and bars" reference because they are words so open to interpretation that it loses any sort of connection with the reader. And you don't do any explaining, so it gets lost.

Mama said don't talk to strangers,
but how do you say no
to old Mr. Johnson
from three doors down?


I am liking how there is a simplicity to the language because the narrator here is quite young. Haha, try to skate away from any instances in which popular culture phrases might distract--three doors down. Might be better to say "across the hall" or some similar thing.

He said he had chocolate
and now it's all I eat.
Lord if I get home safe,
I'll never feed Rover
the brussel sprouts again.


That first line is a little too convenient and commonplace, I think you can do more with it. I really am at odds with the dog reference. All it makes me think that you're feeding your dog chocolate (which is poisonous to them!) But it distracts. And if that is your intention to make that sort of appeal, then you could make it much more powerful.

We jerk to a stop, and he
says I have five minutes
to answer nature's call.

"But remember sweetheart,
if anyone asks, tell them
'We're fine'"


I don't like the "nature's call" thing, it's just too obvious a reference. Not original. The end line with Cadi's prompt is well done! I like it a lot, but the stanza before is super weak. Some sort of image would be more effective, and I'm thinking you get super creepy here. Like on-the-verge-of-inappropriate creepy. It would be terribly effective.




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Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:13 pm
StoryWeaver13 wrote a review...



Verrryyy intense for sure. At first I wasn't sure that I would like this poem, not feeling particularly intrigued by the opening stanza, but by the end I had shivers running down my spine. It's frustrating because this poem ends without a solid conclusion to the story or the unraveling of suspense, but it's a good frustration - we want to know, but you don't give us that satisfaction. Instead we're left to the whims of our wandering minds and brought down a dozen potentials as to how this all ends up. Needless to say, I don't think it promises to end well.

Anyway, while this may not be the most complex or articulate poem, I think that's part of its beauty; it feels real and simple and innocent, and that makes it all the more poignant. The voice sounds young, and that works very well.

Keep writing, and best wishes. xxx




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Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:08 pm
BenFranks wrote a review...



Hey there,

This is a very creepy poem, but very, very well executed so well done. I only really have nitpicks, the main one standing out to me is the way you've ended it punctually - there's no full stop, and you'd be surprised how much of an impact that makes on the definite effect of the poem, simply do this:

'We're fine'."

Woo-la, perfecto.

Here's another nitpick which I think will help your flow - remember with a poem as well rounded as this content wise you can really go all out in experimenting with punctuation to give it a unique flow; make it stand out from the crowd. Here's an example of how you can make it sound a bit more blunt and impacting in some spaces:
Yours:
Now all I know is wood and bars
and bumpy roads, and no wind
enters breathing holes.

My suggestion:
Now all I know is wood and bars
and bumpy roads. No wind
enters breathing holes -

The dash works at the end because you it works punctually as a 'pause, two, three, four' which means when you move into the next stanza more slowly the effect is emphasised. Also the full stop which I've put in to break the stanza in two makes the latter have so much more effect.

Anyway, there the only improvements I have - so good job! You've stumped me!

All the best and keep writing,
B




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Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:29 am
wheretwoworldstouch wrote a review...



Wow, this is an intense poem. It sends the reader into sheer shock. I love the metaphors you used in this. It is quite brilliant. I love how you used such wording as "to answer nature's call" and "he said he had chocolate, and now it's all I eat." The ending sent shivers down my spine! A great read for a horror fan, such as myself. Loved it!

My critique would be to try and get the flow down a bit more. The flow of the rhythm was shaky, if you choose to rhyme more often or do not rhyme at all, etc. A pattern per-say. It creates a rhythm for the reader to speak in their heads; which makes them more indulged in the piece and passionate towards it.

Great work!
-Coley.




niteowl says...


Thanks! Did I rhyme at all? If so it was definitely unintended. And I probably will work on the rhythm. Thanks!



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Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:47 am
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dogs wrote a review...



ooooo creepy poem Niteowl. Been a little while since I reviewed, as always Tucker here with your review :). I like the topic of this, your goal here is just to make the reader's skin crawl and grit their teeth while they read it, I think you can push that even farther than you have. Let's dive into the review now shall we?

"and the wind was a nuisance"

Ok, I've been reviewing a gazillion essays for my class (cause I'm always the go to editor -.-) But I apologize for this note, so what is the purpose of this line. You don't really come back to the wind and it just seems to be unnecessary in this poem, either make the wind something substantial or replace this line.

"but how do you say no/
to Old Mr. Johnson..."

Oh my goodness this just makes my skin crawl and GAH! Nice writing, completely accomplished your goal of this poem with this line, nice job there.

"I'll never feed Rover"

This line confused me because I'm not sure who "Rover" is. I assume it's the name of a character because you capitalize it, I'm just confused about it's purpose unless I'm missing some momentous point here because that can happen to me often. Let me know.

Love the stanza about the nature's call, nasty twisted and excellent. Although maybe you can add more into it, maybe push the grotesqueity to such a level as insinuating that the old man is like chocolate, you could even drop a hint with the "sweet old Mr. Johnson." This is a total suggestion and not really even necessary to the poem, but it might add a nice air.

All and all a good piece, creepy and makes me never want to associate with Old Mr. Johnson in my life. Excellent writing as usual, just some minor details here and there. Love your writing, let me know if you ever need a review. Keep up the good work!

TuckEr EllsworTh :smt032




niteowl says...


Thanks! I'm surprised you didn't get who Rover is, given your username. :P Yeah but I'll reword that to make it more clear. I also probably will add more of the wind or change it. It's supposed to be a symbol for freedom/the outside world, but it could definitely be stronger. Thanks again!




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