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Ten Gallon Tank

by Aley


an interviewee I enter your domain a beast
A nobody you dislike for disliking's sake and you smile at me.

I am the fish spied behind the plastic
met not to be remembered.

As I warble my bequeathments
I cower tearily for the strangeness

for the plecostomus sucks engraved upon the sides
for the view of newness you have all seen before.


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120 Reviews


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Thu May 04, 2017 12:13 pm
RippleGylf wrote a review...



Hello! RippleGylf here for a review. ;)

I've never had a job interview, but this is very much how I would imagine it to be. You covey the anxiety of the situation very well, I think.

I would agree that the capitalization seems a bit sporadic. In poetry, it doesn't always matter, but I find it to be more effective when it is consistent.

Your punctuation also seems slightly off. Line breaks give pause when read mentally, but tend to be ignored when read aloud. Inserting commas where appropriate may help it flow better.

In line 4,

met not to be remembered.
seems to either be a typo or grammatically confusing. I think you wanted to say, "meant not to be remembered," but I could also see something along the lines of "met, but not remembered," being a valid interpretation. Just make sure that it's clear to the reader.

The vocabulary you use gets progressively more complex throughout the work. Don't misunderstand me; I absolutely love grandiose verbage. :D In this instance, it feels odd for the complexity to spike in the last stanza. Using higher vocabulary in the whole poem would feel more consistent and display the intellect of the narrator despite their interviewing fears, while using simpler language could emphasize the narrator's inexperience. Either allows you to characterize the narrator more, allowing the poem to have deeper meaning.

I love the comparison to being in a fishtank, being constantly under scrutiny and separated from everything. It works so well in this context. :D You could even expand upon it more, if you want.

Overall, it was a pleasure to read! Hopefully this is helpful.

This review courtesy of
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Aley says...


Thank you so much for your feedback!

I didn't even realize I was doing that with the language. It's a really good point that you're making about consistency in poetry and it's one that I like to tell people all of the time.

At this point, I am debating going with absolutely no punctuation or capitalization or with full punctuation and capitalization, what are your thoughts?

no:

an interviewee I enter your domain a beast
a nobody you dislike for dislikings sake and you smile at me

I am the fish spied behind the plastic
met not to be remembered

as I warble my bequeathments
I cower tearily for the strangeness

for the plecostomus sucks engraved upon the sides
for the view of newness you have all seen before

adding in consistency:

An interviewee, I enter your domain. A beast,
a nobody you dislike for disliking's sake, and you smile at me.

I am the fish spied behind the plastic
met, not to be remembered.

As I warble my bequeathments,
I cower tearily for the strangeness,

for the plecostomus sucks engraved upon the sides,
for the view of newness you have all seen before.



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Thu May 04, 2017 9:35 am
Kaylaa wrote a review...



This is Nikayla here dropping in for a review.

I'm almost certain that this is a set structure, and if so, what is it? If not, it sure seems as if it is. I found your capitalization to be pretty inconsistent in this piece, though I do suspect that this is you poking around with that. In the first couplet, the first line isn't capitalized. In the second couplet, the second isn't. In the third, both are, but in the fourth, both aren't. It seems quite intentional for you to do this, but I don't see the overarching benefit? It doesn't seem that necessary.

I'd also like to point out that in the third stanza, there's no period at the end of 'strangeness' which you'd want there since it's at the end of the second line in all the other stanzas. The flow here is pretty odd it seems, and I wanted to help out with that aspect. I believe in the first couplet, putting 'As' in front of 'an', and then putting a comma after 'interviewee'.

The flow is so different due to the word choice of the piece, which isn't what you'd normally see. A comma at the end of 'sake' in the second line would also benefit you, and if you did more of that, the piece would read more smoothly. The second stanza is one I quite like. I believe that you're subtly hinting to a goldfish in a bag, akin to the ones that you can win at a carnival.

Overall, adding punctuation to this piece is something you seemed a little hesitant on, but I believe it'll make it stronger. The first line of the second stanza could use a semicolon after it since the two clauses or lines can connect in that way. Same with the third stanza, which I also enjoyed.

Though at the same time, it could use a comma after the first line, and a period at the end of the second. The last couplet is a little bit confusing with its wording and I believe that you could clarify better, but that doesn't mean I exactly dislike it. I loved this poem for the subtle theme that you imbued, giving an interesting perspective on being interviewed for a job. Overall, solid and interesting piece and experimentation that you've done here, so nice work on that!

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

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Aley says...


So this was an experimental piece that was a challenge by Audy's Poetry Universe in which I had to write a poem, and then erase all of the adjectives and adverbs and as many prepositional phrases as I could. In doing so, I came up with this and I wanted to see what you guys thought.

In otherwords, no, there is no structure here. No, I didn't intentionally play with the capitalization, I just wrote a poem and didn't edit it XD

I am curious how you would go about editing this poem knowing you can't use adjectives, adverbs, or prepositional phrases that are not necessary though. Any thoughts?



Kaylaa says...


Oh hey, I didn't know that aspect! I would've took that into consideration if I knew or followed your NaPo thread better towards the end. Not being able to use unnecessary adverbs and adjectives means you'd want to do strong nouns and verbs! Verbs especially can help out. <3



Aley says...


I didn't want my readers to know immediately, I wanted feedback like every other poem first.

What verbs are too weak?




I tell the neophyte: Write a million words–the absolute best you can write, then throw it all away and bravely turn your back on what you have written. At that point, you’re ready to begin.
— David Eddings