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Are They Real?

by Casanova

Dry, hoarse laughs you hear when you close your eyes

Demons fought and lost throughout venomous spite

One grabs at your ankles- at first non threatening 

Grow larger and you look up- they're in your face

Wide-spread grin across your spine

Open your eyes- you can't see them, but are they gone?

Who's to say our demons aren't real?

The ones we see when we're alone in our dreams

The ones we feel when we wake up and start the day

The ones no one else sees but weighs on your thoughts

The ones tugging at us to do things we don't want

The ones who claim to raise us higher and then drown us

Everyone has their own demons

The haunting melody in a peaceful dream

The gruesome monsters within the faces of people they trust

They stalk them whether awake or asleep

Always prowling- always on the attack

Never sleeping and only feeding off of your fears

Terrorizing you- running rampant in the home you call your mind

You barracade yourself in a room- hammar and nails

Plastic the windows, board up the door

You find solice within the sheets and covers

Hands over your ears- wishing not to hear it

Your tears are streaming with your eyes closed- not wanting to see it

What other choice do you have but to unboard the door and leave?

You can't stay there in the Hell you've made for yourself.

But you can't leave- it has you convinced that's the only place you're safe.

In reality it's the only place it holds you

In reality it's the only place you can't escape.

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745 Reviews

Points: 1626
Reviews: 745

Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:13 pm
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Lumi wrote a review...

Mild progress. Annoyances abound.

When you play with second person, you get right into the reader's face, so you either execute your phrasing and narration flawlessly, or you run the risk of demeaning and insulting the reader (the You). You ran that risk and lost, so I'd encourage you to do one of two things: either try a different person approach (restrained first person is suggested) or restrain yourself from making your lines so needlessly angry and aggressive in random places.

Essentially it all boils down to one quotable phrase: write intentionally.

If you read a recent review of mine on Kaos' poem re: SMPTE lines, you read that creating dynamic sentence structure completely changes the flow potential of a piece, and the same will always apply to you. You're still employing minimum wage sentences that accomplish only what they need with no motivation for more. It requires hours of editing and lots of frustration, but the payoff is ultimately quite uniquely powerful. The same advice applies to rap, slam poetry, and prose. Dynamic phrasing is well-near necessary to proper delivery.

Stanza two, you begin your grocery listing again. Burn it. Sense-check yourself on the images, particularly raising you higher and drowning you.

The narration is obvious and scarcely any metaphor is used in place of blatant narration, and so I give you this: you could write this as a short story and lose absolutely nothing poetic in the process. Never let that be said of a work again unless it meets an intention.

Ultimately it falls to the problematic nature of the writer expanding his territory beyond his comfort zone, but not into the realm of the unknown. You still know where you are. You still see your emotions; they're just projected onto a You. There are no symbols, there's no metaphor. Everything is blatant. Everything is obvious. Everything is boring. Compact and reforge and think of objects in languages that you don't know yet. Find out how Cerberus was outwitted in the alcove of Hades. You want to talk about demons? Then find the symbolism and power that makes them frightful.

And find out how to say to the reader that no matter how many claws rip at the wood of your door the morning will come and you will be okay, you will be okay, you will be o k a y.

Otherwise, what's the point?

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24 Reviews

Points: 939
Reviews: 24

Thu Sep 29, 2016 7:55 pm
tammy777 wrote a review...

Nice poetry. I personally the way you demonstrated 'where the demons reside' .It's true that our thoughts shape the world so it's important how we should see the world and do as much as good to mankind as possible. This poem is a great art and you can improve it more. I am amused and eagerly waiting for your next writing. Please share your next art as soon as possible. Carry on with your literary work. Keep it up :)

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806 Reviews

Points: 1883
Reviews: 806

Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:40 pm
Aley wrote a review...

Hey Casanova,

I'm actually somewhat disappointed in this poem. I was hoping for something a little more intense. I like what you were going for here, that you were working with an idea and using imagery to show what you meant with the bed analogy. You did that well. I also think that you have a very structured meter in this poem. It feels very planned.

As an older reader, this poem was pretty talky to me. It doesn't really give the reader a chance to experience so much as tells the reader what they are experiencing, which I don't like in my poems.

The reason I dislike it is because you end up with a weird voice. In this poem, for instance, we go from "you" which means the speaker is excluding themselves from the group, to "we" but we very quickly get back to "you" because "we" is uncomfortable. Having "you" the reader, as the subject of the poem is pretentious. It is like having the speaker know everything about the reader, and oftentimes, that's not the case. For instance, if we take

"The ones we see when we're alone in our dreams
The ones we feel when we wake up and start the day"

this quote from your poem, then let's break that down. Personally, I didn't connect with this. When I'm alone, I love it. I enjoy myself. I turn on my music, dance about, and enjoy myself. Also, when I'm alone in my dreams, I'm often in charge of some master scheme. I have some pretty messed up dreams I remember, and none of them "haunt" me in this way, so I didn't see "me" as the subject here, and since "we" wasn't me, I no longer felt like you were talking to me. I felt more like a judgmental teenager who didn't want to listen to their parent.

The second line of that quote had the same effect for me. I wasn't part of the "we" in this general scheme of things, which meant I was an outsider. This isn't my experience, and I don't have any reason to feel sympathy for those who are speaking.

If we go down to the second to last stanza, I've already disengaged from the poem, by far, but let's take a look at what you're saying happens to the reader. I sort of scoffed when you say "plastic the windows" because that's just a way to keep the heat in for me. It doesn't equate with strength or boarding up, or protection, or safety.

So what is my suggestion for improving this? Admit it, this isn't a "you" poem, it's an "I" poem. If you change this poem over to "I" rather than "you" it becomes a lot more powerful because it's a personal account of what's going on rather than an observation from a snarky psychic who knows your deepest secrets.

Let's look at the change in two sections and I'll show you how it's better in my opinion.

"Who's to say my demons aren't real?
The ones I see when I'm alone in my dreams
The ones I feel when I wake up and start the day
The ones no one else sees but weighs on my thoughts
The ones tugging at me to do things I don't want
The ones who claim to raise me higher and then drown me"

This stanza has a few changes. First and most importantly, it shows that some of these lines are actually sort of weak. "The ones I feel when I wake up and start the day" isn't a very visceral wording. "I wake up and start the day" is more of a hopeful feeling, it's something that people associate with sunshine and brightness. It's not something people associate with dark loneliness or problems. Also "ones no one else sees but weighs on my thoughts" is not very descriptive of the problem at all, so it could use some strengthening.

The next thing that changes is it becomes a personal agery poem. It's more of a "How dare you" than "We're all in this together" which, personally, I think makes the poem a lot stronger because being angry about something means you've got a cause. You're fighting for something, and that creates conflict, which creates interest just like in novels.

Let's check out one of the later stanzas.

"Terrorizing me- running rampant in the home I call my mind
I barricade myself in a room- hammer and nails
Plastic the windows, board up the door
I find solace within the sheets and covers
Hands over my ears- wishing not to hear it
My tears are streaming with my eyes closed- not wanting to see it
What other choice do I have but to unboard the door and leave?
I can't stay there in the Hell I've made for myself.
But I can't leave- it has me convinced that's the only place I'm safe."

First thing first, typos. Keep an eye out for them.

Okay, so what happens to this poem if we change pronouns? This one gets a lot stronger, but we also are alerted that some of these lines are not from the "me" perspective, but from the perspective of our beginning narrator. "It has me convinced that's the only place I'm safe" isn't from the perspective of the speaker, because if they're convinced of it, then how do they know that it's not the only place? How do they know that it's just that they've been convinced? Those parts on this poem need revision whether you go with the changes or not because in their present form of "you" it is making the speaker sound like a fool who can't manage their choices, you're insulting the reader by teasing them with telling them "what they don't know" which they might actually know if they had really been in this situation.

That being said, I think having this change over to "I" first person makes this section of the poem a claiming of events and an expression of what's happened. That, in my opinion, makes it stronger, and gives it more character. It gives us an actual character rather than saying that "we" are the character, we, the readership, or we, the speaker and the audience. It also simplifies the point of view in this poem because the whole thing can be in "I" first person aside from the italics, which are spoken by someone else, traditionally when you have italics like that in a poem.

So, my overall suggestion is to get rid of "you" and "we" in your poetry, and work with "I" because even if it isn't something that you've personally experienced, it creates a speaker who is sharing their experiences rather than expounding upon someone else's experiences, and that creates a stronger poem. You have less of a chance of becoming a preachy person if you're speaking from personal experience about your personal experience, even if it is all fiction, and none of it has ever been experienced.

First person doesn't mean the speaker is the writer. First person means the speaker is the one talking about themselves. You just have to watch out for navel gazing after that.

I hope this helps.

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14 Reviews

Points: 302
Reviews: 14

Thu Sep 29, 2016 4:03 pm
GG4560 wrote a review...

It looks like your goal is fear in this poem and you've achieved it! The way you write the poem makes it flow smoothly. You also left a sense of desperation and fear. Though sometimes, i sometimes don't understand what "it" represent. I have two theories of what it might represent but they might be wrong, i dunno. I think it might represent the demons, but i also think it represents a place. If it represents both of them, i think that you can use other words than "it" to describe one of them. So i think you can clear that up a little bit. But still, i like the part where you used italicize because in my opinion, it adds to the suspense.

Overall, i still think that this is a good piece of writing and clearing up things a bit would make it even more interesting to read.

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624 Reviews

Points: 3571
Reviews: 624

Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:41 am
Casanova says...

@Lumi I thought you might be able to take a crack at this and tell me your opinion? I'd appreciate it!

Lumi says...

You'll have it by midnight.

It is a happiness to wonder; it is a happiness to dream.
— Edgar Allan Poe