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My Friends Have Friends

by MeherazulAzim16


My friends have friends,
And it’s not me,
I’d like them to be happy,
I like that they are happy.

I live with two roaches under my bed,
I wake up several times
Checking if they are crawling over me.

At night I’m not sure if I’ll wake up the next morning,
If I’ll want to,
Lest I should have a choice,
To slip away.


My friends have friends,
Oh so merry to have each other,
One trickles down the back of my head,

I’ve scared the other one away.


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Thu Feb 27, 2020 7:07 pm
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Willard wrote a review...



Hey, MeheraulAzim16!

I'm going to start with specifics then move onto the poem as a whole, if that's chilling.

My friends have friends,
And it’s not me,


Grammatical problem. "My friends have friends" is an effective opening line, however the second does not flow well. The use of 'and', while it works, might not necessarily be the best choice. I like it personally, as it echoes the overall sentiment of the poem, but something about it doesn't seem completely right.

The real issue is the use of "it's". You're referring to your friends' friends, plural, in context with yourself, singular. If your friend had a best friend and it wasn't you, that would work. If your friend had a friend or a "wild one" or a "role model" and it wasn't you, that would work. In those cases, "it's" would work. You're not giving them a title, so it doesn't make sense grammar wise to follow friends with "it's". I'd suggest this: My friends have friends/and they're not me, but it doesn't fully hit the spot.

I’d like them to be happy,
I like that they are happy.


Nothing wrong with these two lines, even with the repetition of like. There is something about the use of commas as a stylistic choice, but more on this in the next two stanzas.

I live with two roaches under my bed,
I wake up several times
Checking if they are crawling over me.


This holds no bearing over the poem itself, but if they live under the bed, then why would they be crawling on top? Entirely stupid question.

Anyways, this stanza doesn't feel right. Because from here on out, these words carry weight in the message you're trying to communicate. You do paint a strong image, it's very clear. Two things about this, though. Two roaches is a tad bit scant. I think, if they were all over, they'd be all over. Fifty, hundred, tons. It is a personal choice and you really have no reason to listen to it, but it'd make the use of "all over" make more sense. Furthermore, the last two lines trip into each other flow-wise. They're supposed to be big and sharp in their own right, yet "checking" and the length of the line itself makes it feel rushed. There are ways to be more sharp and articulate that would help do this poem justice.

At night I’m not sure if I’ll wake up the next morning,
If I’ll want to,
Lest I should have a choice,
To slip away.


You use commas a lot. That's one hundred percent okay. As a reader, I have trouble trying to understand how this would sound. A deeply personal poem with the use of first person like this usually calls for it to sound like a conversation. If this was not a poem and you were saying this word for word to your therapist (because of the themes), does it sound right? Would you be tripping over your words?

This part comes off as chopped and skewed. You could change "I'll" to "I" in the second line. After multiple readings I've realized what the second half of the stanza says, and it works for the most part. But since it's crossed out, it should be an important part of the poem, right? I would recommend adding more weight to your words. Make it juicy.

Make it thick.

My friends have friends,
Oh so merry to have each other,
One trickles down the back of my head,

I’ve scared the other one away.


These "voices", or mental friends, should have been made clearer at the beginning. This is the grand reveal, but it comes out of nowhere and on first read is not entirely solid.

Moving onto the poem as a whole, this talks about loneliness and, to an extent, mental illness. Loneliness, contemplating slipping away, all that jazz. There's a lot of poetry about this topic matter. Because of that, a lot of them end up saying the same things the same way. The poetic motifs used in this work (friends have other friends, roaches, and voices) are common, and it does nothing new or distinct.

I think I have more to say about this. Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading this and writing a review. Feel free to completely ignore this if you want, completely understandable!

Thank you,
Willard.




MeherazulAzim16 says...


Thanks for the review!

If I may respond to some of your talking points...

"Two roaches is a tad bit scant. I think, if they were all over, they'd be all over." -- Point taken. But the interesting bit is that I actually discovered a couple roaches under the bed some nights before I wrote the poem. Was I looking for them? Yes. Why? Because one of them actually ran down the back of head, as I was almost falling asleep. Freaked me out, it's not a great feeling. I instinctively jumped up and turned the light on. That forced the roach to retreat to their "base." I curled up at the center of the bed. I knew there were just a couple of them, four at the worst case scenario, but I didn't feel safe. A rather "irrational fear." I kept waking up, checking if they're in my hair, at the sides of the pillow. Obviously didn't sleep so well that night. But the roaches kind of disappeared after that. It's interesting to ponder whether they were ever there in the first place.

Maybe my point is that the verse was referring to the paranoia, rather than being literal, of course two roaches wouldn't be as unsettling as waking up to find countless roaches hastily roaming, overlapping all over your limbs, some of them even blocking your sight or crawling down your throat in numbers as you gasp. In fact, it may very much be that irrational scenario, or rather the thought of it, that induces the paranoia.

Also, I think it's understandable why there are so many poems centered around loneliness. It's a universal feeling and poetry seems to be a suitable medium for expressing some of the thoughts that accompany that feeling. One could argue such poetry is bound to convey a similar tone/sense.



Willard says...


Thank you for the response! It cleared a lot up about the use of the roaches.

With the final point (that I did not articulate well enough), it's definitely a good/understandable thing there is so much poetry talking about loneliness. But since it's a topic written about so much, there are going to be tropes. When a majority of those poems use them, it starts to feel more and more impersonal. It was suggesting making things personal/specific to your experiences to make the piece more distinct and create a bridge between yours and the reader's heart.

Sorry for how pretentious that sounds. Thank you for taking the time to read the review and respond. Cannot make it clearer how much I appreciate the explanation on the roaches stanza and the paranoid tone.



MeherazulAzim16 says...


Anytime and I get what you mean. Also, I'm like the crab from Moana, except I kinda like going on about the stuff I write (I barely have that chance though). I appreciate the discussion.



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Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:58 pm
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Hkumar wrote a review...



Hey there!

I felt this poem really carried a strong and deep emotion. It was short, yet it had a profound effect on the mind of the reader. I could sense a feeling of loneliness or may be a state of isolation.The first stanza itself grabbed my attention and made me wonder about the mental state of the narrator. These lines really stood out to me.

My friends have friends,
And it’s not me,

The stanza that you had strikeout said a lot about the miserable condition of the narrator. May be he is in a lot of pain and negativity has really affected his thought process and he wants to get away from them.
I liked how you used the example of roaches which again tells more about his miserable condition where he is somehow trying make himself less uncomfortable by finding solace in their company.
I liked the overall structure and the flow. It was a beautifully written poem.

Keep writing! Hope to read more from you. :)




MeherazulAzim16 says...


Thank you! :D



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Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:13 am
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tgham99 wrote a review...



This is a very thought-provoking poem, and I feel like the best way for me to review it is to start off with my personal interpretation, so I apologize if I'm way off!

When reading through this piece, the first thing that came to mind is some sort of narrative surrounding mental illness. Several lines in the poem (specifically "two roaches under my bed" and "trickles down the back of my head") made me think that the speaker is struggling to cope with their own loneliness and, as a result, their mind is making things up to make them feel less isolated.

If my interpretation is correct, I very much like the way it's written -- I feel like being more vague actually works in this poem, because rather than explicitly talking about isolation or the fear of being alone, the metaphor of roaches waking you up at night and scaring friends away is a good way of getting the message across in a thought-provoking way.

I thought it was interesting that you chose to strikeout the stanza that actually directly mentioned not wanting to wake up and, presumably, continue living. I feel like this was a powerful stylistic choice because it highlights that mix of guilt and sadness that accompanies the moments in which people struggle to decide whether or not their lives are worth it. A very melancholy stanza and a very good stylistic choice. Probably my favorite part of the poem!

I hope this review was useful and I would love to see more of your work in terms of exploring deeper emotions. Keep it up!




MeherazulAzim16 says...


Thank you very much! You're not off, it's a lovely interpretation.




Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.
— Ann Landers