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houseguests

by Morrigan


i need a tune up. my spine
and other bodily accouterments
are almost comfortable. sometimes
i am too aware of my bones,
how my knees click
as i ascend stairs and how much gum
i chewed today. my jaw hurts.

other times, i understand
that i am a house.
my paintings hang on walls
off kilter (only the guests
notice it). i don't know how to
get around to it, but i think i'm worried.

what you put in is what you get out,
a wise-eyed guest tells me. but i can't
remember what we had for dinner.
it's diffusing from me.

for once this disharmony is not
the off-centeredness of being drunk,
nor the intensity of heartbreak.
i wish it was; the two problems solve each other.
worry is indefinite, vermin scritching behind a wall,
and i cannot figure out where it is coming from. 


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19 Reviews


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Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:52 am
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oceans wrote a review...



Hi Morrigan!

Your poem is very creative. I think its very cool that you compare the person to a house. When you think about it, we are very similar (as in people). Our aching jokes can be creaking floorboards, our aging skin can be fading wallpaper, and when we don't take care of our bodies, they fall apart, just like an abandoned house.

I really like the way you wrote about how somedays you notice your knees click, or the way your jaw feels after chewing gum. It is very interesting how on certain days, anxieties and other things make us hyperaware about things we usually pay no attention to.

This was really cool, I think any suggestions to be taken note of have already been stated in other comments.

Keep up the good work!

<3




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Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:48 am
ToxicAnglerFish wrote a review...



Your poem here is so unique and interesting! I love the symbolism of anxiety and paranoia being compared to house objects like paintings, walls, etc. I love how well we can feel the hyper awareness and paranoia in this with descriptive adjectives such as "my knees click" and "How my jaw hurts after chewing gum" it gives a very interesting and realistic perspective on how when your hyper aware you notice the smallest, strangest but in the moment details that would only apply to you and your reality and that makes it very well done in my opinion!




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Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:27 pm
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whatchamacallit wrote a review...



Hi Morrigan! I thought I'd return the favour of a review!

I know you mentioned on your wall that you feel like something's off with the poem, and you'd like some input, so I'm going to start my review with that. To me personally, I feel like the ideas are a bit disconnected. Not the imagery, that stays fairly consistent, which I really like - and the flow is a bit disjointed, but I think that's a stylistic choice for this poem - but I feel like the different ideas/thoughts are introduced a bit suddenly and without lead up, if that makes sense? I notice this especially in the first two stanzas, whereas the last two have more of a flow between the thoughts.

i need a tune up.

my spine and other bodily accoutrements are almost comfortable.

sometimes i understand that i am a house.

my paintings hang on walls off kilter (only the guests notice it).

~

other times i am too aware of my bones, how my knees click as i ascend stairs

and how much gum i chewed today. my jaw hurts.

i don't know how to get around to it, but i think i'm worried.


I tried rearranging the line breaks of the first two stanzas, just to show where each idea starts and ends. If you read it like this, without seeing the words connected spatially, you can really see how some of the ideas seem to appear out of nowhere. Again, I'm not talking about flow like how it sounds when you say it aloud, as the stop/start flow and enjambment is stylistic and I really don't mind that, but more like the logical flow, if that is even a thing. (I hope this is making sense, I'm finding it a bit hard to explain in words.)

So as a general critique/comment, I feel like there needs to be more sort of transitions between each thought/idea.

Other than that, I really enjoy your imagery for the most part. I especially loved how you use a musical phrase at the beginning of the poem -
i need a tune up.

and then again, referring back to it subtly near the end
For once this disharmony is not


a wise-eyed guest tells me.

^I thought it was really clever here how you sort of surprise the reader by saying "wise-eyed" instead of "wide-eyed". Very similar, but a different meaning, and it makes the reader think a little.

I also have one very minor critique, which is that I believe you need a dash between the words "tune up" and "off kilter".

I think that's it for my review, I hope you find it helpful!

whatchamacallit




Morrigan says...


Thank you! I appreciate this!



Morrigan says...


@whatchamacallit, is this better?





Yes, the thoughts flow much more naturally!



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Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:54 pm
ImaginaryPoet wrote a review...



Dear Morrigan,
This was an interesting poem. I like how you compare the different components of a house to human problems. I did slightly get the feeling like the house was once a human itself, which was kind of confusing, and the last two stanzas weren't my favorite. I found them to be unnecessary, and they don't fit in with the rest of the poem. It also doesn't feel like it ends, just that maybe this is part one of a whole poem?
I hope that helps!
Sincerely,
ImaginaryPoet




Morrigan says...


Can you be more specific? What exactly made the poem feel like it doesn't end? Why was it confusing when I used the house metaphor? Why weren't the last two stanzas necessary? Why don't they fit? Please let me know. I can't change anything if I don't know why I'm changing it.





So sorry that I wasn't very specific before. Now that I re-read it, I think I understand it a lot better than before. It felt as if you were comparing the house to a person, not a person to a house, which was confusing me.
The last two stanzas make much more sense to me now, but I do have one critique to give: I think that your lines break up in weird places. I've always been taught that punctuation should mark the end of a line, but you place it in the middle in quite a few places. For example:

my paintings hang on walls
off kilter (only the guests
notice it). i don't know how to
get around to it, but i think i'm worried.

Normally, I think that it should be written:
My paintings hang on walls,
off-kilter
(Only the guests notice it)
I don't know how to get around to it,
But I think I'm worried.

That may just be how I was taught to write, so take the suggestion and do with it what you wish.
I hope that that was more specific and helped (more than my last review). Let me know!
Sincerely,
ImaginaryPoet



Morrigan says...


Hey there! I didn%u2019t see this til now. I appreciate your more specific critique! I am using enjambment in my poem, which doesn%u2019t necessarily break the lines with punctuation. I encourage you to look into it%u2014 maybe you can use it yourself!



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Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:18 pm
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deleted18 wrote a review...



Greetings, dear author!

I will begin by saying that I thoroughly enjoy free-form poems like this, that even though apparently disheveled carry a dissonant musicality to them. It's hard to see such skill nowadays, and I am glad I came across this work.

What I like most is the downright mechanical aspect of the poetic discourse, making the poetic self feel more like a machination, a bundle of 'bodily accoutrements', a dehumanised husk that simply lives day by day life in the pain of degradation. In a way, I feel like it's telling of the ephemerality of the self and its extension, the mind and body, evident throughout the first 2 stanzas as well as the verse, 'it's diffusing from me.'

Furthermore, the thematic universe is unique, reminiscent of the typical modernist soliloquy: drawing inspiration from the mundane, urban and interior but instilling a deeper meaning into it. I enjoyed the enjambment, the borderline spoken-word style as well as the personality of the discourse. The switch in perspective, from an outside, almost extradiegetic to an extremely internalised feeling, really highlights an extreme alienation both from oneself and the exterior the spirit inhabits.

One qualm, or more likely misunderstanding, I have is the last stanza. I feel like this conclusion is unneeded, especially by introducing two bodily experiences into this otherwise void of emotion universe: 'heartbreak' and 'being drunk.' I feel like they're out of place in a poem where there is no trace of humanity left, where any sort of mind and heart have been self-disposed or exterminated.

Other than that, I believe this poem is truly a great piece of art, keep at it, good sir/madam!




Morrigan says...


Thank you for your thoughts!
The way you interpreted this is interesting. I did not mean to have a poem so devoid of emotion; in fact, it's bursting with it. Perhaps you mean I am suddenly naming these emotions, and it's all right to trust the reader to understand? If that's the case, that's a valid criticism, and I'll consider changing it. Thanks!




"Cowards die many times before their deaths; but the valiant will never taste of death but once."
— Julius Caesar