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Young Writers Society

My Neighborhood

by Snoink

The red man's hand says no
but the white man says yes
so with a flex of my sneakers I
walk with the cars
trying to find my way home.

It smells like dog shit and
marijuana and dead engines and dead
brakes which are still squealing past like a
slaughtered pig, down the mountain where they
try to fly, ignoring the light that tells them to
STOP. For me
there are other obstacles such as
the half-eaten pizza and the half-filled syringe next to the
bent hypodermic needle and discarded condom, which has
as many ants feasting on it as there are on the pizza.
Alcohol drips off the path and
I make a game pretending that the bottles
of Jack Daniel's and Corona are Easter
eggs, except instead of chocolate yolk they carry poison
from little snakes who, bitter of having their legs chopped off,
curl into the bottleneck and
wait to strike.

It is the sparrow who hurtles out of the bush with a warning chirp
that distracts me from the snakes and as I follow
his coarse brown wings with my eyes,
he reveals to me the hills with their
luscious grass and orange poppies
waving at me to come, join them so that I may drown
in flowers.

I hesitate as I near the corner
wondering whether I should leap into the hills
and their orange-yellow flowers
and try to fly, ignoring the cars around me
so that I may stop...

There is no time to think.
As my toes hit the curb, the snakes
twist around my heels and the
white man flashes on.

I walk.

Is this a review?



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42 Reviews

Points: 890
Reviews: 42

Mon Mar 31, 2008 5:13 pm
Sweeney_Todd wrote a review...

Surreal! Intoxicating! Descriptive! ...Graphic...

The whole Marijuana and dog crap was unexpected, but then again, so was the 'ands feasting on a used condom' bit... :? Wow.

You have a unique writing style though, and it shows off a glimpse of the author's personality as you read the piece. VERY nice.

I particularly liked the idea of snakes in Jack Daniel's bottles. The Biblical reference is a nice contrast to the drug use and promiscuous references used above it.

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713 Reviews

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Reviews: 713

Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:51 pm
BigBadBear wrote a review...


Well, I guess it was an okay poem. You've done better. I've read some of your others... let's see... how should I put this?

The poem didn't have a rhythm. When I read it out loud it seemed like a very long run on paragraph. (is there such things? O.o)

The message was good, I suppose, but the rhythm bugged me big time. Sorry. I don't know how to describe it. I guess it just didn't appeal to me?

Better luck next time,


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60 Reviews

Points: 890
Reviews: 60

Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:46 pm
kinzygirl223 says...

THat was a very powerful poem.
I loved it.
THe only thing is where are you??
Thats the only problem i have with it.
Otherwise it is a FANTASTIC poem.
very enjoyable to read.

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661 Reviews

Points: 15961
Reviews: 661

Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:05 pm
Jasmine Hart wrote a review...

How are you so brilliant? I'm so jealous that it's not even funny. I'll try to overcome the jeacousy a little so I can be helpful...

I'm not sure about;
"so with a flex of my sneakers"
It doesn't sound quite right to me...maybe try something like;
"Flexing my sneakers"
"so with a flick/flash of my sneakers."

I love the description in the second stanza, and how well you conveyed teh sordid atmosphere. I really loved;
"For me
there are other obstacles such as
the half-eaten pizza and the half-filled syringe next to the
bent hypodermic needle and discarded condom, which has
as many ants feasting on it as there are on the pizza."

and the bit about the easter eggs and alcohol and snakes. Your imagery is really great and fresh.

I also love "drown in flowers".

I got a sense of the poem fading out after the third stanza.

This is so brilliant. And yup, I'm still totally jealous, but nevertheless, I hope this helps.


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3821 Reviews

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Reviews: 3821

Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:02 am
Snoink says...

Thanks for all your comments guys! :D I've edited it to your suggestions for the most part.

Sureal>> Nice proofreading! I tend to miss words (I found A LOT of missing words in FREAK, which made proof reading all the more fun, lol) so that is definitely helpful. The word is now decapitalized... I was wondering whether I should have done that or not, so it's great to see some decisiveness! :) I wasn't sure if I liked that line that you pointed out either, so I'm glad you didn't like it so I had a chance to play with it more. I think it's better now? Anyway, thanks very much! :)

kokobeans>> I did rate it PG-13 and put a warning on it for the language. ^^ Though maybe it's more of the R range? *muses* In any case, I fixed up that one line that you pointed out. I hope that smoothes it out! :D

Gryphon>> Hmmm... I did try to make the line breaks logical. I suppose it didn't work out? That's always possible. :)

I'm glad you liked it, in any case! I never quite thought of the poem as describing my neighborhood as beautiful (it's kind of dumpy, actually) so it's fascinating to see a different opinion. :) And kids do play in the neighborhood but... not in that part. It's too drugged up and horrible.

Overeasy>> I'm glad that you liked the descriptions! I was afraid I wouldn't do the place justice, so it's good to see I made you at least see it. :)

Any comments and critiques for the edited version?

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196 Reviews

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Reviews: 196

Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:09 am
OverEasy wrote a review...

"It smells like dog shit " < I love this line, it was a shock the first time I read but in a nice way. I guess it was just unexpected.

Great descriptions, they were different but I could still picture everything you were talking about.

I really loved this.

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922 Reviews

Points: 42011
Reviews: 922

Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:43 pm
GryphonFledgling wrote a review...

I love the imagery in this piece, but the line breaks in the first and second stanzas really threw me off. They seem to be in the strangest places and I couldn't make heads or tails of the method. The rest of the poem was fine, but those two stanzas messed me up a bit.

I loved your description of the traffic signal. I can't put my finger on just why, but I really like it. Kudos to you.

It was strange how you could makes something so beautiful out of such an ugly scene. Very nice work. I enjoyed this poem greatly. Going by the title, I was expecting something like a quaint little description of the way the kids play hopscotch on the sidewalk or something, but this is so much more real and gritty and overall more believable.

*thumbs up*

Loved it.


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104 Reviews

Points: 890
Reviews: 104

Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:48 pm
kokobeans wrote a review...


I really like this, it's a brilliant description, especially of something as simple as crossing the road.

The whole 'dog *** and marajuana' thing caught me off guard. I think you should have a content warning or something at the beginning, there's some pretty gruesome stuff in here, but that's a matter of opinion.

'That distracts me from the snakes and / following his coarse brown wings', this made me stumble a bit. I got the brief image of a sparrow following a snake with wings. With the 'and' where it is, I was expecting something about the sparrow to follow, so maybe it would be better on the next line instead.

Overall I loved it, so keep up the good work. Kudos.

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506 Reviews

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Reviews: 506

Thu Mar 27, 2008 4:01 pm
Sureal wrote a review...

I like it. Very surreal. :)

ignoring the light tells them to/STOP.

The syntax here threw me off. Do you mean ‘light telling them’, or ‘light that tells them’, perhaps?

For me/There are other obstacles such as

You haven’t capitalised the first letter of the line anywhere else, so the ‘There’ stands out nastily.

And the bottles…

I didn’t really like this line; it feels very out of place and I don’t think it’s really needed.

little snakes who, bitter of having their legs chopped off

Nice biblical allusion.

luscious grass and orange poppies/waving at me to come, join them so that I may drown/in flowers.

The word ‘drown’ feels out of place. It has very negative connotations, and placed at the end of the line like that there is a large emphasise put on it. The negativity feels out of place with the bright, happy descriptions. (Maybe this was intentional?)

Anyways, I like. :)

-- Sureal

It's been many years since I had such an exemplary vegetable.
— Mr Collins, Pride and Prejudice