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Living in a National Historic Landmark

by YellowSweater

My town is a Victorian woman who has lost her virginity. The girlish lilac so many houses are slathered in feels off, like rough on already flushed cheeks.

There is a man with a brass pocket watch who conducts a tour of all the haunted mansions and sewers, after an hour he sends the tourists off for pizza and cheap souvenirs. But we’re still living here, paying way too much in rent.

I have never liked brass. It reminds me of the tacky steampunk fair that used to commandeer downtown every summer. It’s burnished, but not rusted, a little like antiquated plastic.

My town irritates me for the same reason I can't spend more than a day in Disneyland. Theme Parks are soul-crushing. Evolution is staunched by mechanized aesthetics. That’s not to say there aren't beautiful places. History is lovely when it is allowed to crumble. And we are touched by the corrosive ocean breeze.

Every home has an attic, full of spiderwebs and bright sunlight. The bricks smell old and metallic, like hard working hands. And there is a deep silence in the sprawling graveyard at dusk, when the daisies close their petals and their eyes.

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459 Reviews

Points: 10092
Reviews: 459

Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:26 pm
Poor Imp wrote a review...

I bloody love that you paint your town with metaphors and images. Very Emily Dickinson; feels like the truth slant, and slant truths often do us the favor of kicking the feet out from under our blind preconceptions.

Anyhow, that said:

1) Is your town really like a woman who's been knocked up? The image is shocking. But I want to know more of the history of why. If it's just shock, it doesn't describe the town. But has the town been married against its will? Raped? Or is it just suck in shame, and so hiding something that ought to be ordinary...? Maybe another sentence that hints at the location, da?

2) "My town irritates me"... paragraph jolts all over the topic spectrum. Do you think, perhaps, you could pull out its heart strings (so to speak) and develop a) your irritation and b) the resemblance of your town to the furor and fuss of Disney?

3) Final paragraph leaps from attics to graveyards. Er, I'm not quite sure where they bridge, but the two images don't follow one another, and I'm left at a loss as to the why of the silence. "Full of spiderwebs and..." What is it your town is hiding? How does that chafe you? One additional bridge of a sentence might work to tie the attack to the graveyard. Hardworking hands smell old...metallic. But they remember, at least by touch and skin. What leaves them behind to the empty, closed, silence of graves...the "forgetting" of daisies that close their eyes?

You have a fantastic eye and ear for image, and for subtlety. I'd only suggest asking yourself more questions and making sure you give the images space to breathe. Piled atop each other, they don't get their due -- and they deserve enough space to knock a reader silly.



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23 Reviews

Points: 0
Reviews: 23

Sun Mar 21, 2021 3:14 pm
HJYoung wrote a review...

Wow, um i dont know where to start!
First off, i like the level of detail and the advanced vocabulary you used to describe the setting-I think this may be a metaphor for something?-I am too dense to get it.
I see that this is supposed to be about a National historic landmark, it pokes fun at the history and the way it conveys that in the 4th passage is really good! The way you write 'history is lovely when it is allowed to crumble' is simply genius, Overall, 10/10, no errors, very descriptive.

YellowSweater says...

Thank you so much for your review!

HJYoung says...


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110 Reviews

Points: 83
Reviews: 110

Sun Mar 21, 2021 3:13 pm
illy7896 wrote a review...

Something about this piece is very addictive to read. The way that you have described your town was done in such a manner that you seem to skim across the features of your home with precise statements that follow opinion rather than fact, however, are explained in an informative way. I feel as if this piece is very casual but meaningful- I think that you should make this into a story.

I just loved the sentences:

Evolution is staunched by mechanized aesthetics. That’s not to say there aren't beautiful places. History is lovely when it is allowed to crumble. And we are touched by the corrosive ocean breeze.

because it's very metaphorical and has tons of imagery. And when you use the term 'we' i feel as if this place is like... religious in some way. Something that all people share and dwell in, something that really is a home. The way it is done implies a far off-world. Even just the line 'Mechanized aesthetics' is so open to imagination and reminds me of the Industrial Revolution, the 1800s. This whole piece does, starting right from the Victorian women, to the brass, and the steampunk fair. And then you use 'corrosive ocean breeze' which is a controversial and thought-provoking line that is open to interpretation.

I really loved this piece, right from the start and down to the end. I mean, the imagery! Could you write more about this because it's just really left me curious and I kinda want to know more about this town. Great job with this piece.

YellowSweater says...

Thank you so much for your review! I would love to write more about my town. I'll make sure to let you know when I extend this piece, or post another one:)

illy7896 says...

Thank you so much, no problem

Sometimes my life just sounds like surrealistic fiction being sold on clearance at the book store.
— J. G. Hammersmith