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Pearls found in Oysters

by koinoyokan

There were scratches inside the oven

Jagged claw marked ridges

Only nails made of steel could have made such marks

Or desperation


But we don’t need to think of them

The ones that came before

The stories that lead to this


Sweet sugary bubbling blood

Till it thickens, into gelatinized syrup


Sliding down her throat

Coating the sides

Slickening the jowls


For the splinted bones

And tough soles of feet


She didn’t like to chew

No, she swallowed her prey whole


Like a great boa constrictor

Unhinging her jaw

She’d force them down


And spit up whatever she didn’t like

She spat out the tendons

And the crushed-up bones


Like an owl

She hunted down her prey

Taking what she wanted

With you squirming all the way

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Points: 427
Reviews: 2

Mon May 18, 2020 6:42 pm
rudrAbhinav wrote a review...

Hi there!

The poem is a visual treat with a very strong start. It plays on with the minds of the readers and makes ample use of animal references making it a great read for the those who love nature. It has excruciating details, sentences that make you squirm as you read for you can feel those crawling emotions rising up your feet.

As a reader, it is delight to read a poem that has absolutely no line just placed to increase the length of the poem. Every word used is of utter significance and their couldn't have been any alternative that I can think of. An inconsistency though, which I thought, was the reference to sweet sugary blood getting gelatinized. Maybe it is my lack of knowledge or ability to interpret but this seemed like a tautology here as blood is generally considered as a thick, gelatinized fluid. Sincere apologies beforehand if I fail to understand something brilliant there.

Loved the work. Keep writing! :)

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Points: 400
Reviews: 4

Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:32 pm
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Wynorrific wrote a review...

I absolutely love this! You've conjured up the image of a horrifying creature while providing us very little solid facts about its appearance. I find that brilliant. According to the narrator, we know the subject to be an amalgamation of various animals in behavior, but we can't be certain about what it really IS.

I did some research on oysters because I was curious about the relation between the title and the poem. It seems to me that while there are some parallels, you certainly took creative liberty when you wrote this. Perhaps you drew inspiration from the process of a pearl being formed in an oyster? With that interpretation, I supposed that the oven was an oyster shell, and the "scratch marks" were created by an irritant entering through the oyster's gills. This part especially fits: Sweet sugary bubbling blood / Till it thickens, into gelatinized syrup". It could be referring to the irritant (usually a grain of sand) being coated in the substance nacre, which will cause it to become a pearl.

I think it's also possible that "Pearls found in Oysters" refers to the creature's tendency to take only what she wants and to discard the rest. That's sort of what humans do with oysters. If that was the intention, then I think it's a really subtle and clever comparison.

But either way, it's clear that something deeper is going on in this poem. There IS some sort of monster, and the reader is seemingly led to believe that she preys on human beings.

Your language is beautifully disturbing. One little detail I almost didn't catch was your use of sibilation to enhance the comparison of the creature to a boa. I love it so much, haha--- using all those 's' words to describe her actions.

The ending felt a little abrupt. Maybe that's the point. I assume since the poem shifts into describing 'you' at the very end that the reader is her next victim. No room for more thoughts because you're dead. It makes a person think. I'm also a little bothered by your lack of punctuation. Even if it is intentional, it disrupts the flow for me. See Alfonso22's review for suggestions. I understand this is more subjective, however.

The fact that I still have a lot to think about in regards to this poem is a very, very good sign. You focus more on showing than telling, which works wonderfully in your favor here. This is an excellent piece. At some point or another, I will be sure to check out your other works. Hopefully, this helped to some extent, and I'd like to hear what you were thinking of when you wrote this!

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31 Reviews

Points: 2199
Reviews: 31

Sun Apr 05, 2020 2:19 am
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Alfonso22 wrote a review...

The poem describes some type of creature who partially resembles a snake, and an owl in its feeding habits. I say partially, because she can chew if she wants, but prefers not to. Snakes do not have the molars and bicuspids that make chewing possible.

Also, it differs from a snake because it it uses an oven. That indicates that it is more than just a dumb animal. It is obviously a thinking creature who is cruel since it throws its victim alive into an oven, as the claw marks inside indicate, and that is not necessary. Killing before eating is the acceptable way. So what came initially to my mind was some type of female werewolf.

But werewolves are never depicted with those boa constrictor feeding traits. They rip, slash and tear but never swallow whole. So whatever it is, it doesn't seem to fit any horror-movie creature I know. Perhaps some genetic anomaly that managed to escape from a gene -splicing laboratory?

In any case, the poem did make me feel revulsion and a sense of unease which it is supposed to do if it is in the category of horror. So the poet did an efficient job within that genre.


Punctuation would have enhanced the drama via dramatic pauses using commas and periods.

But that is often a matter of personal taste or preference.

There were scratches inside the oven[,]

Jagged claw marked ridges[.]

Only nails made of steel could have made such marks[,]

Or desperation[.]


But we don’t need to think of them[,]

The ones that came before[,]

The stories that lead to this[.]


Sweet[,] sugary[,] bubbling blood.

Till it thickens, into gelatinized syrup;,]


Sliding down her throat[,]

Coating the sides[,]

Slickening the jowls


For the splinted bones

And tough soles of feet[,]


She didn’t like to chew[.]

No, she swallowed her prey whole[,]


Like a great boa constrictor[.]

Unhinging her jaw[,]

She’d force them down


And spit up whatever she didn’t like[.]

She spat out the tendons

And the crushed-up bones


Like an owl[.]

She hunted down her prey[,]

Taking what she wanted

With you squirming all the way[.]

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12 Reviews

Points: 74
Reviews: 12

Sat Apr 04, 2020 9:46 pm
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PhoenixEmberly wrote a review...

Hey hey hey, here to leave a small bit of thoughts on this one. I've been reviewing poetry recently, but I'm new at it, so do take my feedback with a grain of salt. No worries though, because all I have to offer are positive thoughts.

I loveee horror, and it is clear you do too! The most important thing a writer can do when attempting to horrify a reader is paint a clear image in their head, and that's something you did very well. Your word choice was magnificent and I could imagine the setting and actions happening, and believe me, they were disturbing to picture. This seems to focus on body horror. Some might find that cheap shock, but in this case, it was done so well that I would say you're far from cheap shock value. These were genuinely disturbing and fear provoking descriptions you presented. I'm going to leave a like on this one.

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Points: 148
Reviews: 17

Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:28 pm
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EvaR14 wrote a review...

This poem's really good. Even though there's no clear rhyme scheme/pattern (at least that I could find) the poem doesn't come across to me as disorganised - well done!

These are my favourite lines:

"There were scratches inside the oven"
I think this works really well as an opening line. It sets the mood and atmosphere and shows the reader how cruelly the oysters are treated.

"But we don't need to think of them / the ones that came before"
This shows the urgency/terror of the situation, and how this has gone on for a long time.

"Unhinging her jaw / She'd force them down"
I think this is good at portraying a sense of wrongness, like this is an unnatural behaviour.

I also really like your comparisons to the boa constrictor and owl.

This might just be my fault, but it took me a few seconds to figure out what the last line of the first stanza meant - I had to think about it for a moment. That's probably just me though.

Overall, I loved this - well done! Thanks for writing :)

Stupidity's the deliberate cultivation of ignorance.
— William Gaddis