Young Writers Society

only empty space

by lliyah

this is a comprehensive account of every dream;
i am holding for another day:

- we're sifting out a box of old postcards,
and silly photos, and unfinished poetry, that i can't throw away,
and i can't keep - so i pretend this is not me; and this is not you.
and yet it seems even strangers
can become demanding of time and space.

- i keep remembering how you asked me years ago
where i was going, and i didn't know, so i let you draw
all these winding map lines across my plans, pretending
we were making an itinerary, and that i'd see you again.
and sometimes i still keep track of time according to where
you said you would be; like someone following a star
that has burned out of the sky thousands and thousands of years ago,
but i know i'm following empty space.

- i try not to dream in past-tense, because
then you forget what the sun looks like, but
i have a hard time keeping track of all these loose-ends
and sometimes i convince myself if i could unknot them
or at least find where they're broken,
they might be knitted into a net for catching shooting stars,
but this is another way i wish against myself -
so rather than dream, i simply stay awake.

- i thought by now this list would be new; and yet
here we are again, and again, and again.

author's note:
lack of capitalization is intentional

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593 Reviews

Points: 65600
Reviews: 593

Fri Mar 25, 2022 9:41 pm
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Plume wrote a review...

Hey there! Plume here, with a review!!

Gosh, the focus on memory in this poem is gorgeous. I love how consistent it is throughout. Every word just overflows with references to time and memory and the past. The word choice is definitely one of my favorite parts of the poem. The poem itself is a super great example of why word choice matters.

I also love the list format too. (Reminded me a little of the 'packing list for a trip i won't return from.') It was interesting how your last stanza was part of the list; I wondered if there was a reason for that. Personally, I feel like it would work better if it almost sandwiched the poem with the first stanza. They mirror each other in a way, given how they both have two lines and refer to the list that's the body of the poem. The fact that it is part of the list does make it seem like the list isn't complete yet, which goes well with the whole idea of passing time. I think it could work both ways, depending on what you want to go for!

I thought your first stanza was really interesting. The words you used are very methodical and business-like, and a bit at odds with the rest of the poem. Even in the stanza, you've got juxtaposition. The "comprehensive account" reads more like a memo or a report, but then you turn to dreams, which are more poetic, intangible things. It immediately hooks the reader in. Your use of a semicolon there is also really interesting. Without the semicolon, it would imply that the dreams are being held for another day, and originally, my mind read it as such. But with the semicolon, a more prolonged pause is created than just the line break would bring, and when you factor in the traditional grammatical usage of a semicolon (and I know grammar rules are a bit bent in poetry but still), the two lines read like separate phrases, one being "this is a comprehensive account of every dream" and the other being "I am holding for another day." Not sure if that was intentional, but the fact that the meaning completely changes depending on the pause is super cool!


i pretend this is not me; and this is not you.

The simplicity of this line is really killer and presents a unique and poignant way to look at memories.

they might be knitted into a net for catching shooting stars,

I love the sound devices in this line; "knitted into a net" is super fun with the consonance of the "n," and the "-ing" on "catching" and "shooting" forms a really nice rhythm.

I also adore your second stanza. The pain that came with it was surprising. Plans that can never come to fruition isn't something that outwardly seems heartbreaking, but the way you described it here was so sad. The last line about the speaker following empty space was so bittersweet. It was just so unique and satisfying, that stanza. Really nice work!!

I could spend a really long time reviewing this poem, but for your sake and mine, I'll end it here. I really, really love this poem, and I hope to read more of your work soon! Until next time!!

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520 Reviews

Points: 216
Reviews: 520

Sun Mar 20, 2022 5:02 pm
vampricone6783 wrote a review...

I believe this poem is about making life-changing plans,yet never getting them across,because both individuals want to go their separate ways,yet still hold on to each other because they are afraid of what will happen if they let go.What if they suffer from the lack of each other? This is one of the many questions they ask themselves.I hope you have a lovely and amazing day and night.

Time is not your best friend - unless you use it wisely.
— Marco Pierre White