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topic vs theme of the text

by whatchamacallit

hope you have your Chromebook muted,
so ms d doesn’t become notified of this message as well lol


...mushroom! is typing

we’re going over topic vs theme again and I’m bored out of my
tell me something funny to distract me, pl
what are you learning about in geo?

mushroom! says:

omg gurl how did u knoww
it literally pinged right when she was explaining
the frickin “microscopic ecosystem” of dirt or some crap

okay but like the ants are building condominiums
a fragile layer of soil away
how do you not find that fasc

lol sounds boring as

looks like ur right where you belong, mushroom :)


...mushroom! is typing

mushroom! says:

shut uppp
im not even wearing my hair
the way u claim makes me look like some sorta
fungi, rn.

you’re the one who called yourself a mushroom
in math class
I just went along with it ‘cause it’s tru

I mean, we’re all just lost in the shade of the forest
tryna wrap ourselves in comforting moss
and figure out what’s poisonous and edib

I only know a fungal!


mushroom! says:


mushroom! says:


mushroom! says:


...mushroom! is typing

mushroom! says:

with the corny jokes!

ur a pescetarian though, I thought corn was allowed

actually, corn is an inverse sunflower
instead of hard black seeds clustered together
you’ve got soft yellow kernels
crowned by listless whitened hair -
crap, I dunno where I’m even going with this metap

I’m literally bored out of my mind
we’re reviewing topic vs theme AGAIN


...mushroom! is typing

mushroom! says:

lol it’s ok
ugh she’s telling us about ants
and how if u keep them in ant farms you can see
their little apartments
snuggled against the glass

do you think

do u think ants eat corn?


...mushroom! is typing

mushroom! says:

why the hecc would i know?
ur the one who pays attention in class

yeah, except I’m texting you right now
so I guess that’s not what I’m doing
so maybe you need to reevaluate that specific
impression of m

lol yeah
I should go back to doing that
have fun being a bored mushroom in geo :)


mushroom! says:

will do

I wonder if my english teacher
can tell me just what exactly
the topic and theme of this convo was

I’m at a loss,
but so are the mushrooms
living in dim forests &
curled up under damp lichen
with small, shiny, black ants as friends
that eat inverse sunflowers
and dodge poison with antennae crossed.

see ya at lunch :)


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134 Reviews

Points: 9140
Reviews: 134

Sat Oct 31, 2020 7:44 am
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Liminality wrote a review...

Ooh, I like the experimental form here! This poem seems to be about communication and things not said. I like to think that's what's being alluded to by the 'topic vs theme of the text' - that the meaning never seems to get out entirely.

1. The repetition of "sent" to divide different stanzas works nicely, I think, because it's so abrupt and really conveys the speed of texting. The bolded vs unbolded text confuses me a little, though. It seems the sent texts are bolded whereas the unsent meaning is unbolded with strikethrough, but it didn't seem obvious to me at first. I like that it's easy to tell which lines belong to 'mushroom!', and I do wish there was a similar explicit marker for which lines are the first speaker's.

2. In terms of the different motifs, I really love the one on ants. It suggests a sense of smallness and fragility, which is really my jam if we're talking friendships and communication. I also like the metaphor of the 'mushroom'. It's really fascinating and I get a slightly different meaning out of it each time I read through this poem. At first, it just looked like a cute term of endearment, but then on the third reading I was beginning to think this 'mushroom!' character had an ominous aura about them, especially with the part about the "poison". This, combined with the lines about a false "impression" makes the friendship between the first speaker and mushroom! seem more tenuous.

3. Language-wise, I think the imagery is pretty solid. There's a sharp, slightly jarring contrast between the text-speak and the images, but I think it's thematically fitting here. The juxtaposition between the "dim forests", "damp lichen" and the "small, shiny black ants" really creates an atmosphere of danger I think and it has a sort of soft v.s. hard connotation as well (since most shiny things are also hard and solid). I'm not sure if the use of passive voice in "doesn't become notified" has an intended effect. It read a bit out of place for me.

4. Corn being an "inverted sunflower" is a really unique picture and a pretty apt observation! However I, like the speaker, can't really figure out what it means in this context. Is it to make the act of conversation seem absurd? Does eating the corn have a particular significance?

Overall, this is a really fascinating poem. I like the interaction between the two speakers and the stylistic choices you've made.

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50 Reviews

Points: 4190
Reviews: 50

Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:39 pm
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Euphoria8 wrote a review...

Awwww I don't know if this is just me but I find the narrator's first responses to mushroom's messages so cute XD the whole describing mushroom as a corn and how they're fascinated by small little things but it makes me kinda sad that they're too afraid to actually voice the thoughts :( but then again this is so relatable, we're all scared of showing the goofy, wild and childlike versions of ourselves, aren't we?

This was a wonderful read, one that was surprisingly original and hilarious but beautiful at the same time!

Thank you for sharing and keep growing <3

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10 Reviews

Points: 46
Reviews: 10

Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:06 pm
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Wallflower23 wrote a review...

Ok so to be honest Im usually quite dense with poetry so I am apologizing in advance if any of who I say is not what you were going for.

I actually really liked this. I liked the strikethrough portions. It felt like the two people messaging were typing something out and then changing their minds and erasing it. It felt like a comment about how we overtaking and never say what we want or what we really mean.

I got a mild flirtation vibe from this that I really liked. It was in the teasing and the way that the deep things that the people wanted to say were deleted. I think that touches on the fact that when we like someone we are scared to show them those weird, deep, thoughtful parts of ourselves. The parts that are almost profound, out of fear that they may reject these scared portions of our personality. So we force those parts to grow in darkness.

I really liked that all the random topics (mushrooms, corn, ants) came together in the final little deleted poem. I also really loved the portion about being "lost in the shade of the forest
tryna wrap ourselves in comforting moss" I just really love that image and I feel like its true.

Anyway, not sure if that makes any sense and I can't really comment on the whether or not structure or other is "right" but Overall I really enjoyed that!

Thanks for sharing dear!

Thank you for the encouraging words!

Be steadfast as a tower that doth not bend its stately summit to the tempest’s shock.
— Dante Alighieri