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15 Responses to the Question "Is that your Dad's shirt?"

by wordsmakemovements

Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language.

15 Responses to the Question "Is that your Dad's shirt?"

1. Silence.
2. Nod slightly.
3. "Yes," mumbled quietly.
3. "I thrifted it."
4. "No, it is my brother's."
5. You have known me for seven years, do you really think this is my Dad's shirt?
6. Cry.
7. "No."
8. "I am a woman living in the 21st century and I am not allowed to wear this shirt without being questioned because it appears manly?"
9. "This is my mother's shirt."
10. "No, she is not one of those manly lesbians."
11. Walk away.
12. Run to bathroom. Change. Cry. Apply makeup in mirror to hide emotions.
13. "I don't know."
14. Wipe sweaty hands against the shirt you love because it is your mother's and she loves you because you're not afraid to be who you are and say what you think.
15. "If a barcode at a sperm bank can wear a shirt, than yes this is my father's fucking shirt."

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14 Reviews

Points: 341
Reviews: 14

Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:15 pm
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BlockedWriter21 wrote a review...

I would like to start of by saying that I just joined this site yesterday, so if my review is not very helpful, I'd like to apologize in advance. I'm still kinda learning, but I will do my best. Here goes nothing.

One of the things that kinda makes my tilt sideways is the fact that this is labeled as poetry. Nothing against your work, but as a poet I am very confused where you get the poetry format from this. I do indeed seeing this as an article or just general. Although I do enjoy the format very much and think that is unique, I do have a questionable thought about this being poetry. Regardless, this is your work, not mine. If this is what you consider poetry, then keep writing your poetry my friend.

Next, I would like to say that this was very fun to read and I found my self laugh at some of these responses. As a feminist myself, I especially like response number 8. I do like the approach you took with this. It's almost like it would be wrong to laugh at these responses but yet, at the same time, you know you want to and just can't hold it in. I don't know if you were hoping to achieve a little comedy in this piece, but if you were, you did succeed.

Another thing, I like your topic. I'm not sure how you came about this, but it is unique and far from anything that I've read. i really like that about this piece. Not only is the format kinda quirk and fun, but so is the piece. Making this an overall enjoyable piece.

Lastly, I would just like to say that this was a very fun thing to read and that I hope you will continue to write pieces like this. I would definitely love to read them and offer up some more of my thoughts if you wouldn't mine.

Good luck and happy writing,

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Thank you for getting my comedy!!! I think that the poem sounds more poetic if it is read out loud. And great review for your first day!

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1318 Reviews

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Reviews: 1318

Sun May 25, 2014 3:54 am
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Hannah wrote a review...


I like this style, first of all. I like the set up of the question and the answer -- I love too that the question itself is so loaded!

One suggestion I would have would be to think about going with the style of building up a flow. Most lists start w/ simple answers and build up a rhythm. Your list seems choppy and odd because it doesn't. You've stuck in short answers like "cry" and "no" later on in a poem where they would fit better paired with similar responses. "No" with "yes, mumbled quietly" or "cry" near "run to bathroom. change. cry.".

Oh, of course as I'm reading it again and again I see a different potential answer. Is this all a sequence of a single answer? Or potentially read as such? In which case all the answers are from the same person?

I wonder why that's not as apparent as it should be on the first read through. Is there anyway you can sow just a BIT more connection between early answers to hint the reader to read them through as a single narrative?

Once I got that essential idea, I could appreciate this poem a lot more. Though I'm still not quite sure what kind of shirt would make someone ask "is that your father's shirt" and have it be a mothers shirt... is there anyway you can slip in some physical detail or quick glimpse of the shirt? Just because there are so many things implied and not outright said that we have to try to juggle so many ambiguous possibilities, and having one thing sorted out for us would make it easier to delve into the possibilities of the relationship between the speaker and their mother.

Thank you thank you for sharing this. I hope my thoughts have been helpful to you!

If you have any questions or comments, PM me or reply to this review.

Good luck and keep writing!


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Thank you!!!

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695 Reviews

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Reviews: 695

Sat May 24, 2014 3:18 am
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Audy wrote a review...

That ending hit me like, BAM. I had to read the whole thing over again, and was satisfied when I read it a second time and got a slightly different perspective on it! Ahh, I love that feeling! The first time it was like -- what is this emotion? Is it embarrassment? Is it misunderstanding, someone labeling a person incorrectly? It was real sweet to find out this was the sadness of not knowing a father!

So, yes, hullo wordsmakemovements! Welcome(ish!) to YWS and thank you for writing such an interesting/entertaining piece in a format that's not all to common. If this was under "Other", I think we would all get it. There's an aspect of those List-y articles (Y'know the 48 things to make you happy; 19 ways to clean your lawnmowers, you know the ones!) as well as a story that is developed throughout the list, and that's the gist of it, and on its own, I totally get it!

When it's labeled as poetry, it produced in me that side-ways glance where I'm turning my head sideways -- is this poetry? I dunno, but I love when writers force me to ask myself that question, because isn't everything poetry anyway? I think the "poetry" in this comes from the form, most absolutely, because it's not just thrown at random where it's the first things that come to mind when you're trying to answer the question, but there is a sequential order to it, I think that gets revealed upon a second reading.

The first is stun shock, and it makes sense. And then a nod, almost like trying to just make the simplest/easiest gesture that will absolve the speaker of having to answer a complicated truth. Then, a quiet lie. Then a funny lie. Then just plain old bitter sarcasm. When we get to "you have known me for seven years---" we get a bit of anger and resentment. We get sadness in 6. Then, we get the truth in 7-- "No."

The speaker starts to be accusing, in a "why are you even asking anyway, what kind of question is that?" Because the seemingly innocuous isn't always the case! And so forth and so on, the story continues in a very sequential order, almost eliminating all possibilities before narrowing down on that truth.

I love this very much. Particularly the political/satirical aspect of this, where we do not even know the kind of shoes that we're filling, until it's too late. We've already walked through all the steps. What a particularly effective way to go.

~ as always, Audy

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Thank you for this beautiful review and insight! You have revealed new light to me upon my own work!!!!

That there's some good in this world, Mr Frodo - and it's worth fighting for.
— Samwise Gamgee