poetry critical

online poetry workshop

Current Stats
  • poems: 48,904 (6,743 active)
  • comments: 311,732
  • ratings: 115,486
  • average rating: 7.5
  • forum posts: 224,924
  • users: 10,154 (83 active)
  • current users: 0


Welcome to Poetry Critical, an online poetry workshop. To post your own poetry you'll need to create a user id by typing a name and password in the box above and hitting 'New User'. If you just want to critique or jump into the discussion, however, you can go ahead and get started!

Random Poem:

Howls Restrained By Decorum

I am seeing the best minds of my generation,  
       undiscovered to themselves, gorged on  
       societal fantasy,
losing to mechanical dreams in unmanageable
       blue-glow flashing living rooms looking to find
       in florescent screens an end,
greasy haired and crew cut all long-fingered
       tapping frantically at the same black or white
       or silver buttons,
who numb and brittle and broken and strung-out lie
       wide-eyed, beginning to beg for their lives,
       starting to untangle the perfect stitching of a
       world of wires and contemplating their
       vibrations through technological beats,
who shield their brains from celestial billboards and
       see mistresses of man-imagined idols
       plastered high above their streets in colors
       and lights and smiles,
who ask nothing of universities but not to be
       drained and broke and who slouch through
       courtyards hoping not to be seen by
       ten-storied institutional-eyes,
whom academies condone for their unread,
       untouchable thoughts which cannot feed
       economic equations or their beasts,
who hate and (but) live off of gasoline, off of
       electricity, off of food, off of water, off of
       credit and in debt knowing Terror as a
       symptom of their breath,
who make their marijuana income in order to live,
       to give it right back to their debtors in
       cellophane baggies and taxes or in the back of
       caged-in cars and cells,
who eat saccharin in pink wrappers and drink
       urinated hormones from their faucets,
       tempting tumors while attempting to avoid
with dread, with prescriptions, with hazy,
       unknowable sleep, syrupy DXM and
       STI’s and endless shushed-up sickness,
incomparable highways of blinding proportions
       spinning the world off its axis, slinging herds
       through concrete tunnels or slamming them,
       mangled, into alleys making choking, chemical
       air their only comprehensible discovery,
Ecstasy illuminated lobbies, fenced in yards that
       peak at the pale-pink hint of an un-seeable
       sun, consumed clear-vodka whispers of old
       truths on fire escapes which dissipate into the
       forgotten sentiments of tradition, the desire
       for connection gasping for an outlet in bottles
       on mirrors through nicotine gatherings and in
       morning-killed love,
who find their protests restricted to basement
       hallucinations and who look up to slatted
       windows trying to imagine beyond the
       shadows of their own bodies  reflecting off of
       wide-screen adds for Klonopin,      
who may or may not know the freeze of an
       oxycontin stairwell or a cocaine bathroom’s
       blurring buzz , but yet who drown in rainbows
       of the psycho farm’s harvest because there
       are dollar signs dripping from their worries,    
who move restlessly through gritty streets
       determined to shake off the armor of
       caked-on korl sculptures, exposing flesh, too
       real in a close proximity in darkness    
a band of wandering savages with words itching in
       their ears, itching to be understood so they
       may jump off in the midst of an oil-slicked
       ocean to rise to nod,
hollering to what they’re immersed in, baptisms in
       social sewage birthing the opening of eyes to
       the horror of
whole empires crumpled in red and yellow
       evidence, edible exploitation that feeds
       families into income-consuming corners, dollar
       by dollar meals killing off classes in the name
       of convenience,
who cringe at the double-bagged mentality of such
       perfectly biodegradable bodies but who panic
       at the perpetuated reflection of such thoughts,
suffering under the assumption that some counter-
       culture criticism will lock them under the
       stairwells of environ-mental “Ists”,
who have seen labels leech passion and leave
       drained do-good carcasses to the mercy of a
       single hungry snicker in a crowd,
who trust no government, no media, no self and
       have left the folklore free-press to the solitary
       scholar’s self-indulging blog,
who silently study news paper headlines in
       migraine-lit kiosks, because they cannot
       comprehend the worldly significance of a
       billion-heiress’ fame though fornicating
who have seen their elders wrecked and
       weathered, etching figures in asphalt for
       creatures that don’t breathe air ,  
who pace up and down streets of endless piping,
       listening for their Josephine’s voice weakening
       around corners, and tuning out in I-pods
       afraid of what they hear,  
who are slaves to poorly hidden tremors of
       discontentment, plagued by memories of
       more, remembered from nowhere, going only
       to sitcom-subtleties,
who try translating into a culture of seemingly
       infinite identities but end up waking from their
       dreams reciting lines in gibberish tongues,
who watch themselves disappear into the dark
       ashes of night, stirring up feelings not meant
       to survive,
who can reappear, giving name to the nameless so
       it can be thought, as they are quaking in the
       undergrowth of a weed-whacking nation,
who are the “I” meant to yawp, meant to howl,
       meant to holler, meant to deface the
       destructive façade of decorum,    
whom I write to, in words haunted by past masters
       and mad-men,
       because poetry is not a luxury and because
       I know that as long as
       I can feel, I can be free.

(comment on this poem)