poetry critical

online poetry workshop

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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:

to be the lilting laughter you loved above your pen

i won't dye my hair the color of what i thought
we were at one time- fantastic blood, though fading
now at my french canadian roots–
you probably never knew how close i was to kidnapping Banff
and calling it my baby – as if i need another mouth to feed
when mine is still chewing on your over-the-top titles
sucking on seaweed for some good reason i still can't explain.
if i tried i'm sure you'd drop a cactus down my shirt to remind me
the desert has nostrils and the pacific was just
a distraction so i wouldn't cough during communion
thinking about your boat on my shore, wondering if it's fully stocked
with saltines, grape juice and dirty words.
what you didn't know is
i haven't been to church in over two years
since i fell asleep the last seventeen
praying with my eyes closed
i won't wake up all Disney and twirl out of bed on
the sixth day to read you, or the fourth, or second
depending on the number of autonyms auditioning
but you always got the part and i purposely sneaked
you snacks within the time frame i had to explode
on paper, or in this case white space,
throwing words like we were born to do, so damn diligently
doubting a nun will ever show up with a ruler
standing off to the side, singling us out, sipping on our sinful play,
keeping her eye on my rehearsal– knees crossed,
messy buns beginning a riot with the rubber band,
watching to see how many chairs you stack
and if your desk has moved closer to examine the strand
of hair always pirating my cheek, preparing the plank for
my next itch as i scratch your curtain call
i won't count all the syllables in the sea
or admire the way you teach the sand to steer my feet
gathering each tic tac i threw, squaring my shoulders so
i wouldn't slouch when you told me there was no patch
on the inside of my eye, but if a seagull snatches my smile
be sure to get it back–
after that i promised to never order pancakes for dinner again
or make cinnamon toast taste like spare ribs,
though you still make my pulse pig out
when your poetry shows up with a six-pack
and you're holding a weed by its' throat
i won't attack the wall that became a good friend
as i aged, braiding my ideas into a journal, while charles
was in charge of bologna sandwiches on wonder white bread
and frito lay bean dip i dared an O'boise to impress
studying everything off the grid that allowed me access through
a barbed wire fence, forgetting what asphalt smelled like
when i raised a barn in my sleep, in honor of all things
Little House on the Prairie, because they slept to the sound of
purring buggies and grasses being brushed by a bygone breeze
instead of trotting around a bottle of pills to give them peace–
and i did fall, i did break to some degree
my mind became driftwood, while stars
flossed the gap between loves teeth
i won't matter to money, nor will it matter to me
you and i had very little and we still found comfort in
questionable food we poked,
sitting in little heartsick hole-in-the-walls
eating stale chips and salsa, being disciplined by dim lighting.
you couldn't count my laugh lines or describe the actual,
real life color of my eyes
but i knew yours, regardless of how many lamps
wore black eye liner and how many waitresses
hosed their pantalones
i won't beg a beard to come out of your face
but i might look for a trace of one if you go grizzly on me
and i get the sudden urge to analyze your adams apple
asking what a philosophy major smells like
baking at four hundred degrees in your backpack, or if you
gave college the middle finger like i did...
taking off because my heart was so sore and so stupid and it so sucked
being a mashed potato, a side dish no one decides on right away.
i wasn't sure if you ever understood me,
but i still rolled my eyes at the clock because
it knew how many times you blinked during the day and my
eyes were prosthetic back then, basically praying for a pipe
to burst inside this dream and have you hug me harder than
a first kiss, tangling my hair like a real tornado would.
i won't keep saying 'i won't'
because the warranty on this water bed
you moved into my eyes
is about to expire
so i'm hogging all the covers
for the next deep breath or so...
still, i left you trails of ink between each
season and hopscotched through the mess of medicine
marked "only take a night"
just to see what kind of trouble i could cause inside my head
before the janitor showed up in a Silverado,
assigned to a mustard yellow attitude, saying recess is over
and i was just about to toss a paper airplane
and cuss something so pretty at you, you'd finally
love the sound of balloons popping, instead of some girls inflated
ass parading around you...
not that i was taking notes in the back row, knowing no one
would be rubber necking or sticking their nose in my biz, which
was of course, your initials on the paunch of my pee chee folder
chain-linked by a series of chiffon smileys and safeguarded
by a trapper keeper that eventually broke its' neck after
blind melons sat on it, when obviously it was reserved for the cure.
and U2 would have gone on with or without me, changing
the course of the sun that left us feeling immature
on the back porch of a mountain. i still lasso every hill
that jumps in front of me, cram every cave and tree i
can into the glovebox, hoarding gobs of solitude because
chaos flicks fire and it's not the fun kind.. not the kind
you find camping, covered in marshmallows
had you known my feet were afraid of feeling the bottom of
the ocean, how splinters became a fan of my skin, walking
to the edge of a pier, to peer into Leviathans stink eye and
ask for a glimpse into your guitar
the one i used to touch when you weren't looking, in hopes
the vibration of your transcendent soul still lingered, lapping
at my palm–
not once did i crumble into a paper bag and throw up
when the moon told me your torch was in the hands of
another creative soul, who most likely wore lipstick and kissed
your face in places i used to believe were destinations where
real love resided, and only there could one be sure that
eternity made a down payment
meanwhile my lips listened to burts bees go on and on
about rejuvenation and romance and natural beauty
being the strongest alcohol in the bar. had i known you
were gazing at the same road map, juicing a pulpy sun
for our slumber, snuggled tightly in a crevice you chiseled
out of my youth, i would have grown you the largest coffee
bean made known to Kenya and traveled your taste buds
as you drank–
only i was destined to ask for cherry syrup in
my pepsi for the many years of not knowing how
to get the smell of coffee into a liquid i could drink without
telling my tongue to stop curling as if i had sent it to its' room
and to this day when i smell that morning roast riding shot gun
in the kitchen i want to make love to caffeine just as bad as i want
to peel back the blankets on your heart and climb in.
now, i will wash your feet

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