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tired girl howls, act three

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every day my understudy sits up in my bed and walks across the carpet, rehearsing her lines.

she slips into green jeans and walks across the hall looking for something to live for.

some days it takes twenty minutes to stand up, and on those days, my understudy makes up her face. she outlines her eyes in black, pretty girl war paint.

my understudy walks across college campuses and listens to the songs that direct the dances she will do that day.

she’ll smile at professors, because she knows that somewhere deep inside, we truly love this moment, these books and words that we try to read, that my understudy pretends to have studied.

my understudy smiles at my rapist when he sits next to me and rubs my knee, telling me it’s my fault we aren’t happy, that we are so very hipster beautiful together, that they could make movies about the barista poet and the librarian poet, opening a bookstore and cuddling cats in dim bed, kissing. soft. ladybugs and summer parks and backpacking through europe. open windows. that’s who we are.

my understudy nods, says silently, we are open windows to jump from?

my understudy nods when he says that i should be happy that i am alive.

my understudy stays inside my body, while i float away. i climb among the rafters, closer against the sky. my knees covered in cloudy dust. the wood sends slivers down my fingertips, and through my mind, and i climb across the roof and i look towards the sky.

my understudy, she holds me like a balloon. she carries me with her, always.

my understudy holds me down every time i curl up around my migraine mind, when i wish i had more bottles than i have. more alcohol, more pills, more anything. she looks at orion and sees more than his bow and arrows.

she sees personal mythology.

and somedays

well,
 
 
the first poem in my capstone chapbook. critiques welcome, as always,
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mouse / she/her.

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This is really terrible. Not the poem, it’s beautiful and I love the imagery of an understudy, but the fact that anyone, especially you, would have to go through this; that is terrible. 

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Poetry-wise, this is simply beautiful. (I could be critical and go over this word by word, if you like, but I'm not sure if that's something you want.) Subject matter-wise... I struggle for words. You are loved, mouse. 

 

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On 11/16/2017 at 11:08 PM, Ainm said:

Poetry-wise, this is simply beautiful. (I could be critical and go over this word by word, if you like, but I'm not sure if that's something you want.) Subject matter-wise... I struggle for words. You are loved, mouse. 

 

critical is good


mouse / she/her.

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On 11/13/2017 at 2:07 PM, mouse said:

green jeans

Why green? It's an interesting detail, but possibly an unnecessary one.

On 11/13/2017 at 2:07 PM, mouse said:

looking for something to live for.

This feels a little sudden. Getting to this point in the poem eventually but not quite as soon might be a little more effective. (Make the reader complacent, then jolt them awake.)

On 11/13/2017 at 2:07 PM, mouse said:

she outlines her eyes in black, pretty girl war paint.

Love this. Lovelovelove this.

On 11/13/2017 at 2:07 PM, mouse said:

dim bed

Not sure what you mean here and the arbiter of all human knowledge (Google) couldn't explain.

On 11/13/2017 at 2:07 PM, mouse said:

we are open windows to jump from?

This is very effective. Subtle, but stunning.

On 11/13/2017 at 2:07 PM, mouse said:

the wood sends slivers down my fingertips, and through my mind,

I would remove the comma after "fingertips". Seems unnecessary, unless you really feel strongly about it.

On 11/13/2017 at 2:07 PM, mouse said:

she looks at orion and sees more than his bow and arrows.

she sees personal mythology.

I'd love to hear your reasoning behind choosing Orion... were this my poem, there'd be something about the myth of the constellation that connects to the rest of the work, and I couldn't seem to find anything about that for Orion. (Maybe consider Ursa Major or Minor instead? The myths seem fitting. [Potential trigger warning for rape mention in the myths.]) Unless, of course, Orion has personal significance for you - in which case, keep it.

On 11/13/2017 at 2:07 PM, mouse said:

and somedays

well,

Love this. (I really enjoy punctuation/fragment non/endings, if that makes sense.)

I think that's all of the critiques I have to offer. Honestly, all of this is nitpicking, though. This is an incredible poem. 

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2 hours ago, Ainm said:

Why green? It's an interesting detail, but possibly an unnecessary one.

 

Not sure what you mean here and the arbiter of all human knowledge (Google) couldn't explain.

I'd love to hear your reasoning behind choosing Orion... were this my poem, there'd be something about the myth of the constellation that connects to the rest of the work, and I couldn't seem to find anything about that for Orion. (Maybe consider Ursa Major or Minor instead? The myths seem fitting. [Potential trigger warning for rape mention in the myths.]) Unless, of course, Orion has personal significance for you - in which case, keep it.

green jeans is a reference to a later poem in the chapbook. i rewrite dr. seuss's the pants with nobody inside them to be another disassociation poem, this time with a body with nobody inside it. that is why the ending is "and somedays / well," bc that is the beginning to the pants with nobody inside them (and so, the beginning of that poem). sorry, i meant to add a note on this, otherwise it's super weird and confusing :)

dim bed as in the light and mind is dim and fading, in this bed, the bed. i could probably better explain this, my bad.

the orion thing has been a point of discussion in the past, and i'm always curious to hear what others pull from it, bc usually everyone create something that fits. i guess i chose it mostly bc of the idea of overkill, trying too hard, or trying to impress or fulfill your crafted identity, resulting in being put into the sky next to your crimes, and being immortalized, forced to remember and be remembered, for everything you did wrong.

your other critiques and praise- thank you so much!! i so so appreciate this, it means a lot. seriously. i'm going to keep fine tuning, and this is helpful.


mouse / she/her.

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10 minutes ago, mouse said:

i'm going to keep fine tuning, and this is helpful.

I love the intra-chapbook referencing idea. Also, I really like your intentions/interpretations of the Orion constellation/myth. As for the critiques, I am more than happy to help out. :)

PSA to everyone: if y'all ever want critical, detailed feedback on your poems/fiction/writing, as demonstrated above, feel free to tag me and I shall provide. (I am also consistently thrilled to have my own work critiqued in a similar way, if anyone ever wants to do that.)

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