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Everything posted by Ainm

  1. current events (chapbook)

    content warnings (in no particular order): violence (mentioned explicitly, but not in explicit detail); death; and allusions to homophobia, Islamophobia, racism, and anti-Semitism. I've spent part of the past year working on a new (mini)chapbook. All but one of the poems is completely new to this site, and I'm really excited to share it with y'all. I discuss the events of the past year in detail in this chapbook, which is to say, if you found the past year upsetting, this will likely be a difficult read. But while difficult and upsetting, I believe that these events need to be discussed. Please read this chapbook when and if it is safe for you to do so. As always, I am happy to hear your comments and feedback. Please let me know what you think! Cheers, Ainm current events chapbook (Ainm).pdf
  2. afternoon capsule in ionian mode

    Do you mean Botts' dots (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botts'_dots)? Or the boringly named "raised pavement markers" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raised_pavement_marker)?
  3. mallory

    Out of context (or in context, really), I love this line.
  4. car key waltz (tw past abuse)

    ...I've known one of these. Yikes. Also, the repetition of "let go" really gets to me. Well done.
  5. and what if they were angels?

    First: awwww, thanks. Second: I mean, I like that y'all listen to/appreciate my advice, but... I am a fallible human being. Don't put me on a pedestal. Pedestals are distinctly uncomfortable places. (I'd rather you put me in a pillow corner like the kindergartner I can be, or in an armchair where I can be crotchety and tell you stories of the good ol' days of the Slam. That seems more appropriate.)
  6. For an array of reasons, my state of being is primarily just nervous laughter.

  7. and what if they were angels?

    Long time Slammer here, and yeah, that's about it. Be kind. Support each other. Own your fuck-ups, when and if they happen. Which, it occurs to me, are just the standard rules for being a decent human being and friend, really. On another topic, I really enjoyed this and would love to give it a thorough critique (but fair warning, I can be a little ...erhm, nitpicky). Interested?
  8. One week to chapbook publication, and I am learning that self-imposed deadlines are not my friend.

  9. General things: Names of characters should be in all caps in stage directions (or basically anywhere that isn't dialogue). Say how characters do look/act/sound not how they should. Stage directions that occur in lines of dialogue should be in parentheses. Try to eliminate unnecessary stage directions (e.g., things that can be inferred from dialogue [which should be most things], things that are evident from previous/other stage directions, etc.). Go through and edit your capitalization and punctuation for consistency. (There are a lot of little things that I think you can catch on your own, so I've focused my critique more on content than conventions.) Content things: I feel like he'd be a little bit more specific about location? Not that I've ever been on a cruise, but "hundreds" seems pretty vague. I'd eliminate the question/response about where the rooms are. It feels a little confusing/contrived with the other context: Why would the neighbor ask if they already knew where the room was? Okay, this is funny, but... this doesn't seem like a realistic reaction at all. Unless you're going for surrealism/satire (which the rest of this piece doesn't really feel like), the line doesn't really seem to belong. There are girl scouts on cruise ships? This seems apropos of nothing, but if you're going for nonsense... Overall thoughts: This advice probably seems contrary to everything that I critiqued, but I think you need to increase the nonsensical aspects. Make it satire. Make it surreal. Make it worthy of Vonnegut and Austen. Like @conradbirdie said, "THAT STUPID YELLOW SHIRT" has potential to be iconic. Bring the rest of the piece up to its level.
  10. ode to the visible universe (tw death mentions)

    Something about the multiple commas in addition to parentheses doesn't work for me here. (Read: words are good; formatting needs work.) I'm not really sure what you're trying to do with your use of italics in this poem, even after having gone through the poem to make a list of all the words you italicized and then re-examining each one in context. The only two that really work for me are "you do not scare me" and "everything dies". I'd eliminate this question mark. This phrase feels bulky and awkward. Love this. I'm not a fan of this, mostly because it's explicitly stating the conceit of your poem ("death and space are inextricable") while also adding in other, more tangential topics ("earth and sea"). Again, I think you could improve punctuation here for the sake of clarity. Additional note: the ocean imagery works here, because it's in relation to space. I don't think ocean imagery on its own works particularly well in this poem. Also love this. If it comes from "the end, and the beginning, and whatever / lies between" wouldn't that be the same as to come from everywhere? I'm not sure what you're getting at with this. The synonym list isn't working for me. I think you could find another way to say this. I'd replace man's/man with our/we. Again, the sea imagery feels like a deviation from the greater space theme here. It seems more distracting than effective. Add a comma after "apollo" for clarity. Delete this comma. "you are"? This repetition doesn't work for me. Either "indefinite" or "infinite" would suffice here; both seems redundant. I like this phrase. (Also, it makes me even more inclined to suggest using simply "indefinite" instead of "indefinitely infinite"." I'd cut this phrase. Very smooth connection back to the main theme. Well done. I see what you're getting at here, but it doesn't feel in the spirit of the poem. (I know that's incredibly vague feedback, but still.) I like the internal allusion (is that a thing? I'm making it a thing), but I'm still not in favor of adding elements beyond the death/life/space themes. This phrase doesn't make sense to me, especially as it gets into "gravity, dream-maker". Consider revising. Simply lovely. I know this is really long and nitpicky, but I hope it's also helpful. (Feel free to argue with my critiques/ask questions about things I didn't touch on/share a revised document for more feedback/etc.) Cheers for an excellent poem!
  11. I thought it might be useful to have a forum for general internal housekeeping/community things we want to address. First off: I was thinking that we ought to go back to also including any major content/trigger warnings in our titles, as tags aren’t visible on the home page. (Slam admins, if you have any way of making these tags visible on the home page [specifically, the “recent posts” block], that would be lovely.)
  12. ode to the visible universe (tw death mentions)

    (1) This is lovely. (2) Can I do a massive critique of this? (The more I like a thing, the more nitpicky and brutal my editing becomes, so I thought I ought to give you a heads up/choice on this one.)
  13. moonselves

    moonselves, of rust and radiance above the sputtering sodium and luminescent fluorescent glare in the three am semi-black sky reflection and distorted refraction split between rabbit and old man either honored, spun or spoken who are we in moments unseen standing soul-shaken and awed in the three pm semi-black sky eclipse and unrelated equinox split between dragon and witch neither damned, fable or truth who are we in moments unseen looming phosphorescence above rusted and radiant moonselves // After "starfield", prompt by @drowntown, which I followed almost (but not) exactly. Other notes: I apparently can't make up compound words worth anything, so I used a compound word generator, which was thoroughly hilarious. I also at some point googled "objects with faces", which was a mistake. (The internet is a weird place, y'all.)
  14. moonselves

    I thought about dice, etc. but then I thought about all the moon mythology that there is and went with that instead. But "object with faces" + Google haunts you forever. I'm... I'm cackling hysterically. This is glorious.
  15. starfield

    Yay, I have a poetry project for the evening! Many thanks. :)
  16. So... I've spent part of the past year working on a new chapbook. All but one of the poems is completely new to this site, and I'm really excited to share it with y'all (target Slam publication date: January 20). The question: what format should I share it in? (A PDF, Google docs, etc.?) Let me know if you have preferences or suggestions! 

    1. drowntown


      PDF would probably work better! I've found that Docs completely fucks up the formatting I'd worked so hard on in Word...

    2. Ainm


      @drowntown To be fair, I usually type my poems in Google docs to begin with, so that wouldn't be much of a problem. Mostly, I'm picky about page size because I want it to be the same/have the same breaks as it would in an actual print copy. 

  17. Christmas 2017: a found poem

    That's the impending adulthood for you... Retroactive best wishes for the holidays!
  18. starfield

    I feel like this could be some sort of structured poem? (Read: please write a prompt/rules for this so I can try it out.)
  19. anthills to himalayas

    Love the "faulty word-machine" analogy. Also, tiny technicality, but most engines don't run on oil. (If you're looking for a one syllable synonym for "fuel", maybe try "petrol"?) I like the sentiment here, especially in the last two lines, but I'm not a fan of the repetition of "blood". It feels like there ought to be a more concise way of saying that, though I'm not sure exactly what that would be. This feels tangential and seems to repeat the sentiment of the previous two stanzas. I would recommend condensing somewhat. I think this might be more powerful as just "and so i write." Love the central analogy of this poem. Good luck with writer's block!
  20. silver skin

    Okay, so I'm not sure which (if any) of these suggestions would violate the prompt, but here's some suggestions/critique anyway: I originally misread this as "begets eight AM", which I actually like better, but it's good as it stands too. I'm really, really nitpicking, but I don't think you need the comma in this line. Saying that "he looks like cotton" kind of already implies to me that something is "soft around the edges", but this may just be my reductionist tendencies. Maybe "flicker"? "Flick" didn't make much sense to me here. Damn. Those are good lines. This isn't a satisfying ending to me, but maybe that's what you want. Otherwise, I'd consider revising a little. Overall, lovely, lovely poem. Thanks for sharing!
  21. Untitled (tw: mental illness and transphobia)

    I really like the combination of these two poems. That said, it still feels a little unfinished and like it could go further. I'd love to read an updated/expanded version when/if you have one. :)
  22. a year

    in the bitter mid-december, my father and i drive half-way across the country to collect the contents of an abandoned dorm room. i do not know it yet, but this will be my last time on the campus for the foreseeable future, the most vivid memory of which will be melting my bike lock open with bare hands in the minnesota cold. on the way home, we will eat indian food at a truckstop somewhere in the vast expanse of nebraska. despite the ghee and the coriander, the saag will taste like sawdust. to compensate for the loss, for the lack of goodbyes and good graces, i will knit innumerable hogwarts house scarves and give them away on every applicable winter holiday. (it will be the third scarf - the second hand-knit - i will have given my best friend in two years.) i will stymie my frustration with every stitch. a visit in the weeks before new years will result in a multi-month identity crisis, and in my attempts at clarity, i will feel starved while drowning in alphabet soup. i will be reassured that this normal. the time that follows will be characterized by monotony; also, statistics. i will be one of twenty-seven to take a mathematics class at a local university. i will be a part of the two point three percent unemployed. i will join approximately six million others in a yearly visit to california. later, despite the flaws of my gpa, i will be accepted as one of approximately twenty-eight thousand undergraduates to study three hours from my hometown. (i will be relieved, if vaguely disappointed.) in the interim, i will take the summer to escape, tumbling off the grid into a quaker summer camp, where i will hike countless miles to destinations unknown and swim in a dozen frigid mountain lakes. i will relearn my laugh and exercise it often. i will remember how to eat three meals a day, if only to set an example, and when my mind begins to unravel, i will discover that the greatest gift of friendship sometimes takes the form of a pillbox and the patience to listen to my babble while doling out a week’s worth of medication. i will leave exhausted and proud. nine months into the year, i will move into a one-bedroom apartment a few blocks from a new campus with my partner. we will adjust to each other’s ticks and twitches - mostly. we will visit his family for thanksgiving, and i will survive the event. meanwhile, i will be put on a cocktail of prescriptions - seven pills a day - that miraculously works. i will take a partial load of classes and succeed. i will feel an unfamiliar optimism. there will be christmas, then the new year. i will make no resolutions but to live.
  23. First Date in 2nd Person

    I ended up printing this out to be able to edit with actual pen and paper instead of having to quote every couple of lines, so the images attached have my nitpick-y editing. (Let me know if you can't read my handwriting anywhere, and I can clarify.) General feedback: Don't start every/almost every sentence with "you". Sentence variety is your friend. Consider adding more actual back-and-forth dialogue to break up so much straight narration. Plus, it helps us to get to know the characters a little bit more. Check comma usage and punctuation. Try to smooth out transitions and/or pick your paragraph breaks a little more intentionally. (I've made a few suggestions regarding this, but I'm sure you can apply this to more places in the story.) The nerdy references in the story help to keep it entertaining. (Especially "Slytherin plant aesthetic"!) Might be a personal preference, but I think an in-joke or two would not go amiss. Similarly, the humor that you already have is great, and more of it would make the story even more engaging. (Your ending is brilliant. I laughed ridiculously hard.) Now that I've ripped the story to shreds... I think that you've got a lot of good pieces to put back together. :P Hope that helps!
  24. Untitled/In Progress (tw: transphobia)

    Love this. I'd really love to see this poem continued.