Description: this is about a friend of mine. he does a lot of garbage-themed art, very conceptual, very Deep... which will probably aid you in understanding the poem.
PLEASE CRITIQUE!!! I want it to be a good poem.
if there are poetic clichés, or lines that don't make sense,
I really really like this. The language, like "slather" and "spritz" and "finicky" seems all informal, but yet not common, dull and everyday, so that the poem feels poetic while at the same time retaining a non-arty human quality, a kind of mix of personal and artistic - something that fits the poem's subject perfectly - though I'm not sure if that makes sense the way I phrased it. And then there are the super funky compound words which are really just.. make me cheer for the beauty of language haha.
It really is a good poem, but I feel I ought to make myself useful about now and try and give some constructive critiquing - though Justin has already done a quite wonderful job of it.
Whenever I see garbage, I think of him.
Footsquashed cigarette cartons or rainfaded candy wrappers
Pieces of exploded tires, dappling the street like
The remnants of an automobile apocalypse.
Whenever the sky swirls blue to white, I think of him.
Or when I see delicate wrinkles in red fabric,
Crumpled paper bags, or spindly tree branches,
I think of him.
Ok, these two parts are very similarly constructed but to me the punctuation in the second seems to work better for the list of images than the punctuation in the first does. Perhaps a comma after "cigarette cartons"?
He has the nose of a greyhound, and whenever I
Sneak a casual smoke, he knows.
I think that it would look more traditionally poetic if you altered the line break to
He has the nose of a greyhound, and whenever
I sneak a casual smoke, he knows.
because then you've got the even syllables which flows nicely. But I kind of like the uneven line break, so it's up to you really.
You could also try a smilar thing and move the "perhaps" in strophe five so it reads:
Savoring them. Those bewildered eyebrows,
Perhaps God is using him as a medium:
But then I like the enjambment that you already have with "perhaps", it's really quite charming. haha it's really hard to nitpick this poem.
Oh, and leaping back! Maybe a semi-colon here?
A baby refusing to eat his carrots;
Yet he forces that horrific Joanna Newsom song on me
And another one here:
He talks slowly, like his words are hard-candies;
But really, I don't think there's much that needs changing at all - it's pretty damn super!
My answer to the question posed at the end is: yes, most definitely. After all, to use that tired expression, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and if only one person ie yourself thinks it's art, then it's art, and screw the critics haha. But... is it good art that reaches out to people and makes them experience life differently perhaps? That's a different question, and one I won't answer here.
I really like this one Kirsten. It's a fully-developed theme, and you've really gone the distance (what's up with these tired expressions of mine tonight?) with this one, showing me a slice of life, and giving me lots to imagine.
This guy sounds like a best friend/almost love interest, but oh my god, we're like brothers and sisters, which is gross... but still, one wonders... if you get what I mean lol. And artists, musicians and writers getting together... is always a recipe for fun... disaster, but a fun disaster always.
"Automobile apocalypse" was a great phrase, as was your whole fourth strophe: "jealous housewife look" is effin' priceless lol. And Joanna Newsom... no idea who she is, but I'll believe you... doesn't make me wanna find out in a hurry, that's what.
I'm pretty sure you've taken all of the suggestions given to you already, so there's no point in giving more, and well, it seems finished to me already.
I like this. I like all the combined and squished words, like different pieces of junk fixed together. I don't mean it's junk though; not at all. I think this may be my favorite piece of yours. You have so much original imagery and it's very vivid, in a very... collapsing apartment complex sort of way. All of the adjectives and descriptors and imagery is so urban and dark, I think it fits perfectly for the person you describe in your description. That was redundant. haha. Okay, I have a few nitpicks though:
The first is inconsistent capitalization. Some sentences aren't capitalized, some are. I would just go through and capitalize all of them.
In this line:
the bootblack face of the ribbon[,]
I would add that comma. And then in the next line:
and like a finicky child[--]
You need the double hyphen dash there. One hyphen means you are connecting two words together, so it would be "child-'it's," which doesn't exactly make sense. So yep, you need an em dash there. Then this line:
"or maybe like a long-lost Rugrat."
Perfect simile lol But I don't know. Rugrats does something to the piece I don't like, but I'm not sure exactly what that something is. Yeah I don't know. I don't like that line though, in the context of the rest of the poem. It's almost too comical to fit with the rest. I think that might be it.
Whenever the sky swirls blue to white, I think of him[,]
or red fabric,
he instantly gets the jealouswife look[,]
Another comma there. And then lastly, this part:
Yesyes, I know
he talks slowly,
is that one sentence, like, "Yesyes, I know he talks slowly," or is it two, and you left out the punctuation and capitalization? Just wondering. If it's B, then nevermind.
that's all. Just a few minor things. I like it a lot though, like I said. The end, the last strophe, is really good. I like it a lot. It has the end line resonance I look for in poems.
Good write Kristen!
I think you might need that comma, unless you mean that you think of him or red ribbon when you see the sky. But if it's the sky and the red ribbon that makes you think of him (which I think it is), you need that comma.