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You could have died alone


Author: Darth Zeus
ASL Info:    21/F/Vacuum
Elite Ratio:    7.31 - 369 /226 /34
Words: 99
Class/Type: Poetry /What you did
Total Views: 2321
Average Vote:    No vote yet.
Bytes: 666



Description:


He tried but failed.
I'm glad.
but sad.


You could have died alone



The lights were out,
the window closed
the curtains drawn.

A sudden lethal decision
passed the threshold
as the door shut itself.

The phone did not ring
it was probably off.
A lonely dog howled.

You were not a little boy
grasping white candy
with greedy hands.

It was no game of which
you stained the board,
but you lost it nonetheless.

How long did you sleep
What did you dream
And was it red or black?

When you woke up
did you realise
we were here all along?





Submitted on 2008-03-02 13:58:26     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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Comments


  *shivers slightly* that last verse did that, ‘When you woke up did you realise we were here all along?’ After reading a lot of your stuff this is definitely a standout piece for me, and because it got a physical reaction, I’m going to bequeath my most epic comment on it. Now this means I’m gonna take each verse, one by one, and comment as I go along. There’ll no doubt be a lot of digressing as I attempt to get my thoughts out in writing but you’re just gonna have to deal coz I ain’t a-changing the format. I’m also going do a first here and pick a theme for this comment, and that theme is: Snow *grins* I just like mixing it up like that – you know, keepin’ it real, ghetto stylee, coz I’m gangsta like that, yo…okay, I’m gonna stop there before I embarrass myself. Oh? I’m too late? Well, shitski.

Okay, although I’m working with a theme in mind, that doesn’t mean to say I’m going to lose sight of my main goal – to give a fairly useful commentary on your work. Alrighty then. Let’s get started.

Immediate thoughts after reading it: it’s stark, cold even, the images are clean and sharp. Sterile, almost. It feels like you’ve distanced yourself from a topic that is very personal and too serious to get too close to. But the impersonal feel to the write helps – there is no emotion clouding what is essentially a retelling of someone trying to take their life, and as such it benefits from a candidness which allows you to tackle the subject without having to worry about getting bogged down in sentiment. You’re like a little snowflake drifting down from the cold skies, seeing everything, but far enough away not to worry about getting sucked into its reality. There’s no wind to blow you off course, just a straight drop from the heavens. Okay, I’m gonna calm down with the snowflake simile. I can see myself getting carried away with it.

The lights were out,
the window closed
the curtains drawn.


Like a story, you’ve set up the scene nicely. Already I feel the loneliness, the absence of life. To be able to describe that in three short lines and 10 simple words is pretty damn cool. I’m betting there are a few writers out there who’d shovel snow non-stop for a year to have that skill. Far too often, writers go overboard in their attempt to get across their thoughts/ideas and end up making a word stew. You’ve got the lean meat and bones here and it works to great effect. There is only one thing in this opening verse that I would change: I see you made the decision to use punctuation in this poem and as such you should consider adding a comma after ‘closed’.

A sudden lethal decision
passed the threshold
as the door shut itself.


Again, nice and easy to understand, I particularly like ‘lethal decision’ – says everything in two words. I’m guessing that the thresholds and doors in this verse are less to do with the physical and more with the mental. Ooh, [censored]. Does that go for all of this poem? The lights out, curtains drawn being symbolic of a mental shutting out of the world? Hm, very clever. Me, I mean – for spotting that. I should do this stuff professionally. I’m wasted here.

The phone did not ring
it was probably off.
A lonely dog howled.


Okay you’re moving on from not only setting up the visuals but adding other senses as well. The lonely dog howling and the silence of the phone – both very atmospheric. I like how this poem seems to take the form of a story almost. You have your scene and now you’ll be moving onto the character. You can also see it as the making of a snowman – you start with the foundations and build upwards, crafting and moulding its features until the individual can clearly be seen. Yep, that made no sense at all, but I’m determined to stick with the snow theme. You’ll have to like it or lump it. Again I like the abruptness to this verse. Very short and snappy: this is how it is and that’s all there is to it. I’m sure I could go on about the syllables per lines and rhythm and meter and such, but I’m not that fancy...nor that intelligent. Again consider a punctuation mark after ‘ring’. For example:

The phone did not ring –
it was probably off.


or

The phone did not ring:
it was probably off.


Okay, next verse.

You were not a little boy
grasping white candy
with greedy hands.


Now, I know there must be a significance to the ‘white candy’ reference – and I have to admit I’m reeeally tempted to tie in a snowball connection – but I think I’ll leave that one alone. Oh wait, I’m struck by a thought. Is the ‘white candy’ pills by any chance? Woot! I’m on form tonight! I’m red-hot! Juxtaposing the image of a small innocent boy and what is, I’m assuming, an older teenager/man is an effective way to describe what he’s doing without overtly saying it. I like that a lot, and especially liked the fact that it’s not immediately apparent that that was what you were doing. Very nice, Yawnie. Again, this verse is perfect. No changes or amendments needed.

It was no game of which
you stained the board,
but you lost it nonetheless.


Okay, first off, I have to admit this verse didn’t make sense to me straight away…and it still doesn’t. That’s not your fault, Yawnie the Yeti, tis mine for being dense. Board games and stains and loss – makes sense when you say it like that, although I’m not sure how it connects to what’s going on in this piece. Maybe it’s gambling with life and death? I guess it’s the ultimate gamble to try and kill oneself; like Russian roulette but with all but one of the chambers filled.

How long did you sleep
What did you dream
And was it red or black?


The sleep of the suicidal. Very compelling. I think the first thing I’d ask on their awakening is if they dreamed. Tis that thirst for knowledge for what lies beyond and what cannot be known. I could imagine these words in a song, sang with haunting emotion by someone like Thom York of Radiohead. It’s pretty powerful stuff and in no way, shape or form can I think of a snow connection.

When you woke up
did you realise
we were here all along?


My favourite verse of the entire poem and the final line which made me shiver at the start of this comment. Tis pure awesomeness and there’s no way around it. I don’t know how you can convey a world of complicated thought into a single three-line verse, but you managed it. And with that last question you vocalize everything that those left behind must think. Did you not know the effect your actions would have on loved ones and friends? Did you not know they were there all the time to help and support you? You weren’t alone. Tis such a thoughtless thing to do – and I think that’s what it comes down to: there isn’t much though behind the action, or, at least, not the right thought. It’s an insanity which preys on rationality.

So, overall, I have nothing but good things to say about this piece. It made me think, reread, appreciate and admire. Tis poems like this that make being part of a writer’s site worthwhile. It’s a special treat to come across such work. And I’m not always this nice when writing my comments – I’ve been known to criticize and make suggestions. In fact, it’s kind of annoying that you made such a good job of it. It’s difficult thinking up nice things to say, especially over such a long comment, and still be making sense by the end of it. And I have to admit I abandoned my theme about halfway through. I tried something new and it failed but at least I was attempting to break the boundaries a little, you know, stamp my seal on things, make my mark. This was my Everest and I had my Union Jack flag all ready to poke into its summit but I tripped and snapped the pole. Ah well, it’ll make good kindling to use on a cold winter’s night when the snows drift in.

Happy snowballing.

Jimmy
| Posted on 2008-03-25 00:00:00 | by Jacoby | [ Reply to This ]
  
| Posted on 2008-03-25 00:00:00 | by Jacoby | [ Reply to This ]
  Mmmm. Still tastes like blood. Ok, I'll do this "stanza" by "stanza". Ahem:

The lights were out,
the window closed
the curtains drawn.

I like how this sets the scene, it may be a horrible thought, but I can picture myself there, in a dark room, with the windows shut, in total darkness.

A sudden lethal decision
passed the threshold
as the door shut itself.

Hmmm. I like how you related his decision to the door shutting, but I'm not sure that I like the word "sudden". In my experience, these things are never sudden, these thoughts are usually stewing for a bit.

The phone did not ring
it was probably off.
A lonely dog howled.

Hmmm. In my mind this was contradicting, you said it was a sudden decision but yet he took the time to turn off the phone? sigh. I'm sorry to be so nitpicky. I like how this potrays a sense of stillness and quietness. As if the rest of the world was holding it's breath. It makes me think that this howling dog, pierced the silence.

You were not a little boy
grasping white candy
with greedy hands.

Hmmm. These lines were the most puzzling to me. I felt that I understood what you said, and understood the imagery within these lines, but also wondered if there was more to these lines. Like this thing that he was doing was a cry for help. Not sure if this makes any sense, it did in my head any case.

It was no game of which
you stained the board,
but you lost it nonetheless

Hmmm. "It was no game" These are my favorite words within these 3 lines. All I have to say about these lines...

How long did you sleep
What did you dream
And was it red or black?

Ah. "sleep". sigh. All I have to say about these lines are that I like how you asked what he dreamt of. It is indeed a good question. What DOES someone dream of after attempting something like that? Tis a sad question.

When you woke up
did you realise
we were here all along?

Mmmm. Very powerful last line. Showing that you were there, and that there was no need for such an act. Wow. I'd have to say a very powerful and emotional poem. Kinda gets you where it hurts ya know? Sigh. Awesome write. Hope this didn't suck. Peace and inspiration!

Duv
| Posted on 2008-03-17 00:00:00 | by Draumrkopa | [ Reply to This ]
  greedy hands.

nice term.

in fact i rather like the line spoken whole.

the sleep, the dream bit...concise and nicely done.
| Posted on 2008-03-16 00:00:00 | by ruejacobs | [ Reply to This ]
  Mmmm. Tastes like blood. Seriously. anyhoot. I'm sorry I have little to say, but I know how you have been feeling as of late. Angry at your parents for not noticing how you are depressed and down, but yet feeling glad because then they actually let you be. I'm sure if I told my parents these things, they'd be insanely worried. Ha, or even if I shared one of my old poems. Sigh. 'Rents never realize.....sigh. Sorry, I got alot off track there. I'm not really sure what to make of this poem. Intricate pattern of words refuse to pass through my inspired brain today. Explanation and then I comment? Pwease? Pwease, pwease pwease! Peace and inspiration Jann.

Duv
| Posted on 2008-03-16 00:00:00 | by Draumrkopa | [ Reply to This ]
  it's hard to comment sometimes on such a sensative subject, but i know this was very heartfelt. sorry about your friend, hopefully he'll be ok. the thing is...after it happens we all think there's something we could have said or done...but hindsight is always 20/20. this was a really intelligent and yet very emotionally moving, i think it's evry good and very well organized!
| Posted on 2008-03-03 00:00:00 | by scissorhands | [ Reply to This ]


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