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i've been standing with a doomsday sign so long, i have to be right eventually (revised)

July 12, 2019


it's absurdist, it's abstract, it's the end of the world and the sun in my eyes like sweet, bleeding papaya:
it's the way the sea grasps loose bolts with clenched claws and pulls them to a sickly salt demise,
or how a stomach shrivels, veins pop, how chronically loose fingers drag cobweb hair from a rough scalp,
and stapled houses with praying roofs collide, and it's the end of the world all over again;
hollowed eye sockets and sizzling power sockets/spitting winds and spitting cats/cakes and dirt-caked skin,
slipping freuds with botox smiles who spit on the floor to clean it, and abandoned
cardboard doomsday signs; armageddon's followers (and to think, they were right this time,) but 
now their sharpie-stained fingertips hang lifelessly in poor dirt, ants circling in necklace
chains around eggshell-white throats. and the half-poets carve the pining streets, and
it's "the huddled masses yearning to breathe free" just like before.
well, i'm not even half a poet but i know
the end of the world, and it has a
bleeding papaya sun and a sea with clenched
claws. it's a silly sort of retching
and a note in the margins,
and (again) it's the end
the end the end
the end the
end the

the prompt for this one was that the first line has to have twenty words, the second line has to have nineteen words, and so on until the last line only has one word. i don't know whether i like this one or not yet, and honestly i debated a while before publishing it. please give feedback on it! and if you don't really have feedback to give, but you enjoyed it, leave a comment telling me so, or telling me what parts you enjoyed! if you didn't like it or felt "meh" tell me why! generally, just please comment.

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  • babybluelamentations

    Agh, literally perfect in every way, I cannot. The way you weave words into an entire cohesive metaphor absolutely stuns me every time.
    “well, i’m not even half a poet but i know/the end of the world” is probably the most beautiful line in this entire piece, because even in its simplicity, it manages to convey such a feeling of finite certainty—like, Yes. This is what the end of the world is. (Also, you being half a poet is entirely untrue; you are more than three times a poet <3)

    6 months ago
  • bwaydreams <3

    Wow, super powerful. LOVE IT!!!

    10 months ago
  • Dmoral13

    I really did like this piece. The first line is my favorite.

    10 months ago
  • loveletterstosappho

    this exercise/prompt honestly seems like a crazy fun one to do, but also crazy hard, and the way you tackle it is impressive! the line "or how a stomach shrivels, veins pop, how chronically loose fingers drag cobweb hair from a rough scalp," hit me hard because it reminds me a lot of my best friend, but i also really love so many other phrases, especially everything with the bleeding papaya sun. my only critique is that the line "hollowed eye sockets and sizzling power sockets/spitting winds and spitting cats/cakes and dirt-caked skin," doesn't seem to be consistent with the rest of the piece, maybe because of the slashes. thank you for deciding to publish this piece even if it was only intended as an exercise; maybe i'll give this exercise/prompt a go someday.

    11 months ago
  • artificialaorta

    this is a playful take on apocalypse, which is not an easy thing to do! the sarcastic, resigned undertones throughout the piece make it stand out so brightly from other apocalyptic-themed fiction. from the very beginning, very first line you distinguish yourself; "it's absurdist, it's abstract, it's the end of the world and the sun in my eyes like sweet, bleeding papaya" may be speaking about armageddon, but it is also a clever reflection of the text to follow. It's a neon sign telling you "brace yourself, for here lies a grown-up lewis carrol." it demands the reader to meet it halfway, to really dig into those rich, buttery metaphors. this is clever, outstanding writing! thank you for sharing it

    11 months ago
  • Inspiry

    Wow okay, this piece really hooked me more than I thought it would. Something about it just flows well, it takes on an almost musical quality, which I really enjoy. Seems like it would have been challenging to write! I love the line "Bleeding papaya sun." Wonderful piece!

    12 months ago
  • Anha

    brilliant piece. it's more than understandable, it's poignant. your metaphors and turns of phrase are classic yet made new, and as someone who's come to expect great writing from you, i'm never disappointed. sorry for not commenting on the last few pieces i've liked; wifi has been unstable for the last few weeks. again, amazing work, and i can't wait to see what you come up with next.

    about 1 year ago
  • rainandsonder

    @rain thx for the feedback! yah, in general this was more of an exercise for me, and i wasn’t originally planning on publishing it so i didn’t consider too much about it being... understandable, i guess?

    about 1 year ago
  • r|A|i|N

    in general i liked this poem for its rhythmic qualities and complicated tone. you seem to like writing about apocalyptic scenarios and this lives up to those of its genre. one thing i did notice was that this piece was simpler in focus than some of your other works. instead of spending the lines explaining the idea, you used your words to saturate the idea with creative and complicated imagery. i think that this work’s only fault was its tightness. some of your lines are too full of imagery to make sense—for example, the line about the sea was too stiff and wordy to have any meaning extracted from it. consider “dumbing down” some of your language so that it more easily appeals to one-time readers. i also thought that line 5 was a little confusing. after rereading i did understand your point about the many uses of words and their connotations, but the phrasing felt kind of clumsy; it wasn’t clear what a line formatted with slashes was doing surrounded by more simply stated lines. i would omit that.
    on the plus side, your language was completely beautiful. i love “praying roofs”, “eggshell-white throats”, and “botox smiles” in particular, as well as many others. you have a gift for creative description in particular that makes every poem you write noteworthy and worth rereading.
    every piece i’ve read of yours so far seems to expand on your talent; i’m eternally impressed. looking forward to reading more of your work in the future.

    about 1 year ago
  • r|A|i|N

    ack i’m frustrated i wrote a really long comment to this and then the wifi stopped and now i have to type it again.

    about 1 year ago
  • rainandsonder

    @emmiewrites thanks so much! honestly my thoughts are like a maze for me too sometimes.

    about 1 year ago
  • emmiewrites

    wow, your writing is so bold! it makes reading the piece really enjoyable! and your thoughts are like a maze, it's really hard to navigate through them, but it's fun discerning what you're talking about :)

    about 1 year ago