Peer Review by efflorescence (United States)

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september is an ever-closer due date

By: rainandsonder


i. anxiety, like love, is not something you feel or something you have, but a state that you are in. it's why my mind is a violent flower that only blooms at night; it's their eyes and teeth reflected on the cutting steel surfaces of four walls leaning closer closer closer; it's a hundred loose threads that i can't help but unravel, and now i'm waiting with a drag in my stomach for when they'll finally stop. i only crane my head to see faces biting the window, saliva dripping down, and my back tightens and hisses but i resist the urge to turn and look.

ii. the past, anyone will tell you about the past: sunburns and bug bites all over. the future is worse, eyes averted and tones just a pitch off. i crinkle like origami in the face of what must come, whether it's the next sunday or the sunday fifty years later. the future is the hard "k" when someone says you need to talk, a neon sign that, up close, reads only "dead end."

iii. so i don't think about the future, and i don't think about loose threads. am i a poet if all my stanzas just paraphrase what i've already said? am i a poet if i lean over at lunch and tell you that i get this sort of lonely ache in my chest, a strawberry aftertaste in the mornings and a cyanide cherry pit at night? how do you measure art: by line breaks and an 11pt arial font, or the way the words stick like leather furniture in summer? or is it its own kind of regretful poetry if i quit altogether and end up writing only to fill out tax forms?

iv. in the desert, the night sky is shot with purple, and in the mountains, bleeding blue ink, but the night in the suburbs is more charcoal scribble that smells like sulfur and car gas. someone pressed the tip so hard it broke; the blackness swallowed the stars and is now looking at the earth with a hungry gleam in its eye. when cars drive down the street, they look like flashlights in a gaping, oil-black cave, and some nights i cannot even find the moon. the tides turn sluggish and a static-half black. i forget, more and more, that the night can be vast and breathtaking.


i write a lot in my notebooks but forget to transfer it on here. i remembered today, so here's a jumble of things i've been writing for the past month.

Peer Review

The figurative language and lyricism of your poetry stupefied me. All of your lines felt fresh and unique, with not even a hint of cliched or overused phrases. Some of my absolute favorite lines include "...a violent flower that only blooms at night", "i crinkle like origami...", and "...a strawberry aftertaste in the mornings and a cyanide cherry pit at night?" Another aspect I immediately noticed was your ability to pin down rather fleeting and flimsy feelings. Especially in the third stanza, I found the questions you asked very thought-provoking and existential. They address societal and personal issues that I think many people across the world can relate to.

In your footnote, you say that these poems are individual, a "jumble of things". Even though they were written separately, I think they work very well as a little collection or as stanzas of one large poem (the middle two seem particularly compatible). My only comment is that I think the ending to the first stanza is a little lackluster. The other ones feel a lot more conclusive, but the ending of the first stanza reads more unfinished. From your footnote, I'm assuming these poems are still incomplete, so it's just something to consider for the future.

Reviewer Comments

It's really hard to express just how much I enjoyed reading this collection of poems. Your writing style is absolutely beautiful, lush, unique imagery intertwined with personal experiences and intricately described emotions. I love your work and I'm so glad I stumbled across this piece to review <3