Peer Review by EdilMayHampsen (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 something you are in. at night, my mind blooms like a violent flower; the threads unravel, the walls shrink, i know how this goes and yet my stomach still keens like a wounded animal. i think of the past and my bones crawl outside my skin. i think of the future and crinkle like origami. eyes averted, tones a pitch off; the future is the hard "k" when someone says you need to talk, a neon sign that, up close, reads: DEAD END.

ii. 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 toothpaste 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 a kind of equally regretful poetry if i only end up writing when filling out tax forms?

iii. the night sky in the suburbs is a charcoal scribble that smells of sulfur and gasoline. someone pressed the tip so hard it broke; the darkness swallowed the stars and now looks at the earth with a hungry gleam in its eye. when i see cars drive down my street, they look like flashlights in a gaping, oil-black cave, and as the tides become sluggish and static i can’t even find the moon. i’m forgetting, more and more, that the night can be vast and breathtaking.


this is a revised version of something i posted a while back, so if it seems familiar then that's why. would love feedback on how else i could revise it, or just feedback in general! anxiety, amirite folks? *cue canned laugh track as if from a 90s sitcom*

Peer Review

The imagery in this piece is deeply relatable and vivid. I love you beautiful things to negative feelings "violent flower." Everything from your world choice, use of italics, caps, and the title makes this piece immersive and powerful.

I see a connecting theme between the three parts of this piece, the 1. Anxiety, the overload, 2.Art, a balance(but still hesitation?) 3. Vastness, too little. This isn't the theme you have to center the piece around, it's just one I notice underlying. I think adding some lines that draw a clear connection between these three parts of the piece can make I feel even more powerful.

Reviewer Comments

Absolutely wonderful piece. I'm glad you're revising old work! It's a great way to improve.