Peer Review by Quarkoala (United States)

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a particle known as oblivion

By: Detective

back when
the day was young,
earth's great eggshell would glisten--
the yolk would sing.
beneath it, men in coats sat.
frolicking birds
they were, who hung hands on racks
and eyes on hooks.
they did insist on their ways. 

one day
I revealed to them what else
a man could hang, 
this time
from the ceiling.

they kept their ways. 

my time then came.
I would have stayed
if I could, but
I was not born
to move at all.

the larks laughed at fate. they held
high to a jocund fire.
burning, burning.
their hearts churning-- destiny.

at 9 pm
I grew attached
to my new aviary.
the embers ever burned now.

the men grew ill,
burnt out by life.

at 10 pm
cracks of light were whispering.
fearful, I fled
and shut my door.

the embers never burned now.

they wanted in
but I wouldn't let them in
from crumbling
night's arms.

"please don't crush them!"
"leave no bodies in the ditch!"
howled above the empty din
yet still
they were only whispering.
I left all for
death to deal with.

at 11
pm, the bird
men were haunted, dreading, searching
for a memoir--
for one minuscule fabric
of existence
that sauntered here,
its coat thick with tar, heavy.
a flammable onyx. an
ignited asbestos cowl
set forcibly ajar. when
they all finally knelt down,
I built thrones from the ashes.

you, prove
that someone was alive once.
the evidence:
meteor scars,
bones solidified in ice.
is that enough? 

am I alive?
it is far too late to find
I am
caught inside this careless Thing
with tangled hair--
headless, shifting here and there--
its follicles protruding
sick midnight arms,
charred to charcoal,
fogging up the atmosphere.

our lives are now
there on the streets.

there on the streets
people lurked in their silence.
they wanted in--
caged larks--
but nobody let them in
from thundering
people soon asked
about those whose lives were lost.
I and every one replied:
"no, not me, not I, good sir,
I could not. see,
I was busy.
I could not see
them there."

our lives are now
dripping canteens
dripping, dripping
lighter fuel that
could've lit up
the whole wide world.
we are dripping, fervently.

at 12 am
another bled.

see this madman!
to prove
someone else had fallen dead,
fumbling the deed, he must
have severed his 
own head.
fate came.
he saw his soul
from the red hook on the wall.

whose choice is it
to expect death?
not ours, not his
if death does come.
it did.
he wanted in
and nobody let him in.

the bystanders
stood by,
waving, pointing greyish flags
in every known direction.

"are they alive?"
"are they a lie?"
such questions
have no answer.

led by the true
accountability of
delusion, they 
reared their heads high 
with the "she said"s.
"I think, I thought, I haven't."
"well, I have but won't again."
"I never did
and never will."

that tall
lumbering Thing--
flush its remains down the drain!
the world hasn't pitch
under blindfold
for it has, no longer, songs
nor muse
nor books and scrolls to peruse
and it is terribly sad.
this beast,
this-- this hairy wretched Thing
is evidence.
it is evident that you
heard it
once in a cold fever dream
while running a
of 103
or so it seems.

years, years
beating the corpse
to a grey pulp.
feeding it to their children.
“eat this,” they said
“you can’t stomach the torment.”
festering wounds,
as black as imagined death.

“it’s better now.”

when the door shut overhead,
closed to pitch black,
these tales would lie within them
in their coffin,
overturned and bleeding red.

time passed.
there, many-taled children too
would lie.

people thought burial was death.

at 1 am
cracks of light aren't existing.
through everyone's sipping of
illusive vitality--
of a not-really-curing 
medicine, the 
Thing is now “dead”.
I stand at its grave and mourn
the hated life.

dripping, dripping
they are sipping
while still they bleed.
oft' the beast had been sitting
wrapped 'round their necks.
piercing teeth of smoke-- that hole,
that cavity deftly left--
there the skeleton lingers.
it amuses me alone.
so god,
what am I then
if not a man?

it wanes to a blundering

still, they are here, whispering,
"what's next? oh, are
we next? who's next?"

the sky, it is
jet black tonight.
I join the rest.
thick with tar
upon beds of night we lie.
down by
the midnight shore,
we bow our heads.
voids gaze into an abyss.
they see themselves.
I see nothing
at all.

at 2 am
the witching hour
draws nigh. 

raven water
rises skyward bearing red.
it swirls, black mist
above our heads.
twice fold, thrice fold,
manifold we
the life which dies!--
but not in entirety,
for this life is yours and mine.

I confess
I did not know
that my death would feel like life.

most souls disintegrate here.

who chose that path?
not I, nor you
so perhaps it is not true.

prove that we are
not dead.
cast us out on fishing lines.
toss our bodies.
mangle and flog what's left.

no evidence. flesh burning, 
the blood is charred to charcoal,
hogging and clogging the air.
grimy, curling 
smoky fangs nip at the ash, 
the ash--
they crumble on the pyre.

ah, so we have known death for
an instant in our lives, but
now we are dead.
evidence. no
evidence. grey
bodies turned.
corpses here lie,
turning into nothingness.


wait, it is night.
I see the tide.
red waves roll in the distance.
lo! I lie to
profess that I do not lie
and hear the sea.
I know its tragic clamor,
its solemn, lonely bellow.
god, where am I?

I fear my life.
I fear that I have survived.

oh god!
I swear,
though I live and they do not,
I am not one of god,
nor God Himself.
what am I then?

born was I not.
go do I, but never move.
no name have I, nor face.
dripping, dripping
not at all. I am a ghost,
or I am nothing at all.

I clasp the line
but reel no sign into sight.
water laps at
the shore
like biting sparks.

"let them all in,"
I--- cursed I!--- plead 
of death,
by whose side I ever stand.

to this, only
silence replies.

Message to Readers

Hey, I'd be delighted if you took a minute to review my piece. I want to know how you interpreted it, the mood it had, as well as what you think the tone is. If you spot any errors or inconsistencies, feel free to point them out.

Peer Review

This poem made an overall impression on me of a dream.

Maybe make the title more present in the poem, using comparisons.

"that tall
lumbering Thing--
flush its remains down the drain!"

So dramatic; a turning point in the poem/dream. Also, great use of the word "Thing."
And good job using the phrase "flush its remains down the drain!" instead of "erase it!"

Keep the dreaminess, just add more.

Reviewer Comments

I interpret this as a dream, and the title, a metaphor for the person having the dream, but in the dream, not in real life.

By the way, sorry I couldn't get to this before the contest deadline.