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Submitted on
October 23, 2013


2 (who?)
Symptom one:
A penchant for setting up situations that put me on the run;
A distinct inability to bounce back
From both personal and justified attacks;
A lack
Of responsibility or
Desire to face the poor
Decisions that put  me in the poor house;
A tendency to comply when crying friends say, “Ignore us.”

Symptom two:
A bad habit of sniffing Krazy Glue
Then taking my boots off and stomping around the chicken coop;
An effected detachment from reality
Guaranteed by liberal application of low-volume TV
As the background noise and color of a much larger, more important scheme
To sleep
And enjoy approximately 12 hours of wine-and-rum dreams.

Symptom three:
A pair of bruised and bloody knees
Garnered from a day of hard work of falling to them to please—
Well, everyone, it seems.
Not that they ever asked me for subservience
Or even courtesy in any way;
That's just the kind of guy I am, I'd say.

Symptom four:
Difficulty finding topics of conversation that don't bore,
And/or people whose first instinct when I talk isn't to snore;
Furthermore, difficulty enjoying conversation myself
(Unless it's about how I prefer poultry to shellfish).
I don't think that makes me selfish, but
I'd say I'm a loner since instead of talking with potential friends I'd rather stay home reading Homer.

Symptom five:
Use of big words where they don't solicitously apply
Just in case someone gets the idea that I'm not the smartest thing alive.

Symptom six:
The labels I affix
To both myself and others who might then find that they and their assignments don't mix.
For instance, the way I've spelled out my problem to you with the intent
Of getting some relief from it—
But you're not a doctor, are you?
first thing i've written since april hot diggity dog
fernknits Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi, I'm *fernknits with your critique from %PoeticalCondition.

Your poem contains some excellent imagery -- I am particularly struck by the krazy glue/chicken coop and bruised, bloody knee images.  I think you could improve your poem by including more of these "word-pictures," which give the reader so many clues as to what's going on in the speaker's mind.  

Your rhyme scheme and meter are kind of erratic, which is not bad in and of itself but, when not utilized carefully, can make a poem look sloppy.  Unless you have important reasons to put rhymes at the ends of lines, I wouldn't worry about it -- and same with meter or rhythm.  Rather than having the poem sound choppy by forcing it, use words and phrases that keep the poem moving.

Your word choices can be a bit predictable.  Two examples of this would be "penchant" and "garnered," which are both used in exactly the way you'd expect them to be used.  This makes your poem read more like an essay than a poem -- poetry thrives on new and unusual word choices.  You might want to experiment with that.

There is nothing wrong with structuring your poem as a list of symptoms, in this case -- but I think that, within the different stanzas, I would (again) strive for more fluidity and/or tension with your lines and line breaks.  Right now the lines read very predictably, which (as with predictable word choice) is not what you want for a strong poem.  Since what I think you're going for is a kind of therapy session/confessional mood, I would try to make the tone more conversational and less choppy.

I think this is a very interesting subject, and you clearly have the ability to paint vivid images with words.  With some effort in that area and tightening up in some other areas, this poem has real potential!

fernknits Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I just wanted to mention, also, that I would be hesitant to use "Shit" as your last line.  One reason would be that it is a strong word with strong connotations, and thus is better saved for extra-special occasions when it is fitting in a way that no other word would be.  Another reason is that, as with some of your other word choices, it's a predictable response from your speaker to the idea that the listener is not a doctor.  To give the ending of your poem more impact, I would include less text and more "oomph," such as (for example) just ending with the question "But you're not a doctor, are you?" or possibly something like "But you're not a doctor, and I'm not -----" (where you fill in the blank with whatever makes sense to you.)  Those are just some suggestions -- of course, if you have good reasons for preferring the ending as you have written it you should leave it that way.  :)
shehrozeameen Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
%PoeticalCondition critique:

I like the effort you've put into this work, and I'm impressed. I find nothing in particular to critique here: the approach, the way the symptoms have been portrayed, the subliminal changes in the person's psychology, the turbulence shown, and the punch from the last symptom, its a well balanced portrayal, and a job well done.
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