fbpx
  • Your brevity lends a type of staccato rhythm to the poem. It feels almost like the abbreviated thoughts that go through one’s head in a kind of short-hand. The final eight lines provide a resolution, I think, and it works for me–moving from the blank and unresolved to the decision to put feelings to paper, whatever they may be. Nicely done!

  • After Argument, Void by K McLain

    *

    ‘Fair in love and war,’ you said–

    and the madness that ensued

    pitched battle after battle

    into hearts at once unglued.

    Why heed a call for reason?

    I’ll see your reaso […]

    • Great poem. I had to look up ‘chiaroscuros’ but once I’d read it with understanding I loved the pictures it painted in my mind with the shades of grey you talk about. Drawing smudges in excuses.

      Your words flow nicely and I can feel the build up to the screams at the end. You have a number of wonderful sentences and these are two of my favourites:
      I’ll see your reason burned.
      doctored facts my tinfoil roof.

      Thanks for the most enjoyable and relatable read.

    • I see we drew inspiration from the same kind of experience this month, but the outcomes are so different! That is what fascinates me of this whole 12SS experience.
      I could feel the destruction of your ‘dance’ unfolding in the beautiful phrases of “unglued hearts” and “burned reason” – and I think the pivot is in this line: “how might I understand / languages I’ve never learned?” The acknowledgement of the rift in communication – so much so that the battle can’t be fought on pre-agreed terms.
      I found this riveting. Thank you.

    • This was a very clever poem. I agree with Hanri that the rift of communication seems impossible to fix. I like the idea you have thrown in of not understanding the language required to fix it – the languages of love. Well done and thanks for sharing.

    • This is a very clever poem – such depth of language and I enjoyed the way rhyme holds things together.
      An excellent take on the prompt and every well executed.

    • This is a poem born of anger and the emotion shows through. You use the sort of language so many rows are based on! Well done.

  • “Well, that didn’t work.”

    Chad flung the crucifix on the dining room table in disgust.  Lunging to her left, Brittany caught it just as it careened off the edge.  She stood up waving it, her face betrayi […]

  • It is an unusually uplifting piece for me, Seyi–not sure where it came from, to be honest. But I’ve talked to so many physician friends who report unusual connections with patients during the recent panic that sometimes wind up being quite touching. Hard to believe, but. on an individual level, things tend to unwind just fine…

  • Uplifting. It’s a great take on the prompt, and one that puts forward things that are often forgotten and not given enough credence. Hard to read it and not stop and think about the good things that surround us every day. Nice work!

  • Love haiku as a medium–the simplicity of your word choice and the standalone lines create a sense of hesitation, of a start that doesn’t become full realized, and I think that is the point of the poem. Excellent use of form and language to underscore your theme!

  • Lovely poem, Charles. You’ve captured the pain of loss when that loss occurs without our being able to say farewell. I like the different meanings of “peace” you describe in the second stanza, and the notion of “impending rest” and “fading” that frame the notion of losing the opportunity to grieve in real time. Well done!

  • K McLain commented on the post, Taken by nainasays 4 weeks ago

    Well done using the various usages of the word “taken” to explore the speaker’s experience with a past love. It is an interesting turn from someone who appears to be on the losing end to someone who has found security in another person. Nice job!

  • The concept here is excellent. I tend to think about how words and prompts can be considered from something other than the most direct associations. Your poem does that with the prompt, allowing the reader to ponder things “taken” and not quite taken. Its an interesting and thought-provoking take (pun unintended)–what does it mean to “take”…[Read more]

  • K McLain commented on the post, Taken by Mary Lou 4 weeks ago

    The conversation as poem works. You’ve put things that aren’t plain and simple into a terse, simple dialogue, and I think that’s what makes the reading of it so appealing. There’s one word longer than 3 syllables (remember). The terse, unlayered dialogue belies a much more complex subject and invites the reader to think beyond the words: what…[Read more]

  • The heart doesn’t beat madly twice…a dark cloud that never rains.

    Great use of imagery and an overarching theme of a knowing regret. There’s an otherworldly type of wisdom that rings out in the lines, almost as if the speaker is the one who hadn’t quite appreciated what was lost. Its like each stanza is a little lesson, standing on its own…[Read more]

  • Nice work Debbie! You’ve captured the feeling of being at creativity’s end very well. I especially like the abrupt lines you use in this piece–at times, it flows smoothly and at others it suggests a disjointedness that echoes the theme of the poem. Your choice of images and words works well to emphasize the feeling of loss and abandonment.

  • Many thanks to you all. I appreciate the encouragement and thank you for reading. Apologies for not getting to your poems as well–crazy month and I promise to read all your work!

  • The trouble with saying 

    I’m yours

    is that it implies

    a thing akin to possession:

    A lonely high-shelf doll, 

    crisp porcelain head, all apple lips and ruddiness 

    buffed to high sheen, like a floa […]

    • I love the last four lines!

      The sum-up of the duality is incredibly powerful! This is like the closing of a well-presented case. The choice between the porcelain doll and the wanton wind is explained to the minutest detail. The motives, the consequences, the slightest ruminations of the soul, it’s all in there.

      Thanks for a lovely and inspiring poem.

    • Beautiful poem. You paint images for the mind to wander across. I love the porcelain doll up high and I too love the last lines to sum up the acting of taking and being taken, not being a possession. Your words have a wispy feel of the wind.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • “Take me as you will, but know in the taking you’ll be taken too.”
      Great lines. I love the vivid imagery of the poem. Nicely done.

    • Hi K

      This is such a clever poem, expressing the resilience and clarity of the contract between them. I like ‘as wind, that wanton thing ‘ to describe her wild and unique nature. I think I’d like to meet her, though I might not be the equal.

      Are many relationships this well matched and understood I wonder; I wonder.

      Martin

    • Wow you’ve got a lot of powerful images in your poem as well as some good examples of assonance / alliteration. I like your lines : become a chronicon of longlost eons, / spent now under your spectroscopic instruments. Well done with this poem.

    • Jane replied 1 month ago

      This poem dips and dives into many different feelings and elements. I like how you described it as a random piece of verse. It feels like your thoughts were definitely flowing in many directions. Some beautiful imagery and great word choice. Well done.

    • Hi K

      You have such a vision and a way with words capable of examining perspectives. I had to read this three times to take in the depth and creativity you share with us. Really engaging and multi-layered.

      Great writing.

      Martin

    • Many thanks to you all. I appreciate the encouragement and thank you for reading. Apologies for not getting to your poems as well–crazy month and I promise to read all your work!

    • Becky replied 4 weeks ago

      Great poem! I love the description of the doll, and the idea of preferring to be like the wind over being a possession.

    • Hi K,
      Your language and imagery are SO strong in this poem, classy yet relatable. I absolutely loved the last few lines: “Take me as you will, / but know (that) in the taking / you’ll be taken too.” Great repetition!

  • Excellent imagery with the stale bread keeping cookies soft–not sure how you meant it to work, but I thought of how my conversations with older relatives remind me of my own mortality and the quick slippage of time. I enjoyed the notion of the homebound starved for companionship–that seems to be way to prevalent in 2020. One thing I would…[Read more]

  • Thanks Becky! Took a different tack this month and went for a feel-good slice of life story!

  • Becky and Profile picture of K McLainK McLain are now friends 1 month, 2 weeks ago

  • It wasn’t meant to be.

    Angela kneaded the spot where the wrecking ball pounded away behind her left eye.  The bridge of her nose ached from the reinforced ridges of her N95.  

    Her nephew was getting married in […]

    • This was lovely. These are hard times for many people, for different reasons, and you captured that here so well. I liked this line: “Angela hid under her desk filing patient refills while the intercom droned on about proceeding calmly to the marked exits while observing social distancing and remaining six feet apart.” Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks Becky! Took a different tack this month and went for a feel-good slice of life story!

    • Hey K and how goes it? That took me there. I could not stop reading from the moment I felt that ‘wrecking ball behind her Angela’s left eye’ till I felt that old bat’s hand grabbing Angela’s at the end. I really like the buildup as you describe the workday from hell and I think my favorite line was the one where she was reinforcing the tenets of the Hippocratic oath for herself as she approached Mrs. Feldman. A close second was the octogenarian trying to set her up with their ‘just out of rehab’ grandson and her unflappable politeness in reminding them that, um, she’s still married! Great stuff. I was dreading an even worse ending for Angela’s day, with the way you’d described the Feldman and I liked the way you chose to end the story. Well done, I enjoyed this piece tremendously. Regards, Seyi

      • It is an unusually uplifting piece for me, Seyi–not sure where it came from, to be honest. But I’ve talked to so many physician friends who report unusual connections with patients during the recent panic that sometimes wind up being quite touching. Hard to believe, but. on an individual level, things tend to unwind just fine…

  • I love the concept here–the mystical, earthy, spirit tied to an significant place idea is a good one to explore.

    I didn’t find the one-person POV an issue, although I recognize in a longer piece it would create more dimensionality to hear different voices (scents?) as the hunter stalks the prey. I imagine the voice of the prey, the voices of…[Read more]

  • Vivid imagery and tone that captures the sadness that seems intrinsic to the villanelle. The recurring contrast between “visible” and “fade” is what makes the poem work for me.

  • Load More

K McLain

Profile picture of K McLain

@kmcrkh

active 1 week, 2 days ago