• This is a very emotional piece and it has some really beautiful lines. drops of blood on some tiny shards and a large pointed piece, a weapon is great imagery. If you wanted to there are a few points that you could expand this a little bit. I would love to see what you mean when you say innocence, promise, and naivety instead of just reading…[Read more]

  • I’m surprised this is your first poem, but since it is I’m going to offer some general advice that you may want to keep in mind moving forward. You don’t have to capitalize the first line. Read the poem out loud several times see where you pause or put add emphasis to a word and consider adding a line break as punctuation. Feel free to do…[Read more]

  • This is a really intense memory and it lends itself really well to poem form. I think this poem really starts with “I crawl out the window” and ends with “I receive no applause”. Your feelings and the picture you are painting are well encompassed between those lines and the rest kind of undercuts the ‘oomph’ of what you are trying to convey. I…[Read more]

  • After the fire

    grandma’s house,

    with its glass eggs

    cat knick-knacks

    and ancient china,

    was pushed into the sea

    by a yellow bulldozer

    with no sympathy

    for memory

    or the smell of mothballs

    and h […]

    • I love your repeated images. How you carried the house into the second stanza and then carried the redheaded girls into the third stanza. I could see the broken parts of Grandma’s house after the fire and how no one really cared for those memories but her. Really nice imagery, and the scent memories of moth balls and hand-rolled cigarettes was a nice touch.

    • I think that this is less of a hot mess than you think. I like the story that it tells and the repetition that you use. You tug on the heart strings with the idea of no one caring about poor old grandma.

      The short lines give a good rhythm to the piece along with the repeating. The only thing I didn’t understand was

      creosote cracks
      in ancient china.

      I know what creosote is but don’t relate it to china. Good alliteration by the way.
      Good job on using the senses with the mothballs and hand-rolled cigarettes.

      Well done and thanks for sharing.

    • What is a fire if not a hot mess. This poem has legs. Sit with it, let it simmer, and go back to it. I think it’s lovely. The repetition works. The images are strong, with the smells of mothballs and cigarettes, the fragility of life – the delicate China and the broken glass and the bird nests- and the emotions clear. Read it out loud. Again and again. Surprising what a small tweak can accomplish.

    • May all my hot messes be this moving. This poem is full of evocative imagery — the sea, the broken remnants of the house, the girls in their oblivious playing — and it doesn’t overstay its welcome. It’s well crafted, and pulls at so many heartstrings. Well done. Go and produce more hot messes. 🙂

    • Sad for loss of grandma’s house – great writing!

    • I love the looping pattern of lines and your use of color to bring your images alive. The yellow bulldozer, red-headed girls, blue home. No sympathy for memory… great line.

    • Amazing. The visual of the delicate broken things alongside the bulldozer is powerful. Love the red headed girls, and the repetition brings the reader into the powerful story.

    • I loved the repetition of this poem that had such a circular feeling to it, with grandma’s house coming back home, only to be swept out to sea again. Beautiful.

  • From the opening paragraph all the way to the end I spent the entire time saying “nooooooooo.” But in the best possible way. Your descriptions are shudder-inducing and I will be checking my hair for creepy-crawlies for the rest of the day. I love how you played with some tropes in this. The fact that she wasn’t overcome with compassion for…[Read more]

  • This is so very very southern. You absolutely nailed the nuance of that voice. That second sentence had me laughing out loud. I am honestly blown away with what you just did in 1200 words, this felt so much longer! The depth of the story and feelings you have here is just incredible. My only suggestion would be to tweak the last paragraph…[Read more]

  • This is wonderful and poignant. I love the slice of life you offer and enjoy following Steve and (your narrator is a male in my head I don’t know if that is your intention). It is so interesting to see the little interactions that hold two people together. The little shake at the top of the Ferris wheel is my favorite.
    It’s a bit of a…[Read more]

  • Cool story. I like the twist ending. I picked up on the fact that the adopted daughter was the daughter. Was it Tom who raped Victoria? I’m not sure I’m reading that right.

  • Interesting story of sordid behavior and revenge. I did get a little lost in the middle and it took a few re-reads to figure out that the friend had died or rather when she died. I think that would be an easy fix if we had a few more words to work with.

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  • That was a hell of a ride. I can’t say I enjoyed this story, but it was really well done and I thought the bird metaphor was nicely managed.

  • It would have been peaceful if it didn’t feel like I were drowning.  The bubbles filtering up around me from the deep purple gel looked like a nebula and the viscous liquid made it feel like I was back in the wo […]

    • Hi KB I thought this story was terrific. Great imagery and humor. I liked the time traveler motif and would like to see you explore that more in another instalment. Maybe have the MC and Miri go back to the 19th century on earth. The whole Steam Punk thing would be a cool arena to incorporate to play in.

    • This needs to be a novel! This is something I would read. There is so much to explore when it comes to time traveling, so many directions things could go. I love the heavenly Mirabelle and her foul mouth.
      Lovely job!

    • Stunning…

    • Excellent time-traveling vignette…the casualness with which you handled multiverse travel was fantastic. Also, nice to have the story wind up right back where it began–a cool trick for a dimension jumping story. I liked the arc you took your narrator on–the circularity of the trip made me want more story beyond the allotted 1200 words.

      I enjoyed the dialogue, which felt authentic and realistic. One consideration: the profanity Mirabelle uses clearly establishes her as a gritty, unflinching traveler at the start of the story–and that works at the outset. But I would have loved for you to have rounded her characterization out more and given her personality some more depth. Tough to do in just 1200 words, but you did an excellent job on the story!

    • I have to echo what others have said, the humor and the casual introduction to traveling and the travelers university was excellent – so much you can do with this premise and these characters! I loved the story; it was engaging and entertaining and very well written. Nice work!

    • This was a fantastic story. You introduced your model of the universe quite deftly, I liked the idea of the folds of the motheaten cloth, it made the whole idea of jumping from time to time and planet so easily accessible. I agree with K McLain about Mirabelle having a little more depth in her conversation outside of just cursing at her but actually behaving quite kindly. I wanted to know more about Mirabelle as well, but I think that is your objective in this story, to get us to want to know more about her. Very well done with beautiful descriptions coupled with quite ordinary language is a great setup for humor: I especially liked this and I liked the opening very much. “She appeared to me like an angel might, dark hair flowing down her back and full skirts billowing through the grass. Her first words to me were like bells from on high.

      “What the fuck are you doing here?” ”

      That was funny.
      I think this story was written very well and describes a world that you know and understand well. Thanks for posting!

    • Hi KB,

      Great idea for the prompt. Time travel has endless possibilities.
      As has been suggested above, you can do more with this.
      I wonder if you could find things that have been lost.
      Great story.


    • Even though this isn’t a genre I’d ordinarily read, the characterisation of Mirabelle sucked me into this dimension immediately because of her gritty authenticity. I liked the contradictions between the two main characters. The humor and whimsy was great and it’s wonderful to see such liberal use of profanity. My soul has been redeemed. Well-done and goodluck!

    • Nicely done! A critique partner of mine does similar stories and I enjoyed your interpretation. At first, i was jolted by the contrast in the main character’s lyrical voice and Mirabelle’s terse profanity, but it certainly makes the characters distinct! Good job…good luck!

    • I love your writing style! This story drew me in completely and like everyone else, I thought you handled the multiple worlds effortlessly. Look forward to reading more of your work.

  • This is really great! Your images are wonderful, I especially love the couple of lines about pottery. I think this will sound amazing out loud! My only suggestion would be to drop the first line. The rest of this is so forceful and power pose-esque, but the first line is very unsure of its self.

  • Writing about writers’ block doesn’t usually work, but when it does you get awesome things like this. I really enjoyed your use of formatting to give this piece rhythm and a fun loopy feel.

  • She came screaming

    into this world

    with such rage

    that her great-

    grandmother’s mother

    smiled over

    blighted potatoes

    and whispered to

    babe at breast

    that the future called,

    from across the A […]

    • I liked the way you expanded on a baby’s first cry and related it to the butterfly effect. Never wouldn’t thought of it that way! Thank you for sharing 😀
      Also, the way you worded, “Her great-grandchildren held their breath as she let a sigh of ecstasy escape the upward curve of her lip the first time.” Is just amAzing! Really great image you captured there!

    • I enjoyed your use of sound words…scream, whisper, laugh, sob, sigh, then scream and whisper again. Nice use of repetition to bring the poem full circle. Some interesting images also: “hugged her rib cage” and “smiled over blighted potatoes” I liked in particular. Nice work!

    • Jane replied 3 months ago

      Hi KB, yes you have used plenty of onomatopoeia in the poem (also a word I love and like to try to get primary students to learn to spell). Well done – it is a great take on the butterfly effect.

    • Ah, so great how you describe a laugh — the laugh of the focus (or protagonist, for lack of a better word) of your poem — as “soft velvet and lightning.”

      I like how you contrast the great-great of the past, who smiles and whispers, to the great-greats of the future, who hold their breath as she releases a “sigh of ecstasy” for the first time. Lots of careful fine-tuning in your word choices.

      Thanks for sharing, E. M. Scott

    • Very refreshing read. You paint lovely pictures with your words.
      Thanks for sharing,
      Wanda Lova

    • This is lovely KB! I loved the circular narrative and you created some striking images that really came to life for me. Great choice of words and good flow, well done!

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  • This was really cute! This is a really well-done children’s story. The entire time I was imagining what it would look like on the page with some Dora the Explorer-style illustrations with it. I love it.

  • This was really awesome. Your descriptions of her are really great and she stands out very vividly, even as Peter fades into the background of his own narrative. That’s a pretty neat technique. I also really love Peter as a character, it was a huge relief when he just went home, a bit disappointed and loved on his dog instead of doing anything…[Read more]

  • KB commented on the post, Seventy-Eight 3 months, 1 week ago

    Jason is very much dead. I’ve been noodling this story for a while and in previous versions, the person stole Jason’s phone right before he died.

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