Week 2 Posts – November 28th

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    • #18585

      Post your Week 2 Responses here!


    • #18872

      Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

      It has just now come to my attention that the recording wasn’t been posted within 48 hours like I said it would be. My apologies for that. Here is a link for the first week’s recording until we can get it up in the Course Materials section. Please do not share it:

      SESSION 1: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/psNkuPMa-0QTDHw6ogVVH6RiiIsprlaH0v0fLY1-8_MZ6O-pa7KHzKA_2JM3PoFD.-ywerZfcgFrm1JXu?startTime=1637519458000

    • #18873

      Now post a poem for WEEK 2 in here!!

      • #18964

        Wow. I can’t believe how fucking mixed my emotions are about this week’s post. This is my week 2 post, up for judgment by Buddy and awaiting unworthiness. I’m usually more confident w/ my work. Not this time. I’m supposed to have a reading of it scheduled tomorrow. My apologies it’s coming so late.

        Also, I have to leave right at 2p my time, tomorrow, which is 1p Pacific, which is the end of the normal class, so if my inchoate writing doesn’t get looked at in time, it’s all good. I’m happy to await evisceration the following week. I have to go watch my daughter in The Nutcracker right at 2p my time and I’m happy to do so. Peace Buddy and everyone. My file is attached below.

        • #18966

          Reading some of all y’all’s samples, I realize I wanna get rid of the rhymed verse. It’s likely killing this poem. And if that’s not it, it’s just probably not a good poem.

          • #18989
            erin feldman

            I don’t think the rhymed verse is killing the poem. In fact, some of the rhymes are so brilliant I made the noises some people make when football is on…stuff like, “wwwwwhat?!” and “Ahhhhhhh!” Jokes/anecdotes, worth/unearthed are two fantastic examples.
            I was especially starstruck by, because, well…me too:
            That’s my fault line of misrepresentation, that’s my letter left unsent
            And I’ll speak to gurus and rabbis and shaman to exorcise my resentment

            For editing: Because there is a consistent meter here, it is especially notable when it is awkward or slightly off. So maybe not going to the extreme of counting syllables (though I imagine that would not be unfun), but listening with you pen, if you will, for places to make more or less sound per line.

        • #18995

          Heyo Sean! Thanks for letting us read this. You should have more confidence my man! You’ve gotta lot of cool stuff here. I’ve left some comments in the document below.

        • #19039

          Hello! Appreciate you sharing this piece. I wouldn’t scrap the rhyme scheme just to scrap it. Proper forms can be enticing to read. The trick is laboring over every word choice and the way each line is built, so that the rhyming words don’t seem predictable or cliche. Piggybacking on Codi’s note about bore/chore, rough/enough. The beauty in a lot of rhyming pieces is when the rhyme seems to be secondary to the piece, when the visual and metaphoric elements outweigh the structure and sound.

          When your piece uses lines like “the mirage of you in my bed” I wanted you to draw that out more. What does this person look like in your bed? How do you know it’s a mirage? What kind of landscapes erupt in you when you fall for the mirage? As the reader I want to explore that more, I want to experience the mirage with you.

          Also thinking about cadence and syllable count, how each line reads out loud. Specifically want to focus on these lines:

          If you can’t read my sky writing, if you can’t perceive my emotions are bared
          I read your ignorance as willful not blissfully unaware
          I admit my candidness is impoverished, I can’t seem to come clean enough
          I refuse the deep well of my own truths, and the going is getting rough

          There’s some tongue-twisty word use and sentence structure that can be confusing for the reader. The first line in this section has more syllables than the line that follows, which makes it kind of clunky in the reader’s mind. Establishing a flow and structure within each line can help support the rhyme. (Also a note that my brain locked onto the placement and pseudo-rhyming of ignorance and candidness.)

          I would also suggest exploring a structure in which the end of each line does not have to be the conclusion of the thought or the sentence. I in no way want to rewrite anything you’ve done, but in an attempt to demonstrate the notes I’ve made, I took the four lines from above and reworked them as if I wanted to communicate a similar idea/theme. Take it or leave it.

          I felt big as the sky in your presence, I could lift airplanes on a kite string
          and still find wind enough to say your name in a tuft of clouds. Swing
          blissful in my direction, I want to keep candid as a high tide at sunrise,
          but I’ve watched you turn your back on such things, to my surprise
          you might willfully miss the boat, my love.

          I hope this is constructive and helpful.

    • #18874

      Hey everyone!! Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it.

      Here’s my submission for week 2. I’m submitting this because there’s a layer to what I’m trying to say here that I just can’t seem to get to. It’s not fully cooked yet. See you all soon. Keep writing!

      • #18904

        Hey Tracy, can you tell us non-poetically what the missing layer is?

        • #18908

          Hi Lisa,

          This piece is fueled by anger and angst, albeit in a healthy manner. But in my experiences, anger is passionate pain. It masks what the true emotion or situation is, and I feel like that’s the layer I can’t get to. Every attempt I make feels like it’s a diluting the message. So I’m not sure what to do with this one. Revise it with some badass input, or leave it and write a, “B Side” companion piece.

          • #19002

            Gotcha. I agree that behind anger lies pain. One suggestion is to try some specificity about that pain. What was it that hurt so much, that got you so pissed you wrote a whole poem about defying everything that’s trying to make you small?

      • #18917
        erin feldman

        what I loved most was:
        Let it shine through those beautiful eyes.
        Let it warm the coldest places in that duct-taped, Gorilla Glued and spray painted beautiful heart of yours.
        Let it chase away all those sorry-assed non believing infidels.

        because I felt that bit in my body because my mind could picture it; maybe that’t the missing layer you’re reaching towards?

      • #18935
        Victoria Ruiz

        Tracy, I def felt energy coming from this piece. Have you considered letting it breathe and moving to the poem that really wants to be let outside to play? Are you afraid to just name the thing you want to say? Some poetry is just for us as in our own selves to help salve the unspeakable. Is that this kind of poem for you? Is the one poem hiding in this poem that poem for you? I am so excited for this journey for you!

      • #19011


        This piece grabs you by the arm and gives you a big shake. It’s like an anthem – I love how the anger unwraps liberation. “Because.You. Matter.” How do you feel about the repetition? Great piece!

      • #19040

        Hello Tracy! Buddy gave some really great feedback on this piece on Sunday. Understanding that the anthem you’ve written here is intentionally vague and that you’re exercising a healthy funnel of anger, the only note that I feel compelled to add is that as a reader I’m left wanting specificity. In the first stanza alone, I want to know what’s been accomplished. I want to know more about the relationship between the “you” and the universe.

        Hoping you’ll continue to explore the themes in this piece through a tactile lens. Don’t be afraid to get granular and metaphysical. :)

    • #18891

      hiya folks – here’s a 3 part poem. open to thoughts!

    • #18893

      hi y’all, I updated my post so let me know if you see the poem, it’s attached. it’s 3 parts

      • #18896

        Grayson. My friend. I can’t even start with all my favourite lines in these three pieces. I’m just going to pick two. The first two lines of Juniper. I can still hear them echo in me. And “because even what you hate deserves to rest”. I’m working on it my friend. Thank you <3

      • #18905

        Hey Grayson, always a pleasure to read your words. My favourite is the third piece. I wonder if you need the line “synonymous with trauma”? I think the next bits would pack more heat if you cut that line.

        … Are the last two stanzas arguing with each other? The four-line stunner about no longer being afraid of the pain, but then the last stanza suggests that through great effort you’ve insulated yourself with lies. I guess I’m here saying again 1) I really like this poem but 2) I don’t really understand the ending ;)

      • #18918
        erin feldman

        When I got to the line, “trying to arrive here empty handed” I burst into ugly tears. I hadn’t realized how much I want that too.
        Thank you for getting me there.

      • #18934
        Victoria Ruiz

        “the next moment
        the same hands
        choke the difference out of me”

        “I knew a guy who lost over 100lbs
        by running away from himself”
        and the line, bury me in a coffin of mushrooms. ahhhhh. that was a stunner of a line, thank you!

        Finally, I am in love with everything that comes below
        III. I am a town of perpendicular streets

        That final part is wow!

      • #18943

        Grayson, you already know how I feel about this.

      • #19004

        Grayson, there were so many moments grunts of agreement rushed out of me. I think I fell in love with the ending the most. This one moves my internal organs.

      • #19041

        Grayson! There are so many great images in here, so much detail that creates beautiful moments. I’m pretty sure I walked away with the proper emotional takeaways. I really enjoyed reading this piece a lot, you really got me with the cutting of the birthday cake at odd angles, that image does so much work. Lots of gold.

        As a reader I got stuck in a few places as I moved to new stanzas the visuals and metaphors seemed to change or morph into new ideas, still lovely and surreal, but not always tying back to the details of the stanzas that came before. This could very well be my own brain not following along properly, so don’t take that note to heart. One thing Buddy always underscores is the process of going back and making sure that the logic checks out, that the metaphors don’t jump so many clicks out that the reader has no idea how we got here.

        There is something very impactful in this piece. Attaching a word doc with specific notes. Take what resonates, delete the rest.

    • #18897
      Jessica Farrell

      Hey everyone! This week I’m reposting my flash fiction piece titled “Leftovers” and I hope you enjoy it!

      You must be logged in to view attached files.
      • #19043

        I love the humor of this. Would love to see even more inclusion of the five senses. The existential dread of leftovers could make for some startling imagery, would be great to see this piece build like a Dali or Picasso painting. The last stanza gives a hint of this, would encourage you to dive deeper in that direction.

    • #18899
      Jessica Farrell

      Also, I revised Rubber Ducks and I really think it came together. If anyone wants to give me feed back on second draft I would appreciate it.

      And I know you are busy, Buddy, but I think you would appreciate my revisions (for the most part) to, if you are able to sneak in a couple minutes to read the newest draft.

      Thank you all. So excited to be apart of this!

      You must be logged in to view attached files.
      • #18901

        Jessica I really like this poem! Love what you did with a quirky news story.

        I’d suggest cutting the line “And I hope you’d keep those ducks and remember” and end with:

        “Because it’s beautiful how the damage can make something perfect.
        How I got more meaning from the aching of these knees.
        How even though I can’t swim I did it.”

        • #18919
          erin feldman

          When we got to “you”, my focus sharpened. I wished their presence was ghostly, but there, earlier. Also: what do you think about dropping the very last it in the last line. It might not pass Buddy’s Logic meter, but I read it the way accidentally in my first pass and liked it.

          • #18925
            Jessica Farrell

            Thanks for the feedback! I’m still playing around with it. :)

        • #18926
          Jessica Farrell

          Thank you for the kind words! I may agree with removing the “I hope you keep those ducks”. Appreciate the feedback

      • #18933
        Victoria Ruiz


        Aside from a few grammatical items
        They’ve have, in the second stanza,
        an extra space between were and swallowed
        maybe consider the “I mean” and the “But” and I really
        and perhaps add a comma here? swim, I did it.
        ^^^ all very minor things in comparison to the fantastic edit you did! It’s so good! Yay, you!
        PS..> I do not live in a glass house and TOTALLY welcome any grammatical observations in my work.

        The bottom 2/3rd’s are the strongest for me as well as the opening line/s. I really felt an overarching inner-strength and fluid grace in this version as well! Well done!

        • #18936
          Jessica Farrell

          I appreciate the editing corrections! I’m going to send you my work from now on lol thank you for giving the poem another go! Such kind words too! 😁

      • #19044

        “To show you I finally found buoyancy.” Love this line.

        There is a lot I really like about what you’re doing with this piece. Taking a quirky news factoid and making it poetry. I’m in. There’s gold here. There’s so much room for you to explore within this piece, to build and extrapolate on the misadventures of all these ducks — visually and metaphorically.

        In particular these lines, “I want you to see everything each of those ducks went through. / Because it’s beautiful how the damage can make something perfect.” It feels like you could unpack this idea with vibrant visuals. Similar with the line, “And the ones who survived the tidal waves, the tsunamis, the shifting of tectonic plates.” Might be rad if you explored how they survived. Really leaning into the visual of being a rubber duck lost at sea.

        By the end of the piece I really wanted “those ducks” to become “these ducks” — you’ve collected them, they’re here now. Try exploring an ending where you actually are able to collect them all. What would that look like? Where would you keep them? What does each one represent?

    • #18906

      Hey all, here’s a really rough draft. Any and all feedback welcome.

      • #18920
        erin feldman

        There are so many fabulous gems of language in here, glad-haunt, gnawed; never mind the delicious “teeth on skin, the good pain” a brief moment of lust.
        This one has serious gas!

      • #18932
        Victoria Ruiz

        Lisa! I’ve never read anything like this before and can’t get enough of it.

        “Poem that wanted teeth on skin,
        that good pain, to be gnawed down
        to a small constellation of seeds,..”

        I am in love with this whole poem but this line especially, YES!

      • #18944

        Another wonderful piece, Lisa.
        I love the words and the container you put them in. Economical yet incredibly potent. Thanks. Again.

      • #18956

        Thanks for the encouragement folks! Here’s an updated version.

        • #18974

          Nice poem Lisa. That touched me.

        • #19045

          such a succinct and fun piece. “To be gnawed / to a tight constellation of seeds” obsessed with this line.

    • #18909

      Hello everyone! I hope all is well <3
      Here’s the sub for week 2


      • #18921
        erin feldman

        I appreciated how the tight stanzaic structure mirrored the anxious rage and disappointment in every damn line. Gah, I’ve also felt this way after receiving “health care”, and you nailed that ahhhhhhhhhhhhhheoabgr’ougbrGNSDGKJNxx-like emotion that words rarely relay.

      • #18931
        Victoria Ruiz

        Bringing it home every week! So well done and, I felt myself in this piece so hard. Thank you.

      • #18945

        Damn. This packed heat. Thank you, Thaina.

      • #19010

        Thaina your work continues to be devastating and skilled. Thank you for sharing this.

      • #19046

        this is a really well-written piece, with a strong message. great structure and use of line breaks.

    • #18911
      Maria Berry

      Hello I’m Maria Berry

      Here’s a snippet from a book I’m writing.

      • #18976

        Hi Maria, good to see you here. I’m not seeing any text..? And I’d love to read you… :-)

    • #18912
      Nathan Deman

      Hey there, posting my week 1 piece with minor edits. Honestly dont know how I feel about it, it’s one of my most recent finished pieces of writing. It works within the context of a rock song, but I feel like lyric writing as a medium, particularly with the band I’m playing with is a bit of a trap for me. It’s easy to rely on cliche and different tropes to move the meaning, and I’d like to break out of my trends with writing.

      Buddy, you’re the reason I started writing years ago, it means a lot to be here doing this. I never really took myself seriously as a writer until my band became a thing, and I was forced to really finish pieces for the sake of other people. That said, I wrote this in a moment of pure frustration with trying to manage my dad’s addiction over the summer, and I feel like its telling in tone, this is more mean spirited than other stuff I have. Between that assesment and the date it was written, I think it deserves the torture rack. Please do not be afraid of offending me, I want to improve. I really feel like I’m caged in lyric writing and would like to start writing for the sake of itself, outside the context of trying to fit into the mood of the music.

      Sorry for the preamble.
      I’ve uploaded a recording for context of how it actually sounds when delivered, a capella at least.

      You must be logged in to view attached files.
      • #18930
        Victoria Ruiz

        Nathan, the second draft has a tightness that I didn’t experience in the first draft so the changes you made worked for me. I don’t see “you” specifically in this piece though I do feel it works in the way of mood and how it carries a haunting hum if you will. I liked the line about sirens singing around your head. ( as in real live sirens ) ( or as in the circus that plays in your head kind of sirens ) It was my favorite line!

      • #18975

        Nathan, when I listened to you ‘singing’ it, thats when it came alive for me. The internal rhymes, its haunted, dirge-like tones. Such a mood piece.I’m feeling Heathcliff, wilderness on the moor. Love the last 2 lines
        Can’t outrun the reaper
        Harvest is in season

        I did find myself looking up the meaning of the title, and still not sure…obviously a play on revenant..

        • #19003
          Nathan Deman

          Thank you. When I was doing the edit I smashed together revenant and marionette, felt right. Not a word outside of my brain as far as I’m aware, haha

      • #19047

        Tons of great feedback on Sunday. Hearing you perform this added an amazing layer to the text. That last line got me in the feels.

    • #18914
      Nathan Deman

      Recording wouldn’t upload, here is google drive link.


    • #18915

      Heya creative deities,

      I promise I’ll be giving feedback and cheerleading asap (this week has whooped me like a grandma hearing me take the Lord’s name in vain), but for now, here, have a poem. While I like it, I feel like the end isn’t strong enough, and any and all feedback is joyfully welcomed.

      Thanks for reading!

      • #18922
        erin feldman

        Somewhere around “were only angels who didn’t think the word yes” I felt this shift from the narrator using you to mean us/the audience to you being the subject of the piece, the human gripped by depression. I loved that. Also, “You are as unlovable as the aurora over snowfields” broke my heart. I loved that too.

      • #18929
        Victoria Ruiz

        Kylie, This TITLE!!! Drew me in instantly, it’s SO GOOD! Help ME with titles, please. You’ re clearly good at them!

        I am curious what would happen if you played with your opening line a bit. Perhaps, bring stanza four to the the top for example. That line feels more like the kind of heat I want in a first. line. I want to know WHY depression is a helluva story teller. pathological liar. Tell me more! I am thinking of what Buddy said about taking cliches/ideas out for a walk and showing them the world. For me, this translates to a crime scene if you will….. what are the very specific things that pertain to this particular moment/what makes this a crime scene that will lead those investigating to a supporting conclusion. have all of the details been fully unearthed? I hope that makes sense perhaps I’ve had too much turkey.
        In kindness, Vicki

      • #18960

        Dude! That last line got me shaky in the heart feels. Good to see you here Kylie :)

      • #18973

        Kylie, I love this first stanza! Its straight in, clear and strong. And the freight train visual. Yup, you nailed it with the title!

        Until depression freight trains
        against every vulnerable part of you
        you cannot know
        darkness so bright
        it’s blinding
        so bright
        it hurts your closed eyes
        your closed fist
        your closed heart.

        Some days
        getting out of bed
        is the most profound act of courage
        you can make
        and you make it look easy

        You paint yourself in shades of monstrous

      • #19006

        Kylie, this is fantastic! You nailed every jagged puzzle piece depression makes up. I know so many people who would stand up and applaud this piece. Please keep writing!!

      • #19048

        I like this title and the ideas you’re exploring here. I want to focus on the first two lines.

        Until depression freight trains
        against every vulnerable part of you

        My gut instinct is that you have more to say here. My guts says you know more than you’re letting on in these two lines. I’d like to challenge you to unpack this opening statement with searing, unflinching, honest visuals. — What is depression? What does a freight train do? How does depression behave like a freight train? What are your vulnerable parts? Do vulnerable parts bend or break? What are they made of? What happens when a vulnerable part and a depression train collide?

    • #18923
      erin feldman

      Hello Comrades:
      Here is a poem. Sometimes context is nice, right? Until I figured out it gave me nasty migraines, I used to enjoy drinking from time to time. This piece is me dreaming about those days.
      I’d love feedback along the logic and cliche lines most especially, but am open to whatever your mythic eyes see, and hearts feel.

      PS. I LOVE reading all y’alls work!! SO much.

      You must be logged in to view attached files.
      • #18928
        Victoria Ruiz

        Erin, I was unable to get at this and I am so interested in the prelude you’ve given us! It is likely because I’m not that savvy. Maybe others are having trouble, too?

      • #18947
        erin feldman

        Good lookin out, Victoria! I use pages instead of word and it makes messes. Here’s the piece for easy viewing.
        Ps. I’m erin with a little e!

        A Sort of Love Poem About Getting Drunk

        Homemade simple syrup, always.
        The familiar camaraderie of sloppy sharing.
        Gentleman Jack, always, fresh spearmint muddled
        in the ice (from the patch I planted to be like my grandma).
        Sugar high booze buzz! Bellinis by the pitcher,
        or a singular behemoth ice cube going gong
        against the glass
        the warm glisten of Bushmills
        buzzing down my central channel
        toasting tongue to toes.

        I abandon the habitual guards: macho and spunk
        for the excited tug.
        You’re in my space
        close up, and not kissing yet
        open crooked mouths breathing together.
        But that was later, when we were alone.
        Your exhale tawny port to
        my dirty, dirty martini.

        At the moment it’s blistering summer.
        We’re cocked on hummingbird red, antiseptic Compari + Soda
        and (it really happened) a hedge
        of feral howling hounds or curs or coyote
        (we can only hear them, no way to be sure)
        are nearby setting off their canine fireworks
        from long sustained yalps, to staccato yips and yowls.
        It silenced our shit-faced mouths.

        Later, our crooked mouths almost at impact
        breathing in our mutually plastered abandon
        alone in the tipsy dark
        we enter into a boneless, vital leisure.
        As if buoyed in a mutual efflux
        all of passion paused
        fascinating gladness connects us
        before our kisses do.

        • #18961

          erin, with a little e.

          This was a trip that I enjoyed!
          Particularly from the dogs on down. It just kept getting better.

          Your ask was for feedback specific to story so I’ll share that I could do without the second stanza’s asides in parenthesis.

          That said, that’s just how my ears saw it.

        • #18971

          You’re in my space
          close up, and not kissing yet
          open crooked mouths breathing together.

        • #18999
          Victoria Ruiz

          Here are the lines I loved,
          “warm glisten of Bushmills
          buzzing down my central channel
          toasting tongue to toes.”

          And the hedge of feral howling, was a wow for me. I agree with Seth so far as the parenthesis. They break up the flow just a smidge for me.

          Thank you for sharing, erin!

        • #19049

          holy shit i love this. the language, the structure, the playing with time, the parentheticals. all very good. i read the following lines in particular and out loud i said, “yep, i felt that”

          or a singular behemoth ice cube going gong
          against the glass
          the warm glisten of Bushmills
          buzzing down my central channel
          toasting tongue to toes.

        • #19073

          erin, that poem is so visceral that I needed to stop reading it halfway through because of my complicated relationship with alcohol! Which is to say: well done, that’s some powerful writing, and btw I’m fine and don’t need content warnings on booze writting :)

    • #18927
      Victoria Ruiz

      Hello, All! I was going to post a poem about a five hour wait at the DMV this week but this one called to me instead.
      cw :: child loss

      Also, I don’t have Microsoft Word, apologies.


      • #18962
        Jessica Farrell

        Victoria, this poem is something I am unfortunately all too familiar with and you have the beginnings of a raw poem that many women who have suffered child loss can relate to. This tragic theme has come into play in many of my works so I just want to say thank you for your bravery to share.

        For editing, I think there’s a bit too much description that doesn’t move me through the piece and feels out of place. Do another re-read and cut down the filler words and shoot for hard hitting images.

        Great start!

        • #18963
          Victoria Ruiz

          Thank you so much for this feedback, it is appreciated. Thanks for roping my mind back into anchoring.

      • #18970

        Victoria, These lines sing to me:
        I am the child

        and she is the book.I am trying to read
        her expressions through the feedback
        which is pulsing
        in place like the whooshing of one

        Two weeks before the towers fell,
        we buried our third son in Autumn as soles
        snapped the skeletons of leaves underfoot

      • #18984
        erin feldman

        Damn. I mean I read the CW, but Damn!!! anyway…or, see what Jessica said elegantly and I have said like a high schooler.

        I loved:
        in an empty room on a maternity ward as other
        mothers are bathing babies. I am far
        too old for the crying out.

        That image evokes, for me, “bleeding out” because of the motherhood/pregnancy subject; and maybe that’s an example of the hard hitting images Jessica is nudging editing towards.

      • #19012


        This piece floored me. Gorgeous line breaks, hard-hitting images, and so much emotion. I love how you varied sentence structures and your stanzas help convey the feelings really well. You are amazing. Beautifully crafted <3

      • #19050

        Victoria, thank you for sharing this piece. A lot to simmer on, many emotions and experiences aptly portrayed in succinct, well-edited lines. The first stanza does a great job of setting a scene. If I can give any constructive note here, I think it’d be to re-evaluate the first line of the second stanza.

        I am at the mercy of my inner child’s fear.

        There’s either something to be said here that needs to be said more complexly, or this line can probably be cut. Just my opinion, take it or leave. This is a powerful piece, thank you again for sharing.

    • #18937
      Jessica Farrell

      Hey, guys. I am looking forward to spending the next five weeks with everyone!

      Let’s all get together on Instagram. You can find me @j.andersenwriting :)
      Would love to connect with everyone. Share work and critiques. Tell me I use the word fuck too much lol. And if you feel so inclined to check out my collection “Hot Mess” that just came out through Finishing Line Press I would love and welcome all feedback!

    • #18939

      Hello everyone,

      Sorry to all that I am posting my piece so late in the week before week two of class. Thanks for reading and I look forward to any reflections/feedback.



      • #18940

        Apologies, this forum format doesn’t seem to gel with me attaching Word .doc files. So I’ll post as I did in Week 1, with a link to Google Docs:



        • #18950
          erin feldman

          I love the tight couplets, how they both give and don’t. Until that last pair, and then it was fire. The cheap roses were heartbreaking…

          (Ps. Seth, I see what you mean about the Billy Collins echos; when he’s at his most despairing he sounds as good as Matthew does here).

        • #19051

          i love the tone of this entire piece. it’s so calm and relaxed, with a hint of tension. and that last set of lines just floored me.

      • #18946

        I love this. It reminded me of something Billy Collins would’ve wrote – and I mean that in the most complimentary way, Matthew.

      • #18969

        Mathew I love this. Its so visual. Taut. Heartbreaking in its vulnerability.Heat in its simplicity. Thank you

        • #18977

          I like the way you end this piece

      • #19082

        Love. This was really moving in a way I can’t put my finger on. the line breaks, the tension of the wait, the end where you suddenly see who this person is to you. It just works. Thank you.

    • #18941

      Happy Saturday!!

      Grateful for all these wonderful pieces.

      Only one more sleep, can’t wait to see you again tomorrow.

      • #18951
        erin feldman

        Ooooooooo, that descending pyramid of emotional carnage in the last stanza is precise and so satisfying: both graphically and the word choices. Before that, I wanted more “story”, more logic.

      • #19052

        i was really invested in the metaphor. currency exchange. overall i dig the structure of the piece, but feel it could be a bit stronger and more deliberate; i started to get lost in the line breaks in the transition between the second and third stanza. i was not a fan of the second use of the word ‘whores’ — and the kindergarten reference in the last stanza also threw me off a bit. as a reader it can be jarring to read certain words in certain contexts.

        i really like a lot of what this piece had to say, overall it feels like you could dive deeper into the idea of “every body is a sex worker”

    • #18948

      Hi all,

      Here’s my stuff for week 2. I’m working towards longer poems, but none of those have come together yet (perhaps! for later weeks!). So here’s a duo of two short poems. I tend to write things in collection, under a theme or something. Brief thoughts. The title is just an indicator of theme, not really something I am attached to. Anyways. Attaching them now!

      • #18978

        I like how succinct these pieces are. The second piece is thought provoking.

      • #18985
        erin feldman

        Were I not holding a very full cup of tea I would have broken into spontaneous applause at the line “nirvana at the twist”. That rings so true to me!!!!! Also, I agree with Martin and like the succinct/thought provoking density…reminds me of sutras.

      • #19053

        heaven and hell–
        a mobius strip road,

        these two lines sang to me.

        i’m all for brevity. i could learn a thing or two here. i tend to write long-winded diatribes.

      • #19083

        “leaky bags of skin” does it for me ^_^

    • #18958

      Hey folks,

      It is with great terror I share what is probably the only new piece of work I want feedback on. Buddy if you’re reading this, whatever week you get to me I’d like this to be what you give feed back on, if that’s cool.

      I’ve never been more frightened of sharing something so unfinished. This is the closest I think I’ve ever gotten to writing honest abstractions. Not just putting fancy words together so they sound cool and pretentious. That said I’m also afraid the abstractions might be too esoteric at times. I went through this line by line and I know the logic checks out. At least for me it does. I think what I’m getting at is that I’m afraid that an audience won’t see what I do, or (the even more frightening thought) they’ll see more of me than I’d like them to. Maybe that’s the point. Someone once told me that whenever I find myself doing something that scares me I should remind myself to let the fear grow me. Here’s hoping that happens.

      Thanks for taking the time to read me.

      • #18967

        Ahmed. My man.

        This made me feel on a few levels, as both the reader and as a writer.

        As the reader, I loved it, like I do all your stuff. Thank you for sharing this.

        And as a writer, I felt like whomever Black Thought was aiming at when he rapped, “ain’t no way that we can rock after them.”

        • #18981

          Seth my friend, thank you. You are 100% Dundee <3

      • #18968

        Ahmed, So much to love in this. Here are my favourites

        find me in the quiet hour…
        Looking for the courage it takes to spell out the coward in me

        Dreaming about the kind of love the rapture is made of

        We stood at the mouth of all this truth.

        I just wanted to find freedom bigger than my surrender

        A day will come, I promise, when the things you carry will only keep you company and not weigh you down.

        Life happens, and we soften.

        The stardust had light years…Light years to fall. Take your time.

        Let it confetti

      • #18979

        “ So find me in the quiet hour…
        Looking for the courage it takes to spell out the coward in me.”

        I’m feeling that. Thanks.

        • #18986
          erin feldman

          There is something honest to these abstractions, as you said. And it is exactly what you feared: I see more of you than you thought you would like for us to. Aaaand, I agree with you, that is the point. The frightening, fuel for growth kind of point.

          Also, I don’t know how you snuck into my heart and stole this line:

          Give me long enough, and my grace will speak so loud you’ll mistake it for my ego. I swear.

          more fav lines (definitely out of order):
          I know the mercy begged for powder kegs just so it could turn to light.

          The haphazard and the glorious,

          So find me in the quiet hour…/Dreaming about the kind of love the rapture is made of


      • #19056

        Ahmed! I could hear grit in the entirety of this piece.

        It is okay to be candy glass, even when the rest of the world is a bullet.

        This line, and the that last line, “Let this be the worst of it.” really stood out for me. There’s a bit in the middle where the poem feels a little unsure of itself, where it feels a tad repetitive — but throughout this draft there are huge chunks of gold, like “Dreaming about the kind of love the rapture is made of”

        There’s a sense of confession in here, a diary’s worth of life lessons, some really sharp lines packed with some serious wisdom. It feels like the structure of the piece could do a better job of supporting those stellar moments. There is so much gold in here, attaching a word doc with some comments on specific lines.

      • #19084

        “Hollow never felt so much like an answer” This.

        I hear you that this is a draft that’s still on its journey, but the overall feeling is one of powerful resilience. If that’s what you were going for, you nailed it. Not shying away from the pain and struggle, but holding it with acceptance and hope. Very heartening, thank you. Can’t wait to see where this goes.

    • #18972

      Where now, my love?

      in this contagious
      rupturing world
      of blood-fury
      of baby-strung
      barbed wire
      and hoarse despair
      in this magnificent conflicted dream
      let’s always convene
      to defend life’s fragile glory
      let’s soar
      back into the cloud flood
      just the two of us
      travelling light
      dawn’s riot our symphony
      air skin
      dancing on ocean breath
      tumbling through and beyond dream
      our rainbow reveries
      dusting the sky with laughter

      yes, my love, take my hand
      follow me
      back to the land of no regret
      before sin
      before lies
      before god
      let’s dervish whirl
      into the blue
      spin levity’s gilded thread
      restitch the joy

      • #18980

        Those first four words had me bawling. I don’t know how to articulate this well but I’ll try. This poem reads like a lucid dream. It feels tangible. The imagery was like a ride I never wanted to get off. “Our rainbow reveries” this whole piece is chalked full of lines like that one that made me go “Fuck, I wish I wrote that.”

        Thank you <3

        • #18987
          erin feldman

          This one paused me, made me read it three times before I got over being sad and feeling the feelings evoked so that I could see how brilliant the narrative/story aspect is. Maybe what I’m trying to say is that the language is so easy to gawk at, because it’s awesome, that it distracted me from the actual bomb going off here, which is that the narrator in this piece knows the way to the land “before sin,/ before lies,/ before god”.

          I’ll dervish whirl there with you if you don’t have the position filled :)

      • #18990

        Kate. My red pen friend.
        I love this. There is a reason Buddy gave you your very own colour. Baby blue.

      • #19058

        restitch the joy

        fuck yes. can we swear here. this piece felt like a sweet journey, almost like a lullaby. i read this through a few times. that last line really did what it said.

    • #18982

      Hello everyone,

      Thank you for sharing your work. It’s been enriching reading through the pieces.

      A piece of mine for week 2.

      See you later



      • #18988
        erin feldman

        This is a very evocative setting for me– not just because I, too, spent some of adolescence weeping in the bathroom, but some of the lines were freakishly close to how it felt…Jeez, that’s the longest way to say “Yeah, me too md”.

        The structure made me a little claustrophobic, which matches the content brilliantly.

        I got very uncomfortable at this part (in the damn, that’s a little too close for comfort kind of way, because my guess is that her training backfired, thankfully)
        took baths with my big sister – my mother’s psychology of training me to be heterosexual

        And that last line folding in on itself gave me the chills.

      • #18991

        Hey Martin! I really loved reading this. I’ve attached some notes below.

        • #19005

          Thank you very much Cody – I saw the comment boxes but they wouldn’t open for me. But, again, thank you for your consideration.

      • #19059

        Martin, thanks for sharing this. the structure of this piece really works, curious if you might consider throwing the reader one tiny piece of specificity as to who “they” are or more details about the valentine, maybe? i really enjoy the waterfall of visuals in this but i wanted to ground myself in a specific pov, some understanding or idea of how all these visuals ladder back to some consistent through line.

    • #18993

      Yo. Another poem. Appreciate any and all feedback. Much love.

      • #19007

        I enjoyed reading that Codi. It felt like high romance. One thing I questioned was why the piece is sectioned into for parts – it felt like they tan into each other, as if they weren’t actually separate parts.

      • #19060

        i think i need to digest this more, as i’m not fully sure i *get* it — but i really enjoyed reading it. there’s something happening between these four parts that intrigues me. i’m very much a fan of the moment in the fourth part where “we ate the sun, the stars, the moon, and finally, the earth”

        there’s a hint of darkness or at least an allusion to mischief in “tumbling down stairs” and in the ending. again, very intrigued. thank you for sharing.

    • #18997

      Hey Y’all,

      I haven’t been able to dedicate as much time to this class as I had hoped due to a death in the family and having to drop everything to travel for the funeral, but I’m excited to be able to give my full focus for the next three weeks. I plan on posting the poem I’d love Buddy to review early next week. For now, this is a very rough first draft of my latest poem. I’ve been nervous to post because I am a beginner but grateful for the opportunity.

      Happy to be here,

      Jamie She/Her

    • #18998

      It’s saying the file type isn’t supported so here’s a link:


      • #19008

        The first four stanzas – start to sea – had me fully wrapped. You took me right there. An excellent poetic experience.

        From sea to the end I felt myself less engaged by the piece.

      • #19061

        Jamie! There’s some great beats in here. The beginning really had me hooked, love the intention of the end, restarting the counting of the freckles. Given the title, I think this piece could lean more into the abstract. As a reader I really wanted to see those portraits come to life.

    • #19000

      Hello this is just a repeat of last weeks poem that’s up for critique from Buddy.

      • #19062

        Pete, thanks for sharing this. Buddy gave some great feedback to this on Sunday. Just wanted to chime in and say that I loved “faceful of ashtrays” and “i wanna get drunk, douse myself in warpaint” — the lines in which you nail specific visuals really pop.

    • #19009

      It’s 2:00 ET and I am trying to attend the live session at http://bit.ly/HOAHZoom – what am I doing wrong??

      • #19063

        SallyAnn, did you figure it out? Were you able to join?

    • #19023

      Hey Everyone! I’m having all kinds of nervousness posting my writing here. As I mentioned, I’m a closet writer. Mostly writing into my journal to find balance and peace from all kinds of life shit that has happened to me. So I appreciate you reading what I wrote. I don’t know if this is a poem, a muse, a song lyric or my life story. I do know that it is a work in progress, like the rest of me and I will receive anything y’all have to share. So thank you as I drop this here and run away from my Mac for bit while you read.

      • #19029

        Barb. It’s a pleasure to have you. You’re in good company here. There is so much I like and so much gold in here and even more that can be chiseled out with some tight editing. More than anything though I want to commend you for showing up. The nerves you’re feeling just mean you care. Let the shakes tremor. It’s just your body giving you what you need to be here.

        I feel like there’s little I could point out in terms of editing and that Buddy wouldn’t catch so I’ll save that for the man. Looking forward to continuing to read you in the coming weeks <3

        • #19035


          Thanks so much for your kind words above. Super grateful to be a part of this group and share in the goodness of all of you beautiful and insightful humans. Looking forward to our next gathering on Sunday. :)

    • #19026

      This is one of a lot of pieces I did for a poetry pop-up a couple years ago and I don’t know what I ultimately want to do with it, but I liked a lot of its parts. If it looks funky below, the attached Word doc should be ok.

      Hope to have time to respond to the Wk1 and Wk2 pieces so far. Take care y’all!


      I wish less folks were too busy to stop
      and scream
      the pink of their lungs up and out
      through their throat.

      But most people sleep at night and
      that’s the kind of vocal cord scarring
      you can’t do in the waking snake-along
      daytime. Especially here in the heart
      of America’s sandbar dick

      where every hour from eight in the morning
      to six in the evening feels like noon. High
      noon. Higher noon than in any western.
      Ten million sunbeams a solar blanket on the wind
      that carries voice in its nimble fingers. Dulls the sharps,
      pulls down the decibels like shade inside window.

      I do my best yelling when the sun goes down.
      Sound carries farther when there’s fewer sources, when
      there’s less radiation to traverse. When
      the visible spectrum shrinks to the size of a flashlight

      gripped firm in calm unsteady hand. I think
      if I scream loud enough tonight I can
      hold hand steady long enough to reach
      for someone else’s without the shaking shame
      prompting me to pull it back the instant I offer it
      and hold firm.

      When the shaking returns at sunrise I
      will still be holding their palm to mine.
      Will no longer need to scream.
      Will be able to telegraph my thoughts
      and let my cords rest

      until the next time I wedge a brick into the
      inevitable breakneck business of living

      and am overpowered by the urge to shoot
      my voice out ten thousand miles into
      the blackstill night.

      • #19064

        I’m all in for screaming at night. I’m not even sure what else to say. I support you.

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