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i. There is an entire generation of humans who grew up learning how to be murderers,
learning how to wound creatures for an audience and a laugh, and oh
how they love to laugh, pigtailed executioners
and torturers of all that frail life
that could be contained in a quiet garden.

ii. They take spiders by their bellies and put them one each on two ends of a stick,
and they poke and prod and push until one decides to eat the other,
for there must be a duel, there must be a death, or there is no fun,
and the children will race off to find new things to hurt.

They take dragonflies by the wings and stick their jewel tails into electric sockets,
playing god in their pajamas, leaving peanut butter fingerprints
on the little pockets of heaven they find and fight over,
keeping the pretty pieces for their scrapbooks, like you could trap life
beneath scotch tape and label it between lines red-blue-red.

iii. Well maybe they know better, if you want to believe there's a muted brilliance
hidden along the hurricanes they raise,
maybe they pull snails from their spiral shells because
they know what it's like to have nowhere to call home, and
maybe they tear up cocoons because
they're afraid they'll never grow up beautiful -
but in the end all they have are bloody band-aids from running too fast
and one million carcasses underneath their fingernails,
every spiderbite a battle scar telling all their friends they are brave enough
to break bodies like biscuits, like book spines.

iv. And one day these monsters, all grown up,
clad in their neckties and their coattails, their lipstick and their stockings,
these monsters all grown up and grown consciences and shame and secrets,
these monsters have the guts to tell their children no, don't play in the garden -
as if they don't remember how it feels to have dirt on your knees and toes and tongue,
don't remember how it feels to hold a creature's life in your hands,
don't remember how it feels to laugh as you watch a brightly colored body
buzz buzz buzz
until it's nothing more than a memory and a reason to find something else -
as if they don't want to remember how it feels to be

v. It's always easier to break things that can't scream.
The concept for this piece has been stuck somewhere in between my heart and my ribcage for the longest time now, somewhat like a misplaced hiccup.

Nobody ever said playing god
was going to be easy, but damn
if it isn't fun.

for #theWrittenRevolution :…

Was the imagery suited to the concept of the piece?
How did it make you feel?
Which parts were the strongest, and which were the weakest?
How was the rhythm, both overall and in each part?
Did I end it well, or how could I have done it better?

Thank you!
Add a Comment:
drosera-sundews Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I really like this. It's so powerful and sad, yet lovely. 
neonsquiggle Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
[apologies for the late reply]

Thank you so very much! Your words are too kind and your support is much appreciated!

SpiderwebWisher Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Hello, I'm a contributor for LiteratureRoadtrip and you have been featured in this week's FRIDAY FEATURE! Thank you! :heart:
neonsquiggle Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
[apologies for the late reply]

Thank you so incredibly much! This is a lovely honor and I'm very grateful.

GoldenNocturna Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014  Student Writer

[b]Was the imagery suited to the concept of the piece?[/b]

It seems that way to me. Who hasn't messed with something that they shouldn't, then gone and regretted it?

[b]How did it make you feel?[/b]

A little angry, to be honest, because it reminded me of childhood foes, who seemed not to (and probably didn't) have a sense of humanity.

[b]Which parts were the strongest, and which were the weakest?[/b]

Overall, I felt the poem was pretty strong, except for the line about "leaving peanut butter fingerprints". That part didn't seem to fit with the rest of the poem. My favorite had to be the first line; it was what lured me in (God, that sounded so morbid...XP)

[b]How was the rhythm, both overall and in each part?[/b]

Uh, I'm not too good at analyzing rhythm, but it seemed good?

[b]Did I end it well, or how could I have done it better?[/b]

I thought it ended perfectly. A very chilling last stanza.

Sorry if I wasn't much help! Prose is more my forte. XP

SilverInkblot Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Was the imagery suited to the concept of the piece?

It was for me - I like the contrast you offer between innocent, childish things (pigtails) and horrifyingly adult things (executioner). That contrast lasts throughout the poem, and I found it very fitting.

How did it make you feel?

I'm cynical and the only time lit. on dA makes me feel is when it's awful :XD: That said, there's a harshness in the tone here, evolving into anger by iv. that's really interesting. It progresses from a sort of quiet I give up/ what can you do-ness to condemnation.

Which parts were the strongest, and which were the weakest?

I think you're strongest here when you're playing up the juxtaposition I mentioned in the first question - "pigtailed executioner, "jewel tails" and "electric sockets," and so forth. I particularly liked the lines about the snails and the cocoons and the parallels drawn between them and the people pulling them apart.

Did I end it well, or how could I have done it better?

I like the ending - it goes back to that quieter tone and it all the softer for coming just after the angry stanza. I do find it a little cliche, but I don't know how you would fix it :shrug:
Meggie272 Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Woah. Powerful!
neonsquiggle Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks so much!
W-Lupus Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2013   Writer
This has a good carrying theme that is realised in your piece's construction; very well done. Onto your questions.

I think the imagery perhaps could be improved - it's solid and functional at the moment, but I think you could improve by rendering the images you use in a new way. Play with words, experiment, see if you can make the images you use appear new. I think that really would lend your piece strength.

In some ways I was confused, but I think that was the point. The resolution leaves you unsure, and I that's what gives it strength.

I think this piece gains its strength as it goes on, perhaps parts i and ii are slightly in danger of repeating the same point, but I don't think that's a major issue, in like of what I said about the imagery.

The rhythm is great - I'm not once for really going in depth about it, but it fits the tone of the piece.

You end strongly, the end is the best part of this piece. It has a good progression to the end, it builds and finishes strongly, instead of faltering and finishing limply.
withinmeloveresides1 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Student Writer
I like the image you painted of the children torturing and killing the insects, and how they turn around when they've grown up and tell their own children not to do so. The ending was wonderful and holds much truth. The weakest part that I could possibly find would be the line "beneath scotch tape and label it between lines red-blue-red." But I'm guessing you're describing what a striped scrape book page looks like. This doesn't detract from the piece in my opinion.

Verse three was the strongest and made me able to relate more to this poem and how the children might have felt when they tore up those creatures and their homes. They were destroying and killing to try and bring meaning to themselves and the painful hardships they might have gone through.

A lovely poem overall.
neonsquiggle Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Firstly thank you so much for your kind words! 

I really was trying to portray that particular image - I wanted to be very vivid about these children and how they developed over time. Thank you, I liked the ending myself. I'm not sure about what you consider the weakest part, but yes, I meant that to refer to the way children are trained to write in between red-blue-red lines when they're still learning. 

Thank you, I did love writing verse iii. It felt very real to me.

Once again, your words are very much appreciated!
UntamedUnwanted Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Your stunning work has been featured here…! :heart:
neonsquiggle Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Aww, thank you so much! That is so kind of you; I'll be sure to check it out!
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013
Was the imagery suited to the concept of the piece?
It seems as if the concept is convoluted and that the imagery is appealing to two different concepts that are trying to differentiate themselves, specifically the concepts of 'growing-up' and all that comes with it and the sanctity - or lack thereof - of life.

How did it make you feel?
Very human.

Which parts were the strongest, and which were the weakest?
My favorite were the sections 'iii' and 'iv'.

Did I end it well, or how could I have done it better?
It ended very uncertain and dark. Whether that was the intention, or not, it has a strange disconnected feeling from the section immediately before it which seemed to be much more of a resolve. That said, the tone in sections 'iii' and 'iv' is so much different from all the others that they themselves feels somewhat out of place.
neonsquiggle Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I like that it made you feel human - that's what I was aiming for.

As for the concept, I feel like maybe I could have done better with my words if it seemed convoluted to you - I was aiming for the idea of death, and how it comes so easily to people so young. Was the piece very far from that idea? 

On the ending - I'd meant for it to be dark, yes. I feel also that maybe it's because I'd intended for the last line to be poignant and sharp, to make a better contrast with how the other sections were quite long. I do understand how you'd feel the sections were different; but on that issue I'd meant for the difference to be fluid, rather than stark.

Thanks for the constructive criticism!
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013
I'd say that you were far from that idea if only because death does not seem to come easily to the youth in your piece, in fact, it seems to be not understood at all - any lasting permanence voided by the concept of the next and the new. If anything, I think what comes across to me is that death as a concept does not exist for the youth and that it is only in maturity <stanza iv> that they realize the lasting implications of their actions and begin to ask the question of understanding, "why".

But yeah, just my thoughts. Hope they help in some way and good luck in everything.
betwixtthepages Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist

This wonderful deviation has been featured in my journal here:

If you could show your fellow deviants some support by :+fav:ing the article and looking at the other featured works, that would be great!

Keep creating!
neonsquiggle Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Hello, and thank you so much! It's so kind of you to feature my piece. And yes, I will definitely check it out!
creativelycliche Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013  Professional Writer
Geez. Powerful stuff, this. Really well written.
neonsquiggle Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much! It's an honor to have those words come from you. :faint:
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