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All The Poets Come To Life by flummo

Prose and Poetry by anapests-and-ink


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Submitted on
August 13, 2012
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1.7 KB
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658
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Jared Williams was a boy I barely knew. He had
cornstraw-blond hair and a jaw shaped
like a Lego stepped on one too many times.
He listened to bad music during lunch time,
crap electronic that always managed
to clear a six-foot perimeter around his
five-and-seven inches frame, his
rickety legs and broken wire-hanger shoulders and
gray Vans that wrapped around his feet like ghosts and
his green green eyes like grass underneath glass,
thin wire frames that always hung crooked.
He always hung crooked.
Just a little bit.

Jared Williams was a boy I barely knew. He had
six different illnesses by the time he was seven
and even when he was five he could tell you which cancer
had come back by the colors had to swallow every day,
to keep the dragons from burning his weak lungs away.

Four surgeries by nine and he could map you
incisions - even the ones that left no scars,
welled no red, from no scalpels.

The dragon monsters came back
in the back of his head. Oh the things that they whispered.
Oh how their love cut too deep.

Jared Williams was a boy I barely knew.
He drove to spot 611 every day before school,
Never called 911 - maybe everything just flipped
when the dragons hissed softly secrets
he really could hear. In Spanish class,
I heard him mumble in a language that was not ours -
not humans'. The dragons.  

December 9th he drank gasoline. Drove school slowly
and swallowed a lit match. His lungs winged conflagrations.
I barely knew.
You know what? Goddamn this whole watchers and comments thing. I'm going to write and if you want to read, fine.
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:iconflummo:
flummo Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Student Writer
Right in the gut. You wielded your words fearlessly in telling this story; this is truly incredible and moving and I'm sorry you had to go through something like this and that you never really knew him and that the dragons got him at all. :( My cousin almost committed suicide about a month ago but thank god we were able to prevent it. She's on the mend and I think things are only going to keep getting better from here.

"he could show you
a timeline of his life from the places
the dragon monsters came back
in the back of his head
the things that they whispered
and all the places their love cut too deep."
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:iconwinterkate:
winterkate Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Student Writer
God, I'm so glad that you caught your cousin in time. Thank you for your kindness here. It's still difficult to deal with sometimes, but...I don't want to say it gets less painful, but it gets easier. Does that make sense?
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:iconflummo:
flummo Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Student Writer
It does. The further away you move from that moment makes it easier to, not necessarily accept it, but live with it. :hug:
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:iconwinterkate:
winterkate Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Student Writer
Indeed...thank you :hug:
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:iconliliwrites:
LiliWrites Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I am late to this critique, but I hope you'll accept it, and my apologies, anyway. :)

First, I have to say that your description of the boy was fantastic. It drew me in, particularly "He always hung crooked. /Just a little bit." The pacing in that first stanza is great, almost like a beat poem you'd hear in some smokey bar in Chicago. The second stanza follows in the same thread, though some wordiness and line breaks interrupt the flow. For example:

"six different illnesses by the time he was seven
and even when he was five
he could tell you what form of cancer had come back
by the colors of the pills he had to swallow each and every day"

The short second line really throws off the pace here. and "each and every day" is cliche. I know you were trying to match the meter of the next line, but I don't think that's necessary if you combine the second and third lines so you get something like:

six different illness by the time he was seven
and even at five he could tell you which cancer was back
by the color of the pills he swallowed every day
so the dragon monsters wouldn't burn his lungs away


The second half of the poem feels much choppier and loses a lot of the impact and uumph that the first half held. I think this is to do, again, with your sudden varied line length and stanza size. I think if you combined 3rd and 4th stanza into just one, again with revising some lines so they're not quite so stilted in some areas, the flow would be much improved. And then the shorter, last stanza would have a much more pronounced, dramatic feeling that I think you were going for.

The content itself is good. I think just your formatting needs some work. And I am so sorry you had to go through such an experience at all. :hug:
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:iconwinterkate:
winterkate Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Student Writer
I changed around the poem based on your critique. I know it's really late, I just....there was stuff going on and I didn't want to look at this poem again, not this particular poem, not when all the other stuff was happening, and thank you for your critique. Thank you :)
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:iconwinterkate:
winterkate Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2012  Student Writer
Wow. Thank you so much! I'm sorry for the late reply :) I will definitely go through and recheck the formatting. Thank you ever so much!
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:iconlcipher42:
lcipher42 Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012  Professional General Artist
Tell me this is from actual experience...because I love it and I understand that level of pain and misery (though I have yet to experience that sort of helplessness and hope I never do). I guess some part of me wants others to see it first-hand, not second-hand or whatever. I knew a guy named Jared when I was about your age, actually. I got him drunk after his mother's funeral. I beat the shit out of him when I walked in on him trying to fuck a chick who was passed out cold. I never saw him again.
Don't know why I told you that. Blame it on the bourbon.
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:iconwinterkate:
winterkate Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012  Student Writer
This is from actual experience.

And wow.
Just...wow.
I'm sorry about that guy's mom, and for what he was going through, and for what you had to do, and for what that girl went through that night.
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:iconlcipher42:
lcipher42 Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Professional General Artist
Good deal - I can't stand fake poetry. Blood, sweat, and tears all over the page - that's what I like. And the...wow...that's just how extreme my life always is. There is no middle ground with me and I always seem to be in the thick of things. His mother blew herself away, he blew the rules away by fucking with that chick. Even if she was a whore, she didn't deserve that.
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