Reviews for Marcel in Limbo
Charactarantula chapter 1 . 9/26/2010
Hey, remember the WCC February! Me neither. But, hey, you won, so that's super. And I still owe you a review for it. Yup, been banned for however many months that is...

Anyway, I remember how awesome I thought that poem was, so I figured what the hell, I'd prefer not to be banned anymore, and you're a fantastic writer (who I voted for in that WCC!)

I picked a random poem out of the... woah, like 300 entries you have (good LORD!) I'll read through it once, then read it again and write my thoughts as I go, then read it again and give my final thoughts:

Ok, so I was confused the first time I read through it, solely because of this line:

"he's not a dog,

says mother,"

Because then I read through the entire piece trying to decide whether or not Marcel was a dog. Reading through this a second time I still cannot decide, though you saying that "brush the knots from his hair," leads me to believe that he is, because I had to brush my dog on the weekly when I lived with the folks (and it was a bitch.) You also say he fill the air with "louder howls." On the other side, you say immediately after that the howls "frighten the other / beaten children in the cul-de-sac." So I just don't know. I'm probably way more confused than I should be. For the sake of being able to review the rest of the piece I'm telling myself it's a young boy. :P

Even with this confusion for me, I still thoroughly enjoyed the piece. Your prose is incredible. I remember being in awe when I first read that WCC entry, and that still holds today. The second stanza stands out to me, starting with "Marcel in limbo..."

All the descriptions there are just fantastic, and really had me engaged. Personal favorite is the imagery of "a whipped slave laughing / about it with his antediluvian / master over cocktails / at high tea." Love it.

Also loved this line:

"the moments when

water falls from our


like our mouths were

gutters, and our faces

the sky."

The mouths being the gutters and faces being the sky is very interesting imagery, and it made me think of a quote... though I can't remember who it was from. "All of us are in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." Has nothing to do with your poem, but it's just a pretty engrossing mental image.

Your paragraph about the "past family wars" was quite moving, the "broken banister" is a great line. It tells us almost nothing, but it implies SO much, and you follow that up with another great stanza, one that got sadder and sadder after multiple readings.

"I brush the knots from his hair,

filling the world with louder

howls to frighten the other

beaten children in the cul-de-sac

otherwise moon-starved and shrived,

and translucent, and virginal to their

fathers powerful hands..."

Powerful, and incredibly sad. Yet, your final words leave a certain glimmer of happiness, while still maintaining the dark tone of the rest of the piece.

"I know better / than these things" is such an important line, and as you talk about how you "spread the symphony / of [your] silence" I can't help but feel almost mournful, because it's almost like an unsolvable problem. With the father's presence still always lingering, the sole glimmer of happiness is the "transcendence" deep inside of Marcel. What a powerful way to end the poem.

I'm a huge fan of your's, just so you know. The only problem I had was one of my own (being too dumb to dissect poems) and besides that this poem was FANTASTIC. You're getting favorited.

Congrats on the win like a year ago. :)
nickyO chapter 1 . 9/21/2010
I think the best thing I can say when I review is that "you've brought the reader into the moment". You've accomplished that here. It both makes you think because of the word choice and cringe because of the subject matter.
Stefan chapter 1 . 9/19/2010
This is really sad, but also really powerful.