Reviews for Serotonin
dragonflydreamer chapter 1 . 5/31/2011
1 - First off, I love the visual aspect. I normally think concrete poems are gimmicky, but this one is perfect for the message and isn't too showy.

It's so poignant that you bring this back to the mother-specifically the mention of picture books really stood out to me. I wish there had been a bit more of a transition into that feeling, especially as the writing itself made such a gradual change, but it was a great impact at the end.

[when I don't have to work because the world is ending in an hour] I love how this just came out of nowhere.

[And no one's crying/because the world is on antidepressants ] So blunt. Beautiful.

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2 - I don't really like the repetition of "gone" in the first two lines. It's an ugly word to begin with, so it made the beginning feel weak.

Again, with the visual, I'm impressed that you were going for a shape and yet the line breaks are all so perfect. They're breathless, winded, and give a sense of scattered thoughts.

[ Walking on scorched/streets and red-hot asphalt ] I don't feel like these were both needed to say the same thing.

[Feet sting/like my eyes in the sun ] Interesting comparison. I mean, it's quite literal, but I've never seen feet compared to eyes.

[and not a warm glass of/milk ] Ah, this was the kind of transition I was looking for before.

The way this draws upon part 1 is great. Time has obviously progressed-we're looking at the difference and pre- and post-apocalypse-but the same images of medication and mother are coming back to make it feel like nothing has really changed.

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3 - [on my throat on my gums] Interesting how the throat comes before gums. Seems to me that you're playing at the messed up timeline in the speaker's head.

[There's no one for it to hide from/because the world lost all/

sensation] The phrasing of this is so interesting; you give a lot of power to "sensation." Implying that the dark side of the moon *was* hiding from something is hinting at some sensation that was there before-judgement, awe, fear? I love that I had to stop and think about this so much.

[Watch/me fade away] I have to say, this felt like a bit of a cop-out. Not even the whole phrase, just the word "fade." It almost seems like "waste away" might go with the tone better. There's so much struggle, so much self-reflection and mental presence. "Fade" doesn't feel like it does the piece justice.

This last piece feels less tied together with the others. It's still drawing on the pills, but the new images such as the moon and the music are dominating the imagery. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, because it's separating itself from the previous thoughts, but if feel that the tone and mood didn't benefit from the change. With a piece broken up like this, I would have loved to see the raw emotion as the connecting thread. It's not that it isn't, but it was almost that the images were taking it over by the end.

Ahh, I love writing long reviews. Thanks for the brilliant piece!
StoryMonster chapter 1 . 3/3/2011
I liked the visual aspect of Decline - it was a great idea! Though I didn't get 'A slackjawed mirror' part, my favorite line was 'my last three bottles of jack daniels'. Those kind of lines are so causal and yet expressive. I also lied the bit about the world ending, and the results - schools canceled and everything.

Dull was interesting too, and the imagery here was profound. 'Walking on scorched streets and red-hot asphalt' - I loved that line. I dunno, this one reminded me of songs by The Script - a favorite band of mine.

Death had the best imagery of all. It was intense and very well written.

Overall, excellent. I think this might be your best one yet, in terms of creativity, imagery, description and writing style. Keep it up!

StoryMonster
thefaultinourpatronus chapter 1 . 3/3/2011
Very nice formatting! I like decline the best because of that, but content wise I like Death is really well written. The disoriented capitalization lack of punctuation is an interesting idea. I took a while to notice and comprehend the transition between the first and second part but when I did; wicked stuff :D Somehow the overall theme didn't reach me, but I understood and liked the simplistic view of it!

Great piece, good luck in the WCC!

x mandy
Sercus Kaynine chapter 1 . 2/10/2011
Whoa, loved the formatting and disoriented capitalization. Something like that can be disorienting or really cool and you definitely pulled off really cool. The chain-of-thought narrator and the way you went through his stages until suicide kept the piece moving at a fast pace.

Good job and good luck in WCC!
Adrenalin chapter 1 . 2/8/2011
First of all, I liked the visual aspect of the first stanza. When you get to the end of it, it reads in a strange manner, like you can't breath anymore and have to gasp every few words. I think you could have also used this format for the Death part.

I didn't really get the "slackjawed mirror" part, but I liked the imagery of it talking to the narrator (reminded me of Snow White a little, it made me smile).

I liked the way the first stanza faded into the second. The non-use of punctuation was great too (if only I could convince myself of not using it), that put a strange rhythme in the poem.

I'm a bit confused about what's actually going on there. I interpreted it as a boy ending all alone in the world and then finally killing himself from loneliness (I sorta had a Barjavel's novels feeling). A bit depressing but I rather liked it.

Good luck in the WCC.
Nesasio chapter 1 . 2/8/2011
I liked the formatting on this, at least for Decline. It's a very cool, visually striking way of setting it apart and tying it into the title of that section. I also liked how the end of Decline and beginning of Dull flowed together. I was hoping that would continue but it wasn't too distracting that that didn't happen in the next part. Overall, I liked this. Some of the thought processes were a little hard to follow but it got the idea across quite memorably.

Nice job and good luck in the WCC! :)
berley chapter 1 . 2/7/2011
First and foremost, I adore the formatting of the piece. It caught my interested immediately without me even reading a word of the poem, so awesome job coming up with that. I’m not sure which stanza I like best, to be honest.

The first one is automatically liked because of the formatting and how it forced a certain kind of rhythm while I read it, which I really liked. It started out smooth and as the lines got shorter and shorter things became more abrupt and I started reading it faster, and that really worked for me. I was reading it like I was counting down to the end, until the last line of ‘Mom’, which I thought was really brilliant. Everyone wants their mother, or some sort of important person in there lives when they are near the end, and just having that one word expressed that perfectly.

It took my a second to realize that Mom was the start of the second stanza as well, which I really liked and it made the transition into the second stanza really smooth. I think my favourite part of this stanza is the prozac and warm class of milk part, keeping up with the whole mom idea again. Very nice. Again, the formatting was great.

The ending of the last stanza was my favourite part. The whole imagery of death was beautiful, especially the parts with a symphony playing its final notes and the world losing its sensation. I get the imagery of swallowing, which ties this stanza in with the previous one and that idea stays consistent throughout the poem.

Good job, I really liked this piece. Best of luck in the WCC!
Narq chapter 1 . 2/6/2011
Although to be honest, I don't really understand what's going on in the poet's head here, I really do appreciate the formatting here.

Such as, Decline, the long to the short, the really decline-ing feeling at the end of each line is really great on the eyes.

I also loved how you put in the "mom" at the end of it, (It can't be like this. End like this...) Really feels like the poet is trying to reach out at something and to be honest, everyone does reach out for who we love most in the end.

Dull: I like how your punctuation really sang here, the Capitals without full stops actually had quite an interesting affect on the reader.

Death: I really did enjoy the Anesthetic bit because I gess that's what Death feels like to those who're in pain pain pain.

Great job!

Narq.
RavenclawMoose chapter 1 . 2/6/2011
I was not entirely clear of your theme in these.

In the first stanza, decline, I was uncertain about whether the world was actually ending, or if was just the end of the narrator's world. I think it would make a rather powerful statement if you made it more clearly the end of the narrator's world. It does often seem like the entire world is ending when your own person life is either ending or just going down the toilet. Regardless of which it was, I did like the way you ended it. It was a nice touch to show how at the end of the world, what the narrator wanted most was his mom.

I liked the second stanza better on the second reading. Like the first, I think it could benefit a lot from being a bit clearer. Once I figured out what was going on, however, I did enjoy the imagery you used, washing prozac down with alcohol instead of milk and feet stinging on the asphalt like eyes in the sun. I also really liked the first line, "won't answer me because she's gone..." It captures quite well the feeling of what it feels like to lose someone you used to go to for advice.

The third stanza did not seem tied to anything real like the first two, however. I think if you had more clearly tied this stanza to something, such as the end of the narrators world in the first stanza and loss in the second stanza, it would have improved the emotional impact.

Good luck in the WCC!

RM
lookingwest chapter 1 . 2/5/2011
From the Review Game's Review Marathon (link in my profile)

my last three bottles of jack daniels'

-I find this a *little* too drastic

I like the first stanza the best because of the formatting, I think you did a great job with that and, like Liana, I agree that the decision to take out the punctuation was a smart one. I liked that you also tied in the words "End" and then finally "Mom" for the last line of Decline. It really makes me think, you know, when your life is going to shit and you are in a major decline, and on your deathbed even, perhaps the one thing you do think about is just wanting your mother there to comfort you-it was a chilling ending with that. Enjoyed the way you led up to it.

like my eyes in the sun I only got up

to wash the prozac i don't need down

-I actually didn't like the un-capitalized "i" here-I think of it as being used when someone is feeling small and insignificant, but I'm not sure using Prozac (and also undermining that by un-capitalizing it) was the right way to go with that symbolism. That being said, I'm 100% positive I'm just not seeing the intention and you'll probably have a nice good reason as to why you did that.

I think the second stanza is my least favorite. It was too dramatic for me, the themes a little too heavy and I found it a tad cliche in the imagery at the beginning of the guy walking all alone on the street-seems to also be yet again, propelled by the loss of a girlfriend or woman in his life. I actually would have liked to have seen the "It's time for a change" used positively, which I thought maybe it would, until I saw the next stanza was titled "Death"...

Liked the opening lines of Death, I think it started with strong imagery and I liked that you used the word "Nectar"-that was a rich full word. We've again got the theme of swallowing in this-I'm not sure what message it has other than just being there, but I like that you used that in all three stanzas-usually some sort of way to die or drown sorrows (again, not a huge fan of the dramatics), but I think on a whole, all of these stanzas were strung together quite well and carried consistent themes throughout. They were overall working well together!

Best of luck in WCC!
C. Tattiana H-H chapter 1 . 2/5/2011
I enjoyed how you didn't use punctuation in this because it created a wonderful rhythm that went well with some of your longer sentences, so good choice there. I think your formatting of the first stanza, although well-intended, didn't work for me. I felt some of the lines felt a bit abrupt because of the forced format. I also think you could have made the decline visually more appealing by trying to format the lines in a smoother manner.

I did enjoy your imagery, though, and some of your phrasing, because it made the piece feel very real and relatable. I think you used the prompt well and overall this is a good piece. Best of luck in this month's WCC.