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21 October 2015 @ 06:24 pm
Does Otsuka's chapter titles engage you, making you want to know more? Discuss Otsuka’s use of italics. What are these shifts in typography meant to connote? Which chapter(s) engaged/disengaged your interest? Ultimately,the U.S. government deemed the Japanese men, women, and children, too, as the enemy race. Of those relocated to internment camps, the majority were children. Even during war time, were concentration camps and the A-bombs (to follow) against the Japanese necessities? Why do we, Americans,
tend to view such atrocities as just evidence of "mob mentality?"

I thought as a whole this book was phenomenal. The titles of the chapters draw you in with their direct/straight to the point/short language. Going with that same principal there was one chapter title I thought could have been more direct...The chapter, "First Night" is only about sex. It makes a grand total of less than 4 pages and nothing outside of sex is described...Considering a whole night typically runs the range of 10-12 hours and sex is a fairly short enterprise..It would make more sense to just call it, "Sex."
Otsuka's use of Italics on the other hand seem to be inner dialogue/thought processes...Memory rolled back like a perfect photograph. The rest of the type face reads like spoken word and creates a sort of tangible distance in that one speaker is the voice of everyone in this novel. The italics come off as more private and also make the distance of non-Italics more compelling. While the non-italics complete the feat of a no nonsense approach simply stating, "This is how it was".....The italics are like ghosts rising up, almost as if to ensure the relevancy...That these people had individual lives worth remembering and they were not lost in history. Their pain and experience becomes relatable this way through the use of individual voice.

The U.S. use of interment camps was utterly ridiculous. As Otsuka captures the unreal paranoia of the times on page 35, "We were an unbeatable unstoppable economic machine and if our progress was not checked the entire western United States would soon become the next Asiatic outpost and colony." Not even Japanese U.S. citizens were free from the backlash of the internment camps. 62% were in fact U.S. Citizens. There is even an iconic photograph of a Japanese American decked in uniform and medals he won in the previous World War. There's nothing to call this behavior but herd or Mob mentality. America had a rich sense of Xenophobia and Racism up until recently. To this day that department could use some work, but there's a reason not even the Bush/Cheney regime created internment camps for all Americans of Middle Eastern Decent...It's barbaric and lacks a logical framework. Some people have still not evolved but most have. Group think still operates in our society but the primary Group Think is progressive and it's not without checks and balances. Right wing conservatives have been losing their edge and relevancy and we've become far more educated as a society thanks to growing technology. When exact information is hard to come by we are more reliant on hearsay, Groupthink or superstition. Today we are left far more often to come to our own conclusions however many clicks away.

As far as the chapters that spoke to me...I found the first and second chapters the most heartbreaking since these are young girls full of so much hope and wonderlust. They think they have this amazing life ahead of them...That it will be different and exciting and beautiful. There's so much deception used to get these young girls to move from their home country. They think their future husbands are these young and handsome men with beautiful handwriting and ways with words...But in reality the photographs they receive are over twenty years old and these letters have been written by professionals. These Men are the same age as their fathers but often more cruel and far more dishonest about who they are: Their profession, their thought process, their expectations..etc...

The level of disillusionment and disappointment comes off so cruel. I think it would be easier to read about a POW than some of these young girls because everyone has an idea of what it means to a prisoner of war. There are no surprises. Had these girls known half of what they were getting into, the suffering would have been easier to bare...both as the reader and the one experiencing the experience. But as it was these girls were basically children essentially sold off by their families, with this romanticized vision of Courtship vs. the slave labor reality. A lot of these girls were worked like dogs in the fields or even sold into Prostitution by their new American husbands.

The chapter, "Whites" I also found highly relateable when Otsuka talks about disassociation on page 37: "We cooked for them. We cleaned for them. We helped them chop wood. But it was not we who were cooking and cleaning and chopping, it was somebody else. And often our husbands did not even notice we'd disappeared." I think a lot of people must feel it in some sense. The soul-crushing 9-5, going through the motions because it's what's expected but not really a part of the process at all.
I love how you took something as simple as a mosquito and made it interesting with the finer details. The dry humor is great too. I especially love "calm" in quotes...It reminds me of the only "Keep Calm" t-shirt I actually like(The one with blood spatter where the "M" usually is.) Anyway...I find this hard to criticize. If anything I think there could be more clarity with, "Counting to ten shifts to counting the/buzzing and biting." At the very least, I think there should be comas...because it's hard to tell if you're counting down shifts at work and then counting buzzing and biting...or simply counting to ten and shifting your thought process to the buzzing and biting. If you put a comma after "ten" it'll mean the later. If you put one after shifts it'll sound like you're counting down work shifts...Obviously two completely different meanings. With the way it is now the reader is left to guess for themselves and that makes a mess of things.

Buzzing and biting,
I continue my march, but it knows
of my intentional ignorance.
Are the decibels increasing or just my insanity?
Buzzing and biting,
infected by fury drawn out with blood,
how can something this loud
have only one audience?
Buzzing and biting,
inflicted by unwanted companionship
I remain “calm.”
Counting to ten shifts to counting the
buzzing and biting.

Eyes shut I find my paradise, pretending;
my imaginary place now full of buzzing and biting.
I love your use of puns in this. The layered meanings are fabulous..whether you're referencing the concept of the title (Roleplaying) "I see that you have finally gotten him to commit"..both as a relationship and a role he's playing. (The profile pic also adds a nice touch of modernized humor.)
Or making a fucking great BDSM pun lol..."With dominance as his middle name/be careful not to get too tied down"...quite literally+ a reference to commitment. Then there's the fourth stanza...He may charm you with his playful wit/quirky jokes and devilish smile./But, if you defame him you might just get hit.....Referencing both disillusionment and a possible slap or punch. If I can criticize anything (which I'm finding hard to do with this) it would have to be certain descriptions I think you could personalize more. "Devlish smile" isn't bad so much as over-used. A name of a celebrity/writer/artist past or present known for that grin..could add some color to the image. Another way to go about it, would be changing the order of words and/or adding..."devil personified in a smile"..."a grin that makes God blush for a while (or, "like he hasn't had some in a while")..."a dimple tinted grin our lord and savior couldn't put on trial" ..."A smile that starts at the eyes and ends at the belt" (if you want to create an off rhyme--I notice you did this with "experience and dominance")..."A smile that touches homo erectus in you"...Lol whatever you want to come up with. There are all sorts of ways to go about this.

Another spot I thought you could add more detail was after "profile pic". Something like, "And, now you're in his profile pic with Meryl Streep posterity...but then you'd have to change the rhyme structure or add an adjective or verb after commit that would match posterity. (Some possible options: radioactively, openly, blatantly, obviously,).

I also see a third spot somewhere between blinded and Romance. Italy has unique things about it that give it a Romantic quality...Aside from lights at night, it's not the same as say Paris. Hell, if you wanted to you could put a phrase or song lyric in Italian before Romance. Failing that, the ritual of a long meal, a vineyard, Ruins in Rome, one of those long narrow boats in Venice/being on the sea at night with moon reflecting on the water...Whatever kind of specific image you think embodies Romance for Italy...

I see that you have finally gotten him to commit,
congratulations. I don’t know how many times I tried.
And, now you’re in his profile pic.

Perhaps, Italy has blinded you with its Romance
-or he just prefers older women,
pleased by their wealth of experience.

With dominance as his middle name
be careful not to get too tied down,
you will become his perfect game.

He may charm you with his playful wit
quirky jokes and devilish smile.
But, if you defame him you might just get hit.

Be wary of his present façade,
his concealed veneer just might strike you.
Can I just say I fucking love this? This poem is so great it's making me curse. The images and word choice are bloody fantastic. Nothing says precious quite like doped up Auntie and the Pomeranian's pale, pink, penis. (Which brings me to my next compliment)..I love your sound repetition. The line with the Pomeranian had to be the most obvious...but you've got it going on everywhere..."Warped Wallpaper", "dips down," "brainless babbble," "Wieners wrapped," "happily hanging himself"....does wonderful things for the poem. I really can't criticize this.

The warped wallpaper in grandma’s house dips down,
looming over my head like the anxiety of being surrounded by
strangers I’m forced to call family.
Here comes auntie, doped up again on “the doctor’s orders”,
drowning me in brainless babble and the stench of cheap perfume,
while making eyes at the tiny burnt wieners wrapped in soggy buns
on the lone side table.
She inhales a handful down, choking on them like she chokes on
the gentleman who fucks her frequently in his trendy apartment
who is definitely not my uncle who’s been missing all night,
most likely happily hanging himself upstairs.
I’ll join him just so we can escape this wretched woman and her
Pomeranian who’s been persistently penetrating my left leg with his
pale pink penis.
First off, I love the, "I am woman. Hear me roar attitude you've got going on. Just a couple suggestions here at the top and down below around the poem...

(1.) Recepted is not a word period, but even if it was, "is well-recepted" would still not make sense, being that "is" is present tense and any verb with an "ed" attached at the end is past tense. You can say, "was well received" or "is experiencing positive reception"...but not well recepted. That is not a word...actual words that sound similar include: Received, Intercepted, and Receptive.

(2.) "I waltz in the room, move my hips, shake my ass"...could definitely be improved. You start out with this really musical word: "waltz" and then shift to something more robotic for "move" and "shake." Your application of waltz would also be served better if you said something like, "through the room" or "into the room" afterwards...When you say, "In the room" it gives the impression that you are already in the room and dancing the actual 123 step...as opposed to what you're going for...which happens to be the second meaning: movement flavored with high confidence-- moving into a room with a kick in your step.

If you want to clarify your use of waltz and also make it more musical, something like: "I waltz through the room, wield (or wave) my hips, wiggle my ass"....(Using two more "w" words to follow waltz, gives the line more of a musical quality). "Wield" is also pretty cool for this poem, being that it gets the message across you have a kind of confidence that wields your body's movement like a weapon. It fits the whole, "I am woman. Hear me roar," attitude. If you want to go a different route and keep the "shake my ass" at the end..you could also change it to all S's with something like: "I saunter through the room, sway my hips, shake my ass".

(Thirsty Thursday Thoughts)

I waltz in the room, move my hips, shake my ass
Quite unapologetically I’ll tell them
I’ve gained a lot of weight recently, when they ask

Regardless it’s there, I still have style and flair
What’s ten pounds more when you’re 20; I’m floored
by responsibilities and there’s nothing to show

Who knows, I can hardly tell shit from art (Lmao...There's not necessarily a difference. I mean there's quite a bit of art out there made of actual shit. There's a Venus de Milo made from Panda poop and a Black Virgin Mary with bits of elephant dung...that last one pissed a lot of people off.)
unless it’s impressionism; what is that, skepticism?
Quite unapologetically I’ll tell them, I never claimed to be smart

Thank you, society; the constructive critique
is well-recepted like asking a fat lady if she’s pregnant
So how many weeks? That will warrant a nice

Slap! Focus! a glass of red in my hand, I sit down
This time around with stubborn resolution ---> Needs either comma after "around" or different phrasing
I’ll wake up early and

oh nevermind, the wine talking or my reply
If I hurry now, I can get to bed fast
Quite unapologetically I’ll tell them,
Hey, at least I tried, when they ask-----> "when they ask" doesn't work here. At the very least you need to put it as the fifth line but I would suggest chopping it all together. The partial rhyme is not worth it. This last line as a whole actually, needs work. (A.) You are trying to send the message that you are unapologetic about who you are and don't feel the need to justify your existence to other people. Yet you're thinking about what you're going to say to other people at great length...When you say, " at least I tried"...That's a justification as opposed to the attitude, "I do and am what I want. Deal with it." The point should not be whether you tried or not. The point should be that either way you don't have to explain yourself to anyone but yourself. Anyone who does not realize that is not worth your time. Which brings me to my next point: (B.) When you write "When they ask" you are implying (I.) That they will in fact ask. That there is no possible way they would not ask. (II.) I'm curious, what exactly are these people asking about you? That much is not particularly clear...You've brought up fatness and Intelligence as points of criticism but are people outright asking you why you're fat or don't reach the level of intelligence they assumed in the first place? I'm only left at guesses here---but whatever people are asking of you, the same answer applies. You are the only voice that really matters. Don't give those others a value they don't deserve.
Personally, I think there are some cool and some not so cool things going on in this poem. To just get the negative over with...Some of your grammar is kind of sloppy. If it was simply a matter of spelling I wouldn't mention it but the problem's a little more than that. "To be eased" does not make sense...(1.) It comes off redundant in that tense (since eased automatically insinuates that something or someone has been the catalyst already as opposed to ease which is a current state of being/has no insinuation attached). (2.) The tense doesn't work. "To be" is present. "Eased" is past tense. "to be at ease" would make more sense as a current state. "To be Eased" broken down, sounds like the person (or time) is saying, "be a state of mind I've already given you." It just doesn't make sense.

Some other things to consider:
(Ambitioners is not a real word. It's not that poets don't make up their own words at times (Language Poets especially do) but there's usually a system to what they do. In the case of Language poets...They love playing with sound and while their poems can be unintelligible, the sound is about as musical as it gets...and that's their trademark. That's what they're known for. Other poets do it when they're referring to Pop Culture or something over the top imaginative/otherworldly...(like the author of Alice and Wonderland, Lewis Carol when he came up with stuff like: Jabberwocky). When writers get away with made up words it's because there's a world or context surrounding them that makes the choice seem very purposeful and obvious/fitting. If there were a lot of other funky words/parts to the poem or you were playing with sound/puns...hell anything like that, I might buy that Ambitioners was very purposefully placed...but since that's not the case, it just kinda stands out like a sore thumb.

Now onto the good stuff...
I love how you voice everything from ambition and motivation to depression, agency and existential crisis. There's also some fabulous imagery...I especially love this bit, "There’s a difference between doers/and those who dream under smoke./ And writers can’t do/anything, but implode with scenes and colored words,"

"After high
recognition, we type justifications for poems, and steal time
to recenter on self-centered aspirations. "

(This left me with some questions...not good or bad really, but couldn't you make the argument that anything anyone does on the planet is self-centered in some way? Even people who do charity work or spend their careers at Amnesty International do it because it fufills them in some way. A writer can ask themselves the question, "What's the point of writing?" but anyone could ask an equivalent question if you really thought about it. People who work for Amnesty International....or cops, or doctors...They can all ask the same question because at the end of the day they are a drop in the ocean....They're never going to be able to rid the world of Human Rights Violations entirely...or save every young person gone before their time...or in any shape or form, permanently kill crime or the root cause of any of this. But if our writing engages and relates to any kind of audience, I have to think it's just as important a job. Those professions may seem like they have a more direct impact but they don't give people the will to live when they've been the victim of every crime imaginable or they've lost all the people they were closest to. They can't change the minds of people so broken everyone and everything is the enemy...In most respects, the choice to live and find something in living worthwhile...That's something we decide for ourselves. But people don't make that choice without something beautiful and powerful worth sticking around for. If writing is capable of anything..it's the depiction of those things. And it doesn't just refer to what we read either obviously. The very act of putting pen to paper is an act of agency and sometimes a lot of courage. We may continue to ask what it all means and not really come up with any answers....But having a voice and using it...however trivial it may seem is something to be proud of and also very essential. You may not have figured it all out but at least you have thoughts. You can't control life to a large extent but at least you're participating. More to the point, it is not your job to be everyone's end all/be all or be fucking inspirational. If you're honest and say whatever's going on well...that's all you really need to do to move people.

There are the simple folk, trapped ambitioners, that don’t do,
but know. I fear I am them every summer time
when I trade my trade for TV-timed fun and a high
passion for sinking into couches. I see the bright-cheeked doers
pass us, me and their ghost used-to-bes, and I’m such a has been, pretend
to be: somebody who knows what the pen takes

from you and offers more. There are times that take
you to the ink and you think “this is it.” It’s hard to do,
bleed blissfully bodied thoughts on the page, pretend
it means something more than the summer’s heat & I am stuck every time
trying to interchange feelings for words— I am no longer a doer.
I stay in comfort and nothingness while high

ambitions visit my friends. And it’s hard to get high
on pocket change and couch coins, it takes
destinations away from you. There’s a difference between doers
and those who dream under smoke. And writers can’t do
anything, but implode with scenes and colored words, and time
highlights: I am slow. Try to pretend

until you are— Can writers convince themselves? Pretend
they’re anything but their conceits? After high
recognition, we type justifications for poems, and steal time
to recenter on self-centered aspirations. But I take
too many excuses and make them my slogans. I don’t do
anything, but know. And I see those same doers

split into a dichotomy based on where I am— the doers
are fleshed before me but I see years I’ve never touched and I pretend
I am them. Though nothing is more crippling than the enigmatic those who do
in actions rather than time tested feelings and highs.
Know there was simplicity once, as the pen takes
to you, and I remember I was them, before time

told me to be eased and it tricked me. Time
lulled me and kissed me, until the doers
left me. And now it takes
days to write a dragged out draft— I pretend
I am a writer. One who thinks in full stanza highs
with “it’s all relative” lows; one who can do.

Simplicity is not an option to do. As time
starts around again, highs never drown the doers.
And I can’t pretend I have what it takes.
You've got some interesting themes going on in this poem but I think they could be developed a lot more. These are some of the themes I see: (1.) Psychological Projection (2.) Mental Walls (3.) Loneliness (4.) Fear of the Truth (Whether of yourself,other people, or other people's possible reaction to your transparency. (5.) Self-Doubt (6.) Emotional numbing after a long sustained abusive relationship
You just say these things flat out and while there's nothing wrong with candor, I think imagery could do a lot of work for you. For "people's projection" projection already implies putting something on to something else and "people's projection" sends the message home that much further that you are in fact talking about psychological projection...and not a movie screen or the weather forecast. So, you don't have do add "unto others" at the end, as there is only one kind of projection directly related to people. If you chop that out, this then gives you the opportunity to create some kind of colorful simile. "People's projection of their own fears unto others like...(a goodwill donation without the goodwill), (a never ending zit), (like a bird shitting on your face/car/dashboard/window), (a malaria ridden mosquito), (a rat with Bubonic plague), (like an atom bomb on Hiroshima), Lol...whatever you want to come up with. The sky's the limit so long as it gets the message across.

Another place I see room for more imagery is your use of mask. I think you could make it more interesting if you only mention it in the second stanza but come up with a different word (or two) that gets the same visuals across. (I.E. Veil, Camouflage, smoke screen, cloak, Conceal one's features, Pretense, Veneer, Semblance, Facade, Guise, Obscure, this weight of deception etc..)

The next thing I would address is "alone"...because alone is just a fact. There have been many transcendentalist poems written about how great being alone is....how being alone with nature is the closest that we get to God, how it keeps us in touch with our individual sense of morality, how it is our duty to spend long times alone...yada, yada. This form of being alone is called solitude as it carries the connotation of serenity and peace. What you are talking about is loneliness. There were transcendentalists who spent months and sometimes even years alone (Thoreau for instance) and thought it was the greatest thing ever. I'm sure too there's also plenty of people out there who after a bad breakup would think good riddance...I can finally wash my hands of this person. The point is there are different reactions to being alone...You're afraid of being alone so I think you should touch on that more....What really scares you about being alone, whether it's a need for self-validation, an expectation that you think people in general see their self-worth based on however many people want to date them, a general feeling of self-doubt, a fear of running into other monsters, thinking something in your past is too shameful...or any combination of things. I think diving into that fear would also create a better resolution for you at the end. One person failing you over and over again---automatically translating to "I will be alone forever" is a really long jump. Now I'm sure there was something about the relationship that put your thought process there, but it's not in poem. If what you're saying doesn't entirely logically compute, you've got to at least make sense of it emotionally. The great thing about being a writer is that you can pull just about anything off if you do it well enough...Hell, I once read a persona poem on Poets.org that put you in the mind of a real life necrophiliac serial killer and made him a character worthy of empathy. If somebody could pull that stunt off, you can certainly do the same with your thought process. It just currently seems like it's missing a piece of the puzzle.

As far as other imagery you could place in spots...I see a lot of room in phrases like, "fuels this hatred" "meant everything to me at the time"....These are pretty common usage phrases on their own...Something like, "Fuels the vacuum of this hatred" and "was all my mental/emotional currency at the time" or "was the only value I could define/engage at the time" might work better. Down below are a couple more suggestions.

I am alone, and always will be
I think I care too much
The pain is there, but what can I say? (If you want to make it more interesting..perhaps get more specific than pain? Desolation, Loss, wretchedness...just an idea.)
It only fuels this hatred

I’ve always been told I don’t care enough
Even he said my face is just a mask
If there’s one thing I hate, it’s people’s projection
of their own fears onto others

It is certainly hard to wear such a mask
But I’ve not met another man that can see through it
As hard as they try, everyone’s afraid
of what they don’t know about others---> "Can't discern in others" "the knowledge they lack in others"

He was the only one to ever really see me
and that meant everything to me at the time
But you never really know a person at all,
it’s true, until they fail you time and again--->"time and again" is kinda cliche. How about "fail you beyond the axis of time's conception?"

He began to mean nothing to me
The pain had dulled by then
He failed me over and over until I realized
That I am alone, and always will be
I thought this was fantastic. The images...the playing with time. I also think this poem can relate to a lot of different people. The guy in this poem grapples with a fear of mortality...but not so much the fear of death itself, but that his life won't be meaningful. He wants it all to make sense. He wants to be something better than the status quo because the status quo seems so depressing...just a robotic going through the motions and expectations that aren't his. Adulthood for many people I think, can turn into a life that isn't really ours anymore but becomes a life lived for other people...trying to create some kind of stasis. Even for those that aren't at that point...There's always the fear of becoming that (especially if you saw your parents have unfulfilled lives). I think you capture all of this beautifully in your poem. I'm finding it really hard to criticize anything here.

Jolly Good Fellow
By Justin Miller

Having not asked to be born, soon I will be thirty.
I will have to choose between a red tie and a yellow tie.
I will sit next to the same girl in the theater
and hear her ask “Why’d that guy just kill that guy?”
For the rest of my life.
Having not asked to be born, it will look at me with my eyes
and throw up on my tie.

An F in math; an A in gym.
No skating in the house.
Thirty thousand dollars for a degree in table waiting.
But, while it is still day
I will take a nap
and say farewell to all my fears.
though I will be thirty, in just ten years.
(Katherine Victoria Lutz's "Heartbeats")

It's not a bad poem, but it could be better.
(1.) If you're talking about an individual person, heartbeat is singular, unless the person has a heart murmur that is about to kill them. While the speed of someone's heart may change depending on factors such as stress and exercise, it doesn't change beats. The beat is constant, like a metronome. Do you see what I'm saying? If someone's heart beat like a Dizzy Gillespie number or Beethoven's 5th Symphony...They would be dead within a matter of seconds. If you want to talk about the heart's over all speed changing, there's a reason why it's called heart rate and not beat.
(2.) I kinda agree with what the professor said in class regarding the Jack Daniels. You're talking about this heartbreak as a matter of weeks...so I'm thinking maybe a month or two months tops....Nobody talks about months in the form of weeks after that unless they're pregnant or selling puppies. Let's just be really generous for a minute and say you drank a bottle a day for eight weeks....That would still only be 60 bottles. Even a completely wretched/seasoned alcoholic (which I used to be) couldn't get away with drinking that much for that long without serious consequences...That's 39 shots a day. If you want to play with hyperbole but make it a little bit more believable....You could come up with something far better and more creative than an arbitrary number. For instance, when I got hit with the worst trauma of my life and spent a year after as an addict and about as bad a drunk as it gets...I could say I imbibed Vodka like it was holy water and seasoned my meals with pills like salt and pepper. There is a lot of graphic imagery you could come up with to describe your own experience of drowning in substances...or dealing with mental devastation...whether it's depression from a breakup or PTSD. Simply saying you drank a 100 bottles just doesn't get at the heart of your own personal experience...And also because it comes across so trendy these days, people's brains will automatically melt towards pop culture references...like Kesha or country songs...or anything else. Just some food for thought.

My black lipstick is smeared on your sheets
The sunlight is poking my back
I can hear the thumps of your heartbeats

I’ve been shredding through these countless weeks
With the knowledge that you aren’t coming back
And that my lipstick is smeared on your sheets

The sound of your name is bittersweet
And every night I wonder if you know that
I still hear the ghosts of your heartbeats

And sometimes I find myself filled with conceit
As I smile at the fact that despite what I lack
My black lipstick is still smeared on your sheets

And though I’ve remembered how I can breathe
Without you always having my back
I still miss the sound of your heartbeats

I’ll keep walking this life that’s never complete
As I down this hundredth bottle of Jack
But my black lipstick is still smeared on your sheets
Do you remember the sound of my heartbeats?
(Jordan Wilson True's "My Parents Used to Sing Me Lullabies")

I thought this poem was fantastic...minimal if any complaints. I love how you brought some humor out to a fairly serious subject. The word choice, lyricism and some of the images were great also. If anything, I'd be interested in seeing some more image development as far as what's going on in the room. That's really my only complaint

I lie awake in the middle of the night turning my TV on only to
turn it back off; wishing it would suck me into its tragically black
oblivion. Escape as far as a dream. The TV, while on, still radiates blue.
The colors won’t cease, even when I courageously turn my back.

I lie awake in the middle of the night counting sheep.
Nothing seems to work and I thought this might.
Yet, still I lie awake, catching every thought but sleep.
Twenty-five thousand sheep, that would be a fucking sight.

I lie awake in the middle of the night crying.
But not as loud as you.
I would rather hear you slowly dying
than be stuck in this hue.

Countless nights I spent hearing more than I could ever see.
It is what created me.