| Hi expendables13
I read your poem: "Expendable" , and would like to offer some thoughts about the feelings I had for your work. I am not a professional editor and any recommendations I make have more to do with my preferences than actual qualifications as a professional reviewer.
Old soldiers never die, someone takes a bullet and we live on. We are just expendable is all. To survive war is almost a death in itself. Those that have been expended are not gone. They remain in the shadows, ghosts for those who survive.
There are seven images that stand out to me: “Shadow”, “Watching”, “ghost”, “Survive”, “War”, “Track”, “Bullet”. They evoke strong emotions. An entity in my soul has been trained in war. I kill. Words. Thoughts. Curses. Hate. Oh I am tracking you. Only the ignorant don’t believe they kill. Gossip killed my mother. She’s dead. Word. Bullets. There is blood on their hands. They are the ghosts. They are the shadows. Tracking, ever tracking.
Rhythm and Rhyme
The flow of the poem is rough. I acknowledge this is possibly intentional. But I think there are some throw away words that can be eliminated to improve flow, which is as important for impact as the meaning of the key words themselves . The line “…survive war you have to become…” I know the feeling you are going for but it could read more succinctly “You survive war, you become war”. It’s a strong point of your poem. This is just one example. My overall suggestion is to eliminate every passive word. “you”, “have”, “to”, “These”, “Type”, “of” “or” etc. Most of your strong words don’t need any modifiers or conjunctions to make the meaning of your poem clear.
The rhythm and tone and pitch in your poem will change dramatically with these trimmings.
I felt the theme of your poem was that war is like breathing. It exists to make all things exist. Without it, there would be no existence. Not a pacifist, I know the truth of this violent and unpopular notion. But I’ve seen loving sisters kill each other with words, looks, gossip. It’s all war and it’s all brutal. Sisters don’t keep track of their body count.
The theme is held up through the whole poem.
I agree that little to no punctuation was needed. In fact as you eliminate passive words you may want to get rid of the commas to maintain the structure. The thought stream will be consistent with the elimination of a lot of the passive words.
What I Liked The Best
When they get pitch black only one thing exists
Track ‘em, Find “em, Kill ‘em
“…got each other’s backs …would take a bullet…team…be expendable.”
The images are powerful and the association of war with our everyday lives is honest and right on.
I hope these thoughts are a help.
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