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*One of the most sought after reviewers at Writing.Com.* Seriously? *Laugh* There was a time my honesty could be brutal. Residing here 14 years, as a sensitive writer myself, I'm able to temper observations that neither flatter or off-put. I like to see the good, observe how each writing projects. If I review, it's mainly because I see the value. I want to strike up friendships and partnerships, though it can be quite isolating here for a non-conformist, who has bent part of the way, but not fully met with reciprocating compromise. This can temporarily cause me to bend back. *Smirk*
 
So if you want to see how I review, my feedback is public. Don't be afraid to tap in and see for yourself. *Smile* UPDATE: IF YOU'RE AN UPGRADED MEMBER, you don't have to gift me points for reviews. Send me that one free merit badge you're allotted monthly and I'll review up to 4 mid-length poems, or one short story up to 5k words.
I'm good at...
Sleeping. Retired now. I encourage writers with my reviews. I look for strengths and give direction on how to make something better. I am willing to continue to correspond with the writer if there is more I can offer. I look at what drives a reader. I think with my experience, I can see where your art derives from and is taking you. Sometimes, before the writer knows.
Favorite Genres
nature, love, psychological, drama, human interest, history, science, conspiracy, dystopian, fatalistic, tasteful
Least Favorite Genres
Horror, fan fiction, some fantasy and sci-fi, or anything Lord of the Rings/Game of Thrones-ish.
Favorite Item Types
poetry, short story, essay
Public Reviews
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Review of For Shaina  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.5)


Dear Poet,

The tragedy that inspired this poem must have been difficult to write about. In context, a reader might see this poem in a different light. This turns from such a sad ending into inconsolable heartache.

Perhaps, if past tense for the father's tuck in of the son, it might have changed the tone? I know the ending is blunt, because it is sudden...but it doesn't enlighten enough. Unless, wait...is the narrator thinking about the friend who lost her husband? She and spouse tuck in their own? Something to make that more obvious would help.

Really difficult with poetry so close to home. We write because we want to make sense of cruel life. But, whatever inspires us to keep writing through doubt, tragedy, mystery for circumstances we cannot comprehend, we grow. Perhaps, separate from the tragedy stronger.

I applaud the effort.

Brian


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327
327
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello Michael Rose🏳️‍🌈 ,

I'm reviewing you as a member of WDC Angel Army.

I was struck by the title of this poem and wanted see how it would reveal. The impressions you share are very relatable, remind how moving a sunset could be. It stands on its own merit for descriptiveness and some emotion. I can see it there on the surface of it.

I might have some suggestions when you approach a beautiful moment like this and want to capture its essence. First, is to remember you're in the moment and there is a progression of events. This is part of the editing process after getting it all down. Does it sequence correctly? At the end you have the world is monochrome again before mentioning the golden leaf of a statue (nice) fading. Could the lines reverse order?

I would fall in love with the rhyming sound of 'creases' and 'ceases', but could better description for the figurative end of the day be used there? How is the silence connected to the narrative voice? We find out a little in second stanza looking forward to a new day.

It wouldn't hurt to depict where this vantage point is...the bus and maybe a clue why this dreamy recitation of a moving sunset. Bad day, ready for new? Is there something that could be illustrated without telling why narrator is so moved.

I don't know if you intended to get heavy-handed with four consecutive lines beginning with 'the' but as free verse goes it didn't punctuate the read. But, I really enjoyed what was happening in that last verse. I like the feeling of the day slipping away. Sunsets are luminescent, paint a landscape in colors seldom seen. Describing colors would be a better pursuit, like describing pinks as flamingo rays or gold as marigold coin (sun), for instance.

We assume poetry operates on a higher plane of understanding, wanting to share some knowable/perceived mystery of life/nature. I think you are reaching it here. Your voice and line lengths really gave a nice feel to the read. If you do want to revisit this, make alterations, or create something new. I'm all in and would love to see more.

Brian

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Review of Pain  
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (3.5)
I love, love, love the description line to inspire the write of this poem. It shows depth and a desire to reflect on the quote from a great mind.

What you are developing here is your voice. I scan through the lines to see what was strongest and most sobering thought, "I wish I could give in to the willful ignorance that I see so many others engage." It sets a tone. You look at yourself and compare to actions of others to discover true reality, morality. You have to be yourself, own who you are.

I felt your poem could have been more succinct. It could use editing to tighten up and deliver more profoundly your message. You could employ a unique poetic device in this process...by losing references to self as the poem progresses. A good challenge would be to remove the 'I' as you reveal the self-assured individual emerging.

I take low-esteem as a reason to reiterate Self often. As we become confident, we don't focus on internal as much, but external...almost as if removing ourself, removing the introspection to see external forces. You could do this as the poem builds toward self-assuredness.

What I would also like to see is taking a cue from Nietzsche and show that ascension to star. It could be the same metaphor, or one of your own. If you are more descriptive with less showing, your words can visually stun. Poetry is expression, setting oneself apart from ordinary language. As an example, I like to draw from nature. It could encompass anything we relate with from a tree to its leaves, from the moon rise to a sunset. We identify with nature's creatures, the seasons, the metamorphosis of butterflies. So many comparatives to capture the essence of your profound words.

I'm sure you've been exposed to great writing. Read, harness the inner feelings and write to see if you can emulate those feelings.

You are a deeply connected person who can use literature to give greater expressions to your emotions and find other like minded writers. Keep at it. You're on the right track.

Thank you for sharing this,

Brian

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In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)


*Rainbowl*THIS IS A REVIEW FROM Brian KC - I Used To Be Alive *Rainbowr*

> *Poseyp**Poseyp**Poseyp*

Hello, I came across this item on writing.com's auto rewards list as I was reviewing for my group. I think that the title of this item is perfect for it, it is very appropriate. the item description of this piece is very helpful to the reader.
I do believe that this is the first time that I have had to opportunity to review and read your stuff. good going.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece of literature with me I appreciate your poem and the hard work you put into writing this item. You keep writing and I'll keep reading, God Bless You.

But, I won't leave it there. Reviews should show an understanding of subject, so here goes:

The short two line stanzas effectively flow with the descriptive, showy nature of the dream catcher...the possibilities to give sleeping children security. I'm not versed in what they suggestively do, but can use this poem as a guide of sorts.

I would spell out 100 to start poem...One hundred. The last two lines alone rhymed. Perhaps, with a little work, all or none should rhyme. Since you're using expressions, you could explore further with a word 'decorate' that paled with other descriptive words.

I liked the notion and promise of this poem.

B

To Review Readers and Would-Be Reviewers:
I know reviewing is hard for some people. I think those that are looked upon to set an example for the standard for reviewing here shouldn't use cookie-cutter expressions. Take the time to really read and react. That's why we do longer more insiightful reviews now. It's more meaningful to members. Especially for newbies who need the best of us. I gave you an example of what not to do and what you could do with a review, if you don't want to blow more than 750 characters from your head,
I know you reviewer creditors out there might want to consider who's honestly giving feedback before tossing cryptocurrency around. I see the disparity between honest reviewers and those who crank out fluff. I assume auctions/fundraisers draw in gps to in part put out to undervalued reviewers.



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Review of Window  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
For the most part I was going to say that this reads less like poetry and more like a retelling of events, but the ending recapping the experience was profoundly poetic.

Poetry reads better if we show instead of tell. There are social cues we can be given to know this is a goodbye without telling. The summation would then hit like a ton of bricks, show that the voice in this poem holds it all inside until the end.

In these sad times, it's odd what we remember, sounds, smells, surroundings and activities, what we wore. The taste of that last kiss. Put us in the moment, let our experiences shape the vision. If you do it right, your poem could seem like a million poems through each reader's response and interpretation.

Brian


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331
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
I was interested to see how you constructed multiple haikus here. I could not find any structural issues with the linked haikus. The 5-7-5 syllable count was correct. There was something in the language that felt awkward, as if transcribed from another language.

First line... I can see trees to calm... wouldn't it be less passive to describe as I see calming trees? And then, Wearing on colorful charms... maybe remove 'on' and replace with 'their' to personify? You end with posing a pure form... which also was awkward. I liked the expression, just not the sentence structures.

I could speak to the second stanza where bend would be a better verb use than bending, giving you another syllable to describe. Your title line for this haiku points out the inspiration for this without the suggested descriptions. If you could show their movements as dancing, meditating, praying, you need to use that...those words.

Haikus should summarize on last line descriptive evidence in first two lines, so...
trees pray, calmly dance
Wearing their colorful charms
Bend to meditate

Something along those lines for first haiku. I borrowed some from second stanza. But work in personification to give visuals more meaning. Punctuate action through verbs and summarize what's happening. Just my suggestions.

Brian


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Review of Jewels  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.5)
This is a sweet story that I realized after reading is true and not fiction. I imagined myself in a similar story, inspired to garden because of my parents. My mind was telling me it would be fantasy to think kids would grow up and show appreciation like that as adults. It's a blessed event (story inspiring) for your daughter to appreciate and gets what you provided. No doubt, having children of her own helps shape perspective of your shared past. Now the garden is a labor of love.

Notes on what could be improved is -- just a little less telling and more showing. Instead of saying it's spring (partly implied by bulb planting), you could describe scents, weather, what you wore and other hints a reader can collect to deduce time, place and more. You could put us in scene, using the sensory cues and more. Eventually, you mention the kids playing because of spring.

It's easy for us to get it all out on paper like this, the neat of a story. The details are important that we don't want to lose...especially dialogue. To improve storytelling, to tempt people to read, tease a little with details. It forces us to read on and discover what's happening. I imagine non-fiction doesn't have as many rules about this, because you're not likely to embellish.

Garden is a perfect place to paint a scene with color, smell, sounds, touch, even taste. You could embellish if you wanted to make a fictional story...prick a thumb, etc. Now I'm just spitballing. Nice share and congrats on a wonderful event to relate.

Brian



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In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
I've read your poem with great interest and want to give my honest reaction to the effort.

While I have spent my life putting faith in god, I'd never image a coming up with a poem like this. Reminds of old songs like 'Standing On The Promises,' one of my mom's old favorites. It is driven by a solid meter and rhyme. It troubles with punctuation and lacks a unique voice. But, for what it is written for, to share faith, it functions.

The ending confuses a bit, reminds that poets can struggle to wrap up. A stronger finish by intoning the message with key words always helps me through that.

Great share!

Brian


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Review of First Time Love  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)


*Rainbowl*THIS IS A REVIEW FROM Brian KC - I Used To Be Alive *Rainbowr*

> *Poseyp**Poseyp**Poseyp*

Hello, I came across this item on writing.com's auto rewards list as I was reviewing for my group. I think that the title of this item is perfect for it, it is very appropriate. the item description of this piece is very helpful to the reader.
I do believe that this is the first time that I have had to opportunity to review and read your stuff. good going.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece of literature with me I appreciate your poem and the hard work you put into writing this item. You keep writing and I'll keep reading, God Bless You.

I know this is going to look like I didn't really read your item, but I would not affiliate this to any reviewing group. You deserve better than that. But, since I haven't reviewed you before (I assume), enjoy the gift points generated by WDC for first time reviews.

Now let's really talk about that poem. This needed several reads before I felt a bit more certain about the author's intent. I think this is someone who is discovering love and someone/love to depend on that is improving a dim view of life. The repeating line at the end of the three stanzas was effective. Perhaps, interlaced fingers was my favorite depiction of the two bonding. I would have liked more images like that rather than referring to favorite song, mild in comparison.

Very functional poem with ability to offer more in this burgeoning realization of arms and hands that can comfort a troubled life.

B

Learning how reviews impacts writers' lives can make us better readers and insightful to help.


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Review of Rivendell  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)


*Rainbowl*THIS IS A REVIEW FROM Brian KC - I Used To Be Alive *Rainbowr*

> *Poseyp**Poseyp**Poseyp*

Hello, I came across this item on writing.com's auto rewards list as I was reviewing for my group. I think that the title of this item is perfect for it, it is very appropriate. the item description of this piece is very helpful to the reader.
I do believe that this is the first time that I have had to opportunity to review and read your stuff. good going.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece of literature with me I appreciate your poem and the hard work you put into writing this item. You keep writing and I'll keep reading, God Bless You.

I know this is going to look like I didn't really read your item, but I would not affiliate this to any reviewing group. You deserve better than that. But, since I haven't reviewed you before (I assume), enjoy the gift points generated by WDC for first time reviews.

I did read your poem. I was just making a point about others who as stewards of this site should not cut and paste stuff like that.

I enjoyed some of this, especially a narrative element that feels inspired by its repeated chant. One rhyme was especially forced, no doubt could improve over 'grope.' The unique places help, and I would implore more, like descriptions of battles, sites, victories and losses. Don't gloss over. Take us on that ride, journey. And more about the quest to Saurons evil home. I want description of blades, armor, steed, what have you. Maybe a little bit of plan. Intrigue, make the reader yearn to quest, too...Redemption, reason why.

I can tell you got into this as you furthered the text. It could reinspire a new introduction with gusto and lots of exclamations! Bravo!

B


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336
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (4.5)

{Dear Mary Ann MCPhedran ,

I see so many possibilities with this sweet little poem that I've been perusing with delight, since discovering the other night. It plays with imagery and feeling, the type of poem you linger over, peruse for a sensory fix, if wanted. It plays with sound, maybe unintentionally. Found it raw like an unweeded garden full of potential.

A tighter edit would help this bloom. But, I'm auditorally stumbling over the unintended or unfocused meter? First couplet begs for just a little attention. Nine syllables first line and seven in the second. I mentally tried to flip lines. Won't work, thinking just add/remove syllables? With a hyphen to 'Pita Pita,' I thought:

I spotted a little bit of passive voice and thought you could be more direct by removing 'been' from one line...but then the line is too short.
And thought last couplet could use a little love...


But after rain there's a rainbow's in sight (edit rainbow's to rainbow) (maybe, remove there's and keep rainbow's)
Lighting up the garden bright


This poem is so short and sweet and was a pleasure to consume.

Brian

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337
337
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.5)

I really expected to read something totally different the way this started out. I thought it was about culture and being preyed on by with human insecurities. It turned to politics. Though, I can make the connection. We are distracted by these things being put at the forefront so we won't get involved and talk of real issues. Government-backed distractions? Same thing happens in America. We're obsessed with sports and entertainment, but also products that define our status. Basically make us insecure.

I can't speak to the political trappings in your country and how the USA interferes, though I can imagine.

Unusual format for an essay. I think it could be tightened up, instead of a sprawling read with double-spaced lists. Though, it's an old piece. Might be moot now, but some likely still applies.

We write, we grow,

Brian


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In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Well done, a bit uneven in story, but not categorized correctly as poetry. This could use a little more set up to explain what brought about this conversation that reads like an excerpt from something longer.
The explanation of how Jesus died for our sins by examples of seven ways the blood cleanses follows well. I needed more about how this conversation came about and maybe it will make more sense of the ensuing dialogue.
I think you have something here that could be developed into a very useful parable.

Brian


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In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Two interesting takes on waiting for Christmas and it's prospects. Though, not so much poem-like, but a story of two children: one privileged and one poor. One person gets what they wish for and the other is rewarded with love.

Christmas sentimentality aside, many children are affected by poverty or parents who just don't provide. It's a nice spin on the season. It's greeting card material for sure.

Keep writing


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340
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)

I love the rhythm of that title line in this piece. The words and images are fluid as the moments occur as this unknowable escape begins.

This put me in the story visualizing the events. The construction of the lines help flow of read. You don't struggle with words, they come naturally and understandably. I don't even stop to ask what's going on. These events rely on trust and instinct in these moments, unprepared for what wasn't supposed to happen.

You know, this serves well to start a story where it can recount events to explain: why in this situation, who was killed and why, the relationship, the need to do it, the plan that didn't go as planned (with all the notions of how it would play out) and take it forward from the fall in the river.

For me, this was dreamlike. It was stream of consciousness writing. It's a writer playing out fantasy to see where it goes. In effect, this could be the imprisoned hashing out their plan before events unfold, realizing the mistakes that could happen.

If nothing else, you've captured this reader's imagination with your word play.

Brian

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


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In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: 18+ | (2.5)
Huh? I got to the end of your rejoinder piece on an essay I was not privileged to read about homosexuality. You made some good arguments until you added this at the end of your dissertation (it destroys your whole thesis):

"I agree with him homosexuals should be cured, rehabilitated, counseled and helped."

Huh? Cured? I had seen a few flaws in your approach to showing that homosexuality was tolerated in Africa throughout history, refuting the person you cited. If that's true, good. But, you showed some examples of ignorance throughout its culture, for example, killing twins and stoning adulterers.

It doesn't give me much confidence that homosexuality wasn't impugned, just your opinion with little proof of tolerance.

I thought we were finally beyond thinking gays and lesbians need reform or help. Your article absolutely lacks credence. I will say there were interesting anecdotes and points taken that educated me about the culture and customs within Africa.

On homosexuality stand: I'll tolerate your ignorance and maybe someone with the passion to persuade will cure you one day.

*ThumbsDown*


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Review of Late September  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
A rhyming poem that contemplates if his intentions were true. It's very simple and direct and leads to some unanswered pondering. But what about those questions not asked?

Where was he going for a year and did something detain him? What was he returning to? Promise of something more than casual when it's opined he might have forgot? Bit of fun leaves us wondering.

It's unknowable but it seems like the sailor who keeps a girl in every port. Does the poet separate from the voice in the poem to depict someone easily flirted with and used? Unknowable. But, interesting to ponder.

Brian


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Review of The sorrow  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.5)
This short fiction describing the emotion of loss and death left me feeling something in particular -- cold. There were many effective descriptions of loss and longing while giving visual representations. Icicles on face might be a stretch. Though, I've had tears freeze on my eyelashes -- more like frost.

Did not get a sense anything more than mourning the loss of a loved one an inability to move on. Would have liked more about the character and connection to grave. No words or gifts offered, just promise of return to this remorse.

It's a short piece, hard to pull off. But, it definitely made me feel something.



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In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
A brave offering in this structured free verse poem that must have been cathartic to write while sad for an audience to read and perceive long after the author's passing. The poem is direct and to the point, pulls no punches. I'm sure it is relatable to others who battle with cancer.
The 'I envy you' lines don't guilt but inform in a way that helps a reader's POV. It took great courage to write and share that struggle, prophesizing ultimate release and future joy of comfort from that sweet release.

R.I.P.


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Review of Death of an Ideal  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
This free verse poem must have been no easy task and in just 10 lines using every letter of the alphabet. You manage to work in a valuable socio-political message about the casualties of war. It's hard not to feel the bitterness in the questions leading to the regretful ending of the many who lost their lives protecting the flag. Unmarked graves aptly describes how the fallen are forgotten, not properly recognized for life sacrifices for our freedom.

Well done.


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Review of The Seventh Day  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Here we have a story of a lonely guy who does not like his living conditions. It's very descriptive and believable, though the twist at the end did not seem what I would have expected. It is a great depiction of a man marooned, no water, peeling from relentless sun. He has to be in a cave and worry about bugs and scorpions.
There's a bit of wonderment if he'll cross paths with a woman. Don't know if this was intended as short piece with surprise ending, or if more were in the works. With a bit of editing, could have been a tidy, little story. Just needed a personal anecdote, or more about him to relate to his character, though 'scurried' said a lot.



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Review of Skiing  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.5)
I found the scene with the woman falling (ungracefully) visually hysterical as I read. There is a gift to displaying a scene like this as a writer while constrained by the poem's rhyme scheme.

The short tight lines work, but would have preferred it wasn't double-spaced for a better flowing read. This really reminded me of growing up. It put me in that winter scene where I could draw on nostalgic memories to help envision.

Typical Lynda, a pleasure!


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Review of Cookies Amok  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.5)

It's inspired, dark humor that gets a special something from a quirky rhyme scheme meant to be read with some verve.
The poem had a great start/set up with first stanza. I liked direction it was going with second verse, but dead end?
It's difficult when great inspiration strikes and you're rolling right along when everything stops. I think a reader would implore more. I know this is an old item and muse long since left this item. It's sort of got a good middle reader feel if it wanted to go in that direction. It could be sprinkled with adult insights if it went further.
Just saying I see potential in this.

Thanks for sharing,

Brian

*Peace*


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Review of Game Models  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
I must say I liked the innovation and the lay out of what you come up with. Each part is supported with argument for implementing the strategies of the reality game. It was intriguing to read as this notion slowly seemed to come to fruition...like setting up a story. Unfortunate it was a quick conclusion.

I get caught in a blur of reality and fiction, as this is labeled "how to/self help." The ending seemed like you were prompting people to begin a game. I wasn't sure if this reality game came into existence, if it actually had a name. It seemed very broad in scope and somewhat unusual type of Sims game, giving me the idea this is fiction.

I couldn't decide if it was being described as virtual reality or tools for real life. This piece seemed impersonal without names of class, college or professor...real or fiction. Wasn't sure what the aim of this piece was or if this is a mock up for something more...longer.

Those are my general impressions. Best of luck,

Brian


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In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is a worthwhile subject for a poem and discourse. I found the word choices sending me to dictionaries to parse the stanzas and hope for some insight into the poet's intent. I find some of what you're saying here is about the impeachment of the president by democrats to be tied to the upcoming bid for re-election. It's about the unfolding drama and building tension between the two parties.

Depictions of beseech and anemic left me perplexed thought I got the gist. Agree to the checks and balances, but it seems our government is more about politics than solving real issues. That's just me.

Thanks for sharing this.


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