Poemblot: 10

Poemblot (as in inkblot) is a regular feature where a general reader (i.e. someone who does not have an educational or professional background in writing or literature) is shown a poem and asked to offer an immediate impression. The reader reads the poem no more than twice and is not given any instruction on how to read it or information about the author. One of the purposes of Poemblot is to explore the different perceptions and assumptions readers bring to a text. The readers' full names will not be shared to protect them from rampaging, ego-bruised poets on social media. Instead we'll offer some basic background information and a representational photo provided by each reader as a framework for who they are.


The Reader

Darcy L.image

Age: 37

Occupation: Mail Carrier

Favorite Book: Twilight

Favorite Movie: Ghostbusters

Favorite TV Show: The Golden Girls

Favorite Song: “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)”



The Poem

Self Shot

Selfish for what I cannot have,

I hold your sudden face in my hands,

persuade myself that I can keep you.


How cruel I am in my screen need,

the way I pin you to my want, whisper

to your photo shimmering over the surface


tension of my phone.  Tensile suffocation:

how I bring you closer with the parting

of thumb and forefinger,


how I hone in on your eye that looks

to a lens, trick myself into believing

you are looking for me.


I will my body into your self shot,

the invitation of space next to you,

lying that it holds itself for us.


How quick I am to claim

regret as love.  If this was love

I would unbuckle you.

But see, even there.


I am making you naked in the words,

stripping you versus saying

cut yourself away, run while you can.


Darcy L.’s Immediate Impressions

1. What strikes you most about this poem? Does reading it bring up any thoughts, emotions or sensations?

It seems that this could be love in the beginning of this poem, but then seems to turn into an online obsession. I feel like this poem could be about another individual or themselves.

2. What do you like most about this poem?

It brings to light how people obsess with online photos.

3. What do you like least about this poem?

I feel that if I had not read the title to this poem, I might have thought this writer was a stalker.

4. Before reading any poem, do you come to it with certain expectations? If so, does this particular poem meet those expectations? Does your expectations affect your opinion of this poem?

When I read a poem I feel that the title should tell you right away what the poem is about so you have the writer’s intention, but then you should be able to make your own assessment of the meaning. This particular poem met my expectations and I have the same opinion of it.

5. Does this poem make you want to read more poems?

Yes, I think I would.

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