Poemblot: 5

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.


Ivan B.me

Age: 44

Occupation: Business Solutions Sales Manager

Favorite Book: Squandering Aimlessly by David Brancacaccio

Favorite Movie: Lost in Translation

Favorite TV Show: Weeds

Favorite Song: “Forever Young”




Because the sky burned, I had to unhinge

from the window the mesh screen 

to step out onto the roof where the world was

an orange freshly peeled. I held


to my nose fingertips scented with spring. 

Beside me fluttered the wings

of another promise I made you but didn’t keep.

I sat there for hours until my thighs


were raw, cut open by those rough shingles. 

I didn’t yet know how to run, 

to tether myself farther and farther afield. 

This was before your other daughter


died and we couldn’t recall kindness, but long

after those old pumpjacks no longer

needled the horizon clean. The velvet mat

stayed unfolded, but I told you I prayed


anyway. The sky began to hunger for stars. 

I counted each scorched one.



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

A lot of pain, and distress. The poem brings thoughts about a combination of things, the beauty and ugliness of nature, and the pain of all our relations and the pain of loss.

2. What do you like most about this poem?

The raw emotions it tries to convey. How melancholic it seems.

3. What do you like least about this poem?

How melancholic it seems.

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?

I had no expectations, I had not idea what the poem would be like. I had a pretty clear head when I sat down to read it, and I got to feed of the emotions from the poem itself.

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

I have always been on the fence on reading poetry, this made me have more of a likelihood of reading another one not less, but yet I don’t think I am running out the door to buy a book on poetry either.

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