outside of the atm

by nicole kuwik
I watch his pupils dialate
as he yells “FUCK!” outside
of the ATM
A lady clutching a baby
stares like a baboon as she
exits the steakhouse and I look away
It’s six o’ clock on a Saturday
and we want to make transfers
for cheap wine and movies, and
we want 800 numbers
to work without the 1s
Holding his statement
up against my face in an idling truck,
I laugh
at what we are trying to do.

0 thoughts on “outside of the atm

  1. Um, isn’t this more like the meaningless elaboration of minutae? I don’t see what’s so damn profound or truthful. If anything it’s self-indulgent.

  2. I like it. Smiles from strangers I can get. Objective criticism, I can use. I’d rather have someone voicing acid then ignoring me with sugar. Please don’t tie up hands for the sake of politeness. He has an opinion, harshly stated, that I would rather hear than reproach.

  3. I agree. Opinions are like assholes, we all have them, and some of us are just better at wiping. Let Joe have his say. I mean, he went back and commented on one of my little pieces of shit and said it wasn’t meaningful, and I agree, and I also agree that I don’t know what it means to have meaning in poetry. . . If he starts calling people names, somebody scold him. . . meanwhile, post one of his poems, please. . .

  4. True that. Smiles and sunshine up the ying yang pleases many people, but I’m pretty sure most (effective)writers appreciate tougher comments and questions. joecloyd’s comments are a bit laced with something like bitterness or anger rather than a constructive element, but that may be his style? The adage “if you don’t have something nice to say then don’t say anything at all” has no place in poetry or writing. Cerebella is a kind, protective soul – so kudos to her for that because the world needs those people desperately – and she was just asking for constructive criticism, not sugar blobs. And I fully admit that my initial reaction to joecloyd was the same as hers, but I re-read his comment with a more willing attitude and chose to take mr. joe seriously.

  5. Critical comments spur discussion. That’s a good thing.
    “Profound” and “truthful” are human judgments regarding meaning, and meaning itself derives from the human production of meaning. Its a circular thing from which more people need to learn how to step away. Effective imagery, as the basis on which a poem is built, leaves meaning up to the reader – to ponder in whatever way they wish to ponder.
    This is an interesting poem, built on context and imagery, that forces a reader to infer the details of the context. I like that. I also like that the poem largely encompasses a single moment, then jumps to a later moment in the final stanza. I don’t understand the 800 number line in this context, but it’s kind of compelling.

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