Delete “There were.” Begin with “Ugly things…”

Where did N go? Last we knew he was in bed with R.

Insert “with.”

Font size.

Lower case i for in.

This works much better without the vulgarity.

Cut this section─ redundant. On page 20 N will do (does) the “hot sweet juice” thing better & the repetition/set up is not essential. Here’s a good time to say how well you do use repetition repetition─ like a poet. Also, later speech is stronger because the sexual tension between N & R is more developed & fraught, a sudden erotic surge so sweet & hot & juiced & obliterating ─ just keep peeling the fruit.

Feels artificial when N & R speak together like a chorus. Once is okay but not on fifteen or sixteen different occasions. 

Consider making this dialogue/dialectic more radically echolalic & intensify the Narcissus/Echo mythos thereby creating more evidence that the center is empty & singular while the lovers’ duet operates as a negative reverb out of the proximity of their dis-unified & internalized essentialities. 

Let the dialogue reemerge.

This list is far too long –36 items. While your research is impressive, who has the patience? The process is brought to a complete stop. Cut down to 10 items. Tough choices.

“Swig,” not “Swing”.

Pages 29-31: Is all this necessary? Nice stuff but again the action stops. Keep it moving.

Add a space.

N blows up the balloon himself but then it floats to the ceiling like it is filled with helium. Interesting where you go with this idea but its legs are cut out from under since you can’t convince the audience that N is full of inert gas. Hot air maybe but hot enough to make the balloon rise? 

Which tense─ past or present?

“There” not “their.”

Verbose. All these words really add up to is nothing.

Where did the saxophone come from? Remember Chekhov─ the gun in Scene One. Out of nowhere the saxophone in Scene 6? Here comes the cavalry?

N’s soliloquy is a poem. Gorgeous.

You’re losing us here. 

Another list? 

While Goldilocks & the Three Bears is an interesting digression in itself─ use it in the essay you write about overlapped folk stories & modernist political passion play. Don’t introduce another element this late in your game.

Wondered how you were going to tie all this together─ a knock-out of an ending.

Michael Milligan has worked as a construction laborer, migrant fruit and grape picker, homestead farmer and graphic arts production manager. He is also also a musician/composer, and artist. He took his MFA in Creative Writing at Bennington College, thereby joining the teeming mass of writers with degrees of dubious cachet, co-founded Poetry Oasis Worcester and was privileged to be an editor with Diner. His poetry book reviews, fiction and poems have appeared in Agni, Diner, The New Orleans Review, The Valparaiso Review, Chaffin Journal, Blue Earth Review, Illuminations and others. He is the author of Unless I Came Back to Tell You from Kelsay Books 2021.

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