Poetry #6: Cassidy Kramer

I Am Awake Now
The sound of my alarm causes my face to pucker with disgust
I know how ridiculous I look,
Ugh. I am awake now.
I lie in my bed
The air is cold,
And my bed is so warm
My dog is next to me snoring with delight
Unbothered by my movements and the groans I let out
I get off my bed and take step,
By step,
By step.

The coffee burns my tongue causing my face to squish in pain
I cannot help but think how ridiculous I look,
But I am awake now.
I can finally start my day
Any thought of going back to bed is shot down by my demanding tongue
My taste buds are screaming for help as I torture them with

The frozen air burns my cheek causing my face to squish in pain
I do not care about how ridiculous I look,
And I am awake now.
The moments spent staring into the hills thinking of scenarios that are just out of my reach
Are gone.
Winning the lottery,
Falling in love,
Finishing school,
The pain brings me into reality
This frostbite brings this
Hopeless romantic,
High schooler
Into reality.

The sins lifted off my shoulders causes my face to fill with happiness
I do not care about how ridiculous I look,
Because I am awake now.
I am free from the patterns of this world
I feel so light
I am a
Child of God.

The day is done and my face is dull with tiredness
It is 10 p.m.
I lay in my bed, ready to reset for the next day
The warmth of my dog comforts me
I lie still, waiting for the dreams to takeover
But I start to think about my life and the future
What will happen
The loves,
I look at my clock at it reads 2 a.m.
Why am I so awake now.

14 thoughts on “Poetry #6: Cassidy Kramer

  1. Andrew Lange


    First of all, I wanted to say I found your subject matter extremely relatable! As a full-time student myself, I hate the feeling of an alarm clock shattering the velvet darkness of sleep, crash-landing me back into the reality of due dates and away from the Utopian dreams of things like finishing school or winning the lottery. As I was reading your descriptions of the morning routine, I was immediately transported back in time a few years to my later half of high school myself, in which I was a latch-key teenager who was very much responsible for setting my own alarm and getting off to school on time.

    Your imagery is extremely vivid throughout your piece, as is evidenced by descriptions of things like the coffee burning your throat. I also very much appreciated the credit given to one’s self-image; this can be an interesting topic all its own, but your explanation of overcoming the thought of how “ridiculous” you may look or feel is also something most everyone can relate to, especially during the socially stressful time of high school. (On a side note, I was a graduating class of one from a rural, K-12 school and cannot imagine having attended an urban high school).

    Your organization shows a perfect snapshot of a typical day in your life: Waking up to the unpleasant jarring of an alarm clock, going about a morning routine most people typically go about on a typical weekday morning, then cuts to the opposite routine the following evening. I found this relatable for obvious reasons; we all get up early and we all to to bed, often fairly late thanks to being buried in homework and family and personal obligations outside of school or employment for monetary gain.

    In particular, I found your juxtapositions of laying awake in bed particularly relatable, as I experience this to probably a more extreme extent than many: While I do not necessarily suffer from insomnia or anything of the sort, a long and arduous day can lead to feeling so exhausted it is literally difficult to sleep. The best way I can describe this is that although your body is exhausted, your mind simply will not turn itself off; roll over, toss and turn, gaze at the red numbers of the alarm clock glowing in the distance and lo and behold it is already 2AM.

    One small suggestion I do have concerns your last few lines in your last stanza or paragraph. The second-to-last line, “I look at my clock at it reads 2 a.m.” doesn’t necessarily flow very well; I would suggest something like “I look at the clock and it already reads 2AM”. Similarly, in your last line, “Why am I so awake now.”, I would suggest rephrasing that as a question. Other than that, I very much enjoyed reading your piece and found it extremely relatable to my own situation as a full-time student; even if I don’t have any classes sometimes I find myself setting an early alarm just to get up and do homework!

  2. Sierra Russell-McCollum


    Your poem “I’m Awake Now” was beautiful. I loved how instead of having many poems you only had one. It gave you time to tell a story and you did exactly that. I haven’t read anything like this in this workshop, it’s unique and clever. Throughout the entire piece your descriptions felt so real. I felt like I could feel or see what you were describing and that definitely helped your poem.

    I really enjoyed the line “I do not care about how ridiculous I look Because I am awake now.” Especially since you used it on every block. It was the purpose of your poem and you made that very clear to the reader, leaving no room for question. I loved the story you told throughout the poem. School life is hard, especially when your day starts off with an alarm. I feel the struggle that you described. It was like you were describing my day, instead, I’m in college.

    I also really liked the line “I do not care about how ridiculous I look, Because I am awake now.” I don’t really know why but it stands out to me so strongly and I feel like that was the purpose of putting that line in the poem so much. I don’t think you overused it at all. I was used at the right time and also fit into what you were writing about.

    I also liked the way you organized the structure of your poem. You started from the beginning of your day and ended it at the end of your day. You ever overshared and that was perfect. The things you added about your day in the poem in small doses was perfect and helped your poem stay clean and clear. I feel like people tend to add too much or too little, but in your case, it was the perfect amount. I really enjoyed this piece.I definitely had a smile on my face while reading this.

    I really liked your ending lines but the only thing I might change was the very last line “Why am I so awake now.” I feel like this could be a question instead. I think it would flow more smoothly since you basically are asking a question. You might as well add the question mark. Other than that I think there really isn’t anything to change. You did a good job taking this workshop into a different direction and it worked to your advantage. I think you have a way with words that really capture people’s attention and that is very talented. I can’t wait to read more of your work, good job on this poem!

    1. Naimy Schommer

      I like this suggestion of the last line being turned into a question. The question mark, while it would deviate from the preexisting standard punctuation in the poem, would make the last line stand out a bit more.

  3. Aundrea Pierce

    Hey Cassidy,

    I’m a big fan of humor, and I easily enjoyed your poem! I love how you repeated the lines “how ridiculous I look.” Your piece is extremely relatable to readers. I thought it was a nice touch to open up with the start of your day (the dog was a good detail) and close out with the end of your day (again with the pup). The first two stanzas were my favorites and kept me hooked and engaged. I know the feeling of being confined to bed in complete comfort and wishing a magic warm cup of coffee was fed to me through an IV. I pretty much need to be revived every morning! One of the things I couldn’t help, but notice was the format. The stanza’s had a mixture of long and short lines of words; I feel it would have given a nicer look if most of the lines were similar in length, and maybe the ones you really want to emphasize be a few words like how you did with “Bitter, Hot, Fueling. I understand the struggle with trying to shorten the lines. For example, with “My taste buds are screaming for help as I torture them with” could have been shortened to “My taste buds scream for help, tortured with.” I would have still gotten the same picture but with a few fewer words to read. “The moments spent staring into the hills thinking of scenarios that are just out of my reach” could be written shorter as “Moments spent staring at hills filled with scenarios out of reach (or unreachable).” Your fourth stanza was nice, and I got a sense of freedom while reading it. I liked the advice from Sierra about putting the question mark in the last line. Or perhaps just make it a statement, “And I’m still awake.” or something along that. Overall it’s a nice poem. I think you’re off to a great start in life being a young high school student and focusing on your relationship with God. I wish I were as wise as you when I was your age.

  4. Michelle Cordova


    I really enjoyed your poem “I Am Awake Now,” and I felt that your attention to detail helped give the reader a clear vision of your morning routine. I think most of us can relate to feeling a mess when we first wake up to the annoyance of an alarm clock. I also have a pup who couldn’t care less that my day has to start as I sit there, slowly waking up, staring at her with jealousy as she snores on my pillow, so I really enjoyed that detail in your poem. I also enjoyed the ending and found it painfully relatable- how I can be wide awake at 2 am, but the moment my alarm buzzes at 5, I am a miserable mess of a human!

    Overall, I felt that your poem was well organized and easy to follow; however, since I enjoyed reading it, I would have loved to read a few more original pieces by you for this poetry pack. Also, I felt that the first like in both the second and third stanzas should have had a different ending. “Causing my face to squish in pain” is a great description, but I feel that changing it up a bit would have been beneficial to showing a different emotion/mental picture.

    I really appreciate how you incorporated your relationship with God into your poem. I think that says a lot about who you are while also letting the reader know that He is an important aspect of your daily life. You mentioned being a high schooler in your poem as well, which is incredible! I think it is awesome that you are mature enough to take college classes on top of everything else that I can only imagine you have to deal with. Great job and keep up the good work!

  5. Naimy Schommer


    This is a beautifully structured poem! I love how you broke it down into increments. It was structured uniformly and was very easy to follow. I like that!

    I think that while the fourth stanza is beautiful, it doesn’t fit with the rest of the poem. There is no mention of God or your faith until this stanza. It also raises questions for the reader–Why are the sins suddenly lifted from your shoulders? What caused this change in your behavior? How are you free from the patterns of this world? What makes this such a special thing in your everyday life? I personally, as a fellow believer, understand what you’re trying to get at, but not everyone is going to inherently know the answers to these questions. I think integrating more of your faith and the reasons it motivates you into the other stanzas will balance out this poem.

    Each of these stanzas could easily be read as an individual poem, which I find interesting and creative, but I think there needs to be something that ties them all together in order for them to work cohesively. That something could be your faith, it could be tiredness, it could be coffee, but without a common image or theme they all relate back to, it just feels very fragmented.

    In reading this through, it sounds a bit like you were torn between two or three really good themes and couldn’t pick one. Bouncing back and forth between themes without a unifying element is confusing to the reader. A few I see here are:

    – tiredness: “The air is cold,/and my bed is so warm”, “I get off my bed and take step, by step, by step,” This is a very relatable theme to write on, which could serve to expand your audience, but if that were your goal, it needs to take center stage and be more integrated into the middle stanzas.

    – looking ridiculous: This theme is in every stanza except the last but isn’t resolved. I think it has great potential to support your “free from the patterns of this world” stanza, but it just doesn’t quite get there. I would suggest elaborating on why you’re aware of how ridiculous you look, or why it’s important to look not-ridiculous. Why do you feel compelled to say you don’t care?

    – Child of God: this is a great theme, but I only see any evidence of it in the fourth stanza. There’s nothing anywhere else to tell me that the influence of your faith impacts anything you do in your life except for this one moment illustrated in the 4th stanza. It needs to be bigger. It needs to take over the whole poem in order for your fourth stanza’s “A-HA” moment to be validated.

    That being said, I love the way you describe the different steps here. The picture of the dozing dog “unbothered by my movements and the groans I let out” is so cute. As a student, I can totally relate to the first and last stanzas. Getting up in the morning is hard, and sometimes falling asleep at night is even harder. As a Christian, I know well and love the feelings you evoke in the fourth stanza, but I just need more of them in the rest of the poem! I like how you highlight the most important parts of our faith “Forgiven, Loved, Saved, Child of God” very simply. Love that. Keep writing!

  6. Monica Gallagher

    Your poem is great, it feels like I’m walking through the day with you and hearing your internal thoughts throughout. The repetition of “how ridiculous I look / I am awake now” is a great tie back into the poem. I really like the use of “step / by step / by step”, it brought a reality and a rhythm to it from the very beginning. I get semi confused at the third stanza, “the scenarios that are just out of my reach / are gone” and “high schooler / into reality”. I imagine that it’s still in the waking up phase and thoughts are drifting and then you get back to reality.

    The confusion continues a little bit in the fourth stanza, “The sins lifted off my shoulders causes my face to fill with happiness”. I was going to say it doesn’t necessarily fit with the theme of the poem, but it may be quite possible that this is its own poem. I know when my collection was posted, it was all out of whack. That doesn’t make sense either though, because there’s the “how ridiculous I look / I am awake now” in it, hence the confusion. But, it could be different poems within one big poem, which I could appreciate.

    The ending “Why am I so awake now” attempts to tie everything back in together and it is seemingly clever, but there is too much confusion and choppiness for me to fully digest. I really like pieces of your work and your clever wording and use of pause. There’s a lack of continuity though, and it leaves me feeling cheated. I can imagine it being really great if things were organized a bit better. It seems wonky. That is not a technical term at all but is the only thing that I can think of that fully explains and generalizes what I was feeling when I was reading it.

    I do like the descriptions of the face, “pucker with disgust” and “face to squish in pain”, which is used twice, which may be overkill. “I lie still, waiting for the dreams to takeover” is a good line, I can picture this perfectly and can relate completely. Then your thoughts take over and you’re left with insomnia and a clock that reads 2am.

    I would recommend fine tuning this and I would love to see the finished product. With the theme that you have going on, the repetition that you started out with, I just think it could be awesome. The end follows suit to the theme and attempts to gather everything back into that joining theme, but it misses the boat because of the middle. Not that the middle is bad, it’s great in its own way, it just is not in the same boat as the first two stanzas and the last portion of the final stanza.

    On a completely non-analytical note, I can completely relate to you on almost all of this poem. Cheers to getting through the day!

  7. Mekayla


    I loved reading through your poetry. There is a matter-of-factness to your style that I like a lot. Your tone makes your subject matter even more relatable than it already was because I can imagine myself going through the same motions, feeling and thinking the same things. It does a really good job at conveying the banality of most of the things we do without even realizing it. I also love how you begin each stanza in a really similar way, and have your thoughts and lines get shorter as your stanzas end. It puts a natural flow to your poetry while bringing all of these daily inconveniences together; full circle.
    This poem could’ve been a really standard description of a day, but between your style and the things about yourself that you incorporated, it turned out really beautifully. It’s really nice being able to step into a poem and briefly imagine life from somebody else’s eyes; to care about what they care about, and appreciate the little moments in a day that they value.

    I do wish that you would have added more pieces! I really did enjoy your work. Keep writing and thank you for sharing!

  8. Katherine Whelchel


    It was startling to me how much I related to your poem! At the end of each section, I was like, “yes!” The subject of your poem is simple; it is about a day in your life. Yet, this allowed you to focus on small everyday details and rich descriptions. I see the time and effort you have put into this piece, and I feel your enthusiasm! After reading some of our classmates’ comments, I also agree that some lines could be brought into a new depth while also being made simpler. Often times, it is easy to over think and write more words than necessary for fear that the reader won’t understand. In the case of poetry, there is a larger freedom to be a minimalist with your words, and this often makes the poem even more potent with expression.

    Your third stanza resonated with me. I also can be a heavy daydreamer and have experienced the hardship of coming back to reality. In the midst of it though, our lives are so directed by God, that our daydreams cannot amount to the beauty of the life He has for us. I LOVED your fourth stanza! I did receive that feeling that it was a bit startling; however, I wonder if that was strategic on your part? Every morning, I seem to have that sudden realization of how true and real Christ is. Reading your poem, I felt that the abrupt focus on God shows the distraction of tiredness, daydreams, and life in general, all suddenly disappearing as you look to Him. I agree that you could set it up a bit more, but definitely keep it in! 🙂

    Overall, great job! You have a wonderful way with words and I look forward to reading what you produce in the future!

  9. Aubri Stogsdill


    I identify DEEPLY with the first stanza. I abhor waking up to alarm clocks… waking up at all for that matter is the worst part of my day. These lines:

    I get off my bed and take step,
    By step,
    By step.

    were also very relatable. I’ve found that those first few steps are the hardest, and your repetition of the words made me think of my own heavy, half asleep steps.

    I thought it was interesting that you described your face as being ‘squished’ by things. While it seems that would be a good word for certain contexts, I didn’t feel like it fit well in the lines it was included in. However, I did enjoy your use of the line, “But I am awake now.” There is such a clear desire for an alternate reality- your dreams, in stanza three.

    I think your poem is relatable in that there are a lot of ups and downs in your emotional state over the course of a day. At the same time, I think your poem needs a bit more work. Perhaps making it more smooth between stanzas. I did get that there is concern for your future… But at the end of the poem, I felt like I needed more from it. I had a lot of unanswered questions and there seemed to be many gaps in the picture you were painting.

    Just a bit more lovin on this one and I think I would make a great poem! (:

  10. Corbin Knapp

    I enjoyed reading “I Am Awake Now,” because it is an everyday experience that a lot of people can relate to. It is also written in way that is easy to understand, instead of something that sounds cool but is really hard to understand. I also liked how you made it one big poem that covers your whole morning. Throughout the poem you use unique combinations of words to bring your story to life. An example being, “Ugh. I am awake now. I lie in my bed the air is cold, And my bed is so warm.” I think many people can relate to not wanting to get out of their beds in the morning and the way you phrase it makes it even more relatable.

    You also use repetition of some lines to make it even more interesting, “I get off my bed and take step, By step, By step.” by repeating the lines you give an air of extreme effort to the task of getting out of bed and stepping across the cold floor. I enjoyed your use of humor in your poem too, such as the line, “The coffee burns my tongue causing my face to squish in pain.” Getting your tongue burnt by coffee isn’t funny, but by using the word”squish” to describe your actions it makes it a great line in your poem. You continue to make the poem interesting by describing the coffee you just took a drink out of, “My taste buds are screaming for help as I torture them with Bitter, Hot, Fueling Liquid.” It backs up the previous line of your taste buds screaming out in pain and a description of what they are going through with a nice use of personification.

    In the next paragraph in the poem, I noticed you used “causing my face to squish in pain.” again. Maybe you could use a different word to describe your reaction instead of “squish “ just so you use something different each time. A line that it is really powerful is “The sins lifted off my shoulders causes my face to fill with happiness I do not care about how ridiculous I look, Because I am awake now.” This line is a great part of the poem because it shows the reader a part of what makes you you. That makes the poem that much more real to the reader.

    The ending of your poem was interesting. I thought it was intriguing how you ended the poem in nearly the same way it began. With you in your bed, and your dog lying in the bed next to you. “I lie still, waiting for the dreams to takeover But I Start to think about my life and the future What will happen.” This is a line that I think everybody can relate to once again. I think a lot of people have laid in bed thinking about their future. The final line was a great ending that made me wonder what happened next, “The loves, Laughs, Cries, I look at my clock as it reads 2 a.m. Why am I so awake now.” The one thing that maybe could be changed about that line is to add a question mark at the end instead of a period. But besides that I really enjoyed your poem!

  11. Caitlyn Williams


    I love how your poems melt into each other! It’s like a day in the life, expressed beautifully in poem. I like your use of adjectives throughout the poem. I like that your title is used throughout the collection. You are awake now. That’s an important feeling, and a powerful thing to say. Repetition of the title shows the readers its significance. I also appreciated that you included that you didn’t care how ridiculous you looked. This shows confidence, and that’s important for people to have!

    I liked the line, “The day is done and my face is dull with tiredness” This line struck a chord to me, and I imagined a #2 pencil drawing or writing throughout a day, and looking tired and dull. I love imagery and your lines sure had good visualizations. The end is a little off, being ready to reset then BAM it’s 2am. This kinda shows how life has a bit of control over us, even if were tired we seem to manage to stay up later than we should. It’s crazy how our mind keeps us awake onto the deep hours of the night.

    I liked your collection, it was different, and refreshing. I liked how your stanzas and poems melded into each other to create this great piece of work. It may just look like a day, but it’s moments captured by the author; an expression of their experiences. Great work!

  12. Ben Knapp

    Your poetry perfectly describes the feeling of waking up in the morning, as well as the feeling of being up late at night unable to sleep. I liked how you made all the poems as part of a larger poem, leading the reader through the trails of getting up in the morning, as well as suddenly jumping to late at night. Your subject matter, as well as your word choice and flow, helped to make your poetry interesting and entertaining.

    One thing I particularly liked about your poetry was the sudden “jumps” that you used throughout. These kept things exciting and maintained the reader’s attention, but you still manage to maintain a good feeling of flow, without the poetry feeling irregular. The reader always knew what’s happening, and there were very few parts that felt at all confusing.

    Your first poem/stanza was good, if not a bit conflicted. You seem to jump between the feelings of disgust and comfort, and it did come across as a little confusing at that point. It might have been better if you had waited a little longer to introduce new emotions to the mix, although this composition may have been exactly what you were going for. Conflicting emotion is certainly a valid theme for describing when one has just woken up, and if this is the intended effect, then you did a good job of conveying it.

    The poetry then jumps ahead in time to the narrator drinking coffee. There is a definite sense of suddenly being awake as the narrator’s tongue is burned by coffee. The reader can almost feel the “slap in the face” of the coffee, and the burning awareness it caused. I particularly enjoyed this section of the poetry, since we’ve all had to get up in the morning, it connects with pretty much any reader.

    The next part of the poem begins with yet another sudden jump. This time, the narrator is walking in the cold air. At this point, I got a little confused. It is clear that at some point the narrator is lost in thought, but it is unclear whether the sudden return to reality has already occurred, or is occurring during the poem. Other than this, I really liked this section of poetry.

    Finally, the poem jumps to late at night, at a time when the narrator is having difficulty sleeping. Despite being tired, the narrator’s thoughts keep her up. This section also helps to connect the poetry to the reader; anybody who has ever stayed up late knows exactly where you are coming from. This also brings the poetry neatly to a close, with the full circle of the narrator’s daily routine complete.

    Altogether, I enjoyed reading your poetry. The theme was good, and despite numerous sudden jumps, you maintained good flow. Other than a couple places where your wording left me a little confused, your poetry was mostly clear and made sense. Overall, I found reading your poetry to be engaging and pleasurable.

  13. Jessica Honebein

    Cassidy! I loved the poem(s) I think that it was very relatable and I was able to follow along very easily. I honestly think that you described a lot of the emotions I go through in the morning, as well as my dogs! I think that the repetition in the poem(s) really helped me to tie everything together and helped everything to flow in a good manner. I like how nothing seemed to be forced or sugar coated but it was almost like a casual conversation between the writer and the reader. I like how you embodied so much to each of the stanzas, including your emotions and activities. I do however get a little confused when you begin to talk about the sins being lifted off your shoulders and then you continue on with your day. It makes me question what happened and why. Also it must have been pretty impactful if it made you smile and want to continue on with your day in a happier manner. Other than that I think that the poem flowed pretty smoothly for me!

    I think that you hit right to the spot that it can be so hard to get your day going but them at two AM in the morning when all your really wanting to do is sleep is when your brain is wide awake and will not shut off. Reminds me of some of the other poems I have read in this course and the insomnia that it can bring upon a person. That is very relatable in my case and almost starts the repetition of being tired the next day and shuffling my feet around all over again. I think that you added a lot of descriptive words that really to help the reader dive into your life a little.

    This piece makes me want to read more and learn more about your life. I love the humor that you included in your poem and am definitely relating to yours days experience. I think that if you would add more to the collection it could show the reader more insight on what your personality is and how your day to day life activities continue. I think that you did a good job on the structure of this poem and how easy it was to read. Like I said earlier I would love to read more of your poems and think that this piece could potentially benefit from other poems to make a collection!

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