Saturday, April 4, 2009

Terrible Poems

Inspired by Garrison Keillor’s book “Good Poems,” I decided to create a poetry anthology of my own, entitled, “Terrible Poems.”

I thought it would be much more entertaining.

Then I realized it would be much easier to write my own bad poetry than to go out and find some that has actually been published (published on the Internet doesn’t count).

Every 17 years or so I start seeing the world poetically. My creativity comet has returned, this time passing closer to my surface than ever before.

Fortunately, the fit only lasts a few weeks. My mind spins reality and language together like a food processor, resulting in alternately delicious and revolting poetic snacks.

Here are a few samples, some serious, some whimsical. I cannot guarantee their quality. If you don’t like them, take comfort in knowing that I’ll be back to myself again next week.

* * *


My empty mind
Filled with the day’s concerns
Did not see nor hear
The last square of toilet paper;
A warning dangled
In the current that rises from the baseboard.
The hollow linen closet asks me
What I will wear to Hannaford.

* * *


A stubbly co-worker with a Goodyear blimp belly
Mixes his eggs with his baked beans and jelly.
“It all goes to the same place,” he explains,
As my stomach lurches and face color drains.
The next day I regain my normal composure,
And set up my lunch of dirt and manure.
With a glass of brown water and grain seed for dessert,
I ready myself for a bit of culinary sport.
“It all comes from the same place,” I will say,
“and returns there again in less than a day.”
Alas, his absence turned my fun soft:
My corpulent friend had just been laid off.

* * *

Thank You, Disney

Stifled in the Pixar dust,
A robot’s post-apocalyptic longing
Coaxes prickly female trust,
Despite all outward explosions, revealing
What she truly wants.

Innocuous Inaba, just nice,
Not harsh, not funny, but always smiling,
Her bland butter counters spice;
Tune in to see Len and Bruno’s judging,
And Carrie-Ann’s hair.

The world stops for March Madness, ESPN,
Give us 118 hours of programming
Devoted strictly to the men.
Thank you, Disney, for deciding
What our women will be.

* * *

Daddy’s Song

She holds the pen high in the air
(Miniature fingers pinch its point
For the first time)
And asks, “is this the right way?”
I nod.
She struggles to scratch a misshapen ‘o’ and squeals as I clap –
Later pounding puddles
With a surgeon’s countenance,
Then a mischievous giggle
At my soggy sweats
As her absentminded fingers curl
Around mine, which leash and steady
Indecisively –
She pulls on her own socks
While I earn,
And excitedly shows me
When I return
So that we stay in step
On our thrilling march toward emptiness.

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