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Category : Bad Poetry
So today is my birthday — I hit the big Five-Oh, and I’m celebrating by holding my nose and pouring over all the really bad poetry that faithful readers have sent to my 2008 Bad Poetry Contest. My friends took me to J.K. O’Donnel’s Irish Pub for some inspiration, so let me offer some quick thoughts…
-Most of you really suck at this. I mean, really. You’re great sports for taking part, of course, but you need to know that poetry is not in your future. Trust me on this.
-A few rose above the badness and actually had nice rhymes and good images. You were immediately disqualified. (My son Colin sent in a 28-liner that actually rhymed and offered the image of "this violent reek in my nose hair." Sorry, son, but to craft truly BAD poetry you’d have skipped the rhyme and focused more on the cat poo.)
-Why is it that limericks make us smile? And why is it that nobody can really take a limerick seriously? I mean, Shakespeare never wrote limericks, did he? ("Forsooth and anon from Nantucket…")
-When will bad poets realize that rhyming couplets get really annoying after the first two lines? Egad. Once I got by the lines like "Happy Birthday Chipperoo, You are really full of poo," I wanted to smack the author with a stick. (Take note, Paulette Harris: "Happy birthday to you, woo woo woo" is not actually a "poem" — it’s more like a "bad idea.")
-While I’m at it, when will poets realize that most haiku is awful? I mean, the faux depth is laughable. Just creating the dumbest haiku imaginable will probably put you into the Poetry Hall of Fame.
-I’d like to point out that Kelly Klepfer offered us a rap. A RAP! Kelly will be mistaken for a rapper the day after PEOPLE Magazine names me to their list of "50 Sexiest Men." White
Don’t wait until the last minute — now’s your chance to show off that lack of talent!
Give us your wretched rhymes, your lousy limericks, your hurtin’ haiku. Every year at this time I celebrate my birthday by hosting the Bad Poetry Contest. We’ve got some absolute stinkers this year — poems about monkeys in cages, acrostics about casseroles, and "fearsome fanged sparrows from the cliffs of Aldu-Hazziz." In other words, these are bad. Terrible. Rotten to the core. Just the way we like ’em. We even had one woman reveal that the love of her life looked her in the eye and told her, "They look like big blue bowling balls." (Um… it should be noted she THOUGHT the guy was talking to her about her eyes.) And to top it off, two of my students took time away from their end-of-the-semster studies to rhyme "final" with "vinyl." Does my heart proud to know I’m discipling two young up-and-coming bad poets.
Last year’s winner was "Blind Puppy on a Freeway," which offered this inspiring chorus:
Love, love, love, love
Love, love, love
I don’t know. Whenever I read those words (sniff), there’s just something (sniff) that touches me (snort) RIGHT HERE (honk!). [For the sake of potential children reading this blog, we won’t be showing pictures.]
Anyway, here’s your chance. Rage. Emote. Show us your deepfulness. Greatness awaits. (So does a copy of Does God Speak Through Cats, which is this year’s Grand Prize Selected Especially For You.) My 50th Birthday is Sunday, when I hope to be picking a winner, assuming I can still read and I’m not overcome by the fumes.
No doubt you’ve been waiting all year for me to host my annual BAD POETRY CONTEST at MacGregor Literary. Next week is my birthday (a big one — I hit the big Five-Oh), and I always try to celebrate by inviting all the bad poetry my friends can muster. Just go to the bottom of this blog, hit "comments," and post some lousy piece of doggerel as your way of joining in the celebration. That’s right – You can be published! Right now! On my blog! Aren’t you just wetting your pants in anticipation?
It can be a crappy couplet, a crummy bit of free verse, a lousy limerick (let’s stay away from rhyming with the city of "Nantucket"), or any other ditty you create that shows what a sensitive and thoughtful artist you are, when you don’t happen to be worrying about your lack of a book contract or whining about the bad job of marketing your publisher is doing for you.
Warning: This is not a "birthday blog." So don’t feel you have to write a poem about birthdays. It’s just your chance to share your true deepfulness and reflectiveosity. You’re an artist — go art.
For those not in the know, this contest grows from my belief that every poet has the same message, which can be subtly summed up this way: "LOOK AT ME! I AM SENSITIVE AND REFLECTIVE AND NOBODY UNDERSTANDS ME! SO I’LL SHOW THEM HOW DEEP I AM BY WRITING POETRY!" (Feel free to edit that statement if you’re truly deep and meaningful.) I want you to know that I’m here for you poets — in fact, I was once accused of being sensitive, and have occasionally been forced to reflect on something, until I could grow up and get over it. Therefore, I’ve set aside the next few days just for you. Write! Create! Sit and contemplate your navel! Do…um…whatever it is