I know you’ve been waiting all year for me to host my 10th annual BAD POETRY CONTEST at the blog — so here is another reason to go on living. One week from today is my birthday, 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. It can be a crappy couplet, a crummy 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.
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 all you poets. In fact, I was once accused of being sensitive, and have occasionally been forced to reflect on something — that is, until I could grow up and get over it. Therefore, I’ve set aside the next week just for you. Write! Create! Sit and contemplate your navel! Do…um…whatever it is you poets do while the rest of us are out earning a living. Then send in your bad poetry! There are no rules, except that you don’t send in “birthday” poems. This isn’t a celebration of me aging — it’s a celebration of terrible writing, of faux depth, of deepful meaningness. So break out that sensitivity (with Trump the candidate, we’re going to need it) and demonstrate your reflexocity by creating something completely lame. Your fellow writers will love you for it.
And the best news of all… the winner, chosen by an experienced team of expert bad poets (me, and maybe a friend, if he agrees to buy the Guinness) will receive a special GRAND PRIZE: a genuine signed copy of my bestselling book The Y2K Family Survival Guide!!! That’s right — the book that saved western civilization as we know it! (Had it not been for all those stupid Y2K books by people like me and Mike Hyatt and Shauntee Feldhahn years ago, I’d probably be blogging in Chinese this very moment. In the dark, maybe. So just keep that in mind, Comrade. Mike Hyatt went on to become President of Thomas Neslon. Shauntee has written mumerous bestsellers. And I…uh…well, there’s no proof that the publishing of my book led directly to my being let go as a publisher with Time-Warner, but we’ve got people investigating that angle right now.)
Your little piece of literary history awaits. Write!
What can I do to make one see,
I do so love bad po-e-try.
It is, to me, a sort of balm,
And writing it just makes me calm.
For each time that I sit and write,
I show my depth, reveal my plight.
I’m really a reflective sort,
Hiding in my writing fort,
For rhyme and meter, brevity.
So come join my happy clan,
Write something – show you’re a man!
(Or a woman, if you aren’t home
to the Y chromosome.)
We await your craft and work,
Know that we will go beserk
When, upon this blog we see,
All your best bad po-e-try.
— The Most Reverend and Holy Jerry Chip MacGregor, President of the Bad Poetry Society