Poetry … Awful, Awful Poetry

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There are few things I like less than poetry.
Doesn’t really matter who the author is.
I’ve perused collections of some of the best
and to be honest, I am rarely impressed.
An ode to this. An elegy to that. Two
lovers prancing merrily through lush glens with
wood sprites. The glorious beauty of rain clouds.
Something about a tree. A guy named Prufrock.
“In fair Verona,” and all of that hubbub.
If I met Shakespeare, I’d bite my thumb at him.
His puns are awful, and yes, I just ripped off
a line from Animal House. So? Poetry
is droll. It’s lame. It’s cliche. It’s pretentious.
It’s a freshman English student beginning
each new opus with “Oh Dear Gentle Reader.”
It’s smug know-it-alls snapping their approval
in dimly-lit, cavernous coffee houses.
It’s academics so caught up in structure
they pay no mind to real human emotion.
It’s Allen Ginsberg, in his goddamned white robes,
believing he was some modern-day prophet.
It’s unoriginal dickheads standing on
desks quoting Robin Williams and Walt Whitman.
It’s Janeane Garofalo perched atop a
west coast condo singing “Conjunction Junction.”
Not that the dreck I write is any better. It
isn’t even poetry. It’s groups of words
lumped together like Frankenstein’s Monster that
may or may not have a concurrent theme that
runs through them. They go nowhere. They do nothing.
My word-play is atrocious and my meter
is nonexistent. Mostly I ignore it.
Call this poem Self Portrait, if you want to.
Pardon the introspection. Here goes nothing.
I have two screenplays in my back pocket and
scripts I’d like to write, but I’m not ready
to start them. I’m trying to be more honest.
That’s the secret to good storytelling. Still,
I rarely say what I really want to say,
because I feel I can’t say it the right way
yet. Dali painted bread until it made him
hungry for bread. I’m trying to get better,
but there are inherent problems in my tales.
I tend to set scenes up and leave them hanging,
as if my brain’s wandering from place to place
in a world I can’t see, but can imagine.
It’s difficult to quantify dramatic
changes in the mind. I guess that’s why I write…

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