Sunday, August 19, 2012

Because I'm Bad, I'm Bad, You Know It

In my tireless search for all things poetically accesible I discovered yesterday was National Bad Poetry Day.

How did I hear about this, but you didn't? You must not follow @PeeWeeHerman.

That's right, Pee-Wee gave it a shout out. And you thought there was nothing left to be learned from the man who taught you to dance on a bar and win any argument. Silly reader.

We could debate what defines bad poetry, but that's like arguing about the definition of Art. If after 95 years we're still disagreeing over an autographed urinal, what hope is there that I can even begin to address good and bad in this blog?

Good is in the eye of the beholder and fundamentally bad poetry has a special place in my heart - because I don't know how to write any other kind.

My first attempt at prose is easily among the worst ever written. But when you are ten years old and staring out the window at a darkening sky - you notice the wind picking up before a storm and birds flying their feathers off trying to get to cover - and a rhyme pops into your head for the first time in your Smurf-centric life, it's startling.

The wind blows
The trees sway
Birds fly
It's nature's way.

Profound, yes? But the important thing, to me, is that I remember exactly where I was, what the sky looked like, how I jumped off the couch and dug through my dad's desk for a pen and paper, and documented my first rhyme-y thought.

Maybe your most vivid childhood memory is of learning to ride a bike or ice skate or hold your breath under water. Two of the most crystal-clear High Definition memories of mine are reading a book, cover-to-cover, on my own for the first time  (Hop on Pop) and writing that poem.

So in honor of National Bad Poetry Day I give you what is considered, by several sources, to be the worst poem ever written.

It's so bad, it's actually likable.

A Tragedy by Theophile Marzials
The barges down in the river flop.
Flop, plop,
Above, beneath.
From the slimy branches the grey drips drop...
To the oozy waters, that lounge and flop...
And my head shrieks - "Stop"
And my heart shrieks - "Die."...
Ugh! yet I knew - I knew
If a woman is false can a friend by true?
It was only a lie from beginning to end--
My Devil - My "friend."...
So what do I care,
And my head is empty as air -
I can do,
I can dare
(Plop, plop
The barges flop
Drip, drop.)
I can dare, I can dare!
And let myself all run away with my head
And stop.
Plop, flop,

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