The Obligatory Best-of Poetry Collection from That One Semester in College
My fellow Dysfunctionites! As from the terrible poetry you’ve seen me write on here, it’s conspicuously painful (or painfully conspicuous) that poems not my forte. My heart goes out to poets everywhere because one can get away with insignificant line breaks or the throwaway word in prose, but great poems waste nothing. They are compact yet heavy; the Smith and Wesson 1911′s of the literature world, if you will. Therefore, no Creative Writing degree is complete (literally and figuratively) without a poetry class. My professor, for this particular class I took in Fall of 2010, lent us the tools and requirements to pull a marathon from the thin October air. The result was October Madness, also known as write-a-poem-each-day-for-thirty-one-days. Something happened during those thirty-one days, however. External forces were at work, my heart was starting to gaze in different directions, and my mind wanted to be free from what it had become complacent to. By the end of the semester, my life was going to change, and for my final project in the class, I explained why because I finally knew what I needed to do. If there was ever an example of writing being used in a therapeutic way, this was it. I definitely explored some difficult themes, like the fear of loneliness and alienation, the anger in being an outcast, unhappiness, etc. So if you’re ever up for doing something like this, go for it.
Now, I won’t post all thirty-one here, but you can find them (including the source of why I entitled my Tumblr url Fried Unicorns!) here at the original WordPress for the class. I’ve only decided to post the ones I thought were my best or most important to me. Now, remember, it was called October Madness for a reason.
October 1st, 2010
Letting myself drown
So, I suck to those who
prefer Britney Spears to Elvis,
Brad Pitt to Clark Gable,
Stephenie Meyer to Wordsworth
And so it shall be, like the dirty moths of Britain,
I will adapt to create something I hate,
to suck on instead of sucking myself
I thought I told you this is not who I ever was.
I shift my focus! I am skeletal, with missing eyes.
I am Jesus with a bag of ganja in my pocket,
the drunken philosopher who spews his best work
in a stupor…
The water fills my lungs
I love it so.
October 3rd, 2010
To my being…
The talents I drew from the locked safe have
blown away in the gusts, and the inspiration,
washed down with the last drop of Ansonica. A
young boy nearly broke a jewelry box today, but
it was not enough and I’m sorry.
Someone asked me my political affiliation, and
I hopscotched from lightly conservative to Social
Democrat to who-gives-a-fuck; it would not have
been consistent, it would not have been my
Faust. I did try and I’m sorry.
To cut my fingers and bleed my thoughts in
squiggles and serendipity would have been
watching Evel Knievel walk from death in
a motorcycle crash–a giddy, accidental
moment, simple, without thought.
I can’t impress me and I’m sorry.
October 6, 2010
Five Years In
the dress is covered by a bag nestled in dust
a spider weaves her web in the upper corner of my room
my cell phone rings and I eat a slice of tomato on burnt toast
the thermometer reads fifty and I reach for the jacket
on the kitchen chair and get up to throw away my paper plate
the couch is old and green and holds a stack of student papers
there you are with a red pen and an ugly sweater
a small Cinderella is at our fancy-paned door
Kit-Kats and Reeses tumble into her plastic purple bucket
I pour a tall, thin glass from a bottle that says Veuve Clicquot
the label also says 2014 and Scrabble is now set on the table
“Sweetie”, I call. Your ring shines, freshly cleaned.
October 7th, 2010
The Whites of his Eyes
I could believe a story of a sweeping romantic
who lost his lady to another man or a tragic accident,
but the sympathy is taken from me because I
enjoy the company of a man’s man and that is what
drew my gaze to the whites of your eyes. Is it possible
that your money was stolen or squandered and the
bill collector has rapped on your door one too
many times? Your cheeks are blushing, therefore
I’m inclined to believe no. The vein-bursting hand
and the grapple-hook on your hair show a conflicting
feeling, as if you truly were desperate. The collar is
unbuttoned, disheveled, and your irises are larger
than they ought to be. It lies in something–could it
be me standing here still that rests your white, unemotional
October 9th, 2010
On growing up
Stand up straight and your
spine and legs will follow.
Stop brushing your doll’s hair
and begin brushing your own.
The Easy Bake oven shall be
abandoned for a gas stove.
Don’t bother being excited for
the mail, it only brings little
monsters that barter your money.
Each year goes, and there is less
space for mistake and more space
for responsibility in the times you
sit on your suave sofa and wonder
just where did the time run off to.
Your child will blow bubbles, and
you will have to teach them to
abandon such innocence, the same
way you have.
October 11th, 2010
I will not be
fat, moody, or selfish.
I will not say
I cannot wait.
I will not feed
upon erratic cravings.
I will not hold
this still fish.
I will not spend
time and money.
I will not look
at the photographs
because there are none.
October 14th, 2010
Calm Poem (Monday Nights)
I don’t mind the flashy tights so
as long as the muscles are flexed
and the face is gleaming with
Begone, I hear myself say, this
is a soap opera for men. Yet
there is something so raw and
I don’t mean the title.
Why belittle yourself so by
watching this? my mother
asks. I tell her it’s a chore
being smart and this show
is pleasantly unwinding.
The plotlines are cringe-
worthy and I am the
resident psychic, or
The superstars speak into
the microphone, letting
escape such brilliant phrases as
I sink in my leather couch
and drain my thoughts
faithfully on Monday nights
to see the finisher.
October 15th, 2010
And I am Mistress One
There once was a girl
you thought you loved
until I came around.
At least that’s the story I went with.
But the years have passed
and it is now the secret
comes forth with a sound.
I was not the only mistress–
and the romance has left from
all that I knew and my wedding
toast buried itself underground.
I stand at the tidal waves and lift
my last regret from beyond the
shore. Before I let this slay me
and you find me on the ground–
Why was I alone in blame and guilt?
I should have covered Mistress Two
in the same pig filth, squeezed her
heart until she felt as I had felt.
Stomped on her with stilettos and
sent her to hell. Hung her by her
feet until she lost control–
But all’s well as in
regrettably, I’m considerably too sweet.
October 18th, 2010
And, Who Sir, Are You?
“Cause I do not accept any less,
than someone just as real, as fabulous.”
-Lady Gaga, “Paper Gangsta”
You emerge from what seems
like the shadows in your
giant Lamborghini and
ramble on how incredibly
your mansion harbors the best
acoustics to Bach, even
though I never heard of him.
You want to be awakened to
the sight of the boarded homes
and condoms in the street, all
while wooing me and my culture.
You, no your father was the
American Dream, and you know
nothing. Go ahead and tell me
my people are polluted, you are
not my Superman. Who are you then?
October 19th, 2010
Are We Desperate?
Everything is better when
your shoes are side by side,
and we tug at the mustache,
waiting for the gold like a
slot machine. The world is
blowing up and it is reflected
in the eyeglasses of the right-
hand man. Out of training,
The remedial tides dictate
that we are laughing at the truth.
October 20th, 2010
Is this one serious? Or
is this nutter? This is
fashion under fascism,
a black wool beret and
a gun to the teeth in
ad hoc institutions,
china grass produced in
Piedmont. As peculiar as
a Buddho-Capitalist, follow
them solely out of morbid
curiosity. She doesn’t have
a good understanding of
geomagnetism, and what
they really wanted to say
was phenomena, meaning
more than one. The machine
can indeed make a silk purse–
only if you wish to take it.
October 25th, 2010
However small class beings may appear,
we come to investigate wonder, the gnat
that buzzes the meadow as much of
admiration as largest elephant or hugest
whale ploughs. We consider least that we
of too small discovered help bodies of
which power action. Manifold works
wisdom all they of the great capable of
feeling and pain to avoid cruelty.
October 26th, 2010
Catterpillars inch towards a giant
glowing horizon and I am amongst
them: The light is my blood
or I thought it was
or I thought it still is but
we are all
and I slow down where’s the bridge
where’s the sweeping wind it pushes
againstme and blinds
me with grains of sand
Am I in a timetable or a sundial
Nope, we are creatures in an
hourglass on our way to the
until we are flipped
our lungs are nothing
October 31st, 2010
Your dreams are my nightmares
A light in the box and standing in stocking feet, to
fulfill many Northwestern Pacific cliches with a kickstand
cyclery. Tolerance, you can find it anywhere, but hipsters
didn’t revive fixed gears at all. Your store isn’t owed my
business just because it’s local. Don’t panic. Should you
chill and smoke some fat blunts, riding chillwaves to
fuzzbuzz heaven together? The wood chipper has been
replaced by a cyclops and Obi-Wan Kinobi is probably
my only hope. We focus on twists because twists help
digestion, and I am so lucky no one cool is here to
see me in this helmet. It hits me: all I want in life is a
chandelier to hang in my bathroom so I feel fancy
while I snort crushed birth control pills off the back of
my toilet–oh and tattoo-patterned paper towels.
Comment below or drop some words into my ask!Tags: advanced poetry, autumn, college, fear of loneliness, loneliness, madness, nostalgia, october madness, old, poetry, richard stockton college, self-esteem, themes