Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Problem With Bad Poetry: Revised

(This is what we call the process of revision. Some people don't believe in revising poetry because they think true poetry is just an immediate expression of your deep, inner soul and that's what makes it art. I, on the other hand, highly disagree. Poetry is a craft. And this is why this version of the poem is better than the one I posted earlier. Enjoy!)

Poetry conceits.
Claiming she understands the world
By throwing around words like love, eternity, desire, darkness, soul
When really she knows nothing at all
Except abstraction
And pompous generalization that passes for wisdom
Because it leaves room for every contradictory answer
In the vastness of those weak, empty words.
But what does she know about the ache of an arm raised in the air
As the student waits too long to be called on?
Or the grating of a teacher's voice
As he lectures his pupils to sleep
Or the burn of a paper cut
The suffocating claustrophobia of knowing that no matter what
You won't go to bed before three
And you have nine o'clock class the next morning
Hearing your friends laugh in the next room
When you have a paper to write
The favorite color of the three-year-old you babysit
The fact that your brother puts ketchup on everything
The way chocolate erupts in a milky-sweet lava on your tongue
The gripping panic of startling awake in the night when the light's burned out
The tremulous anxiety of messing up (a test? a friendship? both at once?)
The shaky relief of discovering you haven't
For some poets
Do not partake in the world of ants in your kitchen, ink on your hands, sand in your socks
Some poets
Dismiss the little things
Cracker crumbs
Muddy footprints
Overstuffed planners
For some poets
There is only love, eternity, desire, darkness, soul

1 comment:

the apple said...


Ohh, the painnnnn, the painnnnnnnnnnn