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Amazingly Bad Poetry Journal Review - Old

Apr. 6th, 2014 | 06:12 pm

Old
by Andrew


I know that it has been passed on, and I have been told
Life is golden when you get old
The Golden Years is a misnomer phrase
Whoever coined it should receive no praise
The cheeks and the disappearing chin,
My beautiful hair is getting thin
My nice chest is now part of my belly
And what muscles there were now wiggle like jelly
Climbing the stairs is now a chore
Im glad there is just one flight, and no more
My new diet of prescription pills
Really dont cure me, they just make me ill
Those who proceed me in Two Thousand Seven
Will know it is golden when they get to Heaven
There will be no sickness, pain or strife
He promised you eternal life
And you will get your fifteen minutes of fame
When Jesus calls you by your first name
So fear not about what you have heard
When up in Heaven you just dont get old


Cry me a river, old man! Joan of Arc died in agony at 19, with her lungs futilely trying to process thick smoke. John Keats, one of the finest poets who ever lived, died of tuberculosis at 25, right after attempting to swallow a Grecian urn, according to his Wikipedia page. Shakespeare lived to the grand old age of 52. How many sonnets have you written, Andrew? I ask because Shakespeare wrote 154...in his spare time, when he wasn't writing the greatest plays in the history of literature. Do you know what Joan, Johnny and Bill didn't have, Andy, besides old age? Plumbing! No plumbing! Their eras scored zero in terms of sanitation in the bathroom department. Next time you feel like complaining about the stairs in your house, think about how foul the toilets were at the Globe in 1592.

Here's something else: do you know what the average life expectancy is in Haiti, according to a 2011 study by the World Health Organization? 32 freaking years! That means most Haitian men are middle-aged by 16! Those men dying in their 30's would probably appreciate you donating some of those years that are causing you so much strife. Andrew, I'd geniunely love to hook you up to Count Rugen's machine from The Princess Bride, but instead of it sucking years of your life from you, it would transfer/transplant years of your life to various well-meaning teenagers of Haiti, or the Congo, or Malawi. Sound good? Good.

Andrew claims that we will each get our fifteen minutes of fame when Jesus calls each of us by our first name. Fuck that. I want Jesus to call me "Professor Roy Frost, sir." I've been maintaining this blog/public service since 1972, I think I've earned that respect. What if a person goes by their middle name? And when Jesus called on Judy Garland, did he call her Frances Gumm because that was her birth name? What if you've already had your 15 minutes of fame? Do the extra 15 minutes with Jesus mean that you're extra special? When Bristol Palin or Dane Cook or the "Dude, you're getting a Dell!" guy get to heaven, will Jesus say "hey, move along, I'm not saying your names. You've had your 15 minutes, dudes."

Is it literally 15 minutes? Is it like a meet-n'-greet, like at a Star Trek convention? If I pay extra, can I get a photo with Mr. Christ? He doesn't have to hug me, but can I hug him? Can we get a wacky one too? He can hold up one of His hands and I can be looking through the hole! No?

I hope it's not literally 15 minutes because I think I'd run out of conversation topics after 5 minutes. I think if I had a chance to study up first, I probably could come up with some good questions. I suppose there's probably a long line, but will someone be able to loan me a copy of the King James so I can cram pre-meeting. "Can we sing a song from Jesus Christ Superstar together?" is one I just thought up. But if I died in a bus accident or by a zombie horde rushing into my office building, I just know I'd freeze up. It's a moot point, since, knowing my luck, Jesus will probably forget my name. "Welcome to an eternity of happiness in this, my kingdom of heaven... ... buddy! Good to see you, pal! How's the ...how's everything with you? Aside from being dead, of course, heh ... Oh Dad-dammit. This is sooo embarassing. I'm usually really good with names! Who are you again?"

Bad Poetry Grade [F = your standard bad poem; A+ = worst poem imaginable]: C+

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Amazingly Bad Poetry Journal Review - Little Children

Feb. 15th, 2014 | 01:12 am

Little Children
by Andrew


I was very fortunate today,
To watch two children at play.
The little boy, in his cowboy suit,
his sixguns ablazing, oh my! he was cute,
The little girl, all dressed in pink lace
She was so pretty, with a blush on her face.
Off he would ride, on his trusty stick horse,
Capturing the bad men, and his did, of course.
She was seated at her table, with an imaginary guest,
She served tea with grace, and her cookies really were the best.
They started playing tag, running and shrilly screaming,
Loudly shouting, their little faces beaming.
They heard their Momma call, "come on in,
Wash your hands and face, then lunch will begin".
Oh Boy! they exclaimed, sweet tea and PB and J,
"Thank Mom", this is the best we have had today.
When finished, into the living room they went,
Lying down on the first thing they found, now very content.
Soon the sandman found his way, for a while he did stay,
Puttin sleep in their eyes, and ceasing their play.
A quick glance at the cowboy and the girl in lace,
In their peaceful sleep, they both had been blessed with an Angels face.


I'm not going to waste anyone's time with any introductory schtick about this ... this thing. I'm going to skip to the questions that we should all be thinking, starting with: is Andrew invisible and is he stalking these children? Seriously, where is he in this poem? Who is he?

I've come across another poem by this same poetry.com author wherein he talks (complains) about being elderly. Okay, then, he's the grandfather to these two children. There's nothing unsettling about that. He's a normal, everyday, silent-ninja-grandpa who follows his grandchildren from inside to outside and then watches them sleep, post-lunch. Fine, except that he makes zero references to being related to these children. Okay, then he trusts his audience to take his Mormon church commercial propaganda at purely face value. Surely modern audiences aren't going to be a little skeeved out by this poem, because modern audiences are not cynical and not overly paranoid and not apt to judge a person on zero evidence, starting at whatever weak spot is visible. This is what Andrew thinks to himself when he clicks the submit button on poetry.com. This is just a normal, everyday poem about an octogenarian admiring a 6-year-old and a 5-year-old. What's strange about that?

The correct answer is actually "there's nothing strange about it at all." There's nothing skeevy about this poem. Old people admire children all the time. But I'm still infuriated that Andrew is so naive that he believed that he could insert himself into this poem with total impunity. Doesn't he know that there's jerks like me out there in the world? I have no shame! I don't think I could compose a valid "Andrew = monster" argument that anyone would take seriously, but dammit, I could have tried! You owe me one, Andrew! Don't you dare shake your head at me, theoretical constant reader! You were thinking the same thing as me. He didn't even have to insert himself into the poem, by the by! His presence doesn't add anything, except for the potential for infinitely tasteless comments. Low hanging fruit, etc! Lowest common denominator, etc!

It's all moot anyway, since both of these children are fictional anyway, so go ahead and molest them for all I care. They aren't real. No, strike that. As long as you're going to invent two children, why don't you make them your own grandchildren? That way, there's a reason why you're hovering around them during the course of this poem!

Here's a weird thing: "She served tea with grace, and her cookies really were the best." Is he simply assuming that her cookies are the best ever or is he saying that she's asserting to herself in her tea party game that her cookies are the best or did he try the cookies? But it's tea party game so the cookies are as imaginary as the guest or my sense of right and wrong.

The poem itself strives for cute and Norman-Rockwelly, but it's just dull. By the time the children start (literally) screaming, I'm ready for the poem to have been finished for several minutes. "This is the best we have had today" the android children say, because their Maker forgot to program their brains with the ability to use contractions. This line exists for the rhyme, but that doesn't keep me from pointing out its inanity. They wouldn't have had sweet tea and sandwiches for breakfast (cow milk and pork bacon, of course) so what are they possibly comparing it to? Did they have a subpar sandwich at 10:15am? Andrew capitalizes the 'a' in Angels, apparently because angels are so close in proximity to capital G god. Which Angel though? Rod Carew? Chili Davis? Jim Abbott? Wally Joyner? I can do this all day.

Bad Poetry Grade [F = your standard bad poem; A+ = worst poem imaginable]: B+

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Amazingly Bad Poetry Journal Review - Life Waltzing By

Jun. 17th, 2013 | 11:26 pm

Life Waltzing By
by Jackie


Have you ever gazed into a face
And felt you wanted to cry?
Have you ran life's race
Knowing when you're going to die?
Have you ever wanted a life
To live to it's extent?
But had nothing but strife
And feelings broken and bent?
Did you ever think
About anyone but you
Have you ever given a smile or wink
To someone who appeared blue?
Did you ever hear a voice
Asking of a favor
Did you make the right choice?
To spare a little labor?
The world is a desolate place
Feeding of the human race
Destroying their chance
To enjoy life's dance


It's a shame that (as far as I know) there isn't a sex scene in this poem, because ... ... you know what, you guys, I haven't the heart to eviscerate this poem, given everything that's going on in the world right now. I don't read the news, I'm not the type of person who stays on top of the issues, I don't even watch "Extra" anymore, but occasionally, l'll accidentally hear about something on the Mark & Brian morning radio show. Normally, I'd say "fuck empathy" and review the poem anyway, but given the circumstances, I have to admit that Lynn has made some great points through her rhetoric. Therefore, I feel I ought to give her existential questionnaire the respect that it deserves, and I say this without knowing what "existential" means. I'm not going to answer every question, because I don't want to turn this into "I Love 'Life Waltzing By' - the blog." Feel free to answer questions in the comments sections. This isn't just a blog. It's a community. But it's mostly a blog. Here. We. Go.

Q. Have you ever gazed into a face and felt you wanted to cry?
A. Yes, but I'm not sure if it counts. When I was in fifth grade, I built a shoebox diorama for my book report on the novelization of the screenplay for "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock." I felt I was able to really capture the most perfect facial expressions (using Sculpey) for the (not filmed) sex scene between Dr. David Marcus and Lt. Saavik on the Genesis planet. Anyway, I started crying in my bedroom in front of the diorama people, not because I was proud of my project, but because I didn't understand what sex was, and I was worried that Dr. Marcus and Lt. Saavik were fighting. And Saavik was winning.

Q. Have you ran life's race knowing when you're going to die?
A. I know when I'm going to die, actually, so yes, I guess? I hate to answer a question with a question. The mysterious man in the forest told me that I would die two hours after I reviewed a poem titled "Life Waltzing By", but only if I pretended to take the poem seriously in the review's opening paragraph. Like that'll ever happen! And then the mysterious man asked me if I'd read the collected works of L. Ron Hubbard, so I'm not about to take him seriously. I can't really run life's race, because of my bunions and also I'm pretty sure Lynn just insulted Professor Stephen Hawking and Christopher Reeve.

Q. Have you ever given a smile or wink to someone who appeared blue?
A. If you want Professor Roy to make an Avatar/Blue Man Group joke, press 1. If you want him to make a joke suggesting a penchant for streetwalkers, specifically streetwalkers who role-play as drowning victims, press 2. But seriously, I give winking smiles all the time. I'm pretty sure winks and smiles are the cures for all the world's ills. That's why one-eyes dolphins are so popular. Those assholes who made "The Cove" documentary had no clue whatsoever.

Q. Did you ever hear a voice asking of a favor? Did you make the right choice to spare a little labor?
A. No. But I usually find that a smile and a wink is more than sufficient. However, I love that deodorant commercial where that super cute girl helps the guy carry the big chair up the stairs in their apartment building and he thinks she's a dude because he can't see her, then at the end, after he sees her, she says her name's Sam! Great commercial. I wish my life was like that. I've said too much.

Bad Poetry Grade [F = your standard bad poem; A+ = worst poem imaginable]: A-

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Amazingly Bad Poetry Journal Review - Cursed

Feb. 24th, 2013 | 01:18 am

Cursed
by Elsa


I read you like a book
it only takes one look
and your mine
caught.
hooked like a fish on my line
A face which you shouldn't trust
a heart too hard to crush
and yet they still fall for it.
like moths to a flame,
and still they fall for it again and again
I am Medusa I turn your heart to stone
So beware, young men of the world, Greek, and Rome.
For you will be doomed to a heart like mine
lost to love and to time
turned to stone
frozen, broken, alone
like most men of mine
for better or for worse.
Cursed.


In short, men keep falling for Elsa and for reasons unexplained, Elsa's heart can't reciprocate and she breaks their hearts in the end. It's either that or Elsa was given a homework assignment to write a poem about a character in Greek mythology. She does, after all, specify that this poem is for the young men of the whole world, and also Greece and Rome. I've always thought Greece and Rome were part of the world at large and therefore would not need to be singled out specifically. I've never been to either country, so as far as I know, they might exist on distant planets, separate from the world where we live. Elsa's line is reminiscent of the line in the hit song "God" by Joan Osborne: "nobody calling on the phone / except for the Pope maybe in Rome." Not sure if I hate Joan's or Elsa's line more, it's a toss-up. In both works, the word 'Rome' is just there for the rhyme. Not that it should have mattered to either person since Joan doesn't rhyme elsewhere in her song (unless you count Joan rhyming 'us' with 'us' in her chorus) and Elsa, surprising no one, is inconsistent. I'd like to install billboards in every major city, stating: "if you're going to write rhyming poem, please, in the name of god, be consistent." Does anyone know Ted Turner or Rupert Murdoch? Maybe we can Kickstarter it? We'll put a positive message on there too, "be nice to one another" or "you know what, you're better off not writing a poem in the first place."

Like I said, this poem may have been produced in conjunction with a dog-eared middle school paperback of Edith Hamilton's book "Mythology", but it just as easily could have come out of either "Clash of the Titans" movie. Sarah states that her (Medusa's) heart is also stone. I can only assume that in Sarah's version of the myth, Medusa had open heart surgery performed by Dr. Gorgon, MD, and that's the stone heart origin.

Lastly, I have a few choice (curse) words for these lines: 'and yet they still fall for it. / like moths to a flame,
and still they fall for it again and again.' If this was my first ABPJ review instead of my doing this nonsense for years, those lines would make me quit this forever, right before tossing my computer off my building's roof. Lucky for you, I'm just 5 feet, 7 inches, and 160 pounds of callous at this point.

Bad Poetry Grade [F = your standard bad poem; A+ = worst poem imaginable]: D+

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Amazingly Bad Poetry Journal Review - Breakfast

Nov. 3rd, 2012 | 05:05 pm

Breakfast
by Sarah


I sit here with my cereal
and swear it's water into wine.
Salt swims with milk,
changing the flavor from Honeycombs to you.
See, it spins me
to know how we once were,
to revisit mornings dreaming blue and traveling through Tokyo.
Meanwhile I dip my pen; you
tip your hat to him, the old man on the stoop.
We walked by these windows--remember?
I watched women wring their lives down to the sidewalk below,
and I wrote to will you away.
They say we're into summer now, but my season's been delayed.
I'm still watching winter windows,
and the trees are only just leafing out.
It's summer, but not here--
summer in someone else's city.


Did he break up with her? Did she break up with him? Are they still together but drifting apart? Why am I reading this? And does the Honeycombs robot have any significance? I have so many questions. Not the least of which is how does the saltiness of her tears change the flavor of her sugar-infused milk to the flavor of her erstwhile boyfri-... Oh dear god. Excuse me, I need to find myself a fresh brain. This one has gone bad on me. Imagine a plum that's been dropped behind a industrial-sized washing machine six months ago and you will start to have an idea of the badness.

I am almost positive that Sarah did not mean this line to be interpreted in a dirty way at all. For one thing, the rest of the poem lacks anything definitively ribald ... unless you count "mornings dreaming blue" which may or may not be a reference to having sex while sleepwalking or having sex while the other person is in REM sleep. This review has taken a dark turn.

Before the Honeycombs line, she says that it's water into wine, when it isn't either of these things. It's a water-into-wine-type of a situation, I'll grant her. But given neither a prophet or a miracle was involved, I charge Sarah with the crime of adding a dumb clichéd metaphor on top of a bizarre metaphor. Even if you deny the possible but unlikely dirtiness of the line, the line is still utterly, painfully absurd.

Bad Poetry Grade [F = your standard bad poem; A+ = worst poem imaginable]: B-

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Amazingly Bad Poetry Journal Review - Heart Break

Sep. 30th, 2012 | 04:28 pm

Heart Break
by Lawrence


Why do I give you my heart to break?
Why do I feel like my love is at stake?
Why does this pain not cease?
Why does love, seem like a beast?
This ache masks the joy we make.
Why does everyone, just seem to take?
These crumbled pieces or remains,
of this broken heart that's full of pain.
The bond we built is now broken.
Trust and faith leaves me chokin'.
Gasping for air that gives us life
Away from pain, away from strife.
On a shelf you place me for all to see.
Where you easily forget about me, selfishly.
You say that's false, that you really care.
That I make this all up; pull it out of thin air.
Then why at times do I feel so alone.
You go out at night or away from home.
No note or message, not even a call.
Again my heart sits upon a wall.
From here I don't know where to go?
I can't decide, I do not know.

Aww, poor Lawrence! He's feeling ignored and unwanted! His relationship is falling apart and he doesn't have the foggiest idea of what to do! Someone log on to Amazon.com and send him
some Cherry Garcia and sexy Frederick's of Hollywood lingerie, stat! No, not for his girlfriend -- for him.

Larry, sweetie: sell all of her shoes on eBay, buy an XBox with the funds, and re-bookmark those websites you stopped visiting when you started dating this shrew. After that's done, break up with her (duh) and get to work on regrowing a pair.

My caveman brain is in agony over Lawrence deciding to use poetry.com as a sounding board for his "lovelornness." Prior to this, he was vlogging on YouTube. After deleting all of his video diary posts, he spent the rest of the weekend watching and re-watching the extended special edition Blu-ray of "Beaches."

Aside from my advising Larry that he should break up with her, nothing I've said should be taken seriously. Put away your pitchforks. I am well aware that men can be just as anxious as women when it comes to relationships. I can testify to this personally, goodness knows. But, seriously, folks, if I'd posted this without the author's first name, would you guess it was a man or a woman who wrote it? (Hey, maybe they share a laptop and Lawrence forgot to log off his poetry.com account and she forgot to sign in.) I'm well aware that I'm assigning stereotypical and prejudicial gender roles when I suggest this poem sounds like it was written by a female. Didn't we already know that I'm a pig? Longtime readers will recall that I obsess over every sex scene or near-sex scene in any poem. Surely, a pig who is aware of being a pig is slightly less of a pig, right?

"You go out at night," Lawrence writes, "or away from home." Whoaaaaaa. The hell you say. Easy there. Let me get this straight. Sometimes she goes out and other times she also goes out? Oh, Larry, booby, I feel for you, but you should really break up with her. If she was just going out (at night) that would be bad enough, but you're telling me that she's also away from home sometimes too? We're all aware that it's possible to go out while not leaving your home. Right now, I'm swimming in an indoor pool at the Playboy mansion in 1965, trying to avoid eye contact with Bobby Kennedy. I'm also in my apartment writing the last sentence of this review.

Bad Poetry Grade [F = your standard bad poem; A+ = worst poem imaginable]: D+

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Amazingly Bad Poetry Journal Review - Amnesia of the Heart

Jun. 23rd, 2012 | 06:40 pm

Amnesia of the Heart
by Carlos, West Palm Beach, FL


For the life of me, I can't remember.
Was it this morning as the sun woke?
Bringing the birth of another day.
Could it have been last night;
as I held your hand in mine,
hopelessly wishing this was eternity.
Or maybe it was last weekend.
Flesh upon flesh.
Our hearts strumming the same tune.
Without the need for forced speech, we lay.
Memorizing every detail.
The first date, the first kiss,
the first time we shared each other.
All tattooed on my soul.
But when I fell in love.
For the life of me, I can't remember.


Oh for fucks sake, just say that you fell in love with her from the first moment you laid eyes on her and be done with it. That's what you're going to say during your personalized wedding vows, although it might be preceded with a joke. "I don't know if you'll remember but there was that time we went to the Buffalo Wild Wings and we watched the entire Charlotte Bobcats game and you ate what seemed like thousands of free unshelled peanuts ... Well, that's when I knew you were the one. No, but seriously, I knew you were the one since..." (and so on). Even if it's not true (and it probably isn't), even if you thought she was a shrill, oddly proportioned harpy with bad teeth upon introductions, "the first time we ever met" is universally accepted as the Correct Answer, however trite and unrealistic. I could expand on this forever, but this isn't Professor Roy's "Love = Lie" blog.

Let's say that you decide to avoid the cliche and compose a poem on the theme of not being totally sure when it was that you fell in love. This is presumably because a) you feel like you've been in love with this person forever, b) you figuratively can't remember your life without this person, or c) you're Leonard from 'Memento.' Like Carlos, you decide to avoid these cliches. Instead, being the stud that you are, you suggest that you might have fallen hopelessly for her last weekend when you two boned. You're 75% sure that it was the same person. At least 60% sure. Heck, in a good month, you fall in love every weekend, am I right?

I can't speak for the taste of Carlos' mate, but I can't see how this poem could possibly be mistaken for being romantic. Later, Carlos writes "Flesh upon flesh.
Our hearts strumming the same tune," which, in case you were wondering, is the equivalent of him making double-extra-sure that we heard him the first time when he told us that he was having sex with this person. "I'm having sex!!" he yells. "Frequently! Three to four times a week!"

The line "Without the need for forced speech, we lay" made my body break out into hives. "Um, honey, can't we, y'know, talk a little first about our lives and how our days were?" "No, baby, can't you see? Conversation would only ruin this moment. We've talked about this before, remember? For two minutes before the first time we boned. Now, let me help you with that bra, you silly goose."

Bad Poetry Grade [F = your standard bad poem; A = worst poem imaginable]: C

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Amazingly Bad Poetry Journal Review - Untitled (Ophelia)

Apr. 14th, 2012 | 12:50 pm

Untitled
by Brett


Sometimes I dream, Ophelia, that when we dance
you move towards me,
press yourself against me.
Ophelia, I see the day of bliss;
Our bodies whip around leafless trees,
branches flow in the wind, dying
to the song of awakening,
touching my open loneliness.
Ophelia, I thank you for this place,
where the present breeze fills the plans,
expanding into the life of love.
And in this garden, dispersing of concerns
changes grief to the laughter of innocence.
Our Eden grows with each affection.


This poem is presumably about a person named Ophelia, and not the Ophelia. You must be completely superstition-less to name a child Ophelia. What happens when she gets old enough to date? If I was a dad to a teenage Ophelia, I’d be up all night worrying that soon I’m going to be stabbed in a case of mistaken identity and subsequently my daughter will go insane and commit suicide. Also sometime before my stabbing, my wife will pass away or otherwise be inconsequential to the plot. I was going to suggest that this Ophelia could be a nickname or a pseudonym, but that’s even worse. “Here, sweetie, carry these wildflowers. Don’t ask me why. If you ask me why, you ruin it for me.” Also, once a week, he has to exhibit bizarre behavior around her and sometimes he has to scream at her that she should become a nun.

I think this is yet another unrequited love situation, but I’m not entirely sure. In the first lines, Brett doesn’t say that he dreams that they’re dancing. He says that he dreams of their dancing like Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in 1987. Dirtily. Dig. In Brett’s subconscious according to how the line is written, he wants Ophelia to do some good old-fashioned boner-inducing grinding. I can’t tell you how happy I am that a high school student might find this review when he/she is trying to find a paper on Hamlet to plagiarize. I’m thinking that Brett meant to write that he dreams that they dance and they’ve never actually danced in real life. Otherwise, he’s suggesting that Ophelia is about as sexy as a tapir.

I think Brett must have saddled his lady love with this poorly chosen fake name so that there’s no danger of her finding it if she ever chooses to Google random classmates or co-workers. Yeah, it’s a long shot, but you never know. You want to dodge that bullet before the gun is fired.

The fact that he imagines their dancing through a barren winter forest can mean nothing good at all. If Brett lived in Vienna in 1906, Siggy’s eyes would turn into dollar signs when he heard about this. Apparently Brett intends this as a rebirth metaphor. Their dance turns the lifeless "plans" [sic] (oh dear me) into an Eden. Because nothing bad has ever happened in Eden. I understand that it’s the tree branches (and not Ophelia) that are touching Brett’s ... open loneliness..., but that doesn’t make the line any less horrifying.

Bad Poetry Grade [F = your standard bad poem; A+ = worst poem imaginable]: B-

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Amazingly Bad Poetry Journal Review - Untitled

Feb. 20th, 2012 | 11:20 am

Untitled
by Charles


I changed her mind about the ice. I held her feet;
I gave her skates.
I held her as we walked on water:
Simple figure eights.
All her balance
In my hands, her hands on my
Coat's down lining.
Strolling 'round a quartz ellipse,
Cold when hands go down mining.
We went on out
Into the vertex of the scraping sounds.
Faith in a possible ruse:
How we fly in deux formation
From the metal on our shoes.
All around's the echelon of
Fathers and their young, two patterns
These days are just a lonely lifetime
You can be my fulfill sometime.


What a lovely winter scene. It's a shame Charles had to go and ruin it by writing this poem that has all the charm of frozen snot. First of all, "Untitled"? Un-fucking-titled? Charles, are you trying to get my ulcer to quadruple in size? Clearly you are trying to do that, Charles, because you could not do the right thing by calling this poem "Skating" or "Reflections on Ice" or "Ice Ice Baby." In the interest of full disclosure, I've written "Untitled" poems before. I am equally guilty of being a pretentious douchebag who felt that his poem transcended the need for a title. "Oh, but giving a title to this poem would be like trying to give a title to the happiest, most spiritual moment of ones life." Please do not open your mouth ever again. If you are a professional poet, you can get away with "Untitled", in limited quantities. No, wait, I changed my mind. Professional poets should know better too. It's like a movie where one or more of the main characters isn't given a name. It better be a really good movie, like "Rebecca" or "The Brother from Another Planet." If this poem was a movie, it would not be a good movie.

By the time we've finished reading the first two lines, we've already given up hope. "I changed her mind about the ice. I held her feet; / I gave her skates." Now, I'm pretty sure, about 98% sure that he held her feet in order to put the skates on her feet. But the way the line is written, the way he chose to arrange the text, it seems that holding her feet was how he changed her mind about the ice. Why does he say "I held her feet" when a certain percentage of us will want to complete the line with "to the fire." As in, "I held her feet to the fire." Fire. Ice. Author possibly thinking he's cute and clever. From Cambridge's Dictionary of American Idioms via the Free Dictionary website, "hold somebody's feet to the fire - to cause someone to feel pressure or stress." Fantastic.

I believe Charles is seeking a quaint, pastoral "Charlie Brown's Christmas" tone with his poem, but he fails at setting this mood entirely because of two things. First, there is this bizarre word choice. Echelon of fathers? Quartz ellipse? Deux formation? We understand what he's saying, but why the $2 words in a nickel worth of poem? Did he get a vocabulary-word-of-the-day calendar for his birthday? "Echelon" and their ilk do not fit in this poem. They are immediately distracting and stick out like a bloody thumb in your Old Spaghetti Factory dish.

Then there's this bizarre detail: "In my hands, her hands on my / Coat's down lining. / ... Cold when hands go down mining." Mining where? For heavens sake, mining where? He's describing her cold hands, touching him ... where? Is she just holding onto him for balance? Then why describe it as "mining?" I associate the word 'mining' with the word 'under.' How much can you get away with in public and at a skating rink? Hands shouldn't "go down mining" in public, much less when there's kids present. It may very well be that this is a father writing about skating with his daughter, in which case I apologize for this paragraph. We already knew I'm headed to hell.

Bad Poetry Grade [F = your standard bad poem; A+ = worst poem imaginable]: D

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Amazingly Bad Poetry Journal Review Classic - Colors

Oct. 9th, 2011 | 03:48 pm

Colors
by Ana, Mission Viejo, CA
originally posted May 2005 (holy shit!)


Let's see,today, I will wear red,
the color of passion rising in my heart,
tomorrow, green, the color of hope,
like the new vegetation, young grass;
perhaps the day after, I will wear yellow
like a daffodil, and imitate the sun
while I warm myself under its rays
and after that, blue to reflect the sky
and the coolness of sea waves;

In the private realm of my bedroom,
I will wear white, the sum total of color
because there my passion, my hopes,
my dreams come together
and before I go to sleep,
they will vaporize
and became the mist of remembrance
that rises to celebrate life!


This is "If Mallory from "Family Ties" wrote a poem"... ...will you just pick something to wear already?! Dear god! Remind me to never invite Ana out to a movie, because I can almost guarantee that we'll be late. And god help you if you make me late to a movie. I'll be waiting out in the car, beeping the horn, and she's still be establishing a psychic link with her closet. What if her mood schedule changes? Oh, well, that means we have to start all over again, from the beginning. Some would argue, Ana, that if you really want to be one with the natural world (the very generic natural world in this case), you should just go around naked. If you had come to this decision years ago, you could have spared us this poem entirely. At least she's confident that she looks good wearing all these colors. I never see anyone wearing yellow (and for good reason). I cry foul at her imitating the sun and warming herself under its rays. I would like to think that she's radioactive - so heat actual eminates from her body. She can toast bread with her thighs.

There was a TV commercial a while back where a black woman read a generically pretentious inspirational poem to an audience (I think it ended with "Free....(dramatic pause)...to be me."). It was a liberated-women poetry slam as seen by ad executives. It was a toothpaste commercial. It made me ill. The second stanza reminds me of that ad. It's just so goddamn cheery! Her perkiness makes me want to throw rocks at her car. "Life is wonderful!" Ana is saying -- hell, she's screaming it at us as she drives a truck toward us at 70 mph. "Ain't life grand? I have the bestest wardrobe of anybody! Bow down before me!" This poem has that exclaimation point at the end, which I hate. I hate exclaimation points anyway. I use them on the ABPJ a lot, because I'm often pissed off, but I try to avoid them. You should only use an "!" when it's totally necessary. RIGHT: "The woods are lovely, dark and deep, / But I have promises to keep, / And miles to go before I sleep, / And miles to go before I sleep." WRONG: "The woods are lovely, dark and deep, / But I have promises to keep, / And miles to go before I sleep, / And miles to go before I sleep!!"

"Private realm" calls to mind an out-of-the-way store that sells oils and special toys. And there's some sort of hanky panky going on in the bedroom in this poem. There must be some reason she's wearing passion-hot red on the first day and (virginal?) white in her bedroom on the next. I would think it would be the other way around. "I will wear white, the sum total of color" -- no it's not! Everyone above the age of 3 knows that when you combine all the colors together (thinking you'll get a rainbow effect), you get a disgusting murky brown. Red = passion. Green = hope. Yellow = jaundice. Oh, and dreams. I think. Or does blue equal dreams?

If there are sexual undertones (I'm not sure at all) where's the sexual partner? Where's the person she's planning to boink? Maybe she's planning to go solo. If not sex, what's so special about this goddamned bedroom? Why is it the place where the universe converges? Oh, let me guess, you painted it blue with puffy white clouds. I am of the belief that ones bedroom serves as a place to have sex and a place to sleep (in that order). I would argue that those two are the most common uses for a bedroom. A bedroom is NOT a place to make an artistic statement (unless you're making an artistic statement during sex.) This may be just wishful thinking on my part. This could just be Ana finding herself, in touch with her soul, blah de-blah blah blither blah blah. But I can hope that she's planning on having sex, right? Surely you'll allow me that. C'mon!

Bad Poetry Grade [F = your standard bad poem; A+ = worst poem imaginable]: B

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