In only a few brief months of blogging, I have discovered that people like me best when I suck. I write horribly embarrassing things about myself and suddenly everyone’s all, Be my best friend! No, pick me! No, me–I have a pool and my mom lets us eat Cheetos for dinner!
Which is why I have been utterly delighted with the disclosure of bad poetry around here in recent days (some of which is not all that bad, I might add). I see it as just another opportunity for me to reveal more personal suckocity, thus inspiring further love and admiration.
But first, a preface.
Before I was even old enough to hold a pencil, my mom encouraged me to write. On cold weekend mornings, I curled up on the wooden radiator cover in the kitchen, one cheek pressed against the smooth warm wood while I devised rhyme schemes. I recited them to my mother who stood over me, dutifully copying my words into a marbled composition book labeled Poetry. The title was a bit of an exaggeration, as you will soon agree, but this, as I now know, is a mother’s prerogative.
By the time I was five or so, I started filling in the books with my own shaky two-inch tall words. Sometimes these words came together in sentences that made a certain amount of sense; sometimes, not so much. It’s this last category, these morsels of metrical ineptitude that I share with you today.
The year: 1974. I was six.
Look look there’s something funny
It looks like a bunny
It looks like a bear
It’s sitting in a chair
Oh no, that’s not all
But no no it’s over there now
Hi, there’s the town
in a frown
but…where’s the chair?
So nothing could be sitting down!!
So if you want to know this poem
in the town or anywhere
just write it down
just sitting in or on a chair.
Notice the subtle transition from an AABB rhyme scheme into free-form prose then back again? Notice the philosophical ponderings of a six year-old grappling with the concept that with no chair there is just no sitting down? Need I even elaborate on the metaphorical imagery of a town in a frown? Future valedictorian, my parents must have thought. MENSA make room, we’re on our way.
But wait, as they say, there’s more.
Oh, oh, there’s a show
but I can’t go
because of the snow
and oh oh oh dear
I still can’t go
because I am here
and because there’s a mouse
in and under my blouse.
This piece clearly foreshadows my future as a copywriter who would one day earn a living by answering the question, what else rhymes with “Zestfully clean?” It also portends the sensual enjoyment of rodents that I experience to this very day.
Sadly however, the best piece in the composition book was not mine at all, but that of my four-year old brother. These thirty-some odd years I had always remembered it as my opus, my greatest work, only to have that misconception shattered as my mother read it back to me last night. I’m still in a bit of shock if you must know. But I share it with you nonetheless, as evidence of the profound poetic sucktasticness that runs in the family.
It is entitled Circle Perkel.
Circle perkel on the bed.
Circle perkel do what you’re said.
Circle perkel there’s your friend.
Circle perkel don’t hit him on the head
Circle perkel you’re on the bed again
Circle perkel he’s hitting the pan.
Oh, what’s that? What’s that I hear? Why that’s the sound of Harper-Collins bitch-slapping Random House over the publishing rights. Thalia, looks like you’re not going to community college after all.