Friday, June 18, 2010

How to write BAD POETRY in 19 easy steps!

You’re probably wondering why bad poetry?
More likely, you’re wondering why the words bad and poetry have seeped into your life like the stench from a broken septic tank.
I’m not one for divulging anything personal but I thought you should know…
I’m just in it for the money.

It’s a little known and closely guarded secret in the literary community that writing poetry can be wildly lucrative. Forget all those visions of Rimbaud and Verlaine living in abject poverty while strung out on absinthe and hashish. The truth is, most poets live more like Joan and Jackie Collins. Complete with man-servants ready to shave off their bunions and whip up a dry martini at 7:00am. Not to mention the liposuction and tantrums.

As a matter of fact, I’ve got my very own Swedish masseuse named Ingadolde sitting on me right now.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
The sad truth is bad poetry doesn’t just write itself.
Although in the case of Jewel, I may be at a loss here. Seriously.

Anyway, much like sculpting your first hideously deformed clay ashtray for father’s day in the third grade, bad poetry requires something that looks similar to talent, focus and attention--but isn’t. In fact you don’t actually have to be creative at all or even remotely interesting. Being gassy or drunk can give you the same feeling as well as the same results. And for less than half what you’d pay at a regular poetry store! So if you’re ready to become rich and famous and impossible to be around, then here are a few guidelines that have helped me on my way to fame and fortune in the world of incredibly suspect verse.

1. Iambic Pentameter can go f%#@ itself
2. Always use clunky words you don’t really know (e.g. incorrigible & verisimilitude)
3. Try to fit a knock-knock joke in whenever possible
4. If you must Haiku, please clean up after yourself
5. Irony isn’t dead but it has been hit on the head with a frying pan
6. Inappropriate rhyming will always save you (e.g. moose and Jews)
7. The good news is no one else knows what e.g. stands for either
8. If you run into writer's block, try writing in a foreign language you don’t speak. It's de rigueur
9. If you write a ‘concrete’ poem, try to use actual concrete or cement
10. If you accidentally use ‘alliteration’ simply type the letter A for the           duration of the poem. This gives it much more meaning.
11. Contrary to popular belief, people really do want to know what you had for breakfast as long as it’s in verse form
12. If you’re worried about meaning in your poem, don’t. We’ll all be dead soon enough
13. When making a ‘list’ poem, be sure add toilet paper to it. No one likes to drip dry or use your clean hand towels next to the sink
14. Poems to imaginary childhood friends will most likely win you a Pulitzer
15. Don’t worry about your ‘audience’. They don’t give a crap about you either
16. The best poems are the ones you plagiarize (see previous blog entry)
17. It helps if you were dropped on your head as a child
18. Things you should know as a poet: Along with Leaves Of Grass, Walt Whitman also wrote several Motown hits for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
19. If you've been looking for your ‘voice’ as a poet and can't find it, there’s a good chance someone stole it on purpose

I do hope this helps.

And always remember, when the writing gets tough…
the tough fall apart and go crying to their therapist.