Bad Poetry

One thing before this rant gets going: Yes, I am home by myself on the Halloween Saturday night. It’s not because I don’t feel like being social, and it’s not because I’m some kind of loser who didn’t get invited out anywhere. It’s because it’s really cold outside, and I am too much of a wuss to dress up in some kind of either recycled or thrown together costume and drive to a party where I wouldn’t be able to drink enough to have fun because I would have to get myself home. By myself.

So I decided to stay home. And it’s a good thing I did because I’ve had this awful room-clearing gas all day long, and this way, I’m the only one who has to suffer through it all night. Not that you needed to know this. But now you do.

As you can see by my sidebar, I have joined MySpace. It’s kind of lame, yes, but it’s another way to expose myself. And I’m kind of addicted to self-exposure. I’ve also found some interesting things by browsing through the people and communities. For example, there are a couple of people that I knew in my previous lives and incarnations that can also be located via MySpace. Not that they’re people I would necessarily like to get in touch with, but it’s kind of fun when they show up.

Another thing I went looking for on that site was some fellow writers, artists, and God help us all, poets. So I started browsing through the group listings. So many poetry groups! Not that I was surprised. And come to think of it, I’m not even all that surprised that 99% of the poets included in these groups totally and completely suck. There are no two ways about it. Most “poetry” is bad fucking poetry. It’s either cybersex loosely lineated like poetry, singsong rhymey crap, or abstraction upon abstraction posing as something meaningful or spiritual. I swear, these people have never heard of something called imagery. Or closure. Or the possibility that there IS life after angst.

First of all, these people should not be encouraged. However, there are trillions of other bad poets out there to read each other’s work and tell each of them how awesome they are. Second of all, I find it all very amusing. I laugh out loud when I read a group description that says something like, “This is a group of legitimately good poets and writers who are here for honest and constructive feedback.” or “Please don’t join if you aren’t a real poet.” or “This group is for talented people who are actually interested in POETRY.” And then, I explore a little bit into the postings and indeed, they all still suck. I find it both annoying and confidence boosting to stumble upon a little bit of bad poetry every now and again. I know that so many of us need to find a way to express ourselves, and I’m all about writing as a way to do so. But that doesn’t make me feel any less sorry for the poor suckers who think they can actually write well, when all their words are good for are a laugh. Sometimes, it’s good to keep your personal expressions personal, you know?

Now, I’m not claiming to be Shakespeare here, or that I even compare to the likes of some of my well known contemporaries. But I like to think I know a thing or two about what makes a good poem. I know some stuff about lyricism, imagery, form, composition, etc. I know a little bit about art, and I also know that it’s a subjective situation for all of us trying to make it into some kind of life. But true artists are rare, and sometimes they never get recognized for their talent in their lifetimes, or even after. That’s what makes me sad. That the world is so clogged with crap it’s hard to see the good stuff buried in it.


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