Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Let us to the sticking place our courage screw

Lest you worry that in my long blogging absences I allow my considerable talents to go to flab, let me reassure you: nay; verily nay.

I have, in fact, been dipping my ladle into the loamy foam of that brewing succotash called 'poetry'.

Poemy feelings have been with me since the beginning.

When I was just three years old, I was already composing little sonnets on my Etch-A-Sketch:

Long horizontal line
vertical line of shorter length
weird diagonal line that looks like curvy stairs
very bad circle

My father accidentally shook the poem away when he tried with trembling hands to share my genius with mother.

That is a made-up story, and I feel its impact is dampened by it's transparent absurdity. 

Skipping ahead, I recently submitted a poem to several literary publications.

Some of the resulting rejections were actually quite nice in their attempts to not only inform me of my baseline suckiness, but to instruct me a bit on how, in the future, I might possibly be able to suck less.

One critic thought that I ended too many of my spondees with obvious rhymes, such as "creature" with "double feature", and "outer space" with "mean butt face."

Another did not seem to appreciate my extensive instructions on how the poem should be read aloud:

"line beginning Priapus was this dude- please read in the style of Donovan's Hurdy Gurdy Man, but with a kind of sleepy machismo"

"please breathe heavily through hairy nostrils while reading the entirety of this poem"

Needless to say, it goes without saying that I was crushed, utterly crushed, by these rejections.

Poetry is my life, man; it's why I try to think of rhyming words or count syllables by clapping.

So I took my work to the people's literary publication: Tumblr.

There I found many a kindred soul; thousands of voices afflicted by the same weary gloom that I recognized within myself. 

If you scratch the happy surface of the Internet, you will find a teeming mass of sad people who like to write poetry. 

And they were so accepting of me! No scoffs at my dactyls, no pshaws at my limpid rhymes. Well, really not much of any response at all, but oh there is something blessed and rare in silence, is there not?

I soon discovered that people like to put "asks" in other people's "inboxes".

With an eager refreshing of page, I awaited my first "ask".

"@tumblrbot asked you a question" YES!

"What is your favorite color?"  

"Well, first of all, I would like to give you a hearty welcome to my Tumblr page. How did you find me? As to your question, I don't really see the world in terms of color; I see it more as the eternal interplay of beauty and brutality, so.....maybe Kelly green??"

Some time later, I realized my new fan was some kind of automated response. 

Through further study, something else became crystal clear to me: everyone seemed to be using the "ask" feature simply to ask sexual questions.

"@wienerherzog asked you a question: Have you ever made whoopie?"

"I am not one to kiss-and-tell, but I will say I have THREE children"(suggestive emoticon)(suggestive emoticon)

Actually, I asked myself that question from a different Tumblr account that I had started, mostly because I was lonely. 

I detest the use of the word "whoopie" for sex, because I had a bad experience with "The Newlywed Game" when I was little. I was home from school and secretly watched it on T.V. 

Between the constant use of whoopie, and an argument one couple had over whether or not the husband would describe his wife's breasts as pillows or marshmallows, I was left feeling troubled by the pervasive sexiness of the world. 

Navigating now the waters of Tumblr inboxes, that troubled feeling returns.

Does no one care how delicately I sculpted my iambs? Is no heart shuddering at lines such as

bursitis in his pitching arm
so he cannot fling the woo

"@wienerherzog asked you a question: are you the only true poet on Tumblr?"

"Ha! Oh wiener, you flatter me. But yes, it seems your words ring true."


  1. I have been having a blast with poetry lately. My good friend Jaime created a group in Facebook where people can post picture of items that appear to be discarded rubbish, its called Lost & Found. So I thoroughly enjoy writing poems about several of them or leave comments that may have something to do with an item in the photo that wasn't meant to be the primary focus or completely misinterpret the item with some strange back story. In the mean time I am studying beer and enjoying a veRy rainy spring.

    Forget aLL the rules of poetry people try to saddle you with, within, and without, just write to enjoy, it's the best thing in life, maybe. Except maybe alcohol.

    1. Hi esb!
      That Facebook page sounds interesting.

  2. "Fling the woo" sounds way more suggestive than making whoopie, I think. And thank you: I'm feeling a little more secure in my avoidance of Tumblr and tumblrish other stuffs.

    1. Any suggestiveness in this post was entirely accidental, my dear. And to be fair to Tumblr, I might have greatly exaggerated the level of sexiness I have encountered there

  3. Mr. Brick,

    I have been putting off reading this for a couple of days, because I have other "blog homework" to do, and some of the blogs I have to read are poorly-written to a distressing degree. Yours is not such a blog.

    Your tumblrbot asks to yourself made me feel slightly bad for laughing. Your "very bad circle" is sheer brilliance. And oh, that woo-flinging. That brings me back.

    Okay, that's enough. Have fun with the poemming. Poeming? Poetring? Poetryizing.

    1. Joe thanks so much for this comment. It made my day. I think its poetring