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Exercise: write ten bad poems

(That was the original parameter – I got to 8 before this particular thread exhausted itself. I could have written a couple of unrelated bad poems, but eh. It turned into more of a versioning thing; the urge to revise took over.)

This is to loosen up my hold on the idea of always making perfect things.

I picked hockey because I don’t watch it and am therefore unlikely to accidentally write something good about it.



Why it's bad

Duck duck duck
The motherfucking
Slap it! Whap it!
Now just tap it
Try your luck
Fuck! You suck!

One rarely has cause to actually duck a puck.
Tired onomatopoeia
Purposeless repetition / rhythmic filler
Profanity to disguise lack of actual emotional content
I may have written this actual poem in sixth grade

With the swift edge
He just
                                  The puck in
Storm-roar around him
Hurricane of love
He stops as if startled
Cuts a spray of white ice

How is the edge swift? Is there a slow edge? Weird synecdoche.
Obvious / clichéd line breaks
Thoughtless phrasing/word choice
Goofy metaphor “hurricane of love”
Clumsy management of time
Uneven tone – too generically "literary"
Melancholy echoes of better poems

Hurricane of Love

Jim quit ice
Hockey when
He tapped in
The puck two
Breaths before
The buzzer and
A hurricane of love
Knocked him down

I just clearly don’t know anything about hockey.
The line breaks are manipulative (why split ice/hockey? Why call it “ice hockey” at all? Who does that?)
Jim is a boring name.
Is this moment enough to write a poem about?
(You can see me sneakily starting to get attached to this poem. Stockholm syndrome.)

Jim was the second-
Best centre but he
Quit ice hockey
When he tapped in
The puck two breaths
Before the buzzer
And a hurricane of love
Knocked him down

Loses the one good thing (short choppy lines) about the previous poem
Now this is just a sentence with line breaks
The line breaks are either too easy or too arbitrary – they should have their own sense of purpose
Overloaded/redundant detail fails to flesh out the emotion

Hurricane of Love

Jim quit the ice
When he tapped in
A goal one breath
Before the buzzer
a hurricane of love
from the ring of fans
Knocked him down

Please make it stop
There now seems to be a pun on “fans” wherein they are both the audience and a bunch of actual fans blowing air/breath at ol' Jim.
The alliteration in “breath/before the buzzer” isn’t doing anyone any favours

Hurricane of Love

Jim quit the ice
When he tapped in the win
Right in front of the Tim Horton’s ad
And one heartbeat before
The buzzer.
A hurricane of love
From the ring of wild fans
Knocked him down
And he broke his femur.

Really? Is weird mock-heroic couplet the way to take this? Really?

“Tapped in the win” sounds too much like the Tim Horton’s slogan “Roll up the rim to win”, but in the spirit of other drafts the poem is just going to run with it.

Hurricane of Love

Jim quit the ice
When he tapped in the win
in front of the buzzer
And the Tim Horton’s ad
No one could catch him
But a hurricane of love
From the stands
Knocked him down

A little zeugma tries to temper Tim Horton’s, but it’s not enough
God now it’s some kind of parable ugh

Hurricane of Love

Jim quit the ice
When he tapped in
the puck two
breaths before
the buzzer and
A hurricane of love
Knocked him down

Goes back to trying to mine the meager strengths of earlier drafts
I think this is as far as this bad poem goes.


Fish gotta swim
Birds gotta fly
Cats gotta scratch
But why oh why
Must cats assume
(and this ain't no boast)
Why must they think
I'm a scratching post?

The trees are bare, the leaves are dying
The birds are mourning for summer, crying
As summer slips into the past
A bird-song starts: it is the last
the last song of the sparrows as away they fly
I feel the chill of winter and watch summer die.

1. I had an Ogden Nash thing. Also, I insisted I had come up with the opening lines ALL ON MY OWN.
2. The bare trees with dying leaves. The poetic inversion. The majestic migration of the sparrows. The inability to move the idea on. at. all.


Crossposted from Dreamwidth (http://radiantfracture.dreamwidth.org/6487.html), where there are comment count unavailable comments. Comments either place are great.


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