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Give it up, you'll never publish your poetry. (If it rhymes)

Poetry is obviously not the sexiest form of written entertainment. That honor goes to novels, followed by non-fiction, then short stories, then flash fiction, then novellas, and then finally, poetry. You doubt me? How dare you. I shall validate the lowly status of poetry. All right, let's see a show of hands. How many of you know the name of our nation's poet laureate? That's what I thought. Well, for your information, she is Natasha Trethewey. Yeah, I don't know who the hell she is, either. Now, how many of you know who wrote Twilight? I rest my case.
Let's face it, for the last seventy years or so poetry has really sucked wind. Why is that, JJ? you ask on bated breath. I'll give you my opinion. Since the 1940s, or so, poets have been afraid to write with rhyme and scared shitless to tell a story. They're afraid their peers with their M.F.As, who were taught in the universities by professors with M.F.As, will make fun of them and castigate them in the academia and literary worlds. To prove my point, how many of you invisible readers can recite a stanza from a poem written in the last seventy years? None of you can because free verse as well as non-rhyming verse just don't stick in your tiny brain. 
Now here's a few lines of verse for you from poems of bygone days when the bards weren't afraid to use moon and spoon. See if you recognize them.

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Half a league, half a league, half a league onward.

I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

I think that I shall never see, A poem lovely as a tree.

And so on and so on. Those are the poems you commit to memory, the ones that tell a story and make you think. But it is the contemporary non-rhyming poems that are published and win all the prizes now. How can you make absolutely sure you win with your poetry? Elementary. Your poem must, 1. Not rhyme. 2. Make absolutely no sense, and 3. Not tell a story. So get on the bandwagon and change your poetry style to the modern crap of the last seventy years so you can achieve that apex of your literary skill, and get your poem published, while scarfing a tasty Poet-in-Residence appointment at some Joe Schmo college in Ohio or wherever.
Okay, I've actually won a prize for poetry and was published, albeit in a small college literary review. And it was a non-rhyming poem, I'm ashamed to say. But I needed the money and I have since changed my ways and write only with rhyme now. The following is a poem about a cat, who shall remain anonymous, that I published online in a competition. It was soundly trounced by other feel-good sentimental poems written to idolize said cats. Apparently cat owners lack a sense of humor or maybe my poem made too much sense. Anyway, here it is. You cat lovers may want to look away.

That Goddamn Cat

All damn day it sits about,

And sleeps and shits and stinks the house.

Cat litter here.

Cat litter there.

Cat litter there and everywhere.

It thinks it owns the frickin’ place.

It parks it’s ass against my face.

Cat dander here.

Cat dander there.

Cat dander there and everywhere.

I hate that cat.

I hate that cat.

I hate, I hate that goddamn cat.

It’s days are marked with calm ennui,

And moods of equanimity.

Cat urine here.

Cat urine there.

Cat urine there and everywhere.

It wails at night, indelicate.

And woos and fights to procreate.

Cat spraying here.

Cat spraying there.

Cat spraying there and everywhere.

I hate that cat.

I hate that cat.

I hate, I hate that goddamn cat. 

My foot is down, I draw the line.

The cat or me, I do opine.

Cat mewing here.

Cat mewing there.

Cat mewing there and everywhere.

She takes some time to mete it out.

Points to the door and turns about.

Cat smirking here

Cat smirking there

Cat smirking there and everywhere.

I hate that cat.

I hate that cat.

Someday I'll kill that goddamn cat.


  1. Loved the title and tone of your blog! The poem's nice too, AND I have had cats as pets in the dim past, tho at present not a pet owner.

  2. Thanks, Nilanjana,
    I actually love my older daughter's cat, primarily because she lives with her husband ten miles away, but the cat that inspired my poem ran away after my younger daughter kept eating his food. (She was a year old at the time)So I didn't have to kill him. (Yay)


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