Green Eggs and Spam

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What makes a popular poem popular?  Personally, I like poetry that is well structured and rhymes.  But then again, I love “The Cat in the Hat” and “Fox in Socks.”  When I was growing up I was especially into Helen Steiner Rice since my grandmother had what seemed like an unending supply of her work.  That being said, I like to keep it fairly simple.

Now, I have been known to bust out with some pretty amazing poems, especially during some emotionally charged times in of my life (i.e. breakups with boys).  However, a while back I wrote this personalized, hilarious rap for my nephews birthday.  In short, it was sick!  It was off the hizzle!  It got rave reviews by my friends and family, my nephew loved it, and I was overwhelmingly proud of it.

One day, I was wasting time on my computer (as opposed to doing laundry or dishes) and I decided I would post some of my poems on a poetry website.  I was curious how I would be critiqued.  The rap that I wrote for my nephew received the following comment:

“I dont know if you were purposely writing in that form to “make your voice” but while i was reading this poem i was constantly saying “this is lazy”. It might be that Im looking at this in a wrong way. I love how your describing another person with such admiration and i think that a poem is worthy of this person. Its a good poem but to me its painful to read.”
 
I decided to reply to his gentle feedback, and did so in a way that I caused myself to look extraordinarily mentally unstable.  So I said to the young buck:
 
“Awww…darn it!! I HATE that it literally caused you “pain”. And it’s funny that you constantly kept saying to yourself, “This is lazy.” I have had a serious problem with time management skills….my house is an effin’ wreck. You need a Tetanus shot to ride in my car…. And I haven’t been bathing on a regular basis OR brushing my teeth. PLUS, I dropped a deuce in the toilet that was SO rank…but it looked like a dragon. I was kind of proud of it… so I never flushed it; that was 4 days ago. I’m kind of thankful for your review because it was just like God used you as a vessel to get my attention. I am lazy as a as mofo!!! I’m not kidding. I am soooo effin lazy!!! Uggghhhh!!! But I’m going to actually start trying to work on bettering myself. I mean, the Holy Spirit just spoke to me through “YOU”. Thanks for helping me acknowledge that I need to make a serious change. Oh and by the way, I am feeling “convicted” by the Spirit to tell you that it’s “dreadfully” lazy to not capitalize the personal pronoun “I”. I mean, really all you have to do is just hit the shift key at the same time you hit the “I” on the keyboard. Also, and I didn’t hear this from God (I’ll admit that), but I noticed that you having a hard time with the “its vs. it’s” thing. A lot of kids do… and that’s OK because you’re not Jesus and you can’t be perfect all the time. But “it’s”…(when you put an apostrophe in it)…well that is what we call a “contraction” (not the kind that your Mom had when she was having you). Contractions are neat! They’re a short way to write out two words (it is) and combine them into one word, “it’s”. It may seem hard now but if you study this topic and work hard you’ll learn it in no time flat! Thanks for the feedback… I guess I was trying to sound like a black person. I’m not black but I have always wanted to marry a black man. Now that I’ve written this I feel like maybe I need to immerse myself in the culture a little more before I try to join a black family. Seriously. They would never accept me if I am not using Ebonics correctly. I wish they had Ebonics on Rosetta Stone!

To this my critic responded:

“Well April I am no holy spirit, I was just giving my opinion (which this site encourages). I do like your poem, I just don’t like the way you wrote it. I encourage you to continue writing and I hope to see more poems from you. 🙂 “
 
Now I didn’t want him to think that I was being defensive (which I wasn’t) or sarcastic (which I was), so I formulated the following response to the young lad:
 
“You are a REAL poet. I suck ass, big time. I am so humiliated that I even put that lame ass poem on the Internet. I swear to God, what if a perspective employer Google’s me and/or my kids find the logon and password on this site and discover this train-wreck, shit storm of a “poem” (or whatever the hell it is). I do not mean to take up so much of your time. I am not a stalker anymore. I really just want to learn. And Jesus brought you to me for a reason and I swear on my dead, rotting mother’s, worm-infested grave that I am going to “get it” this time. I just need help. Please help me. You are my only hope. I need tips. I need help. Please tell me what I can do to improve this lame pile of shit. I feel like stuffing my head in a porta-potty toilet at a Monster Truck show and flushing it. Please hear my cry and learn me what you know. I will now ask you to refer to me as “Grasshopper” and I will refer to you as “Master”. I’m not an oriental or anything, but I know that those people know a lot about humbling themselves and learning from those who are more enlightened. I look forward to your prompt reply. I am actually going to stay next to my computer and wait. I have a little place to sleep under the desk. I don’t deserve a bed. I am not worthy of comfort at this point.”
 

Would you believe that the young man never replied?  I’m sure he became rather frightened of me.  I mean, after all, that was my intent.  Mission accomplished.

After laughing hysterically as my friend looked on at the exchange between my critic and I, I decided I would take a peek at some of his work.  Here’s what I discovered:

 
Sleeping on Steel
 
To think about death
Is cold and uncomforting,
Like sleeping on steel.
 
 
And then there was this gem:
 
 
What Is Life?
 
Life is __________.
 
 
And then this more complex, obscure piece:
 
 
A Mind With No Fear…
 
As I sat down in the metal beast
I pondered on life’s purpose in detail.
What will I do, where will I go, when is world’s end,
I will never find society’s trail. I pondered for what seemed like days
And the answer was no where in sight.
I was looking for something I could not find
Where others it seemed as finding the moon at night. I was not confortable in my burning machine.
I decided to leave before my thoughts troubled me more
And as I opened the world to my yellow eyes
My mind began to blossom through the door
Into a world not full of smoke, but color.  The land that I felt was strong and firm
As I walked on the sorted stones.
Walking towards a canal of green,
A bright place untoched by dry bones. A sound came to my ears that paralyzed me in happiness
The sound that can only be composed by a friend.
A friend of painted wings and a mind like no other,
A mind with no fear of the end.
 
I sat next to the canal where my friend perched it’s self.
We enjoyed the song, then looked into the eyes of the river.
As we leered we saw different reflections
It saw the world given to him, I saw an answer

No matter what I do, where I go, when the end is
The world will be as new as the day it was felt by man.

As I grow old and turn into smoke,
The flower of my mind still reminds me
The grass is still green, the friend still sings,
The world is not a metal hand.

Now, that may be good poetry ya’ll.  I don’t know and cannot tell, especially when you consider my love for Dr. Seuss.  But I had to reply.  I just had to!  So I reviewed his work, rated his work with 5 stars,  and said the following:
 
“You!!! You are GOOD!!!! I mean it. You ARE. I’m gonna have to give you the props you deserve right NOW. I tip thine hat to thee. You are worthy…. You hit the NAIL on the HEAD!!! The world is NOT a God-damned metal hand. And I am tired of everyone acting like it is! It never was and I think that, at this point, you and I both that this rotten whore of a world is NEVER, EVER going to be a metal hand no matter how much you smoke. Oh sure, there is dank that has made me think that I “literally” had superpowers. I was convinced that I could move the wind’s bastard child with my mind. I felt it in my C6 vertebrae and I farted with a mighty roar…like a hound dog of a trumpet keeping score. I regressed. I paused to consider all that had begot me… and SHE.. and HE. Then I lost track of time and the space continuum. I was VEXED!!! What had happened to that ILLUSIVE metal beast? Was it mocking me? To MINE own self will I remain true. It is depravity, I shriek from the bowels of hell… And I shall walk on this barren land no more. Thank you for giving words to the language that knows no language. The speech of me that speaketh not and shall speak NO MORE!!!!!! {Yet, I still scoffed and I SPAT!!!!}”
 
 
For the life of me, I don’t know why he didn’t respond.  I never heard from him again.  He did change the way I viewed poetry, however.  What I realized is that the more bizarre the poem, the more likely it is that the poetic community will accept you.  I received negative feedback on my themed, humorous, sensible poem that was composed of perfectly rhyming stanzas.  But what if I just made up some mindless, random nonsense and submitted that?  I thought I would give it a whirl.  So I submitted the following (brace yourself):
 
I Am Abubaka’s Daughter
 
Chlamydia, you drunken pot of pig’s period.
You again?  THIS day you come to call?
Why don’t you pick another nest to infest?
Flee from me lest I call the One they call, Boyd T. Malgabor.
Doth thou not know that Abubakah is mine own father?
Hark! Hush now! (hatred repressed {bed never made})
You blackened whore who drips incessantly; crying; crying.
This funk you shall take and leave at once.
ABUBAKAH IS MY FATHER!
 

Man!  I got some great reviews on that little treasure!  Can you believe that?  Now how in the world is that possible.  

Perhaps my hormones are getting the best of me.  After all, I am on day 20 of my 40 day fast.  I have been without sex for 43 days too.  I just don’t understand why some poetry is so mother-humping strange.  Who knows, I may become a poet.  I’ll just write poems like the one above, publish a book with a collection of my works, make a sizable amount of money, and win the respect of weirdo poets all over the world.  Before I do that, however, I am going to brush my teeth and take a nap. 

 

XOXOXOXOXOXO,

♥ Ava ♥

 

 
You!!! You are GOOD!!!! I mean it. You ARE. I’m gonna have to give you the props you deserve right NOW. I tip thine hat to thee. You are worthy…. You hit the NAIL on the HEAD!!! The world is NOT a God damned metal hand. And I am tired of everyone acting like it is! It never was and I think that, at this point, you and I both that this rotten whore of a world is NEVER, EVER going to be a metal hand no matter how much you smoke. Oh sure, there is dank that has made me think that I “literally” had superpowers. I was convinced that I could move the wind’s bastard child with my mind. I felt it in my C6 vertebrae and I farted with a mighty roar…like a hound dog of a trumpet keeping score. I regressed. I paused to consider all that had begot me… and SHE.. and HE. Then I lost track of time and the space continuum. I was VEXED!!! What had happened to that ILLUSIVE metal beast. Was it mocking me? To MINE own self will I remain true. It is depravity, I shriek from the bowels of hell… And I shall walk on this barren land no more. Thank you for giving words to the language that knows no language. The speech of me that speaketh not and shall speak NO MORE!!!!!! {Yet, I still scoffed and I SPAT!!!!}
Well April I am no holy spirit, I was just giving my opinion (which this site encourages). I do like your poem, I just don’t like the way you wrote it. I encourage you to continue writing and I hope to see more poems from you. 🙂
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Awww…darn it!! I HATE that it literally caused you “pain”. And it’s funny that you constantly kept saying to yourself, “This is lazy.” I have had a serious problem with time management skills….my house is an effin’ wreck. You need a Tetanus shot to ride in my car…. And I haven’t been bathing on a regular basis OR brushing my teeth. PLUS, I dropped a deuce in the toilet that was SO rank…but it looked like a dragon. I was kind of proud of it… so I never flushed it; that was 4 days ago. I’m kind of thankful for your review because it was just like God used you as a vessel to get my attention. I am lazy as a as mofo!!! I’m not kidding. I am soooo effin lazy!!! Uggghhhh!!! But I’m going to actually start trying to work on bettering myself. I mean, the Holy Spirit just spoke to me through “YOU”. Thanks for helping me acknowledge that I need to make a serious change. Oh and by the way, I am feeling “convicted” by the Spirit to tell you that it’s “dreadfully” lazy to not capitalize the personal pronoun “I”. I mean, really all you have to do is just hit the shift key at the same time you hit the “I” on the keyboard. Also, and I didn’t hear this from God (I’ll admit that), but I noticed that you having a hard time with the “its vs. it’s” thing. A lot of kids do… and that’s OK because you’re not Jesus and you can’t be perfect all the time. But “it’s”…(when you put an apostrophe in it)…well that is what we call a “contraction” (not the kind that you Mom had when she was having you). Contractions are neat! They’re a short way to write out two words (it is) and combine them into one word, “it’s”. It may seem hard now but if you study this topic and work hard you’ll learn it in no time flat! Thanks for the feedback… I guess I was trying to sound like a black person. I’m not black but I have always wanted to marry a black man. Now that I’ve written this I feel like maybe I need to immerse myself in the culture a little more before I try to join a black family. Seriously. They would never accept me if I am not using Ebonics correctly. I wish they had Ebonics on Rosetta Stone!!! Ugghhh!!! FML!!! :/
I dont know if you were purposely writing in that form to “make your voice” but while i was reading this poem i was constantly saying “this is lazy”. It might be that Im looking at this in a wrong way. I love how your describing another person with such admiration and i think that a poem is worthy of this person. Its a good poem but to me its painful to read.

 

About Ava Elizabeth Wisdom

Greetings Beloved, I am a 41-year old single mother of two boys. I was a stripper for almost a decade and have lived the kind of life that parallels something you'd see in a movie. I not only partied like a rock star, I literally partied with rock stars. I stopped dancing in 2000 and began college when my oldest was 4. Shortly after turning my life back over to the Lord and beginning my academic career at the university, my precious mother, a former Fort Worth Police officer committed suicide. When I found her, she had been dead for 3 days. I did her hair, make-up, got her dressed, and had her nails filled for her viewing and funeral. In spite of my appearance and way with men, I have never been married. Rejection and abandonment have seemed to define me since conception when my biological father deserted my mother as soon as he found out she was carrying me. I am a recovering co-dependent with a heart so big that I have to be cautious so that I don't exhaust myself in focusing on and giving to others. I was a very angry child who grew up in a violent, dysfunctional home so I haven't always loved others from the depths of my heart. However, after the loss of my loved ones, I learned that time is fleeting and that you never know when you're going to see someone for the last time. So now, I am quick to love others and strive to maximize each second that I have with the ones I love. In spite of my sin and my struggles with men, drugs, and alcohol, my faith defines me. I could never deny Christ because at the times of my life when I had everything stripped away I could literally feel Him with me. I love to write and pray that this blog will inspire you and draw you closer to the heart of God. Ava Elizabeth Wisdom

4 responses »

  1. I puzzled over this some time back — It’s not Dr Seuss but it makes a point

    A Muse-ical Mind

    Salvatore Misanthrope deciding again
    whatkindof something evolves
    Mindover matter making believe
    religiously relishes dogma and creed

    Cannot convince the laity lying
    misogynists measures misguided beside
    Belie the becoming of gods in the morning
    twixtevermore nonsensically be

    This will not stand anthropomorphically speaking
    I cannot demand my gods will to be
    Unusually speaking my muse-ical mind
    wrapped in this newform of social decline

    • I had to read that a couple of times, but I got it…I think. Actually, it’s pretty darn good. The truth is I like easy poetry, I suppose. LOL. Isn’t that shameful? So much of it is above my head, I think… How are you doing? I always love hearing from you!

      • I wanted to play with some new forms of words and writing. I always liked ee cummings – that he was an iconoclast, a rebel. He wrote convention but also paved a new road. I am sure you have heard this phrase of his “This is the wonder that is holding the stars apart …”
        I am well, although the job search is going slower than I’d like. Time to get creative I think. Seems your fasting has bubbled up into creative expression. Keep it moving out and you’ll find you are doing amazing things!
        Always -gfs

      • What a second, Grandpaps! YOU wrote that poem???? And “I Carry Your Heart With Me” is by far my FAVORITE poem of ALL time and have always wanted to get a portion of it tattooed on me.. LOL!!! My FAVORITE part of the poem is:

        (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
        and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
        higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
        and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

        I used to teach e.e. cummings to my students. Have you read his poem, “Spring is Like a Perhaps Hand”?? If not it goes:

        Spring is like a perhaps hand
        (which comes carefully
        out of Nowhere)arranging
        a window,into which people look(while
        people stare
        arranging and changing placing
        carefully there a strange
        thing and a known thing here)and

        changing everything carefully

        spring is like a perhaps
        Hand in a window
        (carefully to
        and fro moving New and
        Old things,while
        people stare carefully
        moving a perhaps
        fraction of flower here placing
        an inch of air there)and

        without breaking anything.

        Trying teaching that to sophomores in a Special Education, English class. I did it though. I wrote a remix of it that they could understand.

        Anyway, thanks for your constant encouragement and inspiration. Like I’ve always said, you soothe my soul. You have this mystical effect on me that calms me and I feel like you have the ability to see my heart and not my misbehaviors and shortcomings. I am so grateful to you and am honored to call you my friend.

        xoxo,
        Ava

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