Sunday, August 30, 2009

I Suck at Poetry: the Autumn is A-Comin' Edition

Yes, I know I suck at poetry. But ever since I was a kid, I've had these moments where words well up in my brain, but make no sense in narrative prose. And so, even though I do suck at it, I write verse. Free verse. If you can tolerate reading this, you'll see it's... uh... very free verse. No form, no rhyme, a little reason.

(And in the darkness, some aging dude with a bandanna wrapped around his forehead flicks open his Zippo, holds it to the sky and cries, "Play free verse!")

In my head, it started out as a cheerful burst of autumn tribute. Then, it kinda went all Stephen King-y. Go figure. Like I said, I suck at poetry.

summer steam
and swelter
dried and crushed
under heel

that first crisp night
of autumn

it’s here.

that ray bradbury time
when youth turns sour
and age grows painful

the midways close
the fairs leave town
their carnival wake scented, cloying
with fried sugar dough
and animal musk

they leave deep furrows
in the brow of the soil and
crime scene trails of
sno-cone debris

paper cups stained blue
with summer’s blood
that turn and drag in the wind

the wind

the wind that’s
a little cooler
than the day
before

as summer gasps
and school returns
and childhood dies a little bit
each time the leaves run riot
in orange
gold and red

the air smells of leaf fires
baked goods and pumpkins
and elmer’s glue
stuck between
short, fat fingers and
construction paper

small-town cheerleaders shine in
a bonnie bell bonfire glow
while the football players leer
from a homecoming float

corn-fed pulchritude

firm and young and ripe
for the picking
for the harvest

before the snap
and the chill

and winter
comes

8 comments:

Mme.Meow said...

If this is your bad poetry, sign me up for a workshop and a chapbook, you!

("corn-fed pulchritude"-- beautiful)

Heather Meadows said...

I normally despise free verse, but I think your prose ability lends your poetry a subtle structure. Most people who "write" free verse just plunk a bunch of words down without any crafting whatsoever. Despite the fact that your poem doesn't follow rigid meter or stanza rules, it does have structure and meter, and a very interesting narrative flow. I like it.

Merujo said...

You ladies are far too kind.

And thanks to Mme. Meow - I put the needed hyphen into corn-fed. :)

"corn-fed pulchritude" could be a good band name.

Chuck said...

I thought it was pretty good, actually. However, I have to admit that I never read much poetry in English class or anything...but from an uneducated cavemanesque perspective, I liked it!

Merujo said...

Thanks, Chuck. My knowledge of poetry (beyond owning a thin paperback volume of stuff by Robert Frost) pretty much fits into the uneducated caveman mode, too. :)

E-Lizzie said...

Simply love M - don't bash your talent

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Well, if that's bad poetry, I'm gobsmacked. I think it's quite good. Very evocative. Sounds like I'm missing a potentially lovely fall in D.C.

Aoife O'Meara said...

Love the "Bonnie Bell bonfire glow"! Remember the big, fat versions? I had "Piece of Cake" that smelled like lemon cake with coconut frosting.