What do you do with your lines of bad poetry?
I rewrite the ones that had a glimmer of a thought, throw others away. I post some thinking they are not bad only to discover that they really are years later when they pop up in Facebook memories. Then embarrassed I copy them to rework.
Sometimes a line or two pops out. Like a sculptor carving marble, I then have to chip away at the poem to find the art within. Some lines end up in snippets of paper buried in my pocket for a few days, some are in binary code deep on a hard-drive somewhere and who knows if they'll ever be seen again.
I have millions of words. Painters paint, writers write. I found a line of a poem on an old bank stub under my keyboard the other day. no idea why I wrote it on the stub and it wasn't even that great of a line. It was an old stub and the date and the amount of withdrawal or deposit(likely withdrawal) was faded beyond readability.
"I saw a sparrow eating bugs off a dead cat and thought about resilience."
Sometimes we even save the bad lines.
The importance of writing bad poetry is that maybe good poetry will eventually come, that if ideas are engraved, even if poorly, someone, somewhere, sometime can witness an unexpected moment of you. The importance of bad poetry is so much more significant than posting a meme or wasting a perfectly good meet up with a friend bitching about the price of gas. In other words, even bad poetry, in the grander scheme of things, has priceless meaning.
So I write (though these gas gas prices!!!!)
Is that my....
Of sad eyes peering out behind happy ones,
Beneath the old untouched stones of forgotten roadways,
Beneath the granular of dried mud.
Is that my soul?
It’s a baffled relationship of stars and poet's words,
Of lovers tongues silenced,
Of a rapping sound repeating.
Is that my heart?
The dirt beneath my nails is my signature,
There is a perfect rhythm out there waiting,
The door is open.
I close my eyes and taste the wind.
Is that the depth of my experience?
A bitter woman prays in a flowered 70s dress in a house four blocks a way as she listens to sentimental music while hating liberal commie faggots and smoking long filtered menthol cigarettes.
My old teacher's words I finally heard for the first time today, 30 years later, because it was time finally.
I cut this grass cut out of desperation to fit in.
What bad poetry do you keep around?
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