After he read the poem to the group

it was so quiet you could hear the drone

of the air conditioning fan whining

that it's being punished by having

to listen to words as exciting as a puddle.


Someone said “I loved the poem's language”

which really means “English was a good choice”.

Then someone else said “it's very

precise” and that means “you wouldn't know

a metaphor if you fell over it.”


After another pause the leader said

I enjoyed reading it” and that means

your abysmal poem makes me feel so much

better about my own writing” or else

you're totally deluded, aren't you?”


Then silence and he looked at his poem again

and thought “ they're right. What can anyone

say about it? I mean it doesn't say anything,

lines are cold, the language trite and confused

and it has all the colour of a plastic flower.


The poem can't be either shocked or gently

massaged back to life. He should burn it

or watch it sink to the bottom of the ocean

or bury it or put it through a shredder

and trust that other, better poems will come.





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Greg Freeman

Tue 7th Jun 2011 09:59

There are some painful, well-observed truths in this, Rodney. And I like it that your final line is optimistic!

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Mon 6th Jun 2011 16:03

I like the humour in this also. It's pretty shitty when you are in a that situation and you have to give feedback to someone - even harder if you find something funny when you really shouldn't. Well observed!

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Andy N

Mon 6th Jun 2011 14:04

I like this, Rodney.. How quick did you write this in? Most workshops I have been or go to usually don't have excercises like that where I bet it took ages to write.

Like the humour in it thou..

Top stuff, M8

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