Our Annual Bad Poetry Contest is Back!

May 7, 2012 | Written by admin

Great news: The 2012 Bad Poetry Contest is here!  

As you know, each day here on the blog we offer wisdom and thoughts on the business and careers of writing. And over the last six years, it’s proven helpful enough that Writers Digest has again named us one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers. But one week each May (the week of my birthday), we take a week off from the business to continue a wonderful longstanding tradition of creating truly awful poems. All you have to do is go to the bottom of this post, hit “comments,” and leave your bit of doggerel. The rules are simple:

1. Don’t sent me a birthday poem. That’s not the point. Anyone who sends in “Happy Birthday o’ Chip o’ mine, hope this finds you well and fine” will be banned for life.

2. Write a truly bad poem.

That’s pretty much it. We want to see your poetic soul. The rotten rhymes, the horrible haikus, the crappy couplets, the stupid cinquains, the execrable epics. We’re after flatulent free verse, sorry sonnets, putrid petrarchan, rachitis rondeau, sickly sestina — um, okay, you get the picture. A quick view back over previous winners reveal such treasures as Blind Puppy on the Freeway, Walleye Eludes Me, and Krziette, which contains this memorable line: “Krziette, your love for me was like lowing of she-goats in spring, when bald sparrows alight on budding bushes.” It’s that sort of deepfulness that will cause you to win.

And there WILL be a winner, of course. Each year, we select a truly fabulous grand prize (previous winners have included a lava lamp, a home-tattoo kit, a 45 record of Neil Diamond singing “I Am, I Said,” and a copy of the immortal self-published tome “How to Good-Bye Depression”). This year’s collectible super-prize will be THE LADY GAGA STYLE BIBLE, which should hold wide appeal to all trampy girls, as well as boys under the age of, roughly, 14. And yes, this could be yours! 

For those not in the know, this contest grows from my belief that every poet has the same message, which can be subtly summed up this way: “LOOK AT ME! I AM SENSITIVE AND REFLECTIVE AND NOBODY UNDERSTANDS ME! SO I’LL SHOW THEM HOW DEEP I AM BY WRITING POETRY!” (Feel free to edit that statement if you’re truly deep and meaningful.) I want you to know that I’m here for you poets — in fact, I was once accused of being sensitive, and have occasionally been forced to reflect on something, until I could grow up and get over it. Therefore, I’ve set aside the next few days just for you. Write! Create! Sit and contemplate your navel! Do…um…whatever it is you poets do while the rest of us are out earning a living. Then send in your bad poetry!

In case you’re really a poet, and you’ve missed the point here, we’re looking for BAD poetry. The more hideous, smarmy, self-righteous, sappy, or obtuse, the better. Don’t expect me to represent it — if you’re too sensitive to notice, there’s no money to be made in poetry, so my looking at your fabulousness won’t do you any good in the market. Sorry.

But there’s a rich tradition among British novelists of creating really horrible poetry behind one another’s backs. P.G. Wodehouse, a brilliant writer and one of my lifelong heroes, used to create truly awful stuff. He once included in a book’s introduction the words, “With a hey nonny-nonny and hot cha-cha, And the sound of distant moors…” 

Um…really. And if Plum can do it, YOU can do it. So send! Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses of rhyming crud yearning to breathe free. This is your chance to share your true depth and meaningfulness with the world (or at least with the group of people in publishing who read this blog). Don’t delay — start that constipating now! In fact, I’m going to give all those under the age of 25 a hint to get you started: There are only three words in the English language that rhyme with love: “Dove,” “Glove,” and “Above.” Use of the baby word “Wuv” is a federal offense. (British citizens who enter are allowed to use the word “guv,” as in “guv’nor,” but don’t push it. We Scots have been pushed around by you people long enough.)

Time for you to enter. The poetry contest runs all week…

Posted in Bad Poetry

  • MEC

     … i wasn’t going to say anything, especially since you said “don’t PUSH it”  … but ‘shove’ rhymes too. i believe that makes 4. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.erlichman Ben Erlichman

    A Fruit Soliloquy

    by Ben Erlichman

    Alas, the moose, she has taken my bananas
    And I can hear the sound of the wailing wind no longer.
    Whatever shall I do? How can I reclaim
    What has been taken from me?
    It is as if my very soul cries out
    In hopes for some relief, some comfort,
    Some fresh produce to make me regular once again.

    I beseech you; a mere kiwi would suffice to fill my needs!
    Even a raisin would do more good than harm!
    And yet, If I had but one raisin,
    I would surely turn to madness
    Because I would have but one raisin––no more, no less.

    And so I die here, upon this Neanderthal,
    Whose rugged knapsack bore me some rest throughout my journey.
    Alas, I am slain by the evil of the populace
    And through the malice of the Dole Fruit company.

    Goodbye, goodbye––

    ––goodbye.
     

  • Margo Carmichael

    Haiku for you:

    The stationary keyboard writes, and having writ, moves on,But if I’d tie the wires, it wouldn’t.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.erlichman Ben Erlichman

    A Fruit Soliloquy

    by Ben Erlichman

    Alas, the moose, she has taken my bananas
    And I can hear the sound of the wailing wind no longer.
    Whatever shall I do? How can I reclaim
    What has been taken from me?
    It is as if my very soul cries out
    In hopes for some relief, some comfort,
    Some fresh produce to make me regular once again.

    I beseech you; a mere kiwi would suffice to fill my needs!
    Even a raisin would do more good than harm!
    And yet, If I had but one raisin,
    I would surely turn to madness
    Because I would have but one raisin––no more, no less.

    And so I die here, upon this Neanderthal,
    Whose rugged knapsack bore me some rest throughout my journey.
    Alas, I am slain by the evil of the populace
    And through the malice of the Dole Fruit company.

    Goodbye, goodbye––

    ––goodbye.
     

  • Jan

    For words rhyming with love you forgot the word, gov.
    (Thought I’d give you a shove.) 

  • Sue

    Spring has sprung
    The grass has riz
    Now I wonder
    Where the flowers iz.

  • Karenrdial

    The Arab Sprummer

    Little sparrow in my view,
    take this hope upon your wing,
    to the magenta sunset of Syria,
    that clashes ever so slightly with your brownish-grey underbelly.

    Democracy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=872250370 Tim Wade

    Late Night DisasterBy Tim WadeSimple chronic halitosis settled in like a blanket of fog through the night.We held each other through the night, with tastes of cherries and chocolate upon our lips.We woke to frightful smells, embarrassment and shame, and second thoughts of what true love meant.Our parents thought us evil fornicators who spent the night alone for sinful pleasure, Unaware that we were overtaken by flavors of ice cream that can not be mentioned here for fear of trademark infringement.We fed each other spoonfuls of carbohydrate-laden glory, -fat encased in sugar, like our love.We watched Letterman, and Leno, and infomercials for egg cracking gadgets, and dreamed of a day when in wedded bliss our kitchen cabinets would be filled with Ronco products … unaware that we had been overtaken by flavors of ice cream that can not be mentioned here for fear of trademark infringement.As simple chronic halitosis settled in like a blanket of fog through the night.

    • Johnnie Donley

      This is hilarious! Love it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kristen-Brandsema-Lowery/100001255378479 Kristen Brandsema Lowery

    Cimex Lectularius

     by Kristen Lowery

    Crawling
     Through the hairy jungle,
    Rivulets of sweat stained cotton
    Beneath me as I roam.

    Fissures, 
    Cracked and broken epidermis,
    Footholds for a hexad.
    As I clamber heights before unknown.

    Juicy
    Piercing succulent flesh,
    A feast, a blood meal for a king.
    My fast of months is at an end.

    Engorgement 
    Drunkenly satisfied for now,
    Awaiting the divesting of my skin, 
    I drop from your neck to the pillow below.

    Unaware
    I creep silently home to the depths,
    Between the fluff and the fibers submerged.
    Though you’re asleep the bite starts to swell.

    Don’t scratch that itch–it will only make it worse.

  • WendyBlanton

    Roses are red, but some are yellow.
    I’m sending you lots of good thought and Jello.
    I hope the malaria goes away fast,
    So your lazy butt will get up at last!

  • Fo’ Sho

    i finna shoot somebody
    i finna pull the trigga
    and snigga
    and turn to my homies and say
    hey how you doin
    is it gonna rain 

    or not

    cuz my art is bleedin
    and my hart is feedin
    givin in to the brother
    of another
    mother

    G-yeah

    • Fo Sho

      Oh, wait, you meant awful poetry? Like, horrible?

      dude.

      my bad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kristen-Brandsema-Lowery/100001255378479 Kristen Brandsema Lowery

    I have chicken and beef
    Stuck between my teef.
    My honey cain’t abide,
    Seein’ that food deep fried,
    But what am I to do 
    Since my toothbrush fell in the loo.

  • Stevie Rey

    Chip, I ain’t had much time to work on this, and I apologize. What with my new career as a highfalutin rockstar and all…anyway, y’all should take into account in yer rigorous judgin’ process that this is indeed a true story…

    They onced was a feller from Soddy Daisy
    And sex with the wife had become quite lazy
    So they cooked up some bangers
    Called over some swangers
    And I run like a scalded dawg before they could rape me!

    That’s a TRUE STORY y’all!  See I got invited to this here “party” recently and all I can say about the experience is….LAWD HEP ME RUN FASTER!!!! I swear to goodness!!!!  If’n he ever drags me into court I’ll swear it was fiction though! 

    Happy Birfday Chip!
    Stevie Rey
    Arthur of The Hillbilly Bible, Rockstar in Trainin’.

  • Rebecca Olson

    The Good, The Bad, and the Utterly Frustrating

    With my boots pulled high and my belt tied low, I eyed the beast and walked real slow.

    “I told you to print! I’m not backing down. You do as I say or I’ll run you out of town!”

    Now I’m a cool cucumber of a gal, and I’ve been known to hold my tongue, but when a printer doesn’t print, it should be taken out and strung!

    But the beast just sat there, not flinching at my glare. It hummed in its rebellion and blinked!… that little hellion.

    I gave a great swing and slapped its hardened hide but any hint of mercy was hidden deep inside.

    “You just wait! You take some time to think! ‘Cause tomorrow I’ll be back, and I’ll make you spill your ink!”

  • Margo Carmichael

    ( The _Lady GaGa Style Bible_???!)

  • http://margosmoments.blogspot.com/ Margo Carmichael

    While donning my tartan I found myself smartin rememberin the night searchin for Nessie.There nigh to the loch’sWhere we took off our socksAnd we crept to the water’s edge.There a haggis o’ertook us andreason forsook us and into my sporranwe thrust’im.For no one has seen one and we had a clean oneBut not for long did we trust him.I brandished my sgian dubh”Forsooth, now I eat you!”And then haggis cried, “Ciminy! Nessie’ll wilt if you bloody your kilt!”I fell, scraping both bonnie kneesTo hear haggis talk with a Brooklyn accentSo into the loch I let him went.Historical fact: Haggis have one long leg and one short from running in the same direction around Monroes (tall mountains).

  • Margo Carmichael

    PS the website messed
    With my margins at best
    So pray, do not hold that
    Against me.