Map of Austin Poetry #161-1

Featured Poetry Supplement

Theme: Bad Poetry

Upcoming Themes:

#162 - Partnered Poets (submissions closed)

#163 - Claus/Claws/Clause

#164 - Remembering Gwendolyn Brooks

#165 - Snowy, dark and deep: tribute to Robert Frost

Send poems in body of email, no attachments pretty please. Note issue # and theme on subject line. Include permission to publish. Poets retain all rights.

I've had fun with this week's theme: "Bad Poetry." Selections for your enjoyment:

1. " The Dog Star" by Danzr Von-Thai

2. a biopoem by Brenda Roberts

3. "Advice From The Scholars and Related Bull" by Jean Russell

4. "What Is Bad Poetry?" by The Quill

5. "The Critic" by Brian Long

6. "The Ballad of Fishing Hat Man" by Kit O'Connell

7. "Paeon to Pee Wee" by Rintin Scrabbleweed

8. "Cigarette Smoke" by Eric Elton

1. First up is Danzr Von-Thai from West Virginia:

The Dog Star

serious as

a jew on

a nuclear fuse

as I am as

anti-semitic as

I am anti-christ

whose to stop me







Christ no

I have come

this far to

bury a son

of 33

© Danzr Von-Thai


2. Brenda Roberts offers her opinion and a sample of bad poetry.

"The worst poetry I have ever EVER been forced to read was by a group of children in the first contest that Texoma Poetry Society sponsored for the Poetry in Schools program from Poetry Society of Texas. The fact that it was awful I believe was because instead of using this poetic form to teach how to relate subjects and moving on to share better forms or encourage free thought, this teacher put the formula on the board and told each student in the class to follow it exactly. I would never use one of their poems as an example but I will write one of my own using that form.

It is called a biopoem and has two formats

I will use format A:

(name) Brenda

(4 adjectives that describe me) critical, poetic, smiling, loving

(an important relationship) daughter of Elery and Ruby

(lover of) Cliff

(who feels -3 feelings) happy, sad, lonely

(who fears - 3 fears) death, lonliness, anger

(who needs - 3 needs) love, health, happiness

(who gives - 3 items) time, love, poetry

(who would like to see 3 items) an end to AIDS, World Peace,

my lost loved ones again

(resident of -city, state) Fort Worth Texas

That is about the least poetic thing I have ever written other than a grocery list."

Brenda Roberts


3. Jean Russell of Burke, Va. wrote this for a friend who kept telling her to conform to the rules.

Advice From The Scholars

And Related Bull

If you would only study,

you'd learn rhythm and ryhme.

You'd know sonnets and meters

and make images sublime.

But you don't go to classes

so you can't compose a thing

that sounds very poetic

and makes the heavens sing.

You just continue writing

the most peculiar stuff

and expect people to listen

when they have heard enough!

© Jean Russell, Poets Anonymous


4. "The Quill" tackles bad poetry with:

What Is Bad Poetry?

What is it

That separates great,

excellent, and bad


Critics are the first

to cast dirty stones,

yet they themselves

seem to never put

their own lines of

thought down to

be seen and judged

in open viewing.

Who are we to cast

calumny upon the

likes of e.e. cummings

and Snyder?

But, once upon a time, editors and

critics screamed in print

about poetic wrongs

in their ways of thought.

J. London, and H. Miller

hurled out like yesterday's

garbage by critics and

editors for many decades.

Who are we to say

What is or is not bad ?

Need we remind ourselves

All the men above

now mark every path

a poet takes and that

all are incontestably legends.

What is bad poetry?

Ask the critics who

waste away like dirt

on the street, still spitting

out what is bad ...

and in need of help.

© 2000 The Quill


5. Brian Long, of Austin, might have encountered a critic once or twice.

The Critic

Hit the reader hard and early:

always begin your work with a violence of metaphor.

(...and just like any animal, a poet

will leave its scat to mark its limits,

and I can tell from this piece of shit

that there is a writer somewhere close,

and he is most likely wounded--aren't they always?

We can follow the ink trail into the brush, where...)

Don't forget the Judas line; deny yourself three times

and always kneel on one knee along the path

so that the reader may help you bear the cross.

It is important to die

(for the synonyms of the world),

let them roll the stone and find the tomb empty.

Now, keys are for opening doors, not for creating your immortality;

paper is where the words are

penned like Hindu cattle, and if you must cannabalize,

at least make it well done

and quick.

Write this seven times on ruled paper:

"Talent is not enough."

and then eat it, make it a part of you. What comes

out the other end might just be your best artistic effort,

or at least your most self-gratifying.

You suck, genius.

Never forget that.

Sign the following forms and your poem will appear

in our Autumn issue.

© brian long


6. Kit O'Connell of Austin says his piece on the subject:

The Ballad of Fishing Hat Man


madman on stage

fishing hat wearing psychopath

barking into the mike

ragged rambles he calls

sonnets & verse

that I call

the screams of a razor's edge

drawing his own blood

the skin forms scars

each time he must

cut deeper to

strike home


and louder

until the sound

becomes an

inchoate howl of


inebriated pain

he bares his soul



don't care

to look

© Kit O'Connell


7. Rintin Scrabbleweed presumes to explain that "this poem was inspired by the motto/metaphore 'little strokes fell giant oaks,' and that Pee-Wee Herman was embarrassed by his arrest for semi-public wantonness."

Paeon to Pee-Wee

Little strokes

Fell giant ... Pee-Wees!

© rintin scrabbleweed

Ed's note: I suspect the nom de plume "rintin scrabbleweed" is someone's attempt at anonymity. Oh who might he/she be?


8. Eric Elton of Austin wrote: "mm...i am dumb and am thinking that 'bad poetry' is just a title and you want any kind of poetry to be submitted-hell i don't know i'm kinda here is something i wrote one night when i was really tired...small world"

Cigarette Smoke

Together gossiping the tails of the virtue of our lives,

Inhale the additives

Numb the senses

I still see you sitting there and I still feel

Chocolate cake is fed to one another slowly releasing my pain

Heading no where till the very next instant of truth

Conquering my depression, my friends leave

After the smoke tops the water we’re invaded

No more solitude, instead you stay with me

I said what you wanted to hear

Returning the favor you engulf me in each syllable of the word

Joyous in our shared state we make the night ours

How I ache with blight sorrow

Knowingly killing myself with your poise

Swaying and tilting my vision is saturated with esurient actions

Gouging my eyes to persuade them to see otherwise

It is utterly useless, a barrier is laid

Take me home so that I can swallow my entire dolor

How am I suppose to push my heart to beat another beat

Here in my solitude and heartache I imagine your actions

Fulfilling your desire rush to be your state

I am left with nihility

© 1999 Eric Elton