Great Ideas For Poems I Had When I Was 18 (That Were Ultimately Terrible)


My “poetry” stage took place much more recently than I care to admit. I’m not even going to lie and tell you that it ended at eighteen, only that it began there. I was writing every day, which was good, but I was keeping and “publishing” everything I wrote, which was bad  I covered a plethora (nay, a cornucopia!) of topics: everything from Portugal and The Man to pornography. I was on fire, sort of.

I’d come up with an idea, type it out, and send it around the internet before I really thought it out. The ladies on Myspace loved it. I’ve since come to the understanding that I’m not a poet, which is okay. I don’t want or need this title, I just need to recant some of the ideas I had so that others won’t adopt them.

Poems about cigarettes

I started smoking after my freshman year of college and really believed the two coolest things in the world were: (1) the fact that I smoked and (2) smoking with other smokers. You couldn’t have a conversation with me without me mentioning cigarettes while smoking a cigarette. Now, before you follow suit and write twenty poems about how you smoke, and smoking, and cigarettes, remember this: nobody cares that you smoke except for the nasty kids in high school that hang out behind the soda machines and grow coke nails. (They think it’s super cool.)

Poems about girls I didn’t have the guts to dump

There were so many of these. I think it got to the point where I desperately needed inspiration for a poem and found it by sabotaging my relationships. I’m not sure why I wrote them – I think I just hoped they’d find them and break up with me first. In a way, this point is my way of apologizing to myself. You see – I cried when I dumped them, and they – well, they didn’t.

Poems written using the names of bands I liked

Listen, I know. But it’s okay; I thought I was the only one who came up with this idea, too. I never actually executed this one, but I did see people do it.  The only person who managed to actually pull it off, though, was Travie McCoy of Gym Class Heroes in a song called “Taxi Driver.”

More than anything else, I just wanted all my snobby friends to see the bands I listened to, but I could never figure out how to put together The Matches and Every Time I Die together in such a way that beautifully and cryptically explained my angst that stemmed from my skinny jeans cutting off the circulation in my crotch and my eyeliner burning my eyes a little bit when I applied it.

Poems about people that made me angry

Oh yeah. I went there, then went home and wrote a poem about it. You started dating the girl I liked, so instead of taking you out back and crying as I threw punches at you, I went home and wrote a super mean poem about you. That’ll teach you, you son of a bitch. At least, I thought it would. In fact, it only made me grumpier and whinier when nobody told me how much they liked my poem about how much our mutual friend was a huge wad. Oh, you can’t give my poem a thumbs up on Facebook? Looks like you’re getting a poem written about you, jagwagon.

Poems as apologies

This only works once. After that, you have to come up with new ways to beg for forgiveness after telling your girlfriend that it’s no secret that she’s skimping on the Secret. Now, writing a poem about how my stinky girlfriend is like a rose may appear ironic, but when you factor in that roses actually smell terrible, the irony fades. I broke it off with her two weeks later.

So, yes, I was a poet on fire, but more in an arson sense than an NBA Jam sense. I’d spent too much time reading Bukowski and thinking, “Oh, I can do that,” when I couldn’t. Turns out, you can’t just drop the C-bomb in a poem and expect hookers and virile lady-professors all over the country to throw themselves at you.

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image – Origafoundation