On Being the Absolute Worst

“What exactly are you doing?” you might want to ask of me. “Why are you defacing this perfectly good book?”

I would like to first note that it is not, in fact, a perfectly good book. The quality of the binding is absolutely atrocious. I am clearly only the second person ever to have opened the damn thing and already the pages are leaping out.

Then I would answer your question by saying: Aside from being the absolute worst, I have no idea what I’m doing.

I found this book in the Teen Center I work at, where I’ve been trying to get kids to actually take the books. I work with a kid who loves poetry just for poetry’s sake so I thought I would proof read it for appropriateness and then give it to her, but I found that enough of the poems agitated me into a state of pseudo-inspiration and I take what I can get so here I am. Writing rebuttal poems in this weird little book while kids at the Teen Center braid my hair and try to call dibs on the book after I’m done.

This was a damn nice braid though. Can she be my hair stylist from now on?

Not to mention I’ve really gotten significantly less shy about writing in books (thanks college) and I absolutely love finding notes in used books and hope that whoever next comes across my marked-up notes will appreciate it just as much. The girl who did win out dibs clearly already appreciates it. Now to see if she can keep the book in one piece long enough for it to be any sort of keepsake, but judging by the weakass quality of the binding glue used….I don’t have much hope.

In short: I’m not going to stop until I’m done with the book. No, I’m not writing a rebuttal to every single poem, only the ones that inspire it. At least it’s getting me in the flow of writing poems again, and forcing me to write short poetry instead of the monsters I’ve been writing for the past year.

And it means regular content for you lovely folks again, right? Sorry they’re not higher quality — this was, after all, and entirely impromptu affair, and none of the poems are much revised or terribly deeply considered (though you might notice some edits have managed to be made between the scrawling on the page and what’s typed up here).

Have you read this odd piece of literature? What were your thoughts? Were you tempted to write any poems in response? If so, I’d love to see ’em!

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