April 27, 2006

Do You Have Any Wretched Verse in You?

As the entire universe undoubtedly knows, May 4 is the final day that you can send entries into our enthralling Third Annual Horrible College-Student Poetry Competition (the details of which you can read here). Unsurprisingly, we’ve received oodles upon oodles of submissions, and some of them are very bad indeed.

Even so, we believe that some of our readers—both the supremely dedicated and the casual e-strollers—have yet to tap their inner college sophomore and send us a really wretched example of self-important balladry. And that would be a shame: We hope to get all manner of submissions before we crown our winner.

Accordingly, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” figured we’d rekindle your enthusiasm for the contest by offering a particularly piquant example of atrocious poesy. Having read this noxious attempt at versification, you will hunger to produce your own sub-par doggerel.

The only question, then, was the following: To where do we turn when we hunger for really awful pseudo-poetic drivel? Well, how about an old standby: Cherie Moraga? Yeah, we thought that was a good idea too.

To be sure, Ms. Moraga is not herself a college student. In fact, her poetry is so pathetic one may reasonably wonder if she completed the fourth grade. Or toilet training.

Still, Ms. Moraga has combined her unrelenting literary non-talent and radical Chicana politics to barge her way into fancy sinecures at American universities. If you ask us, that’s putting non-talent to work.

Given her inept poetry and ethnic grievance-mongering, it is unsurprising that Ms. Moraga has long been a source of inspiration for horrid collegiate poetry everywhere. But you needn’t take our word for it. Why, just sample a few choice lines from Ms. Moraga’s poem entitled “Loving on the Run”:

A few choice lines from “Loving on the Run” by Cherie Moraga

for women who travel in packs of one


I found you on a street corner
hangin out with a bunch of boys
lean brown boys
you too lean
into them
talkin your girl-head off
with your glasses
like some wizard
“I know what that feels like.”

I found you there
you guys hangin out
like family to each other
talkin about women
you sayin
how they make your hips roll
without thinking
those pale green eyes
hips of yours
deep and oiled
like a woman

As veritable connoisseurs of horrid balladry, we must say that this is wonderfully putrid stuff. The pathetically-trying-to-be-clever dedication to “women who travel in packs of one” is a perfect way of informing the reader that the poem to follow will suck big time. And then there are the tin-eared lines like “talking your girl-head off” and “hips of yours/deep and oiled/like a woman.” Simply magnificent.

Think you can live up to this level of horror? Want to give it a go? Well, come on, kids: Don’t be shy. Do your best peace studies junior imitation and send us a poem today. All you must do is compose your miserable poem and click the “Contact Us” “link” at the top right-hand corner of your computer screen. Fame and infamy await.

Posted at April 27, 2006 12:01 AM | TrackBack