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It’s like I just assumed my teacher wasn’t going to read this

This post is kinda sorta the direct sequel to a real cliffhanger of a post, but while I’m sure you’re chomping at the bit to get to today’s (re: ~12 years ago’s) poetry, I’d like to first hastily explain what is about to happen in the three poems below:

  • The first “poem” is total garbage. It’s a reluctant apology for doing something I did not consider wrong; I don’t know exactly what it was, but I am clearly just being whiny.
  • The second “poem” is a continuation of the first, mostly because we’d just learned about Emily Dickinson, and apparently my major takeaways were “she capitalized seemingly random words” and “she used dashes seemingly at random,” leading my parodic slant to what we’ve got here (other than failure to communicate).
  • The third poem was probably something I wrote in 2 minutes to show to Brynn, my awesome/hilarious friend who sat by me in class and laughed at most of the things I said/did, which is a thing that made her (and frankly anyone else) worthy of my attention, as I was (am) a charismatic young teenager who was always fond of a little extra ego boost.

Hopefully that introduction will alleviate somewhat the horror art you are about to experience:

 

March 26, 2003: Completely and utterly irreverent poetryTranscription:

I must change things:
My offensive apology for my offensive poetry;
My confusing poetry about the enigmatic smile;
My changing the meaning of the smile to redeem my apology;
Everything comes full circle.
I was just kidding about the contours;
Hell, I don’t even know what “supple” means!
But she—no, She—
Is in my senior video group
So I can’t let things “get weird”
Like in Austin Powers 2.
Did you notice that line 8 of this poem began with the word “But?”
That is NOT grammatically sound,
And yet many people do it anyway.
But back to serenading my neo-feminist English group partner:
I apologize—Again—
For not really doing Anything—Save—For—
Suddenly—trying To be—Emily Dickinson—
Now she’s pissed again

Evil possessed Glare—
Be sarcastic!
For the desireth my joyous—POIETRY!—
Yet cannot comprehendeth—
My Love—Of—The rock—

Brynn’s hands are maleable
I really like them
Touching them makes me happy
Even in church—
But not like THAT

So there you have it: the day my creative genius died. Pack your bags, folks, show’s over.

…SAID NO ONE EVER

No but really, despite diamonds contained here, there’s quite a bit of rough. So I’d like to only talk about the few things from these poems that I don’t hate:

  • I  love that I talk about “serenading my neo-feminist” classmate. I don’t know what my perceived definition of feminism was in 2003, but I’m sure it was outrageous and hilarious. I hope I find material that sheds more insight into this matter, although truth be told, I recall having only vague associations with the word “feminism” moreso than any perceptible opinions about it one way or the other.
    • Fun fact: I took an Intro to Women’s Studies class my freshman year of college. How blown is your mind right now?
  • Supple: adjective, suppler, supplest.
    1. bending readily without breaking or becoming deformed; pliant;flexible:

    a supple bough.
    2. characterized by ease in bending; limber; lithe:

    supple movements.
    3. characterized by ease, responsiveness, and adaptability in mental action.
    FINALLY, 12 YEARS LATER, WE CAN PUT THIS TO REST
  • The last line of the first poem is hilarious, as if I were reading it aloud to the class and managed to somehow twist a forced apology into something insulting. Even in the early days of the Internet, I was a hell of a troll!
  • I can’t remember if I’ve explained this before, but in one of our English classes, we saw a video of Maya Angelou speaking, in which she repeatedly invokes the word “poetry,” but it sounded very much like “POY-it-tree,” which my brilliant classmates and I of course thought was basically the funniest thing we had ever heard in our entire lives, because High School. You’ll see a lot of the word “POIETRY,” generally in all caps, in other high school writing of mine.
    • I can’t find the specific video clip of Maya Angelou doing this, but I’d love to post it if anyone can find it.
  • Brynn and I were always 100% platonic friends who mostly bonded with our lunch table group over Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, but we also went to the same church, so when we did the whole “peace be with you” bit, we’d shake each other hands. Shaking hands in church was generally my primary avenue for physical contact with the opposite sex throughout most of my life.

If this post sounds self-loathing, then it’s because it totally is, but what kind of an insight into the mind of a high schooler would this blog be if I only shared the stuff I was “proud” of? Half of the “fun” of this blog (for you, not for me) is sharing the cringe-worthy dumb stuff, trying to understand how and why it ever happened, and then sharing it with literally anyone on the entire planet capable of connecting to the Internet. I feel like a lot of the stuff I’ve shared in the last few years has been acceptable in quality and even sometimes insightful or profound in a certain way, so I suppose this post is my way of making up for that by being super vulnerable (“oh no, please don’t tease me about something I wrote when I wasn’t even legally allowed to smoke or have sex or immigrate to North Korea!”) and showing you that yes, even I am not always perfect. Just most of the time.

This post is part of Cody’s “10-Year Idea Reunion” series, in which Cody revisits his creative writing class assignments 10+ years after writing them. Learn more about Cody’s Idea Reunion and subscribe on WordPress to follow along!

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About Cody Gough

Cody Gough is a producer and host at WGN Radio in Chicago. In addition to producing the Brian Noonan Show since 2008, Cody co-hosts both Brian's web-exclusive podcasts and his own lifestyle podcast, Game/Life Balance U.S. Cody also moonlights as a commercial actor, video game enthusiast, and professional social media manager for a global firm.

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