The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

WELCOME to another Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest! This is #6, but I’m just asking for work to keep numbering them.

I recommend reading about how to write terrible poetry. Read these rules, then enter:

  1. The topic is Horrible Christmas Song Lyrics. Yep -we’re going there.
    I intend to not do a contest after this, because of Christmas, so this is the last time you’ll have to hear 🎵 “Sir, I want buy these shoes…” 🎶
  2. Keep the song short enough that you can write it and still spend time with family; also so that we don’t all want to wring your neck.
  3. It’s gotta rhyme. Dude, it’s a song.
  4. Remember: make it terrible. My seven-year-old will want to sing it over and over and over and over and -you get the idea. -Not that I want it to feature underpants. Please.
  5. Keep it PG-Rated. Like I said: my kid will be singing it.

Think you can do it? You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (December 21, 2018) to submit.

Post your poem or the specific link to it in the comments.

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WINNER of the Fifth Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

If I thought past contests were difficult to judge, I didn’t know what terribleness was looming on the near horizon!

I had a solid four truly awful, terrible, teeth-gnashing poems that I just could not choose a winner from. So, after carefully spending at least five extra seconds on each and then going with my initial instinct, the winner is:

Untitled piece

by Ruth Scribbles

‘Twas the night before Christmas

When all thru the city

The Santa’s were out

Delivering things, what a pity

A pity it is, because

No one is sure

If Santa is Santa

Or a cur in a fur

A fur made from cats

Why cats?

Cats are fat

But they bite the tails

The tales of curs

And history reveals

That this data is concealed

To keep folks from squealing

And then there was a noise

A noise – no, a growl?

a growl and a howl

A howl and a poke

and then he awoke

Congratulations, Ruth! You are the Most Terrible Poet of the week. Ruth has entered for weeks, and has been too clever a writer to sink low enough to win this contest -before today.

The final-round poems all had the following in common: rhyming, allusions to the original poem, humor (though that is certainly not a necessary requirement), off-topic rambling, and originality. Besides my closed-eyes-random-finger-pointing and highly subjective judging; Ruth’s final oomph was that her verse rambled off somewhere odd yet still worked cohesively.

Again, almost-first-placers, amazing terrible job! I had to confer with my seven-year-old for his opinion. (If he ever ‘helps’ again, know that he’s a Captain Underpants fan.)

Everyone else, keep trying. I know, somewhere deep in the recesses of your talented minds, you can get worse.

Thank you all for entering! PLEASE enter again next week. The prompt will post tomorrow morning, promptly at 10ish MST.

Here are ALL the other entries, in order of submission:

Twas the Night Before Christmas

by Bladud Fleas

Twas the night before Christmas, the twenty fourth of December
No, wait, actually it was the twenty third, I seem to remember
Hold on, let me do the math; it was the twenty tooth actually
Hmm, come to think of it, I’m not sure of that exactly factually
Let’s just say, for now, it was sometime before Christmas Day
The harvest was ready and the people were making hay
No, that don’t sound right, does it? How am I so wrong?
De-dah-de-dah…subtract one, carry forward..Right! on with my song!
Twas a (possibly) a night in December, or November, or June
To be honest, the sun was shining, so let’s just say noon
Twas in the middle of Summer, approx. around about midday
O, look what you’ve done, I’ve forgotten what it was I was going to say.

—–

‘Twas the nightcap before Christmas

by Bruce Goodman

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a drop of alcohol could be found in the house.
Grandma had hung her stockings by the chimney with care (to dry if you may)
And I says this place is drier than a cowboy’s armpit on a cold day.

The grandkids were nestled all snug in their beds,
And grandma said she’d hidden a wee drop or two under the bed.
And I said, well go ‘n get it and we’ll have a wee nightcap,
Before settling down to a long winter’s nap,

So we had a wee dwink or two
And I said I knew
The names of the reindeer off by heart
And grandma said she reckoned I didn’t because I was a silly old fart.

There’s DASHER! and DANCER! and PRANCER! and CLATTER!
And grandma said that CLATTER wasn’t one of the reindeer
And I said what would she know? And anyway to boot
I was going up on the roof to clean the chimney so St Nick didn’t get soot on his suit.

So we had another tipple and then I went up on the roof and granny held the ladder
And I called down that one of the reindeer up here was called CLADDER!
I said it’s as slippery up here as ice cubes in a dwink, and grandma said that was impossible,
But it explains why I spent Christmas in hospital.

When she visited me on Christmas day
I said to granny where’s my Christmas present
Cos it’s drier in here than a cowboy with a hat on his head
And as she left granny said she left the stuff underneath the bed.

MAREWEE CHRITHMITH!

—–

Fin

by Stephen Robert Black

Twas The Night Before Christmas
Which made it Christmas Eve
I think
My poetry
It stinks
That rhymes
I need a drink
That also rhymes
Does rhyming the word rhyme with the word rhyme count as a rhyme
Pourquoi?
That’s French for why
I think
Oh Lord….
Fin

—–

Untitled piece

by D. Wallace Peach

Tis the afternoon that comes just before Christmas Eve
And I’m rushing around like you wouldn’t believe
The dog’s barfed up tinsel, my tree lights are dead
I couldn’t find any clear ones, but the minimart had red
Just like Trump’s hall of fiendish stalactites
Or with the points up, does that make them stalagmites?
I burned a batch of cookies for jolly old Saint Nick
Defrosted some corn dogs from July that even then tasted ick
No carrots for the reindeer. No veggies! I’m out.
January better hurry up, cause I’m all tuckered out.
Fa la fella fa, dee da dee da
Fifi folly duh, ta da, ta da!

—–

Christmas Crimestoppers

by Babbitman

‘Twas the night before Christmas,
And on a roof broad and flat…
Santa was calling to rat on a rat!

He’d delivered some gifts a few seconds ago
And had spotted some lads in the alley below.

“I recognise that bunch of naughty young chaps,”
He said as he watched them swap money and wraps.

“That’s crystal meth!”, said Santa with shock
And he reached for his mobile, which he kept in his sock.

“I’m breaking bad!”, thought our Mr Claus.
But there was a small problem that caused him to pause:

“I can’t call the police, they’ll want my name –
They’re bound to think that I’m playing a game”.

“I need to do something, but can’t ring the coppers…
I’ve got it! I know! I’ll call Crimestoppers!”

So he dialled oh-eight hundred, triple five, triple one
But noticed that all of his credit had gone.

“It’s a good job that this call is free, eh Prancer?”
Said Santa as he calmly awaited an answer.

The operator picked up the crime-stopping call
And noted the details while Santa told all.

“You might get a reward”, the operator said,
And there came a chuckle from our hero in red.

“Thank you but really I prefer giving tonight,
But only to those on my list – Goodnight!”

—–

Untitled piece

by Trent P. McDonald

Twas the night before Solstice
And all through the land
It was dark before the hourglass
Was empty of sand
Except down below
The planets belt
Where hotter weather
Was sure to be felt
For the tilt of the Earth
Made night long
So we celebrate
By singing a silly song
About the night before Solstice
And all through the land
Oops, I’m stuck in a loop
So I’ll just disband….

—–

Untitled piece

by The Wise Greek

Twas… Honestly I don’t remember,

Wait it’s not even day?

Wait Charlie stay!

I know its a holiday so don’t go to room,

Cause I know if you do your mom is going to beat me with a broom.

I know you’re sister is staring at my wallet,

Daring me to say she can’t have any money,

I know your mom’s glaring at me.

Fluffly I swear if you don’t stop bearing you’re teeth at me!

Wait its December?

I honestly thought it was November.

—–

Christmas Eve Thing

by Michael B. Fishman

Twas the night before Christmas and I’m all by myself
got my camera to photograph that goofy red elf.

2018’s the year where I’ll get him recorded
and for my effort the Pulitzer committee will see me rewarded.

But I’m hungry so first I’ll make me some nice, hearty bisque.
And maybe I’ll make it with some gooey lutefisk.

Can I ask you a question, my Christmasy chum?
Did you ever try writing some poetry, hmmm?

Don’t answer ‘cuz honestly I really don’t care
anymore than I care ‘bout your smelly footwear.

So maybe, dear reader, I’ll deck the halls because:
I really want my two front teeth,
or maybe I just want
you,
or blue,
or white,
or…
Sorry, my thoughts became a little abstracted, but when I saw who mommy was kissing I got a bit distracted.

Now I’ve lost my count in this Christmas extravaganza
and I know Chelsea said only eight or nine when it comes to the stanza.

(I just counted and that’s seven. Please, dear reader, pretend you didn’t just read this parenthetical non-stanza. It’ll just be our little secret; alongside that one time when Dasher and Comet got some . . . oops, never mind that and forget I even mentioned it)

I have one final thought for you before it’s too late
(and no, it’s not to tickle my manly breastplate)

It’s whether you’re at sea or straddling an isthmus,
Please have yourself a merry, happy, jolly, healthy little Christmas.

—–

Untitled piece

by Sheri J. Kennedy

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the office
The peeps were all fluey and all full of coughses

Their eyes hung in bags with bulging lids droopy
Their answers to emails were all nincompoopy

They swallowed more syrup and dreamed of their beds
While blurred visions of monitors multiplied in their heads

The holiday was coming, they leaned upon that
While doing their darndest not to barf in their hats

A bottle of OJ, another pain pill
They pushed around paper, just an hour to kill

Away to the door they stumbled in stupors
A stop at the party and boy were they poopers

At last up their driveways they wove their way home.
And fell in their beddi-byes to spend Christmas alone.

—–

‘Twas the Morning before Monday

by Anneberly Andrews

‘Twas the morning before Monday, when all of the outdoors
Were weeping, not sleeping, as people rode their snowboards

Down the mountainside time and time again
Mother Nature complained about a serious migraine

Pleading for the sun to fade behind a thick, dark cloud
And the humans to quit being so loud

Enough was enough, she ended the noise quite quick
When the weather turned icy cold, and instantly made them all sick

—–

‘Twas the Night Before Brutality

by Peregrine Arc

‘Twas the night before brutality
When all through the house
An axe murderer came stirring
And boy, was he a louse.

Stocking footed and booted,
he tracked mud and then he looted.
The silverware, the tea, the candles and dough
for Christmas cookies were his favorite stow.

The children were on their Xbox, headphones in place;
their mother, upstairs with a giant toothache.
And then the burglar, oaf that he was,
made his first glamorous and stupid faux pas.

“I’m getting a cookie,” a young tot said.
“Or maybe I’ll eat some dough instead!”
Off the children went, all in a gang,
When they came upon the burglar and broke off in a bang.

“He’s stealing our silverware!” started the one.
“That’s my gummy bear candy cane from my mum!”
“He’s stealing everything–let’s get them, boys!
I’ll go for his knees–you hit him with Tolstoy!”

And on they tussled, right onto the floor;
the axe murderer was caught, a thief no more!
When suddenly they heard the mightiest roar;
their mother was awake and, boy, was she was a boar.

“What in heaven’s name is that noise!”
“I told you to pipe down. I’ll take back your toys!
Harold, I need you. Harold, wake up!
The boys have destroyed the house and I need some back-up.”

Click-click-click
down from the bedroom came ol’ Susie and Harold Pick.
In an instant they saw what was the matter
and Susie doused the intruder with a heaping bowl of batter.

“I’m calling the police, you axe murder you;
Harold has got you hogtied–it’s true!
Nobody steals Christmas from our kids
All you’ll get is a knuckle sandwich!”

—–

Holiday Confusion

by Molly Stevens

‘Twas five months before Christmas when all through the stores
Christmas decorations replaced ingredients for s’mores.
It’s summer, you say? What a waste of my dime!
There’s no commercial benefit to having downtime.
You can’t have too much shopping and wrapping and joy
And singing repeatedly Little Drummer Boy.
Par rum pum pum pum,
Rum tee dee dum,
Dum dee dee dumb.
I’m perfectly fine and my thoughts are as clear
as the midnight when angels let out a loud jeer,
“Give Santa the boot and tell him goodbye,
Send up a rocket, it’s the Fourth of July!”

—–

Untitled piece

by Sheri Saretsky

Twas the night before Christmas
After being laid off
Feeling scroogish and angry
And full of bitter scoff
And the reindeer were noisy
As I yelled from the hall
That this Christmas was cancelled
I had just hit a wall
But the morning was coming
As I opened the door
To see packages falling
From outside to the floor
I remembered the shopping
From my computer at night
Back when I had money
And it wasn’t so tight
I thanked God that I finally
Saw my OCD as a gift
And I made up with the reindeer
So they could give me a lift
My anger subsided
As I loaded the sleigh
I passed out all the presents
And knew it would all be ok.

—–

Untitled piece

by Jordy

Twas the night before Christmas
and feeling alone
not a creature was stirring
not even their bones

Went into dreaming
to get a fresh streaming
feigned a get away
accidentally landing in the UK

Stuck in a snow storm
wearing flip flops and t shirt torn
darned if I didn’t miss Bali
astral body took the wrong trolly

Phone booth in the distance
it would take ten pence
Mrs Santa answered
saying the one went onward

Saw Santa and his reindeer
racing in the sky so clear
bridging the distance
I climbed onto Blitzen

While the snow is glistening
I am freezing yet
cheerful to be part of this team
only to pull out the Jim Beam

Thankfully to wake
in a warm bed I did make
but be damned to want
to go back and not faint

To be bold
and not fold
under pressure
from cold weather

Mistakes can be made
next time be sure
to arm the astral with fur

I’m not pointing fingers (Diana), but there was a sudden, suspicious influx of entries this week. I hope you all return to give me ulcers next time.

In the meantime, keep practicing!

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The Fifth Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

WELCOME young, old, and in-between to The Fifth Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest!

If you’re new, doubly welcome! I recommend reading about how to write terrible poetry. If you’re not new, read it again, then read these rules, then enter:

  1. The topic is ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. This is my LEAST FAVORITE poem in the entire world -whenever it’s parodied. Therefore; I normally feel that every idiot who goes about with “‘Twas the night before Christmas” on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart; but this week you’re getting a pass.
    Strangely enough, I love the original. I have at least three favorite stanzas in there.
  2. What’s the limit? For the love of my own sanity and yours, please keep it to eight or nine stanzas, maximum. That’s about the point of the original where we read I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
  3. It’s gotta rhyme. At the end of the line. Make it fine.
  4. Remember, remember: the poem needs to be terrible. Clement C. Moore (or, Henry Livingston, Jr.) will want to visit you each hour the night of Christmas Eve to warn you of an angry mob of poets waiting for your death, should you ever write that way again.
  5. Keep it PG-Rated. Kids might climb up on your knee and ask you to read it to them.

Think you can do it? You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (December 14, 2018) to submit.

Post your poem or the specific link to it in the comments.

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WINNER of the Fourth Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Sheeeesh, people. Though not as close a tie this time, I still think first place was split about three ways. I had to delay the contest to allow for time to climb the highest mountain in Utah, in order to consult with The Guru of Poetic Awfulness. Going off his advice, plus past winners and slight aspects I liked more than others… the winner is:

O! Radio!

by Michael B. Fishman

The radio’s antenna is bad.
When it first broke: “Oh, egad!”
I fixed it with glue,
what else could I do?
Huh?

My head: stuffed like the brick. Oh, antenna, desist.

With frustration I pace, “Ah,” I to frustration. “Why do I tarry? Why not I make merry?”

Dash the radio. (Mary?) Hosanna! From where? From my despair do I dare to pose such a posing question?

Remove your madding thoughts. Becalm like the bluebird.

Explain, voice, my choice. Will my radio play? Will my hips again sway?

I wait sans answer.

The faucet drips leathery through my vino-filled veins. The antennaless radio’s static-buzz, like the vivific current of the vacant velvety Vermillion river vaguely venturing via Verndale home to Victoria.

(plop . . .) Oh Mary, forsake me not.

(buzz . . .) Yet I stand

(plop . . . ) like the deerskin covering the thorny tree,

(buzz . . .) forsaken.

Congratulations, Michael! You are the Most Terrible Poet of the week.

Michael’s poem almost had it all: awful meter, a tirade of alliterations, made-up lingo, and plenty to get me thoroughly lost and wishing to smack my head against a good pentameter to make it all stop.

For the almost-first-placers, great job! I had to really dig to pick a winner from amongst you.

For the not-almost-first-placers, you still write too pretty. Try breaking out of a pattern, making fun of poetic angst, or leaving readers hanging at the end of a perfectly reasonable stanza like an unresolved chord progression.

Thank you all for entering! PLEASE enter again next week. I will post a prompt tomorrow more promptly than I did today.

Here are the other fantastic (and terrible) entries, in order of submission:

Untitled piece

by Ruth Scribbles

The foundation stays broke

Doors and Floors

Sway and sag

Stick and scrape

Tilt and twirl

Well if you are a marble

You twirl from one side

Of the room to another

Then the windows

All are stuck shut

Foundations are finicky

This poem is icky

—–

Untitled piece

by D. Wallace Peach

Fie to electric appliances
A freezer of thawed burger
Lightless, coldless, and iceless
Spoiled-milk refrigerator

Woe to the washing machine
Growing microbes of mold
A soup of dank undies and socks
Mildew makes me blow my nose

A pox on the dishwasher
I weep at the caked-on guck
Plates spotted like a chicken
It won’t scrape off and that really sucks

I could go on and on forsooth
About the vacuum clogged with mutt hair
The blender, micro, crockpot, and other stuff
But my appliances are dead and don’t care

—–

WonderWoman and SuperGlue.

by Bladud Fleas

Oh, Honey!
what did you do
with the glue?
In the drawer?
Oh, heck, it
seems to be
stick-
ing!
Yes, it’s stuck!
good and true,
Hon, that one where
you put the glue.
You did what with
the glue top, Dear?
Oh.

—–

The Banshee Toilet

by Peregrine Arc

Oh woe is me, for I dearly have to pee.
But the truth is, our toilet, why, it’s a banshee.
Every time I go to attend the flow,
it gives off an unearthly bellow!
Eeeek, it cries, after I thrust the lever down.
Eeeek, it sounds, down the hall and across the town.
What is one to do, when nature calls and your knees are crossed?
When you’re hopping around downstairs, until you’re suddenly quite lost?
Grab some toilet paper, my dear
and don’t let the Banshee know your fear.
For urinary tract health is a real concern.
Never hold it, our mothers said–listen and you’ll learn.

—–

That Object That Always Breaks in My House

by Bruce Goodman

Day after day, at home, the same thing breaks;
‘tis not the dawn that breaks o’er yonder hill,
(although of course it does for goodness sake),
‘tis something else that is my bitter pill.

Perhaps my car doth brake when I come home,
but that’s a different spelling, I perceive.
The brakes of cars could break, as could a drone’s,
but that is not the break that is conceived.

The thing that almost daily breaks that’s mine
pains me to the core and can’t be glued.
It’s not the breaking eggs at breakfast time,
nor be it breaks for lunch to eat some food.

Know when you leave for work and we’re apart,
each day, and all day long, you break my heart.

—–

Untitled piece

by TanGental

When I come back as a potter
In the next like, I will stop
My nemesis that makes me utter
rude words; the curse of the china tea pot.

The lid never ends up in its groove
It just follows its own trajectory
As if it just has to prove
Its aim is it’s out to get me

into trouble. I’ve dropped it more times
than the cups it has brewed
And while I really don’t like to whine
If the tea ends up stewed then I’m screwed.

I’ve repaired the lid, I’ve even soldered the spout
When they try and stop me, I cry ‘get off me’
I just have, on my own, to sort this mess out
After all if I don’t then the alternative is we will just have to drink coffee…

—–

Optically Challenged

by Jon

Called CD player on the box,
that should have been a clue;
The gadget oughtn’t be
considered as having
the remotest thing to do
with performing any function
‘ere it went kerploo

—–

Ode to dirty house

by Ruth Scribbles

Oh house you are dirty
The dust is flirty–flurrying
Finding its way up my nose
Ahhhchoo

The crumbs are thirty or forty
Too many crumbs
The rubbish is overflowing

Where are my cleaning fairies
When I need them.
Dirty house I hate you

Please, please, please enter next week’s contest. Some of you just need to tweak your poetic taste buds down a level or two. Do not try for merely day-old leftovers; try for yesterday’s lump of green putty you found in your refrigerator one midwinter’s morning.

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FREE: Fourth Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

*YAWN* ‘Mornin’, ma peeps. Welcome to December and to our fourth week of The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest.

If you’re new, welcome! Read over my advice on truly sucking at poetry, then read these rules, then enter:

  1. The topic is That Object That Always Breaks in Your House. In It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey keeps pulling off that darn banister knob. Chez moi, it’s a heat register originally glued under my kitchen island counter. Maybe yours is a loose bit of carpet or a lightbulb that burns out within a week.
  2. What’s the limit? Word count needs to be between 3 and 153 words. In mathematics terms, that means 3<P<153.
  3. Rhyming’s up to you. Do what you do.
  4. And, most importantly: the poem needs to be terrible. I want your mom to pause before telling you that …well, your penmanship has certainly improved in the last few years and that you know she loves you no matter what, right?
  5. Keep it PG-Rated. Mom’s going to read it, after all.

Think you can do it? You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (December 7, 2018) to submit.

Post your poem or the specific link to it in the comments.

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WINNER of the Third Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Oh, my freakin’ hailstones! I haven’t laughed this much since the last time I was able to watch a comedy without children interrupting. So -yeah, years.

You guys did SO WELL writing terrible haiku! Please believe me that the winner was a really really really really really tough decision.

And it was:

Appalling falling snowflakes

by Bruce Goodman

The falling snow’s a
floccinaucinihili-
pilification.

Bruce actually wrote eight entries for this contest. Be sure to read the rest of his stanzas that follow this one (below). Bruce has entered every contest so far, but his poems were just too good to win.

Congratulations, at last, Bruce. You really made me cringe -especially because I had to count syllables for floccinaucinihilipilification. This is, in fact, a word. It means ‘the action or habit of estimating something as worthless.’ Touché.

Bruce Goodman is The Most Terrible Poet of the Week.

For the rest of you: wow. If I could award prizes after first place, I wouldn’t even go that far down. I wanted to award 1.1 place and 1.2 place and such; the terribleness was that close of a contest! I just loved the terrible adjectives; the horrible descriptors; and the no-good, very bad subject matters.

For your reading pleasure, then, here are the close contenders in order of when they were submitted:

It’s snowing on the eucalypts aka gums

by Bruce Goodman

Snow is falling down
like toothpaste on a toothbrush.
Shame I have no teeth.

—–

Falling Snow

by Ruth Scribbles

The falling snow is
Falling and falling and down
Fifty miles an hour

—–

Appalling falling snowflakes

by Bruce Goodman

The falling snow’s a
floccinaucinihili-
pilification.

It is all fluffy;
soft as the down on a dead
duckling that’s all stiff.

We made a snowman
and used our frozen dead cat
for the snowman’s hat.

We used grandma’s skull
for our snowman’s head; the same
for Autumn’s scarecrow.

She has a skull for
all seasons, has dead granny.
(We took the brains out).

In Spring it sprouts seeds,
and in Summer we use it
for a cricket ball.

Fa la la la la
Appalling falling snowflakes
Fa la la la la.

—–

Untitled piece

by Violet Lentz

tropical island temptress
so heartless- so cold
she wept tears of falling snow

—–

They Scold:

by Jon

Cold are the undead
The flakey white stuff is snow
falling on zombies

—–

Untitled piece

by Michael Fishburn

I’m watchin’ snow fall.
Snow is rain, but frozen, yup –
and it really sucks.

Untitled piece

by Michael Fishburn

Hope the snow keeps up.
Really? Why would you want that?
Then it won’t come down!

—–

Untitled piece

by Geoff Le Pard

why does snow always fall?
it never stumbles and rights itself
before moving on

—–

FALLING SNOW

by FRANKLY

Ugly miry wet
Embalming souls with icebergs
To die frozenly

—–

SNOWY NOSE

by Babbitman

White stuff, look at it;
it’s all over the place but
it ain’t cocaine, mate

—–

Untitled piece

by Jessica Peterson

Come on in; boots off
Where did all my carrots go?
Go warm up your hands

Don’t be shy! Come back tomorrow and enter next week’s contest!!

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FREE Contest: Third Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Good Saturday morning, everyone. I hope your Thanksgiving went well (if you are in America) or that you at least enjoyed all the food items that were on sale.

Today I’d like to give a brief lecture about haiku. When I was in elementary school, we were told that a haiku was three lines of poetry with a distinct syllable pattern: 5-7-5. I had to laugh at Google’s definition because it listed that syllable rule as the first definition; then, for the second, ‘an English imitation of this.’

People murder haiku all the time because it is not simply a matter of syllables. It needs a feeling, ‘cutting’ (kiru), and a season reference (kigo) often pulled from a list (saijiki) as well. Heck -the syllable thing is more of a pattern of on and may even have 11 total. Thank you, Wikipedia, for setting us straight.

Given that, and the fact that people completely fail to pull these elements into haiku, this next week’s contest ought to be simplisticly easy for everyone to ‘win’ at.

If you still need some pointers on what ‘terrible’ means, read my wonderful blog post, How To Write Terrible Poetry, and dive right in:

  1. The topic is falling snow.
  2. All poems submitted need to be haiku. Let’s keep it awful and insist on 5-7-5 English syllables (yes, I really want you to follow this rule).
  3. Haiku traditionally does not rhyme, but you can make us all scream if you insist it does.
  4. And remember: the poem needs to be terrible. Japanese poet-masters who understand English ought to be rolling in their graves, digging themselves out by their fingernails, and coming to wag a zombie-like scolding finger at you in your sleep.
  5. Keep it PG-Rated.

Think you can do it? You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (November 30, 2018) to submit.

Post your poem or the specific link to it in the comments.

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WINNER of the Second Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Winner

(What? Did you think I was going to keep you in suspense?)

THE SOUR GRAPES OF WRATH

by Babbitman

There are green ones
And red ones
But sometimes they are so dark that they are pretty much
Black
Oh, so black.
And dark.
Like my heart.
Since you’ve been gone.
You peeled grapes for me.
Which was jolly nice
Because
I really didn’t like the skins
Which
Used to get stuck in my teeth
In the gaps
And underneath
My tongue.
Somehow. Don’t ask me how.
I’m not a dentist.
And now the skins
Are giving me grief again.
Such grief.
Beyond belief.
And they’re not very sweet.
I would have said bitter
And thrown them in the litter
bin
But actually they’re probably really
Just sour.
Like my mood.
Unpleasant food.
And it’s because of you.
That I’m sour.
Like these grapes.
And I hate
You.
So there.

I had a really difficult time choosing a winner. I had to flip a four-sided coin to determine who got it. Yes, a four-sided coin is a thing. Yes, that means that the more-than-four entries were still too pretty. Get more angst, guys.

To those who entered and did not get first place but were still terrible: great work! I cringed so much I almost stopped laughing out loud.

As to you, Babbitman, the little extra oomph that bumped you up to first (besides winning the imaginary, impossible coin toss) was your random references to things that still managed to make me think of bad poetry clichés. Add that to the terrible meter and line interruptions (present in a few others’ entries) and I nearly had to go get a breath of fresh prose to recover.

So, congratulations! You are the most terrible poet of them all for this week.

Here are the other terrible poetry submissions, in order of when they were submitted:

Sour Grapes

by Bladud Fleas

A bunch of your finest my good woman
if you don’t mind
O, your last lot left me little lips a bit puckered
Nope, no probs! assuredly
Honestly,
I didn’t want them anyhow.

—–

Untitled piece

by Nitin

Those grapes are sour
I cannot reach them
O Alas! O Alas! O Sigh!
Death O Death grows nigh!
And my need grows by
the daily hour
I said, ‘So, the curtain
doesn’t match them drapes,’
And for that this,
This punishment! This poverty!
O Star! O heavens! O clouds!
My freedom! My liberty!
Gone!
Taken and now as I’m tied to these
Bedposts
I writhe! I writhe! I writhe!
Them who said ‘Ginger’s have no soul,’ were talking no myth!
O Alas! O Alas! O beautiful star!

—–

Sour Grapes

by Bladud Fleas

O the grape has a pip you know
known as a seed sometimes
and the sourest grape
has the sourest indeed
one that can even make a grown man’s lips bleed
into a conveniently placed hankerchief
if he has one
not all men carry them these days
the apes
Neanderthals
with their grapey palate
like being stuck on the mouth with a great huge wooden mallet
those grapes.

—–

It Follows

by Jon

Sour grapes
Bitter fruit
Ingratitude
Vomited heavenward
Raining down
Staining, rude
Creasing frown
Crass, crude
Ugly festering
Attitude

—–

Untitled piece

by Bladud Fleas

When I’m lying in my hospital bed
don’t bring me grapes!
O bring me pineapples, melons and avocados instead
and apples red (and strawberries because they’re also red)
And lemons and bananas from the capes
(O and I just remembered raspberries are red too)
bring those
But not more grapes
Can you pull those drapes for me?
That’s better, now I can see
O no, are those for me?
Take
them
away
Come back
another day with some other fruit
or a carrot yeah I really don’t mind vegetables

—–

Untitled piece

by Masercot

I lost the race
but that’s okay because the trophy had a stupid face
and the meager prize purse
was even worse…

—–

Sour Grapes

by Ruth Scribbles

My mommy said

Smile

No sour grapes

Allowed

Why? I said

If I smile

You will see them

on my teeth

Ps. This is terrible Ug

—–

Sour Grapes

by Bruce Goodman

I refuse to obey rules –
especially for bad poetry.
Some might think it’s really cool
to have a rule
but personally I think it’s a load of bull

Some might think this excellent (some might say brilliant)
poem is revenge
for not winning last week’s poetry-that-sux competition.
But I refuse to obey rules
even when I’m driving a car
Ha ha ha

(I would’ve put “sux” at the end of the line but couldn’t think of anything that rhymed with it).

This could be construed as being sour grapes
but the expression “sour grapes” is a cliché.
But hey!
Hang loose.
Bruce
can screw up his face just as well with lemon juice.

—–

Untitled piece

by Fractured Faith Blog

Sour Grapes
Sour Grapes
Oh God
This was a mistake.
Gag my mouth with duct tape
But now it’s too late
I’ve entered the contest
My poem is a right mess.
Sour Grapes
Sour Grapes
Grapes which are not sweet
Are usually sour.
Fin

—–

Untitled piece

by Furious Pockets

“Why am I not married?”
Some complain, and in an attempt to drain the pain, they exclaim,
“It’s caused by a culture of rapes!”
But I know that’s just sour grapes.

I am also terribly sorry for sending this out so late. The oldest and I went out for our traditional ‘Black Friday’ shopping of going to the local Smith’s Food and Drug to get free donuts at 7 a.m. Any other Black Friday-ing is madness.

I’ve come home, recovered a bit, and determined that I ought to use a fat chair next time I’m post-op.

Merry Thanksgiving to you all, and be sure to enter next week’s contest!

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FREE Contest: The Second Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Welcome to the second Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. I am your hostess, Chelsea Owens.

Please, please read my wonderful blog post, How To Write Terrible Poetry, then note the following rules:

  1. The topic is sour grapes.
  2. It’s shorter than the last contest. Keep your poem below 150 words but above 5. That means anywhere from 6-149 words.
  3. To rhyme, or not this thyme? Again, up to you.
  4. And remember: the poem needs to be terrible. I want your high school poetry club teacher to pat you on the back for how many ways you failed to write the word ‘love’ or ‘agony.’ (Please do not literally use ‘love’ and ‘agony’ 50 times, assuming it’s a requirement.)
  5. Keep it PG-Rated.

Think you can do it? You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (November 23, 2018) to submit. Write it early ’cause I don’t want to see anyone coming here instead of to their family’s house for Thanksgiving.

Post your poem or the specific link to it in the comments.

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How To Write Terrible Poetry

The writing world is a frustrating place full of presumptuous bookworms, grammatically-correct literaries, and metaphor-happy English professors. We writers could really use a break.

As such, I initiated the first Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. …And was disappointed.

Either I am horrible at giving directions, or my readership is too uptight to give their verse the cringe it can take. Since I know the fault could never lie with the talented people with extremely good taste who come to my site, I have decided some How-To will help.

Let’s take a verse and carry it through the different levels of quality. You may recognize this stanza, though only the truly educated appreciate it for its depth, meter, and metaphor.

So, as fast as I could, I went after my net.
And I said, “With my net
I can get them I bet.
I bet, with my net,
I can get those Things yet!”

Excellent

A poem at this level fulfills its purpose, awakens a response in the reader, its imagery evokes memory and such, and it has meter. Even if the meter is a rambling sort that makes one think the writer was drunk and singing backwards at the time, it works. For some reason, we can still follow it and end up smiling at the end instead of clawing the walls.

Dr. Suess’ poem is at this level, primarily because it was written to educate young readers and not bore them in process. The man takes it an extra notch up by having a repeated word (I) to begin each line and a rhyme that not only appears at the end of each line (net/net/bet/net/yet) but also finds its way midway as well (get/bet/get).

Good

I would deem a poem ‘Good’ if it has no complaint against it except for ‘a little something’ that doesn’t bump it up to first place in a competition. Like its Excellent brother(s); it has purpose, meter, flow, imagery, etc.

Let’s take our example and make it only Good:

So, as fast as I could, I picked up my net.
I said, “With my net,
I can catch them as pets.
I think, with my net,
Those Things I will get!”

Bad

Most people do not even realize they are reading Bad poetry. They circle the poem around the internet, or their pupils recite it in front of the class as a work of memorization. The people with any literary feeling left to them, in process, sit through these readings with the look of a person enduring a tooth extraction with blunt instruments.

Ready for this?

‘Twas the day before school
When I picked up my net.
I stood on a stool,
So I didn’t get wet.
Then I said, “I will get them; no sweat.”

Terrible

In my introduction to The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest, I said “the worst poetry you can write.” Later, I noted, “I want to cringe. I want to scrub my eyes and go lick something to clear my artistic palate.”

Maybe the poet tries too hard. Maybe he or she is way too fond of adjectives, especially the same adjective. Most likely, the person writes a meter of poetry with the beat of a broken, molding drum he or she found half-price at his or her grandmother’s aunt’s secondhand flea market.

I am so very sorry, Mr. Geisel, to have to do this.

I saw them, the Things with the waving blue wet.
Theyr danced like the sunrise but then they ruined the set
Of our house
Of
Our
Pet. A fish
In a pot, all alone.
And what to our wandering eyes should we get?
My anger, like fire; my passion whet
With confusion.
My net.

I hope he doesn’t come after me in the hereafter.

More importantly, class, I hope you have all learned something. With the skills of atrocious poetry, go forth and re-enter the latest contest. Have fun, get messy, and don’t actually apply any of these lessons to legitimate works.