TERRIBLE TUESDAY #1: “The Burning Giraffe”

A few years ago, I was invited to do a poetry feature at Practical Art’s monthly open mic Uptown P.E.N. (hosted at the time by Mark Young; later on the hosting baton passed to me for a brief spell before it landed in the hands of Four Chambers Press head honcho Jake Friedman). At the time, I hadn’t written a lot of new material and I wasn’t interested in rehashing the same shit again; I also try to make each poetry feature I do unique by adding in props, audience participation and other bits of randomness. For this show, I couldn’t think of anything and I was about to give in to despair when I made a surprising discovery at home: I found a binder full of 100s of my old high school poems! So I decided to cheerfully flagellate myself in public by doing a feature set of my Terrible, Horrible, Vogon-esque High School Poetry. It seemed to go over really well, and while I may have cringed A LOT, I had a great time reading that stuff

So I decided to dust these bad boys (and I don’t mean bad in the Run-D.M.C. sense) off and release them, week by week, into the world. So much of how artists present themselves to the world is showing off their best work and burying their mistakes and dead ends and demos and accidents, sweeping all those nonstarters under the carpet. I’m opting to show you my worst, for shits and giggles. And because as bad as these poems are, there are days where I wish I was more like the well-meaning, romantic high school goofball who wrote them.

Here it is, the first edition of TERRIBLE TUESDAY where I let my Bad High School Poetry run wild and free. This one is an ode to Salvador Dali:

The Burning Giraffe

One longneck set ablaze
Flicking its paintbrush tail as
resistance as it continues to plow forward
One blackened hoof in front of
As its elongated head looks up
Wondering why
it doesn’t have the good fortune to die

Salvador Dalí - The Burning Giraffe (Detail)

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