More Crappy High School Poetry

In the interest of preemptively humiliating myself by letting the entire world see what a sap I was in high school, I give you… “She #2.” That’s right, I actually incorporated into the title a subliminal statement about how crappy it is. #2, see? GET IT?! And as for the #2: yeah, I wrote a whole series of these horrible ”She” poems, so prepare yourself for unending dreck about how she is so awesome and I love her so much and she doesn’t love me and oh god I wish I was dead.

Anyway… so, this is my second whine-laden foray into whiny whining about some girl who probably did not really exist. Whining! Actually, as I recall, I kind of had a crush on a freckle-faced, curly-haired brunette around this time and this may have been about her. Just to creepify it even more for you, I did not personally know her, she did not know me, I never met her, and to this day I couldn’t tell you her name if my life depended on it.

I can’t imagine why I didn’t date much in high school.

dropping a literary deuce

She #2 

The blue of her whisper
   falls softly on
      my mind’s pillow.

The rose of her touch
   warms my thoughts
      and soothes them.

The scarlet of her love
   stains my soul with a
      deep red fire.

I love her.

Thoughts and commentary:

  • Just so you know, this poem won first-place in a school-wide poetry contest my senior year. No foolin’! With that in mind, imagine how bad the other entries must have been.
  • To be fair, that first line about the blue of her whisper? Not that bad.
  • That said, comparing my mind to a soft, squishy, down-filled head-cushion? Fan-freaking-tastic.
  • Okay, so we’re using colors to describe her, right? Her touch is, according to the never-infallible Wikipedia: “the color halfway between red and magenta on the HSV color wheel, also known as the RGB color wheel, on which it is at hue angle of 330 degrees.” Who wouldn’t be soothed by that? So soothing.
  • Her touch somehow warms my thoughts, so again, I find myself drawn to a telepath. Apparently, Bryant High School was thick with Jean Grey-types in the late 80s.
  • Ah… finally, the true mark of a hack romantic love poem: droning on and on about my “soul.” That chick I never met and never will meet totally touches my soul, man. MY SOUL. I’m romantic, can’t you see that? PAY ATTENTION TO ME.
  • Wait, she doesn’t touch my soul, she stains it.
  • With fire.
  • “Deep” fire.
  • Somehow.
  • Fire doesn’t stain, ya dope. It burns. It scorches. It carbonizes. Instead of saying “stains my soul,” I should’ve said “carbonizes my innards.” Now that’s romantic language.
  • “I love her.” Really. State the obvious much?

Stay tuned… more awful poetic offal to come!

Crappy High School Poetry

A friend of mine sent me a link to this website the other day. It allows you to automatically assemble a gothic-style poem (the kind that does not rhyme, of course), the kind of horrendous garbage depressed high school students write about how death is awesome and no one loves them and blah blah blah etc, scribbled in notebook margins alongside anarchy symbols and Violent Femmes lyrics.

And as I sat there making fun of losers that wrote crappy high school poetry, I remembered: hey, I wrote crappy high school poetry! If I’m going to make fun of it, I should at least have the guts to illustrate my point with some of the free verse I penned back in the late 80s, when I was a lonely, tortured, misunderstood Byron-type who fancied himself the quintessential Hopeless Romantic. (In reality, I was a nerdy Star Trek fan who played in the band and was less Hopeless Romantic than just plain Hopeless.)

To that end, I give you the first in a series: Crappy High School Poetry by the young Price Horn. Today’s installment: “She.” I’m even including a scan of the original in all its Commodore-64-dot-matrix-printed glory, with the full text following:

small poetry from a small man

She

She
Walked below a burning bridge to
Tear my throne away

     The heat scorches, but it cannot erase.

She
Filled my mind with thoughts of flame and
Love and joyous pain.

     The heat draws me even through my fear.

She
Reached into a fiery void and grasped
Me, and I ran.

     The heat remains.

     I remain.

Thoughts and questions:

  • She walked below a burning bridge, did she? That’s a pretty dangerous strategy, what with the flaming timbers falling on your head and whatnot, but she was willing to take the risk because she was on a vitally important mission: to tear my throne away.
  • Why did she want my throne?
  • Wait a minute… why did I even have a throne?
  • Seriously, a throne? What does any of this even mean?
  • Was the bridge set aflame by the fiery void?
  • How does a void burn? By its very definition, a void can contain no flammable materials. That’s why they call it a void.
  • She used Jedi mind trick powers to make me think about “flame.” Considering all the heat and flame and burning bridges and fiery voids, you would think flames would be foremost on my mind.
  • Oh, she also implanted thoughts of love (of course she did) and “joyous pain.” Joyous pain… shades of the “bringers of pain and delight” from the classic Trek episode “Spock’s Brain.” (I told you I was nerdy.)
  • It’s nice to know that despite the burning and the running and the grasping and the hey hey hey it hurts me nice lady… I remain. Dude, that is so deep. Long before the Dude was abiding, the Priceman was remaining.
  • Also the heat.
  • In short: This telepathic chick totally loved me, but I ran… I ran so far away, mostly because of rampant flaming. Something tells me a man could read something into that.

Plugging In, Tuning Out

After our weekend services at church, as you leave the auditorium, they hand you a set of “meditations,” which is basically a fancy name for daily devotions. There’s a little scripture reference, and some thoughts on the scripture that tie in to the message delivered by the pastor. And oh yeah, I occasionally write them. 

Here’s a link to the most recent set I penned. Enjoy!

Or don’t enjoy them, I don’t care.

But if you hate them, don’t tell me. Take it up with Jesus.

I really need to post something

It’s just been so long, I don’t even remember how to do it anymore. What do I write about?

Findlay, Ohio? No, I think that horse is long dead and well and truly beaten.

But what else is there? Findlay was the center of my existence for so long, and now that I have reached catharsis with that whole thing, there’s just this Hancock-County-shaped hole in my heart.

What will fill it? WHAT WILL FILL IT?!

Christmas, maybe? I didn’t post anything about Christmas. But it’s February, and there’s nothing more depressing than hanging on to Christmas when Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. I still see a house or two on my daily commute where wreaths and lights are still hanging forlornly. I say to these people: “Tear down these decorations!”

So basically what I’m saying is, I have nothing to say. I have written other stuff for other sites, other people. Maybe I should just post links to that stuff? Yeah, that’s what I’ll do! I’ll recycle crap that I’ve already written! That’s the ticket!

Everyone okay with that?

No?

Well, if I haven’t listened to you before, I’m not going to start now.

No hamburgs, no peace!

I may be so over Findlay, but I am definitely NOT over Wilson’s Sandwich Shop. One of the best hamburgers I’ve ever had. I even have a little souvenir Wilson’s cup sitting in my cubicle at work, right beside my little plastic geeky treasures.

captain kirk, millennium falcon, and a styrofoam cup: all pop culture gold

What is more pathetic, the items themselves or the guy that treasures them so?

Anyway… Wilson’s “hamburgs” were wicked awesome, and pretty much the only reason I’d ever return to Findlay, Ohio. That’s why this bit of news is so troubling.

Wilson’s closing down?! I guess we got there just in time. Who will stand with me against this outrage?

Fight with me! Wilson’s stands, or we all fall! TO THE BARRICADES, MY BROTHERS! TO THE BEEFY, GREASE-LADEN BARRICADES!

UPDATE: Thank God.

Wow. I haven’t posted for a month.

Well, I’m not going to start today.

Maybe I should just open a chicken joint

Too late!

the chicken is not as greasy as its owner 

(via Lunch Blog KC)

The Super Suit: About friggin’ time

It’s not the tried-and-true red-and-blue, but it’ll do. It’ll do.

I’m glad they decided to leave off the “underwear on the outside” look

Oh, I’ve wasted my life.

Sometimes you just gotta walk around downtown in your underwear

An empty pair of pants, lying on the sidewalk in downtown Kansas City, just outside the old Fed building.

Pants-free and loving it

Findlay, Ohio: The Capital of the United States of Awesome

It’s Flag City, USA.

It’s home to the Super Bowl-winning Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Belinda Carlisle was right all along. Heaven is a place on earth, and it’s a small town on I-75 in northwest Ohio.

It’s Findlay, Ohio, and it may well be the greatest city ever known to man. Forget Rome, London, New York, Gotham City, Metropolis, Tokyo and all those other fictional towns. Pretenders to the throne! The slow urbanization of mankind that began thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia has reached its apex in Findlay, Ohio.

And I’ve never been there. For that matter, I’ve never even been to Ohio.

And yet… and yet. I talk about Findlay all the time. My alter-ego Brian hails from Findlay. (For a while, I actually wrote a blog as Brian, all about his adventures in Findlay. More on that later.) I’d wager I know more about Findlay than a good chunk of the people who actually live there. The question is:

“For God’s sake, man… why?!”

Well, it’s a long story. A long, stupid story.

The story begins over a decade ago, during the heady days of the late-to-mid-90s, when the Internet was first starting to become A Big Thing. Realizing that we could be a part of said Big Thing, my friend Tom and I decided to start a website. And we used the tool everybody used back then: Geocities!

Yes, we had a crappy, ghetto, free Geocities page, and it was titled Price and Tom’s Stuff-o-rama! It was, theoretically speaking, a “comedy” site. One of the main features of the site was “Price’s Advices and Tom’s Tips,” a satirical advice column that turned into kind of a cult hit before it was all said and done. The advice column was so popular, in fact, that we dropped everything else and focused exclusively on doling out comic advice to strangers on the Internet. We were even featured as a “Hot Link of the Day” on the USA Today web site. Fan-freaking-tastic!

As we were planning this website (”planning” being a very generous term for what was essentially just the two of us throwing together whatever came to mind) Tom and I decided that although we were using our real first names, we didn’t really want anyone to know who we really were or where we really lived. So we created an alternate Tom and Price, Tom2 being a lonely loser working at KFC, and Price2 being a bitter loser trapped in a loveless marriage. (I know! Who would believe such a thing?) And because we didn’t want anyone to know we were living in Springfield, Missouri (in the off chance that we’d offend someone so intensely that they’d want to track us down and murder us), we decided that the alternate Price and Tom would live elsewhere. We pulled out a map of the US and picked a new hometown at random. Hidden under the greasy finger we plopped down on the map was a town neither of us had ever even heard of, but it was, nonetheless, a Town of Destiny.

Findlay, Ohio.

We checked it out a little on the then-kind-of-new Internet, and it seemed like a good fit. It just felt right, down in our stupid guts, and thus it was settled: As we generated our “funny” advice for the Internet, we would (pretend to) be from Findlay, Ohio. We did a little half-hearted web research so that we could throw out references to the mall (the Findlay Village Mall!), or the newspaper ( The Courier!), or a grocery store (Great Scot!), or unique street names (Main!). And for the couple of years that we faithfully churned out that “humorous” dreck, we kept up the ruse that we were from Findlay. We graduated from Geocities to our own domain. We briefly scraped the outer edges of D-list fame. For a while, we even had—get this!—an agent. We were flyin’ high!

But as with all things grand and noble and awe-inspiring that are also totally dependent on me, the whole thing ended with the lamest of whimpers, not even close to a bang. Traffic started tapering off. People stopped sending us questions. Our agent stopped returning our calls. It was harder and harder to find time to write our “comical” content, and, so, we eventually lost interest and quit. Our Internet dreams were dead. Dead and rotten and stinking and buried. In the ground. In a cemetery. In an empty, barren forest. Under the ocean.

But Findlay lived on! I never let anything go, and for whatever reason Findlay had established a beachhead in my psyche, and it proceeded to invade every other segment of my life. I started using”FindlayBoy” as an online alias. I snuck Findlay references into church skits. In my day job as a technical writer for a software company, I was responsible for creating a manual for a mapping application. Every map example in the entire 350-page manual? Findlay, Ohio.

When some colleagues and I first encountered famed Internet crackpot Gene Ray (he of the infamous Time Cube), we played a little prank on him. I started e-mailing him under the guise of “Brian McNair,” a unique and none-too-bright guy from Findlay, Ohio. I did more research on the city to keep the details straight.

After we were done tormenting that poor mentally ill old man, the character of “Brian” stuck with me, and thus was born, years later, Brian’s Adventures in Findlay, Ohio. For about six months, as an exercise in writing in another voice, I blogged as Brian, and to do so believably, I completely immersed myself in the world of Findlay. I consulted maps to make sure that Brian could easily get from Point A to Point B (Google Maps Street View would’ve been really nice around that time). For a post in which Brian reviewed frozen pizzas, I actually called the Great Scot supermarket to find out which brands they carried. I read The Courier’s website every day so Brian could reference current Findlayite events.

Given my short attention span and astounding lack of discipline, it’s a miracle I lasted a whole six months as Brian. Yeah, I eventually got sick of it and just quit like the quitting quitter I am. But I miss Brian, way more than a person should miss a fictional character that he created, and that’s why he shows up here from time to time. Brian—pitiable, lovable idiot that he is—is just too fun to write for me to let him die.

And Findlay is just too unforgettable to forget. (I guess that’s pretty much the definition of unforgettable, isn’t it?) And so I haven’t forgotten it. I still read The Courier from time to time, and what have I learned? It floods there. A lot. Maybe someday I can be there to fill sandbags on the banks of the majestic Blanchard River as it overflows its banks and inundates the picturesque downtown in the heart of America, leaving rich, fetid, black mud three feet high in the city that will forever be my imaginary home.

downtown Findlay, aka “The Ol’ Swimmin’ Hole”

But make no mistake: I will visit Findlay someday. Someday, all my dreams and aspirations will come to fruition, and I will walk the streets of Findlay in the flesh. Someday… some wondrous, magical day.

But until then, I hold Findlay dear to my heart, loving it from afar. Because after all these years, I still know this much is true: Man’s reach must forever exceed his grasp, or else what’s Findlay, Ohio for?

(Oh, and by the way, if you’d like to party like it’s 1999—assuming that the party involved browsing amateurish websites, which would make it the crappiest party ever—I have placed a copy of our old site right here on thekchorns.com. So take a look, won’t you? Enjoy the almost-funny wackiness of Price’s Advices and Tom’s Tips.)

« Previous Entries Next Entries »