Crappy High School Poetry: The Final Chapter

That’s right, this is the final… thing. Apparently in high school I went through a poetry phase that was exactly seven poems long. Given the quality of the poems I’ve previously featured, I suppose that’s a blessing. Why so few? I don’t know… maybe I wrote more, I can’t remember, but these were the ones I deemed worth saving for posterity. Do you understand the implications? These were the cream of the crop, the best of the best. Can you imagine–do you even dare imagine–the ones I tossed aside? Best not go down that road; that way lies madness.

And so we come to the end of my Poetic Crimes Against Humanity with my magnum opus, an untitled poem about something or other. This one is pretty long, and I’m sure I thought it was wicked profound at the time not to give it a title, but now I see it for what it is: sheer laziness.


untitled and untalented 

One day when flying
I met a little man who was
Very old. The lines on
His face formed a
Maze –
One of such complexity I
Doubt even Daedalus could ever
     His eyes seemed older than did he –
     Inward looking,
     Not mindful of me.
I asked the man
About himself and the days
Which created him.
He looked
At me with his
Rusty eyes — and I saw, in
Those two mirrors, a
Stagnant depth, one of age,
Age that was the man, but
     His eyes seemed older than did he –
     Inward looking,
     Not mindful of me.
Large, colorless tears fell from
Those two cloudy orbs –
To be lost in the
His cracked mouth cracked a little
More, and his dry throat
Got a little drier. Though there was
No sound, his eyes spoke, for
     His eyes seemed older than did he –
     Inward looking,
     Not mindful of me.
The next day when flying
The clouds cried about
Nothing, and I saw the
I encountered a lake — alive,
Brilliant, full of reflections –
Truth and illusion. But as I
Dived, the images I lived rose
Pictures of an old man,
Very old. And
My eyes saw themselves as they were –
     They seemed much older than did I –
     Outward looking,
     Reflections of Sky.  


  • Let me just get this out of the way, first thing: I actually kind of like this poem. Parts of it rhyme, and rhyme = real poetry.
  • That said, what a pile of self-indulgent, nonsensical garbage.
  • In the poem, I establish in the very first line that I’m flying.
  • Let me just repeat that: I’m flying.
  • No, I don’t know why, either.
  • The reference to Daedalus is absolutely unnecessary, but at the time I apparently believed that mythological references automatically gave the verse a nice sheen of class.
  • They didn’t then, and they don’t now.
  • “Inward looking” needs a hyphen. Sorry, but the Grammar Police don’t take a day off.
  • Rusty eyes? How did his eyes get rusty? Wait a minute… the old guy’s eyes are metal. He’s totally a robot! This poem is totally about a robot senior citizen! Too, too awesome.
  • Wait, how can they be rusty if they’re mirrors?
  • Eyes as mirrors? Hack move, Horn.
  • How did I know the old guy’s throat got drier? I think it’s possible–nay, probable–that I am some kind of flying ear-nose-and-throat guy. If they ever make a movie titled “Winged Otolaryngologist Meets Robotic Septugenarian,” it will basically be a license to print money. Guaranteed hit. You heard it here first.
  • Clouds crying? Again: hack move, Horn.
  • “Outward looking” needs a hyphen, as well. Was I paying no attention during English class?
  • No, I wasn’t. I was too busy writing terrible poetry.
  • At the end, am I suggesting that I’m the old guy?
  • Somehow?
  • So, basically… a flying throat doctor meets his older self who’s a robot and then he falls in a lake? Dude.
  • Best.
  • Poem.
  • Ever.

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