The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Good day or night to you all. It’s time for the 43rd weekly Terrible Poetry Contest!

Writing cliché, mis-metered verse can be tricky; only those stuck in bad, beginner habits can truly pull it off. For a bit of guidance, read my basic outline. Ready? Excellent. Let’s begin.

Here are the specifics for this week:

  1. The Topic is free-versing about secondhand sales. Ever been to a yard sale? Garage sale? Flea market? Write about it; flow about it.
  2. Looking for a certain Length? Let’s go with fewer than 150 words. Final offer.
  3. Rhyming is not allowed. This is free verse poetry, people. Curb your instincts.
  4. Above all, make it terrible. e.e. cummings must feel such a shock from your literary efforts that he vows to capitalize his name just to make you stop.
  5. Let’s keep the rating PG or cleaner. What sort of flea market are you going to, anyway?

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (September 20) to submit a poem.

Use the form below if you want to be anonymous for a week.

If not, and for a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments.

Have fun!



Photo credit:
Phad Pichetbovornkul

49 thoughts on “The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

  1. Second hand sale in a garage

    I went to a second hand sale.
    It was in Peach Street.
    It was in someone’s garage.
    There was an old broom with a few bristles missing.
    There was a garden fork with some of its prongs gone.
    There were a couple of old cushions with the stuffing coming out.
    And there was grandma!
    Grandma! Grandma for sale!
    Maybe your own grandma has croaked
    and you want another.
    Buy grandma!
    She might be second hand,
    but she can be a grandma to your kids
    if their own grandma has kicked the bucket.
    Also she knows how to help with the dishes.
    And cook.
    Although I’m into antiques
    I didn’t buy her
    because she wasn’t in very good condition.
    But I certainly will be keeping an eye out
    at other garage sales.
    Besides, she was too expensive,
    and I haven’t sold the kids’ maternal grandma yet.
    Grandma! Grandma for sale!
    Maybe your own grandma has croaked
    and you want another.
    Buy grandma!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Come on Bruce, you have to give us all a fighting chance. How can we compete with your grandma??? By the way does she still have her own teeth?

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Yard Sale Blues Number 397

    what is
    a kumquat peeler
    a device to strip citrus
    or an x-rated toy
    and please
    let me know
    how to use an endive fork
    a thing I never knew
    was a thing
    until now
    someone else’s garbage
    is my
    but you are happy
    a sign of yard sale is heaven
    isn’t it
    a lunchbox from a sitcom
    from 1973 that nobody remembers
    is only 95
    thermos included
    an earwax washer
    only slightly used
    a grey frilly table cloth
    once white
    a mexican poncho
    from sears roebuck
    You peel out the bills
    like a kumquat
    and fill the car
    with junk
    we’ll never

    Extra points if you catch the reference to Frank Zappa 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  3. It was today, in fact:

    Dozens of us, gathered in one place hoping to divest
    At least a part of the clutter gotten from yet another
    Medium channeling second-hand nick for which
    They had a knack, a paddy full of wack, whatever
    Those are.

    The iris bulbs we labored to pull from the stubborn
    Crowded soil. Those went best, one dollar a dozen.
    Most of the rest sat like a lump or hung from the rod.
    Going nowhere. Everyone had much the same kind of
    Unneeded stuff.

    At least the local helper of the disadvantaged poor
    Brought their empty trailer and left it parked.
    I can feel good that the surplus winter gear can
    Keep someone warm when they would otherwise
    be exposed and freezing.

    Best of all, I didn’t have
    To take any of it back home.
    Next time, we will go straight to give
    Completely bypassing sell again

    Liked by 2 people

  4. first light on the first day of the rest of my life.
    i leap from my bed and fling up the sash.
    my heart also leaps from its bed and flings up my mood.
    the sun and birdsong and automatic-sprinkler sounds hit me in the face.
    i fling off my pajamas and some lingering doubts.
    skip breakfast although it’s the most important meal.
    go out front and pull up the croquet wickets and collect the newspaper.
    i’m clearing the front yard.
    hurry to telephone poles around the neighborhood and tack up my signs.
    and back home, roust out the kids and feed them.
    and finally, out front with them where i attach all the price tags.
    they’re expensive but worth it and even if i sell only one it would be a great start.

    Liked by 1 person

    Stalls left and right,
    Goodies to be seen and had.
    Certain things for pence or a pound,
    A bargain if you knew what to look for.
    Look at that!
    I had one like it,
    Time to get me a pair
    If I can remember where I put the other.
    Bookends or doorstops,
    I’ll make use of it.
    Ten pounds goes a long way
    With Christmas coming,
    Rubber ducks, paperbacks,
    Toys and games in battered boxes,
    Glasses, ornaments,
    Something for everyone.
    Beggars can’t be choosers,
    Nice to be remembered
    And it is the thought that counts.

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. More Than What You Bargained For

    Yes, ma’am what we have here is a bonafide Tupperware collection of warped plastic. They were used to store the leftover bread from the feeding of the 5,000.
    And over here? Well that’s my collection of Pet Rocks. They all have Ph.D.’s. Piled High Deeper, you know. That’s a rock thing.
    Oh, that milk jug there? Glad you asked. Lincoln drank out out of that. And that toothbrush? Made out of Washington’s false teeth, the wooden kind.
    This here gun was used in the Revolution; and this necklace? Worn on the neck of the queen herself. Queen Cleopatra that is. Victoria’s sold yesterday, I’m afraid.

    Well here, how about this book : it’s an ancient copy of Chelsea Owen’s “Terrible Poetry Guide.” It was printed nearly a hundred years ago. She defines free verse on page 63.

    And this ain’t it, son.

    Liked by 1 person

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