The challenge was to write a free-verse poem on bad driving, compliments of last contest’s winner, Matt! So, at long last, who was the ‘best’ at ‘worst?’
I told my shrink that the cops brought me here because of my bad driving and he said I had no record of ever driving a car in my life and I told him, not car, spaceship, S-P-A-C-E-S-H-I-P, and he said I had no spaceship and wasn’t an alien because my DNA test, D-N-A, showed I’m human enough and I told him, well, then why am I in that padded cell and he said I wasn’t in any cell and I asked him if he was trying to drive me crazy and if he was he wasn’t doing a good job of it and then he said I was brought in because I was scaring the neighborhood kids and the judge assigned me to him and I told him that I had a lot of fun turning my head 360 degrees like an owl and he said I couldn’t do stuff like that and I asked him whether he ever saw me and he said no and so I asked him if he wanted to see me turn my head 360 degrees and he said, “Sure, Marvin, go ahead turn your head 360 degrees like an own, go on show me” and so I turned my head 360 degrees like an owl and he called the exorcist.
This poem is in imitation of Gerald Stern’s American Sonnets. There “sonnets” have no rhyme nor meter (and often no sense that I could detect). They are all one sentence long allowing the reader to put in line breaks or not. I would call them terrible American sonnets, but he won some award for them and they are occasionally entertaining.
Congratulations, Frank! You are the most terrible poet! Let me know the type of poem and theme for the next two weeks.
I was AMAZED at the poems this week. AMAZED! Way to make my highly-prestigious judging difficult, everyone. The poems were terrible, plus they were terrible -making fun of a typical free verse, adding a twist or two, using humor or surprise, and adding in cliché poetic elements.
I think Frank’s stood out after all that because of his unique form. How annoying, really. You said Gerald Stern “won some award;” well, now you have.
Don’t stop there, though. Go ahead and enjoy the others:
First Time on the Highway!
the flowers of spring
and the newly green grass
after the long winter
I smile as I wonder
how did I get here
to this little slice
the torn-up turf
gives a clue
as does the broken windshield
oh, the joy
did I tell you
I received my drivers license
When we start
It is odd
Is it not?
That the pause in the flow
Might somehow show
A teasing hint
Of thought so deep
Of thinking, not sinking
An inner confusion
Leading to the illusion
But just rot
Pretending to be art
I’m not sure which is which
I prefer abstract philosophical principles
To hard-headed empiricism
Those colored lights they put over the intersections are really pretty
Driving down the road 🛣️
Minding my own business
When buddy flips me the bird 🦜
I know free verse don’t rhyme
But this guy’s a real turd 💩
With my ego now bruised
My brain explodes 💥
And my senses go blind
What’s this clown’s 🤡
Step on the gas ⛽
I weave through the rush
My window recessed 🪟
As I pull up to your ride
I start waving my fist 👊
Rhyme a curse at the lady inside
Don’t call the cops 🚓
That’s not meant for you
I got the wrong car 🚗
Mistaken identity I swear
I’m totally raging 🤬
As I punch it again
Blast past a school bus 🚌
This rhyming is insane
I catch a glimpse 👀
As you make the left
I race through the turn 🏎️
And ‘round the bend
Caught in my web 🕸
️The thrill of pursuit gone
What do I do now ❓
I take a deep breath and
In a moment of zen ☯️
My road rage does pass
I rhyme one last time ⌚
And realise, I’m the real ass!
Slower must I
go to get
Veins they but protrude
Shades of red flush my face
Cut me off
The hell ?
Spider in front of
not me, thankfully
we is stuck
neckers but you, you!!!
Pass everyone by on
every single one of y’all
gets the bird!
My driving is perfection.
I know this because I drive a Ford Cliche,
And have one aim when behind the wheel:
to remove the worst driver in the world,
Arthur Goode, from Britain’s roads.
In my car, I am perfection,
I am the enemy of the Goode.
For, I say; fore.
Out of my way for I am a bad driver.
Four violent torso twists, the club a blur of polished wood, and the ball barely moves
but my back hurts.
For what it’s worth –
to toot my own horn –
I’ll say that I’m not bad with
I am a bad driver.
Drivers are the chink in my Armour bologna Cracker Crunchers
lunch with a Butterfinger candy bar fun size dessert armor.
I ate at an Italian restaurant, name now forgotten, and I was so taken with the bombolotti, that squat little powerhouse noodle that expertly trapped the slightly sweet sauce and diced onion and, I think?
Parmigiano or pecorina cheese as a culinary captive to caress my …
no provincialism here: my slobbering mouth. So I had to
compliment the chef directly.
I drove myself, chest first, proudly displaying my all’Amatriciana sauce stained shiny Sahara sand satin shirt to the kitchen,
The chef, garbed in his winter jacket,
for it was
at the door and said:
“I cannot unlock my car door”.
I, taken aback, said: “Why not?”
He said, “I have gnocchi.”
I drove him home. I only exceeded the speed limit once,
to make a light.
Poor Parking Parable
What a dazzlingly bright sizzler of a triple digit day
It was down at the Crucible Mall
What a joy it was to be beneath cloudless azure skies
In a Midnight Blue Horizon
With no fu…nctioning air-conditioning
Not a park to be found within spitting distance
Of the Mall’s shady walls
Nary a one
Thanks to one selfish bas- parker
who had left two half spaces on either side
Of the fat-wheeled Ford F150 parked athwart the middle line
Of the only two miserably designated Disabled car parks
Lolling In his F150 sat
A fat-as slack faced cowboy
Hairy mitt draped on the wheel
Cab wreathed in vape smoke
He paused but for a second to chug down his Bud
Before leaping down agilely and
Lightly for such a heavy gutted hombre-
Onto the asphalt
And strode back into the Booze Barn
For ‘nother nourishing six-pack
No Disabled card on view
Nope, not right nor fair but…
After parking way out back in the back of beyond
Out in the furthest and farthest
Rarely traversed reaches of the car park
Far from the Mall and the madding crowd
I gamely sweated my way across
The shimmering tacky asphalt
Trekking towards the far-off
Sliding doored cold comfort of
My journey through Hades proved to be well worth it though!
So gratifying it was to see our invalid invalid
Looking fair fit to be tied
Getting roughly cuffed and arrested by someone
Healthily buffed and in a well-stuffed XL black uniform
As a bonus
Our cow-poke’s big-as truck getting all
Set to be towed
I joined in with the surrounding crowd
Easing in beside
A finely groomed and elegantly dressed elderly gent
‘Another ass who believes it’s his right to use not just one
But two Disabled parks’ he offered
Eyes hard as tempered steel
‘It’s rare to see such justice playing out before our eyes’
I croaked agreeably in my parched cracked voice
Seems all about us most folks agreed
And as the baddest example
Of good driving I’d seen in quite a while
Was hauled away
Everyone enthusiastically yet oddly waved him ta-ta’s
All with both hands
But sans fingers
‘Cept for middle digits
I bade the elderly gent a hearty good day
He went gladly off on his way
His wheelchairs wheels
Making one Hell of a deep impression along the
Which made for quite the racket too
But everyone in the vicinity
Who should have witnessed this
Had to have been deaf-finately handicapped
If not deaf, blissfully, smilingly unaware.
Thank you, everyone! Come back to learn the next two weeks’ prompt.
Frank: Here’s your badge you can post as proof of your poetic mastery:
©2022 The poets, and their respective poems.