WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

I asked for engineering failures and terrible poetry, and everyone delivered. In fact, you all delivered so well that I’ve been debating the same six poems back and forth for a few hours.

Since our literary failures do not mean a literal catastrophic result, however, I’ll leave you in suspense no longer. The winner is Bruce Goodman.

Thou wert my gate

by Bruce Goodman

Thou wert my gate
in the fence of life;
a doorway in the
corridor of existence;
a hole in the
wall of being

Now you have shut the
entrance to your heart
and I am shattered into a pile of quaking reinforced concrete .
No more will I hear your euphonious voice
wafting over the plastic barrier of time;
no more will my nostrils sense the scent
of your hair on the yellow brick road of vivacity.
Oh the audacity!

You have become an engineering failure,
a total engineering failure;
in fact you are the biggest engineering failure
I have ever encountered in my life.
And you are fat.
I wish you all the Botox you can lay your hands on.
You need it.

Strumpet! Strumpet!
You have no reason to blow your own trumpet
for thou art a total engineering failure!
Thou wert my gate
in the fence of life
but now you are just a pile of rocks –
to say nothing of your choice in tasteless frocks.

Like I said, many poems were contenders at the end. I liked the short and sweet of a few; the long and rambling of the others. I like the lessons taught, the meters distraught, and the rhymes that were naught …good.

Bruce’s contribution ultimately won because it sounds very serious and poetic in many ways: word choice, alliterative references, more serious meter. Then, we’ve got the completely misplaced “And you are fat. / I wish you all the Botox you can lay your hands on. / You need it.” His final stanza returns us to the original serious poeming with the humorous element he dropped on us like an indigestible rock.

Again, not that the other poems didn’t give Bruce a run for his nonexistent money. I loved them all, and know you will too:

An Engineer’s Lament

by Deb Whittam

Oh let us lament
The failures we must confront
Oft it is not us
The engineers proclaim
It’s that other thing
Which is to blame
We see your look of doubt
But let me tell you with clout
It’s true you see
It’s the pressure valves fault, not me.

—–

Untitled piece

by Trent McDonald

They once built a bridge to a star
Oh, that’s so incredibly far
But relativity it seems
Is more than bad dreams
So the warped space time continuum over the light years, uhm, yeah, uhm, made it hard to reach by car?
yeah, that’s it, made it hard to reach by car.

—–

Untitled piece

by Trent McDonald

I once built a bridge, that is true
One to reach from me over to you
But my skill was too weak
So it fell in the creek
And now I’m terribly blue

—–

First Thing’s First

by Peregrine Arc

I built a
Boat.
At first it wouldn’t bark
Then it wouldn’t hark
To anything I said.
It swam there, tarried there
And drove me to Timbuktu
When I wanted to go to Malibu.
So I shot it
In the hull
And now the problem, I think, is solved.
Glub, glub, glub.
Oh dear. What whim.
There’s only one thing for it: Can I swim?

—–

Casey Jones

by Michael B. Fishman

Casey Jones, you big dummy.
You drove the train too fast and you crashed.
And then you died.

(Note to reader: insert head shake here)

What’s that?
This poem’s apposed to be about engineering fails
and not engineer fails?

Well color me stupid.

I can’t carry a tune in a bucket
and I guess I can’t read directions so just…

…don’t buck it.

—–

The New Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

by Larry Trasciatti

‘Twas a springtime morning out in old Lindenhurst when Tommy O’Leary decided to make him a car.
So he put on his very bestest greenest threads as he burst out with joy to all his assembled friends: ‘My Chitty Chitty Bang Bang moment awaits, I tell you!!’

The local townsfolk have sworn since then, that a raven and peacock flew by flew by, that a raven and peacock flew by.

‘Within five weeks my five step process’ , says he, ‘will yield a spectacular car, a car. It will yield a spectacular car.

To his shame he made it of light balsa wood and that didn’t bode well in a crash a crash. No that didn’t bode well in a crash.

—–

Bhopal

by H.R.R. Gorman

The December morning air smelled cool, fresh,
Coals of industry a faint background scent.
Bhopal contained an old pesticide plant
That employed locals and brought in money.

Poisonous intermediate
The methyl isocyanate
Built pressure in the old vessels,
But the aging pipes and valves failed.

They thought the meter
Failed and went on home
To leave the pressure
Building on and on.

But then
It popped
Poison
Leakage

Breath
Pain
Death
Vain

Agony of 3,787 deaths
Many more injuries, some severe

No litigation could repay this woe
But it failed to bring justice anyway.
Innocents were killed, but money was made,
Fulfilling the prophecy of profit.

—–

Untitled piece

by Ruth Scribbles

The master designer has failed
He really should be put into jail
He gave her six toes
And a long pointy nose
She now wears a long dark veil

—–

Untitled piece

by Ruth Scribbles

The DNA put in her body
Was very very naughty
It made her get sick
Turned her muscles to ick
That is the end of this story

—–

Anatomical Mars vs Venus

by Violet Lentz

purported as divine creation
supposedly perfect in every way
I have reason to believe, the plans were drafted
on the of’t disputed creators, off day.

with the parts over here
being just enough off
from the parts they’re
to connect with over there

practice and patience
are often required-
which could take till long after
the ‘use by date’ had expired

so ‘creation one’ took the problem in hand
and after a hormonal cocktail or two
one upped creation with video porn, so now we look good-
doing what we still can’t figure out, how to do.

—–

Untitled piece

by Ruth Scribbles

Epic fail I declare
The engineer used defective parts
Was he not aware
Of the pain I must bear
Or does he really not care

—–

Dear Nigel

by BereavedDad

Normally
I see the best in folk
Giving the benefit of doubt
Eagerly seeking the good
Leaving the bad to one side

F*** it in this case
A complete bellend
Raving racist
Arrogant and spiteful
Greedy and self serving
Egotistical political parasite

—–

Fail

by Joanne the Geek

This entire project was always quite cursed

There’s a crack in the dam it’s gonna burst!

As engineers go, I’m definitely the worst

They may as well have hired Fred Durst

So I’m off with my suitcase full of money

Off to the fabled land of milk and honey

In a way you could say it’s almost funny

Now I’m off to a place that’s quiet and sunny.

—–

Thanks everyone, you terrible poets you! Come back tomorrow for next week’s prompt!

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Bruce: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner:

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Well; hi, there! Do you like to poem? Yes? No?

Either way, you’re in the right place. This here’s The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. We’ve been in business for 26 weeks. Check out the somewhat informative post on terrible poeting for some tips and tricks, then read this week’s specifics:

  1. Topic: Engineering fails. You can write a lament dedicated to an actual, catastrophic, historic fail; or limerick about a fanciful one.
  2. Keep the Length between 9 and 199 words.
  3. Rhyming is purely optional, but intentional misuse is always a great way to destroy a potentially great poem.
  4. Most of all, write terribly! I want the engineers studying failures throughout history to read over your creation, shake their heads, and unanimously declare your poem to be the worst disaster the world has ever experienced.
  5. Keep the wording at a G-rating, for the impressionable members of the research team.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (May 24) to submit a poem.

If you wish a week’s worth of anonymity, use the form. Leave me a comment saying that you did as well, so we are sure it was submitted.

To be more social, include your poem or a link to it in the comments.

Whatever you do, have fun!

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Photo credit:
Amogh Manjunath

Where IS My Mind?

“With your feet in the air and your head on the ground…”

Most of my day is spent in trying to avoid reality. Through the combined efforts of little sleep and little to stimulate my brain, I’ve successfully dodged true feelings and their accompanying pains for years. Through the added repressive means of modern technology and instant entertainment, I’ve created a virtual mindspace that is more alive than my physical one.

“Your head will collapse / But there’s nothing in it…”

Since entering the world of blogging; and, especially, the community of mental illness support, I’ve learned some terms for what I do: numbing, depersonalization, and (above all) disassociation.

“And you’ll ask yourself: Where is my mind?”

In the beginning, I entered the mind fog willingly. -So I thought. Depressed, repressed, lonely, and mind-numbingly bored at my day-to-day activities; I sought constant distraction.

“Try this trick and spin it…”

I thought numbing was better. In some ways, it was; it is. Because I felt nothing, I did not lash out in anger from the frustrations. Because I felt nothing, I could not feel disappointment. Because I felt nothing, I could not feel the crippling sadness.

“Where is my mind?”

Except that I still could.

“Where is my mind?”

As such, I have made various attempts to kind-of, sort-of climb out of my muddy hole. I read Brené Brown’s recommendations, followed her advice …and really offended a neighbor by being myself. I started counseling and some hormone therapy …then reverted back to old habits and dropped the hormones so that I wouldn’t accidentally birth a hermaphrodite.

Most of my days are spent in trying to avoid reality. On the rare occasions that I surface, life feels like the restaurant scene in “Sherlock Holmes” (2009). Unlike the genius that is Holmes, however; I do not note and absorb everyone’s mistresses, limps, or chalk spots. Instead, I feel overstimulated by emotions; in particular, everyone’s emotional reactions to me.

I also feel overwhelmed at the repetitive cycle of life, and the prospect of more of the same for the foreseeable future.

Do I want my mind awake? I’m not so sure. There doesn’t seem much to wake to. Hence, the continued withdrawal and disassociation.

“Where is my mind?” Somewhere inside. Probably.

Do you experience similar non-feelings? Have you, in the past, and now you do not? Is reality worth the cost?

—————-

On a happier note, here’s what I threw together this week:
Wednesday, March 20: Me and me debated who has it harder in “THE Battle of the Sexes.”

Thursday, March 21: “The Cure for Depression: Simply, Joy,” a suggestion in a series originally posted over at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.

Friday, March 22: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Doug!

Saturday, March 23: Announced the 19th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is Unrequited Love. PLEASE ENTER!
I also finally wrote up an entry for The Annual Bloggers Bash Competition, “Silent but Tardy.”

Sunday, March 24: “Farmer Henry,” a flash fiction piece for Carrot Ranch’s writing prompt.

Monday, March 25: An inspirational quote by Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

Tuesday, March 26: “Wilhelmina Winters, Eighty-Seven.”

Wednesday, March 27: Today.

I also wrote stuff at my motherhood site; like “Pinterest Mom or Sane Parent?,” “A Very Unmerry Birthday to You,” and a funny quote about mothers.

 

*Credit to the Pixies’ amazing song, “Where Is My Mind?”

Crescent Illusions

“Hey! Wait up!” Pal gasped out the request, to no avail. The strange boy turned the edge beyond his view, taking all sight and sound of his movement with his retreating form. Pal leaned over his knees in crouched, deep-breathing pain from the chase. His heavy gasps echoed inside his helmet.

He’d need to keep going, he knew. He only had a few tics until -too late. Before his ground-pointed eyes, everything shifted and morphed. If his headgear were not equipped with anti-vertigo software, Pal would have retched at the twisting, swarming, mixing colors and land forms. He had no idea how the boy he pursued, apparently unencumbered by gear, could continue on through these conditions. How the boy could move so quickly. How the boy even existed, really.

Pal looked up from the sky beneath his feet, noted the re-orientation of his surroundings, and promptly crashed to the surface above him. “Eurgh,” he groaned, feeling the sluggishness and some of the bruising while his suit’s systems kicked in. He rose as it mended; scouted around.

Before this last shift he had been skidding around contoured shapes that rose from sand-like material. The ambient light had been annoyingly bright, yet also a pleasant shade of pink. Now, Pal noted, he seemed to be in a city. This city was unlike any he’d been in before, but not unlike images he’d studied at elementary training. “These are buildings,” his memory heard an artificial instructor note. “Homo sapiens sapiens inhabited and busied itself within these structures.”

Keeping his feet moving forward, Pal tilted his head back. The buildings reached beyond his sight. What a miserable, backwards way to exist. He supposed all species must start somewhere, but could never understand why his ancestors’ timeline progressed from perfection to disaster. Why had his progenitors constantly sought what was worse?

He heard a sound and snapped to attention. A face with large, crescent eyes peered at him from around a building just ahead. The boy.

Pal sprinted without thought toward his quarry. The boy rushed from hiding and pulled ahead, as he had since Pal first materialized and saw him. Both ran down the middle space between the tall, tall structures to either side. The ground felt soft, appeared white. Pal could see his footfalls leaving imprints in the material, though the boy’s odd tread did not. The dark shapes to either side seemed to melt away from them as they passed; no, they were melting away. Pal glanced right and left as he ran, witnessing the anomaly.

He wondered, yet again, what this destination really was. Clearly, it was not merely a physical location. No location they’d researched had behaved as this place did; morphing, moving, and melting like a living optical illusion.

Pal knew he was nearly at the end of his exploratory tic and would dissolve back to Central soon. He set his jaw, determined to gather more information before that happened. Since the ever-changing location proved intangible for collection purposes, Pal sought to catch the one constant he had encountered: the boy.

His suit worked overtime to compensate for energy and nitrogen loss. At his current rate, he would exhaust both and need to rest as he had before. And before that. And, before that. Surely, this time, he could draw near enough to catch the boy. Surely, he could get answers to return with.

The atmosphere darkened. A sound similar to a loud clap came from ahead, from the boy. To Pal’s surprise, the sky in front of them both molded into a dark sphere upon the dark of the air. Totally black at first; an outline of winking light grew to shine from the base and sides of the sphere.

As they drew nearer, Pal felt himself drawn to the new anomaly. Literally. The sensation felt like the projection arm of a spacecraft. He fought a natural panic, but explorer training calmed his initial reactions. “Always act decisively within your means,” another memory of an artificial instructor intoned. Pal ran on.

His wrist beeped a warning: a mere moment till dissolvement.

He strove to move more quickly but his speed was no longer his own. The boy and he were being pulled inexorably toward the eclipsed horizon. The buildings melted faster. Pal’s treads in the groundstuff deepened and blurred. His visuals clouded somewhat at the edges as he tried to keep the boy in sight.

Another beep sounded, then another. It was time.

Just as Pal’s body began to piece to data for dissolving, he saw the most unusual illusion of them all: an inverted flip of boy, buildings, sphere, and sky. Where once he knew the dark outlines of running youth and landscape; Pal saw the whitespace image of a gaping, grinning face. A face that swallowed the boy. A face that looked at him.

 


Written in response to D. Wallace Peach‘s extremely popular prompt. She just might get all 300 daily responses posted before she decides that April would be a good time for a vacation…

Auto Correct

My name is cheeks, or cheers, or cheese.
It depends upon my “smart” phone’s mood,
Fat-fing’ring on its tiny screen,
Its bumbling guess at my next move.

I’m riding, now, about boys to techs.
No: writing, voice, and text, you phone!
Hands-free dictating needs many checks;
Else, I send a nonsense palindrome.

(In)convenient technology:
So nearly, annoyingly helpful,
Rests snugly in uncanny valley –
‘Twixt time-saving and straight-up stressful.