When I’m not writing my own poems about picking my nose and wiping it on the wall, I wander into the realm of contemporary poetry and read what everyone else is writing about. Topic wise, I don’t have a bucket of complaints but the actual poetry getting published in literary journals is awful. The writers all seem to have MFA’s or are in the process of obtaining an MFA, so I suppose these are seasoned writers indeed with talent but the poetry is obtuse and hard to grasp. In a word, inaccessible. It’s the kind of stuff that makes you think poetry will never be in the hands of the general public and loved as it ought to be.
I don’t mean to stick a fork in the dough of these poems but I read them and have no idea what they’re talking about. Granted, I’m no fan of riddles and puzzles but generally, poetry is not meant to be figured out like an ancient fairytale rife with booby traps. If the girl with the BA can’t figure them out, then, what is the general populace going to do with the gaggle of words splotched in print.
Of course, the general public doesn’t read literary magazines. Only English nerds do. This is why poetry needs to get back to basics and appear in reachable arenas like the back of cereal boxes.
Oh there will never be heaven/outside my Chocolate Chex cereal/as the powdered mix drips from milk to bowl/how my tongue laughs it up.
This is how we talk about a cereal good enough for the White House to eat. It should win an award by people who eat cold cereals. It deserves its own poem! Printed on the box. And a poem on a cereal box will hit the younger generation and inspire them to write their own tributes to Chex cereal or other delicious cereals. Maybe Cheerios. Unfortunately, I can’t eat wheat, so my tribute is sad.
Round poison O, shaped like a king, and named after a greeting,/Cheerio is always happy locked away in a wheat eating world./Crunching circle after circle, you damn my empty fist to fight/gluten galaxies of breakfast.
My dream is that poetry will be accessible and loved by the public so much so that folks will realize the time has passed for poetry to rhyme. Seriously, at a recent job interview, my interviewer joked about my answers rhyming when I admitted that I wrote poetry. And just maybe with poems on the back of cereal boxes, poets won’t feel like 15th century soldiers for upholding the old art which nobody currently cares about.
The Presidential candidates will be required to compose a poem about their policies before being voted in. Before you get hired for that job, you must write a 25-word homage to the industry first. All new babies will be born with a poem under their new tiny breaths written by their parents. TV commercials will be done in verse. To open a new business, you need to craft a sonnet about how you’re going to better the community. Families will gather round the fire and spout off lines about Johnny leaving the toilet seat up or Marge’s short skirts.
In the new world, poetry will take center stage and language will bend to fit the new fad. We’ll simply start with the back of the Chocolate Chex box and move on from there. So, everybody get your pens ready and start sending those samples in to General Mills. They can’t reject us all.