A Personal Note on Writing

19 May

Now look. I’m going to change strategeries. From now on, only crappy writing. I was scouring the NY Times to-day when I came upon an article regarding one William Topaz McGonagall–apparently the world’s worst poet. Seems a self-published collection of his poesia-substandardia (I made that up) written in the 1890s recently fetched a whopping 13-grand (USD) at an auction in Edinburgh, grabbing more than an autographed set of first edition Harry Potter books at the same sale. Mr. McGonagall employed to perfection that secret trick to having one’s great poetry furiously sought-after: he simply dispensed with the “great” part. This weaver and part-time actor who turned to poetry late in his life was so awful that quite often, after loud recitation in his native Dundee, he would be mocked and pelted with groceries by distressed audience members.

Now…judging by the exorbitant prices of food that have befallen not only the American people, but the world in general, I am more than willing to jot down and later, publicly read from rote scores of lines of shite, in exchange for being pelted with various foodstuffs. Please keep in mind, as you take out your wrath on your humble poet, that we are very fond of wheat bread, unsalted butter, and 1% milk in our household. Also? We prefer real maple syrup to the aberration that is Aunt Jemima. Although on second thought, if I am to endure being hit by flying materiel, I would prefer the plastic bottle to the glass.

In closing, I leave you with my first attempt; a variation on one of McGonagall’s pieces:

Loch Mere
Beautiful Loch Mere near by neighbor-foe John Ross;
for a good day’s take the angler is seldom at a loss.
For the Loch abounds with pike and trout
which can be had for the catching without a doubt.
And the scenery around, it is most beautiful to be seen;
eXpecially the McMansions and the exquisite German machine-s
(garaged)

Here the tourist can enjoy himself
underneath honeysuckle vines
and listen to the humming of the busy bees
but mind the devilish porcupines!
(what porcupines? ain’t no damn porcupines
shaddap yo face, it rhymes)

Then there’s the oul’ burying ground near
and the dead that lie there; steer clear!
The gravestones are all in a state of decay
and the oul’ wall around it is withering away.
Away!
Away I say, hey!
Hey, hey…
my my
Rock-n-roll ain’t gonna die.

(My sincere apologies to Neil Young)

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4 Responses to “A Personal Note on Writing”

  1. zombieswan 19/05/2008 at 10:12 PM #

    That’s weird… did the article say why his work fetched so much? Just because it’s bad doesn’t mean it oughta be worth something as “kistch” or something.

  2. Slyboots 20/05/2008 at 4:52 AM #

    I think you got a hit here. As long as you read it with a straight face whilst doing a Jimmy Stewart impersonation. That would totally rule.

  3. Helly 20/05/2008 at 7:59 AM #

    Doubtless I am prejudiced because of being born and raised in Georgia, but I have always felt that the world’s worst poet was our own Thomas Holley Chivers. His [version/parody/answer/twist upon] E.A. Poe’s haunting “Annabel Lee” was the, the…erhm, adjectives elude me, “Rosalie Lee”.

    While I think you are a talented, fascinating writer, I think you have more work to do to plumb the depths of badness of Thomas Holley Chivers.

    Many mellow Cydonian suckets
    Sweet apples, anthosmial, divine,
    From the ruby-rimmed beryline buckets
    Star-gemmed, lily-shaped, hyaline;
    Like the sweet golden goblet found growing
    On the wild emerald cucumber-tree,
    Rich, brilliant, like chrysophrase glowing
    Was my beautiful Rosalie Lee.

    /oh, I am SO not making that up…

  4. (S)wine 20/05/2008 at 5:14 PM #

    Dr. Z: he’s apparently a superstar because of his infamy.
    Sly: I actually did the impression last night, after your comment came in. It sounds brilliant.
    Helly: indeed; the usage of “big” words enhances the overall horror of this piece.

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