Chip MacGregor

May 4, 2015

It's time for our annual BAD POETRY CONTEST!


This week is a special, heart-touching time of year, when all young writers turn to thoughts of bad poetry. That’s because, each year at this time, we take a week to celebrate my birthday — not with cards, not with songs, not with cutesy memes on Facebook that will make me want to gag. Instead, here we do the more creative thing… we create bad poetry. The badder, the better.

A note about bad poetry: Some people just don’t get it. They seem to think we’re making fun of great poets. No indeed. We’re making fun of ALL poets. Those who think they are deep. Those who want to show they’re smarter than you. Those who rhyme “love” with “dove,” “glove,” and “above.” And most of all, those who call out, “Hey, look at me! I’m sensitive!” So the time has come once again to your bad poems. Stop the wordsmithing madness and start constipating on wrong rhythms and awful word choice. The 2015 Bad Poetry Contest is here!IMG_3310


For those not in the know, we deal with books and publishing 51 weeks out of the year, answering questions and offering insights to writers and those interested in the world of publishing. But one week out of the year (my birthday week), we set aside the topic of publishing in order to share something much deeper… much more meaningful… much stupid-er. In the old British tradition of offering something falsely deep yet with a veneer of thoughtfulness, we hold a Bad Poetry Contest. Each year the readers send in truly horrible poetry, then a team of experts (me…and sometimes Mike, if he’s sober and I can convince him to help) offers a thorough evaluation of each piece (“That sucks… but this sucks worse.”). Eventually we come up with a winner, who is presented with a truly fabulous Grand Prize. One year it was a lava lamp — the epitome of stupid cultural crud posing as something deep and thoughtful. Another year it was a very special book that had been sent to me in hopes of finding representation: Does God Speak Through Cats? And once it was a 45 record of Neil Diamond singing “I Am, I Said” (which contains these deep thoughts: “I am, i said, to no one there, and no one heard at all not even the chair.” Wow. Sing to me, Neil.) You see the theme here? We go for a mood of deepfulness and reflectivosity. And YOU need to participate.

This year’s Grand Prize? A copy of what has been called “the worst self-published book ever.” How to Good-bye Depression is the product of that great writing mind Hiroyuki Nishigaki, who added to its fame by creating this winning subtitle: If You Constrict Anus 100 Times Every Day. Malarky? or Effective Way? (No, I’m not making this up. That’s the subtitle. Complete with punctuation errors.) Chapters of the book include Erase your bad stickiness and multiply various good feeling, Save sex energy and rotate vortex, and, of course, my favorite chapter, Stare, shoot out immaterial fiber, uceed in concentrating, behave with abandon-largess-humor, and beckon the spirit. (I checked to make sure I had that one exactly as published — right down to the word “uceed.”) Let me just point out that I’m not only a huge fan of this book, I’ve long been in favor of rotating your vortex. I’m not as big on shooting out immaterial fiber, unless you’re out-of-doors and wearing the proper headgear. Anyway, this book can be ALL YOURS if you win the 2015 Bad Poetry Contest. So don’t delay, brethren and sisteren.

Some rules:

1. Don’t send me a birthday poem, unless you want me to slug you. Yeah, this is my way of celebrating. But “Happy Birthday oh Chip o’ mine, Hope this finds you well and fine” gets tired in a hurry.

2. Use any form you want. This isn’t hard, people — you just create a bad poem and post it in the “comments” section of this blog. How hard can that be? Any kind of poem is fine. Free verse, rhyming couplets, limericks — the key is that it needs to be BAD. (And by “bad” we don’t just mean “sort of stoopid.” We mean “falsely deep,” “annoyingly awful,” and “please-shoot-me-before-I-write-more treacle.”) We’re looking for bad imagery. Incorrect word choice. Irresponsible concepts. Awful metaphors. Smarmy tripe. We don’t just want dumb cutesyness — we want mind-numbingly BAD poetry!

So put on your stinking cap, and think up something rotten. It’s a tough job, but SOMEbody’s got to create bad poetry. You have been chosen. Feed your gift. The contest starts… NOW.

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  • imsoborud says:

    he was a buoy and i just a gull

  • Felicia Bowen Bridges says:

    Happy Birthday, Chip – this has been fun. Hope you get a chuckle out of this:

    Bad Poetry

    One man’s putrid pile of pontification

    Is another man’s eloquent song of elation.

    What touches the soul of a sad psalter

    Misses the mark, makes another one falter.

    Who is to say whether ‘tis nobler

    To paint a vivid scene or just a messy blur?

    Art, true art, lies not in the gaze of the viewer

    But in the heart of the do-er.

    Be it a painting, a poem, or a song,

    You may call it bad, or evil, or wrong,

    But I call it TRUTH, I call it BEAUTY,

    Cuz I obviously don’t know poetry from dooty.

  • Lisa Godfrees says:

    Whatever you do, please don’t pick me at the winner. I don’t want that awful book.


    Burgeoning bellows of bloat blow
    Alliteration like a bad similie
    Depressingly descriptive down to the

    Prosaic prose of the paranoid
    Eruditripe of the homely mind, comfortable
    Onomatopoeeeea dripping in the toilet as drops of golden rain
    Trying to evoke feelings as subtly as needles in the eye
    Rhetoric of the constipate soul
    Your welcome

    • chipmacgregor says:

      My constipate soul finds you to be the Exlax of Poetry, freeing me in a gush of brown waves…

  • Deanna Fugett says:

    The crinkly sheets wiggle in the waves of nothingness.
    The cow of serendipity waltzes past the barn of conformity.
    Moo moo.
    I said moo.
    Bad cow. Terribly bad cow.
    Terrible. Bad cow.
    Kill the cow.
    Wait, no, stop. Don’t kill the cow.
    Just do it.
    Bad cow.
    Dead cow.
    Cry. Tears of bloody bloodiness.
    Terribly dead cow now.
    Oh how?
    Bad, bad cow.

    • Lisa Godfrees says:

      It was almost perfect. Third to last line should have been “Oh how brown cow?” Then it would truly have been a masterpiece.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Bad, bad poet! Loved this one, Deanna! You get the whole badness concept. How? Wow.

  • Here goes…I’m not a poet, and it shows. (That’s not the entry. Unless you think it’s the winner, and then yes, of course, it’s the entry. Otherwise, here’s the real one:)

    The Imposter
    I stand on the precipice of time
    Watching life stretch out before me.
    And I wonder of its promise.
    Promise? What promise?
    Life is an imposter.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Not a bad start at all, Vonda. Well, it IS a bad start, since it’s bad poetry. But not a bad bad start. Um, if you see what i mean. Unless you don’t. Thanks for participating!

  • Caddy Leet says:

    This is fantasmigorical. Alrighty, here I go!

    True Love’s Labour’s Long Lasted

    When I was young and inncognizant
    My golden locks did twinkle
    A rudimentary boy child
    Hidden in woods did tinkle

    Despite his repugnant exploits
    My palpitatious heart expanded
    When first we held cotton-swab-soft hands
    My destiny on my life was branded

    My love left for dangerous war
    I wrote him letters each Tuesday
    When a report from the battle front arrived
    I almost died from wooze-sway

    At the blood painted hospital
    Wails of hearts wrenched from bossoms
    Echoed like tractor parts down a well
    And my love’s face glowed as red as a rose blossom

    I wrapped my alabaster arms around his head
    And I swore I’d never let go
    He coughed beneath my under arm
    And he died painful and slow

    I stripped him of his uniform
    I wear it day and night
    My little boy – my solider brave
    My brass shining knite

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Lovely! It makes me want to tinkle in the woods, caddy! (You can cover your eyes with your alabaster arm, if you need to.)

  • The Next Tennyson says:

    You said the pain would cease someday; the winter chill would pass.
    The fire in your eyes could say the thoughts I never asked.
    You spoke the words that stayed with me throughout the numbing cold.
    Night by night I’m whispering; onto your voice I hold.

    Ann, you held my hand tonight but everything was blighted.
    Even when the moon came out my room remained benighted.
    Can you sit with me tonight and stare up at the sky?
    Only when the stars are bright will e’r I see your eyes.

    Only when the sky is blue will ever I see you.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      And only when the sky is brown will I remember that I live in Newark. So long, Ann — off to Fort Lauderdale! (Nice job, by the way, Tennyson.)

  • Lydia says:

    the Pain of Love
    Is like death
    The Pain above
    is like Death

    Darkness surrounding
    alcoholism Rebounding

    A tear trickling Slowly down one cheek
    like a river Of misery sliding Down my face
    A waterfall Just East of my nostrils so bleak
    Everyone Loses The Race

    death, Death, death
    It’s like when people Die
    I Now Will Not Now Fly

    No one Is Metaphysically free
    No One appreciates me

    I’m sad

    • chipmacgregor says:

      I’m sad too, Lydia, know the world will never experience the true badness that you bring to poetry. Fly, girl! Fly! Into the sky! Into… whatever the whole death this is that you’re talking about! Love this!

  • Peggotty says:

    last knave rings the bell
    tromping high through hydrangeas.
    the final huzzah.

  • Molly says:

    I survived two seasons of kymys

    Tequila of the east please cease
    It tastes of ferment
    Horse leather and tent
    Nevermore dear stomach feel peace

    I long for the lost days Bishkek
    Discos, Zemfira and squish check
    You don’t know that name?
    Russian pop god dame
    Adding deepfulness late… wish wreck

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Kymys, for those not in the know, is fermented horse milk. (I’m serious.) And Zemfira is a GOD — sort of a Russian Nicky Minage, only with with more sequins. Lovely stuff here.

  • Susan M Watkins says:


    Aleve of absence
    Truth ingest
    Starvation Army
    Dismisses Spell Czech.

    Disguise the limit
    Overeaters Unanimous
    Waist management.

    Borne to be Wylde
    Easy Writer
    Mellow drama’s child.

    Inferior Decorator
    Fund-razor cliché
    Writer’s bloc
    Lettuce pray…

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Wee were going two merry, but we cantaloupe. They won’t lettuce.

    • Susan M Watkins says:

      Oh, the joys of fresh produce. Your response belongs on my Cliche Grocery List: that’s small potatoes, one hot tamale, going cold turkey, grapes of wrath … complete with S&H Green Stamps.

  • Tracy Adkins says:

    I long to
    goodbye depression
    my sadness blacker than
    Elvis on velvet velvet

    goodbye depression
    that clings
    like a remora
    with a Hoover and a roll of duct tape

    goodbye depression
    that lingers like the smell
    of an old diaper full of Indian food and
    burnt popcorn

    goodbye depression
    prickly as a dog in a cocklebur patch
    that slices like a ginsu set

    you are the broken water main that
    drowns me
    I long to
    goodbye depression and live
    to shine like the fridge light at midnight
    once again.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Tracy, you made me laugh out loud. Let’s rotate our vortexes sometime and sing “goodbye depression” to the world!

  • “Rapid I Movement”

    It’s me, Love — you know whom!

    Your sweet purple grape

    From the fruit of the loom.

    Oh, how I love to gape

    At you for hours at a time

    Silently, like a silent mime.

    Your eyes — the apples of mine

    Drill deep into my bitter core

    And make me feel so fine

    Like waves crashing on the shore

    Washing away my worst fear

    Making most of the voices disappear.

    That day – you bought frozen yogurt

    And, from afar, I watched you lick the spoon

    Hiding, I was on a mission covert

    Hidden by a car like the earth hid the moon

    Suddenly remembering with utter frustration

    That you’re really only real in my imagination.

  • Kate London says:

    Oh ye publishers that think my work is pig slop–
    It’s not.
    Actually, my prose is quite hot!
    Me glorious and soulful words
    Would move even antelope herds
    Because everyone needs to hear the story I have to say
    When you do you will not be able to say nay
    You got that okay?
    Now my blessed genius must have it’s day
    And now you should give me my pay

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Amen! Preach it, Kate! Demand that antelope-herding prose of yours be sent some moolah! (We’ll just wait here quietly until it comes…)

  • Laura Jensen Walker says:

    A man in a kilt
    Is always well-built
    ‘Til you peel back the plaid
    And find you’ve been had.

  • Before agents come after me with tar and feathers, let me emphasize this is all in fun:

    As I gazed upon the stack
    Of letters deeming me a hack,
    Saying that my writing wasn’t suited to be published by their house,

    I decided that I’d had it,
    If my writing was so bad it
    Generated letters saying in so many words I was a louse-

    Y author, I would just write bodice-
    Rippers, full of unzipped zippers,
    Pandering to the taste of those who liked that sort of dreck.

    But, alas, although my stories
    Were full of sex, and often gory,
    Still no editor responded to present me with a check.

    Then I thought of one last chance,
    A way to join the writing dance,
    An opportunity to be a member of the chosen few.

    Thus I joined myself to Chip,
    Learned to shoot right from the hip,
    And, as an agent, judged submissions, like this one that came from you.

    “Sorry, this doesn’t meet our needs at this time.”

  • Trav Williams says:

    Whether on the shore or rolling out at sea,
    The stars in the evening sky tend to follow me.
    The Westward ones move towards East,
    And some don’t mind me in the least,
    While one stays right where I think that it should.
    It’s that one that I suspect is not up to any good.

    I think that it is leading me towards the Arctic pole,
    Which is not a place I would like to sail, walk, or roll.
    I would rather move lateral, or stay sedentary
    Than find myself in a chillier climate with these woes I already carry.
    So gather ’round me children, and listen to me recall
    The story of my life and how I didn’t go anywhere at all.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      But you were able to do it all,
      By hearing the clarion call,
      of the Bad Poetry moll.

      We get it. Bad poetry rules, bay-bee!

  • Alycia Johnson Morales says:

    I write a pleasing word
    But the blur on the page
    Resembles more of a turd.
    Which I crumple between my fingers
    Before I pick up my cup of brown liquid
    And guzzle the bitter brew
    I sit and stew
    My mind calculating the next move
    I want to rhyme
    My words like deep rivers
    That will torment your soul
    But the rhyme is like rocks in my mouth
    I cannot chew.
    The thought eludes me.
    So I escape to Facebook.
    And there you are
    To torment me.

    • So proud of you, Alycia!

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Um… okay, setting aside the fact that you have yourself crumpling your own turds between your fingers, Alycia, I just want to make sure you’re not then DRINKING them. Because that would be badness on a whole new level.

  • Chip, one more try–and it’s all in fun…remember that!

    As I gazed upon the stack
    Of letters deeming me a hack,
    Saying that my writing wasn’t
    suited to be published by their house,

    I decided that I’d had it,
    If my writing was so bad it
    Generated letters saying
    in so many words I was a louse-

    y author, I would just write bodice-
    Rippers, full of unzipped zippers,
    Pandering to the taste of those who
    liked that sort of dreck.

    But, alas, although my stories
    Were full of sex, yet slightly gory,
    Still no editor responded to
    present me with a check.

    Then I thought of one last chance,
    A way to join the writing dance,
    An opportunity to be a member of
    the chosen few.

    Thus I joined myself to Chip,
    Learned to shoot right from the hip,
    And, as an agent, judged
    submissions, like this one that came from you.

    “Sorry, this doesn’t meet our needs
    at this time.”

  • Tami Kline says:

    I woke this morning to the most dreadful and silent noise,
    My heart had shattered into a thousand toys, oh wait, boys. No, that’s not it either. My heart just shattered.
    It was broken, that heart of mine.
    I searched the corridors of my mind,
    only to find memories of yesterdays. But it was he that I wanted to find.
    There were no new memories to be seen, nothing new in which to be felt
    He had vanished as all vapors do. I had no choice but to melt,
    In panic I searched again, adding different crevices this time.
    My heart pounded, my breathing intensified…he had gone.
    He left me just as he had before,
    What a fool I had been to believe in that open door.
    I hoped it could be real,
    But I knew in my soul I was just his next meal.
    Maybe I had imagined him. Could it be?
    No. I remember feeling him, with me.
    For it was the first time I had felt in a long while.
    I will miss your funny voice and your kind words tomorrow,
    even more than I do today.
    I dread tomorrow’s…I think I will remain in yesterdays.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Reading this, my eyes broke into a thousand toys, Tami. Very nicely Bad. Thanks!

  • Eric J says:


    Ring the sound of buckshot
    Won’t this Zombie Die?
    Need a bigger caliber
    Make its head fly

    When the zombie was dead
    Everyone began to cheer
    Wasn’t that a pain in the ass
    Pour me a beer

    The zombie came from the outhouse
    Out the smelly hole
    How the hell did it get there
    Some kind of Zombie mole?

    Sorry, I know zombies are stale, but I couldn’t resist. +Eric

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Zombies, like bad poetry, just keep coming back, Eric. You can’t keep a good Bad Poet down.

  • Glenda Mills says:

    You Don’t Wanna Publish MY Poem…Do You?

    Hey mister…

    You don’t wanna publish

    My poem!

    Do you?

    After all you’re way

    up there as far as

    Published writers go…

    And I’m feeling mighty

    low down here these days…


    Oh no… you don’t wanna

    publish MY poem!

    Do you?

    And here I am

    heading for my

    twilight years

    with my pipe dreams

    floating around

    each cloud

    I’m under…


    Why would you wanna

    publish My poem!

    Would you?

    Glenda Mills

  • Nice Lady with Gun says:

    An Oculance of Love

    I was first struck by your flashing eyes.
    (That was incredibly weird.)
    Could this be love? The beginnings, anyway?
    I smiled shyly.

    I could feel your eyes on me, slowly moving up and down my body.,
    Sliding over every curve,
    Resting briefly, appreciatively, on my bosom,
    then easing greasily downward.
    A sensation like no other.

    Remember when they only roved over tedious riddles solved years ago?
    Now they only rove my own confused territory.

    I hurt you badly once, batting your eyes.
    “Look! Look!” you cried, as I swung for a homer.
    How I regret missing your meaning,
    not knowing which orbit you meant.
    You had a global view there for a while.

    You forgave, your eyes brimming with forgiveness,
    juicy stuff-
    You chuckle: vitreous humor.

    Now you roll your eyes at me.
    Not like last time though. Remember how hairy they got?

    My cat is dead now.
    Your eyes are safe in my heart.
    In the poetic sense, I mean. Of course.

    (with apologies to Thomas Hardy)

    • Nice Lady with Gun says:

      Okay, this is over the top, but can you edit my submission? I have an
      ‘only’ that is redundant in the third stanza, in the Thomas Hardy line.
      Or leave it: it makes the poem that much badder.
      Not a perfectionist……

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Wait… you want us to EDIT your bad poem?

    • Nice Lady with Gun says:

      Well heck yeah! Aren’t you an editor? And hey, I want to design the cover all by myself.

    • Love this, Nice Lady with a Gun! You are one awesomely bad poet!

    • chipmacgregor says:

      I’m with Vonda, Gun-Lady. Awesomely bad. Thanks.

  • Sara Marschand says:

    Bad might be the only poetry I can write. Too fun not to try :


    Just Twitter.
    You know u want to
    Random thoughts abound
    for free.

    Friend me.
    Endless selfies streamed
    Looky me!!

    Pretty book.
    Look what I sell U
    140 limit. buy
    me book.

  • Neal Shannacappo says:

    Uhhh, I’m sitting down.
    Yeah, right now actually
    Ok, I need more coffee with 5 ice round
    Then, words will flowd
    Tell, someone something finely
    You, understand what I’m saying, yo?
    What, happened to all the birds
    Right, it was winter cold
    Now, and then I’m late for work too, damn toes

  • Nancy S says:

    Here’s the first poem I ever wrote, with my sister, which proves collaborative writing is, well, hard. I’ll title it:

    Manasota Key

    How many people do you see
    Fishing off a pier,
    Looking for a deer with a radish in his ear?

    You don’t see many ‘cuz there really isn’t any
    People fishing off a pier, looking for a deer
    With a radish in his ear.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Note to readers: Since penning this, Nancy has gotten into rehab, and rarely sees deer in her visions. (She and her sister, however, were just signed to pen the script for “Transformers VII.”)

  • Kim Gillis says:

    In honor of your birthday Chip, I thought I’d share a day in my life….I call it lovingly…


    Clippety clop, clippety clap

    He opened his mouth and out popped a load of crap

    He had sat in the chair, raised his right hand

    Spoke the words to honor the stand

    Clippety clop, clippety clap

    He talked so much the judge took a nap

    He spoke once, twice, many times over

    Never once speaking the truth about his whacky lover

    Clippety clop, clippety clap

    He muttered and ticked and looked like a big ‘ol sap

    He lost track of time while spewing the lies

    He talked and talked while ignoring the agitated sighs

    Clippety clop, clippety clap

    He droned on incessantly until the crazy, mish mash of half
    truths and bald face lies was finally a wrap

    • chipmacgregor says:

      You know, I’m on jury duty all month, Kim, so this is amazingly close to a poetic memoir…

  • I initially started out with: Roses are red, violets are blue, I don’t like poetry, how about you? But it seems you’re looking for something more in depth so here goes…

    Ode to a man named Chip

    There once was a man named Chip
    Who spent his life searching for words to make him flip
    But soon he discovered both near and far
    That everyone fell much too short of the bar

    Instead he decided to change his taste
    Asking for something created in haste
    And requested a few lines of verse from the masses
    With low expectations across all classes

    When low and be hold, despite all the fuss
    A beautiful thing appeared, like being hit by a bus
    The masses created and wielded their words
    Though to the high heavens they stank like cheese curds

    Yet Chip with his eye of discernment and taste
    Took a morsel of truth from the words penned in haste
    Seeing the love and care that came from all around
    He cried tears of joy at the beauty he found

    “Here it is”, he said, with manly tears streaming,
    “I have found life in these words and their meaning”
    So he gave up his search and never ending reading
    To move to Berlin and pursue cattle breeding

    But soon he realized that he had no other talent
    Than finding good writing and acting gallant
    So he retraced his steps and started again
    Seizing the day with a jig and a grin

    Happy Birthday to you sir! May the cheese curds stink and the writing soar!

  • Jenny Snow says:

    Eats and Sheets
    Alone I lie, on these lumpy sheets
    Depressed, crying, reading Yeats
    Succumbed, I fear, to the pull of eats,
    Ice cream, pizza, dairy treats
    The foul felling
    Of lactose is telling
    Nay! It is not alike to the rose
    Take time to stop…
    To hold the nose
    What is done
    Cannot be undone
    What my lover shuns
    Alone in my bed
    I ate the eats
    Now…I have only the sheets

    • chipmacgregor says:

      As a resident of Tillamook County (home of the legendary Tillamook Cheese Factory), I speak for all my neighbors when I say, “Yeah, verily, jenny.”

  • kathleenf says:

    Frogs cry out in the night, chiruping for the freedom to croak, chiruping to sound big and bold, chiruping to make their necks swell up like a water balloon, the kind that hit your brother square in the back and exploded, making him cry out in the night… like a frog.

  • Dave Petonic says:

    The skies, ah yes Look!, on teh up-and up,
    And yea HR clouds burgeoneth puff and t’other stuff.
    How we stand hither, self and us wondering, ‘neath and near root,
    by That tree, o’ Spready vine!, that acorn God put.
    But why when croon we, cometh June, hmm?
    Mayhap the Tendril soliloqueue of moon Beam.
    And peace like Stairs have decent down ‘pon folk,
    to Bestilleth are cyclone and whirl-Thoughts soaked.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Yon poetry of Master Petonic hath tinkling sound of putridity. Ye thanketh the Spready vine of creativity.

    • Dave Petonic says:

      I returneth thanks to thee, from the fourth Chamber bottometh o’ mine rhythmy pump-Organ, good sir!

  • I wrote this as a freshman in college, when angst against the Man runs deep and weekends are for beer and bullshine. Put those two concepts together and you come up with … well, this. Ladies and gents, I give you MONKEY IN A CAGE.

    Monkey in a cage
    Screaming out with rage
    at your situation.

    Doesn’t it seem sad,
    you harried, hairy lad,
    Mindless with frustration?

    No more climbing trees,
    Chatting with the breeze;
    Monk, your freedom’s gone now.

    Fifteen feet to walk,
    People point and gawk.
    Monk, what have we done now?

    Well, it’s time to go
    (Don’t let sorrow show;
    People stare so, laughing).

    Monkey, they don’t care
    That we know and share
    Facts of souls in passing.

    Watch us scheme and plot.
    Watch us scream with with rage.
    Look at all the smart
    Monkeys in a cage.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      John has been yanked from the competition for (1) entering this poem once before, (2) working to actually create a rhyme scheme, and (3) deflating other poems just before they were to be put into use. You’re also losing a draft pick, my friend. You have been warned.

    • Nerts to you, agent o’mine. I’d hoped its very badness would have caused it to wipe itself from your neural paths. Guess not!

    • chipmacgregor says:

      The decision of the judges is final. If you wish to file a complaint, please send your message to Bad Poetry Conflict Solutions (or “Bupkis” for short).

  • Chris Eleiott says:

    This is a poem I wrote called, “how much pizza?” (Meant to be read in a breathy tone with annoying peaks and valleys of dynamics. Heck, yell it if you want)

    A breath,
    A spirit,
    A chicken.

    Children play,
    Children laugh,
    Children walk on the moon.

    Why will we never see Jonathan?
    Why does grandma eat cake for breakfast?

    Piano keys can unlock the mysteries of our hearts.

    How much pizza?

  • Marjorie Brody says:

    Slicing up the brain
    as meat
    is such a delicious
    gourmet treat.
    Hearts and livers
    round out the meal,
    Thom Harris writes
    with cynical zeal.

  • Stevie Rey says:

    Hey Chip! …In honor of Bruce Jenner…and you know I always do lymericks in hillbilly on account of my mind is just that warped! Happy Birthday, Old Friend!

    They onced was a feller from the West
    At gittin’ purdy gals he was best
    He donned a green skirt
    And danged if it did’n work
    So now, I’m in the market fer a new dress!

  • Erin Bartels says:

    The gleam off the sheen of grease

    sprawled across the top of the pot,

    water and last night’s side dish of rice,

    once separate,

    now comingled in unholy brackish stew.

    Bits of herbs—parsley, sage, rosemary—

    time has cast each into the pit of decay.

    Sitting in the pot

    in the sink

    in the kitchen

    in the house of my mother

    who never ceased criticizing me for my messy room.

    Now I stand at the sink,

    at the swamp of her infirmity,

    to dip my ungloved hands into cold water laced with slicks
    of oil

    only to discover

    she’s out of dish soap…

    and hope.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Yes! Brilliantly bad, Erin. Faux depth — love it. Thanks very much for this.

  • Teresa Klepinger says:


    When I think of my love for you
    It lifts me up from feeling blue.
    You lift me up from off the ground
    And make me laugh just like a clown.
    I run around.

    When I look into your eyes
    I want to eat pies
    Because they are round
    But not like a clown.

    When I touch your hair
    It’s like touching a bear
    Because it is so brown.

    I love to touch your skin
    It’s like petting a kitten.
    Plus you know how to listen.
    Not like my mother
    She doesn’t bother
    She acts like she cares
    But she isn’t really there.

    I’d rather live with you
    To you I’ll always be true.
    Let’s live together
    Forever and ever.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      When I read your poem so new, it makes be stew, through and through, like the character in Pooh named Roo, though my meter sometimes is not exactly true blue, or something.

  • Carolyn Astfalk says:

    Quest for an Elusive Muse
    Plunging the depths
    Of the swirling refuse,
    I search.
    Like a dime-sized object
    In a small child’s diaper
    It is buried. . . hidden.
    My senses heightened,
    I hone in on its stench,
    Until all is revealed.
    Captured, it is harnessed,
    My muse:
    I depress the sterling lever.
    It is finished.

  • Rachelle McCalla says:

    Ode to my Pinkie Toe

    When darkness creeps
    Like a creepy lengthening shadow
    That covers everything,
    And I creep
    Toward the kitchen
    For a late-night snack
    Probably peanuts
    You find the chair leg.
    That. Really. Hurts.
    Back to my bed
    I drag myself
    And like fingernails on a chalkboard
    Only toe nails on the floor
    You make that scratchy sound—
    So annoying!
    I clamber back into bed
    And clutch you to ease the pain
    The double pain
    As your small shape reminds me of
    The peanuts I did not eat.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Reading this also makes me say, “ouch,” Rachelle. Thanks for taking part.

  • Angie D says:

    Spring is here,
    The flowers are all in bloom
    The trees are all so beautiful,
    My dad wears Fruit of the Loom.

  • This isn’t a poem because I don’t think I have enough skill to even write a bad poem. But I had to say that after my 110% horrible day this post made me laugh until I nearly choked. Many thanks. Looking forward to the literary brilliance.

  • It was a dark and stormy night–
    Then again, if it was night it would be dark, wouldn’t it?
    So it was stormy.
    But Elmore Leonard says never to start a story with weather.
    It was…Oh, forget it.
    Whatever it was, something interesting happened.
    Hey, free verse isn’t hard.

  • Kristen Joy Wilks says:

    Ha ha! How fun is this. OK, here goes. I present to you…


    When darkness creeps on past your toes

    Slides up your spine to seize your nose

    When friends and acquaintances berate

    Until your soul has grown irate

    When every movie that you see

    Has all the subtlety of a flea

    Chomping, chomping through your skin

    Until your heart folds in, folds in

    That is the moment to seize the day

    Carpe Diem and hooray

    Grab a spoon and a gallon box

    70% Cocoa will flummox

    Your spirit will find peace and restoration

    In a sugary, cream-filled, chocolate vacation

    By Kristen Joy Wilks

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