John Rachel poet? Is this a joke?

I’ve made no secret of my lack of understanding of poetry, nor my thus to be expected zero talent for writing poetry. 

I’m not sure why I write poems.  I guess a poem has some vague resemblance to a song at a very superficial level — meaning the way it looks on a page — and I haven’t been writing songs lately.  Let’s call it reverse sublimation, a clumsy surrogation.  My writing poems is like a ping pong player playing tennis blindfolded on a quicksand court.

I even did a tongue-in-cheek piece about the process of creating a poem, one which I’ve tastelessly shared with some serious poets, and made even more enemies than I thought one human could make, with just a few clicks of a mouse.

Now, really strange things are happening.  I just got four poems published!

Apparently I’ve submitted some poems lately.  I say “apparently” because I frankly don’t remember submitting two of them.  But one called Messenger Deranged just appeared in a poetry magazine called Lone Stars, based in San Antonio, Texas.  They even requested more and I submitted two more, One Life and Light and Dark, which my lovely wife then translated into Japanese.  Lone Star will publish both English and Japanese versions in their December issue, the English under my name, the Japanese as poetic works by Masumi Nishida.

Then just today, I got a congratulatory letter from VerbalArt, A Global Journal Devoted to Poets and Poetry.  They are including my poem Tapioca Cyber Trails in their upcoming issue, appropriately splattered across all seven continents like a Cardassian tanker of jellied starch blasted out of the sky by a orbiting rail gun.

Mind you, I barely remember writing this poem, so it was quite a surprise when I read it. They sent me a proof of the coming issue for my approval.  There it was, right on page 17. 

What a pleasant surprise!  It’s actually pretty darn good, i.e. not terribly terrible.  Not to inflate expectations, I actually think this almost qualifies as a credible work.

I’ll let you be the judge.

TAPIOCA CYBER TRAILS

A sweet jest broke water
Birthing artificial intelligence
As if the clusters of CPUs
Marked the non-event event
We reeled and rollicked
In childish mirth-driven panic
Salivating porn-addicted cherubs
Lost in the heavy-breathing fog
Flying the vaporous trails
Of evaporating illusion
We wept but didn’t

You are no more
I’ve remade you
In my image
In your image
I fear meeting you again
I fear disappointment
Shattered expectations
Revulsion and despair
A binary epitaph
Suicide is in our DNA
Zero one zero one

[ DO NOT ask me what it means . . . I haven’t got a clue. ]

They always say when warning against getting too excited or overly optimistic:

“Don’t quit your day job.”

Since I don’t have a day job, night job, weekend job, or any job, I think this is advice I can follow without any risk of failure.

Moreover, I certainly don’t want to let any opportunities for fabulous riches and universal renown slip through my gnarly, hangnail afflicted fingers.  And the poetry track has proven to be a straight shot to the top.  Maybe I should finally call that number on the ad I posted in that article on writing poetry I mentioned.

If all works out as I expect, instead of signing all my letters . . .

John Rachel, Bipolar Humanist

. . . very soon I can proudly — and profitably — stake my claim to untold wealth, fame and adulation as . . .

John Rachel, Poet

 

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  • Katrina Plumb

    To me, your poem depicts the danger of polarisation our society has become addicted to. The metaphor of binary digits shows this without need for elaboration. Juxtaposed with the arresting image of birth in your first line, our reliance on artificial stupidity is ridiculed.

    • What kind words! Thank you. And now I know what I meant.

  • James Hercules Sutton

    One can become a poet in less than a week by honoring these rules:
    ∙ Never explain; a poem speaks for itself.
    ∙ A poem must not mean, but be.
    ∙ Abandon long poems, all ye who enter here.
    ∙ You can write any poem you like, as long as it’s lyric.
    ∙ Never perform.
    ∙ Say it with image.
    ∙ Be vague.
    ∙ Make mine epiphany.
    Mastering these arms one to bore those who may neither protest nor flee.