I am underage yet I can still list drinks!/How sophisticated is that?
October 8, 2013 6:03 PM   Subscribe

 
Do an essay or short fiction version of this, and you've got my early 20s nailed.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:07 PM on October 8, 2013


These two stories are related
because they are about theft,
food, and the passage of time.
I don’t know why anyone
would not find this juxtaposition
incredibly striking.


That describes my thought process for like, everything I write.
posted by Think_Long at 6:09 PM on October 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


I am so, so glad I escaped this quagmire of adolescent writing. I wrote things that I still get to be somewhat happy about.

(There was one poem, which I'm pretty sure I burned, about how pissed off I was that some girl liked some other guy but insisted on talking to me anyway. I likened her to an octopus squirting out ink for some reason. But I made sure that poem never saw the light of day, to my sixteen-year-old's eternal credit.)
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:10 PM on October 8, 2013


Oh thank god social networking wasn't around when I was a wee'un, and that I had gotten a little less lame before discovering USENET and its permanent record.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:19 PM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am glad I slogged through the quagmire of adolescent writing, because you've got to start somewhere. But I am so very glad I did it on paper and not on the web to be preserved in digital amber for all time.
posted by oulipian at 6:20 PM on October 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


I was just thinking this afternoon that if Hell exists, my corner of it will be a big box of everything I wrote before the age of 25.
posted by COBRA! at 6:29 PM on October 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Reading these rewritten poems, I am struck by how unpleasant youth must be, so full of perceived significance and yet so utterly meaningless. I don't know why anyone wouldn't want to get old as quickly as possible. Youth is a poison that clouds our ability to perceive how insignificant and useless everything is in this mean, dark, artless world that we adults inhabit.
posted by Nomyte at 6:39 PM on October 8, 2013 [10 favorites]


Nomyte: "Youth is a poison that clouds our ability to perceive how insignificant and useless everything is in this mean, dark, artless world that we adults inhabit."

Here, take this bong.
posted by anewnadir at 6:45 PM on October 8, 2013


I don’t even like you, for
you’re something of a douche


I'm not sure whether I like that one better, or this one:

My heart feels split in two
like Hamlet’s mind, or the House of Usher.

posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:07 PM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


You're really pretty
I'm pretty sure I'm gay
I'm pretty sure you're not


Yeah, I still have all of mine, but I don't know that I will get more out of them than that.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:18 PM on October 8, 2013 [7 favorites]


This rewriting idea could be therapeutic. I like to imagine this person was someone like me as a teen, surrounded by cheerleader motherly types ("if JK Rowling can do it, so can you!") and Important English Professors who oohed and aahed over every big word. So you give 'em what they want. Young people should learn that poetry doesn't need to be wordy, self-parodying, and dripping with self-importance.

So should quite a few high school English teachers, to be honest.

I'm totally going through my old notebooks and turning the very few poems I actually wrote into plain English haiku or slam poetry. I must do this. But I did win $250 for the most pretentious, hateful (toward the reader) and ridiculous thing I ever wrote, so there's that. Would any of you like a vial of snake oil? It's a good deal.
posted by quiet earth at 7:24 PM on October 8, 2013


My high school poetry (and there was a fair amount of it) could be summarised thus:
i have many feelings
most of them are bad
therefore i eschew punctuation


I am the editor of the fine arts magazine
No one ever submits anything
We have a deadline imminent
The imminent eminence immanently effloresces fluorescently luminantly limerently reverently
Is that long enough yet? No -
Better think up some more adverbs

posted by gingerest at 7:46 PM on October 8, 2013 [15 favorites]


I understand that publicly shaming your own writing might exorcize some personal demons but it always rubs me the wrong way.
posted by Spiced Out Calvin Coolidge at 8:12 PM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Eh, this seems to me more like publicly admitting to adolescence. Pretty much no one is writing good poetry at that age, because hormones.
posted by restless_nomad at 8:14 PM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fun fact: Rimbaud and Sylvia Plath were born without hormones.
posted by Nomyte at 8:35 PM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


*glares* I made a special point of qualifying that, you know.
posted by restless_nomad at 8:37 PM on October 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


I understand that publicly shaming your own writing might exorcize some personal demons but it always rubs me the wrong way.

Why? If you could elaborate. I'm curious.
posted by quiet earth at 8:37 PM on October 8, 2013


Heh, I kinda liked my Greek myths reimagined poems (there were several). Some were even published.

But I do think that sometimes things like this end up being a bit needlessly cruel to the people we once were. Funnier, how easy it is to lose empathy with one's self.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:05 PM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Eh, even as a teenager I was well aware that my poetry wasn't going to be winning any awards, and I was more self-deprecating then than I am mean to myself retrospectively. If I could talk to my younger self, in addition to having a stern conversation about the importance of professional dental care, I would mostly be about reassuring myself things were going to work out okay and that I truly was fine just as I was. ("External validation," I would say, "is an addiction and a trap. Also, seriously, daily flossing isn't enough.")
posted by gingerest at 10:14 PM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I occasionally do an exercise where I take an old poem of mine and revise it now as though I'd written it yesterday, trying to return to the idea that I had way back when but also trying to make this one good. Not to be embarrassed by it, ashamed of my own adolescence, or any other kind of self-flagellation, but as though I were in a workshop and the assignment was to take someone else's writing and edit it while preserving their voice. It's a really interesting exercise in seeing where you came from and where you're going, at least for me.
posted by Errant at 11:51 PM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Mine would be like –

I’m a little embarrassed about these feelings
And possibly trite ideas, so I’m
Going to use a lot of random enjamb
-ments, portentous vocabulary,
Assonance, alliteration
And pretentiously clotted syntax to say:

Isn’t it crazy
That in effect we’re
Entirely different people
At different points in our lives?
Also that we’re all
Going to die. In sum,
How about a snog?

posted by Mocata at 3:47 AM on October 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm so emotionally illiterate
And ashamed of my feelings
I can't refer to them even in poetry

So here are some disconnected images
Their significance isn't meant to be obvious
I'd say it's about 60%

Suicide thoughts, the rest is mostly
Just feeling sad, although I wouldn't
Describe it that way

I wouldn't describe it at all.

If you're clever, maybe you'll even discern
A riddle behind the riddle, something
Even I don't have a handle on

I hope you do. I hope someone
Comes along and tells me they've cracked the code
And tells me what to do, because I have no fucking

Idea, and that's pretty embarrassing when you think
About it.
Till then, here are some disconnected images

I'd rather be thought pretentious
Or obscure than tell you how I feel
I'd rather die than tell you how I feel

Concrete. Cinematic astronomy. Dead birds.
posted by Acheman at 4:09 AM on October 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Haiku's have three lines?
That's it? This shit is easy.
It was due today?
posted by Think_Long at 7:23 AM on October 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


i thought the "perceived significance" of youth was the reason the "insignificant and useless" bother procreating...
posted by lulz at 7:25 AM on October 9, 2013


I don't have anything deep to write about.
No pain, no tragedy. I've had a good life really.
Being a white dude is easy.

I know. I'll obliquely reference something
from my past.
Don't ask me for specifics, please, it's far too painful.
Aren't I complex?

Don't forget, ladies:
I choose not to rhyme.
posted by Think_Long at 8:06 AM on October 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


i write poems
but don't read poetry.
hey, where are you going?
fuck you then.
posted by echocollate at 9:25 AM on October 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd say it's about 60%

that's actually a
pretty fucking
good poem
I think
posted by hap_hazard at 10:39 PM on October 9, 2013


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