Friday, July 9, 2010

Beat (the) Poet

I am not addicted to Facebook.

I think that Facebook is the sparkly new version of (and Google, now that you mention it) Big Brother actively feeding all my personal information to The Man. I know that Facebook tracks my likes and dislikes even beyond its own site and monitors my internet shenanigans all over the place, even beyond its own borders and on places like Youtube and whathaveyou. I know that it even censors private messages sent between users.

And I'm ok with that.

I've made everything private that I possibly can (not that that covers everything, but we all have to make compromises, don't we Facebook?) and refuse to "like" anything that's not a friend's status for fear of some giant corporation opening a file on my reading habits, political persuasions and "laughing so hard you clap like a retarded seal."

Also, I won't friend anyone who I'm not actually friendly with in real life. Real life. Remember that? It's that place where sunburns come from, where awkward silences cannot be dismissed with a simple "brb" and where your friend Kenny can't just decide to look like Chuck Norris one day -- because he actually has a strange resemblance to Homer Simpson and in the real world, there's not much he can do about that.

The point is, there are people I know, but haven't gotten around to facebook friending because well...well, actually because I'm lazy and I usually wait for people to friend me before I agonize about whether to accept. Requesting their friendship is just too much work.

Today, one of those people I've left lurking in the nebulous state of "friendly but not friended" posted a picture of himself rocking out with a can of bug spray. Several of my friends commented on said picture, and while I can view the photo because of our mutual friends, I can't comment on it because we're not actually facebook friends.

The bug spray though, is some inspirational stuff:

Once upon a time, I wanted to be several different types of things which would earn me all kinds of obscure accolades and non-fame because only four other people in the world care about them. Like poet. And philosopher. I wanted to be famously anonymous and live in a tiny studio apartment in a nondescript Chicago high-rise, with only my cat and the knowledge of my intellectual and artistic prowess to keep me company.

While I was in the process of burning out on philosophy, I took an "Introduction to Poetry" class. It was devastating. Not so much because my talent was outshone by the other brilliant poets in the class (believe me, that was not an issue - and my talent had nothing to do with it) but because I realized that poetry is hard. And I am lazy. And I have no patience for people slobbering up all their made-up angsty self-obsessed liberal sniveling about the combined tragedies of post-colonialism and the fact that love will never come to those who have to invent their own inner monsters in order to make themselves interesting. You think I exaggerate.

The point is, I got tired of all the drama. If I peer-reviewed one more free-verse poem whining,"who are you to compare your pain with mine*?" I was gonna show them what pain meant. In the form of a baseball bat to the face.

*Seriously. That's a direct quote from a preppy black sorority girl raised in the Chicago suburbs with a complete set of dutiful parents and a lovely pre-med boyfriend. Another girl actually used the phrase "whiter shade of pale" in one of her poems - not as a Van Morrison reference, mind you - and expected us to believe that it was original.

Fed up, I decided to write about my own personal tragedy. I tackled deep issues such as dehumanizing consumerism, love, filth, and death.

Despite the fact that I totally butchered the iambic pentameter, my teacher gave me an A.

Perhaps she sensed my inner pain.

Dead Bug

A can of Ortho household insect spray
There atop my antique television
Stands amid the causal disarray
Of books and clothes, a pillar of precision

Crafted by a nameless day’s machine
Exactingly its contents pressurized
Displayed in-store with glossy brand pristine
And labeled as house-wifely customized

This can of Ortho household insect spray
Was gifted me, from lover who espied
A nasty bug that skittered on its way
And down the drain as if a water ride

Depress the valve, aim, and hold your breath
So goes this insect’s harbinger of death

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