Poetic Suckitude

In only a few brief months of blogging, I have discovered that people like me best when I suck. I write horribly embarrassing things about myself and suddenly everyone's all, Be my best friend! No, pick me! No, me--I have a pool and my mom lets us eat Cheetos for dinner!

Which is why I have been utterly delighted with the disclosure of bad poetry around here in recent days (some of which is not all that bad, I might add). I see it as just another opportunity for me to reveal more personal suckocity, thus inspiring further love and admiration.

But first, a preface.

Before I was even old enough to hold a pencil, my mom encouraged me to write. On cold weekend mornings, I curled up on the wooden radiator cover in the kitchen, one cheek pressed against the smooth warm wood while I devised rhyme schemes. I recited them to my mother who stood over me, dutifully copying my words into a marbled composition book labeled Poetry. The title was a bit of an exaggeration, as you will soon agree, but this, as I now know, is a mother's prerogative.

By the time I was five or so, I started filling in the books with my own shaky two-inch tall words. Sometimes these words came together in sentences that made a certain amount of sense; sometimes, not so much. It's this last category, these morsels of metrical ineptitude that I share with you today.

The year: 1974. I was six.
Look look there's something funny
It looks like a bunny
It looks like a bear
It's sitting in a chair
Oh no, that's not all
But no no it's over there now
Hi, there's the town
in a frown
but...where's the chair?
So nothing could be sitting down!!
So if you want to know this poem
in the town or anywhere
just write it down
just sitting in or on a chair.
Notice the subtle transition from an AABB rhyme scheme into free-form prose then back again? Notice the philosophical ponderings of a six year-old grappling with the concept that with no chair there is just no sitting down? Need I even elaborate on the metaphorical imagery of a town in a frown? Future valedictorian, my parents must have thought. MENSA make room, we're on our way.

But wait, as they say, there's more.
Oh, oh, there's a show
but I can't go
because of the snow
and oh oh oh dear
I still can't go
because I am here
and because there's a mouse
in and under my blouse.
This piece clearly foreshadows my future as a copywriter who would one day earn a living by answering the question, what else rhymes with "Zestfully clean?" It also portends the sensual enjoyment of rodents that I experience to this very day.

Sadly however, the best piece in the composition book was not mine at all, but that of my four-year old brother. These thirty-some odd years I had always remembered it as my opus, my greatest work, only to have that misconception shattered as my mother read it back to me last night. I'm still in a bit of shock if you must know. But I share it with you nonetheless, as evidence of the profound poetic sucktasticness that runs in the family.

It is entitled Circle Perkel.
Circle perkel on the bed.
Circle perkel do what you're said.
Circle perkel there's your friend.
Circle perkel don't hit him on the head
Circle perkel you're on the bed again
Circle perkel he's hitting the pan.
Oh, what's that? What's that I hear? Why that's the sound of Harper-Collins bitch-slapping Random House over the publishing rights. Thalia, looks like you're not going to community college after all.


Edited to add: It seems that indeed memory served me correctly. Cercle Perkel was in fact my own creation and not my brother's. My legacy is intact. 


Blogger ms blue said...

Oh my gawd, you're killing me. I know talent when I see it.

What an awesome mom.

3/22/06, 12:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mom-101 you are too much fun.
Mom-101 in you I see the sun.
Mom-101 to your postings I do run.
Mom-101 I just lurve you a ton.
Mom-101 don't worry I'm almost done.
Mom-101 you don't have to get a gun.
Mom-101 I'm just glad you didn't become a nun.

3/22/06, 7:34 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Geez I wish I had saved the book I wrote when I was 10 for which I took corresponding photos of my Barbie dolls. I'd be the #1 blog on the block! Not many children are genius enough to precisely use the word "perkel." You should be very proud of your brother. :-)

3/22/06, 7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


(Your mom deserves all the credit for nurturing talent AND preserving it for the ages)

3/22/06, 7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I'm a fan of "there's a mouse in and under the blouse" not just IN and not just UNDER but both!

And who are you kidding - we all flock to you even with your "bad" poetry - which is still about 14x better than anything I ever wrote.

3/22/06, 7:50 AM  
Blogger MrsFortune said...

Absoloutely priceless. You might not want to show these to Thalia, though, you know you don't want to intimidate her, scare her away from trying to write on her own, y'know.

Mega mom, that poem cracked me up!

3/22/06, 8:30 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Oh MegaMom, I just spit out my orange juice.

3/22/06, 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My first limerick:

There once was a man, Chinese
Who got on his knees, and said, "Please...
It isn't so nice
To have to eat rice
So could we please take out the fleas?"

Check out that internal rhyming and you'll see that I so totally GET your brilliance.

3/22/06, 10:02 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Yes Kristen, and if you'll notice, I've got "in and under my blouse" in one poem, and then "in or on a chair" in the next. God, I loved prepositions back then. Sigh.

3/22/06, 10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like Kristen, I don't think this qualifies as "bad" poetry. Age six? With Seussian rhymes and structure? I can almost picture the Town with a Frown.

And doesn't Circle Perkel sound like a Dr. Seuss character? You know, Cat in the Hat, the Grinch, and Circle Perkel?

3/22/06, 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hehe you are too cute!

3/22/06, 10:46 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Nancy's right. If any of my children are writing that kind of poetry at the age of six, damn straight I'll be calling Harper-Collins, Random House AND Mensa. What a smart lady your mother was for saving that marbled composition book!

3/22/06, 10:57 AM  
Blogger Redneck Mommy said...

My son and daughter recently started their own journals. Inside is their deepest darkest thoughts, their hopes, their dreams and their very own poems.

I am saddened to say, not everyone has your gifts. I won't be calling Random House any time soon, but I will be hanging on to the journals. And bringing them out when they start bringing home their boyfriends and girlfriends...

3/22/06, 11:28 AM  
Blogger Jess Riley said...

We once named one of our family cats "Too Much Cuteness."

Although Too Much Cuteness has since passed away, her spirit lives on in this post.

PS: I am not even kidding about that name. We also had a mobility-challenged cat named "Stevie Wonder."

3/22/06, 12:00 PM  
Blogger IzzyMom said...

I liked you way before I knew how much you suck

It was really just a stroke of luck

That I should happen to click a link

and find that Mom 101 SO doesn't stink

Now I will end

This crappy prose

So you can finally unpinch your nose.

We have a swingset and hubz always has lots of Cheez Doodles and Pringles that we can steal. Pick me! Pick me!

3/22/06, 12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clearly you have missed your calling, because that poem you wrote when you were six is more intelligent than most song lyrics I hear on the radio these days.

3/22/06, 12:28 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Nancy: Perhaps you're right. In which case, allow me to share this little gem which I wrote I think in sixth grade. About the time that GGC was actually getting published.

The tiger with its stripes so bold
Meowing in the wind
The father goes on hunting
While Ma keeps the children in.
When he finds a little one,
Like a tiny mouse
He sneaks on through the bushes
And then he makes his pounce.


3/22/06, 12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who says there's a dearth of American poetry?

And by the way, you're not fully clean UNLESS you're Zestfully clean. Represent.

3/22/06, 12:46 PM  
Blogger Shalee said...

This is why I tossed all those "childhood" memories that my mom gave to me when I married. Too much to blush at. Boy was I ever so stupid back then.

Still am.

I've got cookie dough. Do you want to come over and play at my house? Pleeeeeeeeease?

3/22/06, 12:49 PM  
Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

I am LOOOOOVING this. Wow. Someone needs to publish the poems of little children. It would be very cute. I might have to pitch that shit now with a MOM-101 original in the preface.

3/22/06, 1:57 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...


And you're welcome to come for Cheetos at my house any time...

3/22/06, 2:27 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Heh, heh. Somewhere in a box somewhere in the deepest darkest closet, I have a few notebooks that span from about age nine to age 'angst'... and each and every one of those poems will make me simultaneously writhe with embarrassment and laugh hysterically.
Thanks for the idea over yonder! I 'preciate it. :)

3/22/06, 2:39 PM  
Blogger puppytoes said...

so...you're brother now writes for "the loop"? is that what you're trying to tell us in veiled poetic fashion? cuz i'm pretty sure i heard something about a "circle perkle" just before my husband switched channels last week! (don't mind me, i'm just bitter because fox cancelled arrested development. i'm sure your brother is a great writer and his show the loop will do very well. unless i just made that whole brother/loop writer thing up, which i think i did!)

on the other hand, my foray into poetry garnered my first published work at the tender age of 5, when i entered a newspaper competition in my small hometown with this offering:

santa is coming! santa is coming!

bells will be ringing! we all will be singing...

santa is coming! santa is coming!

pretty sophisticated for a 5 year old, right? sigh... those were the days...

3/22/06, 2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know whats really sad? You could create a better poem at 6 years old than I could now at 26. Gifted, pure gifted.

3/22/06, 3:11 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Oooooh, is it add-a-limerick time? Cool!

There once was a Mom-101
Whose poetry was so much fun
She made us all smirk
With her five year old work
Well, now, ain't that a sunufagun?

3/22/06, 3:54 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Oh wow. Your poetry was so cute! You were a most profound 5-year-old. heehee.

I found a story I wrote around the age of 5. (Probably more like 6.) And it was about how I liked eating soup. I'm guessing I wrote it because I couldn't spell "chocolate". :-)

No! Be MY friend. I have lots of soda, candy and a 51 inch, LCD HD Tv!

3/22/06, 4:11 PM  
Blogger Carolyn S. said...

I think it's pretty awesome your mom encouraged you to write and more importantly, you obliged.

3/22/06, 4:47 PM  
Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said...

There are no words to aptly sum up how I feel about your childhood poetry. So, instead I will do this...

*snaps, snaps, snaps, snaps*

Your Mom must be so proud.

3/22/06, 7:45 PM  
Blogger vasilisa said...

Circle Perkel, you're the best!
Circle Perkel, where's the rest?

Me want more! Me want more!

3/22/06, 7:59 PM  
Blogger Cristina said...

Those were great! Somehow, my early poetry always started out with "roses are red, violets are blue" and, unfortunately, it didn't really improve as I got older.

3/22/06, 8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey! Found your website via Blogher. Then found THE POEM SECTION. I have some major sucky poems that I'd DIE if anyone read them. You inspired my to post one of my suckies on the WWW!

Here's the link to my 'suckatoode'
It actually felt good to post that horrible P.O.S. I think I may do the 'random horrible poem'.
THANKS SO MUCH for inspiring me to embarrass myself!
LOVE Christine!

3/23/06, 5:01 PM  
Blogger Julie Marsh said...

I LOVE them. I don't have a pool, but we eat ICE CREAM for dinner around here. Wanna sleep over?

3/23/06, 7:58 PM  

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