Lifehack: How to write modern poetry.

When I read this Hot Air article on the white dude who got his poem published by submitting it using an Asian pseudonym, well, first I laughed. And then I laughed a little more. But eventually I was done chuckling, and then I decided that I should share with the world the method that I developed in college to write modern poetry for my English classes.  Worked like a charm – and I always did very well in my English classes, I’ll have you know*.

Moe Lane’s Foolproof Method for Writing Modern Poetry

  1. Open up your word processor.
  2. Decide how long your poem needs to be.
  3. Type out about two paragraphs worth of stuff.  It doesn’t really matter what, as long as it’s vaguely coherent. Banal is good. Perfect, even.
  4. Go to the first word. Control-Right Arrow your way through the text; at semi-random intervals stop, and hit the Enter key.  The length of the intervals depends on how long you want your poem to be; but don’t be consistent.
  5. When you have reached the end, look to see: is your poem the right length of lines? If so, hit save.  If not, go back up to the text and create/remove lines as necessary.
  6. Pick a title. Pick something vague, pretentious, and at least vaguely related to the text.

So let’s test this? Using my method, this…

There’s a Squirrel Girl comic on my desk right now. It’s right next to my car keys, and the laser pointer that I use to play with my cat. My kids don’t like to play with the cat, but that’s OK because the cat doesn’t like to be read to.

Wait, where are my car keys? I thought that they were next to the book.


Modern Fatherhood

There’s a Squirrel Girl comic

on my desk right now. It’s

right next to my car keys,

and the laser pointer that I use to


with my cat. My kids don’t like to


with the cat, but that’s OK

because the cat doesn’t

like to be read to.


where are my car keys?

I thought that they were next to the book.


Now all I have to do is adopt an excitingly trendy persona and I could sell this puppy in a heartbeat.

Moe Lane

*Just don’t ask about the overall GPA.

9 thoughts on “Lifehack: How to write modern poetry.”

  1. Clearly, the Hugos are not the only place publishers are disconnected from anyone who actually reads this crap.

    1. I wonder if any of the Pretentious Literary Types would recognize The Eye of Argon if it were set as free verse?
      The weather beaten trail wound
      ahead into the dust racked climes of the baren land
      which dominates large portions of the Norgolian empire.
      Age worn hoof prints smothered
               by the sifting sands of time
      shone dully against the dust
      splattered crust of earth.
               The tireless sun
      cast its parching rays
                 of incandescense  
               from overhead,
      half way through its daily revolution.
      Small rodents
      scampered about, occupying themselves in the daily accomplishments
      of their dismal lives.
      Dust sprayed over three heaving mounts
               in blinding clouds,
      while they bore the burdonsome cargoes of their struggling overseers.

  2. On my browser, your poem was even more improved by the insertion of Newsmax specials at random intervals. The Academy would approve.

  3. I made the mistake of taking creative writing: poetry in college.
    I thought we’d be learning about forms, meter, the difference between male and female rhyme, alliteration, assonance, consonance, onomatpoeia and all the rest. Likely while looking at some of the great examples to see how the tools were applied.
    Instead, the teacher never taught anything, in fact the class opened with her telling us we didn’t need to be taught anything. It was a bunch of students, sitting in a circle, and reading aloud pretentious and banal drivel pretty much indistinguishable from your example above.
    To the effusive praise of the teacher, naturally.
    But I got publicly shamed for a limerick about going to college, seeking knowledge. (Granted, the punch line was more bitter than funny, and Coleridge was a slant rhyme.)

  4. I think my favorite bit of free verse is The Story of Mel, a Real Programmer. It didn’t start out life as free verse, but as it bounced around USENET different line lengths and bad word-wrapping algorithms took it part of the way, and then someone took it the rest of the way there. I think I first read it in 1987 or so, and it was definitely free verse by then.

  5. Instant messaging could become the next source. This struck my fancy from a chat with the help desk in India.

    Under the credentials stored,
    there is a button in the right side.
    like a downward arrow

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