Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dumbing It Down - A Poem By Thomas Vaultonburg

As a poet a good lesson I have learned over the years is to never evaluate the quality of your own work, especially immediately. I had a of an ancient poet, perhaps Ovid, whose advice to poets was to put your work in a drawer for five years before you ever even considered showing it to anyone. This poem, "Dumbing It Down," was something I found written in a notebook years after I had first written it, and I loved it. I wondered why I hadn't thought it was good enough to include in the rotation of poems I was considering for the next book. Maybe I thought it was too facile. Now I think of it as one of my favorite poems I have ever written.

Dumbing It Down

I dumbed it down.
I fed it McNuggets
And put it to sleep
With pop tunes.
I made it join
The Republican party.
I drugged it with
Cable television,
I bribed it with
Guilt-free sex
And threatened it
With religion.
I spent a lifetime
Beating it
Into submission and
The ungrateful bastard
Still writes this poem.
My fourth book, Submerged Structure

Update December 11, 2012. A local distributor just bought out the entire first printing of our children's book The Toughskin Rhinoceros Wrangler Company. So that feels pretty good, but means now I have to get cracking on the second printing. I wish someone would buy out these poetry books, but that seems unlikely.

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