At 16 I too wrote a pacifist poem, but it was whiny and helpless. It was like “I wish you could delete stuff in real life, like you can delete stuff from computers” and ended with the line “we will achieve peace one day.” It’s horrible.
After making this post, I found the only three poems I have written since 2000. They were for an assignment for this american poetry class I took with Robert Haas, who I love. Here they are:
I. The River is clear and it has carved out a home. This aperture among the rocks, wrapped in stunted bush-growths each a caricature of the next, dips as precipitously as the silhouettes of osprey bobbing for fish. They curve between the small boulders; one is left behind. Suspended in fractured, jagged glass, she “awaits her laconic Lancelot,” and quivers into a shadow. Only the wordless villain obfuscates so. Note. “awaits her laconic Lancelot” Newsweek, June 22, 1998, from an article titled “Decoding the X-Files” [This poem imitates Marianne Moore’s style. It has some big words. It uses a quotation that the author admires on a subject that the author really admires. It adheres to some kind of syllabic constraint, line by line in each stanza: 9, 4, 16, 11, 10, 1. Its last lines are really obscure.] II. The Parking Lot’s Grievance The scored pavement is already quite shimmering with heat, It is so late that the hunger growls in my stomach, And I roll down the tinted window And watch the students through the summer haze. Note. Parking lot, therefore some large institution; students, therefore a school. Grievance, therefore there is something to complain of. Tinted window, therefore a car, therefore a visiting lady, not a kid who complains. Hunger and heat, therefore a missed lunch appointment. Shimmering, therefore she has no excuse on account of weather. And the person she’s waiting for is really late, since her stomach’s already rumbling. [This poem imitates Ezra Pound translating Li Po’s poetry (“The Jewelled Stairs’ Grievance,” in particular). Once in high school, a friend visiting from college was going to take me out to lunch, but I missed school that day and have felt guilty about it ever since.] III. Peerless Quality Three Generations of Quality Where green and white are a same thing the brown is there, but not there; it is inside. The squares have round. He sips sips sips Ips and whites the wall wash. Ip is short for Ipanema. Green grape crates have feathers. Green feather blue feather green feather blue feather it’s stupid. The enclose tinkles shifts and blinks peacocks because it is so very very kind of clock to be a purple notebook wake. Waken the burrito. [This poem imitates the style of Gertrude Stein. The first two sentences were written in class. And ok, the story that Professor Hass told in lecture one day about his grandson (get it? Three Generations???) reminded my friend and me about a mutual friend of ours whose logic about aesthetics sometimes seems to follow along the same lines, so we speak of hating blue feathers whenever arbitrary opinions come up in conversation.]
To tell you the unadulterated truth I’m really proud of these three. Like, really proud. Also I really, really love Marianne Moore, like, so much. zomg. Show me your kid-emo poem and I’ll show you mine /titillated