a spoken word piece conceived by Bryce Yoder

I need to write a poem for my poetry class.
I don’t know what to write -
this project’s kicking my ass,
which is strange
cause writing poetry is kinda what I do.
Something about necessity and art…
I don’t know.
Do you?

It doesn’t matter,
though,
this poem needs to be my best yet -
my expectations are high and my standards must be met
I can’t just turn in a half-baked Shakespeare repoiree,
I need something that conveys intense emotion,
like,
today.
I wanna bleed my heart directly on the page
and draw happy little trees with the dripping blood -
sorry, that imagery is a little weird,
see,
it represents love
and joy
and pain,
but a good poem’s metaphors I shouldn’t have to explain
this is all wrong!

This isn’t me.
This isn’t my style.
Sorry.
I haven’t been on deadline in a while.
Let me back up.


I need to write a poem for my poetry class.
I could write something deep and personal
because there are things I’d like you to know,
if only because it’s been so long since I’ve told anyone,
I could treat this like therapy.
Dare we venture into the unknown?
Or will my mind cause you to become frozen, too?
Would you care to dive into the taped-off regions of my soul
where the cobwebs shimmer in the lava lamp light of my mind on fire?
Would you dare to take a plunge in the icy cold rivers of my heart,
hoping that I’m not lying when I promise that they’ll warm up as soon as the guard dogs let down their snarl?

Or should I just make this whole thing a farce?
Maybe not a farce, but not so dark like some arse using poetry class as a therapy session,
which maybe should land me in poetry detention,
perhaps instead I could pull out an AABB rhyme,
stick this thing in meter and have a nice little time,
tell you all about a trip I took to the beach,
but four lines in this is boring. Yeesh.

I could write a series of sonnets
or choke thee with some trochees,
make di-a-mands out of i...uh...ambs.
Maybe wow you with some haikus
or tickle you with limericks -
Step up to see his magic mageness dazzle you with verbal word tricks!
Sit back and watch me carve ink into stone,
make each syllable my own,
and laugh at those who try to read the chicken scratch.

My runes don’t come with an English translation,
and you might find damnation seeking meaning in my mourning,
as the morning drifts to night
and the sun becomes the moon,
good days end too soon
and bad days never do.
I’m still running on fumes from 2002.
But all of these ideas are just things I could do.


How meta is too meta?
Who or what is this meta for?
Is a deep dive into the ticking mind of a slightly egotistic poet really all that eye-opening?
Can I kill seven minutes and leave you confused when I’m finished?
Did you stop listening when I opened this experiment in cheesy rhyme?
I did.
Maybe you thought my double-usage of slang vernacular for one’s buttocks was a sin.
In that case,
let’s visit the priest.
Confession: this is the fourth different poem I’ve attempted for this project.
Confession: I believe that you all expect something genius from me.
Confession: Believing that you all expect something genius from me simultaneously makes me feel like a narcissistic asshole.
Confession: Dammit, I said ass again.
Confession: The idea for this poem came to me at 3 AM and somehow lingered long enough to be written in sunlight.
Confession: I really want you to like this poem because within its maze of meta materializes an exact representation of my very soul.
Confession: I am not Catholic and I don’t think I understand how confession works.

How many ‘Hail Mary’s’ is a glimpse into my heart worth?

If I stop the poem there,
right after the word “worth,”
it clocks in at exactly 666 words.
They weren’t lying when they said the devil was in the details.
But Satanic imagery is not my goal with this poem for poetry class,
I want more substance,
more moments of abundant joy and side-splitting sass,
more moments of pain straight ripped from my existence,
each instance one glimpse of how I ended up here.
I want this poem to make you feel like you know me.
I want you to walk away impressed or enamoured or absolutely terrified or utterly confused
but I want you to feel something.
I want you to remember something.
Sometimes I just want to coast by,
be the first memory you forget when you move into a new phase of life
but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want this mish-mash of words to stick with you.
And I think it’s because this is what I do.
Most things I don’t mind if you see then forget,
but I regret that writing is the one pride I take -
the one thing I do where I don’t think I’m fake
or untalented
or a poser
or Bellerophon about to get his ass kicked by Zeus,
it’s a noose I’ve yet to tighten around my neck
because then how would I be able to stick it out everytime I put the pen to the paper
or my fingers to the keys?
A good poem is a cool breeze
and autumn has always been my favorite season
and it’s no coincidence that it’s for that very reason.

Wow.
This turned into something I hadn’t really conceived.
Do you believe that?
Do I care if you do?
Not really.

I just want to write a poem for my poetry class.
A poem that’s meaningful,
memorable,
and lasts.
A poem that gives you a glimpse of my mind,
and if you read it again,
you can return anytime.
You won’t get trapped
and you aren’t doomed to stay.
But I don’t mind the company,
there’s not much these days.
So welcome to the Bryce Mind Hive Mind soiree -
enjoy my poem for poetry class
and have a wonderful rest of your day.