Poetry: Am I cool enough to play in the poet’s sandbox?

Poetry has wriggled itself inside me, leaving me pondering words and feelings for hours. I wish I’d not stopped writing so I’d be further along and far more skilled at expressing myself and seeing metaphors and abstractions. My poetry class has been a rough back and forth. Sometimes I feel excited and joyful, and other times I’m filled with crippling self-doubt.

I have a lot of work to do.

This week we did our own version of two poems, which play off of each other.

The first is “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks. We were to write a version of this poem as a writer at Comic-Con. I’m fairly certain I’m the only person in my class who has never been, but I imagined myself there. The first thing that came to mind was feeling like I don’t belong—a sense I’m not creative or real enough. I followed the exact format of the poem and found when others shared their interpretations they were far less rigid in their thinking—something for me to ponder moving forward.

For our second poem, we looked at “The Golden Shovel” by Terrance Hayes. He uses all the words of “We Real Cool” to create two more poems with different meanings. I found this exercise the most fun I’ve had so far. I loved breaking the words up and playing with how they sounded reading them out loud. This was also the most personal for me, exploring my feelings of being not worthy of being part of the creative world.

I hope you enjoy this third week of poetry. As always, any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.


Wordy Ones
Lost at Comic-Con

Too much I see
This bunch. See

The fake. See
Me take. See

Words real. See
Me feel. See

It all. See
Me fall.


Lost in Wordy World

Part I

Audaciously ungraciously stumbling too
drunk with unresolved dreams much
too much to be with, play with, cool kids. I
pretend, extend, and reach with all to see

if real me is enough. Naive and candied, honeyed this
world of wordy geniuses, the authentic bunch
eludes timeworn plain-Jane me, blinking un see

n. Hidden within shadows, turning, twisting off the
path traveled, into deep waters where fabulous fake
ery lives within the pulsing, pushing. Arms paddle to see/

sea creatures within writhing, writing to unearth a me.
Screeching too late, too late, haunted—take
deeper voyage under, over, pen on paper to see

k truths with excavated shoveled sand. Words uncover wily words
writhing words, piled upward and upright toward some real
ness. Will I, won’t I, the dance of solitary solidarity see

ing where words take, two pigeon-toed left feet, lead/lean on me.
Bounded, tethered by urgent hoping, desperation—finally feel
and reel and real, to uncover the sea and seethe and see.

Kindness, ambition married with martyr me, it
wars, bloodied knives out, within my curving all-rounded
frame. It’s mothering outward me versus internal me see

ing vast emptiness hidden in wordy distant worlds. The me
to be, to stumble, slipping on words with care, for I may fatally fall.

Part II

Writers write words too
big inside to ignore, much
ruckus, boisterous blabbering. But I
hear the calling whippoorwills, see

the creaking willows in this
hollow by the sea. I fond a bunch
of cryptic messages, bottles see

n bobbing up and down the
waves to me, for me. Not fake
pain, no, far too real. See

the version, vision of me
you see, isn’t to take,
no, it isn’t for you to see

at all. With my words/
weapons I become more real
ly me. Each breath, see

words flow, float from me
—pen on paper, the feel
of all or nothing, see

me give and give, it
feels like not enough. All
I am and all I see—

collections of words in me.
Don’t look away or I’ll fall.

26 thoughts on “Poetry: Am I cool enough to play in the poet’s sandbox?

  1. Bridgette, I am enjoying your poetry class exploration, beginning with your discussion about your relationship with poetry to your poetic creations. Your poem, “Lost in Wordy World” was an immersive experience. 👏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is brilliant.

    I know I’ve read We Real Cool somewhere… probably an English class decades ago. The Golden Shovel is brilliant the way it hides all those words in there… that’s like the kind of thing I do when I hide secret messages in poems (see DLTDGB #119).

    I like yours too. And I’ve never been to one of those conventions either… I dated someone who was into that stuff, and the aftermath of that experience made me never want to be a part of it.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s