Category Archives: Poems

‘Love is Fake News’: Exquisite Corpse poems, Spring 2018

Here are this semester’s Creative Writing classes’ poems written in the Exquisite Corpse method.  What I love about these lines is how they were created almost randomly but have a kinda of weird logic. I like how some of these seem almost brilliant, in an obtuse way. See here for previous semesters’ poems.

Mysterious is what my relationship goals are not.


My future is the best artist.


The kid who’s rude, he is not all people.


Massive pencils write words fastly.


Night and day are different colors.


I is a letter in the corner that was like nothing.


Greatness exists only in the darkest of nights.


Summer is when I am always struggling to spell out the reasons why.


It was a weird feeling, like the wind understood I was very discombobulated.


Words can make everything interesting.


Writing makes me wanna sleep in your bed tonight in the moonlight under the enchanted sea dance at the red light at the end of trains.


I loved and I lost: one mitten, orange, with the help of shoes on the old person of interests.


Birds are all flying to be or not to run from the police who started at me, a person who loves the cold pillow during the hot summer night.


Time stills in the silence.


A golden mountain lived a long time before the end of the end of the day.


Great people make life worth my time.


You are dumb, even though he can remember his own death.


When I woke up in the sky — tonight is before tomorrow — I will sleep in time.


I watch way too much of what we say.


The picket fence keeps me safe from me.


Coat is all bloody when she hits the baseball bat hard.


Eerie quiet came after I went to Heaven and Hell.


Slowly the body decayed — until the last minute.


The way the waves slide over the next few years.


Stuff is a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff can be really annoying.


Father, why are we fighting chickens?


Always play along with the other people.


In the front of the lonely rowboat that couldn’t go too far away from dogs today, it’s finally Friday.


You are the best person who is good at that.


Sleeping with the fishes is why she left him.


Sentences are fun when you swim with sharks.


Nothing to do with her smile brightens the room.


To love is to live as though you are fairytales.


Integrity is an important attribute of fire.


Cake is the best kind of pizza.


So I learned a new chapter in life: you only live once. Or twice.


It became real to secretly speak to her.


More people will die if I can fly high and eat fresh prince.


My friend, your desire to pass physics class is boring.


Songs are fun to jump off the stairs from.


Light mayonnaise is the best taxidermied pigeon I’d ever seen.


To hide the children, have a secret language.


Pumpkin pie is a good dessert eagle.


Galaxies are very extra around here.


Food is the best thing that looks yellow.


Time something that is priceless.


My sister hit a judge. I am not guilty.


Circles are so dang round like a circle.


Please enjoy the hemoglobin because my mom said no.


The pie is done and now I can really be true and false.


Safety belts out a loud burp.


True feelings are definitely not sure if it’s correct.


My life story is not aloud at Walmart.


I love to sleep like a baby who finds a big kite in the sky.


I went to eat everything in my house, family, love, laughter.


In my best friend is crazy bread.


That an old lady is old and dying seems like quite an apple pie: sugary, delicious.


I can’t breathe. Slow down your thinking.


Yesterday, all my troubles seemed awfully sketchy to me.


With stars I dance.


Parties never really end well.


Dance is fun when you will never know why.


Purpose is just an illusion of dreams and desires.


Hidden talents are just ways to drown a rock.


Hats and cats don’t rhyme like dogs and cats.


A cat is a bad idea when your head is gone.


Yesterday it feels like I’m the very best liar we have. Come over and you’ll see if this makes sense.


Consequences are not needed anymore.


Awesome is a boring word that rhymes with time.


Crazy people are very fun games to play.


Novels are neat, tidy, and clean lawyers.


Bombs make strong enemies.


Love is fake news.


The dog is to cat as if I were Little Red Riding Hood.


Jobs are not done by the water.


Boxers get paid money and let the rest happen.


Fruits and vegetables aren’t healthy because everyone likes different things.


Good apples aren’t good bananas.


Rabid weasels don’t know what’s up.


Poop is a common side effect.


You don’t have to say that this is weird.


Hairless cats are really awkward and hairy men.


She won the medal for sleeping like a teenager.


On top of a mountain is where we fell down a mountain.


My favorite item that is very overpriced is everything everywhere.


My tummy growls when you are a class that is music always on replay.

‘Best leave it to the pros and cons’: Exquisite Corpse poems, Fall 2017

Here are this fall’s Creative Writing classes’ poems written in the Exquisite Corpse method.  What I love about these lines is how they were created almost randomly but seem to have a kinda of weird logic. I like how some of these seem almost brilliant, in an obtuse way. See here for previous semesters’ poems.

Americans are impatient with my whole life.

A big storm came to my house, for I am a gentleman.

A strange door is where I be the person you admire.

I go to party like an animal goes to get some gas.

Gross-looking fish often smell what the man cooks.

I literally can’t stand people that like me or unlike my milkshake.

When he woke up, he was not in poverty.

Since 2000, I was born in the hospital.

Beautiful panda breaks the Internet to order some parts of the world.

She has an ugly smile like you’re eating lemons to make lemonade.

Boy, you have betrayed me, and you are great.

Miles we have come to the gorilla festival.

Penguins that live in the patience I held.

Thing One and Thing Two plus two equals to all human rights and lefts.

I really cannot control her nuclear proliferation.

Everyone and everything is not what you are.

I’m swimming in a sea of something funny that happened.

The school sounds fun like tying a fish to crash into a car.

Best leave it to the pros and cons.

My own sorrow cannot hold onto my hand.

Me is something that was already said.

You are my sun shine is like the sun shine.

I lost my pencil in your name.

Place the gun on the only husband.

Those who appreciate you look very hot today.

Fender on a car breaks so simple like ice is cold.

The Wright brothers are like sisters but boys.

The zookeeper ran to keep the penguins inside the body.

Dude, I want to hang out with me, said no one ever.

Here I once was a way you smile.

Be smart if you want to survive — it’s not that hard.

The bird flew far, far away where the movie was very boring.

That gray cat leaps off the sofa, but will the world end?

Behind the wall exists God or aliens.

“Duh” is what I exclaimed to your mama’s grave digger.

Dispute this because I think about it, and you are so nice.

First I went bald yesterday.

I slipped and fell down the stairs at room temperature during winter.

Sad like a broken plate with soul food delicious.

I’m trying so hard for somebody to notice the fire alarm.

Types of Poetry collage

I got a pamphlet in the mail about something called the Palm Beach Poetry Festival. An idea came to mind: Cut out one of the “Poetry” words and paste it into the middle of the paper, and then cut out other nouns and think of these as different types of poetry: sand poetry, Tim poetry, guest poetry, Q & A poetry, glance poetry. I don’t know what these types of poetry would be — whether written for an occasion (November 10, 2017 poetry) or for a situation (one-on-one poetry) or written at a place (lake poetry) or written about a place (road poetry) or written about a topic (nut poetry) or to be recited while using the thing (Amex poetry) — but I loved thinking of these things for the first time today.

Full page.

Top half.

Bottom half.

A close-up.

Another close-up.

‘Live like you’re already dead’: Exquisite Corpse poems, August 2016

Here are this fall’s Creative Writing classes’ poems written in the Exquisite Corpse method. See here for previous semesters’ poems.

Why even go to the extreme of doing absolutely nothing.

Pretty girls are not nice guys.

Nice guys don’t get wemen [sic].

The small dog slept quietly but the small words speak truth.

My only weapon of mass destruction hurt like a dislocated kneecap.

Cows eat grass like nothing is fun to do.

Everything I ate today was walking down the street I live on.

Aren’t you going to help, cried the helpless boy.

Do you like to read the title and wonder all the time?

Skunks — I don’t even know what they are saying.

You’re never going to be who you want to ask her to dance.

Invisible people would like to be or not be.

Go at the green, light the cigarette, and pass out next to fire.

Say absolutely nothing until a giant panda just took my hand in marriage.

Towards the end he liked that girl but he never knew why.

To me love is like the ice cream is melted the chocolate into bars.

We clapped to the music inside a penguin.

Backwards people are like books.

Milk tastes bad when warm like a fresh fart.  

Expensive dogs were cuddling aggressively.

This is my life story of how grandpa got rid of all my best friend.

My best friend came over to pick the nose of the future and past.

She gave birth quickly. She ran home.

Surprise, it’s me, the money-hungry son of a huge turkey leg.

A lot of things are yet to come and eat our babies.

Go iron pancakes.

High School Musical was disappointing me by killing Harambe.

You never really need to go through puberty.

Insane boys are not something Santa didn’t get me.

Butts are all different sizes. So are things that we all think about.

A lot of things are confusing like a donkey at the fair across town.

She told him to leave, but she is naturally pretty.

She should go die in a big hole with love and affection.

I help to build the dog that hid the dog.

Live like you’re already dead.

Peas are little green balls of fury in China.

Ear holes are where sound goes.

She dumped a big fat black book in the library’s cracked shelf of total complete shame.

The funeral pyres are very green today.

Very cute guys lie like a dog on my mother’s grave.

Sweet corn tastes like sour candy.

Your dad spent time with my life choices.

Poison her drink so she will die today and live in heaven while in the kitchen, mom makes nasty friggin’ meatloaf.

Pancakes are very soft like a baby’s foot.

My dear horse was riding a monkey swung from a tree.

The girl is lonely far away among Walmart’s towels twisted like tongues kissing in a tree slowly falling to her death.

Applies cry at apple cider festivals.

Dumb like a broken skunk.

Peacefully they agreed on stuff, like Hercules and Andromeda.

Never eat the red jellybeans shoved up hard in her no-no parts.

Do you ever want to watch your slow cat eat a dead body?

Rats like to bathe in sugar and blood.

I know how to fly a cat.

My stomach is in your abdomen.

Very very good pie is good three years old.

My knee has a baby.

Dude, Imma take advantage of having a knife.

The sun is big and round with plum sides.

Junior is your year of solace and solstice.

Fleek is my eyebrows’ jelly time.

Blue donut powder is like Heroine.

She loves to go to be or not.

Night is jealous of her best friends.

Baby aliens are insanely great to take pills with.

Baby aliens are insanely great to take pills with the bottles of the time we went to the store to the end of time.

No patatoes [sic] taste god.

You are a wonderful person that is sitting.

Mayo goes on ham sandwiches made of mayo and then a cat got told I was adopted.

Dirt doesn’t love you.

Round table knights were delusional.

Delusionally, this mouse got stuck.

Bro, I love me some people.

The pleasure of the pig ran into the dog.

The dog ate the cheese cake and lots of the boot and two children playing alone.

Bees’ knees get ACL surgeries.

‘Really interesting people look ugly at times’: An Exquisite Corpse hallway display

Here is my current display (in the hallway outside my classroom) of my students’ Exquisite Corpse poems from the last couple of semesters.

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‘T’was the night before the end of time’: Exquisite Corpse poems, January 2016

Here are my current semester’s students’ Exquisite Corpse poems. See the explanation for how we created these here. See earlier samples here, here, and here.

Snow tracks.

Snow tracks.


I am in love with only one friend: you.

Small towns are full of pumpkins all in the front yard of the house.

Love the way you lie like the wind.

Have you ever felt like I have never felt, like a lion?

Cold air hurts my face-to-face conversations.

Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha want whatcha really really diamonds.

Women are men except when Tyler Perry get(s) annoying.

The girl loves to be or not to be the change I need to get home by bus.

The fat whale with a chimney blowhole is what you are.

Illinois is a joke like the kid next to buy many drugs for my baby brother.

Shame on you for thinking of my mom and dad, so I car-crashed into the side of an apple pie.

All the plants were stinky like father, like son.

Who are you talking to, the girl next to fish in the ocean of dead whales?

With respect, he shot her and him.

To the bank we went, to rob it.

What did you do to the mall with my little pony farts?

Yes, she said, for a date at the bakery in town.

Anytime he sang, he broke the mirror because she is wrong for you.

Daddy never came home, for I tell you nothing was the same, but I shot him.

He was a dark man who killed civil society under the sea, under the spider.

The spider crawled down slowly, took a breath[e], and the boy ran home.

Go tell it on the end to that story.

Bad times for saddle-makers since I was sleeping with liberty and justice for the old lady’s dog.

Hobby Lobby is a rockin’ place to go when it’s lit up nightly.

During the night, we stared at people.

Scared little children yelling at the trees softly.

Softly and quietly, he walked the dog sideways.

Angelina said mean stuff to her stepmother because I’m so fancy.

I’m so fancy; you are the kindest person.

The rain cries to the moon tonight.

Shouting at the sky rudely interrupted the class.

They duel with mice that have no sense of direction.

Hell is where they go, saying he will change, wrong or right, it doesn’t matter.

Matter doesn’t affect the brain that searches for answers.

My pet cactus Tim has a big forehead.

You never know when I’ll eat bananas.

People like to do bad things in rentals.

Miley Cyrus, she makes me feel like I’m a baby, it’s very cold outside.

T’was the night before the end of time.

Time heals all, and snow flakes fall freely.

Can’t go to work, so I opened that poem, but I don’t know who likes you.

Why would you say whatever you want to this day? You’re weird.

Strange children live under my leg.

My grandma makes cookies with or without you.

I’m so afraid that bird just landed on the top of her mom.

You can’t believe the dinosaurs like to eat people.

Friends don’t murder each other.

Are you a laughable kitten in my hand?

Rhyme time for the apples of your eyes.

Stupid homework-giving teachers wrote your legacy on paper.

You can shut up to the top of the small birds.

I can’t wait to go to the bathroom spiders on my face.

Can you please rush into the great beyond?

Humans are the bane of my inner self-image.

He told me he brings joy to the weird kid.

Scary like the girls from that one IHOP down the road he drove through.

Now (or how) you decide what you can’t always say.

No two things are the moose.

The same type of songs describe the meaning of life.

But today, I will not today, not tomorrow, never fathom the bottom depths of the fiery Hell.

Small dogs are bait, for only two can tango.

With him I felt good, so that he became the love of my shoes and my dress.

Little moose in my pizza.

The man stood. Still, he fell off. The dog ran after him.

Dessert pizza is kinda disgusting between the good.

It was black shoes, white hat, with my favorite person in time.

“Luke Skywalker is my son” is my cat’s name.

So colorful and funny at the bus stop, and she wanted more than God said.

A feline tree-topper

A feline tree-topper

The block-quoted section below is the entirety of one paper passed around the class. A few lines were skipped, but the remainder felt like it shared a mood.

In the light,

she never wanted to keep going fast.

In the night, he (thought), why are you a weirdo?

A weirdo was singing loud.

Today is quite dark,

and he wasn’t home today.

Today is really boring,

so freaking bright and cold.

Cold makes me chilly- hot.  … [1 line skipped]

I don’t know what teen drinking is.

Very hairy Mary said snow is super freakin’ cold.

Cold heart sucks, but whatever you want, I don’t.

Play with a dog. … [skipped 8 lines]

Without her, I’m falling.  [skipped 2 lines]

All about my mother told me to hurt your bestie.

You look like grass.

Weird children should go to make a cake with time.

Everything will fall from the top stair. [skipped 3 lines]

When you see me — and my friends are a cute couple — so we took a trip in our favorite rocket ship in space.



A sonnet of Eustace Tortoise

To have my high school creative writing students show they can write to the iambic pentameter rhythm, I assign them to finish the last 6 lines of a Shakespearean sonnet we start together in class. Rather than using our sonnet to present or evaluate a romantic claim, we told a narrative of one Eustace Tortoise, which narrative some students wanted me to post here:

So Eustace Tortoise went to chew some gum. 

He rode a unicycle to the club.

He wore a tunic but he looked a bum.

He hoped to meet a hamster with a nub. 

Then Eustace took the hamster by the leg

(which leg was made of dense and crispy lard);

they danced until the hamster lost its leg

that’s good. She hopped along the boulevard.

The students diverged in their conclusions of the narrative, but we all got some laughs out of our protagonist Eustace.