This Poem Sucks.

The first movie I actually bought for myself to own–on VHS of course–was “So I Married an Axe Murderer.” I’ve watched it eleventy-million times. Since I got some poems published in the past two years, I think of this scene pretty often.

April is National Poetry Month, so I thought I’d take a break from narcissistically recording all my hikes and, instead, narcissistically list off my published poetry. I’m not really sure how I went from primarily writing non-fiction to struggling mightily with fiction and then stumbling into poetry in that order. I don’t know what spurred me into it. My uncle, great aunt, and grandmother used to write and recite poetry. I don’t know if genetics is why I do it. But I like it. I see snippets of things in life that don’t really add up to a story, but make me laugh or seem odd to me. So I write them down. And chew on them some more. I call the product a poem.

Deep down, I’m troubled. Opening up another avenue of writing just means that I need to try to do it well. Getting good at any one thing is tough enough. Trying to scribble in several different ways at once is worse. Maybe getting good is overstating my goal. I don’t want to suck.

I know this. When I write poetry, I have the same time-freezing feeling that I get from other kinds of writing. I look up from the computer/table/paper and am surprised at how much time has passed. This is how I know I love something. Like cross-country skiing. Or trail running. Or reading. Or writing in general. Or, it turns out, poetry.

I’m not going to worry about it. I’m going to “have fun with it.” That little mantra gets me to sit down and scribble. Fun is important to me. It is my time, after all. Why be miserable?

Steve Martin is quoted a lot recently in the twittersphere as saying, “Always make room for the unexpected in yourself.” So, I’m making room. I take all my life advice from Steve Martin.

Thanks to Grey Sparrow Journal, Aqueous Magazine, Sleet Magazine, the Duluth News Tribune, Proof Magazine, The Talking Stick, and O-Dark-Thirty for taking a chance on me. Here’s the result so far:

– “It Happened Anyway” O-Dark-Thirty. (Accepted, TBD)

“Four Things” Grey Sparrow Journal. Spring 2015.

– “Hetch Hetchy” Aqueous. Jan 2015.

“The Program” Sleet Magazine. Fall 2014. (Maybe not a poem, but it’s going in this list.)

“I Can Already Hear It” Proof Magazine. Jul 2015.

– “I Won’t Remember” and “Youth” Aqueous Magazine, Dec 2013.

“You Should Know” O-Dark-Thirty. Nov 2013.

– “Bubble” (Honorable Mention) The Talking Stick (Vol. 22). Sep 2013.

“Bed Socks” Duluth News Tribune. 18 Aug 2013.









About Eric Chandler

Husband. Father. Pilot. Cross Country Skier. Writer. Author of Outside Duluth and Down In It.
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