Ah, teenagers, let them be true
To one another! for the world which seems
To lie before the high school creative
Writing club’s open mic night
Has neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain.
They are depressing creatures
Reading depressing odes
To depressing topics.
They scratch at scars that never felt a wound
And do it in pretentiously elegiac terms.
So many of them waking up next to pillows
Where someone’s head used to lay.
So many fractured fairy tales
With broken endings
Written from the seeds
Of worst-case scenarios.
They begin with ritual apologies and
Carefully practiced acts of modesty before
A lot of gratuitous throat-clearing.
They start slowly
Nobody in their stories ever does much of anything,
But everybody does everything in very specific ways.
“He brushed his teeth quickly, he showered hastily,
And then he dressed frantically.”
The paradox of trying to describe speed.
He brushed. He showered. He dressed.
Rely on the rhythm.
Let the syntax speak for itself.
By the end of the night, I feel like
I am standing on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where aspiring young students come to write
Their tales of never was there more woe.
But I am calm tonight.
Despite the grating roar of so many
Egregious displays of awful writing,
It is beautiful to see them being written
And to hear them being shared.