Your Safe Word Is Albatross

Tomorrow is Practical Criticism Midwest conference at Ball State University… which means grad students will be presenting and engaging in research, theory, and intellectual pursuits. It also means in the evening they will be battling to the death last word in this year’s doggerel competition. I would like to encourage everyone to do their absolute worst. Anything less will be considered utter failure.

Below is my winning (losing?) poem from last year.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner.


“Your Safe Word Is Albatross”

Your safe word is Albatross.
If at any point you feel uncomfortable
during this poem, simply shout out
and the ride will come to a screeching halt.

If there are any children, or weak of heart
in the crowd, please remove them now.
Because this poem is rated L
for love, lust, and ludicriousy.

To me, you are a pineapple
because, baby, I want you.
Hot, juicy, and ripe in your golden years.
And prickly because I don’t remember
the last time you shaved your legs.

Baby, I need you.
Like a flame thrower needs lighter fluid
and lack of judgement.
I burn for you—like a burn victim
who was too scared to jump
from the fire escape on the tenth floor.

Don’t think I don’t see you
looking at me like that—
I know this poem doesn’t rhyme
but this poem is mine.
And in all its burning yearning
is my unibomber love song to the world.

Don’t think I don’t see you
walking out the door there—
My love for you goes to the moon;
your love for me couldn’t even fill a haiku.

And as you go to close the door,
the room gets so quiet—
So quiet, you could hear a pin drop
as my heart breaks
on the floor in a thousand tiny pieces.

But I won’t have that.

Sit your sassy ass down
and let me tell you
how much I love you—
I love you more than Garfield
loves lasagna.

You are my albatross;
I’ll gladly sling you around my neck
and never once ask for forgiveness.
Because I’d rather keep you until you rot—
No, I’m not on pot. My soul’s just out of control.

Why must I love a heart made out of coal?

Your Safe Word Is Albatross

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