Saturday, July 6, 2013

Talented Teen Poetry

Our local high school publishes “Menagerie”, an annual of poetry, short story prose, and visual art made by students.  Each time I read through it, I am struck by the fact that about the same percentage of the work as in a “grown up” publication, is excellent.  Art that is uncontrived and guileless, yet meaty, is indeed rare.  The poem below was written by a 12th grader.  Poetry can be funny, it can be gruesome, it does not have to be pretty or quaint.  This gal has figured it out at the ripe old age of 18.

A Confession - written by Nora McCarty
People sometimes ask me
where I get my ideas from.
It’s time to come clean –
I steal them.
Sometimes I peel out of the parking lot
with a whole car-full
given up
at gunpoint.
Sometimes I fill my pockets
and my sleeves.
Sometimes it is pieces
in passing.
like a bike
laying out
in the sun.

People sometimes ask me
what I do with my ideas
once I have them.
I should warn you; this is where it gets
a bit graphic.
I line them up on my basement floor,
in an inch
of bleach
and quicklime
and I ravage them
As they rot.
I grind up the dust
of their fragile bones
and bake them into poetry
which I wrap in wax-paper
and peddle
to chumps
on the street.


  1. I don't "get" a lot of poetry, but this one paints a picture I can see.

  2. I just really like the use of personification. It's very complete, and done well.