Bad Poets Society

With 12 days ’til the deadline for our werewolf story, we’ve decided it’s crap. We removed a scene, replaced it & redrafted the rest. We’ll probably tear it all apart again in a week. Thank god for email, it lets us send stuff off the day before a deadline or we’d be screwed. We called it Of Wolf & Man, after the Metallica song.

We have a poetry reading on Thurs in the Chapter Arts Centre in Canton. We’re doing 2 poems, Dating by Numbers, a comic poem about speed dating & Deadly Reflection, about a man talking to his future ghost in the mirror. We’re a bit worried ‘cos the event’s run by Seren, who are traditional poetry publishers & our poetry’s like the anti christ of tradition. Last month, the 2 published poets & most of the open mic readers did non-rhyming poems. Ours are written in rhyming couplets. We love rhyming poems & we’re not gonna apologise for it. But people do tend to view them as lesser poems. Another thing we’re worried about is our performance. For Dating by Numbers we’ll just read our poem, but for Deadly Reflection we’re gonna stand facing each other, pretending there’s a mirror between us & doing some actions, mirroring each other. We think poetry shouldn’t be boring & this is our way of making it interesting for everyone watching. It might go well or we might be met with stony silence and ‘security, could you please escort these, these…enemies of traditional poetry out of the building.’ Hoping for the 1st response, though being thrown out of a poetry reading would make a great anecdote. We’ll let you know how it goes. We might even film it, but at the moment, we’re swaying towards not filming it. We keep laughing & the camera hates us. But if we do film it, we’ll see if we can upload here. It’ll be a test of our non-existent technical skills. We promised our Facebook friends we put it on there. That was before we saw ourselves on camera. We’ve since retracted that promise.

Speaking of poetry, does anyone have a favourite poem? At the moment ours is ‘The Ballard of Reading Gaol’ by Oscar Wilde. One, it rhymes. Two, it’s wonderfully dark and heart rendering – two things you don’t see in most poetry. If you haven’t read it, Google it & you should be able to find it. We first heard it quoted in an episode of Perry Mason several years ago. Not sure how many years, but we might’ve been in 6th form. Soon as we heard it, we looked it up on the Internet. It’s a long poem, but well worth a read.

We’ve just sent off 3 poems for competitions. 1 to Writers’ News, called Hang ‘Em High. We were given the 1st line of ‘the silver birch, the oak, the lime’. At 1st we thought, ‘can’t do anything dark with that’ but we surprised ourselves by coming up with a poem about a man taking revenge on colleagues who stole his last Red Bull – he strung them up in the trees and they unfortunately, hanged. It’s in rhyming couplets – we don’t just write rhyming couplets. The other 2, Fade to Black & I Hear Voices Weeping, which are both about madness, are going to Welsh poetry. The deadline’s not ’til 30’th May, so if anyone wants to send a poem, there’s plenty of time. The website is Though don’t make your poems too good – we want to win!


  1. Hi, I felt semi-inspired by your old-school determination and Dunkirk-spirit. So I looked up the Welsh Poetry website and checked out last years winners. They were tres b*ll*x (pardon my French). Apart from not rhyming they had no form or rhythm and didn’t make any sense. Pretentious,? they made Jose Marinho look humble!! I didn’t understand a word of any of the top 20. So good luck with your entries but I suspect they may be too normal and mainstream for the creme de la creme of Welsh Poetry (I use the word in its widest sense). Bet you haven’t thought of yourselves as mainstream for a while?

    • LOL! Yep, definitely haven’t been called mainstream in a while. But we figure the poetry scene won’t change if everyone keeps churning out this nonsense. We were at a poetry reading last month & couldn’t understand a single bloody word they said. We were looking at each other, going ‘is this in English?’ 1 of the professional poets did a poem on a chopping board he bought whilst on honeymoon. If that’s the best he could come up with from his honeymoon, we ain’t NEVER getting married. The poems we intend reading on Thurs are rhyming couplets, one funny, one dark. We fully expect to be told to never darken their door again, but damn it, we’re reading them. We don’t tend to read poetry ‘cos we can’t understand it either. We get our inspiration from song lyrics. My Chemical Romance have been a crypt of inspiration for us. One of their songs, ‘The End’ mentioned a penitence ball, so we wrote a poem about a penitence ball, in the same rhyming style they used in the song & read it at Square Magazine’s reading. It’s still unpublished, but we like it. We never expect to win any of the poetry competitions we enter but we figure if we pester them enough, maybe they’ll start listening and in 100 years time they’ll realise we were right. It’s not much comfort now. But all the greatest renowned people were only cherished after they died. We hate the pretentious poets who try to make out they’re these suffering artists when in reality they’ve had a normal, cosy upbringing, are univeristy educated (nothing against that we were too stupid to go) & the closest they’ve come to misery is watching it on the TV. That’s what at first put us off doing readings – the thought of being stuck with them, but so far, everyone we’ve met have been alright. Yes, they read poems we can’t understand but they’re very welcoming & supportive of newcomers. But then, they haven’t heard us read yet. 😉

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