My PAD Was Super Bad

An apology doesn’t seem necessary, but sometimes I like to work at explaining my failures. I thought the Writer’s Digest Poem a Day effort for National Poetry Month would be a good thing for me to join in on, but I should have considered it more carefully. (I wanted to understand why some things get a day, some a week, and then poetry gets a month. Puppies only get one day, and if I were in charge, I’d give puppies a whole month and strip poetry down to one day with the side benefit of only needing to write one poem each year in celebration; however, I think it’s not that way because puppies don’t need much help in being lovable, but poetry sure does.)

I didn’t start PAD until the fourth day, clearly demonstrating my propensity for procrastination, but I thought no problem, I’ll make it up. I made up day three. I’m not going to belabor the stats, but I only missed one day over the next several days, and I was justifiably proud of my accomplishments, but here I am on the 18th, shamefully declaring my failure.

For those who don’t know PAD, each day you get a prompt of some sort, usually one word, so it feels wide open, unlike some other prompts. I’m not much of a prompt guy, but I love good photography as a prompt. Basically, I like prompts if its wide open, and photos are about as wide open as you get. The other thing about PAD is that you are supposed to post your poem as a comment on that day’s prompt post. By the end, there are often over 300 comments, maybe 100 or 150 poems.

Each day, in the later part of the day, I would add my comment, my poem, and I would go through and read the others. I discovered fairly immediately that there is a cliquish community involved in this PAD thing, and if you’re in, people will respond to your comment poem with flourishes of high praise, regardless of how crappy the poem is. Then I discovered your poems are supposed to be funny. I may be funny, but my poems aren’t. Finally, I discovered that it is preferable if your poem has a solid rhyming scheme. Bottom line, I was destined for failure right from the start, but I might have had a chance if they had invited me into the clique. My poems were way too fucked up, and I thought I might be better going to school and try again next year, especially if I decide that rhyming for rhyming’s sake or for silly humor isn’t horseshit.

So this is why I gave up PAD, but I’m not going to give up blogging, at least for now. Just deciding to give up and write this confession fueled my poetry fire and I wrote a couple intense ones with no prompt but a heavy bout of misery. I do hate myself when I fail. I can barely live with myself, but I’m not going to let PAD destroy all of my April.


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  1. #1 by Michele Seminara on April 18, 2013 - 11:19 pm

    I really enjoyed your poems, and was quite amazed you could write one of such high quality each day. Mine on average take about a month! Rhyming funny poems are probably all that most people can come up with in a day, and writers can definitely be cliquey, but who wants to know those ones anyway? Choosing to hate yourself for this perceived failure is not being realistic! You just need a different audience. Take care.

    • #2 by Carl on April 29, 2013 - 1:57 pm

      Michele, thank you for your comment. All of what you say is right on target, and I appreciate it.

  2. #3 by Hudson Howl on April 19, 2013 - 9:50 am

    I was never much into TEAM sports or TEAM anything. I even thought of being a poet once but the Team Poet t-shirt they threw at me to wear strangely enough resembled a straight-jacket. Am glad you failed; job well done Carl.

    • #4 by Carl on April 29, 2013 - 2:12 pm

      Thank you. When failure is for the best, it is as sweet as victory, or should be.

  3. #5 by Doris on April 22, 2013 - 9:21 pm

    I did not try it either, I know I am a rookie in poetry, and hate to rhyme oh and to be funny no please no, so they do have a little elite group, did not know that, well you have your audience here on the blog that is all that matters.

    • #6 by Carl on April 29, 2013 - 2:07 pm

      Thank you, Doris. I appreciate your comment.

  4. #7 by clinock on April 29, 2013 - 1:43 am

    Not a PAD I would crash at – their expectations are unbelievable. Your work is superb Carl, you are one of my four poetry muses on-line and I admire your wisdom in pulling out of this loony group. I also admire your more than generous ‘resignation letter’…now let’s keep on truckin’ with some more real poetry….

    • #8 by Carl on April 29, 2013 - 2:06 pm

      You’re a good man, John. I think they’re a good group of folks, but I don’t always fit very well. With support from folks such as yourself, I’ve got a fire to keep going.

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