Clunker Endings

My poetry teacher hated clunker endings.
Poems that had no way to go.
The idea that petered out, or lost its way.
He’d draw his lips up over his teeth,
Grimacing at anthologies that dared include
A piece that couldn’t stick the landing.
To ensure we’d never create such folly
He made us read the offending piece aloud.
That way we could all feel it on our tongues like eggshell in the omelette.
“See?” He’d say, a little disbelieving spittle on his lips.
We’d nod, even if we weren’t sure we did.
This was for our benefit.
We’d write better if we bit uncomfortably down on another author’s struggle.
All I can say, years into the practice,
Is with as many eggshells I’ve thrown into my omelettes
It’s a wonder my readers have teeth.

I finally collected all my work on this blog into a single document. Just collected – haven’t started culling/critiquing/editing yet. On first pass, the quick and repetitive copy/paste (I tried downloading my blog per WordPress’ instructions, but the result had all the code intact and was a mess to read) one of the things that struck me was how many odd last lines I seem to have. Much to my poetry teacher’s probable dismay, I’ve become a poet who doesn’t always know how to stick the landing.

I get these ideas – usually a a line or a couple of lines. Not enough to be a poem, so I write around them. I build out. I don’t dwell too long on it. And then I put it here if it makes sense and seems to achieve what I want.

I’m terrified to go back through all my earlier years – the melodrama and the trying so hard to capture an elusive idea. So many clunky endings where I just tossed up my hands and put a rough weld on the edge of something so that I would have *something* to show. Then again, I’m excited to revisit ideas and see if I can get a better grasp on what I meant to convey.

We shall see.

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