Legendary singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow once proclaimed that "every day is a winding road," which is true. It is also true that "every day is a [Something or Another] Day." Yesterday was the International Day of Happiness, while the day before that was apparently Kashubian Unity Day, an annual Polish festival.
Today, March 21, 2016, however, is World Poetry Day!
Which makes it an excellent time to bring up a new love poetry zine being released next month by a group of New York-based writers. The "mediocre love poetry" collection is called Kill Yr Darlings; Tweet Yr Drafts, and it's edited by Marian Bull, Sam Escobar and Eve Peyser (full disclosure: both Peyser and Bull have contributed to Mic).
The group rounded up submissions from themselves and more than 50 other poets to create a collection that Escobar, who uses the pronouns "they" and "them," describes as "a home for peoples' beloved poems that they perhaps didn't feel were worthy of sharing."
"Some are simple and hilarious, others are heartbreaking, some are reflective," Escobar said. The group has posted some excerpts from the zine to Medium in honor of World Poetry Day.
Below, "en tierra firma" by Bull:
reentry is a horizontal creep
sidling me back into something I'd forgotten was so mine
as the newer glittery bits slip away
(wrapping limbs, whispers shot through with consonants,
all the staring and the starting and the too much good)
til there's nothing left but fantasy
(come here // live as a loop inside my ear)
and sleeping next to photos of beds
Below is another poem previewed on Medium, "I Will Never Make You Pancakes Again," by Escobar:
From the moment it leaves your head,
a hair becomes repulsive.
Its bulb is a parasite,
its touch, a trauma.
The most pathetic thing in all of this
is that I believed I could twist my bones
to fit your skeleton.
"The three of us were standing at a bar, talking about how we all had a bunch of so-so poems in our phones about various people who had broken our hearts, people we'd been on bad dates with, or people we had fallen in love with at one point or another," Escobar said of the zine's genesis.
"None of these poems are ones we would necessarily want to submit to a poetry journal or contest, but they're dear to our hearts." They added that the group "didn't want to shy away from letting people use internet speak, or using modern references that aren't timeless."
Of course, Kill Yr Darlings; Tweet Yr Dafts isn't the only testament to amateur love poetry on the internet, nor is it even the most wince-inducing: any of the excerpts you'd find on Tumblr's Fuck Yeah Bad Poetry, for instance, are far more egregious (as is Kristen Stewart's 2014 classic, "My Heart Is a Wiffle Ball," featuring the timeless line, "Your nature perforated the abrasive organ pumps.")
But the collection does capture a fundamental truth about the appeal of love poems — namely, that they're so raw and earnest that we can't help but be fascinated by them, regardless of whether they're "good" by any literary journal's standards or not. That's why you should celebrate World Poetry Day by grabbing your nearest quill — or, like, your laptop, either one — and trying your hand at writing a few stanzas of your own.