Bad Poetry (or The Joys of Being Stuck)

I’ve been feeling stuck, creatively. Uninspired, the writing hasn’t been flowing, everything seems wrong. I’m judging things I write or have written, I have no energy, the passion is gone. Even my Photo-a-Day project has felt stagnant lately. I’m just stuck.

I posted on twitter and asked fellow writers what they do, and only got one response – he said to talk a walk, get out with other people and get away from the screens. So I did that. Yesterday, Little Man and I went to the Queens Zoo, which is a good 15 minute walk from here, and looked at all the farm animals (note: The Queens Zoo has two parts, the zoo part which has big cats, coyotes, birds, etc. And the farm side which has cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, etc). My son loved the ducks this trip and we spent quite a bit of time just watching them swim, waddle, fly, and sleep.

The walk helped, actually, and once my son was napping I worked on two scenes of my revision and felt okay. Then this morning happened. I didn’t get enough sleep, was awake at all hours with a toddler who had a nightmare, apparently, and wouldn’t go back to bed and I felt groggy. So….I wrote three bad poems while I ate breakfast. Yup…I wrote poetry. I don’t write poetry, so that’s why I’m calling it bad – it is, but it was fun and I enjoyed working on these three short pieces. I need to allow myself to play more, and not the kind of playing that I do with my son (blocks for the win!) but creatively playing. Bad poems, doodles and drawings, singing something other than The Wheels on the Bus, creative photographs, playing around with my photo editing apps on my phone – I need to play more. I need to allow myself to fail and try and not give up in other areas of my life.

So…without much more explanation, three bad poems:

Sweet liquid in my mug
Cream and sugar best of friends
Swirled ‘round and ‘round
Comfortably blended
Sipping elegantly
Chugging enthusiastically
Some mornings, gives me courage
Champion, ready to take on the world
Soothing elixir, chasing away nightmares
Charging forward into my day

Popular, pretty people who pin trendy clothes
Images from strangers, friends, exes, and enemies
Neon lights glow bright – New York and Tokyo
Too many recipes, too many movies, too many books
Exercise restraint – don’t pin too much, ignore
Retreat to a safe haven, the geek board
Everyone can have a piece
Sinful, chocolate, salted caramel delights
Tasty celebrities, artsy black&white, full color photographs

Little Man
Tall and strong, trying to be independent
Sweet, affectionate, stubborn, and full of personality
I see so much of myself in you.
I see so much of your father, too.
Little man who plays so hard
Exploring, learning, growing up so fast.
Still, you love to climb up in my lap
Rest your head upon my shoulder.
Still my baby
Always and forever.

5 thoughts on “Bad Poetry (or The Joys of Being Stuck)

  • August 9, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    You write with heart! I am a frustrated writer myself. I don't think you know that about me. A block can be a blessing. Sometimes the mind needs a break! You have so much to share and stories fact and fiction will pour out of you. The best way I find to unblock my block, a blank screen or a blank piece of paper and I write about absolutely nothing. By the 12th or so page, I will come up with a poem or story. That actually happened to me. Although Grammar is not my strength. I keep writing and writing and work out the details of Grammar and punctuation later. My block in Music and in life lead me to a project I am hoping will take off. I can't say too much, but I hope in a few months I can announce my plan. Jennifer, you have a true artists pallet! You are surrounded by love of friends and family (Especially your son). Trust your gift and take a breath, go to a blank screen or blank page and begin.


  • August 9, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Hi Jennifer, not sure if my comment posted. I don't know if you knew I am a frustrated writer. I totally understand about feeling stuck/blocked, whatever the term. However, I enjoy your writing. I love what you wrote here on your web site. In addition, I recall your past writings journaling your time in Lennies class and Cab Lab, etc. Very precise! Though we were in the same class with similar goals and experiences, you helped me to see that this journey as an artist is not easy and we all have feelings we tap into in order to bring color and truth to our work. My best suggestion to you that has actually helped me, is to pull up a blank screen or take out a piece of paper and write about absolutely nothing. Start with a piece a lint and take it from there. I learned this technique in college. I recently reached a crossroad in my life (One of many in my past), and did exactly that. Because of that blank piece of paper and my frustration with dust and not being able to clean as often as I would like, I wrote this bizzar story which lead to a topic unrelated to dust. A project I am writing and hope will take me in a new direction in life. I see this for you! You are a very determined, intelligent and smart woman with so much passion and love around you. open a blank screen or take out a blank piece of paper and start writing. Love to you and your beautiful family. Maria

  • August 9, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Maria, thank you so much for your kind words. I didn't realize you were a frustrated and blocked writer….very interesting. I hope your new project takes flight, and please let me know when you can talk about it – I'd love to support an old friend. 🙂

    And, just so people know, I only took the 2nd comment by my husband, Bradley Ploscowe, off is because there was a glitch and his first comment posted twice. It kinda looks like I'm being shady and erasing stuff, but I swear, I'm not.


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