I wrote this putrid poem in high school after listening to the Smashing Pumpkins, if memory serves correct. In fact, Billy Corgan’s line “The world is a vampire / sent to dray-ee-ay-ee-ayn” is largely responsible for this piece. All apologies to Billy Corgan & Co. I wish I were kidding, but I am not. I think I was just playing the part of the angst-ridden teenager because it was culturally en vogue to do so. But I was about as angst-ridden as a kitten in a bassinet in real life. Despite all my rage, I was just an imitator in a cultural cage.

This poem, titled “Biting Thumbs and Blowing Kisses” (I’ll be darned if that’s not a thoroughly wretched title for a poem), actually ran in my hometown’s newspaper. It’s about the environment. That’s right. I wrote a “green” poem when green was not yet en vogue. Call me a futurist. Call me a blithering idiot. Just call me.

This poem is almost (but not quite) as bad as the episode of Saved By the Bell where “the gang” try to save Becky the duck (not to be confused with my wife) after an oil company inexplicably installs a derrick on Bayside’s football field and pollutes the ecosystem of a nearby pond that hosts a horde of animals the students have befriended in biology class. It is worth mentioning that, like Johnny Dakota and Christy Barnes, the female wrestler, this pond is never mentioned again in any episode afterward. I wish I were kidding about this as well. But it takes a lot to be worse than this episode of Saved by the Bell, which makes me feel better about presenting it to the public again, 17 years after it first appeared and plagued the world of poetry.

Enjoy, and keep an airplane-grade barf bag handy.