Newcomers might want to read one of Jason Wright’s signature poem before continuing. And Happy Birthday, Oddball Editor!

Some people get poetry too much.
This poem is for that guy

Happy Birthday to you, Happy birthday to you

This is the real poem
You’ve ever heard.
You were just too distracted
by people giving gifts.
That poetry always seemed so selfish.
Such self-serving wretches these poets singing of themselves all day
Only know Me Myself and I
Some poets turn to write love poetry
Hide narcissism
Put a name name in the title
That isn’t their own
They say the poem’s for someone else
But seriously
They just write what they know
And make you a pseudonym
Listen to the words on the open mic
Floating over all our heads
Those words were written for them
Before they found a boy or girlfriend
Who could fall for it

There’s another option for these poets
To break free from a penchant of self-celebration disguised as community
Just stop
Seeing that there’s no difference between backslaps and shoulder rubs
The similarity
Of either act
Either celebrate your own genius
Or find a sweet heart to help you cover
To hid that you have nothing sincere to say
Indifferent to the listener

Then there is a third way
One that’s hard to learn alone
Take an unselfish route, champion a voice that wants to be heard
And give real praise
To recap you can keep status quo
Or you can become a nurturing force
Champion words from other poets you like
No matter where they’re from
Then there’s those darn love poems
Or just you reg’lar poetry of praise
Without having to project yourself to sound remotely sincere on stage
Write what you mean
And give someone else the joy
You first heard when you had an audience
Sit around you singing
Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You
Before I end this
I’ll just point out
It’s great if you want to anyone and everyone to be a poet
And share all their words
Just remember that the real challenge is after the first time
You do, the hardest part is to
Keep going to that gig
Emailing artists
And poets
And musicians
And old friends
And new friends
The sideliners
The never do-wells
The never heard
The all-too loud
The all-too shy
And unshy
And give them
Space time
Again and
Again and again
And again and
And again
And again
And over
And over
Until your job’s done
And it’s never done

Publishing poetry is thankless
And I’m writing this
To give thanks
To Jason wright for letting me
Join Oddball

We are all very grateful for you

To heck with all of the narcissists
Thinking their poems are all that
They just might want to look at what you do

And not just read
This parody of jason’s poem
I hope you do
Since my approach is
A little stupid

Still it’s a good start
And I’d still like you to give your own support
To ol’ Jason

All you have to do is click on the Facebook event

And them click yes
Then just don’t go
And send
Regrets while the show’s going

And you can ask him how he did when he’s done.

Or just come now.
Jason’s a good dude

Paper Confetti © Allison Goldin

Paper Confetti © Allison Goldin

Chad Parenteau is a poet whose dwindling credibility was built on a few nice things said about him by poetry instructors talking about his last chapbook. It dwindles further every time he does a humor piece only half a dozen readers will read or even get.

Allison Goldin is an artist living in Cambridge. Her work is a collection of spontaneous drawings from the imagination. The most common link throughout her art are the semi-recognizable creatures scattered amongst and bringing together the surrounding doodles. She is currently studying Illustration at The School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.