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Of Poetry and Kings…or Something…

I hacked out a poem today. It’s the first of my attempts to simply destroy every person in my Fiction Writing class, one by one, and make them all hate me. I envision the final for that class consisting of them chasing me through Grant Park with pitch-forks and torches, and whoever gets a clean kill gets an A.

Here’s the backstory: there’s a kid in the class. He seems like a nice guy. He’s a theatre/acting major, African-American, and pretty gay. He’s open about it—in fact, all of his work revolves around it. He writes these elaborate, terrible poems about what it’s like to come out of the closet—how everybody turns their back on you, or, even worse, beats you to a bloody pulp. His protagonist is always sort of staring at a full moon, picking scabs from his most recent beating, and waxing nostalgiac for a time when he wasn’t so oppressed.

So I wrote a horribly offensive, outright mean counterpoint to that (which I may put on the blog, but I’ll probably forget) style and subject matter. Basically, it concerns the most popular guy in school—varsity athlete, captain of the football team, homecoming king, full scholarship to Harvard, valedictorian, a new date every night—you know the kinda fictional guy I mean. He’s a big deal, and all the girls love him, but the one day, he comes out of the closet and tells everybody—parents, friends, teachers, coaches—that he’s gay.

It’s built up in this sort of first-person monologue where he wonders about how badly it will go, but he has to do it because he doesn’t want to live a lie any longer. Blah, blah—I made that about as cliché-ridden as I could. And then, in the second half, he comes out of the closet…and nobody cares. His parents are supportive, his teachers and coaches couldn’t give a rat’s ass, his friends mostly knew, and the girls begin to reevaluate his “performance” and decide that he’s better off gay.

I’m not sure what’ll happen with this. Of course, it amuses me, but then again, the “turtle turtle” thing from Master of Disguise makes me laugh out loud. I think I may be crossing one of those lines that is invisible until crossed, and then suddenly and irreversibly, you are on the other side of that line. Frankly, I’m hoping that line is there. I want to cross it—it’s the main goal of writing this stupid thing. And I plan to continue doing this as the weeks progress, picking out a student each week (or maybe I’ll double up, since the semester will end before I get through all of them) and just ape their style and subject matter to ruin their lives.

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