CHS Poetry Jam 2016

To promote Chesterton High School’s Poetry Jam, I asked teachers to provide a word or phrase to be included in a new poem I would read at the jam. I was given the following words and phrases:

  1. rainbows and unicorns
  2. chocolate pudding
  3. Epitrochoidal
  4. Yttrium
  5. skinny jeans
  6. Propreantepenultimate
  7. creative chaos
  8. juxtaglomerular apparatus
  9. eating a dozen steamed crabs coated in Old Bay seasoning
  10. Age-otori
  11. Callipygians
  12. Bilbo Baggins
  13. Mercutio
  14. Ukulele
  15. melon baller
  16. believing in achieving
  17. just another day in paradise
  18. Coquelicot
  19. Comorbidity
  20. Succulent
  21. Blitzkrieg
  22. I just don’t feel like adulting today
  23. Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitaenswitwenrentenempfangsbescheinigung

Here’s the result:

Blitzkrieg: a sudden attack of rainbows by unicorns

hoping to start the reign of chocolate pudding.

That’s what I would have said when I was 8

when I spent my time playing with Spirographs curving lines for hours.

I didn’t need to know the word epitrochoidal to describe the fun I had, but

it wouldn’t have hurt, and somebody needed to know it to create that game.

It was fun.

More fun than skinny jeans

to an 8 year old

before I drew my stick figure peers in middle school

or spirographed callipygians in college.

It was the creative chaos the Spirograph offered that allowed

my juxtaglomerular apparatus enough time to outpace the

blitzkrieg of hormones my pituitary sent across calcium channels.

At 12 I didn’t contend with the apparatus of my hair, even though it greatly

suffered from a comorbidity of coquelicot cowlick and age-otori.

If I went to the barber an Aragorn, I left a Frodo.

Or more accurately, I entered a Bilbo Baggins and left a ginger Gallum.

13 year old me didn’t have to know Yttrium is element 39.

But somebody should have told me that chemistry is just another way to ask Y.

And might increase your chances of becoming a bonding pair with someone

who only likes smart guys who aren’t too noble, gassy, or Mercurial.

I’m not 13 anymore

And though I keep saying “I just don’t feel like adulting today,”

I can’t remember once as a kid saying I was kidding

when I said I was believing in achieving just another day in paradise.

And for me at 13 that usually meant cracking and

eating a dozen steamed crabs coated in Old Bay seasoning.

It always climaxed at the succulent propreantepenultimate,

but I don’t learn the lesson of moderation with shellfish or vocabulary.

I learned it with age.

Us adults keep saying you kids keep getting weirder and obscener

Always on your texts and never writing checks.

But kids only play with the toys that are given to us:

like Snapchat and Spirographs.

My only concern is if people ask each other first if they want to play.

If my income came as a


then I could rest of my laurels, and not reflect on how to navigate our river of time.

And I’m not a melon baller or ukulele player with or without the adjectives removed.

I just make it as a teacher.

So I think about that 8 year old turning 13

And eventually thirty-three

And now, if I had it my way

my hair cut would still cost 10 bucks and

my first decree would be

a blitzkrieg of rainbows and unicorns

will commence and continue

until a reign of chocolate pudding

has been established

for at least 8 years

Or until the people sing

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto

Thank you very much, Chesterton High School.

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