Welcome to your secret room. Take a poem. Leave a poem. When you’re done, I’ll toss you a glue stick.
“I wrote this last weekend in my room. And, okay, I’m sayin’ it.” AJ pauses for dramatic effect. “This one sucks.”
He stands up, holds his hands in front of him, and lets the guitar fall slack so the strap catches it. He’s gesturing toward himself in this go-ahead-let-me-have-it kind of way, and everyone around me starts ripping papers out of notebooks, balling them up, and chucking them at him. He laughs and keeps gesturing with his hands, silently telling them to keep it coming.
I look over at Caroline. She won’t make eye contact with me, so I lightly elbow pixie-cut girl. “Why are they doing that?” I ask, and she comes in close to my ear. “It’s one of the rules. You can’t criticize anyone’s poetry, but especially not your own.”
— from Every Last Word
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POET’S CORNER: GALLERY
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