Bad Driver – Terrible Poetry Contest (WINNER!)

I am grateful to Chel Owens for selecting my free verse poem as the winner of the most recent Terrible Poetry Contest. The award winning poem and my attempt to explain it are below.

Also a new Terrible Poetry Contest has started. You may be the next winner!


Bad Driver

I told my shrink that the cops brought me here because of my bad driving and he said I had no record of ever driving a car in my life and I told him, not car, spaceship, S-P-A-C-E-S-H-I-P, and he said I had no spaceship and wasn’t an alien because my DNA test, D-N-A, showed I’m human enough and I told him, well, then why am I in that padded cell and he said I wasn’t in any cell and I asked him if he was trying to drive me crazy and if he was he wasn’t doing a good job of it and then he said I was brought in because I was scaring the neighborhood kids and the judge assigned me to him and I told him that I had a lot of fun turning my head 360 degrees like an owl and he said I couldn’t do stuff like that and I asked him whether he ever saw me and he said no and so I asked him if he wanted to see me turn my head 360 degrees and he said, “Sure, Marvin, go ahead turn your head 360 degrees like an owl, go on show me” and so I turned my head 360 degrees like an owl and he called the exorcist.


This poem is in imitation of Gerald Stern’s American Sonnets. These “sonnets” have no rhyme nor meter (and often no sense that I could detect). They are mostly one sentence long allowing the reader to put in line breaks or not. I would call them terrible American sonnets, but he won some award for them and they are occasionally entertaining.

And now I’ve won an award for one as well!

Chel Owens' Terrible Poetry Contest Winner Award
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