20-Something, Hipstercrite Life

Teenage Lyrics from a Twenty-Something Poetry-Hater

 I have a secret to confess.

I don’t like poetry.

I never have and most likely never will.

However, when I was younger I used to like to write songs with very emo lyrics about boys.
Or hypothetical reverends.

Music has always been in my blood. My Dad is a pianist and I played the piano for twelve years and tenor saxophone for eight. Typically I’d write these songs about boys on the piano, for it was difficult to translate the twenty-something angst through the breathy wail of a tenor saxophone hanging around my neck.

During this time I also kept a journal equipped with stickers, pasted in Tom Ford ads, doodles of a cartoon girl who looked like me, and these lyrics I wrote about boys. Cleaning my bedroom last night, I came across my old journals and discovered that I wrote all of this teenage tripe THREE years ago when I was 24. I must have forgotten that when I was 15, I only wrote songs about dinosaurs and David Bowie.

I’m going to share some of these embarrassing lyrics/non-poems with you today because, well, they need to be quietly judged. Enjoy.

Do you have poems/lyrics that you wrote when you were younger? Do you cringe, like I do, when you read them?

Two Kids

This song was about a boy I dated who thought he was the reincarnation of James Joyce. He lived in a cabin in the mountains of Los Angeles and wore a three-piece wool suit every day…and I thought he was the coolest f’ing dude on the planet.
A little girl of fantasy
and wounded needs

A little boy with exploding heart
and angry dreams
seeming apathy

And maybe I’ve been ready forever
since the summer
did I see it coming
we had nothing
to hold onto except for make believe

We were built off of nothing
except for the comfort
the placebo
of lying next to you

A structure made of straws
that we clutched at
and fought with
then burned it to the ground

As I watched you slip away from me
we couldn’t agree
that you were gently
trying to say goodbye
despite all my might
to believe the fantasy


Old Bowling Alleys

I think this is when I listened to way too much of Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible

I’m taking the Airstream
to Barstow tonight
I know once I get there
it will all be alright

The smell of your scotch
lingers on the windowsill
God, I know good things are coming
Yes, I know that they will

And you promised that God would save me alright
If I got down on my knees and prayed every night
You’d look down at me with fire in your eyes
and I dreamed that he would come and wipe the tears dry

My hope is my salvation
far away from your hand
The highway is my walk into the promise land
And when I get there I’ll be thinking of you wondering where the hell I am

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  • Reply Rimonte January 10, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    These are beautiful and well-written poems. You should not doubt your ability. A shame you stopped writing poetry.

  • Reply jady January 10, 2011 at 5:42 pm


  • Reply Hipstercrite January 10, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    @rimonte- awww…thank you, but i think they're crap! 😉

    @jady- AGREED!

  • Reply Allison January 10, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I never liked poetry either. All throughout school I was forced to read and analyze poetry – even one of my friends was a poet and did readings and won awards for her work…but I couldn't get into it. I just love prose too much.

  • Reply slozos January 10, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I fancied myself a bit of a lyricist when I was a young angsty teen as well, and I promise you my poetry was MUCH worse. I revisited some not too long ago, and I had to shower afterwards to wash off all the CRINGE.

  • Reply Jesse January 10, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    The James Joyce boy should fight Tedd to the death. Or is he Tedd?

  • Reply theTsaritsa January 10, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    You should put these to music!!! Nice :)

  • Reply Big Mark 243 January 10, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    I used to do the same thing when I was in high school… still DO write with music on my mind!

    With the success of Stephanie Meyers I am a little miffed that I did not keep writing 'songs' and stories with Joy Division and the Smiths in my head.

    This is a process that many excellent writers go through so I would not be too hard on your poems. The only reason they seem 'bad' is the maturity you have experienced as a person and as a writer. If anything, these poems show the potential of the writer you are growing into.

    I don't understand poetry enough… many novelists write with poetic feel but aren't necessarily poets. But they are still writers.

    You are a writer.

  • Reply Adria January 10, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    It's always hard to read things about feelings you once had, especially if they're written as poems, it just feels cheesy. BUT, those are actually really good.

    I have tons of poems I wrote in high school and they are OH SO embarrassing, but sometimes I secretly think they might be good…

  • Reply Carol January 11, 2011 at 3:40 am

    Old bowling alleys is awesome. This is a Wallflowers song. I can almost hear the melody in my head.

  • Reply Courtney January 11, 2011 at 4:32 am

    I honestly don't think they're bad at all. I don't find them remarkable, but poetry is never very remarkable to me.

  • Reply whatsername January 11, 2011 at 6:35 am

    These are really good. I fancy mislef a writer, but i'm 18. I love poetry and these are very well written. You are a talented individual. (B

  • Reply ISRAEL CARRASCO January 11, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Pretty dam good. Don't sell your stuff short.

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