(Note: I wrote this poem by looking up “rhymezone” on Rhymezone.com and copying all the resultant rhymes. A couple of the words are used incorrectly, which is sort of the point.)

It’s okay to use a rhyming dictionary,

But some poets are so addicted to Rhymezone,heartman

It seems like a crime zone,

Across every time zone.

Worse than a dry calzone.

But you rhyme ecstatically, emphatically,

And oh so enthusiastically.

Maybe a bit erratically,

But always dramatically,

Even if not grammatically,

But certainly dogmatically.

And I would say fanatically.

It’s all about your narcissism,

Nothing but verbal tourism,

I don’t want a schism,

And I’m sorry for the criticism.

But I can’t see through your prism,

It’s like linguistic fascism.

It’s not as bad as plagiarism,

But it’s poesy fetishism.

A kind of literary nihilism.

How about some amelioration?

It just takes a bit of cognation.

You’ll be proud of your creation,

When you lose the rhyming fixation,

Try a blank flirtation,

I’m not trying to be imperious,

But get serious, mysterious,

It’s not so deleterious

To be just a bit ethereous.

I know audiences prefer the doggerel

And the strutting of a cockerel.

You may think I’m a dotterel,

But my poetic license is post-doctoral.

Sure, with so many words, you can always rhyme one.

But your first blank verse will be a milestone.

Cause you got no laurels to lie on.

Shames gonna hit you like a cyclone.

You’re just grist for my grindstone.

I give you a clue cause you can’t buy one.

And here’s some talent you can try on.

Don’t despair, I have a shoulder you can cry on.

You can keep your rhymes,

I’ll write my own.

New Mills Festival Poetry Trail and Performance

I’m putting together a poetry trail for the New Mills Festival. The festival begins 14 September and runs for three weeks. Poem will appear in shop windows throughout the town. We will have a round-robin poetry reading for participants on 26 September 2018 at The Butterfly House at the Torrs. The deadline for submissions is the end of May, but festival fringeI’m accepting poems as I go, so it is best to get them in early! Guidelines below.

New Mills Festival Poetry Trail Submission Guidelines

1. Must be family-friendly. If you know me, you know I enjoy work that is provocative or even shocking, but the poetry trail is probably a good time to tone things down a little.

2. 20 lines maximum. People will be standing on the pavement reading the poems—shorter poems are bound to be more accessible.

3. Please include a location for yourself. You can choose whether to use your current location or the place you most identify as home.

4. I will try to place poems with subjects related to local businesses in those businesses (e.g., cycling poems in the cycle shop, flower poems in the florist).

5. Submit up to three poems in the order of your preference. I have about 65 spaces. If 65 people submit, I will use your first choice. If fewer people submit, I will use your first two choices. You get the idea.

6. You can send the poems in the text of an email or an attachment. Either is fine. Send them to randall@ethicsbeyondcompliance.com.

7. 30 May 2018 is the deadline.

Participants are invited to read their poems at a round-robin style performance at The Butterfly House at the Torrs on 26 September 2018.