Monday, March 14, 2011

Bad Poetry Project: I Need Your Help

So I'm driving back to LA listening to Taylor Swift (no judgement, people) and it hits me: so many young pop artists' songs sound like the bad poetry I used to write as a teenager. And for good reason: most of them are teenagers who are trying to prove they can write their own songs.

The real revelation was that I know I'm not the only one who wrote bad teenage poetry. I don't think they let you graduate high school any more until you've written something where you've rhymed "pain" with "rain".

And then I remember my own college days and one day in particular. My friend Anne and I were driving to Evansville from Bloomington and listening to 'N Sync. We started changing the lyrics and found that we could make an entirely different song just using synonyms.

So here's the plan: I want to pre-emptively have the next song ready for Taylor Swift when she breaks up with Jake Gyllenhaal or whoever else she may date for a week or so of inspiration. But to do that, I need your help. I'm asking you to raid your closets and dust off the old journals. Find those lost missives from middle school. The letters of first (or in my case unrequited) love. Give them a new life---in a Taylor Swift song.

What's in it for you? When the song makes its way to the air, everyone whose bad poetry was used will get a co-writer credit. It'll probably be worth about 10 cents per person, but it will also help answer the question: how many people does it take to write a song?

No disrespect to those who write lovely songs and poetry. If you have drafts from when you were 14, send those. Only truly epically, bad angst-ridden poetry need be submitted.

Send me your best of the worst at and I'll out together Taylor's next hit for our own pleasure. Send this to anyone who might want to submit and let's make a hit, people!

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