Conference Poetry: An Oxymoron to Battle Banality


I attended a conference in London, Ontario this past week. Though there was much good to be had, like most conferences, it had its share of disappointments. On the last day there, April 24, I took to writing some flow-of-thought poetry to help me make it through. Below are the four poems that emerged from that unlikely context.

Hi Speed Blah
(Written while a keynote speaker orated at high speed off the top of his head. Disjointed, confusing, too fast… all at 8 a.m.)

Hi speed blah blah blah
Words at high speed
Remain meaningless
Too much Too many
Can put you to sleep
Why am I here?
Why is my brain made
To pay attention to this?
Might as well be speaking
Is Turkish a language?
More interesting to ponder
Than hi speed blah
Blah Blah Blah
Too much Too many
Words rapidly delivered
How is it we are so capable of communication
Yet so poor at it?
We’ve all endured too much
Blah, blah, blah
A tragedy of life

We Got to Fix This
(The Battle Against the Banal has been my life-long struggle. It continued at this conference)

We got to fix this
Banality and brutality
The brutality of banality
Stifling creativity
Putting spirit to sleep
Deflating passion
Stomping on the eternal

We got to fix this
Banish banality
Brutalize the brutes
Who ravish our dreams
With beauty we strike back
With color, shape and sound
Inflating passion
Tender eternal with loving care

We got to fix this

In Forest City
(London is known as Forest City. I took a break at one point, sitting out in the sun on a London street)

In Forest City
Run, Forest, Run
Sun, finally, sun
There’s been no spring
In our spring ‘til now

Forest City hubbub
Bubhub, Hey, Bub
Wind still chilly in tads
But just a tad
Compared to artic air
Swept through, sliced through

Forest city smells
Cancer stick wafting
Combines with new growth
Cold enough out to
Encourage me to pee

Back inside soon
Forest City, thanks

You, Yeah
(I couldn’t help but think of a couple of people who would have been better served being at the conference than me)

Thinking of you, yeah
What I hear may not apply
To me
But to you, yeah
Vision, passion, commitment
You have
Can I help you, really?
Not sure but I’ll try
Getting info, meeting people
Wish you were here
Instead of me

Thinking of you, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Want you to thrive
Want your awesomeness to fly
That’s why
I’ll apply
Myself for you
Instead of me

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