I Know Why I Suck. by John C. Krieg

I’m an aspiring writer who
Doesn’t know a noun from a pronoun
A verb from an adverb
And, aren’t adjectives good for everything?
Every time I get stuck on writing a complete sentence
I just throw in a semicolon, because
Nobody else knows what the hell they’re for either
And they’re so embarrassed that they just let me slide

I know that I turned my back on literature
So very long ago, because
All the English teachers said I couldn’t write
So avoided writing until
I couldn’t do anything else
And now I regret that I had listened to those pricks
And didn’t go into a literature program
Or try to get a MFA tacked onto my name
So I compensate by trying to write
Exactly like I talk only to be told
That I suffer from logorrhea

But I keep at it, even with approaching dementia
Do I say that I’m 69 years old
Or sixty-nine-years-old
Or so old that nobody gives a shit
About what I write, anyway
Only I feel that I have something noteworthy to say
And believe me, I keep saying it
And they keep sending it back
Every form rejection almost exactly the same
I always shoot back:
            Thanks for responding.
That’s the smart thing to do
It doesn’t pay to argue with an editor, I know
So I resist the overwhelming urge to add:
            Go to hell, and
            Fuck you too

I know why I suck
I embrace my mediocrity
I’m hard-headed and temperamental
But I can live with myself as
I force myself to my keyboard
Hoping to hit the literary jackpot
Of just one good piece
Something that I like
And if someone else likes it also
So much the better
It would really be horrible
If they liked it, and I didn’t
I might be a damned fool
But I’m no sellout

John C. Krieg is a retired landscape architect and land planner who formerly practiced in Arizona, California, and Nevada. He is also retired as an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborist and currently holds seven active categories of California state contracting licenses, including the highest category of Class A General Engineering. He has written a college textbook entitled Desert Landscape Architecture (1999, CRC Press). John has had pieces published in A Gathering of the Tribes, Alternating Current, Blue Mountain Review, Clark Street Review, Conceit, Homestead Review, Line Rider Press, Lucky Jefferson, Oddball Magazine, Palm Springs Life, Pegasus, Pen and Pendulum, Saint Ann’s Review, The Courtship of Winds, The Mindful Word, The Writing Disorder, and Wilderness House Literary Review. In conjunction with filmmaker/photographer Charles Sappington, Mr. Krieg has completed a two-part documentary film entitled Landscape Architecture: The Next Generation (2010). In some underground circles John is considered a master grower of marijuana and holds as a lifelong goal the desire to see marijuana federally legalized. Nothing else will do. To that end he has two books coming out this year being published by Red Dashboard LLC Publications entitled: More Marijuana Tales and It’s Just Marijuana.