Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Eros of Jeeves

Whew, my blog posts have been heavy lately. It's time for something lighter. It's time for a series of posts about things that are unexpectedly arousing.

Such as Jeeves and Wooster, a British comedy that aired on TV (or, as the British would call it, "telly") from 1990 to 1993. Jeeves, the ultimate valet, is played by Stephen Fry, and his goofy employer/charge is played by Hugh Laurie. They make quite a contrast. Those who are familiar with Laurie from the medical drama House might be surprised to see him in a Jeeves and Wooster episode, with his goofy facial expressions, randomly poking-out hair and popping eyeballs. (And of course his British accent. Laurie fakes an American accent so perfectly that many House viewers don't even know he's British.) In contrast, Fry as Jeeves is forever smooth, unruffled and as calm as the surface of a lake on a windless day.

When the two of them are on the screen together, it's Jeeves that I look at, even though Wooster is the funnier one. I like his oval face, so much more appealing than Wooster's skinny, twisted-up one. I love to watch him going about his duties in Wooster's house. I want Jeeves to come to my house and wait on me, the way he does on Wooster. I want him to serve me tea, to iron my shirts and turn down my bedsheets, smoothing the fabric down in that careful, sensual way he has. Watching Jeeves at work gets me all tingly.

Yes, I know that Stephen Fry is gay. So what? When you have a fantasy that would never, ever come true in your lifetime, because it is about some famous person you are never going to meet, why should their sexual orientation be relevant? I know it matters to some people. A guy I used to know once who told me that his wife took down her Keanu Reeves poster after she heard that he was gay. Isn't that silly? A better reason would be that he lost too much weight, and looks like a junkie. No, Fry can be as gay as he wants as far as I'm concerned.

Actually, his gayness fits nicely into the Jeeves and Wooster storyline. Here's an interesting fact: fag, which in my country means a male homosexual, in Britain means "a schoolboy forced to do menial work for another, usually older boy" (source: The Chambers Dictionary). Jeeves is a sort of grown-up fag, doing menial work for Wooster. But don't think that Jeeves is a submissive servant. Anyone who has seen the TV episodes, or read the original stories by P.G. Wodehouse, knows that Jeeves is the one in charge. Many of the episodes/stories start with Wooster acquiring an article of clothing that Jeeves, with his superior, faggy fashion sense, finds objectionable, be it a hat, vest or overly-flashy pair of socks. At first, Wooster refuses to part from the item, but by the end of the episode/story, overwhelmed with gratitude for the way Jeeves has masterfully solved all his problems, he tells Jeeves he may dispose of the item, at which point Jeeves admits that he already did. Jeeves rules Wooster with a hand in a velvet glove. Not necessarily an iron hand. More of a soft, gentle hand, one that I imagine would touch the objects of its affection with the same gentleness that it demonstrates with shirts, sheets and cups of tea.

Of Interest

Now that Hugh Laurie is playing a mean doctor instead of a rich fop, people think he's sexy too. You can see the evidence on You Tube, in the form of clips from House set to the tune of "Sexyback" by Justin Timberlake. There are a whole bunch like this.

If you enjoyed the TV series, and don't mind books, you really must read the P.G. Wodehouse stories upon which the show was based. You can find them in The World of Jeeves: A Jeeves and Wooster Omnibus. If you don't want to buy it, there's probably a copy at your local library.

If you've never seen the TV series and would like to, the complete Jeeves & Wooster series is available on DVD.

Coming up next: can a movie with Muppets in it be sexy? Apparently so.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Repressed Emotions

In part 3 of my Yoga Snobs series, I mentioned repressed emotions and the importance of releasing them. I thought it might be helpful to follow up with an entry delving into the subject in more detail.

Symptoms of repression

First of all, how do you know if you are repressing emotions? Not because you feel them. If you could feel them, they wouldn't be repressed. Still, they leave traces. When you bury emotions, you're like that guy in Poe's "Telltale Heart." Something always emerges to haunt you.

Physical Symptoms

Chronic problems like muscle tension, back pain, headaches and digestive problems, for which your doctor can find no organic cause, may be symptoms of repression. Obesity often has an underlying emotional cause; it's fairly common for people who were sexually abused as children to be obese. Such symptoms are called psychosomatic. Even serious conditions such as cancer can have a psychosomatic component. This shows how important it is to release repression: not only your happiness and general wellbeing but your health or even your life could be at stake.

Strong, Inappropriate Emotion

Now that's weird. How can emotion be a symptom of repressed emotion?

Some emotions are more socially acceptable than others. This can vary depending upon who you are and what sort of background you come from. For example, it has traditionally been more acceptable for women than men to express sadness (especially when tears are involved), and more acceptable for men to express anger. So men may repress sadness under anger, and women may repress anger under sadness. On the other hand, I grew up in a home where sadness was derided as weakness while anger earned respect, so that, although I am a woman, I repressed sadness under anger for many years.

If you often find yourself caught up in a strong, even overpowering emotion that seems out of proportion to the situations that trigger it, you're probably repressing something.

Obsessive Thoughts

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a complex condition with many causes, perhaps even physical. One of those causes is repression, though you'd never know it to read most of the information available out there. It is currently trendy to treat mental conditions primarily with drugs and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, in keeping with today's treat-the-symptom philosophy. This is unfortunate, as it means that all too often the underlying issues are never dealt with. And when the underlying issues aren't dealt with, they always emerge again, in another form.

It's possible to have the obsessions without the compulsions. Obsessive thoughts are a clever technique of the mind to distract you from whatever you don't want to feel.

How to Release Repressed Emotions

The first thing you have to do is give yourself permission. You have to allow yourself to cry, even loudly or as unrestrainedly as a child, even without knowing why you are crying. This is important. If you insist on behaving in a dignified and restrained manner at all times, you will likely just push the repressed emotions back under.

The next thing to do is to look to your symptoms. They are your body's way of screaming at you that something is wrong. Listen to them.

If your symptoms are physical

Focus your attention on the part of the body that hurts. Feel it fully. This is the opposite of what we usually do. We naturally want pain to go away, and the pharmaceutical industry helpfully steps in with a raft of drugs to help us not feel. If you can go off pain pills and completely feel your pain, you may finally receive the message your body is trying to send you. But you have to be willing to receive whatever comes and not push it down again, whether what comes is an image you don't like, a thought you think is ridiculous, or the urge to scream.

Expect resistance. You've spent years repressing. You're good at it. Your defensive mechanisms will kick in. Probably the most universal one is the wandering mind. Everybody who tries any kind of meditation gets this. I have an interesting one: I get tired and start to yawn. It helps to recognize defensive mechanisms for what they are, so you can stop them from derailing you.

Raphael Cushnir suggests that you can get at repressed emotions by asking yourself two questions: "What is happening right now?" and "Can I be with it?" If you take one of his workshops, he'll give you a handy magnet you can stick on your fridge to remind you to ask the two questions. He has also written a number of books on the subject, including The One Thing Holding You Back, which I recommend. (I can't recommend the other ones because I haven't read them.)

If your symptom is strong, inappropriate emotion

Find somewhere private. This is especially important if you cover up other emotions with anger; by removing yourself from the situation that is making you angry, you can avoid doing or saying something you'll regret later. Handy tip: public washroom cubicles are a good place to escape to. Once you're alone, feel the emotion fully (are you noticing a pattern here?) If you feel the emotion fully for long enough, the other emotion that it is covering up is likely to come to the surface. When that happens, feel that emotion fully too, emoting as necessary.

While feeling the first emotion, you can try asking yourself directly if some other feeling is underneath. Talking to your own body is not a sign of insanity at all but a good habit to get into.

If your symptom is obsessive thoughts

If you've got OCD, you may need professional help. If you only have obsessive thoughts, you may be able to handle it yourself. Either way, try this: when you catch yourself in an obsessive thought or compulsive action, ask yourself, "What am I feeling right now?" This is similar to Cushnir's two questions mentioned earlier.

We live in a society uncomfortable with the expression of emotion. We are told to "put on a happy face" and "laugh and the world laughs with you; cry and you cry alone." It is time for a change. In her book Transformation Soup, SARK writes, "I think that until we cry as often as we laugh, we are not fully alive" (p. 136). I like this thought. I don't know how literally to take it. I don't know if the correct ratio of tears to laughter is 50/50 or 40/60 or 25/75. But I know that we need to become as accepting of tears as we are of laughter. We need to feel freer to cry, to scream, to express whatever is in us.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Faces of the Powerful

Note: This strikes me as a piece that cries out for illustrations. However, I don't want to either violate anyone's copyright or pay Reuters for pictures. So instead of inserting pictures, I'm inserting links to articles that have pictures. The articles have nothing to do with this entry; in fact, most of them are quite old. The point is the pictures. So to see pictures of what I'm talking about, click on the links. Thanks for understanding.

As you are no doubt aware, Barack Obama became President of the United States yesterday. He made a beautiful, moving speech about responsibility and sacrifice. That, of course, does not prove anything. Many people can make wonderful speeches and promise all sorts of things without following through. Many people have. But I feel sure that Obama is a man of integrity who will spend his time in office doing the right thing to the best of his ability, rather than covering his butt and sucking up to corporations and the wealthy in order to secure a second term.

How do I know this? Because Obama has something to back up his pretty words. He has his face. I saw a wonderful photo of him on the cover of a magazine, last week's Newsweek I think. He was smiling and looking relaxed and confident. His face is open. He is a man with nothing to hide.

By stark and terrible contrast, here in Canada we have Stephen Harper. Here we have a man whose conception of governance is to alternate attacks against every perceived threat to himself with long vacations and interruptions to Parliment. He has, since taking office, done much that is destructive and almost nothing that is useful and constructive. He is secretive to a degree that is sometimes pathological. He is probably paranoid, which is why he is secretive. And none of this comes as a surprise to me, nor should it to anyone, as it was all plain to read in his face, his distressingly masklike, expressionless face that looks like a Botox treatment gone too far.

We have a new leader of the opposition party. The old leader, Stephane Dion, was not a man of extremes, neither great like Obama nor terrible like Harper, as could be read in his average-looking face, but a good man. Strangely, that wasn't what Canadians wanted, and Dion had to go. His replacement, currently temporary and possibly to become permanent in May (though I hope not) is Michael Ignatieff. Here too, there is something disturbing to be read in the face. It doesn't reach the soulless extremes of the Harper rubber-face, yet all is not well. There is a hardness and an odd squinching up around the eyes, as if either to hold something in or keep something out. His eyes remind me of Karla Homolka's. I don't mean to imply that Ignatieff is like Homolka. I am fairly certain he will neither serve as an accomplice to murder nor mail his underwear to prisoners. Still, this narrowing of the eyes must mean something. I don't know what, but I know it isn't good. I do not have high hopes for Ignatieff.

The mouth can lie, the face does not. If you really want to know your leaders, hit the mute button when their faces appear on your television. If everybody did that before every election, we could probably save ourselves a lot of pain.

Further Reading: "The President's Speech" describes an incident in which brain-damaged people laughed at a televised speech by Ronald Regan, while people with normal brain functioning were taken in. This fascinating essay can be found, along with several other fascinating essays, in The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Yoga Snobs, Part 3: Yoga Versus Psychology?

In the first two installments of this series, I described my experiences with two different Yoga Snobs. Both these incidents happened several years ago. What reminded me of them, and moved me to write about them at this time, was an interview in the latest issue of Ascent Magazine (Winter 2008, issue 40) titled "anarchy of yoga." The subject of the interview is the Yoga Snob under the magnifying glass in this third installment of Yoga Snobs.

Michael Stone is a yoga teacher who studied psychology in the past, but appears to have turned against it:

Western psychotherapy is caught in the delusion that our problems are primarily derived from memories in our personal past. So we go looking to the storehouse of memory in our personal past to heal our wounds in the present. Yoga disagrees.

I find this an interesting statement, not only for its content but for the little back-and-forth dance of tone the speaker executes. He begins with full-tilt arrogance: Western psychology is caught in a delusion. Then, as if realizing too late how he has exposed himself, he backs up: yoga disagrees.

Here's a handy tip on how to keep your disagreements friendly: don't tell your opponent he's deluded.

This is not the first time I've encountered arrogance in the pages of Ascent Magazine. It seems to be all too common among those who are supposed to be on the spiritual path. Sometimes I wish Ascent Magazine would print a disclaimer with their interviews, maybe something along the lines of: "Ascent is not responsible for the arrogance expressed herein. We just do the interview."

Stone goes on to say: "Yoga... is suggesting that the past is fictional. When you talk about your past, you are generating a fiction that gives you a sense of self. ... Health or liberation... from the yoga perspective, is seeing through the mechanism in the mind that always superimposes a self on everything."

There's that bad, naughty story again. Stone appears to be saying that the past is irrelevant, and that the key to health is to live in the present. Certainly it is a good thing to live in the present as much as possible. But surely there is much to be gained from looking at your past experiences and understanding the effect they had on you.

Stone claims he's seen a lot of people who have been through scads of therapy but remain unable to "let go" of their problems. Curiously, he provides no contrasting examples of people who have learned to let go of their problems through the practice of yoga.

Another curious omission: he makes no mention of repression, whether of memories or emotion. The past would indeed have no power to hurt us in the present if we did not drag something of it behind us. In what way do we do that? In part, by storing up repressed emotion, which, until it is released, continues to reside in the body and affect us.

Psychologists are well aware of the importance of releasing repressed emotion. That's why they always have a box of tissues located conveniently close to the couch. Their way of encouraging such a release is to dig up the past. Yoga too can be of help in initiating such a release; since the repressed emotions and memories are stored in the body, the right posture may release them.

But how many yoga students feel free to openly weep or scream in the middle of a class? And how many instructors would encourage such a display, and welcome it when it occurs? In both cases, I would guess the number is close to zero.

Kripalu yoga has an advantage over other yoga forms in this respect. Students are encouraged to sigh or groan after completing a series of postures, offering some opportunity for release. I have my doubts that much open weeping would be tolerated. I don't know what type of yoga Stone teaches or how much noise he encourages his students to make. However, his failure to make any mention of the issue does not give me high hopes.

It is a curious and sad thing that Stone feels yoga and psychology are somehow in opposition. Indeed, why not have both of them? Really, don't we need all the help we can get? What sense does it make to throw out anything potentially useful?

Stone's dismissal of psychotherapy and its "delusions" is ironic, given a comment he himself makes earlier in the interview:

Whenever you create a system, something gets left out. And so when two systems come together, all those left-out pieces come out of the shadows because one system points out the shadow of another system. That's why it is really good to study different systems and different teachers, because it will always point out your shadows.

Stone sees that yoga can point out the shadows of psychology. He does not see that psychology can point out the shadows of yoga. Those are the shadows that will continue to elude him.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Yoga Snobs, Part 2: The Anti-Story Yogi

In the last installment of this series, I described a yogi who, in my belief, chose to look down on certain people for physical reasons. In this installment, I will describe a yogi who looked down on people for reasons more mental/spiritual.

At my yoga studio, we sometimes had guest instructors. There was one in particular who taught a couple of times and then did not come again. I thought it might be interesting to take more of his classes, so I sent him an email asking him where he usually taught. He wrote back and told me that he taught regularly at the Y. We got to chatting. He told me he worked as a speech writer to supplement his yoga income. I told him that I worked as a Technical Writer to make money, but what I really loved was fiction.

His response was that he did not read fiction because fiction was untrue and he was opposed to untruth. He said that "at least" I did technical writing and that was based on fact (as if to say that the writing I did for a living took the curse off the writing I did out of love).

I was flabbergasted. This man thought that his allegedly spiritual, yogic beliefs made it acceptable for him to insult what I did!

I wrote back and pointed out that in fiction, no deceit occurs because there is an understanding between the writer and the reader that what is described is not literally true. On the other hand, there is ample potential for deceit in speech writing, especially when done for politicians.

I never communicated with him again, nor did I attend any of his classes at the Y.

The notion that a story can be a negative thing is not uncommon among yogis and meditators. Someone once told me about a type of meditation whose goal is to help the meditator achieve a state of "no story." I think they were referring to Vipassana, though I have not been able to find any references to "no story" on Vipassana-related web pages. Perhaps it was some other type of meditation beginning with "V." In any case, she explained that people cause problems for themselves and avoid seeing the world accurately by making up stories about the people around them. For example, an insecure person might walk past a group of people, hear them burst into laughter, and conclude they are laughing at him. He does not know this with any certainty; it is a belief, a story he chooses to tell himself. With sufficient practice of the right type of meditation, I have been told, one can free oneself from this habit of hurtful storytelling.

Are we to take this to mean that all fiction and storytelling is to be avoided? That is apparently how this yoga instructor took it. And yet, storytelling is an important feature of every culture on earth. Even Zen Buddhists use stories, called Koans, to teach and illustrate Zen principles. Many of them describe events that (gasp!) never actually happened.

Most likely, the yoga instructor had no problem with this type of instructive storytelling, despite what he said about being opposed to untruth. He would have understood that there is a higher purpose, indeed a higher truth, in such storytelling.

What he didn't understand is that the same is true of all good storytelling. Any decent-quality novel, short story or myth tells "untruths" in order to get at deeper truths. This man's avoidance of fiction is his great loss. I feel a little bit sorry for him. Not that sorry, because he was a jerk, but a little sorry.

Apparently I'm not that spiritually evolved.

Are you a Yoga Snob or a Balanced Yogi? Find out by taking the Yoga Snob Quiz. Actually, this quiz is more of a joke than anything. It's worth doing for the fun of it, and also to generate a signature so that you can show everyone in your forum, or everyone you email, what kind of yogi you are.

Have you ever been the target of a Yoga Snob? Please share your story--yes, story, because stories are good--by leaving a comment. Anyone can post a comment; you do not need to register. Thanks!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Yoga Snobs, Part 1: Snobs and Dabblers

I initially intended to have a single entry about Yoga Snobs, but once I started writing, I discovered I had a lot to say, more than could comfortably fit into a single blog entry. So I divided it into three parts. Parts 2 and 3 will be posted later.

I am a yoga dabbler. Every now and then, I show up at a class. There was a time when I was more committed. I had a specific teacher, studio, and yoga tradition (Kripalu). I went to classes a couple of times a week for two years. Even so, I never progressed beyond a certain level. I never developed a home practice. I never went vegetarian (for more than a couple of weeks at a time). And I never was comfortable doing the Plow, the shoulder stand or the Upward Dog, nor could I balance in the Crow for more than a couple of seconds. Having never attained the upper echelons of yoga, I have the perspective to see that there are upper echelons of yoga, and that there are yoga snobs. I have witnessed yoga snobbery on a couple of occasions. This is one of them.

It was the end of a class. We students were rolling up our mats. The instructor-- let's call her Debbie--approached one of the women (yoga classes are mostly women, as you'll know if you've ever been to one) and asked her if she was planning to go to the picnic. The woman was not aware about the picnic, so Debbie explained that "some of the yogis," as she put it, were planning a picnic, and that she should come along.

I perked up. "What's that? There's going to be a picnic?"

Debbie turned to me with visible reluctance and repeated that some of the yogis were planning a picnic. She did not invite me to come.

I pressed no further, not wanting to impose myself where I wasn't wanted. It was clear enough that the other woman had been selected and I hadn't. As to why, I can only speculate. It wasn't an issue of seniority; in fact, I'd been attending classes at that studio longer than Debbie had been teaching there. So perhaps this other woman was slimmer, younger, or could go more deeply into the Pigeon pose, even possessing the ability, which I didn't have then and still don't have now, to bend the back leg upwards and tuck the foot into the crook of the elbow.

None of that should matter. In yoga, where you are now is supposed to be perfect. The studio's founding instructor--let's call her Kathy--was always careful to remind us not to force or push ourselves too far, and that putting your face in your lap or your nose to your knee is "just a direction you're moving in."

And yet, when I asked her once if she could do a handstand, she said, "Of course!" and sounded insulted.

So apparently this kind of thing does matter.

It is of course possible that Debbie made her selections and exclusions for reasons other than physical. Perhaps she thought the other woman meditated better than I did or was closer to enlightenment. However, it is interesting to note that for a time, Kathy, the studio founder, was fierce in her defense of the idea that one can develop spiritually simply through the practice of the physical poses known as Hatha yoga. She'd gone so far as to promote this idea in the local newspaper, and start what she called "a controversy" (somebody wrote one calmly-worded letter in response). All this, because she believed that Debbie, the invitation-issuing instructor, had "come so far" simply through the practice of Hatha yoga.

It seems, then, that the physical was Debbie's primary focus, and Kathy felt the need to defend the position of the instructor she had chosen to work at her studio. In consequence, she needed to convince others, and perhaps herself, that postures alone could initiate spiritual development.

And yet, there's more to yoga than postures. One of the six branches of yoga is Seva or Selfless Service. I like this one, because it makes a lot more sense to me that you can evolve spiritually by getting out in the world and helping people than that you can do so by wrapping your body into a pretzel.

I'm not saying that there is anything wrong whatsoever with doing only Hatha yoga for the benefits it provides. After all, increased strength and flexibility, relaxation and getting more in touch with your body are all fine achievements in themselves. But anyone who tells herself that she is more spiritual because she does Hatha yoga is heading for trouble.

Come to think of it, anyone who tells herself that she is more spiritual than other people is heading for trouble.

Different people have different bodies that are capable of different things. There are many people who will never be able to get into the full Lotus position, no matter how devoted they are to their practice. Are they lesser than the person who always had wide-open hips, whose body has never been tightened by trauma?

In some circles, the answer is yes. And what a shame this is, as it hurts people like myself, the yoga dabblers of this world, the people who show up for an occasional class when they feel like it. We have as much right to yoga as the more committed, more flexible, more whatever. We have a right to practice in our own way. Indeed, the Yoga Snobs need us. If we go away, who will they feel superior to?

Have you ever encountered a Yoga Snob? I encourage you to share your experiences in the Comments section. Anyone can post a comment; you do not need to register. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Being Erica

Last night was the debut of the new TV series Being Erica. The CBC's been advertising it like mad for the past few weeks. (You Canucks know what I'm talking about. For those of you who live elsewhere, I think--and hope--there is still something in this entry to entertain you.)

Being Erica is the story of a young woman who feels deeply dissatisfied with her life, in all the usual TV ways: her career is going nowhere and her friends are getting married off while she has yet to find a good man. She is haunted by the bad choices she has made in life.

On one terrible day, she gets fired, her date cancels at the last minute, the sky opens up and pours on her, and she goes into anaphylactic shock from drinking a free latté containing nuts. In the hospital, she is approached by a mysterious stranger (funny how many of those there are on TV) who promises to help her turn her life around... by sending her back in time.

We turned in with low expectations, and that was a good thing. Besides offering up a nice assortment of clichés, the show relies heavily on the sexual exploitation of its actress (the delightfully onomatopoeically-named Erin Karpluk) to drum up viewer interest. To some degree, that was made clear in the ads, which show Erica spinning around and magically appearing in a succession of hot-looking outfits. While in one of the outfits, an ensemble involving a little pair of shorts and a shoulder bag, she wiggles her hips unsubtly, not once or twice but five or six times. It was unintentionally hilarious.

Still, I was unprepared for just how low they were willing to stoop. While she is reliving the high school dance that led to her being branded a slut, Erica, despite being completely sober, does something so ridiculous that no one in their right mind would ever do it, something that culminates in her walking into the middle of the party naked but for strips of toilet paper wrapped around her naughty bits.

The shot was as close to soft-core porn as prime-time CBC gets. Why were they willing to squander their character's credibility to achieve it?

James suggested that they did it in order to get the men to watch a show centered on a female character and female interests. But most directors find a display of cleavage to be sufficient. The debut episode of Being Erica had that and much, much more.

This morning, with the salient details still burned into my brain, I found myself wondering how much of a role boob size and shape had played in the casting. You don't get that Penthouse silhouette by sheer chance; they must have made it a priority. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall at that booty, ahem, casting call.

Despite this shameless pandering, and other noticeably protruding flaws on display, there is hope for this show. The ending was a refreshing reversal of expectations, both for Erica and the viewer, and the message a worthwhile one.

Also, for those of us who came of age in the eighties, the soundtrack has ample nostalgia value.

So if you can get past these problems, you might want to tune in. If you're in search of cheesecake, you'll definitely want to.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Shitty Poetry

The world is full of shitty poetry;
you've probably heard some yourself.
It's not on a shelf.

It's read aloud in coffee shops
to the tinkle of laughter and glasses,
or poetry classes,

by people who never rewrite or edit
because they have so much to say.
Sit down. Go away.

It even emerges from precious small presses,
giving the unheard a voice.
Unfortunate choice.

It's loaded down with awkward or
self-conscious metaphor
(it's a bit of a bore),

devoid of feeling but full of pretense,
stretched out with big long words
that fall like turds.

Yes, the world is full of shitty poetry;
we've quite a bit more than we should.
So write something good.