Breaking Rules and Making Too Many References to Pop Culture

Poem three is out early this week! I set out this week to write a triversen but the internet and inspiration conspired against it. First off, I had an idea for a poem bouncing around in my head over the weekend, which sparked while scrolling through Facebook.

If that sentence, or at least the last part horrifies you, that’s fair. Social media is railed against (and rightly so) for being designed to inspire jealousy—Instagram posts of perfect meals, vacation updates on Facebook, and so on. The only thing worse than the jealousy it inspires is the navel-gazing. Add to that the ephemerality of the platforms (baked in, like Snapchat, or unintentional, like Myspace) and any piece of writing that references social media will probably feel self-involved and out-of-date in months.

But in the immortal words of Icona Pop, I don’t care, I love it. And I got this feeling that that reference will make sense forever. Which is a good jumping off point for the poem, so before I get to the second point, here it is:

Not Mutable

We’re not friends
on Facebook
but I
know you

because of her
repetitive posts
and pictures
and you

always look
the same-age
won’t touch you
like us

So the Facebook inspiration is up front, but the second conspirator was my internet connection, which went down while I was getting ready to write. Here in Ethiopia, though, I’ve learned to assume I probably won’t have internet when I want it so I was prepared. I couldn’t look up the exact definition of a triversen because I had only bookmarked the link but I did have some William Carlos Williams poems lying around in shelved collections.

As a result, you might notice some similarities to “This is Just to Say” and “The Red Wheelbarrow.” When internet returned, I looked up the rules of triversen and found out that neither actually qualified. I thought about re-writing this but ultimately came to the conclusion and theme of this post, I don’t care, I like it.