Poetic License to Kill This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
I'm not suicidal or anything, but sometimes I just want to shoot myself. You know that feeling when boredom reaches the brink of no return? When you're just itching to slam your book down, leave the classroom and tour the country in the back of various pick-up trucks? Maybe my English class isn't that bad, but it's certainly close. We're on our fourth unit of poetry this year. Did I mention it's only October? My teacher was a starving artist before he applied to be a babysitter at this no-name high school, so now we must all suffer with him and learn the art of the written world. It's not even flu season and I already need to puke.
Today we're being called up to read poems that reflect ourselves. It took a lot of self-restraint not to write about how much I think Artist McGee sucks. I would personally fund his artistic ventures for the next year if it meant he'd leave.
Corner-Girl is called next. The podium in the class is at least twice her size, and it probably has a bigger social network than her as well. Corner-Girl, Corner-Girl, what is your name? Maybe the teacher knows. He seems to be drawing a blank. Come on, we've dragged ourselves to your class for seven weeks; you should know the names of your victims by now. His face eventually releases itself from the contortion caused by a good brain picking.
Corner-Girl, Jenny, stands up next to recite her poem. Slow, deliberate steps lead her to the front. She looks pale. Black dyed hair on stark white skin just yearns for a spray tan like every other girl on campus. She looks like a coloring book that never made it into the hands of a child, the lonely religious one left on the store shelf. Sorry Jenny, we can't all be puppies and super-heroes. She carefully positions her hair one last time. For not caring about what people think of her, she sure puts a lot of effort into her looks. Finally, she begins, but we all know it will be another wannabe whiny poem. Blah blah blah, her boyfriend dumped her. Blah blah blah, he left her for a friend. Really? I thought these were supposed to be based on previous personal experiences. Jenny's words start to blur, but I can just imagine that they're making Harry Potter seem more and more realistic. Boyfriend my butt. There's more talking from the front. Maybe if I start listening, I'll be able to tell how soon she'll be done. Never mind, too much effort.
I hear snickering and phase back in for a moment. "Crimson ink floods the white, translucent paper. I feel dizzy. This week, my life has ended." The Neanderthals in the back start hooting some more. I hear the alpha male holler "Is she talking about her period or her wrists?"" My lips smirk automatically, but quickly revert to their blank position. I can't let the jocks know they've said something clever. My gut feeling says that their skulls cannot contain any more pride within their pin-size constraints, so it'd be best not to let this brief moment of wit go to their heads. I don't remember when Jenny ran back to her seat, but I suddenly realize how much more noticeable the heat is when no one is talking.
Alpha Male stands. He seems to be ready to reaffirm his dominance over his fellow cavemen. I hear his throat being cleared, once, twice, three times. Does he need water, or did he forget how to pronounce the first word again? You'd think writing it yourself would deter this problem, but you'd be wrong. The class is silent. The last time we heard Alpha Male read aloud, he talked about the tribe of Africa. As in a single tribe stretching from coast to coast. Last time I checked, Africa was a continent, but hey, Alpha Male sounded legit. What was originally intended to be a cultural investigation turned into a comedic presentation. Good job, Alpha Male. You're getting smarter. Instead of struggling through these assignments, you've found someone to write them for you. Kudos to you for taking initiative Alpha Male, your stupidity has no rivals; you are the rightful leader.
When Alpha Male takes his seat, I mentally apologize to whoever is asked to go next. It's tough to follow an act as good as his. Princess Crystal Rainbow Moonbeam is chosen. Once, someone told me her name was actually Sarah. The subject of her epic is the epiphany she had a few years back, in which a loud voice told her to shed her mediocre past and restart as Princess. I find it sad that this poem is actually based on truth. I also find it scary. In either case, it’s too bad this class doesn't have a narc; it'd be pretty easy to weed this girl out from the crowd. I think I hear her mention fighting the government. All I know is that the princess must have a hookup, because her bandanna and shawl ensemble are looking pretty fly, in that rhinestone and alpaca wool sort of way. Moonbeam flutters on down to her seat. Congratulations, you didn't even need to follow a trail of bread crumbs to get back. Why is this class still in session? Is there seriously time for one more? The princess would have made an excellent close to the presentations.
We've reached an awkward moment. It's pretty quiet save for the Neanderthals in the back, and the orange pack of girls swapping stories of the weekend. I can't help but distance myself from them; I have a secret fear that they'll rub off on me. I guess McDonald's is always hiring....
Artist McGee looks like he needs some help. Technically there's time for one more, and I could volunteer...but I won't. Instead, I open my notebook back up. The first few pages house neat, carefully taken notes from the first couple days of school. From when I didn't know what I was in store for. But flip a few pages and the bullets start making way for doodles. Swirls and caricatures fill the pages; geometric designs and my favorite lyrics stand as replacement for the work this book was intended for. My pen starts moving and with that I cease all efforts to stay tuned in on the class' activities.
Everyone’s getting up. Did my ears miss the sweet, sweet, sound of the bell? Did Artist McGee excuse us early? I don’t care. I’m up and ready to go. I get a handout as I approach the door telling us that our next unit is on horror stories. Here’s a horror story: it’s only October, and I have to keep returning to this class for months. The only thing I have to look forward to is that my doodling may just improve to the level of Artist McGee. Now that's a future to aspire. Cue scary music, I think might start talking to Corner-Girl, because my life feels over just about now.





Join the Discussion

This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

..RJ.. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 21, 2011 at 11:05 pm
that was so funny! haha, i love it :)
 
itchyriver replied...
Jul. 22, 2011 at 12:40 am
Thanks so much c:
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback