Poetry & Me

Way in the back of the closet underneath my loft, there’s a red file cabinet filled with OLD writings. If I ever feel inclined to do an archeological expedition, I would find poems I wrote from the age of twelve through college. Sometime after college I abandoned poetry in favor of prose. I’m not sure why or how this came about, but it did. Perhaps it was the hopelessness I felt in the poetry writing class I took in college—hopelessness born from having to read and encourage the work of fellow college poets—or maybe it was simply a need to tell a story straight out?

Whatever the reason, I all but ended my interest in poetry at the age of 22. Pretty much, but not completely as I would periodically venture into haikus for fun and would often read the nonsense poems of Lewis Carroll for the rolling sound of the words.

Back in June, I decided to run a MONSTER POETRY CONTEST on Candy’s Monsters blog and I wrote the rules of the contest in the form of a silly poem (see below). In July, while I was attending the International Tango Week at El Corte in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, Eric Jorissen (the fiendish tango mind behind El Corte) asked me to write a poem to commemorate each day of the week-long festival. I think he planned to use my poems on his website, but my terrible haikus, limericks and such never made it to the site. Still I wrote at least one poem every day and enjoyed the craziness of the process.

That brings me to the contest. As a writer, but not a poet, I’m inviting all of you to experiment with sonnets, free verse, and every poetic form you can think of or dream up. As long as the content is MONSTROUS it’s in the running for the grand prize. Poetry and me have not always gotten along, but we will do battle on a monstrous front during the month of October.

The scary file cabinet loaded with old poems, bad novels, horrifying short stories and more...

The scary file cabinet loaded with old poems, bad novels, horrifying short stories and more…

(Note… you can enter here in the comments section, send an email OR—as soon as I figure out how to fix it—on the Contest Page, too.)



Roses are red

Poetry is dead

It’s time for a resurrection

Monsters howling through sonnets

Dressed in terrifying bonnets

Let your imagination flow


Growling clever couplets

With gruesome bloody droplets

There is no style too trite for invention

The dark side of Haiku

A ghost, shrieking boo hoo!

It will shiver and slither and glow


Vampires like free verse

Are they alone in the universe?

The deadline will have no extension

Sharpen your pencils and stakes

See how long it takes

A werewolf will make sure you know


To rhyme or not to rhyme

That’s one question of mine

You’ll answer with little pretention

So roses are red

Zombies are dead

Time to start writing—ready, steady, GO!


Rules of the game:

The contest is open to monstrous poems of all kinds & styles, as long as the subject matter is MONSTERS. The poems will be judged on their merit—writing style and cleverness—length will not be a factor, so Haiku, limericks and other short form poems are as welcome as long form creations. Rhyming schemes, free verse, concrete and other forms are all acceptable entries.

Two ways to enter:

If you are feeling brave, enter with a public post of your poem on the Candy’s Monsters Contest Page. If you are feeling shy, send your submission to candy@sweetcopy.com with the heading MONSTER POETRY in the subject line.


ONE winner will be announced on October 31. The winner’s poem will be featured on the Candy’s Monsters blog & Facebook page, and the winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift certificate. NYC based monster-loving poets, may opt for a $20 Strand Book store gift certificate instead.


  1. Thank you for the opportunity to enter your competition. Below is my untitled entry.

    Fear not the bogeyman
    For he can
    Do you no harm.
    There is a charm
    In the unreal ghost and ghoul,
    Yet only the fool
    Fears creations of the mind.

    In the human heart we find
    Demons surpassing those seen in any art.
    The abuser’s dread hand
    Does command
    Obedience from the abused,
    While the confused
    Continue to dread
    Those long since dead.