December 7 2000

Ninjatron: Published Poet.

Ninjatron is going to talk about a very important issue effecting today's society.

We've all tried it at one point in time. Most of us would rather not admit it in this day in age, yet there are those who revel in it. Some even make a living off of it. However, despite its adverse effects on the brain, millions and millions of youths are sucked down its moral sewer each and every year.

Of course, I am talking about poetry.

There is one organization who does nothing but throw fuel onto this already raging inferno of debauchery. That organization is known as The International Library of Poetry.

For years the ILoP has encouraged budding writers to submit their poetry to them, with promisees of prizes to be won. $10,000 prizes. Now, through the www.poetry.com web site, anyone can easily enter their own poems over the Internet for a chance to win the big money.

Back in September, when I first discovered this web site, I could sense something strange about this operation. So, I decided to do a little bit of Ninja investigation.

I would submit... my own poem.

But not just any poem. Oh no, for this investigation to truly bear fruit, I must have submitted a poem with absolutely no artistic value at all. I had to write a poem so ridiculous that there would be no way that anyone could examine it and find some hidden redeeming value.

I had to write... a stupid poem.

I had to write a stupid poem... about PIE.

And this is what I came up with.

stupid poem

As you can plainly read, this poem is junk. It's simply about pie. Pie is not a metaphor for life or religion or capitalism. There is nothing else that anyone can get out of this poem other than PIE. Not only that, but macaroni is spelt wrong. However, as I would find out some 5 weeks later, ILoP must have thought much differently.

I received a letter in the mailbox from ILoP, from which anyone could read my "masterpiece" through a plastic window. My parents read it. Mom thought it was "cute". Little did they know the importance of this letter as evidence against these moral deviants. For inside the letter, the so called "Managing Editor" Howard Ely wrote this..

stupid letter

Hmm... really now. I wish I was a fly on the wall while the suits at poetry.com were "carefully reading and discussing" Pie is so good. It must have been a truly gripping conversation. Imagine if I actually won the money on a random draw. They'd probably want to show off the winning poem, and I bet some "real" poets would be unhappy about the pie poem being worth $1,000. How embarrassing!

And the letter goes on...

more stupid letter

Yeah, and I bet it'll make a great door stop too. Wow, "Natures Echoes". What a fitting name for a book containing a poem about pie. The letter is full of complements, like how proud I should be of my accomplishment, and how they selected the poem for its "unique perspective and artistic vision". I thought it was pretty obvious that my poem lacked both of those qualities, so I guess *gasp*... they never read it!

But that's not all!

stupid mug stupid calender

Through poetry.com, you can buy your very own "Pie is so Good" merchandise! Be the coolest kid at school or around the office as you show off your devotion to the poem sensation that's sweeping the nation!

The "Pie is so Good" mug is great for adding extra pieness to your favorite beverage. Drink from it while eating pie! Drink from it while eating macaroni! The possibilities are endless. It's also got a useful handle, great for holding the mug while smacking yourself in the face after repeated readings of "Pie is so Good".

The "Pie is so Good" calendar can make every day brighter with the power of pie. Imagine, 365 days of "Pie is so Good"! Plus, what better way to say I love you than with a "Pie is so Good" greeting card! Show that you care by giving the card about pie!

stupid apron stupid shirt

While wearing the "Pie is so Good" apron, your home cooked pies and freshly boiled macaroni will taste even better than anything that anyone has ever tasted, including macaroni pie!

And you are sure to land that hot date while sporting your "Pie is so Good" T-Shirt. No one can resist the charms of a man or woman who isn't afraid to show off their obsession with baked-goods!

It should be obvious by now that poetry.com is exploiting would-be poets into sending in poems and then selling their own work back to them, no matter how awful the poems are.

Looks like they'll take any old lousy poem at all, regardless of quality, and spit it back at you with a few compliments in the same form letter that all the other writers get, with the hopes that you'll be stupid enough to send them 40 bucks to read your own poem in a book full of other poems that are probably just as bad as yours.

I'm not saying that there are not any poems better than my "Pie is so Good". I can't say I'm an avid poetry fan, but chances are that a lot of writers have submitted some fairly good poems thinking that this operation is legit. However, the quality of the poem is irrelevant when people are dumb enough to fall for this scam. ILoP doesn't care if the poem is really any good or not, but they'll be happy tell you that they like it and talk you into giving them your money.

I, however, had a great time humiliating them, and I also had a good time by play the Poetry in Motion version of "Pie is so Good!" Here are some examples.

stupid game

There used to have a link to it, but it was taken down after Poetry.com figured out that I was making fun of them.

Now, if anyone wants a "Pie is so Good" T-Shirt, you will be destroyed.

"Too much pie, that's your problem!" -Grandpa Simpson

Update!

December 15 2000

Moments after I first uploaded this article, I received another letter from ILoP, and if you thought the first one was bad, you have got to read this.

First, a message from poetry.com director, Alex Hanley.

Your poem can now be enjoyed by 100 million people at the click of a mouse!

Congratulations! Because of the wonderful poetic talent you have exhibited in your work, your poem has been chosen to be featured on the definitive Internet poetry Web site, www.poetry.com

Millions of people from all over the world (including your own family and friends!) will now have the opportunity to see and appreciate your artistry--just as you will be able to enjoy the work of other fine poets. We're pleased to be able to provide you with this exciting free service.

When you visit www.poetry.com, you can locate your poem by simply entering your name in the "Search for a Poet" box located on our homepage. You will be able to read your poem, solve poetry puzzles (for daily cash prizes), enter exciting poetry contests, and enjoy many other fun and exciting poetry activities.

Again, thank you very much for your unique poetic contribution. It is our pleasure to be able to publish fine poets like yourself, both on the Internet and in our highly sought-after, deluxe hardbound anthologies.

Riiiight...

Did you catch that? It says that millions of people can read my poem by searching for my name. Now, honestly, how likely is that? I don't know millions of people. Millions of people don't know me. If you look around Poetry.com and actually try to look for poems, you're in for a long, long night, because there's no way to read most of the poems online without knowing the name of the author. There are, of course, several prominent links to more contests and shops for buying your poetry on a variety of merchandise. That must be the "exciting poetry activities" he was talking about. Now there's an oxymoron.

And speaking of merchandise, I also got an order form for my very own "Pie is so Good" walnut-finished, lucite coated, commemorative plaque! It's got a little picture of what it would look like. I think it goes without saying that it looks ridiculous. These kinds of letters must be done automatically by computers because there's no way that a human can process putting "Pie is so Good" on their plaque graphic without laughing to death.

This isn't even the worst thing, either. The funniest was yet to come, for also inside this envelope was a little yellow letter from Howard Ely that said...

Special Tape Acceptance Notice

Every so often, as our Editors read through the poems we are preparing for publication, they personally select a few poems that they believe would display a wonderful expressive quality if read by a professional reader. Your Editor believes that your poem is one of those exceptional poems that can be superbly presented, not only in print, but also through the spoken word. And I heartily agree.

As a special service to those few poets to whom this applies, we can now feature your artistry on a high-quality cassette tape or compact disc. Your poem will be professionally presented-along with ten other of our very best poems-on the recording The Sound of Poetry- a collection series of favorite poems chosen by The International Library of Poetry. Beautiful baroque music and a brief commentary about each poem serve as a prelude to the selected artistry.

Imagine you, your family and friends enjoying a fantastic poetic album featuring your poetry! What a great historical record.

You won't find this service offered on the enclosed order form because it applies to only a few poets, but if you wish to lake advantage of this opportunity (just $29.95 each, plus $4.00 postage), send us a note or use the back of the order form. Please remember to enclose your check or money order, or specify your credit card number and expiration date with your choice of cassette tape or compact disc. And, as always, your satisfaction is assured with an unconditional money-back guarantee.

One final note. If you have friends or relatives who have also sent us poems for our contests, please be aware that this offer may not he available to them, as it has only been extended to those individuals whose poems have been personally chosen by our Editors as having that special quality that can be expressed through the spoken word.

I wish I was making this up, but this actually came in the mail. Someone must have spiked the water cooler at Poetry HQ while they were "personally" selecting the poems for this particular scam.

Subliminal Message

So, a "Professional reader"? Hey, I can read. How can I get paid to do that? Obviously, there can't be any professional readers working at poetry.com, because if they think that my poem is worth over $30 on a CD, then there is no way in hell that they actually even read it. Either that, or they think I am stupid enough to fall for this scam because I wrote such a stupid poem.

Still, I am intrigued by this, and I have to wonder what "Pie is so Good" would sound like with a professional reading set to music. While I don't really feel like paying $40 for it, if my loyal fans were to make donations, I would buy a copy and make an MP3 for us all to listen to.

So ends this chapter of the epic battle between Ninjatron and the International Library of Poetry. What further carnage awaits? Only time will tell.

Whatever. Who cares?

Sayonara.

Poetry.com
Poetry.com, SykoGrafix owns you!

Tell Ninjatron how much you like pie at the contact page.

Special thanks to Robert at my favorite web site, X-Entertainment. You can read his experience with poetry.com here.

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