Poetry Friday: “The Grossest Poem, Ever”

“And now for something completely different…”

And by ‘different,’ I mean the complete and utter antithesis of the pastoral, reflective, poem-y stuff I’ve been throwing at you the last couple of weeks.

The idea for this came to me after reading some poems – from somewhere I don’t recall – about dirt and boogers and monsters and such.  Icky, disgusting things.  But the poems, to me, fell short in one area – none of them were really gross.  Overboard gross.  Top-of-the-trash-heap, knock-a-buzzard-off-a-manure-wagon gross.

I decided that what the world needed, at that very moment in time, was the Grossest Poem, Ever…and by gosh, I was just the person for the job.

It was fortunate for me that I wrote it, too, because it formed the basis of one of my current manuscripts – a poetry collection of gross, weird, and disgusting things, from vomit to vampires, mud pies to milk bubbles.  (What’s that, you say?  Milk bubbles aren’t gross?  They are when I get hold of ’em!)  I still need to write another 5 or 6 poems to complete the manuscript, but it has taken a backseat to my current project, that winter-themed collection I’ve told you about.

So as always, I hope you like my Poetry Friday offering; it’s definitely ‘different!’  And for more poems, Marjorie at Paper Tigers has the whole Poetry Friday list!

The Grossest Poem, Ever

The poem you’re about to read
Is neither smart nor clever;
It is, however, possibly
The grossest poem ever.

The plot is thin, the story weak,
The rhymes are very simple;
It hints at things like hairy warts
And how to pop a pimple.

It deals with snot and mucus, too,
And phlegm and giant boogies;
It mentions puke and pus and poo
And slimy yellow loogies.

This poem, I should warn you now,
Might make your belly sicken;
Especially the part about
How toe jam starts to thicken.

It talks about the stuff inside
An ugly, swollen blister
And why you shouldn’t pick your scabs
And throw them at your sister.

It uses words like “stinky pits”
And “vomit,” “barf,” and “spew;”
“Regurgitate” and “smelly belch”
And “hurl,” to name a few.

So there it is – the grossest poem!
Thanks for getting through it;
I only wrote it ‘cause my teacher
Said I shouldn’t do it.

-Matt Forrest Esenwine

33 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “The Grossest Poem, Ever”

  1. Not exactly Yeats, is it, Renee? Oh, well.

    Someone at my writer’s group asked why I spent the entire poem talking about the poem – but then never actually got into a narrative or anything. I told them the whole point was that the writer (presumably a student) just wrote it for the sheer grossness of it! Thanks for stopping by.


  2. Kathy Brodsky


    That could be a book – a picture book. Kids would love it!!!! Yay for Matt!!!!!!!!


    Kathy Brodsky (603) 668-1975 kathy@kathybrodsky.com http://www.kathybrodsky.com http://www.helpingwords.com

    Quoted in the Wall St. Journal: http://tinyurl.com/wsj2010; My Bent Tree &The Inside Story honorable mention Green Book Festival 2010; The Winner Is & Stover Creative Child Preferred Choice Award 2011; A Horse Named Special – Creative Child Magazine 2012 Picture Book of the Year Award.


  3. Sorry, Matt: I am sure children would love cocaine if you gave it to them. I wouldn’t lower myself with this type of verse. My aim is to bring more beauty into children’s lives, not ‘gross’! When it comes to poetry I am a purist believing our children should be lifted into a world of beautiful language not encouraged to read or hear such lowly language. I wish I had been too ‘busy’ to read this post.


    1. I’m sorry you don’t like it, Lee…but I understand everyone has different tastes. As I’ve mentioned to others before, I write whatever comes to me and then I try to figure out what to do with it; who knows if that collection will even come to fruition. But there’s a reason why that’s on hold, and I’m enjoying putting my winter-themed collection together so much right now – because the poetry IS of a higher calibre (I’m really excited about it, to be honest). I do hope you won’t be too busy to come back next week, though – I’ll be featuring an adult poem, an autumn-themed sonnet!


      1. It isn’t I don’t ‘like it’…I detest this type of worse-than-light verse. I surely know everyone has ‘different tastes’. I only hope they won’t ‘taste’ this stuff. Any editor who would take on such a project should be fired!


  4. Dear Matt: I have read your work including some of your winter-themed poetry which is beautiful. I would just love to you go forward with lovely language, unique thoughts, you can — and will — provide children to sit back, sigh, and say, “Yeah, thats what it is all about! This guy knows ME!”


    1. I do hope kids – as well as adults – feel that way, Lee. In fact, one of the reasons I’m so excited about my winter collection is that it’s so diverse, stylisticly; some poems are introspective, some are funny, I have a villanelle, a triolet, a haiku, a waka, and I’m very proud of them. I’m quite eager to hand you a copy when (not if!) it’s published!


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  6. Okay. That person in your writer’s group who didn’t get the whole point of a poem that talks about what it’s about but never actually gets to what it’s about? They don’t know kids. This poem is all kind of perfect. My 5th graders would LOVE it. We had no less than 5 poems about gross stuff shared during PF yesterday!


    1. That’s the way kids are. Sometimes when I’d do an in-school workshop, I’d ask for ideas – and the smart-alecks in the back would shout out words they thought would get me flustered or get them in trouble. They’d often be shocked when I’d go ahead and use one of them!


    1. To be clear, I do want to add that I agree wholeheartedly with Lee’s comment about “When it comes to poetry I am a purist believing our children should be lifted into a world of beautiful language” — this type poem is not the kind I enjoy personally. But I honor your journey and believe every step is important. Also, now I’m dying to read your winter poems!


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