Monday, June 17, 2019

Broetry is a book of poems that are bad for the wrong reasons

During a recent bout of insomnia, I picked up Broetry which I had gotten as part of a bundle of electronic books. It is allegedly low brow poetry for people who don’t appreciate ‘real’ poetry. Which really makes me wonder if the author missed decades of the urban poetry movement. I’d have to say that it fails on so many levels that it’s downright fascinating.

Many years ago, back when I still occasionally listed to Smodcast, Kevin Smith found a dictated diary that he made as a teenager. He and his cohost found it hysterical to find out how pretentious he was back then and named his younger self Emo Kev.

If Emo Kev chugged a case of cheap beer and attempted to write poetry, the result would be like Broetry.

Broetry is supposed to be funny but it’s a little too earnest to be comedic. And, contrary to claiming to low brow, it’s more whiny and pretentious than low brow. It’s less low brow and more middle class after it got kicked out of the house.

I will give it this. With its obsessions with girls and pop culture, Broetry takes me back to so many conversations in college and the years immediately following college. It’s not low brow. It’s trying to figure out how to be an adult and failing.

I think the poems would be stronger if they were either more raw while not trying to be funny or more silly without trying to be deep. One extreme or the other would have worked much better.

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