‘a sonnet for the junk food writer’

to be digested

‘Chew and swallow’ or ‘God forsaken’ clichés
Your stale ideas are ‘chipped off the old block’
‘Average Joes‘ ‘shoot for the moon’ through a phrase
Loud recitations. ‘tick-tock.’ “Shut up you clock!”
Your melodrama makes us ‘deaf, blind, and dumb’
Singsong ‘to the max,’ this must ‘come to a stop’
Thoughtlessly ‘scream at the top of your lungs’
With a ‘God Bless America’ ‘cherry on top’

Savor novility, mmhmm, creatiliscious
Not chugging cheap beers, trans fat heavy snacks
The result, a word barf, chunks stuck to the page
Cook the mood, setting, and strife…delicious
Gourmet taste and quality! Not pages filled
So ‘chew and swallow’ your ‘God forsaken’ clichés

About chriskaspar

Music, Art, Jesus; These are things I love!
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2 Responses to Cliche’

  1. Lua says:

    This was amazing! Couldn’t have said it in a better way- say no to clichés! 🙂

  2. Kais says:

    Thought-provoking, Chris

    I went through a similar spell where I was burnt out of reading cliches and ‘stale ideas’. Most of what I read – especially in lyrics – seemed to simply be a forged set of phrases the author heard and pieced together to called his/her own. I wanted so badly (and still do) for everything (down to the question of “Should I use an adjective here? Which one? Should I not? How can I most accurately convey this landscape//thought/contour in my mind?”) in spoken and written word to ACTUALLY be original. I meet people like this sometimes, and they are usually weird eclectic. And all I want to do is hear them talk.

    But we can’t rely on those rare run-ins with eclectics (at least they seem to be rare in C-stat) to be the only thing that grows us in this area. It’s too rare. So here are a couple thoughts:

    1) There’s a continuum of originality. One end is eclecticism/high originality and the other is formulated, non-thought provoking heard before phrases. Unless you want to make a living as a writer, shoot for the first. (Though I hope that if someone is actually highly original and not faking it, then they’d be able to make a career out of the millions of people in awe of their weirdness! This happens sometimes, but these creative people tend to be awfully Epicurean with drugs and mugs). That way, if your originality DOES bring a living, then it’ll be no pressure to continue what you’re doing!

    2) One thing that helped me was going back and listening/analyzing the lyrics that have always seemed to model this sort of creative and intentional word choice, where every word mattered. Radiohead, Bright Eyes, mewithoutyou, Nickel Creek, Jon Foreman. Some older guys too – Paul Simon, Cat Stevens…these writers usually steer clear of cliches, unless it’s to prove a point.

    Point being: if you’re frustrated with how something affects you, change the source. We have the power to choose what we let come in.

    3) I have a book for you. I think it’ll help dive into these thoughts some more. It’s yours to borrow next time I see you.

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