Poetry about enigmatic smiles and offending everyone

This one’s gonna be a doozy.

You see, back on March 26, 2003, I apparently offended someone. This officially puts me Ahead of My Time, as these days, literally everyone is constantly offended all the time always, forever. In fact, I’m ONE HUNDRED PERCENT SURE that the previous sentence just offended someone. And my use of caps lock very likely triggered at least half a dozen people, who will now go blog about it on Tumblr and talk about how I oppressed them by thinking independent thoughts. Ha ha, just kidding—both you and I know that fewer than half a dozen people will ever actually read this.

To be clear, I was actually not even being that hyperbolic in the previous paragraph: in the image you are about to see below, I had to actually crop out half of my “apology,” because even MY APOLOGY would be too offensive for people in a hyper-politically-correct 2015, where Internet Peoples’ skin is about as thick as a sheet of tissue paper wrapped tightly around a blazing pile of firewood.

That having been said, here is the latter half of my apology, followed by a poem about… well, you’ll see (that’s what we call a “tease” in THE BIZ):


March 26, 2003: Rationalizing my offensive poetry

That time I felt the need to explain the concept and use of satire to my Creative Writing teacher, because High Schoolers


The point of my POIEMS was to write the words “fuckin(g)” and “dick/cock” as many times as possible while sarcastically representing the personification of racial & class tension in modern America, a portrait of some of the repressed topics of more primal, lower-class civilization.

No, seriously. I’m not kidding. I don’t think Heather believes me. Girls are weird! And see, I was satirical just then, too (a.k.a. sarcastic, only I used the wrong word). It’s impossible to interpret tone correctly when it’s in writing (particularly by me): insert something about the inadequacy of language here.

O enigmatic smile
So sweet;
I want to stroke its supple contours
I know not what “supple” means
But what it means
To me: Nothing.
Unlike that smile,
So rare, yet so common
A look intrigued only by enigma
Not myself…
But yet myself…
How what ever the reason
I sure did like it
And will remember it until I forget it.

And now it’s time for your favorite segment, THE BREAKDOWN, starring Cody Gough, in which he makes completely unnecessary transitions, specifically calls them out, and then continues with his stupid post. Here we go with thoughts (or “Thotes,” depending on your level of investment into this web site):

  • I like my candid admission that I only wrote certain things because they allowed me curse profusely on paper in a class in high school. That’s what you get for sending me to public school, Mom and Dad!
  • “Heather” was a good friend in high school, and I actually interacted with her in Chicago many times while we both lived in the city. She’s awesome. However, she was 2003’s version of “one of those people” who has “empathy” for other human beings and chooses to be offended by certain things (re: vegan), so I’m sure that something I wrote or said in class bothered her, leading to something being said to the teacher. The omitted portion of this note is more of a justification than an apology for my actions, but it is so crass by today’s standards that I’d rather not publish it here.
  • I have no idea what I said in the first place that was upsetting, but I imagine it was something like “I like girls” or “happy hump day.”

I do find it very telling about my personality that apparently I had the same marked disdain for excessive political correctness and walking on eggshells that I do today. But let’s get to the poem now:

  • If I had to guess, I’d say that I saw someone’s smile, would have described it as “enigmatic,” and then proceeded to launch into a ridiculous tangent about the word “supple,” despite it not really having anything to do with the smile or what I thought about it.
  • “Not myself… necessarily… / But yet myself… maybe…” is probably based on a thought that the smile reminded me of my own smile in some way; however, the prose I chose to Bose® speakers into your heart is parodic at best, read as if I were deeply exploring some incredibly profound insight into whether my and her souls were somehow bound together  and I saw a blurring of identities from some grand cosmic scale.
  • I actually really like the end of the poem, which, after leveraging verbiage that suggested some sort of delve into the deep spiritual meaning of identity, immediately pretty much says “jk, nvm, gg” and peace outs of the poem with a disinterested shrug.


…and the second part will be covered in my next post.

This post is part of Cody’s “10-Year Idea Reunion” series, in which Cody revisits his creative writing class assignments 10+ years after writing them. Learn more about Cody’s Idea Reunion and subscribe on WordPress to follow along!


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About Cody Gough

Cody Gough is a podcast and digital media executive and award-winning producer. Among his accomplishments, most notably he spent more than a decade on-air at Chicago's WGN Radio, and later produced and hosted more than 1,000 episodes of Discovery's award-winning educational podcast, Curiosity Daily. Cody is a podcast professional specializing in audio programming and production. What sets him apart is that he's a terrestrial radio professional AND a digital native with a social media marketing background. This means he's able to combine the radio industry's 100+ years of learnings with digital content expertise to make superior podcasting strategies and content. As an established radio veteran, Cody spent more than a decade producing and hosting shows on Chicago's prestigious 720 WGN Radio. There, he helped launch the WGN Plus podcast network, where he hosted their first and only dedicated video game podcast, Game/Life Balance U.S. In addition to his broadcast experience, Cody has written for various outlets, including Curiosity.com, the GonnaGeek Network, and HuffPost. He's also a graduate of several improv programs in Chicago (including the Second City Conservatory) and has written and performed for a variety of theater, film, and web productions, as well as industrial/commercial videos.

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