Kydd U. Naught: Advice That Doesn’t Suck

Q: I’ve always wanted to read my poetry at an open mic night, but I’m too scared everyone’s going to laugh. How do I overcome my fear and finally achieve my dream?

A: Dear Shakespeare,

There is just one trick you need to learn to make all your fears go away. As someone who has attended many poetry readings, I have witnessed and discreetly laughed at the worst of the worst, but such poets are going to be the cure to your stage fright.

You’ll know you’re listening to the worst of the worst when the person’s first poem contains at least two of the following words: blood, black, dark, lonely, soul, pain or death, and focuses on self-inflicted injuries, suicide, broken hearts or being an outsider. There will be at least one of these at every open mic night ever, but interestingly, you will instantly recognize this poet as a white, upper-middle-class college student whom you suspect has not really suffered a day in his or her life.

Furthermore, you will recognize this person by a poem about wanting to “cut their wrists and black their eyes,” (yeah, I just called out Hawthorne Heights), or by a heavy reliance on clichés like “black as night” or “crimson rose” and lines plagiarized directly from Poe. When you’ve spotted your target you need only to follow two steps to alleviate your worries. Step one: Suffer through the poet’s set until the end. Step two: As soon as he or she gets off the mic, do whatever it takes to get to it next. I’m serious. Whatever it takes – throw some ’bows if you have to. The exaggerated sufferer will have induced such pain in everyone in the audience that if the next poet has even miniscule talent, he or she will look like a regular Mary Oliver in comparison.

Go get ’em, champ.

Q: One of my professors this term is totally cute! How do I make a move?

A: Dear Intellectual Gold Digger,

You find yourself sitting in class staring longingly at Dr. X. He’s charming, brilliant and knows everything about everything (as long as it’s within the subject he teaches). He always asks you (and everyone else) how you are doing and takes extra time to help you (because that’s what he’s paid to do). He waves at you and says hi when you run into each other at the bars downtown (before he promptly dashes off to another location). And, hey, you thought you even caught him checking you out that one time, you know, that ONE time?

Maybe he really was checking you out, but there’s only one move you need to make at this point, and that’s right out the door after class.

Right out the door, I said!


One Response to Kydd U. Naught: Advice That Doesn’t Suck

  1. Ben Dover says:


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