Me: So, what did you do in school today?
Captain Jelly Belly, Age 15, Grade 10: We are doing poetry in English class, UGH.
Me: Oh, I kind of like poetry. What did you do?
CJB: We did this one about a wheelbarrow. It was so lame! There was like, eight words in it!
Me: Oh, William Carlos Williams! He’s great, but I can see your point. You have to work for it.
CJB: You have to work for all poetry. It’s like the chicken wing of writing. You do all this work to get this tiny little thing out of it, and then the chicken wing gets all the credit for being SO tasty, when you had to dig and dig for almost nothing.
Me: That is actually pretty brilliant.
CJB: I just don’t like the way you have to interpret everything. Everyone comes away thinking something different. They should just say what they want to say.
Me: But that’s the good thing. It’s like sharing something with the author. You and he together have made something and that something might be different than him and someone else.
CJB: That’s dumb. It’s like conspiracy theories. There’s like, eight words there, and you keep adding and adding and looking and looking and stringing things together until suddenly you magically connect it into one BIG IDEA and everyone freaks out. But really there’s NOTHING THERE on the page, and you have created a big fuss over nothing.
Me: You are kind of making me re-think all of poetry here.
CJB: Saving one lost jedi at a time, mom. It’s what I do.