Dark & Cerebral? Apparently that’s me!

Most people who know my work wouldn’t think to describe it as “dark and cerebral,” would they? At least, not compared to most of my contemporaries! But on two separate occasions recently, that is exactly what I have been called! And one of those was a gig that I LOST because of it. A Fortune 500 company (actually, they’re in the top 50) hired me to write a poem for a new product they were releasing. I didn’t have to name the product and was not given a list of anything I had to be sure to include; I wouldn’t have done that. This was NOT part of the advertising campaign. It was for a live event that was going to be part of the overall release, something to which “mommy-bloggers,” lifestyle editors, and other “influencers” were going to be invited. All I had to do was write a poem that grappled with this question: Why do the things we LOVE the most also stink the most? Great question, right!? They showed me some of the spots that were going to run on TV, and they were all about dogs, and kids, and pickups. But the poem I wrote was about how love itself smells. That’s the problem. And I talked about how we secretly love the stink! That was probably the beginning of the end for me, that I was arguing in FAVOR of the existence their product was trying to eliminate. At the end of the poem, I spoke of my wife’s Pilates outfit and how if she were to die I would NEVER wash it ever again. Their response? “We like the fact that you mentioned Pilates!”