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Bad Poetry

by John Jacob


I am a baby My Day? Eat sleep poop It is a good life

In 1983 while I adjusting to life outside the womb, ARPANET, is split into military and civilian sections paving the way for the Internet. Return of the Jedi was still in theaters and Micheal Jackson’s thriller album was #1. The federal deficit in 1983 was a laughable $1.564 trillion dollars.


What is the place? That I explore I fear my face Has hit the floor

Yay cake is delicious!


Beginning to toddle With a little wobble I can babble with the best of them Even though I’m in a play pen I love this new solid food Mashed veggies are so good

This is one of the last pictures taken with my great-grandfather (right) also pictured my grandfather and father. My great grandfather was 94, my maternal great grandmother 92, my maternal grandmother 81, and my paternal grandfather 84 and grandmother 85 are still alive with all their marbles and living on their own. So I’m hoping I’ll be as lucky in the aging department.


I’ve begun to stroll And can stand up full I use the potty And am a little snotty I’m eating real food As I should It tastes very good Not too shoddy I’m aware of my body I’ve come far on the whole I’ve even got a fully fused skull


Talking with words Walking tall I Can tie my shoes Still easy to amuse I’m still quite small and a little bit scattered

Ever miss that joy of being a child? That unmitigated happiness at a big shiny fire truck, or a fast car, or an ice cream cone.


It’s the first day of school I board the bus Lots of children I try to be cool I am nervous That’s all I am certain

The only thing I remember about kindergarden is that there was a toy that you built a tower with spinners and drops and loops in it and then rolled a marble down, I remember it being awesome. They say that you learn in kindergarden to play well with others, and now that I’m a graduate student I see people who clearly need to go back and relearn that lesson. Oh and the cloths? It was the 80’s so I’m allowed to look ridiculous.


1st grade In kindergarden I had it made Now school has hardened All day we played Now we have full days and school isn’t as fun I look for ways To be done

What’s weird is I remember this picture and not much else about first grade. I thought the Army was the coolest thing ever, and so I put on a green collared shirt and a bunch of army pins I had and went for my class portrait. Well they made me take off all the pins for the picture because they said it would reflect the flash.


The class is a mess The teacher has no control I am filled with sadness My parents look for a school A new address My life will change I am nervous Children are cruel I want to impress I do not know if there will be success

Second grade was the start of my long road with religious schooling. My class was completely out of control and my parents decided to send me to private school. So I started St. Peter’s Lutheran School, looking back it probably wasn’t really any better than public schools for me but it was a major influence on my life.


My teachers so pretty I have a big time crush I think she’s gorgeous A young teacher I love when she reads I must concede She’s my sweety

Again, the memories are a little hazy about third grade. I do remember me having a crush on my teacher, and once puking in the middle of class. I think we had a big snow storm too, and I got a couple of days off of school.


Cubscouts is new for me I love the uniformity I think the uniforms are manly I go to the weekly Meetings to see When we go to scout jubilee

I joined the cubscouts in the forth grade, and that was another thing I stayed with until I turned eighteen, I even got my Eagle scout, an award I’m proud to bring up to this day.


I’m 10 A big boy I have joined 4-H and do the shooting club Life seems pretty good Rough days ahead For me

Fifth grade was really the last good year for me for a while. I joined the 4-h to do the shooting club. Another thing I stayed with until I was out of school. I was actually quite proficient with the .22 and shooting trap, making the state competition several times.


School doesn’t interest me I’m getting beat up Nothing I do is enough I’m so unhappy The teachers don’t care My parents are constantly mad I constantly feel bad This is so unfair

6th, 7th, and 8th grade were not a real happy time for me. I started puberty and for someone as tall as me that meant being very clumsy and akward. There were only 8 boys in my class and one of them was a bully and the other’s followed suit. I got poor grades, which of course made my parents unhappy, and my teachers didn’t seem to care. So add this to normal pre-teen angst and it was a rough time finishing out middle school.


I do anything to Make the days go faster People are cruel For no reason I hate this zoo My life feels like a disaster They act like I’m a fool And there’s no pleasing them

This is my old dog Keta. She had such a open and friendly personality, everyone liked Keta. Her and I were a real duo growing up, I really miss Keta, any dog I get from now on has a tough act to follow.


Middle school to High school, how exciting I can’t say I’m not a little sad On the other hand fuck this place I hate this crummy hell-hole I am glad to leave High School is for me A brand new start This is my Final day.

I’m sure I have some good memories about the last few years of middle school but honestly I can’t remember them. It seemed like my friends thrived on cruelty, my teachers they were content to play favorites or look the other way, and my parents couldn’t get over the c’s and d’s on the report card. By the end of middle school I was convinced that I was a stupid loser who wouldn’t do anything with his life. I was miserable at school, and there didn’t seem to be anything that was ever going to change.


Yea I have started Catholic High School Though my soul is weary And I have seen trials I begin to make friends And I have shown my enemies That I do not fear their barbs O Father and mother Do not fear a bad grade or a dark day For I have started to make friends I do sports and activities. I have become as a seed Who has found root And begun to flower.

I got in a fight my freshman year at high school, they suspended me for a day and a half. I was just so angry and defensive from years of being the school yard bitch. In middle school I was told to just ignore people and that hadn’t worked. Well fighting didn’t work to well either, especially since I lost... but by the end of the year I had made some friends, I was in sports, and my grades had started to improve. I’d also like to point out that Catholic high school may have been equally or even a little less religious than Lutheran middle school, but there’s more pagentry, and that’s a little intimidating for someone whose not used to it.


Not in a long time have I found so many Compatible people High school is Exceeding my expectations I think that I’ve found my niche.

This was taken from my 98-99 yearbook. I was a sophmore, learning how to drive. A couple of people stand out in this picture to me, Chad Joachim to my right, became the captain of the football team. He fit all the teen movie cliche’s, good looking, not too smart, hot blonde cheerleader girlfriend, and mocked everything that was different from him. Allyson Krempa in the bottom left, I had such a crush on her. She was nice enough but she was attractive and popular, and knew it. Oh well. I was popular enough in school, I was in my own clique and had plenty of friends, so I didn’t suffer too much high school drama.


(Sung to the tune of 1999 by Prince) I was younger when I lived this Forgive me if it’s not ok But when it turned into the millennium People swore it was Judgment day The news reported There wasn’t any reason to be scared People thought there’d be destruction You know I didn’t even care They said two thousand zero zero computer’s over, out of time So this poem is about the year 1999! I got a car when I wrote this And I drove it way too fast But teenagers are reckless And you know it’s in the past High school was around me I was starting to be an adult So if I had to grow-up I’m going to try and get it right They say two thousand zero, zero, computers over, out of time This was the year of 1999!

Yeah Yeah Yeah I had terrific Halloween parties People knocking on my door Black lights and music It’s what I got known for. Yeah cross country and track And doing the school play All of this happened It transpired on the way To two thousand zero, zero, My Junior year Oops, out of time!(We’re runnin’ outta time) It was a time (We were living in the time) So this poem is about 1999! Say, say,Two thousand zero, zero, party over, It was a heck of time! So Today I’m going to write about 1999! Yeah that was 1999! For me it was 1999!1999! Don’t worry, I lived it one day at the time, 1999!, 1999!

My first car. I didn’t have the fastest car, or the nicest, but I did have the only one with a chicken on the antenna. After driving the chicken mobile, everyone gave me rubber chicken themed presents for years after. FYI it takes a rubber chicken about 6 months to a year to disintigrate.


Hey there son do ya know what your doing with your life Michigan Tech has a great engineering program No your dad is a Michigan state alumni You know the Army could always use a few good men

I am so lost

Computer programming’s the way of the future No work on cars, it’s good money and a steady job How about business that’s pretty open You could do network administration No that sounds boring be an actor Well your graduating in a year better pick something

This is probably a feeling most people have had at 17 or 18, for so long everything is pretty routine and then you have to decide on a college and major, or career, or life goals. I felt really lost and when you’re 17 you don’t have any clue as to how young you are. I thought the decisions I was making then were going to be what I’d be doing for the rest of my life, and that’s scary. Now I’m a little more flexabile with what I plan for the future.


I imagine a young bird Flight is scary Flight is hard Flight is exhilarating Flight is freedom Flight is solitude Flight is communal Flight is change and growth and the fear of falling Today I graduate Today I take flight

When I do some work that wins awards or gets alot of compliments I call that a win. It makes the mediocre stuff and the work worth while. My entire senior year was a win for me. I had my first girlfriend, I got Most Dedicated person on my cross country team and nearly broke the schools record, our high school musical got rave reviews, I almost all A’s and a few B’s, I was on a great relay team for track, and I got Eagle Scout. I don’t know if that was the “best” year of my life, but it certainly holds some of my most enjoyable memories.

2002 I’m a bipolar student Acing English classes without a second thought Failing programming While putting hours and hours into it I’m not aware enough To realize my own limits I feel very frustrated And lost I need to find myself

I went to Macomb Community College, partly to save money, and partly because I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. My original thoughts of doing computer programming went up in smoke after I failed my Visual Basic course. I still thought I would do something in the sciences but this was the first of many struggles trying to do things that I just don’t have any skill in.


It’s time for me to move on Community college Has been good for me financially But I feel stuck Maybe it’s time to move on to bigger things MSU here I come A friend owns a house, my first place on my own I join a fraternity I claw through science and math struggling with every step

At Michigan State University one of the big activities is to paint “the rock”. This picture was taken one semester after I came to MSU with my fraternity. When I tell people that I was in a fraternity most are suprised, there’s always the “Animal House” misconception, that all we do is party and skip class. We did have those people but we also had engineers, chemists, biologists, writers, and business students. So it was an interesting experience to say the least.


Gratitude Mom, Dad, I don’t want to engineering anymore. It’s ok I can’t handle the math. It’s ok I study and study and study and I don’t understand. It’s ok I feel like I wasted all this time and money. It’s ok I want to do something else You do whatever you think is best and we’ll support you. I would have never have survived if it wasn’t ok.

My parents I will always be grateful for the opportunities and encouragement they gave me.


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Pictured above is a halloween party, it doesn’t have too much to do with 2005 other than that’s when it was taken and I thought it was a cool costume. For the past 4 or 5 years I’ve tried to do Hollywood style costumes, including a zombie that was so gory a cashier wouldn’t serve me, the devil (above), the monster from 300, and the joker with facial scars.


I’m… I’m not doing so well I’ve stayed up for three days I vomited this morning From stress I think Maybe all the energy drinks Graduation is today I sit through it At one point I catch my self Playing with a girls hair I don’t know her My parents offer to pay for a ticket to my friends wedding I cry I don’t normally cry I can’t focus. I am so relieved That I don’t feel happy till the next day.

I graduated in 2006 and between the job, the classes, and the social activities, it was a busy year, but a good one. The attractive young lady to the left is now my best friends wife. I stood up in their wedding two years later. This was taken a couple of weeks before I graduated. I then spent a month or so traveling afterwards.


Order up! I need a new job And a side of ranch You got friends going out the door Oh boy that Pizza sure smells good. Everything I own smells like it Hey I wanted Diet Coke this is regular. I wanted a lot of things too buddy Guess I’ll see what I can do about both our problems

Pictured below is my Hungry Howies work shirt. I’ve kept it to remind myself to use this opportunity to make my life better. I really, really, do not want to go back to working in fast food. The hours are bad, customers are cranky, the bosses were unethical to say the least, and it’s just depressing because you can feel your brain atrophying while another day goes down the drain.




No more delivering s pizza’s. I’m on my way to Miami. This is completely new for me. I won’t be near any of my family or friends. I’ll be financially responsible for everything I Scared Annoyed do here. Miami is a very different city from the farmland and college town that I’ve lived in. If I fail here I’ll be completely sunk. I’ll have to rely on my experience to succeed. Can I make it here? s les t s Yes Re


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here in What shocks me the the most about being in Miami is the MIA extreme contrast of wealth and poverty within the city. People also have a very different attitude towards life that takes a little getting used to.


So this is it. No rhymns. No syllable patterns. No layouts of words. No songs. This is the final page in my book, and yet the first page of the rest of my life. I have enjoyed my experiences at MSU and the Miami Ad School enormously, (as for FIU...well every silver lining needs a cloud) and I’ve gotten a lot out of them. However, I feel like I’ve gone as far as I can with schooling. To me it’s a bit like being told what its like to jump out of an airplane. I know every proceedure, I know how to jump, I even have an idea of what it feels like to jump. The only thing left for me to do is to actually jump out of an airplane. So if you are reading this, I hope you’ve enjoyed my project. These poems are not my best work, only because I’m not used to writing poems and I don’t care to read them. This project is still a good indicator of who I am, and how I like to work. I enjoy working in different styles and trying new things, and even though this project was out of my normal range of comfort I tried my very best to tell my story and to make it interesting. So thank you for your investment of time into learning a little bit about me. I can only hope that this little book has taught you as much about me as I’ve learned about myself.

Thanks to all the wonderful people who have influenced my life!

My life in poetry  

Every year of my life in poems and pictures.