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19 April, 2017: Error


by Kevin Frederick Smith
Desperate query:
“404: Not Found”
“Error” by Kevin Frederick Smith from 2015 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology. Crisis Chronicles Press, 2015. Used by permission of the author.
Kevin Frederick Smith was awarded honorable mention for his first submission to the Hessler Street Fair Poetry Contest, and he was a finalist in Writing Knights Press’s first Grand Tournament. The latter earned him the publication of his poetry chapbook, Smorgasbord. His work has appeared in a variety of anthologies from Writing Knights Press, The Poet’s Haven and the past four editions of the Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology. He is a former president of Notre Dame College’s Poetry Club, which earned club of the year under his leadership. When not writing, Smith enjoys tabletop gaming and immersion in local history.


Write a poem using the advice column as a model. You can cast it as a prose poem, free verse, or rhyme. Consider using heightened language and an outlandish problem and solution.

Chantelle Brady
Dear Abie,

My cat Suzy keeps running around while I try to sleep, jumping on and off of my bed and chasing what seems to be nothing around. She seems to be very nocturnal, but also sleeps at night some. When I try tiring her out she still stays up after I go to sleep for a while jumping off the walls. I live in a single connected room with not enough space to keep her away from the bed. Plus I like her to sleep with me at night. How do I get her to calm down?

--Tired Cat Lover

Dear Tired Cat Lover,

Sounds like removing the bell from her collar and noisy toys from her reach before bed could help. Try earplugs!
4/24/2017 2:10:28 PM

Worth the price of what you pay
Don't touch it
Don't scratch it
Oh, the hell with it

If everyone else jumped, would you?
You are your own person
It's never to late to start
Beauty is only skin deep

There's plenty of fish in the sea
Only fools rush in
Make him wait
That's not healthy

Who are they?
Find solutions, not faults
Haste makes waste
Desire what you already have

Find your passion
Set a goal
Do what you love
Never work a day in your life

Go to college
There's no other option
Don't put all your eggs in one basket

An apple a day
You are what you eat
No salt, sugar or fat
What do you think of that?

You'll never learn
Well maybe I would
If you ever stopped talking
And let me make up my mind
4/22/2017 10:19:27 PM

Dear Abby,
I have a blight and it is an extraordinary botheration.
When my eyes I close I cannot seem to ascertain
The backs of my eyes, for what color do they maintain?
I am very distraught and rather displeased
At the manner which this bother has presented.
I do indeed, seek your comfort for this matter
Which I have assembled.

Truly Yours,
Seeking to See

Dear Seeking to See,

I have read of your adventure and was impressive to consider,
It seems the bother is precipitated by your own entity.
For if one were to close one’s eyes,
There would be nothing for which one would see.

Truly Yours,
4/22/2017 10:16:29 PM

Debra Sudy
Inventive, ingenious, clever -- loved it!
4/19/2017 1:30:51 PM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.