In ninth grade, my friend asked me to submit a poem for an English project. His class was accepting submissions for a literary journal that was to be representative of the freshman experience. He asked me during study hall one day, and I wrote a simple poem with an A-B-A rhyming scheme. Or maybe it was a haiku—either way, it was pretty horrible. His assignment was due, and I had ten minutes to throw something together before his class started. I think I had just seen Elliott Smith on the Oscars singing “Miss Misery” in this slightly undersized white suit and just thought it was brilliant. I titled my poem “Miss Misery,” and it was about some depressed girl gardening under a black light or some shit. Anyway, I really embraced the angst-ridden depressive teen as a part of my identity for much of my adolescence, and it has done nothing but hold me back—and make me a plagiarist!
James Wang| No Comments »