Putrid Poetry: Day 8: The Bald Truth [Poetry Friday Roundup!]

Welcome, all! I’m happy to be hosting a Poetry Friday Roundup during April–what fun! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.) I continue my Poetry Month sharing of “The Putrid Poetic Ponderings of Louis J. Pasternak, AKA Dr. Skullstench” (see right sidebar for more info) today with a poem inspired by the worst classic hairdo of all time: the combover. I hope you like it–the poem, not the hairdo.



Dr. Skullstench: Stealth Poet
Poetry Assignment #8: An Apostrophe Poem (written to a person)

The Bald Truth

Mr. Tones
you might not know it:
you have no hair,
your head won’t grow it.

It does not work
to comb two strands
across your dome
in greasy bands.

You have no hair
I think you know it.
It’s better if
you simply show it.

I’ve changed the name, but you know who you are! I don’t mean you, Miss S. I’m talking about a vice-principal. Don’t tell!

Good thinking, Louis. Poetry is a celebration of expression, and we should never use it as a weapon!

For my apostrophe poem, I wrote to my niece’s dog, Shadow. He is a dear dog and gets along with my own Penelope wonderfully, but I am tired of vacuuming. Shadow sheds constantly.

P.S. Please use your proper name on your papers. I need that as proof you completed your work.
Since Miss Sweetmallow wasn’t sharing my poems out loud, I decided to share them myself, on top-secret missions. “The Bald Truth” was perfect for Stealth Operation 1. I snuck it into the announcements in the Good Day, Ridgeway! Room.
The next morning, I was a lot more interested in the school news show than usual.
The 5th-grade “news anchor” Cara smiled at the camera. “Good day, Ridgeway!”
“Today is Wednesday.” [No kidding.]
“Lunch is Hawaiian ham and steamed carrots.” [Barf.]
“Today’s inspirational thought is by Dr. … Skull…stench?
    Mr. Tones
    you might not know it:
    you have no hair,
    your head won’t grow it.

    It does not work–”

A giant arm appeared on screen and snatched the paper from Cara’s hand. She looked around the room and then down at her empty desktop.
“Uh…good day, Ridgeway?”
Fade to black.

Miss Sweetmallow had a talk with me after school.
Are all artists this misunderstood?


If you’re looking for more cool poetry, even beyond all the great links shared in the linkup at the bottom of the post, make sure to visit Jama Rattigan’s roundup of all the Poetry Month shenanigans in the kidlitosphere. There are so many wild and wonderful projects to check out!

Please add your links to the linkup below! I look forward to visiting all of you throughout the weekend:>)

[inlinkz_linkup id=621629 mode=1]

37 Responses

  1. Thanks so much for hosting this week, Laura! I can imagine kids are having a great time with your unique project this month! What fun names. :0) Happy April!

  2. Thank you so much for hostessing and for graciously accommodating the PF early birds. Your site is a bright, beautiful, and bountiful place for celebrating poetry all year round, and especially in April. Happy Poetry Month! God bless you!

  3. Having a giggle at The Bald Truth… in particular that giant arm. Thans for sharing, Laura. And hosting. Continue to enjoy your Poetry Month.

  4. Love your idea of sharing this story as a serial for NPM, Laura. Putrid Poetry is definitely a first!

    Thanks for hosting this week, and Happy Poetry Month!
    (my link goes live at 6 a.m. Friday)

  5. What a fun month you’re leading us through! Many thanks for showing us your putrid side. 😉

  6. Your Louis should meet up with other kid writers of children’s literature, like Leigh Botts (Dear Mr. Henshaw) and Jack (Love That Dog)!

  7. Great names you’ve come up with! “Sweetmallow” is perfect (I do feel a bit sorry for her — she seems like she’s got her hands full!). I like the character on your cover, too. Thanks for hosting!

  8. Laura, you have started something very putrid in my classroom. I shared your site this week with my kids and now they are writing really disgusting poems. I can’t share them publicly, but if you want to read them, I’ll email them to you. They involve private bodily functions (aka) bathroom humor. But I can say that these students are being brave and taking risks. That is something, right?

  9. What a great way to have fun with poetry, Laura! Love it. And thanks for hosting this week!

  10. Laura, thanks for my morning giggle and now I need to go back and read the rest of the series. Thanks for hosting today.

  11. I would have loved poetry if someone introduced it like that to me — thank you for making me laugh this morning and for hosting Poetry Friday.

  12. Love your project — and can just picture that vice-principal!

  13. I ♥ Dr. Skullstench. I enjoy following this funny little series and I am really excited about this as a book!

    1. Well, it’s not ever going to be a book, sadly. But at least it’s out there for a few teachers to find:>) Thanks, Tanita!

  14. Thanks so much for hosting and for sharing your putrid poems. What fun! I love the back and forth commentary after the poem and that final lament “Are all artists this misunderstood?”

  15. Laura,
    Your poem and the story surrounding it made me laugh. I think you’ve really captured the ornery moves of pre-teens and teens. Thanks for hosting #poetryfriday

  16. Golly–my friend Mitch, whose lyrics and music I featured on Thursday, is also the author of a memoir called “Hell Toupee,” about his adventure in hair replacement. Methinks he would appreciate this one in particular! Still struck by the genius of this high-quality marketing ploy, Laura. *bows down*

    1. Heehee–oh, my. So…it’s a hair-raising adventure. Snort! Marketing genius, this is not. I have sold 5 copies–and thank you, Miss Heidi, for buying one.

  17. Laura, your Louis series is so funny and should really bring a chuckle from students. Thanks for the humor. I need it these days. Also, thanks for hosting PF this week.

      1. it was a very busy week with lots of consulting. At last night’s presentation to one of the reading councils I showed your poem from last year’s Spring Symphony Gallery and asked the teachers to check out your post.

        1. Thanks, Carol! I have my airfare and hotel room (with Michele) for Boston. Excited to start prepping!

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