What it Means to Be a Scavenger

here’s some things we forgot to think about:

making  money

on the road

they could bet money


one of them could be amazing at cards

and that’s how they meet the card guys

aha. and that gives them enough money to continue on their journey

they should also be open to finding money

lost money everywhere. just have to find it. 

if you found a wallet money  in it, what would you do?

try to give it back to whoever owns it

now, what if you just found the money,

with no ability to trace who had it last

it would be yours

well, then let’s try looking for some

where to look?

parking lots of course

coin returns in vending machines

it’s not worth the time, but if you have

no money and nowhere you need to be

why not?

what if we just find free stuff, or people give it away

then you can try selling it and making money on it

not a bad idea

sing a song for some money

draw pictures for money

dance for money

recite poetry

this is being a scavenger

There is No Such Thing as a Good or Bad Poem

On the subject of writing good or bad poetry, it’s important to know that there really is no such thing as a good or bad poem.

Here is the only thing you need to know when it comes to analyzing a poem:

The only relationship that exists in poetry is that of the reader. The writer has no bearing.

My husband Ray, who has a bachelor’s in literature, explained this best in one of our recorded conversations together that I later transcribed:

As the reader interacts with the text, they come up with an interpretation. Multiple people have multiple interpretations.

So then you say, well, how can we prove that that interpretation even exists?

They have to have a defensible, or defendable interpretation, in which they use text directly from the poem. The interpretation must support their thesis on how they classify the poem.

So for me, there’s no such thing as genres.

There’s only text and there’s only a reader. If the reader’s a cowboy, he interprets it as a cowboy. If the reader is a modern day person, they’ll interpret it through modern day lens. Only thing that matters of substance is how that text, how they react to it, how they relate to it and can they defend their interpretation using text.

So they must use the text from the poem, explain how they interpret it and how they classify it. And that’s all there is to it.

Multiple people will have different interpretations. Therefore, I believe that there is no such thing as a poetic structure, only that there’s multiple interpretations. And those interpretations must be defendable by the reader.

Without a reader, a poem is nothing. And the writer technically has no bearing on it because the writer, if they want to tell you what the poems mean, that’s great, but it doesn’t mean that that’s what the poem’s about because there are only one person who’s interpreting. They too would have to use text to argue their interpretation, even though they wrote it.

I’ll give you a good example. Axl Rose (Guns and Roses) wrote a song called Mr. Brownstone. Later, he was in court and the prosecuting attorney said is your song about heroin? You’re singing about Mr. Brownstone. He’s been knocking. He won’t leave me alone. These are all heroin. He’s like heroin is a brown rock.

To which Axl rose with a long pause replied, Mr. Brownstone can be about anything, any type of habit that you don’t like. And he’s like, some people might interpret Mr. Brownstone as a neighbor, who’s been driving them crazy. And he said it is a song. I think interpretation is up to the listener. So could it be about heroin?

If that’s how you feel, Mr. Prosecutor, that you personally see it as a song about heroin then to you. It’s a song about heroin. But to me, it’s a song about overcoming obstacles. That was his answer in court acts on one, and then the prosecuting attorney lost that case. Nice, right? Cause it’s true. Anything you write has no meaning until there’s a reader or listener.

Arrogant college professors + scholars go around and try to classify things and try to tell other people what poems mean when nobody should ever tell someone else what a poem means. If I write a song, I don’t want some “expert” to tell everybody what my song means.

I want it each listener to interpret it in their own way, but they have to be able to defend their arguments, using lines from my song. Otherwise you could just make things up. You could say it’s about a dinosaur that learns how to hang glide. And I would say where in my song, did you get that from, if they can’t point out the lines, then they’re just making stuff up.

I don’t like classification of any poetry and, or song. The woman writing that poem was not sitting there thinking, well, how are they going to classify this? It’s true. It only exists for the reader – and if you find themes, moods, symbolism, you have to then use the text to defend your argument.

Z.. Zudley

Zudley grew up to be a psychiatrist, with a big brown leather couch.

He had papers in stacks everywhere, and I could tell he didn’t have life figured out.

He told me I was crazy, I told him to go fuck someone else.

I quoted him the Bible, that part about Jesus and asked if he lived in a glass house.

I said, “There ain’t nobody on earth who’s perfect, and you better keep your thoughts to yourself.”

“Is keeping your thoughts to yourself why you feel so mad? You know it’s not healthy to keep everything all bottled up inside.”


sometimes i want
to be someone else
when i write, so
you don't know
how crazy i really am = 
and yet,
that would not be mee
if you did not know me
and all of my bad poetry
and so maybe
you could call me
someone else
or something else
but it really doesn't matter
one flip 
what you call me
because i will always be me
with an extra e