Risk Poetry is an Oxymoron

Risk poetry? You must be a mistaken.
Poetry is the lowest risk that can be taken.
Imagine writing a play so bad it flops
Or a story so disturbing, they call the cops.

Or scribbling drafts of suicide notes
In your math book, between asymptotes.
A “fiction” that’s too true to life,
A dating profile – don’t tell your wife.

Or on your own blog, your political views
(which should be fine, but have you seen the news?)
Your scientific paper published far and wide,
with data you knowingly falsified.

A business plan that could go under,
A signed confession to your own blunder.
To put a lie – or the truth – on your résumé
Scrawl “homeless” on cardboard to beg for change.

To sign papers for adoption or divorce,
A contract when you’ll have no recourse.
An email to guests you’re uninviting - 
All of this is much riskier writing!

For poetry helps to cushion the blow
Of telling secrets – no one has to know!
Which are the truths within your words.
A well-crafted poem allows you to blur

Add some imagery or philosophical abstraction,
Or a rhyme scheme for distraction.
Got a nosy reader you can’t ignore?
Just claim your poem’s a metaphor.

Risky poems have no consequences.
For poets don’t pay recompenses.
No such thing as poetic injury.
So write a poem - how bad could it be?

© 2021 Jewish Young Professional

Photo by Trust “Tru” Katsande on Unsplash


Written for dVerse, WODC- Oxymoron, and YDWordPrompt – Blur


  1. Clever!

    I had to Google “risk poetry” because I am so out of touch I thought it might be a “thing.” I guess actually it is. I found one site that had “risk poems” on it. My eyes fell upon the second entry: Back Pain? Make an appointment. But it turned out to be an ad. So I’m done with risk poetry.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Interesting supposition. There does seem to be incongruity and contradiction in mixing risk with poetry. Is that because we don’t take poetry seriously? Or does poetry transcend the risk involved in other forms of written and verbal communication? Or is it that, even though so much poetry is strewn across the Internet these days, the consumption of poetry is too little to make a difference?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Brilliant rhyme, JHP! And very wise advice :-D. Uninviting guests is definitely riskier writing! Secrets hidden in metaphor that nosy readers can read into all they like – brill! So well thought out and executed.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I think there are definitely different genres and forms that allow more risk. This made me smile because you are risking judgment in your assertations here. This line made me laugh, “No such thing as poetic injury.” I think FB or Twitter would just ban any poems that were so powerful as to cause injury. I like to get cut up once in a while! 😆

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Oh my god, this is freakin’ brilliant. Poetry is relatively low-risk especially when you think of how much more risk is pervaded just in general life itself. Adoption, cheating, divorce, a horror story, etc, etc. All these risks > poetry. We hide in poetry, it’s so easy to. I know I do. It’s why I especially loved this stanza:

    “Add some imagery or philosophical abstraction,
    Or a rhyme scheme for distraction.
    Got a nosy reader you can’t ignore?
    Just claim your poem’s a metaphor.”

    I definitely had a few readers like that in the past! Hahaha, I love this poem. It’s so hilarious and true. VERY well written.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. hmm, i don’t know, writing political poetry in russia or north korea or china seems kinda scary to me.

    “Scrawl “homeless” on cardboard to beg for change” and that one is also rcary, hope i never have to. with was the clever write, i really enjoyed it.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. i sort of agree with you that writing poetry is less riskier than writing an email, like writing to soothe some customer’s ire over your company’s small blunder.
    I enjoyed reading your poem, and thanks for the visit to my blog. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Love this especially “Add some imagery or philosophical abstraction, or a rhyme scheme for distraction.” Stunning, stunning write 💝💝

    Liked by 2 people

  9. So many scenarios, made me think Alanis Morrissette. I loved the encouraging way it ended and the validation of truth telling slant via poetry. You got it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! I hadn’t thought of that when I wrote it, but I love Alanis Morrissette so that is high praise. This is so not my usual style of poetry, but it wound up being pretty fun to write and I’m liking the end product too. Thanks for stopping by!


  10. I’m not usually one for poetry, but this one had me learning something new and appreciating the language at the same time. The rhymes are also oddly satisfying for some reason. Thanks for this!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Poets have immunity from most pressing issues, I believe:) This is well-said. Thank you for the follow. I would like to invite you and others to write a poem and win an Ebook. Ends on 11/07. I have just started my book blog, and this will allow me to introduce my books, plus it will be a great way to learn about each other as writers. Please access the details on Shobana’s Book Station, https://shobanabookstation.blogspot.com. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You wrote this magnificently! I enjoyed the rhymes and the new words that I had not heard before. I am one of those people that have to look up words and never assume 🙂 You have a great way with your words. Thanks for sharing this with me.

    Liked by 1 person

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