Broetry: Poems for the Frat Boy in All of Us

Ransom Riggs

What? You don't have a frat boy in you? Well, you might get a kick out of Brian McGackin's (AKA the "Broet Laureate's") slender-but-fun volume of poems anyway. They include gems like this, a bro-tastic send-up of William Carlos Williams' "This is Just to Say" --

I have finished the beer that was in the icebox and which you were probably saving for Friday Forgive me this girl came over so sweet and so hot

Broems, McGackin told NPR, are poems for people who don't usually like poems: dudes. Although he's quick to note that many of our most lauded poets had dude-ish qualities: "Robert Frost liked baseball; he wrote about sports. His poetry was always very accessible. Even Shakespeare — Shakespeare was just writing about chicks."

The book, which occupies an hallowed spot on my shelf (just between The Waste Land and Harry Potter, somehow appropriate) is full of haikus, sonnets, and rhyming free-verse poems, some of which are, like the poem above, sort-of-parodies of famous poems ("O Captain! My Captain America!") as well as plenty of originals ("Ode to That Girl I Dated for, Like, A Month Sophomore Year," "Why Do Buses Smell?"). It could be the perfect way to get a reluctant reader of poetry into a book of verse (and by the way, if I had to give it an MPAA-style rating, I'd say it's about a PG). Check it out, bro!