They tried to understand

the prophesy that spilled effortlessly

from my 3 year old lips.

The year after, Raundi used for her theme "epigraphs based on the 100 greatest songs and books of the 20th century." Among her inspirations were E.M. Forster, Vladimir Nabokov and even the Rolling Stones. This year's theme? As of the other day, she hadn't decided yet.

Now, Eric: Last year, he tried the 30/30 challenge for the first time and came up a little short, writing about 20 poems. That's still better than I've done in the course of a month. At the time, he was at work on a series about mythical creatures, and his efforts produced poems about the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot.

In October, though, Eric scheduled a National Poetry Month of his own — and tied it into Halloween. Every night that month, he watched a horror movie and then wrote a haiku about it, and he made it to 31 poems in 31 days.

So that leads us to the "Human Centipede" films, which probably haven't inspired much poetry since they came out in 2010 and 2011. If you haven't heard of them, they're about ... to be honest, I really don't have the stomach to tell you. Google them if you're unaware, and please make sure you haven't eaten in the last hour or so.

OK, back now? Eric, brave soul, endured both films and churned out a haiku about each one. (Full disclosure: I haven't seen them, and will probably undergo the 30/30 challenge a hundred times before I do.) Our status as a family newspaper prevents me from quoting Eric's first poem, but he wrote about the second:

Sequels, like science,

are sometimes better left to

theory, not practice.

It's an elegant poem about a difficult subject matter, and that, of course, is the key to so much brilliant poetry. Often, the greatest writers are the ones who brave the most traumatic experiences and muster the strength to put them on paper. So years from now, if Eric ever edges me out for the Pulitzer Prize, I know I'll have "The Human Centipede" to blame.

MICHAEL MILLER is the features editor for Times Community News in Orange County. He can be reached at or (714) 966-4617.