I Read the Bachelorette Winner's Book of 'Poetry' So You Don't Have To

The Bachelorette is a television show in which they lock a rag-tag band of mostly white hotties in a house and force them to compete over the heart of a woman. To do so, the captive hotties utilize muscles, tongue-kissing, and generic combinations of the phrases "looking for a real relationship," "family really matters to me," "I definitely want kids," "fairy-tale ending," and "right reasons."

I used to think that the Bachelorette was a guilty pleasure of mine, until I realized that I spent the entirety of the 2-hour-long television program frantically refreshing Twitter on my iPhone and spending real human currency on Candy Crush in order to stave off crushing boredom, terror, and second-hand embarrassment. It turns out, the Bachelorette is my guilty unexciting televisual S&M experience that leaves me feeling hollow but is vaguely related to the sensation of pleasure. But, whatever: boredom, terror, and second-hand embarrassment — that gorgeous trifecta of emotion — can be really instructive about the human condition. As proof of this, I offer up Diamonds and Hearts, a "poetic memoir" penned by Bachelorette winner Chris Siegfried.

Diamonds and Hearts springs from the primordial fountainhead of boredom, terror, and second-hand embarrassment. It is a beautiful piece of work. Because I one time studied English at college and paid $7.95 to peruse Bachelorette Winner Chris Siegfried's oeuvre, I feel that I am qualified to call myself the world's first Siegfriedian scholar. Here I will share some of my insights with you, so you do not also have to pay $7.95.

THE TITLE

Diamonds and Hearts refers to two times in Bachelor Winner Chris Siegfried's life: the "Diamonds" period is when he played professional baseball. "Hearts" refers to his time on the reality television program The Bachelorette. It's also probably a play on Desiree Hartsock's last name, which has HART in it. Interestingly, Siegfried did not choose to draw a parallel between the fact that he wore socks whilst on a professional baseball team and the latter syllable of the Bachelorette's last name. Maybe that will be the sequel? Baseball socks are totally a thing (on top of being a Siegfriedian scholar, I was a professional softball hobbyist in middle school, so I am qualified to make this assertion).

THE STRUCTURE OF THE BOOK

Chris Siegfried has generously provided a synopsis after every poem; often, these synopses provide information about the true events behind a piece of poetry that the reader would otherwise not be able to glean on his or her own. Diamonds and Hearts is like Pale Fire, but better because there's baseball and stretch limos in it. Diamonds and Hearts blurs the line between literature and criticism and calls into question the discreteness of the poetic object. Diamonds and Hearts says, "Yes, the author is dead, but the critic is dead too. They are trapped in an eternal embrace in the grave. Also, poetry is dead, but that goes without saying."

THE POEMS THEMSELVES

Here are some classically Siegfriedian works, for your enjoyment:

"Observations"
(from the "Diamonds" period)

To sit and listen can be quite calming,
Although the noises sometimes alarming.
You look around and see different faces,
Their minds run rampant, each has their twitches.

While some read papers,
Others chat on their phones.
Some just sit,
Watching everyone, people watching.

The observer,
He who is still writing,
Has many observations,
Within these walls confining.

As the pencil lay down,
His head on a swivel,
He enjoys the company,
Of the randomness of people.

CHRIS SAYS:

I wrote this poem on a whim while I as sitting enjoying an americano coffee at Starbucks one day after work. Enjoy the randomness of the poetry here and imagine yourself sitting and people watching!

FAMED SIEGFRIEDIAN SCHOLAR CALLIE BEUSMAN SAYS:

This is one of Siegfried's classic Starbucks poems. "Observations" is like Chris Siegfried's "Tintern Abbey," but better because it takes place in a Starbucks.

Like Wordsworth, Siegfried basically notes that "with an eye made quiet by the power/Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,/We see into the life of things." The observer... has many observations. Damn.

"Raise a Toast"
(from the "Diamonds" period)

He’s not perfect,
Mistakes he’s made.
Sometimes regrets,
But fun times we made.

One or two, well maybe ten.
Drinks start slow,
Fast in the end.

Drank all the bottomless drinks,
All the girls that look, he winks.
Too quick to say hi and without a stammer,
He goes in for the kiss it doesn’t matter.

One or two, well maybe ten.
Drinks start slow,
Fast in the end.

Lets go dance, a round on me.
One dance turns two, one round turns three.
The shoes come off George on and loud,
“The Race is On” boy make me proud!

One or two, well maybe ten.
Drinks start slow,
Fast in the end.

It’s time to go head to the counter,
The bill needs be paid, $ 100 matters.
Bartender turns says one more round?
What the hell we’ll have a crown.

One or two, well maybe ten.
Drinks start slow,
Fast in the end.

The lights are on time to cab home,
Hell I can’t drive, but I’m not alone.
The ride seems long back seat so small,
She’s on my neck lipstick and all!

One or two, well maybe ten.
Drinks start slow,
Fast in the end.
What time is it?
Oh hell, does it matter?
The one I love, Says Johnny Walker.

CHRIS SIEGFRIED SAYS:

There are so many innuendos and nuances here. Where do I begin? First off, baseball was fun and I enjoyed meeting new people, but this is not a story about my experiences or myself. Rather, this is about THAT guy on the team that never sleeps, parties and still performs - not the way to go about the game but it happens all the time.

“One or two, well maybe ten. Drinks start slow, Fast in the end.” This was a fun chorus, if you will, that I came up with describing an evening of minimal expectations but turned into an eventful night!

“George on and loud” is a reference to the late and great musician George Jones and his song “The Race is On.” Country music if you are into that sort of thing.

I will let you decide for yourself what the rest means and where I was going with some of the stanzas.

FAMED SIEGFRIEDIAN SCHOLAR CALLIE BEUSMAN SAYS:

There are so many innuendoes and nuances here. Where do I begin? Bachelorette winner Chris Siegfried was definitely drunk when he wrote this.

Hemingway has famously said, "Write drunk; edit sober." Chris Siegfried has less famously probably said, "Write drunk; release a book of poetic memoirs for Kindle and iPad without editing sober."

Hesitation No More
(from the "Hearts" period)

At first you aren’t sure what to think,
Losing track of those back home… not in mind.
Coming into a situation, the unknown,
A skeptic in present time.

I step out of that limo,
You… standing there beautiful in that dress.
I lost my breath for that moment,
Then thought, getting down on one knee would be best!

Time did go by,
The thought of you was all I had.
Until you gave me that chance,
On the dodge ball field… I wasn’t all that bad.

Then it all clicked for me,
I knew on the top of that hotel, right then and there,
My feelings for you were building and real,
The skeptic in me to be found, nowhere!

We’re dancing, we’re talking,
I’m thinking about us,
The possibility of you and I no longer an imagination for me.
But kissing you and holding you and sharing my life with you… A must!

So as you go through this journey,
Along emotional roads not straight, but curvy.
Remember I’m here and I’m thinking of you,
And the thought of us now is ever so true!

CHRIS SIEGFRIED SAYS:

There is a lot of information written in this piece. At first I didn’t know how to react or respond to some of the situations I faced in the house and with her, but I knew that I was open to anything. I’ve had some pretty crazy experiences in life: sleeping on the floor of buses traveling to and from cities in the Midwest that no one has ever heard of, flying to Europe on a whim because I thought it would be a good idea, chasing a dream in that of baseball that would ultimately lead to a torn ligament in my elbow, relationships that I thought were strong but were only stepping stones to where I am today, etc.

This poem is a mixture of playfulness, “On the dodge ball field… I wasn’t all that bad,” to emotional certainty “The possibility of you and I no longer an imagination for me. But kissing you and holding you and sharing my life with you… A must.”

I knew right after that dodge ball game that there was a chance that she could be the one for me. Those feelings solidified in our emotional dance together we shared that night.

FAMED SIEGFRIEDIAN SCHOLAR CALLIE BEUSMAN SAYS:

Bachelorette winner Chris Siegfried is advancing a highly conceptual modality of time and subjectivity in this one. It starts in the second person, in the present tense, and then Siegfried is like, "NAH, FIRST PERSON!"; half a stanza later he adds, "PAST TENSE!" Then he's like, "Psych! Present tense it is!" Time does not exist when you are in the throes of love and/or baseball.

Who is the "you" to whom he's referring? It it Desiree Hartsock? Is it himself? Is it all us players upon that dodgeball field we live to call love?

Most likely, it's an unholy mix of the three. We are all hideously intertwined, a mucky agglomeration of human emotion, and we all look beautiful in that dress.

Smile
(from the "Hearts" period)

You Smile,
I look,
You notice,
It’s great!

I smile,
You look,
Connection,
We’ve made!

I know it is real,
Connection I feel,
Comes only but once in a while!

For you with me,
Is all I can see,
Please smile at me for a while!

CHRIS SIEGFRIED SAYS:

This was something I put together very quick. The first stanza speaks to our time on the dodge ball field and every group date I was on. Her and I had a connection that was far different than everyone else. She could be across the room and look over and see me – we’d make eye contact and smile at one another – and we knew both of us were ok and did not need to be entertaining one another. It is a rare feeling but for her to validate those feelings by expressing the same thing to me, this connection I felt, meant the world to me and allowed me to completely be open to her and the experience we were sharing together.

FAMED SIEGFRIEDIAN SCHOLAR CALLIE BEUSMAN SAYS:

OH SWEET JESUS WHAT IS THIS SHIT.

As part of Siegfried's poetic memoir, Bachelorette female protagonist/constantly-weeping flower dispensary Desiree Hartsock wrote two poems as well.

Here is one, with her commentary:

Charming and Handsome
by Desiree Hartsock

Charming and handsome, instant attraction was found.

At the dodge ball game, it was apparent-no shame.
On top of that roof, overlooking that view,
That was the moment, I knew sparks grew.

As our hearts are open, thoughts expressed,
Memories of lederhosen create a beautiful picture-
I must confess.

Still the twinkle in your eye, reflects your heart that’s alive.
Never ponder why, trusting your every line,
Keeping in mind love can come at anytime.

The strength that you show, is the patience I know.
At times can be hard to withstand,
But I’m here holding your hand.

As the clock ticks, timing never late,
For the connections to form from each and every date
And the rose to one day grant us our fate.

I look forward to the unknown
Appreciate the emotion you have shown,
And hopeful to see if in your heart,
I have found a home.

DESIREE HARTSOCK SAYS:

This is a poem I wrote for Chris after our time we spent together in Germany. Relationships were developing and I knew Chris and I had something special so I wanted to share my feelings with him in writing. There are many hidden metaphors here so I hope you can find them and enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

FAMED SIEGFRIEDIAN SCHOLAR CALLIE BEUSMAN SAYS:

Desiree Hartsock is widely known for her radical, subversive playfulness when it comes to the English language (example: when pressed — by herself — to come up with "adjectives" to describe that nebulous border between "like" and "love," Desiree chose three gerunds and a noun. They were, in order, "stepping," "skipping," "running" and "finish line.")

Here, Desiree characterizes instant attraction itself as a "charming and handsome" organism who stalks the couple to a dodgeball game — an event that seems to have been loaded with the more significance than has ever been placed on a sport invented for middle school-aged children. She interrogates the boundary between nature and inorganic matter: sparks can grow like plant mass in this crazy dodgeball field we call love! Grab a spark and place it in the soil: anything is possible through the finish line power of the human heart.

Reassuringly, she points out that Chris Siegfried's eye movement confirms his status as not dead, i.e., alive with functioning internal organs.

Nothing is quite so moving as the power of verse, I tell you.