18 January 2007

Poetry Thursday: Are You Using a Line on Me?

The prompt for this week involved a bit of communal writing. Each person left a line on the Poetry Thursday site from a poem that s/he has previously written. Then, the person would take a line that someone else left and turn it into a new poem. Fun, huh?

First up is the poem that provided the line I offered (I've highlighted the line in red). This is another piece from my 20-year-old stash. I don't like the last four lines, but I don't know how to fix them. Perhaps it will take me another 20 years to figure that out.

CASSANDRA'S NERVOUS BREAKDOWN
When the mean reds get meaner,
They get darker,
Kinda like the blues
(Only bluer)
But never as down-in-your-soul bittersweet
(There ain't no singing 'bout the reds).
Yeah, when the reds decide to get MEAN,
They turn Black.
I'm not talking 'bout a
Smart-and-Sassy Black
Or a
Black-is-Beautiful Black
Or even a
Scared-Nigger-in-Klantown Black.
No, I'm talking 'bout an
End-of-the-Universe Black.
And an
Eternity-of-Insanity-in-Hell Black
Where your eyes won't start crying
And every breath feels like it's the last
And you feel like running forever
But your body won't move an inch.
And just when you've gotten
Your system calmed down,
Someone up and says
"Hello, Cass"
Or
"How's things going, Cass?"
And the tears start to flow
And you start to bawl
Which is foolishness because . . .
"After all, Cass, you ain't got
Nothing to sniffle over.
Why, you're the luckiest person
I know!"

Next up is my new poem. The line I used is highlighted in blue, and it was contributed by Regina. It came from the magnetic poetry set on her refrigerator; I'm not sure if there is a whole poem to go with it.

"One size is sad", she said.
The lies the labels bred
Were more than she could bear.
There was no way that she could wear
The same skirt that clothed a tiny derriere
Even if the label told her so.
The "one size" label was her foe.
It gave her a glimmer of hope
And for a moment helped her cope
With being past the size and age
To wear clothes that are all the rage.
But time spent in the dressing room
Sent her back into a state of gloom.

In other writing news, I've been listening to a lot of hip-hop this week and it has been inspiring me. Most of the stuff on mainstream radio isn't that creative lyrically, but the deep album cuts are a different story. I listened to Lupe Fiasco's Food and Liquor and Gym Class Heroes' As Cruel as School Children. There is a little bit of bad language, especially on the second one, but they both show a command of the language that isn't evident in a lot of pop music.
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