Sunday, April 17, 2011

Poem #17

"How to Win the School Talent Show"

Call your four best friends
Say you'll be the black Pussycat Dolls
or the next Destiny's Child
    --but with five--
                            there haven't been any black girl groups in a while
Decide to sing "Say My Name"
because you want everyone to know yours

Practice in your room:
break out harmonies like puzzle pieces
build choreography like lego houses
design costumes like Beyonce
                                                             you will win this contest

Until you hear the rumor mill churning its words
their clatter echoing on hallway floors:
that girl Shacara
had a lock
on the win

There's no way this is true, you think
but don't want to risk losing to that loser
that poor excuse for a girl
that second-rate singer

So you call your girls, gather
in front of her voice coach's house
like paparazzi, waiting to pounce

Soon, she emerges and you spring
with a lock in a sock
whip her like a slave who's been bad
            (the repetition of hate lost on you)
aiming for her head
while your girls, like anchors, pull her down
to concrete
their newfound soccer ball

This is how you win
This is how you lose
This is how you find


[I'm reluctant to post this because it's so rough, in dire need of revisions. I think I've done almost everything I tell my students *not* to do, but that's what rough drafts are, right? Just the getting-down-on-paper. The real writing is in the revison.]

[Also, this was inspired by an incident that happened last week. Go here for more details.]

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