How come there is no diss culture in poetry? Or is there one and I just spend too much time listening to Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below? Anyway, I wonder if there are poems out there were poets are specifically called out. Not like in a letter, or an op ed, but like a genuine poem that uses figurative language. Here is a diss to poets I’ve been working on:
I saw the tree yesterday
and it told me that your poetry was wack
that you couldn’t even attack a sack
full of thumbtacks cause you’re too
scared of having a boo boo
your poetry is doo doo while my
poetry can attract any guy or girl
no it’s not a lie why would I ever lie?
When my hair is starting to curl that’s
when you know the fire is starting to burn–
“Has the Puerto Rican necessity outgrown itself?
When North Americans still bomb Vieques
And Nuevayorquinos dine on Entiman’s
Not wanting to be political
Closing their eyes to slow death torture
Of Espíritu Borinquen?”
–Sandra María Esteves, Nuyoricos from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe
For my directed study I am focusing on bilingual poetry, so I’ve been reading books in English and Spanish. Juan B. Nina’s Poemas de Ocasiones is completely in Spanish from front cover to back cover, but what I found the most interesting was how Nina morphed time in his poems.
Fior E. Plasencia comienza su colección de poems con un prólogo en Español e Inglés. Del lado izquierdo es el Inglés y del lado derecho es el Español. Esta colección es fluida con su bilingüismo y sus imágenes del inmigrante Dominicano a Nueva York.
1) I turn to my mother sweating over the assembly line wondering if she’ll have enough money to make rent
–there’s some kind of vulnerability and ah ah ah strength to keep going or maybe an acceptance of who we are
2) I turn to my father showing me how to use the bathroom so I wouldn’t spray on the floor
–A boy becomes man a man becomes a name a name becomes a representation and so
One of the things that I have noticed in a lot of my fellow poet’s writing is that they include puns and wordplay. And I really like this but it has always been a hard thing for me to do. What is it that makes a pun or wordplay great? Well one of the reasons why I like wordplay is that a line, or sentence, can have a double meaning. For example I absolutely loved Chloe’s last two lines in her poem that we revised because I saw it as having a double meaning. And I am wondering how does someone do that? Does it come naturally or do you have to sit and write for hours until you can get a pun or wordplay going?
So, for those who are great at putting in puns or wordplay in their poems can you tell me how is it that you do it? And if there are any poetry puns that you just want to share, I would love to read them!
I found this Buzzfeed list of poetry puns that are pretty punny:
From the Fishhouse came with a CD and I’ve been listening to it a lot lately. And I really like what some of the poets sound like when they read. Especially Kate Northrop when she reads her poem The Film because I like how sharp her short lines are and how elongated and soft her longer lines are. But I also liked how Patrick Rosal read his poem Uncommon Denominators because it made feel disgusting, it felt like I had someone whispering into my ear aggressively.
I have other poets that I like to listen to that are not from Fishhouse as well. One of them Langston Hughes, I posted about him in Poetry I so I won’t talk about him too much, but I just love the way he reads because it feels like a song to me. He articulates his words and plays with sound like a musician. And his poems always have a mellow tempo to them. I usually start my mornings listening to him read the Weary Blues–it’s so gooooooooooooood.
So here’s my question: are there any poets, whether old or new just as long as it is their voice that you hear, that you like to listen to?
Here’s a few Spotify playlists that I like to listen to:
So I’ve started to think of my poems as living beings. And I’ve been wondering about what happens to them before they were written on loose leaf. Because of Christy, I’ve noticed that almost all of my poems have characters in them. I believe that characters have lives before and after their story is told, and I think it would be interesting to write about what a character in your poem, or what your poem itself, did before you put pen to paper.
For my poem “Dear Brother” I believe that before the poem was written the sister and brother were watching their mother’s favorite movie. And having their mother’s favorite breakfast before visiting her grave.
Well that’s my example. I haven’t gotten a poem out of it yet, but if you get a poem out of wondering stuff like this then awesome! If you want to share then please do!