Sunday, May 16, 2004

A Poem

I thought this was right for today.

How to Write a Political Poem
By Taylor Mali

However it begins, it's gotta be loud
and then it's gotta get a little bit louder.
Because this is how you write a political poem
and how you deliver it with power.

Mix current events with platitudes of empowerment.
Wrap up in rhyme or rhyme it up in rap until it sounds true.

Glare until it sinks in.

Because somewhere in Florida, votes are still being counted.
I said somewhere in Florida, votes are still being counted!

See, that's the Hook, and you gotta' have a Hook.
More than the look, it's the hook that is the most important part.
The hook has to hit and the hook's gotta fit.
Hook's gotta hit hard in the heart.

Because somewhere in Florida, votes are still being counted.

And Dick Cheney is peeing all over himself in spasmodic delight.
Make fun of politicians, it's easy, especially with Republicans
like Rudy Giuliani, Colin Powell, and . . . Al Gore.
Create fatuous juxtapositions of personalities and political philosophies
as if communism were the opposite of democracy,
as if we needed Darth Vader, not Ralph Nader.

Peep this: When I say "Call,"
you all say, "Response."

Call! Response! Call! Response! Call!

Amazing Grace, how sweet the‹

Stop in the middle of a song that everyone kows and loves.
This will give your poem a sense of urgency.
Because there is always a sense of urgency in a political poem.
There is no time to waste!
Corruption doesn't have a curfew,
greed doesn't care what color you are
and the New York City Police Department
is filled with people who wear guns on their hips
and carry metal badges pinned over their hearts.
Injustice isn't injustice it's just in us as we are just in ice.
That's the only alienation of this alien nation
in which you either fight for freedom
or else you are free and dumb!

And even as I say this somewhere in Florida, votes are still being counted.

And it makes me wanna beat box!

Because I have seen the disintegration of gentrification
and can speak with great articulation
about cosmic constellations, and atomic radiation.
I've seen D. W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation
but preferred 101 Dalmations.
Like a cross examination, I will give you the explanation
of why SlamNation is the ultimate manifestation
of poetic masturbation and egotistical ejaculation.

And maybe they are still counting votes somewhere in Florida,
but by the time you get to the end of the poem it won't matter anymore.

Because all you have to do is close your eyes,
lower your voice, and end by saying:

the same line three times,
the same line three times,
the same line three times.

No comments: