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Monday, April 21, 2014

Heyhowyadoin: A 'New York School' Poem

Today’s challenge was to write a New York School. poem  the idea of which is to incorporate as many as possible of the "New York School" (of poets)'s 23 rules.. Here is the list: (I did not  particularly like it, or, rather, it did not 'grab' me at first, but I gave it a shot.  I think I accomplished every 'rule," and did a fairly decent job of it, at that!  And there, it's done. So, here are the New York School 'rules,' ff by my poem.
    1. at least one addressee (to which you may or may not wish to dedicate your poem)
    2. use of specific place names and dates (time, day, month, year)–especially the names of places in and around New York City
    3. prolific use of proper names
    4. at least one reminiscence, aside, digression, or anecdote
    5. one or more quotations, especially from things people have said in conversation or through the media
    6. a moment where you call into question at least one thing you have said or proposed throughout your poem so far
    7. something that sounds amazing even if it doesn’t make any sense to you
    8. pop cultural references
    9. consumer goods/services
    10. mention of natural phenomena (in which natural phenomena do not appear ‘natural’)
    11. slang/colloquialism/vernacular/the word “fuck”
    12. at least one celebrity
    13. at least one question directed at the addressee/imagined reader
    14. reference to sex or use of sexual innuendo
    15. the words “life” and “death”
    16. at least one exclamation/declaration of love
    17. references to fine art, theater, music, or film
    18. mention of genitals and body parts
    19. food items
    20. drug references (legal or illegal)
    21. gossip
    22. mention of sleep or dreaming
    23. use of ironic overtone                      _______________                                                                                                                                                                                              Heyhowyadoin, ala New York School
  1. Heyhowyadoin BFF, let's change this thing up.  We've
  2. lived long enough at 123 West Thirteenth Street, 
  3. which, even though it is conveniently located 
  4. between the Sixth and Seventh Avenue subways,
  5. bears no comparison to the Prague Hotel where we saw
  6. Vanessa Redgrave, like, you know, this movie star, 
  7. at the registration desk, like the bellhop glared
  8. at us staring at her but we were at the short end 
  9. of life then, too self conscious about showing
  10. any body parts, arms or legs, never torso,
  11. much less breasts or genitals, but not interest.
  12. (I mean, how much can a bikini cover, are you
  13. down with that?)  The war broke out before 
  14. we passed that way again, we cowered
  15. in a Berlin airport hallway the second time through,
  16. spent the whole dark of the moon night
  17. longing for a sedative, damn!, to sleep, to dream away
  18. the sounds and possibilities of the existence
  19. of war.  Fortunately we'd saved snack crackers
  20. from the flight and a kiosk operator shared
  21. fruit at a reduced price, but did you know
  22. Irene peed her pants that night
  23. (should've worn a Kotex)  before we were allowed
  24. to get up, stretch, go to the'd think
  25. we'd've been safer in there, in the first place.
  26. "Let's tell each other stories," you said,
  27.  as though the word would save the world..
  28. Well, I didn't mean to be sacrilegious, but anyway
  29. I don't think that's the kind of story 
  30. you were talking about.  OH it was a long, hard 
  31. night; reminding me of being scared to death
  32. during a bad storm one night when 
  33. I was a child just old enough to be trusted
  34. to stay home alone overnight.  I never used 
  35. the "I"m old enough, aren't I?" 
  36. argument with Mother again.                         by Shirley Smith Franklin

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