Brown Squawk (Pantoom)
#1
Brown Squawk

When we aren’t lookin’, they whisper the same things.
“Those are the people,” they say, “who want to have babies and live off my taxes.”
They don’t say brown,
But I know.

“Those are the people,” they say, “who want to have babies and live off my taxes.”
As though it were chin slappin’ hilarious to sleep three deep in a twin bed,
But I know
I eat free lunch and pay for it every night.

As though it were chin slappin’ hilarious to sleep three deep in a twin bed.
Brodie killed a cockroach. Squashed it underneath his tongue.
I eat free lunch and pay for it every night.
Nobody hears Tasha squawk.  She ain’t really a chicken.

Brodie killed a cockroach. Squashed it underneath his tongue.
One day I’ll have bangs and my zits’ll clear.
Nobody hears Tasha squawk.  She ain’t really a chicken.
When we aren’t looking, they whisper the same things.
I sleep with the lights out.  
They always come back. 
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#2
(11-15-2019, 12:17 PM)Ossey D. Wrote:  
Brown Squawk

When we aren’t lookin’, they whisper the same things.
“Those are the people,” they say, “who want to have babies and live off my taxes.”
They don’t say brown, 
But I know. Solid opening, I like the dialogue - you don't see that often in poems. Makes you connect more with the protagonists (not sure if that's the right word) of the poem.

“Those are the people,” they say, “who want to have babies and live off my taxes.”
As though it were chin slappin’ hilarious to sleep three deep in a twin bed,
But I know
I eat free lunch and pay for it every night. Great line - worthy of refrain. 

As though it were chin slappin’ hilarious to sleep three deep in a twin bed. I'm not sure chin slapping hilarious is worth repeating - could make use of the space to add something else.
Brodie killed a cockroach. Squashed it underneath his tongue.
I eat free lunch and pay for it every night.
Nobody hears Tasha squawk.  She ain’t really a chicken.

Brodie killed a cockroach. Squashed it underneath his tongue. Nice and evocative, I can taste it.
One day I’ll have bangs and my zits’ll clear.
Nobody hears Tasha squawk.  She ain’t really a chicken. I don't really get the chicken reference. Are kids bullying by calling her a chicken?
When we aren’t looking, they whisper the same things.


I enjoyed reading this, thanks - not much to offer as critique. Really just that chin slapping refrain, and more clarity on the chicken. Tough (for me) to find fault with the essence of the poem.

Is brown squawk an epiphet I haven't heard? 

Relevant in Canada right now (not that such things aren't relevant everywhere) as a Canadian icon, Don Cherry just got fired for berating immigrants for not buying Poppy's to support our troops on remembrance day.

Thanks for sharing.
"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture."
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#3
Thanks so much for the thorough reading and insightful feedback.
I’ll work on the chicken reference.
Brown squawk is really about being a poor black kid. It’s one kid talking about his younger siblings...and yup, being bullied about it.
Very helpful feedback.
Thanks!
I sleep with the lights out.  
They always come back. 
Reply
#4
Hi Ossey D.
Enjoyed the read, though I agree with WJames about the E line ('chin slappin') - it doesn't hold up to repetition.
(A very tentative suggestion - laughing as we sleep, three deep in a twin bed)

You could, perhaps, trim the B line, as in
"Those people," they say, "have their babies, live off my taxes."

It might be worth revisiting the final verse, it's rather disjointed.
Did you consider
Brodie killed a cockroach. Squashed it underneath his tongue.
When we aren’t lookin’, they whisper the same things.
One day I’ll have bangs and my zits’ll clear.
They don’t say brown.   ?

(I think 'brown' offers a stronger finish)


Best, Knot.


.
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