I must say the first draft was rough! For inspiration, and some idea’s on how to proceed, I did a little searching on the web and found two really nice sites.
Writters Digest Magazine:
has a really great article on poetry revision http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-genre/poetry/some_thoughts_on_poetry_revision.
Sheila Packa Poetry Blog:
Also has a nice post on revision http://sheilapacka.blogspot.com/2011/12/revision-and-body.html.
Now, as for that pesky poem. I decided to remove some of the more preachy elements and concentrate on alteration and rhythm. Writer’s Digest recommends maintaining the spirit of the poem and doing as many revisions as it takes to distill the poem into it’s purest rendition. I believe that this is essential for Slam poetry and spoken word. Be careful that you don’t cut any snap worthy lines (more on that later). Since this is a spoken word piece, It will remain free-form. The cadence of the piece bounces around a lot almost like jazz. It should not be to confusing as long as I practice my delivery but I might want to go with less transitions and a more uniform structure in the next revision. I have spaced the poem in a way to try and maintain the tempo for delivery. I understand that the subject of the poem might be off putting to some of you, but I like to work with real emotion and this often involves real issues. Feel free to comment below.
I, the product of white flight
He, the product of able bodies
Me, my name is Cobb, he his name was Cobbs
poorly chosen words,
shed light on ignorance,
reopened old wounds
more vast then sharecropper’s fields,
Feels, now my tongue now the lash.
A gash in flesh, a gash in time,
Of past realities is robbing me of breath that my name betrayed.
It starts with sins of the blood. Like verse from the book. that speaks about the sins which fathers partook. It stains like blood, passed down to the son.
This mark of Cain cannot be whitewashed..
To the victim I would call friend.
To the products of white flight.
Our intentions are in question
smiling at dark faces,
still singles out race,
perpetuating crimes through kindness,
seldom letting dark soul just be soul.
Lord knows, my ignorance and stupidity has often come back to haunt me, and in these moments some have rightly labeled me cracker
And I say God,
if Im a cracker,
I want to be an animal Cracker.
if you can hear me, make me a cookie”
You see, cookies only have wet backs when you lick them. Colors mean flavors and nothing more. Parents don’t care if you love the dark ones.
The many sizes and shapes are all sweet and you never have to worry about the macaroons attacking the pecan sandies for their shelf space.
I wonder can you be institutionalized for expressing a desire to be snack food? If that is the greater absurdity, I confess my insanity, so fit me with the white jacket with the fashionable straps and throw away the key.
Because I never want to relive the shame that I felt when I learned why you never call a black man boy.