A poem for Kanye

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A couple of weeks ago, I was passing through Perth on some interstate travels, and a friend invited me to perform at a poetry night in Freo. I said yes! Thanks! Woo hoo! But then I began to worry: I hadn’t written too many new performance pieces since last time I was in Perth, and this crowd was likely to have heard my stuff before. The last thing you want is an audience rolling their eyes and going, “Not this one again. NEXT.”

So, I scrabbled around for some new stuff I’d written in Brisbane. One was something I wrote for my Dad for his sixtieth birthday, mainly filled with insider references that only my family would get. But I put it in my back pocket. Another was a sort of cutesy, plaintive poem about my posterior, because why not. And I decided to do The Editor’s Rap, even though it’s an oldie, because hell, it’s fun to do. But I still needed another piece, so I decided to write one.

I wrote a poem to Kanye West. Kind of a rap. More like an open letter to Yeezy. I love his music – big fan – but he gets away with saying some pretty messed-up shit about women. It was time for right of reply.

Kanye West, probably yelling about a woman.

I was particularly replying to the track ‘Devil In A New Dress‘ (from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, 2010), and this idea of a woman being dangerous and devil-like because she “has” the “power” to arouse a man. (MEN! Quit getting mad at girls because they gave you “the feelings”. You are the masters of your destiny, the captains of your junk! I believe in you!)

So, this one’s for you, Yeezy.

So you say I’m the devil in a new dress?

Aw, you bet.

All the cash I spent just to make your pants tent.

All the cash I spent, could’ve used on my rent.

All the dress I bought so you’d know what I meant.

What I meant.

Dancin’ in my “root suit”. Riot

coz my dress says yes but I say no

and you don’t buy it.

You won’t listen

unless it’s said with fabric and stitchin’.

Couldn’t attract you by accident,

must’ve been my intention.

Little did I know, tonight, when I was getting all dressed up,

the same hand that sewed this dress was sewing

my mouth shut.

Couldn’t’ve dressed like this because it felt good, NO.

Couldn’t’ve dressed like this because it’s comfy, NO.

Couldn’t’ve dress like this for no reason, NO.

Or coz the shops all have the same damn styles every season … (Am I right, girls?)

Couldn’t attract you by accident –

this is what my dress meant –

must’ve been a plan to torture you by Satan.

Satan, Satan, Satan.

Yeah, must’ve been Satan.

Uh, go and tell it on the mountain, son,

or go and tell Kim Kardashian.

Don’t need to guess what my dress says –

this’ll help you stress less –

focus on my lips and wait ’til I say “yes”.

Don’t need to guess what my dress says –

this’ll help you stress less –

come and make a deal with the “devil in a new dress”.

Big thanks to Perth’s poetry paparazzi, Jamie MacQueen, for recording and posting the video of that performance, embedded at the top there.

Photo of Kanye West from Flickr.

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