A poem for Kanye

Posts

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.

Advertisements

 

I’ve uploaded another video from my Voicebox gig back in July. It’s a short hip hop-style poem I wrote called ‘Think About What You’re Saying’, decrying the misuse of language. At the beginning of the vid, I’m having a little chat with the audience. They were great that night; I even had a couple of hecklers. I was telling the crowd that I’ve been writing poetry for 20 years, and some wag called out “How old are you?” Whoever that was, thank you for participating in the banter. I very much enjoyed it.

 

 

Posts

Spent last night putting the finishing touches on a new hip hop poem I’ve written – I felt very inspired after interviewing DVS the other day. It’s always energising to talk to someone who lives, eats and breathes writing like that dude. (The interview will be going up on the NYWM blog next month.)

Although I will never be gangsta and I generally abhor thuggery, I also spent about an hour browsing on ThugFashion.com. I may have purchased a few items. I can only hope that I wasn’t funding some kind of gang violence. (I assume that the website’s thuggery is as real as their ‘fake gold’ grillz.)

I do love me a bit of rap, and I find that writing in a hip hop style helps me find a rhythm in my poetry that I never managed to find while ‘counting feet’ in English tutorials. It’s also super fun to sling on my shiny golden jacket.

Posts

Poem: “The Bogan Rap (lyrics)”

Poems, Posts

I’m here today to tell you about a man – you might know him.

He is every man lining up for The Shed in Northbridge
and he is every man who still thinks Ben Cousins is a hero
and he is every man with a southern cross tattoo on his shoulder.
He bears the cross on his shoulder but, christ, he’s not Jesus
(though he may wear sandals wherever he pleases).
He’s crackin’ a can of coke and Jack Dan
and lurching at me with his drink in his hand
and I’ve seen him, leaning out his Commodore,
keening on me like I’m a common whore.
I’ve got class, man, I like a conversation.
Been to uni and got me an education.
Yeah! This shit’s tertiary, bro,
and I think you should know
to use your head
use your head
use your head
use your head.
Like John Stuart Mill said,
SHOW BITCHEZ RESPECT.
Show bitches respect, show bitches respect,
like Johnny Mill said, show them bitches respect.
…Uh, yeah, that’s not quite what Mill said,
but you know what I meant,
though using the term ‘bitch’ was a detriment to my argument….
But I digress. Yes! Express my words with finesse.
Though this bogan everyman is causing me real stress,
‘coz he’s the loudest and the meanest and he’s got cash, too,
and he’s traded up the flannel for Armani suits
so he’s harder to find. But the state of his mind will divide
him from the other blokes every time that he gets blind.
‘Coz in his head, the world is neatly split into two –
so it’s me and it’s you
it’s yours and it’s mine
it’s black and it’s white
it’s us and it’s them and it’s them and it’s us
and everyone owes him
and it’s not his fault
and his only ambition in life
is to drink every weekend and have a hot wife.
Such is life! I guess this is
the life of his missus –
tradin’ her freedom for his seldom kisses.
So take your coke and your Jack
and a big step back,
‘coz if you’re crackin’ on me, I feel sorry for ya, son.
I got 99 problems but a bogan ain’t one.

Hit me.

Video of my first Cottonmouth gig!

Poems, Posts
Check out the video of my Cottonmouth spot here.

It features my poems “No men are islands, but some women are”, “Spheres”, and my first ever original rap.
I am most proud of my gold jacket, which I think is the classiest item of clothing I own.

Check out all the other rad performers on Cottonmouth’s blog, and seriously, go to Cottonmouth, it’s a great event.

KP