On the playground, in the gym or the locker room, the cruel kids
play target practice with the nerd. They know they’re the cool kids.
Pinch the beat, whip his dignity—they’re the best at that too.
And when they go home they’ll laugh about it at the pool, kids.
Stand together, lean against the lockers, leer at the girls.
Make sure even the teachers know they’re the cream. They rule, kids.
Follow him through the hall; corner him in the stall. Fix him.
Thinks he’s smart, thinks he’s better than them, but he’s a fool, kids.
One day he’ll remember crushing flowers, reaping virtue,
and want to blame his defects on them, those other school kids.
Excuses, excuses, a shield for his own abuses.
And to forget, he’ll do enough drugs to drool, kids.
Get up, get up, Four Eyes, before bitterness strangles you.
Drop the sack on your back and stop being such a fool, kid.
[I wrote this for my poetry class too, back in 2011. I’ve been thinking about possibly working with the point-of-view, but still haven’t figured out a way to do it that satisfies me. For the moment, I’m going with italics.
I wanted to wait for a while before posting this, since Dilliproduct had posted a ghazal earlier. She hasn’t posted anything else since, so I will go with it. However, hers is a wonderful read; a very thoughtful visualization of the life of a full-time college student, and all the work and pressure that entails. If you read it, I am sure you will not regret it. It’s called “All Nighter.”]
- Patricia Smith Breaks Down “Hip-Hop Ghazal” (diligentcandy.com)