“Rhyming Poem”

I am a spoken-word poet
Been one since I knew what it was
Lately, though, I haven’t been writing.
Words elude me, and I think it’s because

I worry, I obsess, when I’m writing
that I’m gonna waste the audience’s time
That someone like me ain’t got shit to say
and people will just laugh when I rhyme

I am a white girl from the suburbs
I’ve never been abused or broke
Guys never whistle at me on the street
I use words like “whom” and “misspoke”

Jon Stewart is more badass than me
Tina fuckin’ Fey is more hood
I crack myself up when I say “holla” —
don’t even try for “yo” or “what’s good?”

Nobody slams in my hometown
so I watched clips of Def Jam for years
Waiting for the day when I could do that,
Lying when I was asked about careers

Going to law school, see, sounds like torture
Wall Street is some slow sole death
I’d rather to be a gypsy poet woman,
words taking wing from my every breath

Yeah – I’d rather live in a huge old apartment
stealing power, washing clothes in the sink
Only books and my work for company
and just taking writers for lovers, I think;

See, I love to love people
whose brains are showing
Because competence is sexy
and wordplay gets me going

I’m not hot, and I’m not easy,
so all I have going for me is my mind
And though I’m not even twenty
I already needa make up for lost time

It feels like I’m late to the party,
like all that’s gonna happen already did
All I write’s been done before, and better,
Like we’re all just a postscript to the Aeneid

Still, I read and write poems on poems,
and though shit sometimes gets meta
I’m just writing because I can,
writing and hoping to get better

And in the meantime, well,
I’ve got my voice and a stage
and permission to convince a few strangers
that this poet has got shit to say

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