Category Archives: Uncategorized

April 23, 2020

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The Old Prince Still Lives at Home

by Shad

I live at home still, not paying phone bills
Hydro, or rent, and my mom makes most meals
So it’s so ill, I don’t need no scrill
Only cash for gas when I borrow my folks’ wheels
(But you can’t drive) whatever, our van died
(Get a good bike) who I look like, that Lance guy?
I ain’t pushing no banana seat
Looking like some eight year old kid on your grandma’s street
You can go ahead and call me lazy
I just retired real young, y’all, call me Jay-Z
Or maybe I just hate these crappy jobs, call me crazy
But I refuse to work ’em, man, it’s miserable
Can’t do it ‘less it’s due to circumstance
And I need the cash to feed my astronomical appetite
But for the time being, y’all, I’ll sacrifice
And have a life minus a couple of luxuries
Just cutting my budget schemes and getting some stuff for free
Like, why’s a brother need a dentist? It’s expensive
And my gums’ll bleed, they do every time when he scrubs ’em clean
And every year they try to bump the fee
Plus he’ll probably recommend braces (there you go) that’s another G!
Well thanks a lot, doc, but listen, I can brush my teeth
All on my own, so you ain’t gonna hustle me
So that takes care of the dental plan, now here’s a potential scam
Getting my toes crushed by a rental van
Then if I sued the driver and the rental guy’s
Enterprise or whatever, I bet they would settle nice
Court adjourned, now I just gotta pay for the law forms
(That’s easy) spend two weeks eating popcorn
Like students do, ‘cept I’m grown and it’s not dorms
So it’s a bit more pathetic, okay, a lot more
But what y’all gotta mock for? What’s wrong with my Mach 3?
Y’all gotta be macho and mock more?
Well not me, and I do not need to change blades
Its all my own hair I shave, chin back face legs
And the rashes rarely last more than 8 days
Usually, so it’s cool with me, I can save great
(But hygiene) That ain’t no reason to buy things
Like soap or visine or getting clothes dry cleaned
I don’t throw away dough on no facials
Yeah I make rolls of my pennies, I even pay folks
In clubs out this case full of pesos I lug
(Bro, get ’em exchanged) Nope, I’m waiting till the rate’s low
Don’t hate yo, just cause y’all wasteful
Y’all wanna make your bruh the scapegoat, it’s bugged
It’s all nuance, use your head
Why get a bed and couch when you can slouch on a futon instead
If you got a little bread like croutons
Download them new songs and spread them coupons
If you happy when you save 2 dollars a week
You steal your neighbors empty bottles and keep all your receipts
And only treat your girl yearly to McDonald’s to eat
Don’t be ashamed, pop your collars man, holler at me (holla)
If y’all are this cheap, cause this is for acknowledging peeps
That gotta track every dime using columns and sheets
If you strip search the mall for the bargain to beat
Like every day you’ve just a penny saved from starving on the street
Keep carving a niche, I’m started in a jar for the wee
Little Shaddies still to come for their college degree
Yo I figure starting early on the market is key
I plan on having smart daughters all Harvard M.D
And regardless, we gon’ never put a car on the streets
‘Less them gas prices lower and the parking is free
And no parka for me, not even gloves, scarves or a fleece
I may freeze but I’ll keep saving marvelously, holla
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Shadrach Paul Kabango
The Old Prince Still Lives At Home lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

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24. Would you rather get up very early or stay up very late?

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April 22, 2020

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Fast Car

by Tracy Chapman

You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere
Anyplace is better
Starting from zero got nothing to lose
Maybe we’ll make something
But me myself I got nothing to prove
You got a fast car
And I got a plan to get us out of here
I been working at the convenience store
Managed to save just a little bit of money
We won’t have to drive too far
Just across the border and into the city
You and I can both get jobs
And finally see what it means to be living
You see my old man’s got a problem
He live with the bottle that’s the way it is
He says his body’s too old for working
I say his body’s too young to look like his
My mama went off and left him
She wanted more from life than he could give
I said somebody’s got to take care of him
So I quit school and that’s what I did
You got a fast car
But is it fast enough so we can fly away?
We gotta make a decision
We leave tonight or live and die this way
See I remember we were driving, driving in your car
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone
You got a fast car
We go cruising entertain ourselves
You still ain’t got a job
And I work in the market as a checkout girl
I know things will get better
You’ll find work and I’ll get promoted
We’ll move out of the shelter
Buy a bigger house and live in the suburbs
See I remember we were driving, driving in your car
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone
You got a fast car
And I got a job that pays all our bills
You stay out drinking late at the bar
See more of your friends than you do of your kids
I’d always hoped for better
Thought maybe together you and me’d find it
I got no plans I ain’t going nowhere
So take your fast car and keep on driving
See I remember when we were driving, driving in your car
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone
You got a fast car
But is it fast enough so you can fly away?
You gotta make a decision
Leave tonight or live and die this way
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Tracy L Chapman
Fast Car lyrics © Emi April Music Inc., Kobalt, Purple Rabbit Music, Emi April Music Inc

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22. Would you rather be the most intelligent kid in school and make awesome grades or be the most popular kid in school and make poor grades?

 

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April 21, 2020

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Let me not to the marriage of true minds (Sonnet 116)

William Shakespeare – 1564-1616

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
    If this be error, and upon me prov’d,
    I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.

 

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21. Would you rather go to the school only for four months in the winter and have the rest of the year off or go to school in the summer and have the rest of the year off?

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April 20, 2020

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The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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20. Would you rather get good grades or be good at sports?

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April 19, 2020

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We never know how high we are (1176)

Emily Dickinson – 1830-1886

We never know how high we are
  Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
  Our statures touch the skies—

The Heroism we recite
  Would be a daily thing,
Did not ourselves the Cubits warp
  For fear to be a King—

 

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19. Would you rather win an Olympic Gold Medal or an Academy Award?

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April 18, 2020

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O Captain! My Captain!

Walt Whitman – 1819-1892

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
       But O heart! heart! heart!
         O the bleeding drops of red,
           Where on the deck my Captain lies,
             Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up- for you the flag is flung- for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths- for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
       Here Captain! dear father!
         This arm beneath your head!
           It is some dream that on the deck,
             You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
       Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
         But I with mournful tread,
           Walk the deck my Captain lies,
             Fallen cold and dead.

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18. Would you rather be a famous movie star or a member of your favorite popular music group?

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April 17, 2020

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Rosa Parks

This is for the Pullman Porters who organized when people said
they couldn’t. And carried the Pittsburgh Courier and the Chicago
Defender to the Black Americans in the South so they would
know they were not alone. This is for the Pullman Porters who
helped Thurgood Marshall go south and come back north to fight
the fight that resulted in Brown v. Board of Education because
even though Kansas is west and even though Topeka is the birth-
place of Gwendolyn Brooks, who wrote the powerful “The
Chicago Defender Sends a Man to Little Rock,” it was the
Pullman Porters who whispered to the traveling men both
the Blues Men and the “Race” Men so that they both would
know what was going on. This is for the Pullman Porters who
smiled as if they were happy and laughed like they were tickled
when some folks were around and who silently rejoiced in 1954
when the Supreme Court announced its 9—0 decision that “sepa-
rate is inherently unequal.” This is for the Pullman Porters who
smiled and welcomed a fourteen-year-old boy onto their train in
1955. They noticed his slight limp that he tried to disguise with a
doo-wop walk; they noticed his stutter and probably understood
why his mother wanted him out of Chicago during the summer
when school was out. Fourteen-year-old Black boys with limps
and stutters are apt to try to prove themselves in dangerous ways
when mothers aren’t around to look after them. So this is for the
Pullman Porters who looked over that fourteen-year-old while
the train rolled the reverse of the Blues Highway from Chicago to
St. Louis to Memphis to Mississippi. This is for the men who kept
him safe; and if Emmett Till had been able to stay on a train all
summer he would have maybe grown a bit of a paunch, certainly
lost his hair, probably have worn bifocals and bounced his grand-
children on his knee telling them about his summer riding the
rails. But he had to get off the train. And ended up in Money,
Mississippi. And was horribly, brutally, inexcusably, and unac-
ceptably murdered. This is for the Pullman Porters who, when the
sheriff was trying to get the body secretly buried, got Emmett’s
body on the northbound train, got his body home to Chicago,
where his mother said: I want the world to see what they did
to my boy. And this is for all the mothers who cried. And this is
for all the people who said Never Again. And this is about Rosa
Parks whose feet were not so tired, it had been, after all, an ordi-
nary day, until the bus driver gave her the opportunity to make
history. This is about Mrs. Rosa Parks from Tuskegee, Alabama,
who was also the field secretary of the NAACP. This is about the
moment Rosa Parks shouldered her cross, put her worldly goods
aside, was willing to sacrifice her life, so that that young man in
Money, Mississippi, who had been so well protected by the
Pullman Porters, would not have died in vain. When Mrs. Parks
said “NO” a passionate movement was begun. No longer would
there be a reliance on the law; there was a higher law. When Mrs.
Parks brought that light of hers to expose the evil of the system,
the sun came and rested on her shoulders bringing the heat and
the light of truth. Others would follow Mrs. Parks. Four young
men in Greensboro, North Carolina, would also say No. Great
voices would be raised singing the praises of God and exhorting
us “to forgive those who trespass against us.” But it was the
Pullman Porters who safely got Emmett to his granduncle and it
was Mrs. Rosa Parks who could not stand that death. And in not
being able to stand it. She sat back down.
Nikki Giovanni, “Rosa Parks” from Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea.  Copyright © 2002 by Nikki Giovanni.  Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers Inc..
Source: Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea (HaperCollins Publishers, 2002)

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17. Would you rather always have a booger in your nose that moves when you breathe in and out or a piece of food stuck between your two front teeth?

 

 

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April 16, 2020

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Making History

Marilyn Nelson – 1946-

Blue and White Orlon Snowflake Sweater, Blue Snowpants, Red Galoshes
          —Smoky Hill AFB, Kansas, 1955
Somebody took a picture of a class
standing in line to get polio shots,
and published it in the Weekly Reader.
We stood like that today. And it did hurt.
Mrs. Liebel said we were Making History,
but all I did was sqwunch up my eyes and wince.
Making History takes more than standing in line
believing little white lies about pain.
Mama says First Negroes are History:
First Negro Telephone Operator,
First Negro Opera Singer At The Met,
First Negro Pilots, First Supreme Court Judge.
That lady in Montgomery just became a First
by sqwunching up her eyes and sitting there.

 

Copyright © 2014 by Marilyn Nelson. From Beloit Poetry Journal, Split This Rock Edition. Reprinted from Split This Rock’s The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database.

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16. Would you rather not be allowed to wash your hands for a month or your hair for a month?

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April 15, 2020

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When Giving Is All We Have

Alberto Ríos – 1952-

                                              One river gives
                                              Its journey to the next.

We give because someone gave to us.
We give because nobody gave to us.

We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.

We have been better for it,
We have been wounded by it—

Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,
Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.

Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,
But we read this book, anyway, over and again:

Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,
Mine to yours, yours to mine.

You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.
Together we are simple green. You gave me

What you did not have, and I gave you
What I had to give—together, we made

Something greater from the difference.

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15. Would you rather wear clown makeup every day for a year or wear a tutu every day for a year?

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April 14, 2020

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Ode to My Socks

Pablo Neruda – 1904-1973

Maru Mori brought me
a pair
of socks
which she knitted herself
with her sheepherder’s hands,
two socks as soft
as rabbits.
I slipped my feet
into them
as though into
two
cases
knitted
with threads of
twilight
and goatskin.
Violent socks,
my feet were
two fish made
of wool,
two long sharks
sea-blue, shot
through
by one golden thread,
two immense blackbirds,
two cannons:
my feet
were honored
in this way
by
these
heavenly
socks.
They were
so handsome
for the first time
my feet seemed to me
unacceptable
like two decrepit
firemen, firemen
unworthy
of that woven
fire,
of those glowing
socks.

Nevertheless
I resisted
the sharp temptation
to save them somewhere
as schoolboys
keep
fireflies,
as learned men
collect
sacred texts,
I resisted
the mad impulse
to put them
into a golden
cage
and each day give them
birdseed
and pieces of pink melon.
Like explorers
in the jungle who hand
over the very rare
green deer
to the spit
and eat it
with remorse,
I stretched out
my feet
and pulled on
the magnificent
socks
and then my shoes.

The moral
of my ode is this:
beauty is twice
beauty
and what is good is doubly
good
when it is a matter of two socks
made of wool
in winter.

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14. Would you rather suffer from spontaneous shouting or unpredictable fainting spells?

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