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Stuff for the Teen Age

Teen Central Writers' Club: Those Manipulative Shoes


As winter kicks in, Teen Central and Grand Central's second Writers' Club newsletter is now available (PDF).  We decided to feature a poem written by Crystal Gomez at the November 26th meeting of the writers' club. She wrote this in response to M.C. K~Swift's exercise on "personification." (Personificaton could be defined as giving human qualities and/or making come alive objects that are not human or often not alive.) -- Crystal's personification pairs included: a lost cell phone; trusting games; joyful paper; a funny building and of course....

Those Manipulative Shoes

Sale! Sale!... Wait!  What did I just hear?... OMG! Let me check those shoes out! But I'm hungry... I think I want a hot dog.  I'm tried of rubbing my belly and it sure did smell good two blocks down.

(After finishing her hot dog) Um... that honey mustard... It's sweet and tangy... Ohh, just my style... but that onion I put on for topping, it's really overpowering my breath... I think I need a mint.

Winterfresh is what I'll pick.  Ahh!... I feel like I'm in the Sprite commercial.

(Back in the shoe store) Ooooh! I see those sexy pumps. But they're not in my limit... But, dang!... those ARE cute! And they're blue... Not dark blue... Not light blue... But shiny blue.. the blue that makes a fella's head do a double take. Damn... and they're leather. Umm, I can smell it.

I gotta leave, but those shoes are calling, "Crystal, Crystal, can't you hear?"

Damn you, manipulative shoes.  You know I'ma buy you.  So say goodbye to your friends.

Hey, Vick, I just bought some new shoes!

*     *     *

We often read, share, perform and get feedback on our original writing when we meet.  On ocassion, we look at the work of famous and not-so-famous artists that someone in the group may like or admire.  Last week I read and will share now the poem "Sign of the Times" by one of my all time favorite poets Paul Laurence Dunbar.

The great poet Paul Laurence Dunbar was one of America's greatest stars throughout the decade of the 1890s. In a time when most African Americans were ignored, Dunbar became famous, and his use of dialect in some of his work reflected African American culture and voices he heard growing up. Thanksgiving has come and gone but this poem of Dunbar's is still here:

Sign of the Times

Air a-gittin' cool an' coolah
Frost a-comin' in de night,
Hicka' nuts an' wa'nuts fallin',
Possum keepin' out o' sight.
Tu'key struttin' in de ba'nya'd,
Nary a step so proud ez his;
Keep on struttin', Mistah Tu'key,
Yo' do' know whut time it is.

Cidah press commence a-squeakin'
Eatin' apples sto'ed away,
Chillun swa'min' 'roun' lak ho'nets,
Huntin' aigs ermung de hay.
Mistah Tu'key keep on gobblin'
At de geese a-flyin' souf,
Oomph! dat bird do' know whut's comin';
Ef he did he'd shet his mouf.

Pumpkin gittin' good an' yallah
Mek me open up my eyes;
Seems lak it's a-lookin' at me
Jes' a-la'in' dah sayin' "Pies,"
Tu'key gobbler gwine 'roun' blowin',
Gwine 'roun' gibbin' sass an' slack;
Keep on talkin', Mistah Tu'key,
You ain't seed no almanac.

Fa'mer walkin' th'oo de ba'nya'd
Seein' how things is comin' on,
Sees ef all de fowls is fatt'nin' --
Good times comin' sho's you bo'n.
Hyeahs dat tu'key gobbler braggin',
Den his face break in a smile --
Nebbah min', you sassy rascal,
He's gwine nab you atter while.

Choppin' suet in de kitchen,
Stonin' raisins in de hall,
Beef a-cookin' fu' de mince meat,
Spices groun' -- I smell 'em all.
Look hyeah, Tu'key, stop dat gobblin',
You ain' luned de sense ob feah,
You ol' fool, yo' naik's in dangah,
Do' you know Thanksgibbin's hyeah?

*     *     *

Explore more of Paul Laurence Dunbar's poetry here. A fuller biography is available here.

The Writers' Club is still growning and gaining strength and momentum.  We are certainly looking for more young writers to join our community—so don't be shy, give us a try. Wednesdays at 4PM at 135 East 46th Street in Midtown Manhattan (between 3rd & Lexington Avenues) on the second floor.  The group led by MC K~Swift also features assistance from Lois and Rodger and journalist/writer Fred Jerome in the background (more on Fred later).


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Looking for Teen Writers

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