Recipe for a poem

April 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

However it begins, it’s gotta be loud
and then it’s gotta get a little bit louder.
Because this is how you write a political poem
and how you deliver it with power.

Mix current events with platitudes of empowerment.
Wrap up in rhyme or rhyme it up in rap until it sounds true.

Glare until it sinks in.”

How to write a political poem

by Taylor Malik

Recipe for a poem

You need:

A subject you care about




Start with writing one line. This is your “hook”. For example I’ll start my poem with ”I never saw that”. This line we will reuse several times in our poem.

Skip one line and then write an explanation that takes about four lines.

My example goes:

I never saw that…

That thing you claimed

you saw

with all its glory

Maybe it was hidden from me

Next, we put in that first line again, to make our reader or audience get a feel for the poem. Make them feel the rhythm. Make them listen.

This part can be any length, but preferably more than 8 lines, so go into a bit more detail!

My example continues:

I never saw that

and I don’t believe in hiding things

I don’t believe that was it

.” and so on..

When we have finished this part, we use a variation of our first line again, in my case:

I can’t see it

or something similar. At this point the “that” in my poem has been a bit more explained. The reader or audience has an idea about what I talk about, so now it’s time to wrap it up neatly.

Start with your “I can’t see it” and add on the next line “because.. “, and explain to your listener. Let it take about four lines.

Now, you have almost finished, all you need is a punch line. In my case it will be

because there is no silver lining

All in all my example would be something like:

I never saw that…

That thing you claimed

you saw

with all its glory

Maybe it was hidden from me

I never saw that

and I don’t believe in hiding things

I don’t believe that was it

I don’t believe in the words

so filled with nothing more

than letters filling space

hanging out in corners

waiting for better things to do

better words to attach themselves to

your words

that there is always a silver lining

I can’t see it


that world is dead

that one right there

where haiti falls into pieces and the preachers reach for guns

and guns reach out and touch the hearts of bankers

and there is nothing left but falling


because there is no silver lining.

Now, it’s your turn!


Way out.. north?

February 25, 2009 § Leave a comment

I’m in Umeå! About as far up north as you can come if you live in the south end of Sweden (if I would go even further up I’d have to travel for more then 14 hours from home, and that’s just too far north. There is a limit to how far north it’s possible for me to go and still stay fairly sane.). It’s half a meter snow here at the least, and sunny. Beautiful!

I went here partly so I could relax and get some distance between me and reality, and get some work done, write a bit, program a bit. But mostly breath in, breath out. My soul needs some space, and this is the perfect place to get it. I still seem to have a tight schedule while I’m here, but it doesn’t matter, I can still relax in a completely different way here.

On friday Olivia Bergdahl and Loke is playing up here, which is great, since I’m missing out of a lot of stuff while I’m gone, seems like all good shows and clubs are on this weekend.

I’m gonna try to get time to have a beer with Olivia or just hang out in the snow, you know, stuff you do when up north. We’re going to dinner at a friends house as well (not with Olivia mind you), and there is a poetry slam on thursday that I’m thinking of squeezing in. I really hope I get time to go out into the outbacks here and just watch the nightsky. Two weeks is a long time, but not near as long as it feels like.

Mats Söderlund and me

February 23, 2009 § Leave a comment

Mats Söderlund writes a cry in despair here (in swedish) about the new shape the goverment seem to like the swedish art to take. I’m with him, that the state shouldn’t stear or control the art, the poetry and so on.

We can’t live in a system where we are supposed to write something that works with the society around us, poetry and art is supposed to mirror the world, work outside and inside it, not bend to the rules of it. Art is not suppose to make money, it’s supposed to make art. If it would make money it would be design. That’s completely different.

Art is supposed to inspire critical thinking. It’s suppose to be a place where you can channel energy, intelligent reactions and feelings, not a place were you stress your way into producing what someone else wants. But I suppose that’s where we are going. People who themselves know very little about art or the function of it very seldom understands the necessity of it, even though the society around them needs art and it’s expressions to exist.

There is another article about it here. I get so upset reading these things, I mean, until a couple of weeks ago I still had hope that I one day would publish that novel, that I would become an author (more than I already am), but this is making my future very insecure. Maybe there is no point. Maybe I should give up and become another gray nothing instead.

I want to know that for me and the others around me, there will still be a chance, even if we aren’t the most confortable for the establishment. That we aren’t screwed just because we aren’t writing chic-lit or crime.

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