Paco José Madden

A Hip-Hop Sonnet

Volume 16:1, Winter 2015
Sonnet Issue

A Hip-Hop Sonnet

What the shizzle, write a fucking sonnet.
I ain’t up for dat. No iambic in
my pentameter. Just grit in my shit
grooves in my moves, ‘ya know what I’m saying.

Petrarch ain’t no MC compared to me.
Shakespeare’s licks are as weak as Jay-Z’s rhymes,
and Kanye’s meter steps on Sidney’s feet
in octaves and quatrains of busted time.

But my volta will turn this mutha out.
Keep your mind strung and hung upon my words.
Of my lyrical skilz, there is no doubt.
You ain’t had bread ‘til my butter was churned.

And though my flow may swish ‘round trash can rims
This illin’ form, fourteen strong, never ends.


Paco José Madden is a DC-native with a BA in Drama from Catholic University of America. He has self-produced three full-length dramatic works at the Capital Fringe Festival. Madden has won several awards and grants from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities in playwriting and screenwriting. His poetry has been published in Big Pulp and District Lines. Among other works-in-progress, he is writing a steampunk stage version of Frankenstein.