Derrick Weston Brown

Your Poem

Langston Hughes Tribute Issue
Volume 12:1, Winter 2011

Your Poem

after Gowri K.

Your poem started it
Your poem’s reputations precedes it
I heard about your poem before I heard
it, literally.
Your poem is a rumor mill.

Your poem claims it’s vegetarian
but starts beefs.
Your poem is a biter.
I smell the souls of other poems on its breath.
Your poem doesn’t read poetry but
still claims it’s a poem.

Tell your poem I’m reporting it to

And if your poem doesn’t know what RIF is
then that’s a fucking shame.
Does your poem know how to spell fuck?
Your poem is oversexed.
Truthfully, your poem masturbates
to spoken word albums in the dark.

Your poem is addicted to applause.
If your poem were a junkie it’d be Tyrone Biggums.
Your poem is an overweight pot-bellied pig
with fat rolls on its forehead so big
it has to squint.

On a personal level,
your poem called me drunk
one night and professed its love for me
and then denied it the next day.

Your poem has never been workshopped.
Your poem wants to be workshopped.
Your poem harrasses other poems at
the open mic.

Your poem chases women men and children from
open mics, screaming into the night.
Your poem is an urban legend.
Your poem should be chased by villagers
with torches and pitchforks into a library.

Your poem is a one-season sitcom
on syndication.
Your poem is just in it for the money.
Your poem name drops: Hughes, Giovanni, Whitman,
Frost, and Sanchez…and still don’t give a fuck about them.

Your poem used to be different.
Your poem needs some soul searching.
Your poem is afraid of change.
Your poem could stand to lose some weight.
Your poem has stanza envy.
Your poem is a McDonald’s jingle.
Your poem doesn’t look so good.
Your poem could use a shower
and a workshop.


Derrick Weston Brown is the author of Wisdom Teeth (PM Press, 2011). He has taught creative writing at Hart Middle School and Emerson Preparatory School, and as a visiting artist for the PEN/Faulker Foundation's Writers in Schools program, and been a writer-in-residence at Busboys & Poets and for the Howard County Poetry Literature Society (HoCoPoLitSo). Brown works as a bookseller and book buyer for the Teaching for Change Bookstore at Busboys & Poets, and runs a popular monthly reading series there, called Nine on the Ninth. He is a native of Charlotte, NC, and resides in Mount Rainier, MD. To read more by this author: DC Places Issue, Four Poems, Volume 7:1, Winter 2006