Hey guys! It’s Annie again, with another edition of the New Classics this Friday! This week, I’ve been scrounging the internet for some new poetry, and I’ve found some truly amazing contemporary writers. They are quintessentially modern, talking about technology, pop and rap music, icons of the moment we live in today. I’ve whipped up this little compilation of the best of the best for you here — Happy reading! And get excited, because we’ve got not one but two Beyonce poems in the mix today 🙂

1. Beyonce is Sorry for What She Won’t Feel by Morgan Parker

The Capital’s so icy, I see my

perfect breath. It looks like a body

on its knees. Most days I strut

my figure on lock. A Nation

of Weaves assembles at my

Jimmy Choos, gazes into green light

and falls asleep. First Lady of desire,

I pant for our future. Like America

and wine, I am all legs. A sheepskin

bleached and dyed, left in the sun.

Dear Sunday you are a rash like

tresses falling to shoulders, pink

highlights humming the sky

like a tease. How do you feel

in moonrise, the stomach-growl

of life slowly closing? Do you wonder

about escape, the blank, quiet frontier?

I mouth Free and Home into a crowd

but they only hear gold extensions.

I listen for prophecies

from my daughter’s sticky mouth.

While I pick her hair, she cries.

I say, Never give them

what they want, when they want it.

2. Excerpt from Untitled by Amber Tamblyn

Search “Famous actress ghost continues to haunt local town”

Search “Biographies of actresses in the film ‘Poltergeist’ + Dead”

Search “Origin of a curse”

Search “Baby from famous commercial dies”

Search “Deceased actresses under 30”

Search “Death certificate for Quentin Dean”

Search “YouTube + Quentin Dean interview”

Search “YouTube + Emily Quartermaine 1995”

Search “Amber Tamblyn + news”

Search “Amber Tamblyn + bad poetry”

Search “The worst celebrity poets”

Search “IMDb + Best actresses under 30”

Search “IMDb + most underrated actresses over 30”

Search “Screen Actors Guild statistics + how many actresses work past

     age 30”

Search “Fay DeWitt + murder”

Search “Iranian actress Asal Badiee + murdered?”

Search “How to identify human poisoning + homicide”

Search “Brittany Murphy autopsy + hair sample test”

Search “How many hairs are on the human head?”

Search “Brittany Spears shaves head”

Search “Rotten Tomatoes + Romeo Must Die movie”

Search “Rotten Tomatoes + Amber Tamblyn movies”

Search “Unknown actresses and actors of vaudeville”

Search “Eddie Tamblyn + brain tumor”

Search “Unknown actress deaths”

Search “National Archives + Actresses, deceased”

Search “Manjula died age 35”

Search “Geeta Bali died age 34”

Search “Lilian Velez died age 24”

Search “Claudette Mawby died age 20 + WWII bombing in Brighton”

Search “Debbie Linden died age 36”

Search “Virginia Maskell died age 31 + postpartum depression”

Search “Paola Pezzaglia died age 36”

Search “Sibyl Sanderson died age 37”

Search “Julia Dean died age 37 + childbirth”

Search “Anna Maria de Bruyn died age 36”

Search “Chane’t Johnson died age 34”

Search “Lya De Putti died age 34 + Harbor Sanitorium”

Search “Jean Gillie died age 33”

Search “Ebba Morman died age 33 + tuberculosis”

Search “Quentin Dean died age 58 + ?”

Search “Sriranjani died age 33”

Search “Sunny Johnson died age 30 + burst blood vessel in her brain”

Search “Funny cat videos”

3. The Facebook Sonnet by Sherman Alexie

 Welcome to the endless high-school

Reunion. Welcome to past friends

And lovers, however kind or cruel.

Let’s undervalue and unmend

The present. Why can’t we pretend

Every stage of life is the same?

Let’s exhume, resume, and extend

Childhood. Let’s all play the games

That occupy the young. Let fame

And shame intertwine. Let one’s search

For God become public domain.

Let church.com become our church.

Let’s sign up, sign in, and confess

Here at the altar of loneliness.

4. The Average Black Girl by Ernestine Johnson

They say I’m not the average black girl because I’m so well spoken

Poised, full of etiquette, a white man’s token

You know I remember my ex’s mother telling me, “I didn’t know how I was gonna react when he brought home a black girl, but I like you because you talk so white.”

But when did me talking right equate to me talking white?

They say I’m not the average black girl

No! No! Not the average black girl because the pigment of my skin is just a shade lighter than that black girl over there

You know, the black girl over there

The black girl with the nappy hair

The black girls whose elbows can’t skip a day without lotion

Whose hearts and heads are filled up with self-hate and bottled up emotion

The cocoa brown girls who have to face society every day and be tough

Because no matter how good they straighten their hair, their good is still not good enough

Oh, but see. Luckily for me, see

I don’t fall in that category,

See they say I’m not the average black girl because I speak with so much cla** and

I don’t have too much but just enough a** and

Not too much but just enough pizzazz

You know, just a little bit of attitude

‘Cause you don’t wanna come off as one of those average black girls and come off as rude

You know, popping their gum and shaking their neck

Yeah, ’cause those black girls get like no respect

But see luckily for me, see I get pa**

‘Cause the melanin in my skin matches that brown paper bag

And my father, brother and men that I date pants don’t sag

And when I speak, my tongue pronounces every syllable

And the combed part down the middle of my hair is naturally visible

Oh! Oh!

It must be a weave or she must be mixed

‘Cause we all know the average black girl ain’t got that good (sh**)

Or when I walk in a room full of white men, they all stare

It must be the long lengths of my un-average black girl hair

See! See, they say I’m not the average black girl because I corrected the professor when he used the word conversate.

Converse! The word is converse

[Lyrics from: https:/lyrics.az/ernestine-johnson/-/the-average-black-girl.html]

And in case you didn’t get the memo, there are now eight not nine planets in the universe

And when you’re watching the numbers on your stocks move up and down

Remember Oklahoma, in a small town

One of the first Wall Streets was a Black Wall Street that got mysteriously burned down

Oh, they say I’m not the average black girl

Well let’s flip this script and rewind this (sh**)

Repaint the lines and have them blurred over time

Because the average black girl that I know…

See, the average black girl that I know made 19 trips through the Underground Railroad to free the slaves

Sat on segregated buses, refused to get up and paved new waves

See, the average black girl that I know…

The average black girl that I know were Egyptian queens like Hatshepsut and Nitocris who were ruling dynasties and whole armies of men

Excuse me, why I set fire to this poem on my pen ’cause I am tired!

Tired of the stereotypes black girls have fallen into because of American mentality

Oh!

But not half as tired as Ella Baker, Diane Nash, Septima Poinsette Clark

I am sick and tired of being sick and tired

Miss Fannie Lou Hamer, Daisy Bates, Anna Arnold Hedgeman and Dorothy Height are far more tired than I am

But do you think the ones who say I’m not the average black girl even give a damn?

No!

So pardon me if I can’t openly accept your compliments

Pardon me if I can’t openly accept your compliment

It’s just the average black girl that I know…

The average black girl that I know had courage that surpa**ed her every fear

And fought for justice and equality year after year

So as I construct these words, pardon me as I shed a tear

Because I’m not half the black girl she was!

I am not half the black girl she was! See, there’s a minor clause

She was out there fighting, breaking and changing laws

So I bow down to my black queen standing in the merit of her work

And as America society continuously throws these supercilious words onto me

I say, “No!”

I am not the average black girl, I can only aspire to be.

5. Beyonce’s Quadruple Platinum Single — An English to English Translation by E. J. Koh

All the single ladies, all the single ladies

All the single ladies, all the single ladies

All the single ladies, all the single ladies

All the single ladies

All the big beautiful women, bondage women,

divorced women, bisexual, female-to-male women.

All the drug-free, gay, non-religious, Latter Day Saints,

social drinker, straight, widowed with kids women.

Now put your hands up

Up in the club, we just broke up,

I’m doing my own little thing

Decided to dip and now you wanna trip

‘Cause another brother noticed me

Look at the blue ceiling.

Dance because the ghost is gone.

Your husk was brutalized. It’s gone too.

You’ve left the bear, the torpedo, the poodle moth.

There is someone else now.

I’m up on him, he up on me

Don’t pay him any attention

Just cried my tears, for three good years

Ya can’t be mad at me

The man is an almond in a bloom.

Don’t touch his childhood.

3 years is not like a straw, it’s a house.

Find liberty somewhere else.

‘Cause if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it

If you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it

 Don’t be mad once you see that he want it

‘Cause if you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it

You didn’t marry the bear.

You didn’t marry the torpedo.

You didn’t marry the poodle moth.

There was no ring for you.

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

I got gloss on my lips, a man on my hips

Got me tighter in my Dereon jeans

Acting up, drink in my cup I can care less what you think

I need no permission, did I mention

Don’t pay him any attention

‘Cause you had your turn, and now you gonna learn

What it really feels like to miss me

There will be someone else now.

Remember the blue light.

Remember the man.

You can hear him thinking

until he forgets who you are.

Call him the president of your body,

then show him how it must be

to be a president without country.

I’m Annie, a recent UC Berkeley grad and publicity intern here at Art + Deco Agency. I’ll be your resident blogger, chatting with and about emerging voices in the literary industry and getting you started on your summer reading list. Catch me here every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday!

Posted by:Art + Deco Agency Blog

Art + Deco Agency is a boutique publishing agency of artists and literary trendsetters. For us, Art + Deco draws to mind a movement of artistic, social and political expression, and we strive to have that impact on literature and branding. Only the few are artistic enough to be a part of it, but we make lasting art and trademarks for the masses to enjoy for generations. Art + Deco actively seeks out and is sought out by new and established authors who are contemporary in their craft and bold in their ideas. We’re a new kind of publishing agency that combines innate understanding of publishing, manuscript editing, design, publicity and brand skills. We leave the stuffy blazers at the door and bring a fresh approach to overused, outdated publishing strategies. We’re a group of new-age masters – not just researching our fields but living inside of them every day. Our modern world needs modern voices, publishing solutions and brand identities. And that’s what Art + Deco provides!

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