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If All of the World Lived On My Street

by Jordan789 

Posted: 01 November 2006
Word Count: 121

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If all of the world lived on my street,
Where would the parakeet sleep?
The blue and the green,
A rosey yellow beak,
The thin black nails…
Where would the parakeet sleep?

The trees would be cut, to build up and up and up.
The bushes plowed,
The gardens razed.
All of the temperature!
Ninety-seven point six degrees,
six billion procreating
space heaters, bumping and frictionizing
into and off of one another, blaming each other
and bruising each other, warranting the next
best thing to genocide: killing your own neighbors.

If all of the world lived on my street,
Where would the parakeet sleep?
The blue and green,
The rosey yellow beak,
The thin black nails…
Where would the parakeet sleep?

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Comments by other Members

James Graham at 18:37 on 03 November 2006  Report this post
Hi Jordan - this poem was interesting right away, even on a first quick reading, with its worst-case scenario of over-overcrowding and the contrast with the simple, colourful - and affectionate - portrait of the parakeet. I like your portrayal of sardine humanity as 'procreating space heaters'; all the lines around this phrase create a suffocating sense of overcrowding, which must make any reader squirm who has a need for 'personal space'. And there are no trees, and it's unbearably hot - quite a hell on earth.

Something occurred to me, and I'd like to ask you about it. Did you intend the poem to be a way of saying something on a population and environmental theme? As a way of saying, 'If there are too many people in the world, how will the animals survive?' Or a secondary issue perhaps: 'If there are too many people, will society break down?' Do you mean the poem to suggest these issues, or is it not as 'heavy' as that?


Jordan789 at 20:53 on 03 November 2006  Report this post
It's mostly crafted as an initial response to a recent move. Simultaneously I've been reading a heavy amount of Tom Robbins, Skinny Legs and All, which might act as a sort of psychadelicly-charged diffuser of optimism, or maybe that's just me.

The poem does carry with it these themes, but only as an initial personal response.

Thanks for reading, James.

James Graham at 14:08 on 05 November 2006  Report this post
I think the poem works on two levels. Readers wouldn't know it was a response to your having moved house, but could easily take it as one of those fresh, sometimes whimsical, flashes of insight we sometimes have when we look at our neighbourhood - whether it's a new neighbourhood or the one we've known for years.

If you wanted to be explicit about the source of the poem, you could perhaps give it a title that actually tells the reader you have just moved to this street. On moving to XXX Street. First morning in XXX Street. You could use the actual name of your street, or a fictional street name. But I'm not sure it's essential to make that change.

It works too as a sideways glance at themes of population and the environment. Themes like these can be very heavy in poetry, but not here - they just hover around the poem and can be picked up by any reader who makes the association.


joanie at 14:14 on 05 November 2006  Report this post
Hi Jordan. I am a sucker for repetition and this is no execption! This grabs the attention and makes the reader think!

The middle stanza is so vibrant, full of energy and agressive. I like the short bursts.

Then the repeat of the first stanza starts the thoughts spinning! This is worthy of several reads - I love it!


Souchong at 19:47 on 05 November 2006  Report this post
just adding my two penn'orth - i love the simplicity of this - the childlike, 'innocent' way you touch so lightly on really big themes within society. beautifully done. and the structure, the repetition, the rhythm .. all works for me. nice one.
best wishes

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