Found Poems


Time magazine, Feb. 20, 1984, p. 34

As darkness fell, the combat
grew in the savage street

Afraid of what the night
would bring, many sought
refuge Every minute
seemed to bring the sound of
rockets Even the usual
wail of crisis could not be

Fire trucks did not risk
making runs


The Morning Advocate , Baton Rouge, La.,
Feb 20, 1984, pp. 1-A, 6-A

Monty and Julie died the night
of September 23, each with a bullet
in the head They were found
on the seat of a new Datsun
parked near a city housing project

The car’s ceiling light was
burning A white poodle
was on Julie’s lap

Shooting is a way to fill
an afternoon The fear
of crimes of violence
is not just a fear of injury
or death

It is the fear of strangers

I sleep with the light
on now

III. Gangsta Rap

Time magazine, March 24, 1997, pp. 46-47

Life was sweet, good
like something out of a
song Then
he discovered gangsta rap

Records bearing his name
sold out in stores Americans
have long been drawn
to the symbiosis between life
and pop culture

This has gone too far, he says
It’s making us look like animals, he says
I guess we hit the snooze button, he says
It’s just entertainment, he says

Violence, even the threat of it,
seems to feed on itself

Inside the hip-hop community
paranoia is running at high levels
Rumors are flying
The value of life is decreasing

It’s time to give people their dreams back,

he says


Pinkie Gordon Lane
from her book Elegy for Etheridge
LSU Press, 2000

used with special arrangement from Louisiana State University Press

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