Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Voice in a Scream

This is my mimicry of "The Difference Between Pepsi and Coke".

Worries herself thin; only eats cheese and crackers, three times a day,
because the television says her bones aren’t enough:
Cleans neurotically; prays when she drives,
Main distraction towards her love of speed;
Always speaks Jersey when she awakes; drinks vodka with cherries,
drinks coffee to freeze it; everyday a routine in her chaos;
Spends, spends, spends all the money she doesn’t have,
then frets about negative balances and bounced checks;
Yet, Mom can talk in a gentle voice
while yelling at her vocal capacity
Lived in a car when she was finally kicked out;
and had her best friend grow white pumpkins,
She cried as hard as they did when he died;
opens the heavens with her false operatic voice; blissfully
Buying her grand-nephews toys until they crack with smiles
that she loves more than her happiness;
Has ripped opened hearts with words, until the organs
were raw and bleeding and healed once again;
Saw the Berlin Wall being torn down in rebellious glee,
she laughed and laughed and laughed;
Dances to Motown; shops in every hardware store globally;
knows her children lie, and still loves them.


  1. i really like this piece, the line in particular "prays when she drives" and the "vodka with cherries" really got to me. The tone, direction of the poem seems to change after the line about the mother is mentioned. Don't know whether it was intentional but it definitely reflects the idea of the piece.

  2. this works well. The Difference Between Pepsi and Coke starts negative and gets positive, and you did that too. I like the way your poem and Lehman's work because you paint full pictures of the person you're describing. A person isn't just good or bad. And by telling the reader the best and and worst, and some of the in between, you can sense how well you know your subject, and how much you care for your subject. Good job.

  3. I thought this was a great rendition of the original. I had a great visualization of what this person was like by the end. You balance her bad habits with a sense of realness we can all relate to. I think it would be interesting if you made another from the child's point of view. It may create a whole new story! great job.

  4. I loved reading "The Difference between Pepsi and Coke" so I was excited to see that you did your own version. I think you did a really good job of capturing conflicted feelings like in Lehman's poem. Good balance between the aggravating and the endearing qualities of "Mom". That line about ripping open hearts with words is powerful.


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