Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Words from the Streets

I've been listening to Louise Distras, Mark Lind and Frank Turner lately. Musicians who have come from working class backgrounds. So I'm sure that having their music pumping into my ears lately sparked this poem. Two quotes that I read recently that have been floating in my brain also prompted this poem.

"The words of prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls and whispered in the sounds of silence." - Paul Simon

"I like people with depth, I like people with emotion, I like people with a strong mind, an interesting mind, a twisted mind, and also someone that can make me smile." - Anon

The title was inspired by the Casualties song "Sounds of the Streets" which is also about the working class.

I hope you like it! Let me know what you think! Thanks!!

Words From The Streets

Running on a treadmill,
between songs on my iPod
the music playing in the gym
sneaks its way into my head.
Some new 15 year old pop sensation
sings about “the big Gs”
and “the honeys all around.”

I walk through the streets of my town.
Two musicians play reggae
on the corner
and my feel naturally move
in time to their rhythm.
I stop and listen,
smile, snap a picture with my phone,
wave at them and move on.

Out on the trails in the city
music from working class musicians,
singing about their struggles and hardships
feed into my head.
I sing along,
throw my head side-to-side
violently while I jog,
not caring, actually kind of hoping,
that others could be listening.
I stop under the highway bridge
to read the spray-painted-on poetry,
You have to struggle
You have to fight
You have to win!
I smile, nod my head,
re-energized I run
with a renewed passion
to take on the world.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Katie, I get that feeling! I often get energized by music playing while I go about my day ... wishing that others I pass by could hear what I hear and feel that bit of euphoria too. Nice poem, keep up the good work.

  3. it is in our struggle we often find the words for our songs and poetry
    better enjoy those middle class words before they go extinct though
    we are surrounded by music though---for those that listen

  4. I love grafitti poetry, especially Basquiat's work. Growing up in a poor and then working class family I know this feeling.

  5. Ah...music is very soothing and energizing, depending on the genre. You have captured that music's power very well in your poem. :-)

  6. nice...love that music and poetry is everywhere... and i like the honesty as well of those that come from the working class - maybe never had a proper musical education but there is this raw honesty and passion that many artificially made stars lack

  7. Really enjoyed this - rock & roll - punk - rap - folk - all poetry. Grass roots up, blues, jazz all was born in the streets, came out of the raw emotions of prisoners, brothels, and talented musicians who were largely self taught. Think you might enjoy the beat-poets article Thursday. I'd like to read lots more of your work. G.

  8. I like how you mingle poetry and music as well as movements and energy. And I enjoyed the street poetry you incorporated in your poem Katie! Poetry and music are indeed everywhere.

  9. Very musical. I liked the way you described the different voices... Intriguing. Loved it. :-)

  10. Love that poetry and music are everywhere...makes life lighter and sweeter.

  11. Amazing how different music can energize you in different ways,,, When it comes to working class music -- I love Glasvegas (despite their name)... Daddy's gone.. wonderful lyrics.

  12. This is cool. I like how you paint a picture of your little musical journey and i can relate to the city scenes, and the diversity of music. Nice to take on the world.

  13. Don't you love it when you find inspiration in unexpected places?

  14. visual and energetic, Katie ~ M

  15. music and wisdom are all around us!

  16. Take on the world!! Music and Poetry will win us all.