Delaney Harrison: Indian Waiter!

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Jon Lazerbeam Phelps: This Picture is Related

Jon Lazerbeam Phelps

Alas, there could not be found a dictation of this poem, so here is a picture of David Mason. Enoy.

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Jon Lazerbeam Phelps Blog Post #1 David Mason: A Bit of Skin

A Bit of Skin by David Mason

Across and aircraft isle
a mother, young, in jeans
beside her children, leans
to pick up a drooped doll,
and at her reach, the blue
of her brief jacket lifts.
My glance furtively shifts,
acknowledging the view:

only the small of her back,
but lovely, olive, then
a realization –skin
and I shyly bend to my book.
That teasing notion, touch,
transferred from eye to hand
six miles above the land
has shifted me to such

and adolescent state
when skin was everything
ecstatic, every sting
relieved by a hot date,
but now it’s not so clear.
The mother across the aisle
indulges space with a smile
I can only describe as pure.

That too is skin, as is
the hand that holds my pen
depicting this little scene
like notes for an altarpiece.
Often I think our skin
is deep enough for love.
We wear it like a glove
until we wear it thin.

David Mason’s place in modern poetry is marked by his fluid style and nativity of common narrative. His poem A Bit of Skin uses a reflective narrative of something commonplace to describe a moment of longing and also one of undirected hope. Mason’s poem mixes elements of innocence and mature desire to explore the momentary subjects of passion and life, as well as the fleeting presence of these same qualities.

David Mason’s poem describes an encounter in which the author/narrator observes a mother in an airport as she tends to a child. The author observes a spot of revealed skin on the small of her back and describes the moment in a recollective state. A shift occurs in the beginning of the third stanza as the author is sent into “an adolescent state/ when skin was everything/ ecstatic.” This shift proposes the thought of longing and fulfillment that is present in one’s youth, presumably lost within the author and now resurrected by this image, as well as the vivid intimacy of skin.

There is a recognition of the skin’s owner, as the author notes that she is a mother of children. The author’s arousal is linked to the underlying significance of this note, as her motherhood is nearly symbolic of passion and dedication. The presence of her children can be interpreted as a symbol of the innocence that surrounds the moment, and the revealing of her skin is brought about by tenderness and care for innocence (“leans/ to pick up a dropped doll,/ and at her reach, the blue of her brief jacket lifts.”) This interpretation of the scene reveals that the authors revived passion is one of a purer nature, and innocent but matured desire instilled in the heart.

The final stanza breaks into a shift as the author reflects upon his recording of the event. His analysis of the moment takes a darker and almost melancholy tone in his understanding that her smile, too, is skin. The final statement of the poem, “I think our skin/ is deep enough for love./ We wear it like a glove/ until we wear it thin,” reveals the intention of the author in his speculations of love. His adolescent recollection turns to a moment of realization in that one’s endeavors to know and love another human being stretches, strains, and tears our ability to actually connect until we become distant of such things, and, like our skin, we become to thin to love at all.

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Miriam Jones video for Bob Dylan Blog Post

Tomorrow is a Long Time by Pammy and the Dust Buny Acoustic Cover

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Miriam Jones Blog Post #1 Bob Dylan Tomorrow is a Long Time

Tomorrow is a Long Time

Bob Dylan, 1963

If today was not a crooked highway, If tonight was not a crooked trail, If tomorrow wasn’t such a long time, Then lonesome would mean nothing to ye at all.

Yes, ‘n’ only if my own true love was waitin’, ‘N’ if I could only hear her heart a-softly poundin’, Yes, ‘n’ only if she was lyin’ by me, Then I’d lie in my bed once again.
I can’t see my reflection in the water, I can’t speak the sounds to show no pain, I can’t hear the echo of my footsteps, Or remember the sounds of my own name.

Yes, ‘n’ only if my own true love was waitin’, ‘N’ if I could only hear her heart a-softly poundin’, Yes, ‘n’ only if she was lyin’ by me, Then I’d lie in my bed once again.
There’s beauty in that silver, singin’ river, There’s beauty in that rainbow in the sky, But none of these and nothin’ else can touch the beauty That I remember in my true love’s eyes.

Yes, ‘n’ only if my own true love was waitin’, If I could only hear her heart a-softly poundin’, Yes, ‘n’ only if she was lyin’ by me, Then I’d lie in my bed once again.

Bob Dylan is a musical artist with lyrical type poems,which content consist of a dark tone texture, but is used in realistic circumstances. Each poem tells a narrative story of relationship with a love, current news events that were going on in the world, or the interpretation of the supernatural world.

The poem I select is called tomorrow is a long time. It can be identified as a ballad poem, because of the refrain or chorus repeats three time to contribute to the main idea and title of the given poem. The first thing that comes to mind about the title is waiting for the next day to present itself, which seems almost like waiting for eternity. In the first stanza, Bob Dylan was expressing that if time was not carried out for a long period, then he wouldn’t feel emptiness in his heart toward the love of his life. The refrain or chorus says, “Yes, ‘n’ only if my own true love was waitin’, ‘N’ if I could only hear her heart a-softly poundin’, Yes, ‘n’ only if she was lyin’ by me, Then I’d lie in my bed once again”. In this refrain Bob Dylan was connecting the reader or hearer with the emotion that he had toward his love. His love was so deep for her that no other women can take his focus off, because he is waiting till she returns. The last two sentences of the refrain say that he would “only lay in his bed if she is next to him”. These two lines express the main theme of this entire poem of emptiness and loneliness.

In the third stanza, to me it seems that he is having a break down of knowing that his love wont return, so he has these allusions of if reality is worth it? The second sentences of the stanza says, “I can’t speak the sounds to show no pain”, meaning that he can’t express his pain through words or even mournful sounds. He does not know how to carry his emotion, because he probably feels like a blank piece of paper that does not have one word written on it, to express the emotion through words and plus paper cannot feel pain, just as Bob Dylan was describing. Also in the last two sentences of the stanza, it is describing how not only does he cant speak or show pain, he has blocked the sounds of his surrounding, including the sounds of his “own name”. This goes back to the moment of him almost having a epiphany of if reality is worth it, because no sound or people is worthy of his attention, unless if it was his love. The refrain is repeated again to show a transition from being completely numb to this exuberant reminder of him going to wait for eternity till she returns.

The last stanza of Bob Dylan poem is stating how beautiful the “river” is and the beautiful “rainbow” in the sky, he begins to admire the beauty within his surroundings. The ending two sentences says, “But none of these and nothin’ else can touch the beauty that I remember in my true love’s eyes”. This meant that the surrounding that he currently stated was beautiful has no comparison of the true beauty she showed through her eyes. Then again we see the refrain repeated for the last time.

In conclusion, Bob Dylan design the poem “Tomorrow is a Long Time” to present as a love poem of describing the depth definition of what is true love. As shown in this poem love can make the heart and mind do some crazy things.


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Jasmine “Weekend Glory” Angelou

Weekend Fun

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Jasmine Carter “The Weekend Glory” – Maya Angelou

Weekend Glory by Maya Angelou

Some clichty folks
don’t know the facts,
posin’ and preenin’
and puttin’ on acts,
stretchin’ their backs.

They move into condos
up over the ranks,
pawn their souls
to the local banks.
Buying big cars
they can’t afford,
ridin’ around town
actin’ bored.

If they want to learn how to live life right
they ought to study me on Saturday night.

My job at the plant
ain’t the biggest bet,
but I pay my bills
and stay out of debt.
I get my hair done
for my own self’s sake,
so I don’t have to pick
and I don’t have to rake.

Take the church money out
and head cross town
to my friend girl’s house
where we plan our round.
We meet our men and go to a joint
where the music is blue
and to the point.

Folks write about me.
They just can’t see
how I work all week
at the factory.
Then get spruced up
and laugh and dance
And turn away from worry
with sassy glance.

They accuse me of livin’
from day to day,
but who are they kiddin’?
So are they.

My life ain’t heaven
but it sure ain’t hell.
I’m not on top
but I call it swell
if I’m able to work
and get paid right
and have the luck to be Black
on a Saturday night. 


                This joyful poem by Maya Angelou contains a positive and independent tone by a strong and hard-working woman. This poem is about neither having to be wealthy nor having to please the eye or standards of society to have fun and enjoy life in its entirety. Angelou expresses through stanza two that the rich people are doing all these big things and going an extra mile to impress other people when they are truly only making themselves tired and not having fun, when she writes, “Buying big cars they can’t afford, ridin’ around town actin’ bored.” These lines sum up how the weird and wasted weekends appear to the people who are not wealthy. The people who are not rich are nowhere near jealous. However, they are simply amused that the rich people think that they have the better life.

                Angelou then reveals a shift in the couplet of stanza three. She switches from talking about the wasted weekends of the rich folk to talking about her own exciting and bright weekends. She expresses in stanzas four and five that she works hard, pay her bills, pays her tithes and still goes out with her girls on the weekends. In a sense, she is revealing that she truly lives a full life and that she is making the best out of her life every weekend.

                Finally, in the last stanza Angelou has another slight shift change. She is now reflecting her life in general. She states, “My life aint heaven, but it sure aint hell.” This line clarifies that she knows that she does not have the perfect life but she also knows that her life is pretty good. She is satisfied and that is all that matters in her mind. She reveals that she is not living to satisfy any other person, which is the right way to live.

                Angelou’s rhyme scheme choice is very interesting and is a great addition to the excitement of this poem. Angelou rhymes every other line in most of the stanzas, as well as adding slant rhymes. In the first two lines of the first stanza Angelou reveals the very first slant rhyme when she writes, “Some clitchy folks don’t know the facts.” The slant rhyme is between folks and facts. She could have started the poem with this type of rhyme to introduce with uniqueness, excitement and to add contrast to the normal rhymes in the same way that the weekends of the rich and her own weekends contrast each other.

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