Prohibited Disorder Kids

by Bill Brando
About Poetry Forum
Third Place, September 2007
Judged by Deborah Bogen

the prohibited disorder kids
slide greasy
down the street
with their Kool-Aid hair and
black leather jangle
past buildings
with beerbreath doorways,
missing teeth,
staggering like old bums
pissing on yesterday’s news…
pitter patter patter
“dudn’t fuckin’ mattah, man,”
the motto when you’re beat–
cigarette burn chancres,
banana bruise knuckles
tenderizing vacant meat,
crunching scattered glass stars
under jackboot feet
beneath the switchblade moon–
“the world’s a fucking tomb, man…”
see the prohibited disorder kids
tromping rusted punk rock paradisio
corrosive soundtrack fast,
snuffed out slow
with no god but
white noise.

Making street-talk work in poems is an art, and this poet uses fantastic inner sound effects to do that, keeping the slangy phrases from becoming a prosey recitation. Take a look at "pitter patter patter/"didn't fuckin mattah, man,"" with its play on the pitter-patter of little feet, and "beneath the switchblade moon--the world's a fucking tomb, man.." followed closely by "tromping rusted punk rock...". The poem wisely interrupts what could be too much hip-hop sing-song with sections of free verse that call to mind what we've all seen, but not described quite so well, e.g., "the prohibited disorder kids/slide greasy/down the street". --Deborah Bogen