Saturday, May 30, 2009

If.When.Then Remix: Post-Writing @ Crown Last Day

RULE: Think back to the If.When.Then Surrealist Conditionals game. This time, using everything you know about poetry rules and techniques, write a poem that borrows from the conditionals construct.

If I was invisible,
I would still be right here.
I might even be the one who caused you to shed tears.
You might be able to see me as a ghost
I could be a horrifying imaginary television host.
I could walk right beside you in the night,
Go deep inside your body and commit suicide with all my might.
If I was alive, I might still be dead.
When I'm lying there unconsciously, please don't be sad.
If I'm reading this right and you think I'm actually here,
Don't be confused because I am a Black African American,
a ghost from the past years.

By Shiara Jackson

If I fall in love,
you are the one.
If we break up,
tears will come.
If I wonder why,
tears will dry.
If someone else comes,
they'll heal my heart.
But I don't know when
my love for you will stop.

by Jasmine H.

If earth would stand still,
then roses would smell like dooky,

If I were a jelly bean,
then frogs would float.

When school is over,
then rocks would turn to liquid.

When the snow shines,
Then quarters turn into time.

If grass was orange,
then smoke would become pain.

If shadows come out of walls,
then there would be no zombies.

If love turns into like,
Then there would be no more hearts to fill.

If snow turns into a river,
Then pillows would feel like bricks.

When aliens come to Earth,
They will suffer.

If school stops teaching,
There will be no more brains to fill.

By Rodney Scott

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Experiment Translating Equations


GIRL (to the second power) (-protection + boy)



We're all here together
No one's around
Don't know what to do
I can't make a sound
I know what they're up to
But I don't know if I'm down
She says one thing
And I say another
But we all really like each other.

After that night,
everything would never be the same.
I might lose my life,
Even my game.
I don't know what to do,
I'm in so much pain.
The doctor told me
We just can't be together.
I got something --
a disease called VD.


I am when boys
never use protection.
I am when boys go
from girl to girl to girl
I am when he give it to her
and she give it to him
and on and on and on.
I am the most deadly
dramatic and dumbest
disease: HIV.


I am the STD
One day there was this boy
who sleep with different girls
and without using protection
which is when
I formed inside
of this boy's body
who sneaks up
in different girls' bodies
of those who have
unprotected sex
and unsolved deaths.


Girls using no
protection will feel
bad at the end
either sick or with

Girls using no
protection will regret
what they did.

Girls using no
protection will suffer
with pain and sorrow.

Girls using no
protection and
boyz not using their
brain will both suffer
in pain.


Brave boy is friends
with gorgeous girl.
Brave boy hangs out
with gorgeous girl.
They spend time together.
Brave boy and gorgeous girl
hold hands in the park.
They become close.
Brave boy doesn't
use protection, brave boy
and gorgeous girl consume
a disease. Brave boy
blames gorgeous girl.
Gorgeous girl breaks up
with brave boy.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Experiment New Math by Crown Students (based on the work of artist Craig Damrauer)


crime - black man


by Joshua E.

GUN SHOT = run + down + (run and duck)

FIGHT = push + punch + run + I will fight you

by Elijon

FIGHT = talk - dislike / I hate you - step back x (police) + (trouble) x (embarrassed)

GUNSHOT = duck + down / cry x funeral - mother lost her baby

by Tyrone S.

JUSTICE = law - crime / living for good

FREEDOM = free - enslaved / fighting for freedom

by Corey F.

STREETS = violence + drugs + money (-peaceful)

JUSTICE = fighting for good + law - killing / hero

by Eric G.

RELATIONSHIP = love x crying + depressed to the 5th power + (anger squared) + hope + (pregnant) x girl/boy + baby weight x (offspring)

DREAM = hope x happiness - faith

by Keon G.

CONFUSED = I don't know what to do - I didn't make up my mind

HATE = (no love) + (stop talking to me) + (you have no place in my heart)

STREET = money + power + respect + drugs + homeless + prostitution

by Jaquanna W.

STREET = thugs + drugs - love

by India J.

UNKNOWN = not knowing + (need squared + to know) - never knew + why?

by Sabrina F.

RECESSION = (-job) + (-home) + tears

by Jimone S.

2009 = me + age + smart 4th + cool 5th + funny 6th + bad 7th

by Deandre F.


(trust) + (friends)


by Carnail A.

EXHAUSTED = no air + suffocating + tired + you can't breathe

MISERABLE = lonely to the 21st power - friends to the 19th power + nothing to do

by Rodney S.

FIGHT = bloody nose squared + fears + weapons + hearse + 20 to life - your future + more tears

ENEMIES = I don't like you (to the seventh power) divided by Why are you so mean to me? - friendliness

by Nicole S.

FIGHT = 2(anger) + (fist) 4 divided by reality

IMPOSSIBLE = Imagination to the 10th power + dreams - reality

by Leroy C.

EMOTION = feelings - happiness + hard time

by Rodney S.

FIGHT = punches + blood - a clean face

by Devonta A.

FIGHT = slap + pulling hair - cafe

by India J.

HATE = disrespect + attitude - love

by Felicia T.

POOR = - home - money - hope

by Sabrina F.

LOVE = happy + sweet - hurt x true love

by Danielle

LOVE = sorrow - strong affection - (lust)(hate)

by Michelle W.

FIGHT = punching + kicking - teeth

MR. ALBRECHT = tall - disresepectful + committed to being a math teacher x compassionate to the 5th power

by Shiara J.

BROKEN-HEARTED = sad + crying + confused - happy - love life - relationship

by Danielshe

FIGHT = loser + winner - happy + consequences

PREGNANT = girl/boy - baby weight + offspring

by Tyleisha L.

HURT = cries + pain to the 2nd power - heart divided by love

by Tatyana S.

DECISION = consequence + choice x action

by Carnail A.

HATE = anger + rage - love

by Booker F.

RUN = push + down - here I come

Tyrone S.

GOD = (people / belief ) + religion

TEACHER = homework + friends / school x graduation

by Tyrell W.

FIGHT = hand / revenge + anger

by Kewon P.

LOVE = pain to the 3rd power + decision / thoughts - what anyone thinks

by Jasmine H.

BABY = friend + girlfriend - love

Experiment Try My Idea by Crown Algebra Students

Directions by Nicole Smith:

Close your eyes and think of a food. It can be whatever food you want.

If you thought of a healthy food, multiply the number of vowels by 2. If it's a junk food, multiply the vowels by 5.

Once you multiplied your food vowels, write a poem with a squared number of multiplied vowels.

When you're done, stand up.

When you stand up, shout, "hurray!"


6 squared=36
36 vowels

I have a decision to make.
It's not all fun and cake.
to do my stop tomorrow,
or go to a funeral with sorrow. Sorrow.


by Tyleshia Lynn

Felicia Townsel's Rules

Go in the hall
Walk 3 squares
Then jump however many times
the number of letters in your name.
Untie your shoe.
Write a poem
about the first thing you see
After doing this.

Results by Shiara Jackson

My stomach is turning upside down
It feels as if my world is crashing around.

I feel kind of weak inside and out
My legs are wiggling and I'm about to sprout.

Now I realized I shouldn't have jumped so much
And right now, I can hardly think about lunch.

Shiara Jackson's Rules:

You have to repeat the word amazing 5 times.
The number of letters in your name is the number of words per line.
Your poem has to be about your favorite president of the United States, past or present.

Results by Felicia Townsel:


He is amazing, just so, so amazing
People be praisin' him, just just praisin' him
Cause he is just so, so amazing
He is Obama. I love him like
my momma. Cause he just so amazing.
Obama is amazing, amazing, amazing, amazing, amazing.

Demario's Rules:

Walk 20 steps.
Turn to the right.
Write about the first thing you see.

Results by Tyrell:

The thing that I
see is the dream.
They say it is one
And he say we all
have one dream.
And they say


Kewon Pettis' Rules

Figure out when Mr. Albrecht was born.
Add up the numbers of that year.
That number will equal the number of words in your poem.
Find the letter in the alphabet that goes with each number of the year.
Look up and write down the first thing you see.
Every line of your poem will start with the letters that go with the numbers.
Your poem is about the first thing you see.

Results by Demario:

1+9+7+6 = 23

The first thing that I see is a book about eggs.

A+ on that summary about the book about eggs.
I hate eggs.
G is the last two letters of
the word egg.
Friday, we'll be finished with
the book about eggs.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Walk on the Beach -- a group poem by 2nd graders @ Columbus Elementary School May 2009

On The Beach

I saw an igloo made of ink in India.
Peter saw purple pollen on a banana peel.
I found fifty fingers in Florida.

Carlos caught classy schools with high cholesterol
But Cindy was cold with crabs, caught creatures
In the sea – coconut caught Carlos’ attention.

I found a ruby.

I do want to see you.
I do not want to see you cry.

I found sea turtles.
I found shark bones.

Van on the beach.
Violin on the beach.
Violets on the beach.
Violas on the beach.

George guarded the garden.

I found schools, and sharks, and starfish and shells and seven squares.
I found a net of nickels, one hundred pennies and a parakeet.

People push people – all people – every day – until they push.

I found a nun, preying.
I found jam and jello and jacks and Joe and jelly beans and Jupiter and jeans and justice.

I saw a turtle and the turtle was big.
I found a turtle in the water.

I found a jelly sandwich and a jack in the box.
I found ants and angels and apples on the beach.
I found pretzels and parents and Paul’s pencils, pickles, popcorn, and pants.
I found a cat fish.
I found a shell in the sand.

I found a beach ball and boats and volleyballs and last but not least, bathing suits.

I found a girl standing in the water.
My brother bought boats, breakfast in bowls.

I found a concert ticket with a backstage pass with a key next to it.
I found a koala swimming with a kangaroo.
A snake slithered somewhere.

By Columbus Elementary School 2nd grade class with Ms. Pino -- 2009

Swahili Proverbs/Kanga Sayings in East Africa -- Columbus Students Write Their Own Sayings!

In East Africa, the kanga cloth dominates the fashion landscape. These brightly pattenered textiles all feature a poetic phrase/proverb printed at the bottom of the cloth, and often use metaphor and colorful language to express abstract meanings and interpretations of social reality. Kanga cloths are often traded or purchased for friends and family both for the sheer beauty of the cloth, but also to communicate messages embedded or implied by the poetic phrase on the cloth. In this way, the kanga is used as a poetic note silently passed between two people, a form of potent, indirect communication between two people having an on-going conversation. In this way, poetry and poetics plays a major role in the daily conversation of East Africa. Columbus students studied Swahili proverbs found on Kanga cloths, and then we took a turn at creating our own phrases.

Here are a few by 3rd graders:

If money falls from the sky, then help the homeless.

If you see a robber, use god's power to stop him.

If you had no mother, you would not be alive.

If your blood is hot, then you will fade.

If you play the piano, then angels will sing.

If you got hit by a car, you will turn to metal.

If you touch a thorn, you will run out of blood.

If you had no heart, then you have nothing but hatred.

When you are injured, you will heal.

When an elephant is running toward you, you will die.

If you ever find your dog, then you should live with him.

If all the clouds fall down, we will all blow up.

A small fear turns into a nightmare.

A small world can be bigger than you think.

If you don't listen, your ears will turn very big.

If people had magic, noone would have to work.

If you ran really fast, you'd travel all around.

If my mother was down, then I would have to be up.

If thunder is following you, grab the thunder and throw it back to the sky.

When you stomp your feet, you'll find a dollar.

If my brain was red, then my world would be red.

Without bones, you are made of jello.

Without your brain, you would just be dead.

If the earth was just water, we would all drown.

If you read "yam" backwards, you would know it was made in May.

With no mother, I would not live at all.

If friendship does not work, I will find a new friend.

When our teachers leave us, we will cry a pool of water.

Without the sun, there is not life.

Without gravity, we go to the moon.

A little is enough to be whatever you want.

If I see god, then I would die to live with him.

Singing too loud breaks glass.

If our grandfathers lived again, we would protect them so they wouldn't die.

If I look long enough at the star, I would become the star.

If we change the date, we get to eat the cake.

If you don't have a plan, you don't have a train.

If our grannies come back to life, let's take care of them.

If you really love your favorite color, then be your favorite color.

If you run really fast, you will turn very old.

If I die, then I will continue in my dead mansion.

If I have love, I will keep it a secret.

If the Sears Tower tilts, I will leave Chicago.

Even if we get into a scramble here, you will still be my sweet love.

If you wonder too hard, you won't find your way.

If you fly, you can touch the sky.

Clever people have brains.

Being lucky is like singing the song of your life.

Don't set sail when I say to set sail.

You build someone else's place, you feel greatness in your heart.

Me and you find great happiness.

If someone shouts, then noone dies.

If life dies, then god will die.

If there was no moon, there would be no beauty.

Earth will die when time stops.

If fire hits you, you will become it.

If you get born the love will stay.

If you point at the rainbow, the love will come true.

If you make a bird, you will never forget.

You should pick life over death.

If I had a sword, I'd use it for justice.

When you read, spells will come out of the book.

If you stare at a bee, you might get eye contact.

If you have the might, you might get the fight.

If you are a nice person, I will love you.

If your dad is sick, what will you do?And a few by 2nd graders:

If you see a bug, you should be brave.

If you love someone, keep it to yourself.

If you stop talking, you will become a king or queen.

If you dream of a spider, you should make it real.

Even if you fly away, you will come back.

If you really learn something, you will never forget it.

If you can love, then you can help.

If you see a bird, you should sing to it.

If I count to ten, I will get sophistication.

If you disobey the law, admit it to make justice.

If I get wasted in the USA, I would be reborn in Canada.

If you claim a rainbow, you'll find gold.

If you buy a present for your mom, she will never forget that.

If your parents point at the rainbow, you will see the future.

If my mom and dad grow, I will grow.

If I swim with the shark, I will turn into a shark.

I if I love, then I will get love back.

If I die, then I would come back to earth so I can relive my life again.

If I kill a bear, then I will turn into it.

People push people – all people – every day – until they push.

African Praise Poems @ Columbus Elementary School May 5, 2009

In today's workshop, we learned about the African Praise Poem. In these poems, a call and response pattern reveals the revelatory and spiritual voice of the poet. The alternating lines can include conditions of entry into the world, unusual features of a birth, geneology or kinship affiliations, geographical affiliations with a place, elements of the natural world, totems (animals, plants, natural objects), an important past experience or unusual accident, and/or special "age-mates" to whom the person is bonded. Each line contains a name or phrase, uses metaphor or simile, pays careful attention to rhythm and sound, and uses call and response. Here are the poems written by incredible 3rd graders at Columbus Elementary School in Ukrainian Village -- I'm a poet in residence there through Urban Gateways: Center for Arts Education. This is a 6 week residency and we're focusing on Tanzania/african poetry & proverbs.

I am here
Sleeping dark night
I am here
Spending money
I am here
Eating polish food
I am here
Playing video games
I am here
Learning poetry
I am here
Reading books
I am here
Werewolf howl moon
I am here


I am there
Loud, noisy, windy
I am there
Surrounded by noise
I am there
I yell to the spirit of the cheetah
I am there
Flying with birds
I am there
I can guide the animals
I am there
Riding in a car
I am there sleeping with a squirrel
I am there
Swimming with a shark
I am there

Adam W.

What I Say

Listen to me
You cry
Listen to me
Be happy
Listen to me
Go to your room
Listen to me
Don’t be sad
Listen to me
Be glad always
Listen to me
It’s just as easy
To smile as cry
Listen to me
You can win
Listen to me


I am here
Resting in peace
I am here
Starving to death
I am there
Protecting our country
I am here
Helping people like Jesus did
I am here
Drawing religion
I am here
Helping people from dying
I am here
Playing Devil May Cry
I am here
In a game zone
I am here

Sebastian S.


Concentrate, I see it coming
I won’t hit it, but I have to –
It’s getting closer and closer
My muscles get tight
I have to hit it SMACK ---
It’s gone – HOMERUN!
I’m up again, muscles getting tighter
And concentrate. And closer and
Closer and SMACK another
Closer and closer and gone HOMERUN!
Up again, SMACK
Out in the field – SMACK
Inside, HOMERUN! Oh my gosh,
Up again, and whooping the Cub’s butt.
Now Armani is getting ready
Muscles tight, SMACK inside
HOMERUN again!


Dark brown eyes
Be still
Dark brown
Be still
Calling upon all spirit animals
Be still

Jacob G.

I am here
I have to talk
I am here
On fast, busy highways
I am here
Light or dark
I am here
Call on the snake spirit
I am here
In the game zone
I am here
Beating up Max
I am here
Watching wrestling
I am here

Denys K.

Stay here
In the wars of Halo
Stay here
Sleeping in heaven
Stay here
In underground tunnels
Stay here
Soaring with the birds
Stay here
Fighting with anger
Stay here
Jumping high in the sky
Stay here
Snowboarding on cliffs
Stay here
Running with the cheetah
Stay here

Sebastian G.

I’m alive
Jumping in the air
I’m alive
Hitting thunder
I’m alive
Drinking hot fire
I’m alive
A thunder strike
I’m alive
From a gun shot
I’m a live

Eric G.

I will survive
Alive in the north
I will survive
Soaring through the clouds
I will survive
Jumping out of a plane
I will survive
Light like the burning sky
I will survive
Never give up
I will survive
My spirit calls to the werewolf
I will survive
Floating through space
I will survive
The sky is red
I will survive


I’m Still Right Here

I’m still right here
With my friends
I’m still right here
Covered with love
I’m still right here
Can you see me?
I’m still right here
Do you listen to me?
I’m still right here
Listen to my heart
I’m still right here.

Melisa F.

Listen to me
My heart is broken
Listen to me
I am talking
I am here
Listen to me
I am hurt
Listen to me
My power’s of the jungle
Listen to me
Don’t lie
Listen to me
You hurt me
Listen to me
You lie
Listen to me
Flying with birds

Xochitl R.

I’m still right here
Look at me
I’m still right here
Can you see me?
I’m sill right here
I don’t think you can see me
I’m still right here
Can anybody see me?
I’m still right here
You are not listening
I’m still right here
In my mother’s stomach
I’m still right here
Bored in my bed
I’m still right here
Reading a book
I’m still right here


Hear me
Roar with the lions
Hear me
Sing with the birds
Hear me
Pat my chest with the gorillas
Hear me
Shout with the monkeys
Hear me
Stomp with the kangaroos
Hear me
Splash water with the whales
Hear me
Fight with the jungle
Hear me


I am here
Listening to people driving their cards
I am here
Telling my dog Mazzy and Star to come here
I am here
Don’t ignore me
I am here
Swimming with my spirit animal, the dolphin
I am here

Jasmine V.

Flying with a bird
I’m still right here

Singing a song
I’m still here

Can anybody hear me?
I’m still right here

Being in bed
I’m still right here

Sleeping at home
I’m still right here

I’m still here

Jumping on my bed
I’m still right here

Playing with my friends
Divine and Kelly

I’m still here

Jasmine Q.

When I am here
I will care for you.

When I am here,
Your fears will forever be gone.

When I am here
You will never give up.

When I am here,
The tiger will lead us there.

When I am here,
I’ll send you flowers every week.

Myron N.

Listen to me
I’ll make a difference
Listen to me
I’ll keep you by my side
Listen to me
I will help you
Listen to me
I’ll make dreams come true
Listen to me

I am here
No fear of me
I am here
We are here together
I am here
You have talent
I am here
I am here
To help you
I am here


Help the poor
Live life
Help the poor
Make a miracle
Help the poor
Help the difference
Help the poor
Make a life
Help the poor
Take care of them
Help the poor
Be the difference
Help the poor


Never Back Down Like a Lion

Never back down
The spirit lion
Never back down
Soar with the Teradacthil
Never back down
The moon draws me
Never back down
Moving from place to place
Never back down
Fast like a cheetah
Be strong
Never back down
Be cool
Never back down
Do good in school
Never back down
Have fun with it
Never back down
Be calm
Never back down

Deangelo J.

Break a leg
Stop it
Drawn into the fire
Stop it
Dragon fly stinging
Stop it
Loud thunder
Stop it
Shut up when I’m talking to you
Stop it

Brandon S.

I’m still right here
Covered in green
I’m still right here
Flying with a bird
I’m still right here
In my mother’s stomach
I’m still right here
Under my covers
I’m still right here
In the hospital
I’m still right here
Do you see me?
I’m still right here.

Kelly M