Thursday, July 08, 2010

Write a Poem, Win Free Ice Cream!

The weather is almost bearable today, but the past week has been cruel and unusual as far as heat goes. In the spirit of staying cool in the face of Mother Nature's toughest love, I Love Franklin Ave. is teaming up with to offer one talented reader a $50 Coldstone gift certificate in exchange for a little creative reflection on the summer's heat. (Some of you may recognize Snubbr from their similar giveaway pairing with Brokelyn last month).

We wanted to challenge readers for more than just a plain comment on the weather, and with the July Franklin Park Reading Series coming up, we settled on a poetry contest. Any poetic form is acceptable, as long as it's 14 lines or less (making room for the Shakespearian sonnet) and the subject matter is Franklin Avenue/Crown Heights in the summer. Length and poetic sophistication will not necessarily be rewarded, so feel free to use haiku (the Reading Series occasionally inspires me to try my clumsy hand at these), acrostic, or limerick. Enter by posting your poem as a comment to this thread, and if you're posting anonymously, include a way to contact you should you win (US entries only, sorry!). A panel of three distinguished judges will select the winner in one week's time, and we'll mail the gift card shortly thereafter. Have at it!

Snubbr, which suggested this promotion, is a product-recommendation site that's building its profile through fun, free giveaways on blogs (they do gift recommendations, too).


  1. Fire-like air
    Rain please fall
    Around here
    Not there
    King County summers
    Love em or hate em
    It's bound to be memorable
    Never forgettable

    Air-conditioner relief
    Valuable indeed, but
    Eating ice cream would fulfill my need

  2. It is hot as hell on Franklin Avenue
    But with delis and stores there is so much to do!
    I should go to Ink Spot and see their new store!
    It is full of windows and not a creepy old door.
    Should I get a tattoo about this place?
    A neighborhood that pushes me to think about economics, gender and race?
    But beyond that it is a neighborhood I love true
    With interesting people and stores there is something for you!
    3Ds has the best beef paddy in town
    And Lily & Fig has cupcakes that never let down!
    I love Bombay Masala more than I can ever say!
    With giant specials for very little pay!
    Oh Crown Heights I love you more than you'll ever know.
    But screw this heat I am ready for Franklin Ave in the snow!

  3. Now there was a time...
    when you looked up at me in worship.
    Your child like wonder amused me soo!
    I gave you warmth, gave life to all around you
    From ancient Egypt, to the Roman Empire, to the Tribes of Africa
    you truly loved my presence.

    But all things change with time,
    and so did your appreciation.
    You came to neglect me, forget me,
    and even try to harness my magnificence
    But on days like this, even for only the season
    I shall have my moment to shine
    to shine brighter, and hotter than you expect
    to remind you of just who you're messing with.

    So as I look down upon you,
    in what you consider blazing, humid, sweltering
    I simply say.
    How you like me now?
    How You Like Me Now?

  4. I didn't realize when I was writing, but I think I was inspired by FuzzyHat's piece. Maybe mine is a prequel to that one, or maybe another voice in the same story. More than 14 lines, but poetic license, no?


    Crown Heights, your highness.
    Yes, that’s your kingdom down there.
    Shine on.
    That block, your highness,
    Franklin Avenue,
    Yes, that block is hot down there.
    Shine on.

    Your highness
    I regret to report,
    that block -
    that block is hotter than you, but
    Shine on.
    Your highness,
    Shine on.

    The traitors
    when you sleep, your highness,
    packing heat, your highness.
    Franklin streets, your highness.
    Hotter than you.
    Their sweat is dry, your highness.
    Your tears too shy, your highness.
    Yes, cry, your highness.
    Cool off that hot block down there.
    Yes, you are hotter than then.
    Yes, you are hotter than them!

    You must not be eclipsed!
    So remind them!
    You must…

  5. Ok - so a buddy suggested I break down my urban slang references for those who might not be familiar:

    "Hot" block - Criminal (drug) activity. In a spin on the phrase, the criminal minded will speak about a "hot" block, referring to a significant police presence. I'm using it the first way.

    "Packing heat" - carrying a firearm.

  6. Acrostic? Acrostic!

    Hot as hell from
    Eastern Parkway to
    Atlantic Avenue
    Time slipping slow,
    Water in flow from wrenched open hydrants.
    All the city sighing, all of us
    Vying for cool breeze, the sweet, lazy ease of
    Evening shade on leafy streets, for night's relief from this crazy heat.

    ...not that it's been great at night, but what LaurelB said -- poetic license, right? The hydrants I passed were not on Franklin, but on nearby cross streets. In the shade. I wanted to walk through and get blasted, even though I was fully dressed and carrying books and groceries...

  7. my entry:

    franklin ave catcalls
    stop at nam's for some ice cream
    sitting on stoop, sweet relief

  8. This may be a bit depressing, but it makes me want ice cream so...success?

    End of the Block

    A summer Tuesday, Brooklyn is
    pouring fire;
    I fixate absent-mindedly
    on the glow
    of your lighted-bright burning limbs.
    The frenzy has
    arisen in the streets, and
    swindled you
    of your sensible stare.
    You blend into the
    sidewalk, like a reptile,
    and change your colors;
    I sit on the ground,
    melt my fingers
    into your skin, and liquid
    city races by our feet.

  9. Head low, eyes lower
    She ambles to Shorty's
    A puckering noise from the left,
    An invitation to rude lips,
    The revving of an engine
    She doesn't look — keep those eyes low
    Then, calls the ignored into the night,
    "Walk faster, white bitch!"

  10. "Dear Franklin Ave, My Love"

    you're sly as a fox,
    you outran the
    yoga moms --
    cat greenleaf ain't got shit on you.

    you are the straight path that i walk
    day after day
    to get laid

    thanks for getting me drunk.

    so sweet, so succulent
    your body is tight, and
    the rent is
    (what that means minus the metaphor is i am going to eat homes because they are cheap)

    you're the spitting image
    of my mom.

  11. crown heights, triangle bites
    absolut heatwave, dealin with the rave
    next door and the chore
    of bedbug paranoia
    crime is up like the world cup
    bodega run, errands done
    sweat drips off my nose
    please douse me with your hose
    franklin keepin the beat under a variety of feet
    dead crawl shuttle got me standin in a puddle
    of sweat, till the night comes
    rooftop relaxation, fan rehydration
    late night ice cream truck, only 2 bucks
    stay cool, it’s hot, don’t get shot

  12. Composed by Maya and Arne one hot night at Washington Commons. Closer to a song than a poem...

    Crown Heights in the summertime
    Ain’t no neighborhood that’s so sublime
    I’ll give you yours when you give me mine
    Yoyo DJ spin it back one time

    Gloria’s got the best patties in town
    Don’t fuck with Met cuz they’ll lay you down
    Nicki Minaj we hear you all around
    We can’t complain cuz you be real down

    Franklin Park, y’all always leave us tight
    Stop by Dutch Boy if you wanna bite
    If you come home late, Nam’s will treat you right
    Or get a slice at Mike’s in the middle of the night

    Eastern Parkway gettin’ ready for the best parade
    Don’t worry ‘bout people throwing shade
    Nostrand putting up with all those raids
    Eatin’ waffles at Bristen’s when I get paid

    Crown Heights in the summertime
    Ain’t no neighborhood that’s so sublime