m.A.A.d. City Man

By: Annie Barry

This summer I took some chances while listening to Chance the Rapper because I liked the beat

But listened to Kendrick when I wanted some street poetry

Some urban poetry

From poets who grew up in suburban towns with an urban state of mind

Designed to have inclined to remind mankind of what it’s like for a human to be kind

I listened to m.A.A.d. city for the first time for the story and not the sound

I’m a kid from Kansas, I just click my heels and my mind runs back to the ideals

My poetry clears my head without having to hide in my bed

It’s my xanax, my completely contemporary confusing confiding complex can of comfort

My weighted blanket that’s blank when I don’t write

But that’s not right because my paper is never blank – sometimes I just run out of ink in my pen that’s all

Writer’s block because I can’t block out the black sky when I close my eyes

The bad barricade between blank walls, black walls

I blink red, blink blue – see ambulances coming at you

Sirens like angels singing in times square because the man in the alley told you to “square up”

You said to “shut up”

I said to “get up and go”

You said “No”

I think our world is a m.A.A.d city man

Or maybe you’re just a mad man in the city

A sad man looking for pity

Because you got stuck in conformity

Try to rap like everyone else

Because you can’t get a job

You write just to show not to tell

You don’t write to feed your soul

But because it feeds your ego

I write to breathe, not to please, but the deal with grief

Writing gives me what feels like the right type of rage,

rendering under red lights on a stage reminding me of stoplights I ignored when I started to write