Both Sides of the Moon
By Chelsea Lin & KK Apple
This pair of cento poems was crafted out of song lyrics, news articles and poetry, reflecting the moods of dark and light. Which one is sinister and which one is hopeful? Or maybe each has a little bit of dark and light…
Villain With a swirl of harps dipping and rising, he says please I’m not myself. What happens in between is a mystery, chunky and noisy He was a musician of grief, that should have been the end of it. Lee, however, hasn’t recovered. Over and over again he felt nauseated but Lee accepted the challenge. Please send all your dangerous and noble things. I am thinking now who’s putting needles in my baby? In Starlight The cosmic lost-and-found, gone silent, in starlight should have been a dance of titanic forces. It was a surprise, it’s an intriguing mystery of anything to eat, one gigantic mouthful of nothing. The stars in the knots were jiggling around, a kind of sparkling cloak was of the utmost importance. What happens when billions of suns meet a kink of extra light? Sources: Sasha Sloan, Prince, Mary Oliver, Joshua Davis in Stanford Magazine, Dennis Overbye in the New York Times.
As a pair, we were exploring the cento—a form of poetry where you borrow words from other poets to make your own new, patchworked poem. We pulled inspiration from poems, but also favorite songs and recent news articles, finding it fun to cut and paste other people’s words like poetry engineers. We created new poems line by line, back and forth in Google Docs.
For some, we started with a theme and, with a stroke of serendipity, discovered unexpected ways that our source materials wove together flawlessly to fit that theme. It was insightful to explore how malleable words and phrases can be when put in different contexts. Although these poems were created with specific themes in mind, the lightness vs. darkness vibes coexist within each and are sometimes indistinguishable, creating a duo of poems that complements each other perfectly like both sides of the moon.
Chelsea is a freshman at USC studying Business Administration. Chelsea is an environmental activist, a social entrepreneur and a writer. She is inspired by her experiences growing up as an unwanted daughter in China and she writes about her childhood in hopes of empowering others like her. Chelsea enjoys reading many genres, especially fiction and mystery. Some of her favorites books include The Three-Body Problem and the Hercule Poirot series. In her free time, Chelsea can be found bowling with her friends or baking with her siblings.
KK Apple is a writer and comedian in Brooklyn. You’ve seen her on stage at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre’s Harold Night, NYC Sketch Festival, Chicago Sketchfest, the Women in Comedy Festival and sold-out shows on the international fringe festival tour. She writes scripts for stage and screen, with her video shorts featured by Vulture and Funny or Die. As a copywriter, she brings a human voice to brands like HBO, Vimeo and Vox. She loves being part of the passionate community of writers that makes Girls Write Now special, even when it’s virtual.