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, comedian, and filmmaker in Brooklyn. She’s a former UCB Theatre Harold Night improviser who cut her (big) teeth performing in the New York comedy scene and has been featured at festivals across the US and Canada. Her solo sketch show The Rhythm Is Going to Get You ran for six months at UCB Theatre Hell’s Kitchen and played to sold out crowds in NYC and LA. As a choreographer, she’s created dance work for the stage, music videos, and TV.Her last original short, I’m Peach, was a satirical PSA featured in Vulture and Funny or Die. As a freelance writer and video producer, she’s created video scripts and creative campaigns for digital companies like Vimeo, Vox, and HBO. She also worked on the Emmy-winning crowdsourced film project Star Wars Uncut, and produced an interactive experience at Tribeca Storyscapes.
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