Young Poets Network

Posted 01.11.11 in Writing

“Duelytown” by Hilary Davis

Dude, what I said was (sung to the tune of Hide and Seek)
Dude, actually (narrowed eyes when he speaks)

Listen sistahfriend– yah cute (hopping from girl to girl)
Let’s go to Jersey and get Fat Bitches
(“the turnpike north, across the Garden State, to the University”)
smoke a blanche and forget about the tension in the backseat
let them hitch to plowtown, if you get what I’m saying.

What a strange you are, precious cargo.  (What an English we should speak.)
Nestled in the passenger seat, half asleep, listening to Brand New on the radio
2005 was a good year, but summer ’11 has him swerving at 3am.
You don’t like that?  I think you should get mad about it.

And this other duely –
this CVS-polo wearin’, basement-havin’, counter-culture-geekin’
effin’ pissin’ me off – smiles, so bright it aches (for once you can’t speak)
And you want him, lean into his hugs and make him mac ‘n’ cheese
not quite plowtown, more like cuddle-puddle

Last name kid goes off with the Meanest of Deans.
That bitch! – punctuating every Paramore b-side, gutting the car
and you swallow your feelings along with grape smoke,
hoping for a Zombie Kill-of-the-Week (averted eyes when you speak)


Hilary Davis wrote ‘Duelytown’ in response to Liz Berry’s feature on using your own words in which she talked about bringing her own local dialect into her poems. You can read Liz’s original feature here.

Liz Berry says, “This poem fizzes! Hilary has chosen some fantastic language and you can tell the pleasure she takes in constructing wham-bam streams like: this CVS-polo wearin’, basement-havin’, counter-culture-geekin’ effin’ pissin’ me off.”


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