Udit Bhatia invented cascade poetry in 2007. This relatively new style of poetry got its name because it should flow down the page in a waterfall effect. The poem’s structure is simple and relies on the refrain to create the cascading rhythm. The magic of these poems centers around the refrain. The unmetered poems vary in theme depending on the poet’s desire. The only rule used when writing a cascade is that all the lines in the first paragraph are repeated at the ends of every stanza that follows. I will call this cascade poem On the Seedy Side of Town.
Structure of a cascade poem and On the Seedy Side of Town
The lines are represented as ABC.
- The first line ends with line A.
- The second line ends with Line B.
- The third line ends with line C.
I had written this form of poetry before and had fun with it. I plan to start the month of March using this style. The length of the stanza can vary. There is no rule about sticking to three lines. The thing to remember is that the longer the stanza, the more complicated the poem.
On the Seedy Side of Town The junk man dumbed another load. An abandoned building caught fire Meth heads need another place to hang out. A gunshot echoes in the middle of the night Here I am, living in a pink house On the seedy side of town His broken-down truck rambles down the road Piled high with a tattered couch and a white refrigerator Two toilets and a kitchen sink A port-a-pot and a blue bicycle Metal odds and ends he might sell The junk man dumbed another load. Sirens scream with lusty desire. Smoke flows into the dark sky. The world begins to stink, From smoke and ash and toxic things Burning because it is soaked in the accelerator. An abandoned building caught fire. Shivering with paranoia and doubt They sneak around on the sly With haunted eyes and fragile limbs Searching in the much and mire For a place to hide your crime Meth heads need another place to hang out. Line blurs between wrong and right When all you have to waste is time The neighborhood is always in decline And poverty is the general rule And selling dope is a way to rise A gunshot echoes in the middle of the night It doesn’t matter if you’re quiet as a mouse Trouble can find its way to your front door Because life tends to be cruel And doesn’t bother to wear a disguise It only begs for more and more Here I am, living in a pink house. There is no shelter when you are down You have to play by the rules of the game It all looks the same to desperate eyes The odds never stack up the same They all speak twisted lies On the seedy side of town
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
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4 thoughts on “On the Seedy Side of Town”
Wow, Molly, that’s a cool form. I can see why it appealed to you, and I like the refrain and how it ties everything together. Great imagery too; very visceral. Well done!
… And on the other side of town it’s so vapid you can’t get to one real experience and everyone is bored to death while feeling superior to the rest. Let’s mix it up a little!