The B Side

by Bryonia Liggins


Since April is National Poetry Month, we’re pleased to run poems by a pair of younger writers who participated in the Louder Than A Bomb-Tulsa competition back in February.

Both Nick Weaver and Bryonia Liggins were on the winning team for LTAB-Tulsa 2013. Both were also, therefore, awarded a trip to Chicago last month, during which they attended workshops at Young Chicago Authors and competed in a national match representing Tulsa. Team Tulsa placed second overall in that national match. This is how “Howl for Me” came to be performed for an audience that included Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. And for the record: LTAB-Tulsa 2013 was the third such event to occur here in T-Town, and also the biggest yet. It’s a pleasure to recognize this very cool, very poetry-friendly happening in our community, and especially to feature two fine poems that came out of it. —Scott Gregory, Poetry Editor of This Land.

I close my eyes, and let my ears govern my senses wholly.
The first track is always the sweetest
Obliviously escorting you into a new world
Unheard of
Fast paced and unpredictable
Always the one you remember
Always the one you try to forget
It’s time to move on
The first track’s been played too many times for your own comfort
It no longer belongs to just you
It never did
The second track:
It’s good
not great
but you pretend it’s better than the first
you settle
lie to yourself
and claim it’s the best thing you’ve ever heard
You’re not fooling anyone
but you remain content
you have to
Track Number 3
forces you to do the unspeakable
you’re ashamed
but regret nothing….

The next track
Effortlessly steals your soul from the beginning
You don’t want it back
You don’t need it back
It’s in good hands
Can manage it better than you ever could
Life has never been better
You reach the chorus
And realize you’re not the only one
There was another
There was always another
An ungodly collaboration you were interrupting

Your soul crippled and tainted
Is given back
You didn’t deserve to be disappointed
After all the time you’ve dedicated to strictly listening
Not talking
Just listening

It’s time to talk
When you do
You’ll be ready to flip
And Side B will be waiting to be heard and for you to sing along to every word.

Bryonia Liggins is a junior at Holland Hall. She’s been writing for her school newspaper for about five years. She was born and raised in Tulsa and hopes to become a screenwriter.

Originally published in This Land, Vol. 4, Issue 8. April 15, 2013.