La Verne, 2017

Cruise Cruise, slow moving in a white Chevy
Nothing seems that heavy
The defamed chariot explores streets
already known

Look look, smile and wave
Do you know how much money they’ve poured into a grave?
Do you see it there in their eyes?
Or is it too difficult through that assumed guise?

Green green all around
They tell you we are living next to a pound

No No, not here
Citizens of safety begin to fear

help help, we need you brother
Oh I’m sure they will find another

Shots  Shots, did you hear that dear?
Lets go talk about those poor souls
Over a craft beer

La Verne is my hometown. It is very small and it is the type of place where everybody claims to know everybody.  I modeled this poem after Woodsworth’s London 1802. In the poem I purposely begin each stanza with a repeated word. This is purposefully done and diverges from the poem I draw inspiration from.  I did this to mimic the repetitiveness of a small town. Everyday the citizens of La Verne take the same route to the same job. They see the same people at the grocery store on weekends and strike up conversations that never really move anywhere. It is a comfortable place to live. With the last economic recession people in my town and in the surrounding areas were hit in various ways. A town which borders La Verne is called Pomona. This town is now revered as incredibly dangerous and a ghetto. People living in La Verne often look down upon Pomona and the people who live there. This poem tries to shed light on the hypocrisy of being a family friendly town that is not willing to help its struggling neighbors.  The last line draws attention to a new brewery that opened up just on the border of La Verne and Pomona. This brewery is looked at as a hip new place, there aren’t many off brand establishments in La Verne. People who frequent this brewery are pleased with their edgy choice and ingenuity. In reality they are just trying to experience danger without having to suffer any real consequences. This leads to the Pomona identity of struggle less significant. In the poem I try to encourage the reader to evaluate their own experience and challenge the authenticity of it.

Maya Gonzales

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