The Decade I Longed To Be Grown

I wanted to talk jive.
I wanted to be funky
like the white boy who sang
psychedelic slang
& give birth
to a new dance trend
called disco.

I wanted to be
a kaleidoscope
big as an afro-shaped-globe,
spinning my own tempo
under black light dust.
I’d be a lava-lamp chick
— stone-cold bumping
my have-mercy hips—
& do the hustle
in mommy’s platform heels.

I wanted to be cool.
I wanted to cruise
with my own fly-dude
& steer
the turntable wheels.
We’d groove
What’s Going On?
in daddy’s brown El Camino,
pose mean gangsta leans
in neon-fur-smothered-bucket-seats,
& watch

Lucy’s Sky Diamonds
dangle & dance
like brilliant erotic dice.


Penny Dickerson is a 1988 graduate of Temple University where she earned a B.A. degree in Journalism and is currently a M.F.A. candidate in the Lesley University Creative Writing Program (Low Residency) in Cambridge, Mass. (Graduation: January 2005). She has additionally taken a continuing education poetry writing course at University of the Arts under the tutelage of Donna Wolf-Palacio and was once a “Suppose an Eye” participant at the Kelly Writer’s House and looks forward to her parenting scheduling and graduate school time to allowing her to come back. Previous poetry works and journalism have been published in the anthology, Azure and Amber, the Florida Times-Union and her poem, “A Conscious Statement” won first place winner in the Ritz Theatre’s poetry contest in Jacksonville, Florida. Penny will serve as Poet-in-Residence at Andrew Jackson Elementary School (K-8), this fall as a final graduation interdisciplinary project.