Debauchery Blues

Debauchery Blues

Can’t find the phone in my pocket,
and my girl’s mad as hell.
Can’t find the wallet in my back pocket,
and my girl’s mad as hell.
I been up all night with other women
and my girl knows it well.

Smell like the fumes from a cigarette toke,
face all full of scratches.
I smell like perfume and cigarette smoke
and vomit on my jacket.
She asks me am I worth her time
and I ain’t got an answer.

She leavin’ me cold in my lonely bones,
and now I got nobody.
She leavin’ me cold, cold as bones
that been without a body.
I got me my glass and my bottle of rye;
don’t need no drinkin’ buddy.

Here’s a toast to the day I lost my soul,
may it burn forever in hell.
And here’s to the day I gave up the ghost,
may it burn forever in hell.
I’d trade my faith for women and rye
and the devil knows it well.

by Ryan Dowling

Langston Hughes Has Got The Blues

Cross

My old man’s a white old man
And my old mother’s black.
If ever I cursed my white old man
I take my curses back.

If ever I cursed my black old mother
And wished she were in hell,
I’m sorry for that evil wish
And now I wish her well.

My old man died in a fine big house.
My ma died in a shack.
I wonder where I’m gonna die,
Being neither white nor black?

by Langston Hughes (1902-1967)

Blues Poem

A blues poem emulates the blues music that evolved from African American slave songs in the late 19th century.

Common features of the blues poem include a loose but distinct rhythm, a common vernacular and a simple rhyme scheme with variable refrains.

Blues almost always addresses some form of loss or hardship.

Langston Hughes, a pioneer and master of blues poetry, here demonstrates a liberal usage of this technique in order to address the complexities of his heredity.