Counterculture Shout-Out Poem by LF

On October 12, 2012 by LF

For our first unit in our ‘Counterculture’ class, the assignment was to create our own shout-out or invocation poem. The project of an invocation poem usually involves calling attention to the little things, or aspects of everyday life that sometimes are purposefully ignored. This poem was the first I’ve ever written and I can truthfully say that it has opened a window for me to something I never thought I would consider doing to pass the time; poetry! Hope you enjoy!

We live for that moment on the train

When the drunk homeless man

Giving you the dead pan

Lets his gruff voice creak

And begins to speak

Mumbling something and everyone laughs

And you feel a connection to those around you

And you feel so profound

As your insane thoughts dance around

You look at the people on the train

Wonder their names

Who are they?

Why are they here?

Who placed them so near?

What do they fear?

If you voice these thoughts, you know you’ll sound weird.

But you can’t help wondering what they’ve done before

What they’re sorry for.

So this one’s for them.

That drunken homeless man, and the strong smell of alcohol emanating from him

The middle-aged businessman,

And his briefcase

And his unnecessary, official looking umbrella

The rebelliously artsy young girl rocking the purple skirt and funky glasses

Probably on her way to art school, dreading her classes

For the man who clutches his bicycle close to him

And for the eyes, squinting angrily,

Frustrated by his use of space

But the eyes look up when the smelly man cracks his thoughtless joke

And laughter invokes

For that moment

When you get out of your head

And everyone in your small train car is connected

You appear as an extra in all of their lives

But you never know

They might be thinking about you, too…


I received some of my writing inspiration from discussing the topic of counterculture with passersby. I really enjoyed my conversations with them because they said some very surprising and interesting things that I didn’t expect to hear from strangers I’d never spoken to before. For example, I spoke briefly with a woman in her 20’s who explained that she would vote for new laws that wouldn’t necessarily benefit her lifestyle and wellbeing as an individual, but if the law was a benefit for society and the general public she’d be willing to vote for it. When asked, the example she provided for me was the legalization of marijuana. She seemed confident in herself and in all of her answers.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to speak with these different people with different beliefs. It gave me a secondary perspective and made me think about opinions I previously had, some of which I thought about while creating my slam poem.

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