“The Dark Side of the Wall” by Bob Bonsall

Screen shot from “The Dark Side of The Wall" by Bob Bonsall. A black background with a poem on the left and a list of names on the right. The text is written in white. Text: “Baaaaaaaaabe! Come to mother baby, let me hold you in my arms./ Call the schoolmaster!/ The lunatic is on the grass/ Waters takes over-/ Ooooooh, Ma, oooh Pa, must the show go on?/Run rabbit run/ I am just a new boy, stranger in this town./Waters takes over-/ Us and Them and after all we’re only ordinary men/ Teachers leave them kids alone/ Vera! Vera! What has become of you?/ Gilmour takes over-/ Oooh, Ma, Oooh Pa, must the show go on?/ think I’ll buy me a football team/ Have you broken any homes up lately?/ Waters takes over-“. List of names on the left, below the title of the poem: “Nick Montfort/Scott Rettberg/ J.R. Carpenter/ J.R. Carpenter/ J.R. Carpenter /Talan Memmolt/ Eric Snodgrass/ Mark Sample/ Maria Enberg/ Flourish Klink/ Andrew Pletkin/ Brendan Howell/ Adam Sylvain/ Leonardo Flores/ Alireza Mahzoon/ Senny Rae Tempest/ Helen Brgess/ Judy Malloy/ Bob Bonsall/ Lyrics from Dark Side of/ the Moon by Roger Waters/ Lyrics from The Wall by/ Roger Waters, David Gilmour, and Bob Ezrin.” From the names “Nick Montfort” to “Judy Malley” all the names in between, including these two, are marked over by a line and are written in baby blue color.
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This generative poem creates a mashup of lyrics from two famous Pink Floyd albums: The Wall and The Dark Side of the Moon. The poem is organized into tercets followed by a single line in which Waters or Gilmour “takes over,” signaling shifts in leading roles in the band, which has a history of turbulent power struggles. Each tercet is assembled from lines from each album, lending both coherence at the line level, and intriguing juxtapositions that reveal some of Pink Floyd’s poetics.

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