I Used To Be/But Now I Am

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This batch of collaborative poems was done with a younger group, 3rd graders. Each poem is written with his/her table-mates. A line was written by each child. For example, a child would write: “I used to be a mouse, but now I am cheese.” Then the papers were passed to the child on the left, and that next child would write something like: “I used to be cheese (taking the second half of the former line for the first part of the next line), but now I am bread.” Then the paper was passed left again, and so on, till it came back to the original child. In the end, each student was holding a collaborative poem that all of his/her table-mates had contributed to. There are many examples here, but I think each has something fun, fascinating, smart, happening within the lines and turns of lines. My favorite is the one-liner, the one that mentions Texas (of course), and the very last poem. Enjoy!

 

I Used To Be/But Now I Am

 

 

I used to be a dancer, but now I’m a basketball.

I used to be a basketball, but now I’m a piece of choclit.

I used to be a piece of choclit, but now I’m silver.

I used to be silver, but now I’m a song.

 

 

I used to be a snake, but now I’m a spider.

I used to be a spider, but now I’m a rose.

I used to be a rose, but now I’m a football.

I used to be a football, but now I’m a action figure.

 

I used to be a dog, but now I’m a marshmelo.

I used to be a marshmelo, but now I’m a milionayr.

I used to be a milionayer, but now I’m a globe of earth.

I used to be a globe of earth, but now I’m a swimink pool.

 

I used to be a dum dum, but now I’m smart.

I used to be smart, but now I’m a flower.

I used to be a flower, but now I’m a lightbulb.

I used to be a lightbulb, but now I’m a lightning bug.

 

I used to be a dog, but now I’m a snake.

I used to be a snake, but now I’m a telephone from the 1950s.

I used to be a telephone from the 1950s, but now I’m a flower.

I used to be a flower, but now I’m a qween bee.

 

I used to be Luke, but now I am a green bucket.

I used to be a green bucket, but now I am a blue table.

I used to be a blue table, but now I am blue dog.

I used to be a blue dog, but now I am a clock.

 

I used to be puni, but now I’m big as the twin towers.

I used to be big as the twin towers, but now I’m a speedy ninja.

I used to be a speedy ninja, but now I’m a flushing toilet.

I used to be a flushing toilet, but now I’m a sleepy racoon.

 

I used to be a bike, but now I’m a skateboard.

I used to be a skateboard, but I’m a cup of cofy.

I used to be a cup of cofy, but now I’m gold.

I used to be gold, but now I’m a skateboarder on a bike!

 

I used to be a orange, but now I am a worm.

I used to be a worm, but now I am a king.

I used to be a king, but now I am a zombie.

I used to be a zombie, but now I am a dog.

I used to be a dog, but now I am a cobra.

 

I used to be a singer, but now I am a black snake.

I used to be a black snake, but now I am a phoenix.

I used to be a phoenix, but now I am poop.

I used to be poop, but now I am a ticking bomb.

I used to be a ticking bomb, but now I am a ticking atomic bomb.

 

I used to be a person, but now I am a black dragon.

I used to be a black dragon, but now I am a rouch.

I used to be a rouch, but now I am en ant.

I used to be en ant, but now I am smoke.

 

I used to be Elmo, but now I’m a billillnare.

I used to be a billillnare, but now I’m so so so so poor.

I used to be so so so so poor, but now I’m a dimond necklace.

I used to be a diamond necklace, but now I’m a cooked chicken.

 

I used to be a puppy, but now I’m a full grown dog.

I used to be a full grown dog, but now I’m a smart cartoon.

I used to be a smart cartoon, but now I’m a rock star.

I used to be a rock star, but now I’m awake.

 

I used to be a pink dog, but now I’m a blue snake

I used to be a blue snake, but now I’m a X Box.

I used to be a X Box, but now I’m a maneti.

I used to be a maneti, but now I’m a lone lion.

I used to be a lone lion, but now I’m a pink dog.

 

I used to be a dog, but now I am a 3 heded shrimp.

I used to be a 3 heded shrimp, but now I am a profootball player.

I used to be a profootball player, but now I’m a medal.

I used to be a medal, but now I’m rich.

 

I used to be a worm, but now I am a storm.

I used to be a storm, but now I am a frog.

I used to be a frog, but now I am a bug.

I used to be a bug, but now I am a fly.

I used to be a fly, but now I am a dragon.

 

I used to be a blue bird, but now I am a big red dog.

I used to be a big red dog, but now I am a blue cat.

I used to be a blue cat, but now I am a monkey.

I used to be a monkey, but now I am a lion.

I used to be a lion, but now I am a tissue.

 

I used to be a rookie basketball player, but now I am a snack.

I used to be a snack, but now I am a shell.

I used to be a shell, but now I am a flower.

I used to be a flower, but now I am soup.

I used to be soup, but now I am a sword.

The end.

 

I used to be a bird, but now I am a dog.

I used to be a dog, but now I am a book.

I used to be a book, but now I am an enchanted word.

I used to be an enchanted word, but now I am Texas.

I used to be Texas, but now I’m a pice of paper.

 

I used to be a piece of pizza with cheese, but now I am a cow.

I used to be a cow, but now I am a pile of king scorpions.

I used to be a pile of king scorpions, but now I’m a piece of grass.

I used to be a piece of grass, but now I’m a dead bird.

I used to be a dead bird, but now I’m a big red shirt.

With cheese.

 

I used to be a sparkle blue pencil, but now I’m a fashion star.

I used to be a fashion star, but now I’m a blue cat.

I used to be a blue cat, but now I’m a blue waterbottle.

I used to be a blue waterbottle, but now I’m a seal.

 

I used to be a boy, but now I am a free bird.

I used to be a free bird, but now I am a pink dress.

I used to be a pink dress, but now I am a free boy.

I used to be a free boy, but now I am a bird.

 

I used to be a cat, now I am a zombi skater.

I used to be a zombi skater, but now I am a rockstar.

I used to be a rockstar, but now I am a cheetah.

I used to be a cheetah, but now I am a red dress with pink pokadots.

 

I used to be a tulip, but now I am a rose.

I used to be a rose, but now I am a buterfly.

I used to be a butterfly, but now I am a princess.

I used to be a princess, but now I am butter.

 

I used to be a red snake, but now I am some grass.

I used to be some grass, but now I am a silly dog.

I used to be a silly dog, but now I am a brain storm.

I used to be a brainstorm, but now I am tired.

 

I used to be Luke, but now I am two tigers.

 

I used to be in kariti, but now I am cool.

I used to be cool, but now I am a police.

I used to be a police, but now I am a cowboy.

I used to be a cowboy, but now I am a butterfly.

I used to be a butterfly, but now I am a alien.

I used to be a alien, but now I am a spaceship.

I used to be a spaceship, but now I am a dragon,

I used to be a dragon, but now I am a girly girl.

I used to be a girly girl, but now I am tomboy.

 

I used to be a watch, but now I’m a clock.

I used to be a clock, but now I’m a timer.

I used to be a timer, but now I’m a TV.

I used to be a TV, but now I’m a tooth brush.

I used to be a tooth brush, but now I’m a face.

 

I used to be a bean, but now I’m a shark.

I used to be a shark, but now I’m a brick.

I used to be a brick, but now I’m a figure.

I used to be a figure, but now I am a booger.

 

I used to be a car, but now I am a boy.

I used to be a boy, but now I am a pair of shoes.

I used to be a pair of shoes, but now I am a pig.

I used to be a pig, but now I love girls.

I used to be a girl lover, but now I am a toilet.

 

I used to be a hurricane, but now I am a tornado.

I used to be a tornado, but now I am a hurricane.

I used to be a hurricane, but now I am a blister.

 

I used to be a superhero, but now I’m a grown man.

I used to be a grown man, but now I am a purple pocketdoted vocabulary word.

I used to be a purple pocketdoted vocabulary word, but now I am a giraff.

 

I used to be a pool party, but now I am soap.

I used to be soap, but now I am a castle.

I used to be a castle, but now I am a cleaner, for the castle.

 

I used to be a mangrove tree, but now I am a bumble bee.

I used to be a bumble bee, now I’m a great blue heron.

I used to be a great blue heron, now I’m a puffer fish.

I used to be a puffer fish, now I’m a crazy monkey.

I used to be a crazy monkey, now I’m a sloth.

 

I used to be a girilla, now I’m a Snoopy basset hound.

I used to be a Snoopy basset hound, now I’m a pink panther.

I used to be a pink panther, but now I’m a poet.

I used to be a poet, but now I’m Luke.

 

I used to be a dog, but now I am the moon.

I used to be the moon, but now I’m a wolve.

I used to be a wolve, but now I’m a howling night wind.

I used to be a howling night wind, but now I’m a goodbye.

I used to be a goodbye, but now I’m a laughing ghost kid.

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About deniselanier

I am an educator & advocate, poet & performer, speaker & storyteller who believes in the power of narrative to transform & transport, create & connect. I was the shy, awkward girl who didn’t fit in, was often bullied, happiest with my nose in books, whose best friend was my dog. After being cast in a play in my teens I discovered a way to be comfortable in my own skin, bringing to life the words of a character. Costumed in make-believe I dared to be more of myself than I ever allowed off-stage; I claimed my voice. I spent most of my adult life teaching others to raise their own voices, through acting, creative writing, even slam poetry. When the diagnosis of MS intervened in my 30s I had to let go of acting, which is why most of my storytelling is now expressed through page and less “formal” interactions with stages. I devote much of my time to kids, teaching them to use words & imagination, developing authentic, resilient, remarkable voices. I endeavor to grow in my students the belief, the truth, that we are all artists & the change-makers in our own stories. My best friend still has fur & four legs. My mobility assistance dog is my constant companion, teaching assistant & muse to many. Luke is also chief partner in crime; I’m getting a reputation for stealing things. As inventor of a poetic form called klepto-collaborative, I pickpocket words & phrases from others, reshuffling & reshaping the puzzle-pieces into a colorful, storied mosaic of diverse voices. Taking something from every speaker at a conference in real-time, I craft a collective poem that highlights the messages of the day, repurposing ideas & refashioning stories, weaving them together in a manner that never loses the originality & spirit of the speakers’ themes. So while I may be a word thief, I figure being eco-conscious makes up for it. I’m available to facilitate wordy goodness in your community, school, workplace or play space. I like to think I have way of transforming annual meetings into something interactive, cooperative & memorable. Through my klepto-collaborative poems I aim to delight, to ignite conversation, and maybe even incite innovation. I earned an MFA from Florida International University, where I edited Gulf Stream Literary Magazine. I’m the founder of WordPlay, a poetry-in-the-schools project inspired by Dave Eggers. My poetry has appeared in Bloomsbury Review, Cake, Luna, Best American Poetry blog (a collaborative poem with the phenomenal Denise Duhamel), Wicked Good Life, and various anthologies. My non-fiction has appeared in the Miami Herald and my fiction has been nominated for Best New American Voices. www.deniselanier.wordpress.com & www.wonkybent.wordpress.com

3 responses »

  1. Pingback: Dream Kleptomaniac « Wonky Woman on a Bent Trike

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