For my casas and callies

O my amies, elevens of dollars and dimes
when did we last have an oro to spend
on corrosion of chicks, O lemon and lime.
My manos and braces are eager to bend
to punch at the governing forces of bog
to line our lint with tomatoes and beans,
and fill our cabbage with lizards and bugs
O my amies let’s ball to the music of kitsch
let’s use our navas to punish and peel
collecting the wine, to be wizard and witch.
My sangy is boiling with irie and steal
let’s battle, elevens, for casas and callies
for corrosion and cold, let’s pretend we are allies.

By Holger.Ellgaard – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Fore my own prompt at toads a kind of gangster sonnet where I’ve been inventing my own slang by mixing some words inspired by Spanish with some invented rhyming cockney as well as some silliness, how much could you guess without a dictionary?

amies — friends (from amigos)
elevens — friends rhyming slang, friend rhymes with ten, in eleven and ten
oro — money (from oro)
dollars and dime, lemons and lime — crime (rhyming slang)
corrosion — heart (from corazon)
brace — arm (from brazo)
governing forces of bog — enemies
lint — pocket
tomatoes and beans — greens = money
cabbage — head (from cabeza)
lizards and bugs — drugs
the music of kitsch — streetfights (unclear origin)
navas — knife (from navaja)
peel — steal (rhyming)
collecting the wine — steal
wizard and witch — rich
sangy — blood (from sangre)
irie — anger (from ira)
casas and callie — neighborhood
cold — gold


December 29, 2018

16 responses to “For my casas and callies

  1. This is brilliant, Bjorn. It’s like listening to Alex go on one of his rants (right after watching today’s news).

    It was fantastic reading the poem without seeing the key and realizing that I got most of the words’ meanings from the tone alone. Reading again, post-key, reminded me of how I felt when I found out what Christopher Columbus and his like really did to the native people of the Americas. I always suspected that things weren’t as nice and neat as “history” portrayed them. Then I grew up… did my own research (found my own key?)…and was properly enraged.

    Your use of “tomatoes and beans” to signify money is particularly timely, in my mind, when thinking about what’s currently going on in the US and so many other countries. I truly enjoyed this one, and suspect that I will read it once or thrice again.

  2. You really went to town on this one, Björn, and I had great fun reading and interpreting it. I especially love ‘the governing forces of bog’ and ‘My sangy is boiling with irie and steal’. The stark image of children playing in the snow in a desolate landscape helps to bring out the meaning.

  3. I haven’t read A Clockwork Orange yet (and already have been chastised thoroughly for that oversight) but I got the feeling of youthful bravado itching to prove themselves, by means fair or foul, while reading this piece.

  4. Bjorn, I liked the subtle rhyme here. Thanks for this prompt, it was fun working it out. I’ve not really given it enough but I gave it what time I had
    ..

  5. In answer to your question about 50%. It reminded me of childhood when we young boys would invent words so we would be different from the others. I must confess I wish I was a pre teen again!

  6. I love the energy in this poem – all the alliteration as well as your vernacular.. such a good job.

    All the best for 2019, Bjorn.

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