By Jane Cassady

How to Make a Cut-Up Pop Song

  1. Google up a ubiquitous pop song.
  2. Copy and paste the lyrics onto a document and increase the font size to 26 or so.
  3. Cut out your favorite words and make a pile of them.
  4. Take out a glue stick (or some glitter glue), a medium-sized poster board.
  5. Glue down the words in any order you see fit. Feel free to marker in any other words you might need.

You can do mashups this way, too. Print out two different songs or song and a poem, etc. Someday I will successfully combine Lady Gaga’s Telephone with Ted Hughes’s Do Not Pick Up the Telephone.

This example poem previously appeared in The Legendary and in my chapbook Adventures of a Lazy Polyamorist, from Turtle Ink Press.

In Praise of Friend-Crushes
(From cutting and pasting the words to Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi.”)

In this dance, I’m running toward you.
We don’t mind the famous velvet flashing.
We don’t chase safe pictures.
Ready for the biggest room in our hotel-hearts,
we look past glamorous backstage promises.
You’re like the radio, if it were unpredictable.
Chase your girl.
Follow the light until you keel over,
until you love me.
Sure as photo-flashes,
you’re the glitter in my eyelashes.
I know the crowd’s here,
but I can’t hear them.
You’re my price coming down,
and I’ll need that, I’ll know your famous face.
We don’t have to wait at appropriate distances.
I’ll be burnt sparklers,
plastic rings from gumball machines, 4-EVER.
(For eva eva? For eva eva.)

Between the true slumber party dance
and the studio sets,
I’ll follow you.

Jane Cassady writes pop-culture horoscopes for the Philadelphia City Paper’s Arts and Culture blog, Critical Mass, and also for The Legendary. She writes a blog about happiness, love and pop-culture called The Serotonin Factory. She is the Slam Mistress of the Philadelphia Poetry Slam. Her poems have appeared in The November 3rd Club, The Comstock Review, Valley of the Contemporary Poets, and other journals.