poem

Plight of Young, Black, and Educated Waxed Poetic

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Major snaps to this poem. Kia does a great job at articulating an experience that many young educated black youth experience throughout their academic career. Her experience is pretty similar to what I experienced as a young black female  growing up in inner city Queens, NY. I can’t tell you how many times I was called an Oreo or being told that I was trying to be White. I guess if trying to be anything other than ignorant is White, I’m rich vanilla. When did it be come a fad to be sound uneducated? Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that there is a certain dialect that excludes certain audiences because not everyone has exposure to such language, but that doesn’t mean that one should take pride in decreasing your ability to communicate? My ancestors risked too much to give me the opportunity to sit in a classroom and learn, I dare not disrespect what they gave me by engaging back to uneducated dialogue.

Have a similar experience? Please share below!

T’is the Night Before NPS 2011

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T’is the night before the the official start of the National Poetry Slam 2011. Not a creature was sleeping, not even the poets. Tonight, Middle East, was rocking until well after midnight. Tonight, one of Cambridge ‘s most popular hub for music, food, and Boston culture was host to Bee-Cool Poetry/Music Mashup . I happened to head over to the Middle East around 8:30 last night to get a lil sampling of local and national talent. I got more than I bargained for and then some. Since it was free to get in, I was more than thrilled about the experience already. But then… there were poets.  Junior performers whose hands still shook and the long timers whose voices bellowed through the crowd and commanded attention. There were singers and rappers and those who love to support them. Mosaic played too! They peppered the poets powerful prose with complimentary notes. With standing room only for much of the night you could have mistaken it for a semi-final. Working my way up through the crowd took some time, but eventually I was directly in front of the brave folks who let their voices be heard.

I was so hyped I quickly forgot the plans I’d made of “heading home early since I have work tomorrow.” Hours after ‘early’ and I’m still up after 1:30 because I couldn’t drag myself away to cuddle up warm in my bed while the poets “spit hot fiyah” haha. I couldn’t resist sharing some of tonight’s energy with you. While I didn’t record any of the poets I did note one that I enjoyed.

Please meet, Regie Gibson.


So ready and inspired for the competition this week!

“The Superbowl of Poetry” is Coming to Boston!

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NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH!

NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH!

NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH!

NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH!

If haven’t you heard already you either don’t enjoy poetry enough or you’ve been living under a rock. It’s been all over the local papers and on the radio. I’ve been awaiting this moment since I saw the banner flying on JFK Street in Cambridge near Harvard Square – The National Poetry Slam is coming to Boston! As a poetry fiend I can’t tell you how pleased I am to be present for a mass ideas and voices of the people from all over the country. From 10:30am on Tuesday, August 9th through Saturday you can enjoy 75 poetry teams from across the country perform to win the title of National Poetry Slam winners. Since there are over 100 events will be running throughout the week, you can probably find some time to get to at least one of them.

While this isn’t one of those free opportunities I usually post about but I can’t pass up convincing you to check out at least one of the many opportunity to listen to modern poetry. Even though it isn’t cheap, it’s also relatively inexpensive – see event pricing here. The teams of people who helped put this event together worked very hard to make the experience extremely accessible to anyone who wished to attend. Whether you’re brand new Beantown or  you’ve been around for a while there’s a comprehensive festival guide. The great thing is that the poets will be performing at stages in local Boston and Cambridge centers for culture. Each setting will have a unique ambiance and energy. Even if you’re not a lover of poetry I recommend you check these events out. They’re founding goal is to “bring poetry to people that wouldn’t engage with it otherwise. So they’re bringing it here just for you!

What’s my motive in encouraging you to check out the NPS even though it’s not free? Well it’s incredibly simple, poetry is near and dear to my heart. I began writing poetry when I was in JHS. By the time I entered my senior year of HS I’d collected a lot of various pieces that I was rather proud of. Unfortunately those poems were deemed ‘lost’ at the end of a stressful chapter of my life. While I wanted to give up on writing because I thought I’d lost a significant piece of my identify I chose to start fresh. One of the first poems I tried to rebuild from memory was “College in the Boondocks” which was a celebration of the new chapter in life I was about to embark on, College. I participated in my first poetry slams at college and place in all but 1 of the 3 contest I performed in. I’ve haven’t been on the stage in a while so I’m hoping the poets performing during the competition will not only engage my mind, but also stimulate my creative energies.

So, I give myself a 5 day challenge. Write everyday. I constantly find myself talking about how much I should write rather than actually putting ink to paper. And of course, I’ll share what I come up with along the way.

Check out the official National Poetry Slam blog here.

Enjoy Peeps!

Tribute to HipHop

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As a little compliment to the last post I wanted to share these videos.

 

“Hip-Hop does not wear diamond earrings. Diamond earrings that were mined by African children of war.”

 

“How I miss the days when hip-hop was fun, how I miss the days when hip-hop was fun, how I miss the days when hip-hop was one.”

Jessica Care Moore, ‘Warriors Walk Alone’ on Def Poetry Jam

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“CREATE A REAL REVOLUTION WHEN NO ONE’S LOOKING SO THEY WILL NEVER SEE US COMING!”

Spoken Word by Black Ice

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“We live in a beautiful world but ugly souls push the buttons.”

The Revolution Remixed

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Remix on the classic Gil Scott-Heron poem “The Revolution Will Not be Televised.” See my earlier tribute to Gil here.

 

New Featured Artist – Spoken Word by Rosebaby

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Check out this month’s new featured artist, Rosebaby. Her spoken word is rather powerful as it addresses the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti. Her poem is rather timely considering the multitude of natural disasters occurring around the world. I can’t imagine how many people are suffering in the same ways Rosebaby portrays in her poetry. My thoughts go out to all those who are suffering.

Rebel Spotlight on Lyrical Genius Will “Da Real One” Bell

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I respect these creative persons and the consciousness they are hoping to bring through consciousness. Check out their piece, Rebel Spotlight on Lyrical Genius Will “Da Real One” Bell.

Ode to Gil Scott-Heron

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When I found out Gil Scott-Heron passed away I thought, “I should write a blog post about it!” After scrolling through the multitude of other bloggers who were paying their dues to him I realized everyone and their mom was probably going to write their few lines in respects for this great orator. Nevertheless, I’ve got to climb up on my soap box and at least say a thing or two. I’d feel completely disrespectful if I didn’t acknowledge Gil Scott – Heron and his poetry.

I only recently discovered Mr. Scott and his poetry sitting on my roommates shelf in a book called Now and Then a few month ago. I’d been wanting to increase my working knowledge of poetry for a while, but hadn’t found enough motivation to do so until I flipped through a few pages of the book. I found poetry I enjoyed, poetry written for those who enjoy spoken word. I didn’t look too much into his story until after I heard of his passing. Little had I known that he was also the poet who inspired my reinterpretation of “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” 

He built much of the hip-hop foundation we hear sampled in current music. Some of his messages are relevant even to this day. One of my favorites, Space Shuttle, happens to talk about the space program (the final trip for the space shuttle Endeavour was today), war, natural disasters, and the state of the nation and the world.

I’ll leave you to chew on one verse of this poem as I pay my respects…

“Tornados and hurricanes,
dead rivers and Acid Rain,
volcanoes ages dead
suddenly just get up and lose their heads.
Typhoons, monsoons,
and tidal waves come down from an angry moon.
It’s earthquaking all the Goddamn time
and the only common denominator we can find…

Space Shuttle / raising hell down on the ground!
Space Shuttle/turning the seasons upside down.
Space Shuttle/and all the hungry people know
all change sho’ ’nuff ain’t progress when you’re poor.
No matter what man goes looking for
he always seems to find a war.
As soon as dreams of peace are felt
the war is raging somewhere else.”

Much respect, R.I.P. Gil Scott-Heron

First Featured Artist

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Check out this month’s featured artist J. Dinklage, Ode to the Un-Thing

In the Groove

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Rolling, Rolling

Hips

Tumbling

Sway

Kinetic energy

Moist skin

Glowing energy

Rhythmic and purposeful, intense and intentional

Mindless movements of sound induced convulsions in response to calls from the base

Intimate vertical experiences between souls

Elevated electrics

Freak lightening between brain cavities

Dig it?

It digs you

Skittles have never been more revelant

Cause you and I taste the like the rainbow

~ KH & JD

Missed Connection

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Hair tussled softly
A natural
Bed head
Gentle Smirk
Incomplete facial hair
Dedicated five long minutes
To hear my vocal chords rattle against his ear drum
300 of his precious seconds dedicated to my cause
Solo soul
I’d like to steal a little of your not so “free” time
Kind, empathetic eyes directed towards my being
Presses the small paper into a miniscule square
Places the incomplete form into his pocket
And disappears

When

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When there is no paper left,
How will I save my stories?
When there is no ink left,
How will I translate my minds eye?
When there is no mike to listen,
How will I share my voice?
When there is no platform,
How will I guide my people?
When there is no you,
Where will I be?
When there is no land,
Where will my legacy live?
When there is no voice,
How will I know of your existence?
When I can no longer feel that heart beat upon the underside of my chest,
How will I feel for you?

Haiku – Turquoise

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Turquoise painted nails
Pressing beautiful daisy’s
Preserving beauty

Haiku – Black

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Loneliness hurts more
When there’s freedom to explore
It’s dark corridors

Haiku – Orange

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Pregnant and juicy
Filled with small pockets of life
I spit them out

Ode to Trees (yes… trees)

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Trees.
Are the most human-like of all lively things
Cut it
It bleeds
Pouring it’s life out from its flesh like bark
It scars
Scabs
Knots
Wrinkles as it ages
Bows as it matures
Absorbs and reflects
The environment its reared in
Groans and bends
When faced with strong and uncontrollable forces
Eventually, it out grows its boundaries
Snaps under pressure
Provides shelter for those who seek comfort against its sturdy frame.

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Soft glow
Tucked in frozen fingers
Warm heart
Tumbling mind rests

When?

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When did it all happen?
When now became past
And present became back then
When I went from a Sony Walkman to an iPod
When responsibilities didn’t exist
And time was actually by my side and not behind me
When it didn’t matter who I trusted
When I still had fate in US
Before US became me
When your disparity was my own