What is slam?
Slam is a sport of words and verbs. It is something that stems from the practice of break poetry. Every year teams from all over the country and poets from all over the world compete in slam competitions.
Are You Ready?
This year has felt completely different than other slam years. Maybe it's because I took a break and was asked to re-join later. Maybe it's because the team has "hella" group pieces. Or maybe I just know that I can do other things with my time so it makes slam time more charged now. I do know I want us to win this year and I think we can.
I slam because it's a challenge for me. I started off as the poet who was cute, but... I wasn't connecting to audiences. I couldn't make the team even if I tried really hard. I wanted to do my best. I wanted to win. Through workshops and writing with others I've slowly transformed into a poet who actually can get my point across without it getting lost in translation. Now? I don't like the fact that I started becoming a poet who was "pimping pain for points". Not really, but I felt myself writing more about pain than anything else. How can I top this hurt. I know these stories must be told, but I wanted to heal. That's what I spent my time off doing. Healing.
I started writing to protest, to entice, to call to action, and to just vent. There was a time my poems were all about activism, erotica, faith, and whatever was on my heart at the time. I'm a broader writer now. Covering any and everything under the sun.
Since I've done the healing I just know slam (for me) isn't fun all the time. It hurts hearing all the things we've gone through as people. It hurts that our stories are so similar though we're all so different. It hurts. And though I cheer on my fellow poets. It gets difficult to sit in a room and be rubbed raw over and over. I often wonder if the people that NEED to hear these poems are even in the room.
The times I feel the need to slam, I'll go rock a slam. I'll still compete as a indie and support this city (St. Louis). BUUUUUUT first let's get this Nationals competition on! I ain't done yet gosh darn it. I'm ready to go. To see our team go rock those stages in Chicago.
I'll probably blog more than normal this month. Since it's my blogaversary.
Oh yea. Welcome to Slam.
2016 Slam Team
Today I got a raise/ and a 10 day eviction notice in the same day/ I pull the cry out from my throat/ hold this pulsing thing/ Know that prison can look like rented rooms/ And sentences are denied apartment applications/ That records are credit scores that never report the facts/ Degrees rags that don’t soak up your moms incarceration/ Or times ya’ll spent in the projects/ Or the one room ya’ll lived in eating pork n beans/ Me being the first one to graduate from high school and college/ Don’t mean nothing to the nice rental office cause your past is numbers/ That don’t add up/ My mother’s sacrifices can’t only be worth denials/ There are times when the hood and educated revolt in my blood/ Are two forces that don't like to exist in the same body/ Discord that chokes/ Reminds me that I know what being locked in feels like/ How the doors clang shut on your hopes/ Success feels like forgetting where you come from/ Like burying my mother instead of honoring her memory/ But when the time comes and the hood is just a part of town you pass through cause it cost more to stay than leave/ It stays in the vessel of you/ Will be found in the lessons you teach your future children/ In the way you run your household/ In the stories you pass to strangers that become family/ God will use the educated hood of you to light the world/ Raising you to new heights/ Evicting you from that old way of life/ Accepting all the parts of your being/ From sacrifice to freedom/ Causing hands to raise/ And voice to praise/ Ain't it glorious to not be prisoner to money
For a city rich with history
It is under constant repair
There’s always hammers
Scaffolding to block the walkway,
Always work men
Unafraid of heights
The boss who’s taking a fag break,
Sometimes there’s yelling heard
Sometimes the hum of tools
But beware the trucks that will almost run over you
Mind the Gap ;)
There he goes again, surpassing expectation
Faith was gripping tight
His line of wisdom told the spirit to wait
Pacing heart stared at the gate
Excited fingers flipped through his word
This will not be stopped nor deterred
Set goal in mind
For this possibility
Prayer calls upon an angel
To deliver the message ASAP
Wouldn’t ya know he showed up and showed out
Wasn’t the original goal
But hey when is a broke soul got time to be picky
I mean really
*Things in life are never set in stone and some changes can be shocking, but is truly a blessing from God. So, do your best to be open and ready for those changes
Warning: I will be talking about poetry for this blog :)
Happy Poetry day!! And if you missed it, that is really sad. However, it happens every year and if you live in the US or Canada there is a whole poetry month. So how did I spend my poetry day?
First order of business was waking up early for class discussing the British and European government. Interesting things… After that a friend and I made our way to the Southbank Centre for the National Poetry Day Live :) Tip: The SouthBank Centre is a great place to go to events while in London. (Just saying) Plus it is right by the London Eye and street performers are always around to entertain.
Back to Poetry Day :) It was really for all ages as this years theme was GAMES! They had a mix of things for children and adults alike. For all of my poets out there there are competitions that one can compete in. For those interested there is the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award and that is for ages 11-17. This one ends on poetry day, but opens once more in March. There is also the for those over the National Poetry Competition age of 17. This one closes at the end of Oct., so jump on it. (There’s a fee though)
What did I see and what did I do? I heard many amazing poets. There was a wide range from prose writers, free verse, slam poets, an MC, and all from different careers and places. I felt at home with them. It still astounds me seeing so much diversity in London, but seeing how people respect their cultures and include their backgrounds. I got the sense of inclusion for young, old, and those undefined. Kids seemed to enjoy, the teens liked it, and the adults had good things to say.
All in all it was an evening well spent. I even got inspired with three poems ;) The only downfall was my desire to jump on stage and spit… But I didn’t. One year I aspire to be an invited guest. *cough,cough* Still loved it though.
Purchasing your picture perfect beauty with the blood of innocent many
Artificial in it’s prime tasteful for leisure time,
Peaceful, yet hear the silent cries of nature
Vacation or inflation of unemployment
All for your most critical enjoyment
Between the lines of your fun time
Irresponsible or impossible to avoid
Don’t be coy because even Americans have their wasteful, self absorbed toys
So different, but motives all there
Can’t say I don’t enjoy the view there
Understandable those were complicated times
Understanding the history clears up the mystery
Let’s the fog of misguided facts
Transform itself into a love story
Into a passed down lineage of responsibility
Now open for public eyes to scrutinize
Or maybe to listen up and let uneducated hearts become wise
Jump Rope Sis
Fitness. Life. Art. Travel.