Tuesday, March 2, 2010

head out of here

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courtesy of omni........

rant: why idol worship will ruin poetry

im like, wildly put-off by the celebritizing of poets in my community. while i encourage people and poets to reach out to poets who inspire them and thank them and communicate with them how their work has touched their lives…

i get a really uncomfortable sense of a burdgeoning idol worship developing. as youth slam becomes more wide-spread and those poets come into college and encounter poets who they themsevles watched on youtube or wherever growing up, i see more and more young poets fawning over these “slam celebrities”. While i appreciate the contributions of the “big names”, im fairly repulsed by the attitude that shaking their hands or sharing a car with them is meaningfull or important.

i hope, and encourage my own poets i coach to not look UP to these poets beyond their poems. To not idolize. Dont act like your life is complete because you shared a cab with anis or rachel or buddy or anyone. And if any of those sorts of people treat you like your less than, well…fuck them. fuck them in their asses. roughly.

the community is the most important thing we have, and when our young poets get into this groupie mentality, treating their peers and fellow poets like superstars to whome they can only bow in the glow of their radiant light, we create a shitty, imbalanced community. all those “famous” poets who won alot of stuff. they’re your equals. dont incite this madness. treat them like you would treat your own teammates or classmates. but latching on to a notable slam poet for handshakes and praise is like…gross to me.

im glad youve been inspired, tell them that. but not like youre talking to someone who is half-deity. that shit is stupid. be your own poet. impress yourself. do not judge your life by how many times you can share a car ride with derrick brown.

they are important to our success. but no more than you.

Monday, January 18, 2010

my high school experience.

None of us were creators then
Only destroyers
Leaving empty space in our wake.
Running backwards
Thinking that what we saw
Was us,
Rushing towards oblivion

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ethos pt. 1

There was a café in Richmond,
that force fed starving artists
amazing food and love,
the way we starving artists
feed the world creativity.
Without asking.
Without expecting anything in return.
And with a noble sense of obligation

Jen and Sarah,
were the couple who owned it.
they taught to me what it meant
to be revolutionary.
Some of their proceeds went to programs
for needle exchanges
or helping underage girls
get safe abortions
if they couldn’t tell their parents.

The types of programs
that make conservatives
blow steam out their ears.
and head out on the warpath.

They did it quietly.
Not wanting to offend any clientele
that might object
to their patronage
funding such fringe causes.
But someone had to do it they said.
Why not them?

Not to mention,
their coffee was amazing.

It may have been the only place
ever in my life,
where I would strike up
conversations with complete strangers.
And I did every day,
since I was there for hours on end.
A safe haven for vagrant artists,
and various free thinkers.

Before I went on tour for a month
with Joseph,
Ethos cafe held a fundraiser for us.
It was all their friends
that showed up

Jen and Sarah hadn’t slept yet.
They were up all nite
making T-shirts for us to sell
at shows.

They had us perform
and passed a hat.

People who struggle
to make rent every month
threw money into that hat
after Jen’s speech,
about how people who try
to really follow their dreams
need everyone else around them
to struggle a little more,
while they wait for
their opportunity
to take the leap.

And whenever they chose
to take that leap,
Ethos would be right there
to pass a hat
and do whatever it took
to see them off right.

All I Know is Humor.

She said it was happening again

My read resting in her lap
as she scratched and massaged
my freshly shaved scalp.

She noticed the other day,
too much long red hair in the drain.
The doctors still seem confused,
but think its a rare form of lupus.
Her body, aimlessly waging war against itself

‘there might be one advantage’
I tell her lazily as the opium of her fingers
work themselves into my system
‘I can finally return all this
head massaging that you give me’

I swear,
I felt her smile through those fingers

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Honey Badgers for Anxiety

We were at a Thai restaurant
In Austin, Tx
A few fellow poets
And the girl I was dating
A guitar player

She would open for hard rock bands
Just her,
An acoustic guitar,
And the songs she wrote
Rocking the venue

But this night,
She had one of her anxiety attacks
Right after we ordered.
She was outside,
Sitting balled up
Leaning back against the building
World around her spinning
Breath caught and pressed
By boulders

I sat with her,
Told jokes,
And recounted
Scene for scene
A documentary on my favorite animal,

The honey badger.

Considered the most tenacious
Animal on the planet,
It attacks lions, and poisonous snakes
Without a care.

But it gets its name,
From its love of honey.
And the reckless abandon
With which it dives into
Underground hives
Being stung thousands of times
Just to pull out the
Sweet sweet honeycomb

Maybe that is like
Working through an anxiety attack.
Knowing the honeycomb,
The ability to take a
deep, sweet,
Breath of air
Is worth getting stung
By shortness of breath,
And vertigo.
So you don’t ever
give up trying

The whole time I talked,
I kept a hand on her belly,
Made her focus on breathing.
Trying to keep it slow and deliberate
Eventually we stood up
as everyone filed out of the restaurant

We missed dinner.

A couple weeks later
There was a package in the mail
A stuffed animal,
An official honey badger
I had no idea
That they even made those

It must have been much
Harder to obtain
Than my stories were
That eased her anxiety

And receiving it eased mine,
Concerned about
How much I actually helped.

Honey badgers
Work better
Than Effexor or Zoloft

But like all anxiety meds,
The side effects can be brutal.

Biting and clawing,
Resulting in excessive bleeding

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sitting in a metal-smithing studio

Sitting in a metal-smithing studio

Surrounded by a wide array
Of unfamiliar instruments,
Numerous tools with
Slight variations,
Each waiting silently
For their moment
To make a vocal mark
On the world
Through the delicate hands
Of an artist.

It makes me wonder,
How complex is my art?

Substituting a pen
For a pencil,
Paper for a keyboard-
Would that make a
Discernable difference
In the outcome of this poem?

Never will someone say

‘I loved your poem,
Did you usea ballpoint pen?
Or a number 2 pencil?’

Writing and performing poems
Does not hold evidence
Of the medium used
In the precious moments of conception
There is no need to switch between
Lead and ink
In order to fine tune these metaphors
With the proper hue and texture

So how complex
Is this act of expression?