Friday, December 06, 2013

break build bloom boom

Technically, I haven't been "a slam poet" for over a decade. I write poems, I perform some of them and, willing, I'll continue this practice. For decades more.

But I only compete with myself now. The only scores I track are musical.

Slam taught me so much. Like how to be honest in public. Like how to love on strangers with timed stories. Like how to hold an entire room with my eyes, arms, two cents, and best intentions. Like how the mouth needs the ears to breathe. Like how three minutes can change your whole life...

Slam taught me more than I can tell you.

So did Euripides. So did Dutty Boukman. So did Ella Fitzgerald and Meredith Monk. So did James Baldwin, Essex Hemphill and Judith Jamison. So did Michael Jackson and MC Lyte.

If you're reading this, you teach me, too. If you're reading this, I hope you'll hear me, live, someday.

Long live the words that connect us. Written, edited and embodied. Including gibberish.

Long live poets who project their voices. We did so before and during the popularity of the term "spoken word" and, willing, we will continue.

Long live the universal language, the act and impact of self-naming, and the willingness to gather for sound.

Long live the lines that break and build and bloom and boom for love.

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