Friday, April 11, 2014

the slam

i wrote this piece because i want to make peace with the fact that the act of standing before you
must fit with the rhyme scheme and theme that seems to be what we poets call
i stand up and recite what took many a night to engrave on my brain which to you might seem plain
but that's because i accidentally buried the spice and i've got to get you to bite
in order to taste it

a form of poetry where the art is in showing depth on the surface,
because you can't press pause, nor silence applause, nor show subtitles
or cute diagrams with notes in the margins
the only notes i have to share will tell you that i'm a writer, not a singer

here i'm forced to wear a heart on my sleeve
but what happens i want to
with the untouchable
with the unlovable

so like a lyre bird i mimic all i hear
i'm a thief who steals belief by hiding honesty in hospitable-seeming holes
and i sing
i sing to play the game
i sing to be heard
i sing a song so desperate to mingle my memes and yours for high scores

and more exposure

so i maintain composure while composing beats to which i can't tap my feet because that's how it's done
if it's fun to hear then it can't possibly be poetry
all because a futurist said "make it new" though we knew that there is nothing new under the sun
or maybe i just misplaced a "k", okay, so let me say that again
he said "make it knew" / stop the beat
that we "new" / we're too old
there is nothing "knew" / in hip-hop feet

what a waste of time, seeking out the sublime in a trick or two for a simple number from a few of you
who'll struggle to rank my lines between rank and fine then hold up the signs that will enshrine my designs
or resign them

the yawning gap
between my teeth
and your ears
makes me grind
my gears in order to play on your fears or squeeze tears that sympathize with my piece
whose length i've increased to include all these thoughts, now deceased post-ritual spiritual release
and i'll cease just before the stopwatch says three
a nice number, just long enough to keep your attention on me
then free your minds from the grip of my imagination
giving others a chance for participation in our hallucination of a nation of image mages and manipulation

a nation that doesn't stand a chance in the world outside because nobody's
a world that's gotten worse which is both a blessing and a curse
as our literacy improves while our content becomes less contentious
and thoughtless words fly through the ether like birds of prey hunting meager morsels
love is just a like and a share away but there're no real people left with whom to play


i laid waste to days as i came up with a phrase so becoming of praise
that you'll let me stay on the stage

for one more song
for one more chance to prove that i belong

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