so my friend steve has issued a challenge to his fellow poets: “bring a new poem to perform at the next slam”
this is going to be tricky because, as we have learned, new stuff doesn’t always do well in slams but i am still going for it because that is the whole reason i started coming to 13. the challenge of writing poetry that connects is the true draw of the stage and what keeps me coming back for more.
any one could write some ultra elusive poem that revolves around the mysteries of the universe but if no one understands it… then what’s the point? any good and true poetry that has survived the test of time is because it strikes a universal chord. when i first started writing it was all booty poems, all the time. specifically geared to one girl and it was working on all cylinders. we would have some good sex and i’d write about it. we’d have a fight and i’d write about it. some good lines came through and it got me into actually writing a bunch of stuff i was only contemplating but ultimately it wasn’t very good because i wasn’t writing it for myself, it was all to keep this lil flame going and it wasn’t that big a flame to begin with and booty poems turned into heartbreak poems and that shit got old quick. i needed a new outlet for what i was starting to enjoy doing (add another very important factor that we won’t address at this second) and i end up at 13.
this girl’s story was actually the impetus of the first poem i ever dropped at 13 (which did remarkably well, considering the low monotone voice i was sporting at the time) and she deserves some credit for my poetic career. not that much tough, remember– she DID break my heart for a second but a lil heartache in exchange for a poetic vocation that allows me to help people and promote art. not a bad trade off.
so, the challenge: ‘canto’ was a poem that was on the backshelf for a minute and has now blossomed into a wonderful performance piece and a great leap into my being more personal in my poems. there are a couple of ideas i have on the back burner including a poem that i have wanted to write for a bit about some baby.mama.drama that ended in a heartfelt good-bye to a 2 yeard old i would have been happy to call my own. that and eric, my main.bro, has given me the inspiration to what could be a beautiful bronx poem that will leave some quasi.political.poems in the dust. i hope.
ima write a new piece and will have it memorized in time for the next slam but will i actually have the cojones to pull it off. hhmmm?
i’m not committing yet. especially after i joked with steve that if he draws last in the round i am half-expecting him to start with “before the lean in…” (a tried.true and absolutely wonderful poem that steve has mastered)
steve’s response was the raise of an eyebrow and a quick smile that looked like the love child of an infomercial model and bill.clinton.circa.97