Was it Ever America to Me?

I remember these words, three,

the spark of everyman’s dream.

A simple pioneer on the plain

sought out a home where he himself is free

(was it ever America to me?).

_________________________

The welcoming arms of Liberty

fast from the schemes of kings.

A place for many to attain

land away from conniving tyranny

(it never was America to me).

_________________________

Opportunity is real and life is free,

but better if it could be

possible to bring what it once claimed

and provide equality into the air we breathe

(there was nothing equal for my people
in their math not freedom in this “Land of the Free”).

___________________________

There confusion residing within the

down trodden, underprivileged community

argues against the established aims.

That’s when it was asked of me:

“Say, who do you think you are?”

___________________________

I am the First who didn’t know

land was something one could own.

I am the Last Bottle threatening to arrive

and encourage the last of the First to for

as he remains stuck in his reserved sanctuary,

watching the rain wash away his war paint.

____________________________

I was kidnapped, I was sold

and others exploited my soul

(who am I kidding? They’re still doing it).

____________________________

I am anger, I am pain.

These notions have infested my brain

for the better part of three centuries

and still, they ignore me.

____________________________

Yet, I remember these words, three.

It rings true in their speech and their coverage,

in their dismissive labels slapped on every time

I refuse to die quietly.

____________________________

Oh yes, these words, three.

But how can it be America

if I was never allowed to “Let Freedom Ring”?

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Time Capsule

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This is a long poem designed to be performed in the German slam poetry scene. I tried my best to make it easy to read!

They dig through the rubble
tossing items aside as they struggle
to figure out why someone troubled
the community like this, a more subtle
method must have failed him.
_________________________________________
The dramatically grim
scene slowly clears as the workers dig,
collect, and toss out big
pieces of debris. I do believe
the time was between 2am and a quarter to three
when one of them discovered a key
buried deep within this ashen sea.
_________________________________________
I watched the employees slowly uncover a black box –
unharmed by the incident – they can’t help but gawk
at the smooth cube as one stoops
down and unhoops a loop
and shoves the key into the lock.
_________________________________________
I leaned over their shoulders to look inside
as the others realize that this might be the greatest find
of the decade, perhaps further, because the confined
contents were some of the greatest poems and rhymes
ever mustered by a real poet laureate of his time.
Now you might not care
but it’s my duty to share
some lines that were running through this man’s mind:

“There are days where I’ve nothing to say,
trying to remember what spelling of ‘grey’
fits the weather today as I pretend to pray
that the next juicy story to prey
on happens to walk by this way so I can slay
the owner and convincingly play
as it’s entirely my own.
_________________________________________
It is not really known
how little remorse I’ve shown
because I only care to hone
my skills, increasing my talents
working to find a balance
between trying to impress those who’ve grown calloused
to the effects a few lines of poetry may possess
and burning so bright that it might intimidate those wishing to express
themselves in a similar manner.
_________________________________________
I don’t intend to shatter
confidence, it’s just that the prominent
figures are determined to label me incompetent
and people swallow this, following the so-called politics
of poetry that openly tried to ignore me until recently
when I forced my entry through the German scene.
_________________________________________
I’ve seen how tricky it can be to breakthrough,
I’ve seen people who opted to chew all the way through
Their own dignity, accepting false ministries
as they willfully dismiss the imagery
that I try to provide to the masses.
_________________________________________
Do you know what burns me? Only matches.
I’ve seen flashes of my own brilliant passages
but oddly feared the fashion
of actions that had to happen
to get recognition short of rappin’
so I hid these words inside a cabin
thinkin’ I’d be safe from the dragon
as I apologized for the behavior of my passion.
_________________________________________
It made no sense, I was intimidated by my words
as they strived towards
their own goals, hiding their cards
from me, yet I believed
I could get the party going with two left feet.
_________________________________________
So when I turned right,
I was given a bite
of the apple, orange, the whole fuckin’ garden
oh, I beg your pardon for slippin’ into that margin
of cussing in my poem, I should really sharpen
my vocabulary again, before committing another “sin”.
_________________________________________
Nah, fuck it, I have the pen
and I’ll make the whole world listen
as I Ink and Think
into the shrinks and Professor Frinks
of the world and steady carving
my way and finding those who’ve been starving
for just one enlightening
stanza. As my culinary skills are enticing,
my cuisine cannot, and will not, provide all the answers you seek.
_________________________________________
In fact, I’m not sure you’re worthy to read this.
It’s probably flying over your head.
You’re probably tempted to dismiss
this and read about what “so-and-so be like” instead.
The case doesn’t matter,
my notebooks continue getting fatter
ironically helping me climb that ladder
as I say ‘fuck the moon, I’m aiming for Saturn!’
_________________________________________
So I gotta ignite
this rocket, starting tonight.
See my words are something I no longer fear
my poems are now an equivalent to German engineers,
These are raw metaphors flying high for 3 years and 2 months,
one’s Voyage would not even have to refuel once.
_________________________________________
So I’ll lock this box
and burn this entire city block
and when the tick-tock knocks at Daedalus o’clock
they’ll find my rhymes, gasping in shock
realizing this is how I’ve conquered the Eastern bloc.”

Trains, praise, while avoiding planes.

Such a clever title!

So I just finished the first stretch of my “tour” and have received praises for my poems.
As a warm-up, I got to debut two of my newer poems (Time Capsule and Group Activity), in Warsaw, Poland (April 15) at my Expression Session show to a load of appreciation and admiration.

Then I arrived in Vienna, Austria via train to compete in the Textstrom Poetry slam, reaching the final with Time Capsule and 28th Amendment (currently going to take a few edits to appeal more to a global audience).

After that, I got see more of Germany while riding SEVERAL trains from Salzburg, Austria, to Berlin. It was quite a long day!

After some rest, I walked around different sections of Berlin and got myself ready for the Moabit Slam that night, which also gave me a chance to perform Time Capsule to some praise and laughter (I’ll post the poem later).

 

Overall I did well, but both shows reminded me of something said to me back in Frankfurt, comedy is a big thing at these slams.

It leaves me with something to think about as I prepare to go back to Berlin this weekend for 3 more shows, how to battle comedy and a very likely language barrier.

 

Despite not progressing to a point where I could use my Group Activity poem (the plan was to use it if I won, but I’m tempted to break the typical rules of slam and use it during the actual competition just to see how it goes…hmmm), I still had a great time being a traveling performer. Hopefully this can help open more doors!

 

 

P.S. In Berlin I found a haven full of African/Caribbean guys, music, and food. It was great beating them in dominoes hahaha

April/May Schedule

Ok

After shooting s few emails I now have most of my schedule confirmed.

 

April:

Wednesday the 15th

Expression Session in Warsaw, Poland

link [link=https://m.facebook.com/?_rdr#!/events/1411919119115464?acontext=%7B%22ref%22%3A98%7D&aref=98&ref=bookmark]here[/link]

Wednesday the 22nd

Textstrom Poetry Slam in Vienna, Austria

Friday the 24th

Moabit Slam in Berlin, Germany

 

May:

Friday the 1st (confirmed!)

Rosis in Berlin, Germany

Saturday the 2nd (confirmed!)

Tube Slam on Berlin, Germany

Sunday the 3rd

Karlshorster in Berlin, Germany

Friday the 8th

Slamffm in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Saturday the 9th (not confirmed)

Gotec in Karlsruhe, Germany

Wednesday the 13th

Expression Session in Warsaw, Poland

Friday the 15th

Poetry Slam im Theater in Stuttgart, Germany

Thursday the 28th (not confirmed)

Festival in Lublin, Poland

 

whew

 

I’ll make edits when appropriate!

 
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Another Currently Untitled Poem

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I know it took me awhile

trying to figure out

what was worth my while

and what to write about

but now I have my style –

the excess I’ve tossed out –

so my sincerity adds clarity

to these weekly therapy

sessions.

_______________________

There’s no need to question

my preferred method of expression

as ideas blend and mix

to discover what sticks

so it can lay a brick on top of a brick

as we build a house.

Just be weary of those who want to kill the route,

so let’s detour to make sure

they can’t feel us out

these days I can’t see why I was filled with doubt.

_______________________

Now I write to remind

myself of a time

where these various rhymes

were locked deep into the layers of this mind

desperately dying to break free.

They clawed and scratched at my anatomy

mad at me, damaging all mentality

driving me to kick and scream,

punching objects and fucking up my hand

all over a possible blessing I couldn’t understand.

_______________________

Was it worth it?

_______________________

I worry that I can’t work it,

I wonder if the ears

would truly hear

as my poems persevere

through the sneer and snide

remarks coming from the cowards who hide

their hearts and at the same time they tried

to take apart my struggles claiming I’ve lied

and deny every step that’s played a part

in the development to the realization

that I lacked the heart. But my revelation

forces their hesitation, giving me an advantage

as I grew to learn to control my savage

impulses and focus that energy into my poetry

so you know this is me, now, without fear

since a conversation I had back a few years,

did you wanna hear?

“Daedalus how do you stay awake?” Asked the engineer,

I put my finger to my chest and said “there’s an engine here.”

I Solemnly Swear…

UPDATE:

1) The Expression Session was a great success. It even inspired people who wanted to just watch, to step on stage and read a story or some poems.

2) Italy was amazing! They were praising my poems and I will definitely “tour” the country and perform.

Back to the grind! I wrote 3 poems the past week. Here’s one:

The Pledge

Patience. Persistence.

I am beyond grateful for your existence

as I tumbled and stumbled

through a non-secured tunnel.

However, I suspect you of foul play.

That’s right, you’ve been caught, nothing to say?

I mean, what kind of love is this?

At first I thought I struck it rich

but it seems you always had a motive

and honestly, I don’t know if

it’s possible to forget or even forgive

due to the shock that has taken

over my being. It ain’t like you were fakin’

your feelings but I might’ve mistaken

your meanings for supporting me.

I’ve explained all possibilities

and it’s plain to see

that you’ve been using and possibly me

abusing the

connection that I unwittingly

established some years ago.

___________________________________

Now that I know,

I don’t care.

This two-person Voltron

we have goin’ on relies on

facing everything as one.

It’s created this calculating, insane

Poet tapping into countless brains

helping others gain

an understanding of what lies

beyond the 10 percent. All ties

to previous lives

will be severed and will never

be held, much less, contained, ever.

So please, I write to thee

continue to use me.

I pledge to forever be

Your willing vessel, dear Poetry.

Untitled Poem (or perhaps “Unlabeled”)

FIRST, an update:
1) Expression Session! For those who have my twitter, instagram, Facebook, or g+, you might have seen that I’m hosting an open mic event here in Warsaw, Wednesday, March 11th! Poetry, story telling, singing, music, it’s exciting.
2) I will be in Turin, Italy to perform (flying out March 12th) and I was trying to decide what poems to perform when this new “Untitled” Poem (actually as I type this, I might call it “Unlabeled”!) popped into my head. MAYBE?

So I looked at the mirror today
and I must say,
I’m pretty jealous of y’all,
you get to see this face every day.
While I do admire my handsome features,
I decided to look past my youth
and discovered something that doesn’t quite suit
me, still.
________________________________________________
Sometimes, at will,
I carry the burden of countless decades of the
blood, sweat, and tears, that made it possible for me
to dive deep into the realms of poetry.
Other times, I try not to identify
with this; I don’t like to be marginalized.
When I happen to carry the weight,
I’m quickly reminded by the large rate
of jokes of my actual tone
followed by the implications of “not enough”.
________________________________________________
But when I claim no association, it’s as if the rough
stares increase with frequent aggravation.
I’m not saying I change for the masses,
but it’s fucking confusing as each day passes
to be told the opposite of what I am.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t
see what’s different, it still won’t
deter the unnaturally suspicious figures
who figure that I am an embodiment
of whatever renders them completely impotent.
________________________________________________
So, why you mad, bro?
Do you really feel
that I am here to steal
from you? I guess nothing I do will
ever appeal
to your compassion.
So this happens,
you try to take out your frustration
by labeling me as a thug despite my college education.
________________________________________________
But that’s alright, do whatever you please.
I’m too busy and don’t care to appease
to your small view,
and who knew
that I would hear my words in Chinese?
I’ve accepted the fire that’s turned desire
to obsession pushing me to ascend higher
and making my coherent thoughts tighter.
Now there’s just one thing to make me a better climber;
I really need to stop flinching when my students mispronounce “Niger”.