I’ve been listening to a lot of
Spoken word, lately.
Been losing myself in the heartbeats
Of fellow writers, much stronger than me.
Who hoist themselves up, in front
Of a crowd full of people and spill
Words laced with acidic punctuation,
Spelled out in red ink pouring from their veins.
I’ve heard more of my own thoughts
Spit, into cold microphones
By equally broken brothers
And my sad, stuttering sisters
To the beat of our broken hearts.
Than I ever thought I could share with someone.
I have found myself in cold basements
Made warm by the breath of maybe fifty people
All here for one reason,
They too are lost,
With nowhere else in this city
That they call home.
So they seek shelter in the verse
Others spew into the room around us,
Wrap themselves in a cocoon of flowing words
Metaphors keeping them company
In a sea of the equally lost
And the equally, unreparably shattered.
There are some poetry clubs
On the other side of the country, which I
Have never stepped into, in my life.
But I know them better than the home
I spend my days aching to leave behind.
A relationship bonded by quivering voices, and
Shaking palms holding onto a microphone stand
For dear life. Shouting
My voice, it rings
To not many people,
But enough people.
People who will understand what words spill
From my lips.
People who really hear me, when I say things like
I am broken. I am
I have lived through hells, and dream everyday
About a heaven I know is there somewhere
If only my words could write out maps for me.
When I say that these words are my savior.
And they do not bleed red
From deep wounds in their palms, but they certainly
Bleed everywhere else.
Oceans of blood, building us up stronger,
At the same time that they drowns us. But
Because a handful of people see this blood dripping
See the red too, as it pours from my mouth.
Know that they’ve felt it too. And they can
As I shout to the gods I know are not listening
And try to whisper that that’s okay.
That even if our lord is deaf,
Or not on the line
And they hear me.
Even as my voice trembles and I wonder if
This has gone on too long, too many words,
Not the right ones, when
I need to write some
New truths, new gospels
For them to follow.
Words which give them reason to
Hang out in dank basements with
People smellier than they’d prefer, and
Search Youtube for hours, just to
Hear words again which made them feel real.
Stay up late, repeating verse in their heads
Over and over, so they do no
Because this make them real.
I am here.
I am not just another chapter, you flip through,
But a whole story. I am real.
Just as real as every one of you who hears this.
And I’m going to make sure you know it.
So I ask of you,
If only for a moment,