Monday, January 6, 2014

So, I wrote a poem

I have been trying to plan a spoken word poetry night for a really long time. Finally, about six months after its inception, Speak Up: A Night of Spoken Word, happened in Busan, South Korea. Apparently, someone from another part of the country saw videos of it, and created their own spoken word event in Gwangju.

That is what I love about living abroad--the ease with which you can start groups of likeminded folks in your community. This is a poem I read as the sacrifice for the evening's slam portion.

PS I do have a video of it, in which I:
a) forgot a crucial line.
b) compare myself to Aslan.
c) am a wee bit tipsy because I jokingly asked for tequila and seriously received three shots in a very short period of time--I did not OOTAH for the first two hours of the evening; I then found myself obnoxious and hydrated the rest of the evening.
d) was a little sassy when I said "professors." Please see number 3. I didn't mean it like that. I loved my university professors. They really have helped me be the human I am today.

You can comment/send me an email, and I can share the video with you on the google drive whoositwhatsit

Inside the Binary
For Laurie
I wasn’t born a writer.
I didn’t come from the womb sticky with
verbs or adjectives.
They didn’t check my response to
They didn’t wipe articles from my eyes.
My heart didn’t beat nouns
I didn’t have ten healthy
phrases and gerunds.
I didn’t inhale clauses
and exhale statements.
I did not cry eloquence
            But with an inarticulate babble

There are those, however, who burst with
Those whose honeyed breath tastes like
sweet similes—
their eyes, a metaphor of unspoken truths.  

I am not that.

Instead, I became a writer.
I learned from
books and professors. 
My commas spliced, my voice was passive. 
I combined 0s and 1s to form
characters on a screen.
I scratched ink onto paper hoping to find
answers to unknown questions.

That’s what born writers do—
transcribe ideas in search of something
work outside of binaries to
craft illusions
construct realities
Again, I am not that.
I fixate on word choice.
I need perfection.
I follow rules.

I operate language.
I plug words into their distinct niches of
subject, verb, object.

but real writing is messy punctuation is a suggestion line breaks are irrelevant writing cannot be perfected writing cannot be tamed the power words wield is greater than humanity will ever know

I wish that I could
create instead of manipulate.
Maybe someday I will learn
 to feel, to breathe, to be
Until then, I’ll live in my textbook house made of
parentheses and ampersands.


















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