Poetry and Self

It’s been too long. I haven’t written an entry in a month. I am shaking my head, and you may be shaking your head too. Hopefully, I will do better. Maybe, y’all can keep me accountable. 🙂

First, I must say Happy Black History Month everyone! I celebrate black history and culture daily, but I enjoy spreading awareness about the accomplishments of blacks folks during this month. I believe that black history is everyone’s history. So, please stay tuned for any knowledge that I might drop on this blog.

Second, it’s been awhile since I have written an entry because January was a busy month. I went to a poetry slam, watched Selma in the theaters (plug: go see Selma! It’s so good!), celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King day, took a Statistics class during winter session, and then started my Spring semester classes. Additionally, I still did my duties at church and made time for friends and family. Anyways, I want to talk to you about the poetry slam!

On the first Sunday of January, I went to 7 Hills Slam, a poetry slam that happens once in month in my hometown, Worcester. I attended the slam with one of my close friends. She is also my sister in Christ and a wonderful cheerleader!  I am grateful to God that He allowed us to meet and become friends! I appreciate that we encourage each other to pursue our passions. She encourages me to write and to share my pieces with others. While, I encourage her to minister through song. She is an anointed singer who is passionate about folks being touched by God through song.

I was glad that she was at the slam with me. Now, I didn’t recite any poetry during the actual slam portion of the event. While I enjoy watching folks slam, I don’t think I would ever do one. I think it takes a lot of energy to share a poem with friends and strangers, but I feel it adds more pressure to have it judged. So, I read one of my poems for the open mic portion. I hadn’t read a poem for an open mic in a while, and I was not sure how I was going to do. Was I going to stutter or choke up? Would the crowd even feel the poem or understand the emotions I put into it? I am being dramatic, but writing and sharing a poem is an emotional experience for me.

I was a little nervous before I went up, because I had to do some singing. I am not a singer, but I like music and singing. Lately, I have been experimenting with my poetry through blending songs with it. With this particular poem, I had created a little chorus and plugged it into the piece. Yes, I was scared my voice might crack or I may sound off key. No one wants to hear an off key singer. It’s like watching the auditions of American Idol.

Once, I began to sing and then to read a few lines, I felt okay. Actually, I felt brave. I know that I feel this bravery every time I read one of my poems somewhere. My friend likened it to me being in my element, and I agree with her.  In real life, I don’t always feel so brave. I think part of it has to do with how others perceive me. I get the “You’re so quiet” statement a lot. As much as I love folks, it can get annoying when you feel like you have to explain your personality. i don’t think extroverts have to explain themselves so much.  And what folks don’t understand about introverts is that we are thinkers. I think and process a lot of stuff. Then, I finally write all of my thoughts down. It can get overwhelming to have so many thoughts in your head and have nowhere to place them.

I believe this is why I enjoy creative writing and hearing others share their pieces.  When I am in front of an audience, I don’t hear all of the silly statements about my quietness. I am comfortable and standing in my own place. I am surrounded by folks who understand the art of writing. It’s a good feeling.

And I have been trying to compare the feeling to something. It’s that feeling I feel when I share a poem that God gave me the energy and heart to write. It’s that feeling I have when I leave the stage and sit back in my chair. Then, I think, “Wow, I just read one of my poems.”  And I know it is not cockiness because I don’t think that I am the best writer out there. It surprises me when folks say that they liked a piece of work that I deemed as junk.

Perhaps,  the feeling I have is joy. When my friend sings, I see joy in her face, because she is doing something that she loves. I see this joy when I see folks moving in their gifts. So, I have decided to attend a few more poetry slams. I am super busy, but I have to make time for things that I like to do.

-Blessings y’all

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