Miles From Fenway


Thoughts on Slam Poetry
October 24, 2006, 2:24 am
Filed under: writing

written on the N train to Brooklyn

I. Am not a poet.
I don’t deal in rhythm and rhyme.
In syncopated beats.
I write narrative and character.
I don’t wax poetic.

No, I am not one of you.
But I wandered into your world
Listened as you shouted out
Words that are straight from
The thesaurus.

You in your designer jeans
You NYU graduate student security.
Talking about poverty, race, and oppression.
Why do you think that I don’t understand?
Why do I feel like the minority here?
Why are you sinking to their level.

Because I don’t see you that way.
Your white chocolate mocha skin
Does not affect the way I see you.
And I know that doesn’t make me the average American
But you quoted James Baldwin when you started
So why the fuck are you writing for the average American anyway.

A friend once told me I wasn’t what I said I was
Irish and Italian from generations past.
I’m a fucking American.
And so are you.
Be proud of your heritage
But don’t let it become you.
We are all
More than that.

I am not a poet.
But I have to wonder why the only two white girls I see
Getting up to the mike
Are talking about rape.
And abandonment.
As if that’s all there is to being a woman.

Where did all the happy poems go?
Why is it all gender, and race, and violation, and poverty
Spouting form the lips of people paying
$35,000 a year to stay out of the real world.

Yes, I know it all exists
And yes, I know that it’s horrible.
But do you really know?
Or are you just looking for credibility.

Great poetry leaps off the page
It shakes walls
Crumbles foundations.

I am not a poet.
But are you?

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