Monday, December 13, 2010

slam

bright the lights stay festooned in the corner...& she not so much takes that stage as finds herself on it...shirt hanging barely by her bones...a shroud...a shroud...stepping...one step...that takes forever all in one second & her lips....her lips let spill the broken road...feelings in torrents, sand papers our faces...raw with her story...Daddy don't...Daddy no...a baby born too early...a baby born too late...finding solace in the arms of her lesbian lover...still the need...look at me...what i have become/what have i become..look at me...won't you just look...at me....shaking now, she...draws to a close with words that whip heads & puree hearts...& i have to put a number on a dry erase board to tell her how she did...who she is...another person judging her performance...another person ignorant, except for 3 minutes...as she steps from the stage and fades into the blackness...unnoticed...

side street art gallery...no one on the streets...except shadows that creep...around cracks in the door...its dark in here...hard to see...except in the light...when you step to the mic...& one day...maybe...she will believe again, in...herself & not need...another to define her...& tell her....things she never heard...& won't fall on deaf ears...who she is...who she be...


Over at One Stop today, I am highlighting the poet of the Detroit streets, The Walking Man, who helped me find slam, and his new book The Line Between.

71 comments:

Daniel said...

There is some seriously raw emotion on display here. Frustration, pity, empathy, concern. At once approachable and visceral. Part of me wants to applaud the writing, but I know that there is a real person with a real story behind it. This takes away the focus on the words, the style and the syntax, ultimately are not at all important.

Shadow said...

this is so moving. come to think of it, unless we live for ourselves, are we really living???

Birdie said...

ohh Brian! it's so vivid and so moving ... I always admire the empathy you have for others! have a wonderful day Brian!

TechnoBabe said...

Too real but very good writing and good to get truths like this in the eye of readers. You are a remarkable writer.

Valerie said...

'her lips let spill the broken road'

Your ability to invent unusual phrases is outstanding.

So many emotions going on here, Brian, for the subject of your piece and for the reader.

natalee said...

the imagery here is amazing... i actually love slam....and you did a great job

Bonnie said...

Raw, real, riveting Brian. Do you actually perform your pieces in slams? If so, maybe one day you could consider sharing a video or a podcast of one performance?? :-)

Laura said...

this drips with sorrow and opportunity and misunderstood choices. i have to go over to One Stop and find its root now. you spur me on, Brian.

Kim A. said...

For some reason, I am thinking of Simon, that brutal talent judge. I can't watch any show that judges people. I feel so badly for those who "lose" out. You put it into words today.

♥namaste♥

Mama Zen said...

Outstanding.

AmyLK said...

This is such open sharing of the pain. WOW. Amazing!

mama-face said...

gotta say i love slam poetry. no surprise there. i've thought of you and how you'd rock the genre.

Everyday Goddess said...

i can't imagine living with that pain of hers. you are right, maybe one day she will believe in herself again.

slam on!

Myrna R. said...

I haven't heard much of it, but what I did I loved - slam poetry.

Your poem is strong. We can relate to being judged and feeling invisible.

How wonderful, how you capture these human emotions we rarely talk about.

ds said...

Well, we know that one person noticed her, for sure. You. Riveting. And as difficult as it was for her to get up there and tell her story (slam it down, so no one would forget), it must have been tough for you to judge--a different "difficult" but still...

And thanks for the intro to The Walking Man; enjoyed his stuff muchly.

Magpie said...

Ouch...don't think I could watch this...really too much pain. Glad there are people like you, strong enough to support.

DW said...

The pain from her life jumpoed off the page....amazing how you paint with words my friend

giovannicucullo said...

I love this piece Brian.
I was into Slam for two years while living in San Francisco and I should get back to it...Great Job!

Hope said...

amazing reflection! deep set of emotions expressed here! Thank you Brian

Anonymous said...

sad and very touching brian. you captured that pain perfectly.

trisha
mydomainpvt.wordpress.com

sage said...

You captured something raw. Good empathy, nice done

Candie Bracci said...

Really deep

secret agent woman said...

I think I'd like to hear this one spoken.

Lori said...

All too often we let other define us...we let others give us our worth...we get our worth from things or people that will fade or pass away...sad words here but very true Brian...as always you blessed me today. XX

TALON said...

The opening lines set the mood perfectly for this piece, Brian. And the rawness inside is heartbreaking..."Daddy no..." - that cuts!

Cheryl said...

Knowing there's someone behind this piece makes it even more rich.

drybottomgirl said...

I often wonder if the cruelness in life serves the purpose of making the beauty even more beautiful. This was very emotion provoking, and you captured it all so well. You are gifted, my friend, from your writings I have learned to be able to read and face unpleasant things in life, because they are part of life. Thanks for being part of my recovery.....

ladyfi said...

Wow - that's some powerful writing.

Neva Flores said...

Amazing!

5thsister said...

Powerful and hitting a bit too close to home for comfort in some aspects.

Reflections said...

Sounds like it was an amazing experience... the raw talent, heartfelt... ripping at the seams of reality. Thanks for sharing.

Baino said...

Nice Brian. Would go well wit Jayne's portrait. And I think we all know people like this who need some sort of emotional rescue.

Katherine said...

definitely raw. Not sure if it is my favourite piece of yours though. Definitely a subject matter that speaks of you, but ... I am just not loving it. Perhaps another line of her history to give reason for her pain (although I am sure I don't want to know).

Claudia said...

what powerful words..
...her lips let spill the broken road...feelings in torrents, sand papers our faces...gives me shivers

you make me see her brian in all her brokenness..
glad you had a good time and even being a judge - thought you may have slammed as well...maybe next time..?

annell said...

A haunting piece. Who was she? Thanks

Jen Chandler said...

Powerful.

Sorry, but that's all I'm able to say about it!!! :) It really moved me.

Thank you so much for sharing this. Absolutely wonderful.

~Jen

blueviolet said...

I thought you were taking part in it, but you were a judge? Oh the pressure...

deb said...

oh, Brian , you slay so often.


I am intrigued by slam .. it must be such a rush of emotions.. I only watched various ones on youtube so far.

CM said...

But it didn't fall on deaf ears...you heard it.

So many poets/writers have so much pain. I believe that is why they turn to writing in the first place. I think it's so courageous when someone opens up and writes the truth about their story, their life. It empowers them.

Caty said...

loved the raw honest feeling this had. I felt like I was in the darkened room watching the stage performance

Brian Miller said...

katherine...hey i appreciate it...i dont expect to hit them out of the park everytime i step up...i honestly dont know a lot about the girl other than her story moved me...and what i got of it in a couple 3 minute poems i condensed a bit for this...she was prob about 17...

The Retired One said...

"whip heads and puree hearts"....such imagery...I love the puree hearts...I've experienced that a few times in life!! Wonderful writing, Brian!!!

Pastor Sharon said...

Geez!!! Wow! This story. . . who is holding a safe place for this person?

Wow. . . and ouch. . . and you put this together very well. . . I feel the sand paper. . .

Vicki Lane said...

Intense vignette! You do this sort of thing so well.

Tony Single said...

I feel kinda broken in the wake of this raw, emotional piece. That's all I really know to say at this point. Hoo man.

KB said...

She'll find herself for sure.

Cloudia said...

Where do you find these powerful words?



Aloha from Hawaii

Comfort Spiral

><}}(°>


<°)}}><

signed...bkm said...

powerful piece, one of your finest, life its judges, its performances, what and who she is ...what we are..all that here and more...really enjoyed it...thank you...bkm

gayle said...

Wow! So beautiful!

kaykuala said...

Very moving Brian. Often we have to accept a cruel world but it takes a stronger stance to let out the story.

Slamdunk said...

Different and appealing Brian--I like the imagery. Thanks for sharing.

Zuzana said...

Never heard of slam before, but it comes across as rap-poetry.;)
Very strong and very powerful, full of emotions conveyed by a set of commanding words...
Have a great day dear Brian,
xoxo

Bernie said...

No one goes through their life without feeling all of these emotions at some time but boy never all at once! Amazing expressive words my friend.....:-)Hugs

joanny said...

Brian

seems you are playing catch as I am,,,

This comes as no surprise,,, the depths to which you can capture the pain and suffering of another human, with your empathic soulful writing.

joanny

Just Be Real said...

The realness of this is what it is all about. Thank you Brian.

Pauline said...

You can take a horrible story, or a delightful one, reduce it to a few words, and those words swell and wrap themselves around our minds and hearts until we are in the story too. Amazing.

the walking man said...

And there is the essence of competitive performance poetry. You have 3 minutes 10 seconds to rip it and grab the score.

So you read and judged the competition? Kind of hard when these things are often decided by tenths of a point.

You get a 9.8 on this post because you just about nailed the experience dead on for the audience but the poet was having a different moment. She was more concerned with not breaking her rhythm or missing her time because she knew , she knew her poem.

Very Nice Brian and thank you for the thing at the other place.

mark

sheila said...

American Idol comes to mind for some weird reason. This one really makes a person *think*.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

God...raw... sigh.

It just makes me want to...

Not be so damn selfish and inattentive! My life is so blessed.

Thanks Brian, you consistently remind me of the beauty and the rawness surrounding us!

lakeviewer said...

It will take a long time, and many good souls to reassure this girl/woman that she doesn't need anybody's approval to feel complete.

Once again, you showed the crimes we committ neglecting our young.

Monkey Man said...

Another one knocked out of the park.

budh.aaah said...

Nicely captured in words emotions rare

Chris G. said...

As with most of this style, I think it would certainly be all the more powerful to hear the poet himself read it aloud. Nevertheless, quite an emotional hitter; an empathic piece that moves along on some great imagery. Raw, moving, as many before me have said.

I really should try out slam myself some time...but goodness, compared to writers like you, I do think I'd pale in comparison. Nice work, Brian.

PattiKen said...

Very powerful piece. The pain it portrays is so raw.

Goofball said...

word of the day is "festooned"

Sophia said...

Nothing more expressive of one's heart than when given the opportunity to share them on the spot, open, raw, exposed - risk taking - REAL. THAT's the kind of words that truly change one's life.

Syd said...

Best to live for ourselves and not for others. But it is often so hard to do.

Sumit Sarkar said...

Seriously...this is very powerful...
Great work :)

Marla said...

...& one day...maybe...she will believe again, in...herself & not need...another to define her


So incredibly powerful.

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

Hi! Brian...
Thanks, for sharing...So many emotions pouring out in this...what is it?...Slam.
DeeDee ;-D

Mmm said...

Love your title for this piece. Very evocative indeed. your words chose really make it a another superb piece of prose here on another touching situation and matter. "sand paper" being such a good descriptor here too.