I started putting together my book just to prove to myself that I could do something. My expereince with spoken word has not always been positive. In fact, my journey with my own words began when I first decided to recite what I wrote in front of an audience. And as intoxicating as it was to vent the emotions on my page with my voice and it was even more intoxicating to venture off and call it poetry. I am a performance poet, and I love what I do.
However, in the beginning, I thought I would be dealing with intelligent, caring people. I thought I was making friends. I thought I could be somebody important. I didn’t know a damn thing. In fact, I have lost more friends than I have made while in the act of doing performance poetry. Well, it is a fact of life: you can’t please everybody.
I used to think that it was only the applause of the audience that mattered, and sometimes I would say things for shock value. But, I had to learn. And, apparently, it would be several hard lessons later before I got my proverbial self together.
Now, my first lesson learned was performance poetry can’t pay your bills. I mean, I was having fun and enjoying the rush of the applause, but at the end of the day I wasn’t making any money. But that is not why poets write poetry (so I was told). Anyway, don’t quit your day job.
My second lesson, don’t put too many irons in the fire. In a matter of months, I went from being a poet that lacked confidence in herself to hosting and promoting a venue and paying featured poets from out of town out of her own pocket while a lying backstabbing club owner took money at the door. Again, I had to learn.
My third lesson, everyone that smiles in your face is not your friend. I met a lot of decent poets, comedians and musicians who unfortunately were not worth their salt as human beings. I still have to bump into them from time to time. I had to get up and leave a venue recently after bumping into a not so close acquaintance. Apparently (for that particular poet) the serious and sentimental love poem I was trying to recite on the microphone was the funniest thing he had ever heard. After talking it over with the promoter, I left. And I will never return.
Anyway, I learned my lessons. I’ve been on the inside of the spoken word scene and I’ve been on the outside of the spoken word scene. I can definitely say that I am confident and competent where I am now. Back then, I was just floating in the wind hoping someone would hear me. I could have just stayed at home and entertained myself.
Whether you call it Spoken Word or Performance Poetry, when you speak in front of an audience you are part of an oral tradition that is older than the written word. There should be no pretense about, gender, color, creed or religion because each poet is just a part of a bigger story.
most of it has been awful. It is by Grace alone that I continue honing my craft. I have gotten and can only get better from here.
I don’t really think it matters what I may have thought about it in the past. Truth is, I wasn’t writing and reciting for the right reasons back then. And that, nearly cost me my sanity and my freedom.
One may be prompted to ask why I continue writing and reciting poetry. Well, I do it because I can. Poetry is in me. But, I don’t do it for applause or fame. I will probably never make more than a buck doing it. So, bottom line, I just love it. Reciting poetry gives me an excuse to be someone I had never allowed myself to be before. When I am reciting my words, I can be unrepentantly myself. And even when I bomb on stage, I still know that what the audience gets from me when I am up there on stage is my all, each and every time.
So, if you want to be a modern day bard of the slam scene, do it for yourself. You need to write for you. Don’t worry about what others may think of you and don’t drive yourself crazy trying to please everybody. That’s free advice.
My poetry is both visionary and reactionary. It is raw, spoken emotion. I talk about myself and my own experiences. Through publishing my first book and working on this CD, I have found myself connecting with a vast array of people (artists and non-artists).
Featured on this cd are poems from my book, "Random Acts of Verse". "My Time" also features original poems not found in my first book. Some of the tracks are just vocals, but the man behind the beats on the tracks with music behind them is KoTo Murphy. So to him, I am eternally greatful. Thank you, Thank you.
I would also like to thank my Mother, Sally Harris, for believing that I could do anything if I would put my mind to it. I would like to thank the artists of Lake County, IL. Particularly the local authors and hip hop artists from North Chicago (my home town) for letting me into their lives. Believe it or not, I have learned a lot from all you.
Thank you to the poets Sole Tempest, Nina Nicole, Donise, and Khemistry for your support and friendship. Thank you to the comedic poet David "Hustleman " Little for just being you with your funny self. Thank you "Musics Son" Cornell Ford for hearing my story without prejudice. We may work together soon. Thank you Marcus Hasty, Shaundus Shaun Linen Johnson & Andre Blocklife Johnson for your support, your inspiration, and your advice. I wholly appreciate all three of you guys.
Thank you all, and everyone I haven't named, please know that you are not forgotten.