“Have you ever told a lie ’till it became your truth?”
“What would be the point?”
“Do you feel me?”
These are but three of several probing questions talented new and emerging young poets let dance, unwittingly, through an evening of Verse and Rhythm at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center, Dallas Texas, broadcasted on The Journey Your Radio Show (Listen here.)
Who am I? How strange the beating heart is? When your heart beats will you listen? Can I talk to you for a minute?
One might presume the evening’s theme to be QUESTIONS or that these poets commiserated. But it wasn’t. And they didn’t. The theme was VERSE AND RHYTHM. (Video Clips here). Pain. Angst. Humor. Lots of humor. Rhythm. Sarcasm. Raw truth. These painted the night with stars. These stirred our hearts. Lungs full of laughter heaved, if just to keep these searching questions lingering for the dawn. I could NOT escape the gravity of individual truths nor quiet that tap-tap-tap deep within: Will you listen? A young actress – virgin to the mike – spoke as would a bird whistling into the ear of humanity: I Am Not The Girl I Thought I Would Be.
A poet, a teacher, listening over a thousand miles away to these sculpted voices, while washing his dishes in New York City, was stirred to pen a poem: OF BROKEN DREAMS.
The sun arose and the questions lingered. However, in the drench of that evening’s hilarity, I can hardly imagine anyone noticing those haunting questions. It is easier to imagine another theme: LOVE. Love bites! Romantic love. Brotherly love. Sisterly love. Self love. God’s love. Community love. Empowering love. LOVE.
I figured one could hardly have waited, being in the center of B. Randall’s performance, to jump into bed and consume one’s lover. Hm-hm-hmmm! Or hear Jai Malano’s song and not pang! And who wouldn’t have wanted to run into the comfort of God’s love, at the chimes of Tisha Crear’s joy. “I don’t have a poem,” she said, sparkling, “I am a poem.” And she is.
Oh, the sweetness of young love! Memories. Memories. And JuNene K, in I Am Woman, left this gem for a grab, “Beyonce ain’t got nothing on me … Forget about cotton, baby, I am the fabric of life – try me on for size.” Spankey D let rip, “I am a man, a strong man.” Reign Bad Guy didn’t hold back about the ‘F’ he got in his English class. Ricardo Garza stood up and poured himself out for his Grandmother, just six months after his head was peeled open to save his life. TepRa, so deep, slowed hearts to get brains ticking. Who would not pause to field Priscilla Rice’s plea to her brother Oscar, an addict? This, truly, is a sister’s love. Isn’t it?
Can I talk to you for a minute? Will you listen?
Iyanla Vansant said this: “Until you wholeheartedly believe in your own value, worth, and worthiness, there will always be a void in your spirit.” Oh, love! It is such a precious thing. But has it any value to the one that would not listen? Like Amir Razavi said in his poem, I PONDER! “I thought and pondered as if tomorrow existed.”
“If I died tomorrow can I say I was perfect? What if I died yesterday, would it have been worth it?” Amir Razavi, PERFECTION. Who am I, when my brother is an addict? When my lover is an addict? When my neighbor is an addict? Can we talk for a minute? Do you know an addict?