Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Blood Of Womyn

I performed at an event last week to help raise awareness towards human trafficking and although it is often thought of as something that only happens in other countries, it is a huge issue amongst us here in America.  Sacramento in particular is one of the cities in America where it is a huge problem, and so this evening was an important way to raise awareness and to connect the artistry of the voices that speak against this injustice to connect with organizations that are already doing work for those that are getting caught up in these trafficking rings.

Anytime that I am asked to do a piece at these events I am torn between that fact that it is obviously not so much a showcase of our talents, as in other venues such as slam, but more so about using our art as a tool towards achieving an ends.  In this case, raising awareness towards an issue that needs the light to be shined upon.  And these are the kinds of events that keep me honest about what I am doing and why I do it.  I started out writing poetry with a lot of force behind the social justice aspect of it, and how poetry was often a powerful medium to speak out against the problems we see in our communities and how we can inspire others towards change.

This piece that I wrote in 2010 speaks so powerfully to the issues that we face as a society in this day and age.  Human Trafficking is a manifestation ,much like any injustices towards women and children (the list is too big to even begin) of the systems of patriarchy that are in place and the power of men becoming an oppressive and destructive force in this world.  And not because patriarchy is evil in itself, but more in the fact that the balance of masculine and feminine energy has become unbalanced and that in many cases, anything unbalanced is doomed to destruction if it cannot find  a way to right itself.

This piece is my attempt at speaking from the  side of men, and recognizing the imbalance that has been created from the structures of patriarchy running wild.  It is my hope, that the men of our society begin to realize the power that womyn have and the ways in which they are able to offer so much in the way of gift towards healing our society, but how can that happen when they are continuously  viewed as inferior to men? This is an invitation to revision of a world view that is so pervasive and intertwined in our dialogue that it often goes unnoticed.  This cannot happen any longer.  There need to be voices that begin to speak out against this imbalance in order for us to get right again.

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My Poem writing Process part 3

Second Draft- Free Write

Sometimes it takes me a while to get back to work on certain pieces. Maybe after reading it once or twice through, I don’t feel the same connection with it as I did before, and sometimes I’ll leave a free-write as it is. In this case, since I am trying something new, I am giving this another chance to take another step with it despite not feelin particularly connected with it right now.
I am going to give it another read and try to see if I can feel the spirit of its words still alive in me, see if that same spring of inspiration might be ready to continue on. So many times, I have to prepare myself mentally to get into the right space in order to work with a piece. I am finding that making sure that the things around me are in order and that my mental, emotional, spiritual self is aligned and ready to work. This usually includes breathing exercises and meditation. As well as focused intention setting. So for this piece, regardless of whether it will become a performance piece, I am still interested in diving into my own reasons for being an artist and what that means to me.

Often times, I find myself writing for the sake of having a piece to produce at the end, or have something new to perform at a salon, or Open mic or slam, and if that becomes too much of a focus, I can lose the heart of what I am trying to do and create, which is to help me reach my own creative potential and artistic expression, not to further myself or ego in any kind of criteria or scale for what is “supposed” to be “good” In those moments, I lose the unique sense of who I am and stray from my original goal of creating art, to express myself as freely as possible. In this way of writing, I can become a force of inspiration, not for others to mimic me in my style or imitate my words and content, but that they in staying true to myself others in turn would feel free to express themselves in whatever way is unique and particular to them.

So having said that, I am using this opportunity to not put any judgment on my free-write and try to make it go somewhere I may not be sure it wants to go, but to still honor it and spend time with it, knowing that it was an honest and pure expression at the moment, and deserves my attention still. So in this round, I am going to do a second draft free write, in this exercise I will be reading the original free-write on a different word document and do a free write from those ideas as they have grown and expanded in my mind: (If you want to read the original free-write again, you can find it here in part 1 of this series:

————————-Second Draft free write———————-

Someone once asked me what it means for me to be an artist,
Shocked that I didnt have an answer readily available
I went home that night knowing that I had something new to write.
The power to create a recipe for myself, spring together a concotion
of the magic juice that flows when inspiration is ready to strike
Instantly, with the question brimming on my lips, words already began writing themselves
Being an artist for me means
That I am always being sent back in time
To vividly recall the power in which I have been enthralled
In the velocity to soar through galaxies beyond the force of a passionate lover
To feel alive in the touch of uncertianty that forces me to paint in colors unseen
To become known for the masterpieces I have yet to create
Artistry for me is creation unbound by the rules of folklore or form
A frenzied future in relntless passion
Forging into the sun
Steel rings made of boundless inspiration
Untethered in the conventions of value
Artistry is the infinite possibilities that break through
time and space, shattering our assumptions
In ways we have yet to comprehend

For instance,  The plains in the distance
Are still open in their futures, ripe with surprises laying in wait
The swaying of tall green grass in the wind
Covering steps we blaze forward into trails of darkness
being lit by feet igniting words into rich color unmarkable
Searing compassion into canvass
The marks of unbending strokes
Smashing against walls
The words of impact into barriers that collapse beneath their truth
For we are all stories tall
Rooting deep into foundations unlimited
Scraping high into towers of possibilities
Artistry is the courage of expression becoming swords
of bravery ready to cut down the fear that threatens
to suffocate the breathing force inside
Breaking loose the binds that help captive
the coming alive of hands that
form and shift loose color into
canvas that vibrates the echoes of a stirring inside unbridled.
Artistry is the ability to break images into frozen frames of time
that bend endlessly in the waiting of clarity.
Not all of us are patient enough to wait it out.
For in our creation there is destruction
And in destruction there is creation,
Seperated, they are incomplete sides of the same coin,
together they are the true forms of currency waiting to be redeemed.

For there are new words that still need to be spoken into existence
As the parables of old stories float in the ever shifting winds of evolving creatures
Guiding us into lands yet to be explored,
For artistry is found in the courage to move forward into the unknown
in the readiness of alert and subtle memories,
Swimming in dreamscapes ready to be made real
Follow the directions in which hands move
They always show the way
Trusting in the push and pull of expressions that emerge
When the storms of life begin to need weathering
Study the force inside that seeks to be unleashed
Pay attention to the impulse of creation
the stage,
The Canvas
the Mic
The Beat
The Dance
The rhyme
The Lyric
The Stroke
The melody
The pulsating rhythm
of vibrating matter
reverberating through bodies
In the time of eternal creation
listen carefully
Artistry is waiting inside
bold and bravely
Ready to become itself.

——————————End Second draft Free-write———————-

In this go-round, I focused more on making it a conversation.  Something a bit more practical, more easily grasped.  The ideas are still very present, but I shifted the language from telling people something they should know, to speaking to myself about what I want in my own experience.  I am learning to focus more of my poetry on my own story and how that can inform someone as opposed to trying to speak as if I have the answers for someone and they need to listen to me.  I would much rather write as a poet that is trying to figure my own journey and how to navigate, while acknowledging that others have their own journeys and ways they navigate.  From that perspective, I would like to make this piece something more of a personal conversation and reveal a story of my own discoveries and how they have touched me.  As always, the hope of this work is more for it to speak on its own accord, in its own right not as authority, but not as something to be written off without meaningful thought either.  How I will pull that off, we will see….