Friday, August 6, 2010

National Poetry Slam

To the man who took us into the deepest places of his pain through the doorway of a poem -

while we returned to a roomful of noise and laughter
he had to stay there
we went inside and were awed by his bravery but now the show is done
and our lives move on and he
is back swirling
in the darkest points of his life

I want to place a blanket around his aching wounds
but when I see him standing outside
it's not only I, the stranger, who stand apart
there are no arms reaching
he stares at the screen in his hands
trying to shield something
he no longer could hide

792 -
To the woman who explained that she cried when she saw roadkill
and ended up relating that story
to the teenagers in her classrooms
who were not afraid to die
so many they had known already were there
unlike college
where they knew no one

793 -

To the pair who did a piece about slavery
listing the numbers, but filling it in
so it wasn't just numbers
at all

794 -
To the guy who started out leading us through his pathway of addiction
down a dark narrow road from which it was unlikely he would
ever emerge
into the alleyways of Wal-Mart
the addiction he was referring to was Wal-Mart
and he told us about each aisle

795 -
Unlike the poems tonight with weight and force
My poems are more like lullabies
rocking you to sleep
soothing away the bad dreams
But there are monsters and nightmares and places from which no one wakes
And when this slam lulls me into its rhythm
I am reminded of the resurrection of the phoenix
and how through poetry all people
all kinds of people
like all kinds of poems
keep rising

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