I have taken a small break from writing. Primarily, I have focused my attention on getting from behind the computer and marketing in the field to engage my expected audience for the release of my new memoir, Identity Crisis, Identity Christ Is: A Journey to Love
The last two Tuesdays I have participated in an open mic venue held at Busboys and Poets. I admire the Langston Hughes room, as Hughes is my favorite poet. I also admire the personal work that Andy Shallal an Iraqi-American, who is the owner of Busboys put into the art on the walls.
The venue is set apart from the rest of the restaurant patrons. It has a stage that sits high up, and performers must tread at least five steps before stepping on the threshing floor of the highly coveted microphone space. Derrick Weston Brown, a poet and the regular host has an introduction poem. It begins, “Calling all Poets”, or at least I think it does. He lays the rules down in the poem and it is clear that while freedom of expression is encouraged, making Andy Shallal’s smiling artwork frown on the Langston Hughes wall is unacceptable, added Bomani Armah this past Tuesday.
The crowd has rules too. No booing, which some of us poets appreciate however there’s always one that you want to “slow clap” off the stage by the time he/she ends the first sentence.
Poets have 2 poems or 6 minutes! Whichever is first! I remember Bar Nun and Raheem DeVaughn! He was famous for abusing the rule. He truly turned every female into little girls again while the brothas were like, “Come on Raheem, not a concert!” Mikuak Rai, recording artist was the official host of the movement back then.
I miss DC. I miss U street. I miss late nights and poetry. I miss the scene. It has changed and I will not get back my Bar Nun moments but it’s always refreshing to run into 13 of Nazareth, also a Virginia native with me. It is a pleasure to find Patrick Washington, AKA Black Picasso of the Poem-cees anywhere near a microphone. And, where there is an open mic anywhere near U Street, you will encounter Face who affectionately went by Dick Control last week and A$$ Watcher this week. That boy has more stages names than all of Wu Tang!
Conversely I have had a look-a-like running around spittin’ poetry like its nothing, and we know dope poets too, just not the same ones. Clearly there are two groups of amazing poets, I’m sure there’s a connector we just haven’t found out who it is yet. It could be us! Long story short, I have found my twin! The one that everyone says they have out there somewhere. She’s a poet, a freelance massage therapist, she can sing, we are the same complexion, about the same size and shape if you count the backside. And we both have one child, close in age. Here she is, giving Busboys and Poets a ride to Planet Poetry.
And here is one other gem she offered, a reality check to women.
C. Scott on the M-I-C all Mary’s get checked like a dog wit fleas… manipulatin’ brothas just to get ahead- not realizing they are starving, and mislead. authentic women have visions for sure… and running thru brothas leave your destiny wanting for more… And brothas living foul are excluded for NOW… while C. Scott drop science on the game! #POW
I mustered the courage to do a poem that I took out of the book for concern that it would be too much. You will catch the irony in that statement when you read the book.
The poem that I did last night, Identity Crisis, Identity Christ Is: A Journey to Love aka Identity Crisis. That’s right, it was an excellent marketing move to remove it from the book. I had my friend to tape my reciting of the poem. I almost lost it, but I willed myself through it. I’m honestly hoping that I won’t have to do it again since I video taped it. I don’t believe my own words. Someone may request it, and then I shall prepare again, and oblige the invitation, but for now, check out this video.
“Without Living water, we will forever thirst.” – Ressurrection