Monday, April 9, 2012

Waxing Poetic the Tenth, Poetry Month Day 9: Just Give Me a Chance

I don't want to jinx things, so I'll just say that the title and some of the sentiment of today's choice is all I want to scream.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Waxing Poetic the Ninth, Poetry Month Day 8: "We Didn't Vilify White People..."

Continuing with my spoken word series here, I present you the amazing Suheir Hammad, a woman of Palestinian heritage with more talent in her little finger than I have in my whole head.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Waxing Poetic the Eighth, Poetry Month Day 7: What Teachers Make

I have had some brilliant teachers in my time, both as a kid and in college. Not only that, but I have some awesome friends who are teachers. AND I have discovered just how much I love to teach while guest lecturing to Women's Studies classes. So needless to say, I adore Taylor Mali's poem "What Teachers Make." If you haven't heard it before, you are in for a treat, and if you have, do yourself a favor and check out some of his other work. You will not be sorry. I heard him last year on campus, and it was one of the best readings I have ever been to, bar none.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Waxing Poetic the Seventh, Poetry Month Day 6: Why So Damn Serious?

According to some of my former workshop members, poetry is not supposed to be funny. When faced with a perfectly brilliant verse about how some other girl's shoe ruined everything or an equally awesome one in praise of asses, they turned their noses (already in the air as it was) up and declared them unworthy. And while I am no expert, I am capable of identifying good poetry, and these were great. But they weren't serious. They weren't good enough to join the "He-Man Stuck Up Poets Club." Well, pardon my French, but fuck them. Poetry is the language of humanity, and we are not serious all the time.

In that vein, here's Beau Sia:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Waxing Poetic the Sixth, Poetry Month, Day 5: I Do

As a poet, I never think I've written about certain aspects of my life enough. My OCD is one of these, but I have at least done some nonfiction and blogging about it. The lesbian aspect of my identity has not appeared nearly as much in my writing, which is why I am particularly excited about my newest news. I've never done a public reading at an open mic or anything. The closest I've come is reading a poem at our friend Violeta's memorial service. Buuuuut...during this year's Pride celebration, I'll be reading with 5 other local LGBT writers! I'm really excited (and a bit scared), and I wrote two new poems specifically addressing my lesbian identity, or at least the growing up with it. I think they're pretty good, but we'll see how they go over on the 18th.

In the meantime, today's selection is from the awesome lesbian poet and activist Andrea Gibson. FSU's Pride Student Union is hosting her on campus on the 14th, and she is going to be amazing. This is "I Do," which is beautiful and heartbreaking and well, here it is:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Waxing Poetic the Fifth, Poetry Month Day 4: What Women Deserve

If you don't know that certain people are leading a war against women, you haven't been paying attention. Being a woman in this country right now is no easy thing, and minority women have it even worse. On the one hand, politicians don't want standard healthcare because that would be too much government control for their taste. On the other, they want to legislate women's health at every turn. You can't have it both ways.

With all this in mind, today's selection is the incomparable Sonya Renee with "What Women Deserve."

Monday, April 2, 2012

Waxing Poetic the Fourth, Poetry Month Day 3: Southern Heritage

Even though I am terrible at memorizing my own poems, I adore Slam Poets and Spoken Word Poetry. Def Poetry Jam is one of my all time favorite shows. How could you not love a show dedicated to the beautiful, funny, amazing poets they feature? As a matter of fact, I don't know how anyone could not love spoken word, but there are those that don't. Having semi-recently graduated from a creative writing program, I can tell you that there are those that not only don't like spoken word, they look down on it. They claim that "classic" poetry is more complex and better than spoken word. While I get that everyone has different tastes, but this is more than that. It's elitism, pure and simple. I love poetry in general, but I tend to identify more with poets who come from my sort of background and also those who come from other minorities and oppressed groups. Not to say that these people don't write "classic" poetry, but spoken word seems to provide more of a haven for us. There will likely be much much more spoke word in these poetry posts, so get ready. :-)

Jason Carney's "Southern Heritage" is a particular favorite of mine. He is brilliant, and I love all his work. But something about this one speaks to me specifically. Whether it's the Mawmaw or the Native heritage or the outrage, I don't know. I just know that I get chills every single time I listen to it.

Waxing Poetic the Third, Poetry Month Day 2: The Mustn'ts Can Stuff It

So, it's Poetry Month again, and as I am a poet...well, I write poetry. Calling myself a poet makes it seem a bit more solid of a vocation than it is right now. In any case, I write the stuff and love reading it as well. On terrible days, I can feel raw and exposed and pained, but then I read certain poets or poetry, and I'm good at least for a while.

In celebration of this awesomely nerdy month, I'm going to try to post an awesome poem of the day. Whether or not this happens is another story (note the italics and use of the word "try."As we can see, it's the 2nd, and this is just the 1st post...) To sum up: there will be poems, though how many is not for sure. Enjoy! And if you have an awesome suggestion for a poet or poem for me to check out, let me know please!

Today's selection is a short and simple one: my favorite Shel Silverstein poem. I've had it memorized since about age 6 and have threatened to get it tattooed somewhere on my person, although this has not yet happened.

Listen to the Mustn'ts

Listen to the MUSTN'TS, child,
Listen to the DON'TS.
Listen to the SHOULDN'TS,
Listen to the NEVER HAVES,
then listen close to me--
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.

I still love this poem. While I have been told (both as a child and an adult) that it reinforces unrealistic beliefs in the "Dream It, Be It" philosophy, I choose to ignore that. Sometimes it's about wanting to grow up and be a cowgirl/astronaut/writer/teacher. Sometimes it's about grad school, but sometimes it's just about paying the rent when you are sure you will never have the cash by the 1st. Lately it has been more of the second and third. In either case, Shel has always been a comfort to me, and for that I will always be thankful to him.