Category Archives: Spoken Word / Slam Poetry

Numbers and voices : In dedication to Hodan Ibrahim and Ivy Lee Deavy.

Her lips hit the microphone
and it made me want to write this,
write this,
not fight this
and scream
just to hold something tight.
In these rooms
she speaks to us all
from story-lines
of glory-times,
fallen hopes
and touched desires
and we do all we can
just to listen.
She breaks the chains
we wont see
and wills us to believe
in the forgotten.
To believe
and conceive
that no one person
can know all sides.
And she rescues us
from drowning in pride.
And all alone
I’m standing here,
sanding these words
into the kind of curves
that can do her justice.
But I was born
with a fear of failure
where the retailers
only sell copies of what I need
and this need
is just the greed
of knowing you
and standing beside you
is what happens on purpose
and the comforts we have
will only rely on
those lonely thoughts
we’ve left behind.
On these long walks
through hopeful days
where we know
that the numbers grow
and those ideas of unity
are actually there
and are aware
that we are too.
Standing strong
in the places
where we can double
our numbers and voices
and believe in the choices
that every last one of us
showed up to make together.

A recognized path

We’ve gone too far
for these far cries of hope.
We create time
the way we make money
and as this time
turns into currency
we create funny
little stories
to help us out
through these times of drought
where the sneakers
show off their cars
and fancy wrist watches
that slit the wrists
of the underdeveloped,
from the over-enthused
who’ll abuse you
with greasy smiles
and hungry hands.
I’m asking you all to watch out
because we’ve all
now grown out
of granting those time outs
that we got when we were kids.
This could be your world
but only
if you hit the ground running,
now I don’t mean to sound cunning
but these days
people’s habits
behave for them
to create hopeless clouds
that steal the light
and collect the sights
of what might
be called a nightmare.
That blink of a moment
where troubled souls
lose heart
in what sometimes feels
like a competition
and these times peel
away layers
from our faces
just so we can look
that little bit different
and keep those looks
that little bit longer.
And as our goals
become our needs
there comes with it
and with self-medicating
comes self-describing
and it all begins to feel
like the right thing to do.
It’s like we’re spying on ourselves
just trying to be ourselves
and our shelves are now piled
with the books we’ve yet to read
and our minds
are forsaken of
the things
we’ve bet on,
or counted on,
or just tried to make happen.
Those things
that take their toll
and seem beyond our control
have limited us
with inhibited hopes,
keeping stares and glares constant
and prayers and chairs full for
the tolerant temptations
who will only ever
smile one way
and bring their broken
rules of play
into what we can both call
a lack of lust
and a limit of trust
and a reliance
on what others must do.

your smile

For whatever reason,
I can only remember you smiling at me,
it was like our past slipped away like a childhood
and in Nietzsche’s abyss that stares back at you,
all I can see
is nothing.
It’s like the steps to growing up and apart
crossed over to part broken glass
so that so many of our lessons
would only be taught after things were broken.
Where habits replaced before they thought to fix
and in a mix this bright
we lose sight over anything past our own faces,
like the fences at the edge of our touch,
or that compulsive blinking
when our eyes dry this much.
Now there are limits to our understandings,
but we’re dying for a few scars
and to be seen like stars
in contrast with nothing but the space between us,
but for whatever reason, I can only remember you smiling at me.
It’s as if from at the start
my mind was only taking pictures apart from life
and all the ones that I didn’t like
got neatly placed into a shoe box and got burned.
I can remember all the reasons and the work it took
for us to stay together,
but nothing of any of the walls we built
when the snap of our fingers turned to leather
and it was at some point in time
when those fingers began to point, rather than touch\
and our smiles no longer ran with eye contact.
It was like the contract was up,
but I cant remember why,
or even to try and untie these knots,
because yours make you from water,
your knots come with sea legs,
they’re strong enough to hold ships together,
but they loosen with a single tug
and I’m still trying to untie mine,
but they only remind me
that I have no idea what I’m doing.
Because I can only remember moments
and like some 90-pound girl
who thinks she needs to lose weight, so she does,
I’m watching these memories thin out through changes
and I know they’ll either disappear, or die over time
and there’s nothing I can do about it.
It’s a sinking ship that’s caught my leg and I’m drowning
watching you swim like a dancer
in the only place where sunlight sparkles
long enough to be disturbed
by all the air I couldn’t hold in,
so I want to remember broken plates
at a time when there were no accidents,
I want to remember what it was I said
that convinced you that I’d asked for this
and I want to remember things that don’t make me miss you,
through those misused tissues
and the difference between using those tissues
for crying, or for materbaiting
either way
you’re cleaning up emotions,
like those love potions
on the poems that I only wrote for you,
but for whatever reason
I can only remember is your smile
and that smile is like miles of food
and I’m starving,
it’s kept me from trusting other trust worthy women
and I have been teaching myself to cope,
but this rope isn’t long enough for me to get there
and I am aware
that nobody can live up to somebody else’s hopes,
like that grope of an implied ownership
where it feels like bodies don’t just have to stand,
they have to stand the test of time,
through the bitter and the sublime
through winter and past the signs
where age has us sagging like we were reaching to the ground,
because gravity tries harder every day
and after all these attempted situations,
I’ve left myself going it alone
as if my bones were already ground to dust
and known to trust only the wind
where I can always be found
right where the ground meets the sounds I make
every time I think of you.

Waiting until it’s too late.

Time, it’s like memory,
these things are anything but linear
and beneath these lights
the shinier things get,
the dirtier they begin to look.
Now I don’t know about you, but for me
it’s like I’m waiting,
waiting until it’s too late.
Just to believe in the things that slip right past me
and just to stand on the cusp
of what must
be meaning more.
Now I don’t know any of you well enough
to assume that you know me
and I don’t know how long I’ll be around
and I’m pretty sure that my last words
are going to be:
“Hey guys, watch this!”
Because not only do I put myself
between a rock and a hard place
I paint myself into a corner
where the boarders are intentionally vague
and constantly played
like we were playing our pieces
in a play written on mirrors
where the showers allowed us to write in steam
where the pages overlap
and the words themselves
become stains and blotches and smears across glass.
But now looking at you
there are actual reasons for the things that we say to each other
and wether we like it, or not
we still have to see each other
and among what feels inescapable
may still become adjustable
in ways that give meaning to movements,
like wrinkled hands
over dying lovers
where the weight of loneliness hovers over a final touch.
Where souls clutch to each other
like they were strangers in love
and we get to represent those dying doves
that’re only white so the blood will stand out.
And in the time it takes to turn blue into red
I’ve bled the things I was trying to do
and doing my best to remember the lenders of gifts,
like in the words you’ve said to me,
for me to make up for when I wasn’t myself,
for taking up this time
when I’ve already given up,
now I’m 32 years old
and not even close to being grown up
and I feel like I’m always saying sorry for the things I wish I hadn’t done,
like touched you in the first place,
because I’m two kinds of people.
You can count on me,
when the moments right
and through all those times when time seems tight
and I’m not watching my watch
cut the circulation from my hand
just to keep it from feeling,
or wanting
to be reaching
just to be reeling something back in.
Into this place that’s known sin more than serenity,
and expenses more than charity
when I cross the street to avoid those Amnesty International people.
Those with surgical smiles
that are always outside in the heat, rain and cold
and I always say that I’m too busy
when I have nowhere to be
and my priorities are all in fragments
and realistically…
It’s like I’m waiting until it’s too late,
until it’s ok to blame fate
for those late arrivals and early departures
that becomes what defines our time
spent into these endless lines
refined by a razors touch.
It’s like we live our lives
like they were drugs on a mirror,
where we force ourselves to see,
then allow ourselves to ignore.

The shared parts of information.

There’s the way I perceive
like I need to retrieve
myself unto myself
in relation
to the rotations
that have always been there
but neglected to share,
or become overly aware
of their surroundings.
All those final accomplishments
and communal refreshments
will lose their appeal
in their attempt to steal back
those praises
and “raise it”s
and places
they remember too well.
You see,
we’re all the same person,
but samples are being investigated
by those who’ve invested time
in being different.
Those who’ve dove
into their own directions
where infectious infections
actually have desires
of their own.
Where we’ve built an obsession
out of the progression
and the division
of different places
that have us migrating to our mazes
with puzzled faces
that get lost in order
and in the order
the wicked wind down
while acting kind
as memories rewind
from the things
they wished they’d done
to the games
they wished they’d won
and between these standards
we lose ourselves
in free speech.
Where the words breech
the walls of comfort
and the fall comes too fast
for those who pretend
and often offend
with their own way
of changing sentences
and pretences.
Where truths turn to lies
for those who rely on
waiting for us to catch on.
Waiting while watching
and walking along
towards censorship,
where all they can be
is what they hold back.
When words lack
a meaning
and show a knack for streaming live feeds
of the needs
that hide the greed
of their creed
from our numbers
that linger
with unpointed fingers
hidden in empty pockets
and with eyes in our sockets
and pictures in our lockets
we hold onto the past
for something that can last
past the final blast of manipulation.
Where one day
we might learn how to play
these games that fray
when the rules are entertained
by only one side.
Acting like they know
and are willing to show
how their words can grow
into sentences
that only make sense
when taken out of context
and get matched up
with the looks on their faces
that argue their cases for them.
It’s like we’ve slipped
and then become dipped
in things implied
and then denied
on their course of construction,
where truth comes with a definition
and the opinions
that it soars on
and the rest of us
are all left to rely on
those two great things it takes
just to make
an oxymoron.


I see those looks
and I’m sure they’re there
and there’s a bit of you still depressed,
but there’s also me,
myself and I
that’s still acting this obsessed.
It’s just that lonely
trace of actions
that’s pushing us to our needs,
like those physical features
you barely notice
that have us just wanting to feed.
Take those things
to those darker places
where the good and bad combine.
Where the doors don’t close,
or even take their presence
because what’s hidden no longer shines.
I can see myself
in the steps I take
when surrounded by despair.
It sometimes fades,
but still stays low
when all that I need is air.
We fight for these things
that need to be cleaned
as if they’ve constantly been used
and in this way
we’re all together,
so constantly confused.
But there’s always a light,
only the shape
is always changing.
It escapes between
what stands in the way
and never shows signs of aging.
These gaps in forms
keep moving around
to reveal where the shadows begin.
They change in focus
more often than shade
with the contrast flooding in.
These shadows crawl
as far as they can
to the tips of different things.
Where only what moves
can break the lines
and our sounds cant do a thing.

The better side of bliss

I can feel it in myself
when the life-changing current
stops by to take things away.
Shifting situations that aspired to be more.
And as the best of them ignore
the better sides of bliss
they begin to mistake
where the dates
get mixed up
and the hideous faces
keep beautiful smiles
and we all know
where the next steps might take us,
or break us
into slapped faces that are just waiting to cry.
We’re now people who scream
and seem
so very different
when compared to what we could’ve done,
or just might’ve done differently.
Aching from the advice of fools
who’s tools have so little meaning
other than the want to hang on
and feel something real.


I’m still the same
as I am and as I was.
Looking out
at the recognizable faces
with accentuated bodies
that’re all
accepting their attentions.
This is a story of relation,
from me to you,
from you to them
and from us
to everyone else.
What I know about you
separates in the air
to become all the things
that I know about myself.
This difference between
the reactions I’ve seen
is giving names
to the things we’re not
just to tell us who we are.
And as the hits keep coming
I give away reasons
like I’d done something wrong
and as the last song plays,
the strings snap
and the crowds clap
for the mess
that they’ve created.
This is a play
of rules polluted
where the convoluted roles
can only be acted
by those acting out.
It’s like the shame
of a hateful joke,
where the person speaking
only does it to be a dick
and the person listening
only laughs because it’s stupid.


When that little bit of sunlight
makes its way through our curtains
we all become certain
that our dreams have ended,
because we don’t pretend
we’ve only pretended
and in our day-to-day miracles
we abuse what pushes us forward
by always leaning back
with just enough slack
to get back
to the way things were.

Now I’ve started
on the martyred road of paying attention,
where owing frustrations
leaks out our ears
with the pounding headaches
and the sounds of heartbreaks
that takes us so long to get over
and to recover
from these things that get stuck in our heads,
like those childish dreads
of future dreams breaking
where what seems like stardust
is only what we must do
just to survive.

Now I’m awake
and about to partake
in the fence I’m standing on,
between the grip and the grope
of my ambitions.
These outlandish conditions
where beliefs don’t land
they drop past particles and obstacles
that look like they’re the ones moving,
and like the articles that are written, but never read,
I’m lifted along with thoughts that’ve bled
like dreaming my dreams
only to myself
with a sewn-tight mouth
that’s known better words, but cant say them anymore.
And I catch myself accepting the excuses
and corrupting the muses
that’ve honestly loved me.
And I’m here,
alive to say the least,
but still ready to compete
and with an army of peace-keepers
I kneecap my insecurities
so they cant follow me into the days that I take by storm.
And from societie’s norms
I conform only to my own desires
as those who conspire
only smash their faces into the ones they’re trying to kiss
and from this bliss
they play looks
like an arcade game.
One that makes them feel the same
as those beasts to be tamed
who only drool over the things they want.

Now what daunts me
is that’s not me.
I want to focus on what gets me out of bed,
not what makes me want to stay there
but to be fair
thinking this way
is like walking up a giant flight of stairs
where the signs say beware
of those who’re coming back down.

And if we’d lighten up a bit
we’d see that there is room to breathe
and we could leave
those thoughts that attract us
like flies to the flame
and we can again focus
on all those things
that were once too small to matter.

Keeping up

I forgot my place in the days that close me in on both sides.
Where sunrays creased like shirts
and reflections came with blueprints
that can be seen in our signatures
and heard in our honesty,
where frailty never completely shatters
because there’s a solid strength in the quiet and the lonely.
Those distant wall flowers
towering over themselves
speaking in tones that go on
and over our heads
and I’ve spread myself too thin,
thinly walking at tip-toe paces
trying to retrace those parts of myself
that never used to pause before they leaped.
Instead ideas have seeped
into my thoughts
that’re covering my good intentions
until I became just another name and email address
on a long list of people who are wanting,
but not doing something more.

Because on the shores of belief
we only let our toes touch the water
and like squatters, we hide until it’s ours.
Where the busy hours climb clock towers
firing at the dots to make spots
of actual lives that left stains in the days they’ve lived.

I want to become my own confession,
because my life’s been an obsession that I’ve lived,
but it’s like the words tie me down
from the things I need to say
and in the mist of this morning
I can barely see rainbows through my clouded eyes
and crowded expressions,
but I can still stand longer than you can run
and I can run faster scared than you can mad
and I know that doesn’t really make sense,
but fuck it, it does to me.
So let me take this,
let me feel this fear and slit every wrist in this room
until swimming becomes the way we do this
and through this maybe more of you will come back
with your own posters tac’d on walls
in the kind of places where all the blood in the world
only made us the same colour.
And in favours we reflect on all the fingerprints
we’ve willingly washed from our bodies
and in sorrow we might borrow
enough energy and strength to keep these days moving on
into that magic realm of
what comes next
and those “fucked-if-I-know’s” and “hope-you-find-those”
Where it sometimes feels like the lucky have all already been chosen,
and are being kept in another time,
where catching the bus is easy
and saying the right thing at the right time
happens without even trying.
Because sometimes
I feel like I’m up against the world
and my bare hands are being skinned
every time I wave, or shake hands,
but I still want to say hi to you although I’m bleeding.
I’m losing myself right here in-front of you
and I’m dying to have the last words I say
to be breathed into a room
that actually wants to hear something more.