commonwealth slam

Hey hey hey, this week I made exhaling catalysts for the second time since the beginning of the universe and had an actual human being message me. How fascinating.

Over in the real world, a fantastic writer told me i had mastered the short poem. O hoho. And it was a beautiful day today. Hit up some FIFA, discussed volunteering to help build a performance patio at an art studio starting in May, made some freaking delicious tacos, found Jarritos lime sodas (could only get pineapple before). Little things, big things.

But from the everything can’t go your way or life would be too easy department: It looks like I have pretty much no hope for a new CommonWealth Slam venue right now. Fredericksburg’s downtown/“art’s district” doesn’t really want art. They want 10-5 businesses. They have enough money already and they don’t need the working class getting off work and sullying their stores. So… my poetry venue may no longer exist. I’m at least keeping an ear open for events but as a weekly show, I think we’ve hit a wall. I put a lot of money and a shit ton of time in putting on a show an hour from home… it was worth every minute. We changed a couple of lives, had great feedback, entertained people, found regulars and made our own little community all in 14 months. I’ll still be in Fredericksburg this Wednesday but…

So that’s life, kids. On to thinking about poems and watching Eden of the East. Deuces

CommonWealth Slam's Thanksgiving Project

Great people of Tumblr, I need your help if you can find the time to type a few sentences and then reblog. I’d like to know for what you are thankful. The goal is to have you, Tumblr Denizen, reblog this post followed by a line or two about things for which you are thankful. Then please tag your post with “thanksgiving project” and whatever you are thankful for so you and I can grab results and see how many people we share our loves and beliefs with. I’d like to find fine points which reflect as grand.

I find that empathy is a strong motivator when treating people correctly. It also seems that it is difficult for many people to have empathy for those whom we don’t believe have shared the same life experiences as we have. So this is what I’d like to do: I’d like to see those from different areas of life such as in social station, geography, race, personality, privilege, be able to look into this project and see they are thankful for the same things, big or small, as someone whom they may not have considered “like them” at all. Or someone whom we’ve heard stereotypes about but haven’t had a chance to know. I’d like to share how much we have in common and the wealth our similar experiences and views provide our society and world.

My personal reasons for such are listed below as notable points in time within my life coincide. I’d like to share my thoughts about my motivation for this project.

First, the CommonWealth Slam logo is nearing completion. I have posted it here as our avatar. The idea is that the wreath represents community and the aim of our organization is to have slam and poetry itself grow the community. Indeed, here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, we wish to have a venue which provides more than entertainment we want everyone to share in the CommonWealth that is obtained when you place value in people and their hearts.

Second is the holiday season as a whole. For many people our full family focus occurs during November and December; 2 months. I wish to help remind us all, myself included, that we have the opportunity to define the word “family.” We choose whom we let into our lives. We can all indeed be family. We can be thankful all the time and invest in our happiness and the happiness of others. And we can do this 12 months per year.

Last night a friend of mine lamented missing both of his grandparents. It is the first Thanksgiving that both had passed on. I couldn’t help but think there are grandparents who miss their grandchildren who had passed on or who had been sequestered by the walls of nursing homes. I thought that he could alleviate the holes in his heart and others by filling the role of meeting people in adult care centers. Maybe someone’s life would be brightened by his smile. We all have opportunities to be someone important in the life of another person.

At this point I want to thank you for still being with me on this post! Now, tapping away on my laptop at home about to connect with the whole world, I’d like to unveil my project! The project stems from the ideals behind my poetry and my venue. I want hearts to be healed. I want hatred to be dissipated. We can make the world a better place. I promise.

Thank you so much, everyone.

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I am thankful for the age in which I live; one in which I can take my plea for a better humanity to millions due to technology. More so, I am thankful to everyone who assists me with this message and buys into the belief that we all have value.

I am thankful for my family, even my brother with no sense. =)

I am thankful for each opportunity I am given and any I create.

I am thankful for the community of poets I have interacted with and the bonds we share which I had thought lost to the world. The revelation of belonging can truly change the entirety of your existence.

Workshop Poem, 11/13/13

Every week before the open mic CommonWealth Slam offers a writing workshop. Often involving prompts and sometimes working on editing or performance, everyone gets a chance to sit down and focus on their craft.

Here is one of the poems written at our most recent 1 hour workshop. The prompt was multi-pronged. First, write down several things you’d like to accomplish in the next five years. After we’ve established some goals write from the perspective that it is now 7 years later and you haven’t accomplished any of the goals you listed. How do you feel?


Unfulfilled

At the time of my demise
My hopeful proclamations
Turned into lies.

I had not seen my son sent
To college. I did not publish any book.
Owning nothing, only my life was spent.

Failed responsibilities, failed
Rising to the afterlife. I am haunted
By so much left undone. I am impaled

By the burden I left behind.
Chained to this world, I am a spectre
Of my former self, I’d give everything to rewind

My choices resulting in leaving the bereaving bereft
Of funds and knowledge, lacking a legacy,
Having been a thief. My greatest theft,

Stealing the chance of a better future for my sons
Leaving in its place a crueler reality. Their pockets
As empty as my body once my soul came undone.

I am tethered to this plane by regret.
The currency of success and parental guidance buried
With me, I am crushed I left behind such a debt.

Their is no heavier weight, not the sod
On my casket, nor gravity on my bones, than
Leaving my children on their own, than feeling like God.

The National Poetry Slam

…was pretty darn cool. A lot of great people appearing as poets.holding many great poems. Met plenty of new folks; maybe almost too many. Next year it’s in Oakland and I don’t see how that is feasible but I’m sure NPS 2015 will have to be CommonWealth Slam’s debut. It’ll be our chance to change lives on a bigger stage.

Now back to writing and working and narcolepsy. =D