Just Read the Damn Poem (A Performance Piece)

Just Read the Damn Poem

(A Performance Piece)

What, I think...as I practice each day

SHOULD be more important...

the verbalization of my message

...so that it will be clearly heard

when doing spoken word...

or the way...that I visually perform

there are some who believe that it is

far easier to understand what the poet said

when he or she heeded the unofficial

hell...even the blind oracle can see

that in the end...the only damn thing

I’m not trying to win no Academy award

just wanna be recognized as a new age bard

so I refuse to allow gesticulations...to take

precedence over my metaphoric articulations

after all...I AM A POET...NOT AN ACTOR

and performance shouldn’t be the main factor

that I, a serious artist...will ultimately be judged on

pits and all...into the microphone

some may think my shit was weak...

lacking a certain punch...while others may

think dat shit was heavy and phat...

and I don’t mean the way you feel

a lot of intelligent thought goes into my poetry

and it shouldn’t get lost in some fucking

theatrical delivery... no I’m sorry ...but

of that Def Poetry Jam bullshit...cuz,

I don’t want the audience or judges overlooking

heckler’s advice ...and just read

that really matters is the POETRY

after I have spit my life...

after an all U can eat lunch

I’m not getting caught up in any

the vicious bite of my acerbic wit

giving it to them raw ...without the performance grease

Yeah, yeah ...I know when the scores

are all tallied up I might end up with the least

...all because I dared to read my piece...

now don’t get it twisted...I ain’t hating on the others

who bravely shared this stage...I’m just saying tho

...at my age...memory is one of the first things to go

so fuck it...if I don’t make the cut for the slam team

I’ll just move on to the next venue...

still following my dream, just hope that I left

some poetic thoughts in at least one person’s head

...who didn’t care if it was performed or read

so if I must...I’ll accept defeat

as long as I got you to think

and no matter what

I ain’t buying into the notion

that my shit stink...

but for those who still feel

dis was bullshit and it stank

...I ask you to do this...the next time you hear a poet speak or perform ...

close your eyes and listen to the spoken word

picture the imagery that is meant to be heard

and if the poem strays too far from the norm

you might get lucky and hear the voice

of Steve Cannon...the unofficial heckler....shout out

and for that priceless piece of advice


I feel that we all owe him.