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
“JUST READ DA DAMN POEM”
I feel that we all owe him.