450 Years of Selective Memory (Smile)

Show me that the seeds of your discontent
Have not taken root
Display for me
That sign of eternal,
Internal well-being

Show me the wisdom of my ways
Your soul unfazed by unreasonable demands
Heated irons held to your skin,
Pain and anger held within
With teeth clench of

Show me twenty-eight ways I haven't done wrong
Leap-year me into a season of self-righteousness
With an intoxicating elixir so strong,
Nector of a deaf, dumb, and blind nether-god
Antidote to sodium pentathol and leather wrist straps

Give me some of that ole reassurance
Tell me that it ain't so bad
Sing undisguised work songs to me, white as cotton,
Take me back to
Simple days of rules of order
Proper divisions and simple instructions:

Tote, lift, hump and hew
Soft, humming nights and
Busted mouths oozing red and brown

Show me all thirty-two,
Lift your tongue to show me no hidden razor blades,
Show me your molars hiding no encapsulated cyanide
Show me no incisors sharpened for mortal combat
Let me touch your lips and mouth familiarity,
Bring me closer to you, the way it once was
Peel back your lips and bless me with your easy fortune

Open your mouth

Ken McManus (New York)


Jamie Kennedy "Grim Fairy Tale"

I tell my daughter
If a boy who is never going to be a man
named Peter Pan ever comes to your windowsill
and knocks and asks for your hand
to fly you off to never land


You don’t even have to leave a note
Just float away
because tomorrow land will never be better than today

Life is a grim fairy tale

And she makes me believe
She believes that mermaids swim with her
That dragons compete with airplanes for runways
That unicorns put the holes in Swiss cheese
and we hide from wolves under blankets of wool
And I make believe that I can be here


That parents can stay together
That every snail you step on has its own separate snail heaven
and the sorrow of Angels makes rainy weather
At night I say don’t be afraid of the dark
because on the other side of the earth
Fairy’s wings are shimmering in the opening dawn light
The sun will always come out tomorrow

And Barbie is always going to have a date

The white rabbit is always going to need a late pass
and every mirror you see
is a looking glass
So hold onto your fantasies like Frodo clutched onto his ring
because the never ending story will end some day

She makes me believe that a kiss
Will wake up any princess
when her mother is a sleeping beauty
I will never wake up to again
That death isn’t the only happy end

So she teaches me to make it all up
Because no matter how many nightmares the boogie man can give you
you can never dream enough
Just turn on the nightlight
Eat every apple every snake offers you
with rosary red lips red as Snow White’s
Dance with every Prince Charming you meet
because Cinderella never knows when it is going to hit midnight

I make believe that I have all the time in the world
for my little girl

Daddy still lives in a world of fantasy
and you’re my ivory key to the secret garden
where we have tea parties with the Mad Hatter
and if you ever fall down a rabbit hole
you don’t have to call home
unless I can follow you down

Just you and me

She makes me make believe that she was a queen since birth
I as her father figure fold her in my arms         
to defend her like arms against mother earth
because life may be a grim fairy tale

But she makes me make believe
to never let reality
tell you what your imagination is worth 


Taalam Acey 'Permission to Speak G*ds Work"

Taalam Acey may be the hardest working spoken word artist of his generation.  He's published a novel, an award winning memoir and 9 spoken word CDs.  Taalam has been a full time traveling poet for over a decade.  Tens of thousands of people own his work and many, many more have seen his performances.  Acey performs regularly in more than 50 cities in the US and abroad. On average, he is on a plane once every 3.5 days.  Taalam's work has been featured on BET and in Essence Magazine.  He has been a frequent guest at dozens of colleges and Universities and has lectured on contemporary spoken word at the prestigious Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley.  Acey has twice been featured at the Essence Music Festival.  He's been quoted in several newspapers, including the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Weekly and the New Jersey Star Ledger.  In addition, Acey's work has been associated with films that have garnered an Audience Award and a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.  Acey is also an accomplished slam poet who has won slams throughout the united states as well as in Germany and England.  His greatest compliment came from no other than Stevie Wonder when he called Taalam an "Inspiration."


Scott Compton "True Love"

Just another great night at Black On Black Rhyme Tampa Family.  This is the 1st Spoken Word piece I ever wrote after hearing this art for the 1st time.

Copyright © Scott Compton 2004


The Found Poem

The found poem is called just that because it is not one the writer set out to write.  For example, in a creative writing class students may choose words from a variety of literature sitting before them that really strikes a cord.  Unbeknown that the words thay have chosen will be passed on for someone else to use and create a poem from.  This amazing piece was written by a truly gifted writer, Jillian Quinn, from ten words another student picked out.  As writers, we all know how challenging writing can be but try creating something as eloquent as this with someone else's words.  It is just a hunch, but I think Jillian has yet to see what a true gift she has.  With her modesty will come riveting work that I look forward to seeing in the future.

The Found Poem

The old gnarled tree, all twisting twine and thistle jowls,
Scabby with bark, and knotted in bowed knuckles,
Wore a crown of wood tips, bald of leaves.
His branches whistled in the spirit, not of malevolence, but of an aged thing,
As a storm approached from an ocean due east.

A time ago he had hollowed, he no longer stretched towards the sun.
Crooked and hunched he came to wonder,
If he were to fall by no one would he make a sound?
When some merciful wind left him fallen,
Would he be dawned to repent, or in opposition be stricken by nothingness?
Become bloodless, possessed as the pulp of the earth, and in death return to awe.

To the dirt, to spring mushrooms, and to the stomachs of birds,
To fly in some alter sky, without swaying heavy with limbs .
This, the old tree hoped, branches welcoming to wilder winds,
To caramelize for the flowers until each bit of him oblivion consumed,
To become something as simple as twine and thistle blooms. 

 Copyright © Jillian Quinn 2011


"True Love"

I search deep inside my thoughts and soul for the words to create.

I crave and yearn for the words to write. 

With my words I'm taken to another place where creativity and expression become the session of my art.

I live for the written word to open aspects of my mind I might not otherwise find.

I watch as these words begin to flow across this page unleashing subtle rage wisdom beginning to grow.

I hide behind the words I write as a means to show my depth and sensitivity or to find some objectivity. 

I cry these words with tears of fears that my voice is still not really being heard.

I hold them next to me tight for without them I grow silent and cannot speak up to become defiant.

I express these words in my way which is any other way that might be… your way.

These words that become verse tell my story but just to know me without them would not be to truly… know me. 

I breathe these words like the first breath I ever took; eyes open wide to this hook just asking you to look.

Before these words I began to articulate from my tongue I never had a voice to shout my self was in doubt.  Without these words I lived in isolation because the voice it gave me saved me, set me free and raised me. 

Now with my words and rhyme I can insight, empower and drop rain of knowledge to those who grasp this plight.

The expression of love and the feeling itself is defined by a word.

True love for me began with this blank page waiting to be standing on top a stage whether or not the camera will ever be raised.  As I wrote this I inhaled it as if I toked it with my minds elation beginning to float now I can speak this with my tongue and throat.   
Copyright © Scott Compton 2004


Christine Gifol "Catcalls"

This talented Spoken Word Artist is one I am proud to call my friend.  Currently residing in Largo FL, Christine started taking her passion for writing poetry to the Mic in Feb of 2010, after being encouraged by a friend.  She found an open mic, at a nearby public library, in order to conquer her fears and received support by one of her best friends, Todd Wood, who accompanied her to the library readings.  As many of us do, Christine had her fears about getting up in front of people and sharing her work.  Living with a belief that one should conquer their fears she set out on a personal mission.  She not only rose above her fears but landed a featured performer spot at Tampa's longest running open mic night, Black On Black Rhyme.  In just three months of gracing the stage at BOBR they called on her to be a featured artist.  I'm personally looking for more to come from Christine and sharing more Epic nights at BOBR Tampa Family.

Copyright © Christine Gifol 2011


Scott Compton "Dear Dad"

At age 19 I lost my father very suddenly due to an illness, I think to this day, my family is still confused about.  He spent two and a half days in the hospital and was then gone from our lives.  None of us could have comprehended the seriousness of his medical condition, as the Doctors couldn't seem to diagnose the situation.  As a result, he died before we could even begin to think we might need to say a much needed one last I love you or an emotional goodbye.  Twelve years after his death I wrote this piece because the adult I had become grew to understand what I truly didn't see in my father as a teenager and what I missed out on as a result.  In a sense this piece is like a letter I wrote to my father to apologize for my young like mind that just didn't understand. 

Copyright © Scott Compton 2011


Spoken Word Artist Or A Poet; What's The Difference?

With written word, the inner spirit of a poem is there on the page, and the poet connects individually with the reader.  The page dictates the line breaks, and the reader determines the pacing and tempo when the poem is read silently in the reader's head or out loud.  The words are there to savor or to return to whenever needed by the reader.  Books are comfortable companions that surround the reader with intimate connections from the writer.  There is an individual communion and healing between the poet and the reader.

Once that poem moves off the page and is performed with the rhythm and the soul of the artist it makes a different kind of connection, a connection with the community, and it now speaks to the masses.  The artist determines the rhythm and spirit of the poem and sometimes starts to merge other art forms into the performance as well.  The poem is now alive being acted out or told like a riveting story.

Poets aspire publication while Spoken Word Artist aspire the stage and the masses.


Julian Curry "Niggers Niggas & Niggaz"

This is a real hard hitting poem that will leave you feeling it's impact long after you've watched it.

Julian Curry started writing poetry in 1999.  Besides receiving the 2003 crown at the Nuyorican, he was also the 2003 Bowery Poetry Club Co-Grand Slam Champion.  His poetry is a glimpse into the inner city, Wall Street, family, and a regular guy’s everyday life.  Originally from the Bahamas, Julian now calls Harlem his home. He has been featured in "Forbes" Magazine & on BET’s Lyric Cafe.  He was also featured on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam.



New look to my Blog

Whether your a return visitor or it's your 1st time on my blog site I have taken the time to remove all the hyper links to the video performances of both the artists I am showcasing and of my own as well and have embedded the videos within the blog.

This will allow you to watch the videos right on my blog site from within the posting.  If you have been on my site before and are a return visitor please take the time to check out the new look and re-visit some prior blog posts.  If it is your first time on my site then enjoy the new look.  It has taken me endless hours but the new feel and look is worth it.  Hope you think so too.


Shihan "In Response"

You can find Shihan's bio in the Oct archives along with his video of his piece "Flashy Words."  This piece "In Response"  has always been a fan favorite but until coming across it today the video had been taken off the internet & youtube.  Obviously coming across it meant, it was time to post another performance by the one & only Shihan.


The Father of Poetry Slams

In 1985 a construction worker and poet named Marc Smith (slampapi) started a poetry reading series at a Chicago jazz club, the Get Me High Lounge, looking for a way to breathe life into the open mike poetry format. The series' emphasis on performance laid the groundwork for a style poetry and performance which would eventually be spread across the world. In 1986 Smith approached Dave Jemilo, the owner of the Green Mill (a Chicago jazz club and former haunt of Al Capone), with a plan to host a weekly poetry cabaret on the club's slow Sunday nights. Jemilo welcomed him, and on July 25, the Uptown Poetry Slam was born. Smith drew on baseball and bridge terminology for the name, and instituted the show’s basic structure of an open mike, guest performers, and a competition. The Green Mill evolved into the Mecca for performance poets, and the Uptown Poetry Slam still continues 18 years after its inception.

From The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Slam Poetry: “Slam poetry is the brainchild of Marc Smith (So What!) and the blue collar intellectual eccentrics who crammed into the Get Me High Lounge on Monday nights from November 1984 to September 1986 for a wide-open poetry experience. Finger-poppin’ hipster Butchie (James Dukaris) owned the place and allowed anything to happen, and it usually did. The experimenters in this new style of poetry presentation gyrated, rotated, spewed, and stepped their words along the bar top, dancing between the bottles, bellowing out the backdoor, standing on the street or on their stools, turning the west side of Chicago into a rainforest of dripping whispers or a blast furnace of fiery elongated syllables, phrases, snatches of scripts, and verse that electrified the night.”


Lost Count: A Love Story

Powerful would be a colossal understatement to describe this performance by 18 year old Nate Marshall & 17 year old Demetrius Amparan featured by Brave New Voices, which depicts the epidemic of teen violence that is crying out for national attention in Chicago.

Brave New Voices was created by Youth Speaks, Inc in 1998 after the inaugural Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam in San Francisco—the first poetry slam dedicated to youth in the nation’s history.  Brave new voices can be found at bravenewvoices.org.  See Nov archives for prior blog post on Youth Speaks.


Asia "The Waiting Hour"

Asia’s gripping words have never been less than an honest and genuine testimonial to his life.  His uncanny ability to combine humor and inspiration while provoking thought and self-reflection has won audiences all over.  Ranging from crowds as intimate as 40 to crowds as energetic as 1000, he delivers all of himself each time, making sure never to skim on what many have testified as one of the most jaw-dropping shows they’ve been fortunate enough to witness.. But it wasn’t always this way... In the early months of 2006, Asia faced a battle with cancer.  In the post-cancer years, Asia has been featured on Russell Simmons’ HBO Def Poetry, was named 2006 Performer of the Year by the Association of the Promotion of Campus Activities, took 1st Place at the 2008 Southern Fried Poetry Slam Championships with his team MinoriTEAM and many more.  Asia has had the privilege to perform with great musical artists such as Mos Def, Jill Scott & DMX.  You can find him currently hostsing at Mello Mondays.