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Poetry in Public

March 21, 2018

It’s been one month since the release of Not So Simple.  Close to 400 copies have been sold.  Over $1,200 has been raised for Project Understanding.  Thank you, thank you, and thank you for your ever-present encouragement and support.


I’ve included my set below.  I’ve categorized it based off of the poems I read:


Part 1: ‘Real Talk’    ‘Why Don’t They Get a Job?’


Part 2: ‘Fight On’  ‘Can You Blame Me?’  ‘Light Years’



Part 3: Mental Health data/stories   ‘Mayhem in the Mind’



Part 4: ‘In the Face of Anger’    ‘Untitled’ by Roberto Varela 


Game On


Standing there

one man in a sea of people

my moment of truth arrived



it was now or never

Step up and speak up


The persona behind the pen isn't far from the

communication and speech teacher nor

the family man from New Jersey


It's all me

But now there is no eraser

no pause button to reflect 

which words would be best

to get my thoughts across


Not sure what place poetry has in public

a packed bar was about to hear 

this poet profess his Ph. D on poverty

Created to stoke, provoke, and

incite conversation in his community

Here we all were 

nestled in the heart of downtown 


Life handed me my test

You have 90 minutes

No bathroom breaks

No looking off your neighbor

We want your ideas and your ideas only


With a blend of rhymes

entertaining teaching and 

an attitude of gratitude

my tongue was effortlessly finding the footing 

it foolishly thought was lost


The words and ideas poured out


which was etched into paper

now permanent

fossilizing my thoughts in the form of a book

they found their way from my mind

to the mic

to active ears and eyes that were staring at me

each time I looked from my book



now time slowed down

A groove

like a young Kobe finding his late game form

pushing syllables and thoughts from the heart

Standing up

no longer scared of how I may sound

nothing is holding me back 

nothing should hold you back

barriers no more 

not with writing 

not with relationships

not with life


too da lew to all the time I spent timid


Speak up

speak out

speak consciously and confidently for a truth

that is grounded in compassion, curiously asking questions

to bring us all together


and just like that my time was up

but before the lights went dark

an old lady approached me 

We're from Seattle

We heard your message

We won't soon forget


She left

I looked on


Poets push forward carrying the torch

Which sword would you fight for?




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