A Poet Service Announcement

So as I have said before….this is a blog full of honesty….right….so let me be honest and say I am writing this while watching a recorded version of Flash Forward (some new show in abc) and I will be doing a copy/paste tomorrow…..
Two reasons for this…
Because I want to.
I don’t have internet at home…I leech off of the Art Museum and Panera Bread and sometimes the downtown library if I’m balling enough to pay for parking….or if its after six…..pitiful. I know. Anywho.
I want to blog about this while its still semi-fresh on my mind.
I wanted to write a poem about it, and more than likely still will, but I see this is what has to happen first….then at a later date, the poem will have finished incubation and be able to be birthed….
Keeping in mind….me blogging about my journey to being a successful spoken word artist is complete of all things poetry and some things not, so if it seems like I’m blogging off subject….in real life…I’m closer to the subject than the predicate!!!....hmmm…I like that…may add that to my inspirational quotes…lol

So that’s it for the preface….

We’ve all heard it, some of us have said it and a few of us live by it….but who knew support had such a thin line? Is it possible to support something or someone so much that they don’t even see you when you are there? Or that they begin to expect that you be there for every function? And let’s say you miss one….or maybe two….God forbid you have a life of your own outside of whatever it is they are doing….does that in turn deem you “unsupportive?” Do you deserve a lecture on how important support is or perhaps a demonstration of support?

Here’s my point. Those of us who are artists need to find the balance on that tightrope….there are people who are nonstop supporters and who will support every single function their schedule and pockets will allow them to. There are some people who come out every now and then. And then there are the people in the middle. Those who would love to come to some shows, but can’t afford it unless both it and the parking is free. That is real life….lots of black people found the recession long before the white house located it right here in the US. Sometimes people just don’t have the leisure money. Those same people sometimes pick and choose what shows they go to carefully. If there is a show that is more expensive than what we are used to paying, we might just weigh the pros and cons of going. How much will I enjoy it, what else should/could I be doing and who all is going to be there? What kind of show is it? If I am a devout poetry lover and I go to plenty of poetry shows, and there happens to be a show featuring poets, but has more rappers, it is possible that I won’t be there. But that is not me not supporting the poet’s. It’s not even me not supporting the rappers; Or at least not thinking that way. It is me knowing what I like and what I don’t like. Knowing where I want to be, what I want to be a part of and how I would like to spend what little leisure money I have. AND HAVING THAT RIGHT JUST LIKE EVERY ONE ELSE!!! Now call me crazy but, I highly doubt I’m the only person out here making moves in that manner. But that doesn’t make me or US non-supporters. That doesn’t mean we should be chastised or bombarded with finger pointing messages that declare us as the reason that no one wants to come to our city. We shouldn’t be reprimanded or treated like disobedient students….
there are three people in this circle:
the people who know about a show and plan on going
the people who know about a show and don’t plan on going (for various reasons, all very possibly valid)
the people who don’t know about a show

now….falling in category one or two doesn’t make you a bad guy. It doesn’t diminish the support and love you have previously offered and it doesn’t qualify you for a lecture by someone who didn’t happen to see your face OR your heart in the building on said night.

We as performers MUST remember that!!!

We must keep in mind that just because the familiar faces we are used to don’t make it out to our shows sometimes, doesn’t mean they are doing something wrong…sometimes, in those situations, we should look at ourselves and  make sure there is nothing we are doing to create the gap we are seeing. And in the event we don’t find ourselves at fault, that doesn’t mean to find them at fault. What about the people who are there??? Have these people heard us before? Could it be possible they are new fans, which would mean we are still impacting people on good scale? Sometimes the new audience gets lost in our desire to see the “old” one;
Which is equal a bad look as cursing out the old audience for being MIA….
With no curse words of course…
it’s one thing to brag about your show or even withhold the details of how it went to make a person feel like they just HAVE to be at the next one. It’s all fun and smiles… But its another to scold an audience as if they missed your last free show as a free artist. People have lives. Sometimes their needs interfere with their wants, sometimes they go with what they want, sometime pockets, rides, babysitters, hell hunger prevents them from making it to shows….sometimes the shows they miss are important to you…..but if you’ve performed 100 shows and you have a person who has made it to 99 of them….who the hell are you to get mad at them for not coming to the 100th. …hell , if they’ve made five of them….
Two of them….they don’t deserve a display of disrespect and disregard to what HAS happened for you….
Be grateful for what you get….every time you get it….you don’t HAVE to have an audience to speak for….there are talented people everywhere that no one EVER hears or will ever hear….it is a blessing….every face…new, old, familiar, young….each one is a blessing….!!!
This is a poet service wake up message!!! One of the reasons open mics fail (my opinion) is because of stuff like this…I’m willing to bet every open mic has at least one, if not a few, in house poets….poets who are well known, respected and who frequent the spot. SOMETIME’S these poet’s develop these out of control egos that take over the personality that was once loving and humble and create this concoction of an individual suffering from a Narcissistic God Complex….once “the people” get a wind of this, they start falling back….once the “other artists” get a taste of it…..they start falling back….suddenly the new people aren’t enough and a once favorite spot becomes known as “the now defunct” …..
Now you (the reader of course) can take this blog and do with it what you want….interpret how you feel…I know what I mean and what I don’t mean…. The point I am hoping to get across to the audience i.e. those of you who have supported me at any one point in my poetry life….whether it be one show, every or a few here and there…whether you bought a cd or I gave it to you and you listened…..let it never be said that you are not the fuel that keeps us performers going…without your ears…..
Your eyes…
Your warm bodies occupying space….your laughter, shouts, tears and roars of applause….without you….there is ONLY us…and our notebooks…
We need you just as much, if not more, than you need us….for every positive word of mouth, and even the negatives, that you have spread about us….
There is a blessing on a butterfly wing for you….sometimes we get so caught up in loving you that we forget all the important steps along the way that you took with us….and for that I ask for forgiveness for us all….it might sound cheesy, but it’s what I typed, so it’s how I feel….

And for my fellow artist:
The expression “never forget where you came from” doesn’t just apply to neighborhood connections…sometimes you feel hurt that you really don’t get to share…sometimes you have to sit on your feelings and see the bigger picture….sucks, but it is what it is….chastising your audience doesn’t make them want to see you again….to the contrary, it makes them want to leave….where ever you are….
It pushes them away….which is the last thing you want….people grow with you, grow you and let you fly away to the next….sometimes they stay with you forever….either way, your job is to respect the steps they’ve taken with you….in doing so, you almost assure yourself of seeing them again, when the time is more fitting and God has aligned all of your stars together.
….remember….they have a life that is more complicated than your schedule…and sometimes it just doesn’t work out in your favor on their end…

Being unappreciative is tricky becomes sometimes we don’t even know that’s how we are being perceived…..
sometimes, it’s just who we are….
Pick a side.
Stay on it.
But think about it carefully….one side has other people on it with you…
The other always winds up just you.

And let me just remember to say this….WriteOn the poetry spot, a local spot here in Indy, shut their doors for good about a year ago due to lack of support….everyone had their reasons for not coming and each reason was valid to them…but regardless of the why’s or why nots, we lost a BLACK OWNED venue that was dedicated to poetry….not to mention fixing up damn near an entire neighborhood….the owners were and still are people that while you might not see them out at every poetry event, you KNOW they support poetry….they support in ways that don’t require their attendance….now…all I’m saying is this….they’ve recently re-opened…

For my Indy poets, especially the ones with fingers pointed in every direction but their own, SUPPORT WRITE ON…..or rather….are you going to write on tonight…or will you need to turn that pointed finger on yourself?



  1. Amen, Amen, Amen..... That is all I can say...
    About a week ago I went to a poetry and I had been there before but the vibe was different... To add insult to serious injury one young man stood up on stage and begin ranting about this that and the other... It was not poetry and it had nothing to do with me directly... I felt like it was misplaced anger, frustration, aggravation, ect....
    On my one day that I have to myself and I want to go out and hear good poetry from good artist...I felt like I was verbally assulted for something I didn't do and had no idea where it came from.
    I can't promise that i will go back...especially if that will be the deal. I was taken back and felt as though I had opened a door to a room that was not suppose look in...
    Whoever they are upset with and why needs to be squashed. They need to come to terms with their feelings.

    At any rate you keep doing what you're doing. God will lead and guide you in the direction in which you are to go....

  2. I will apologize, to all. I am the young man in question, and unfortunately, my motivation and message behind said rant 2as all lost in the delivery of it all. And I take full responsibility for it. It was meant as a supportive, 'let's get everyone fired up again' spiel, but somehow turned bitter, spiteful, hateful even. And for that, I truly, ... Read Moretruly am sorry. I may not be a poet in the purest form or the art, but as an artist that respects and appreciates the poetry and art of SO MANY within our community, my passion has ALWAYS been to support at all costs, especially being supportive of those that have been supportive to me. But my actions last Sunday were innapropriate and inexcusable, and I make no excuse for them, nor do I shy away from any chastisement. Saych, I have always loved and respected you for this very reason: you ALWAYS speak the truth, but speak it objectively, knowing and trusting it to reach who it is MEANT for. Thank you for the 'check'. I needed it. And I apologize.

    As Stacy and others have stated, what I am going through, I MYSELF need to deal with, and I alone. Others do not deserve to be disrespected or negatively impacted by it. In the end, I truly hope that this unfortunate circumstance can be a point of growth, not only for myself, but for others as well to learn and grow from. I attempt to look at ... Read Morethings in the best ways possible, and I beleive everything happens for a reason. Maybe it was meant for me to spaz out to force me to be shown how i am ACTUALLY coming across; I saw it, and DO NOT LIKE IT. But now that I see, I can begin the work of changing it. And had this not occurred, Saych may not have been inspired to write this piece, which I'm sure applies to more than just me. So I am moving forward, bearing all these things in mind. I am, after all, still human, and God is not done with me yet. I appreciate EVERYONE that has EVER supported me, and you all DESERVE better from me. So better, you shall get. Thank you and love you all. ;)