It’s with a lot of hesitation that I write this final post in this particular series. It’s been a lot of fun, both in chatting with the SLC poets and in featuring their poems. That said, that doesn’t mean you won’t hear from these cats again, because if I have any say in it, you will. Plus there is a whole wide world of slam poets who are taking poetry to new forms, challenging minds and imaginations, so you’ll be getting to hear more voices every Tuesday (Slam Tuesday, anyone?)
Please leave comments if you’ve read and enjoyed these entries, I’d love to hear from you and I know the poets would appreciate any feedback you have. Let me know if you have favorite poets that you’d like featured, cities to feature, etc.
The last of the Salt City Slam team poets left to feature is none other than the dynamic performance poet Michael Dimitri. Seeing him perform is something you won’t forget anytime soon. He blends words into beautiful pieces that leave the audience inspired and full of hope. As with the other poets, choosing just one poem to feature is practically impossible. But there’s some good news: if you like what you see here, you can obtain more. In addition to purchasing the Salt City Slam book (which features every single one of these poets, 2 pieces each), Michael has his own merchandise available. His more recent chapbook is “Bravado of the Imagination”, and he has an older bit of work, “An Unbearable Gift” which comes in both CD and book form. The CD includes pieces the book doesn’t, partly because there are tracks with backing music. And being a CD, you get to hear Michael in action. For more information on how to add some works of poetry to your collection (by all of SLC’s poets), visit Salt City Indie Arts. Remember, buying stuff by these artists goes to a great cause:
Supporting local art.
Like it or not, we do live in a world bogged down by consumerism, where math and sciences often tend to overshadow art (which classes are cut first when a school is having budget problems? Art & Music). So support your local artists. Support ART.
And now, onto the poetry. Take these words-not only Michael’s, but all the featured poets-and remember them. And if they inspire you, then write your own works. And keep writing. And if you have a place to share your work, do it. Find a community in your area. Believe me, you won’t regret it.
by Michael Dimitri
I am sending you an SOS emergency thank you
a thank you for the human to human recognition
because I’ve been lost before
in that stained glass undercurrent of the ocean
like there was a plexiglass reality between us
almost as if there was an internal interrogation box
my stomach sat in like a convict of knuckles-
guilty of feeling too deeply
& I am her & I was him in his complacency
& I used to feel like the metaphor
of submarines who couldn’t relate to the drift
of words hung up there in the air
like the shells of black seagulls pinned
with black nails to a scarecrow
of an even darker sky
& language itself was a self-inflicted taboo
that grew into gnarled hands that could
wrap a painful contraband of confusion to the dark
every corner of the inside
Subjects like death & lost loves
were symbiotic creatures that hid
in the hard parts of the back of my throat
that I had to learn how to swallow
Like this was an unsafe place to say things like:
“Listen, I feel like when a soulmate
dies, everything seems less colorful.
Like a bright blue sky has suddenly been painted grey.
Like a rose as beautiful as it may be, will one day decay.”
But you say things like this for too long
but too short to have made peace with it
and even the most sympathetic ears
in a certain colloquial language
have a designated off-button
But I’ve found that the more times
I’ve stepped up to an environment
that wants to share poetry
I’ve been caught in the solace
of motioning momentum
with each unique story that I hear
like the crashing glass symphonic
beauty of a kaleidoscope
shattering into refraction of answers
to the questions I keep asking
so I keep asking in response
to the answers I’m receiving
the momentum of breathing
that between us can facilitate
a healthy module for healing.
So I’m sending you an SOS emergency plea
to keep unlocking the locks that hold back
your skull from thinking
unlatch the armor built on the core of your skin
Take off your fingers
Take off your hands
Take off your arms
because when you get right down to it-
the burning of the heart
is the only thing you need to hold a pen to the paper
splash the print of verbal pages you carve
from the marrow of your blood
cut from something that keeps you living
like an IV cable coming from your heart
to my ears
I’m not ashamed to say that I need you.
That your poetry means something to me.
What I’m trying to say is:
is that when you speak
you can paint an entire landscape
that can hold you up when you try.
what I’m really trying to say is:
is the truly beautiful & magnificent
thing about wanting to build hummingbird lips
is that when you are ready…
I mean this…
you can fly.