I hate performing, so I’ve had to learn to share. Spoken Word Affecting Generations, a monthly open mic held at Brooklyn’s Simplicity Wine Bar Café, took place May 14th, and that is where I finally learned what I’m supposed to do.  Surrounded by a plethora of talented, passionate artists, I was able to both share, and receive beautiful lessons.  I know this is something you learn in pre-school, but I really learned about sharing at this open mic & I am eternally grateful.

      What I admitted at this event, was how much it bothers me when “poets” talk trash about “rappers”. It bothers me as much as when “rappers” try to be poets. I’m not a rapper. I’m not a poet. I am myself, and I do both. I even sing a lil tune when the spirit moves me. I hate labels. I think people should be who they are and stop trying to fit into a box –unless you’ve created that box for yourself. Me? I’m a gangsta.
         When words leave my lips, those are my truths. Those are the thoughts which have the courage to drip through the ink of my pen… or through the tips of my fingers and into my iPhone’s notes. I never question what I write in private, but I always feel I have to preface it when I’m in public. 5’2 and addicted to pretty heels and anything in pink, I might not be what your television screen tells you a “gangsta” is.  Gangstas, tho, don’t care to fight whatever false image you have in your head. Ain’t got shit to do with us, really. & That’s the same reason I love poetry, I admitted that night. Poetry never lets you hide. It forces you to pen feelings and to get into peoples minds –to pull up memories and affect the way their hearts beat. I stopped writing poetry when my brother died. I think my poetry died, too.
           The most beautiful thing about meeting new people is finding groups who share, not the same ideas, but the same emotions you do. At the end of the session, the host,  Ageless the Street Poet had us go around and say one thing we were grateful for. I forget what I said; Days, I think. I’m grateful for every day, every thing. We then had a real discussion about people and how they seem to have this ingrained anger. Sometimes I feel like we forget that the people walking around us are as human as we are. We fail to show they respect and… love. Love is the only solution, Ageless proposed. I’m totally for that. If we could love each other like neighbors used to, like Jesus tried to teach us, perhaps the world would be a better place.
         What I enjoyed most about the SWAG open mic was the acceptance and positivity. I felt like I could be myself; I could speak how I need to speak, but still cross my legs when I sit. I could be a lady. I didn’t feel any anger from the other women (which happens a lot and I hate it) and I was able to get respect from the gentlemen. It was a great session, especially since you got two rounds to share. The worst part about open mics and performances is that you go up, do your thing, sit down… and then that’s it. Call it what you want, but I could be on the mic all night; that’s what I’m there for. I love it. Therefore, I love how Ageless employed the two-round sharing.  Simplicity Wine Bar Café is a classy looking space, but the people were the best part. I really enjoyed. I can’t wait for the next one ❤