Posts Tagged ‘Slam Poetry’

PhotoPoem – Truth

Posted: June 15, 2015 in Poetry
Tags: , ,

It’s been a good long while since I posted one of these photography/poetry combination posts, and since it has been so long I will be posting one of my favorite poems that I have written in recent years paired with one of my earliest shots while I was still at the Academy of Art in SF. While I love this poem, it is more of a slam/performance poem than the others I have posted here, so I am unsure how true it will read compared to a live performance…pun slightly intended. Here’s the Truth.


Poster Wall BW


What is Truth?

It is the thing which hits you late at night,

When you are alone, clinging to nothing but darkness,

Like a war-torn lover holding onto the remnants,

Of the memory of what love was before they killed it.

It hits you like a sledgehammer defenestrated from a 10th story window.

Suddenly and with explosive force it shatters ego,

Breaking the everpresent manufactured techno bubble,

Freeing your consciousness as it freefalls into your skull.


You’re enlightened. Buddha never said it was so easy,

Easy like a drunk prom date in the back of your Chevy.

No condom date-rape baby, you’re both not ready…

For Truth,

The used condom of a generation wasted.

Venerated and penetrated in dark alleys,

In vacant lots and with vacant eyes,

The flagrant signs of a person abused.

Used and confused, we wander empty streets.

Empty selves looking for our next fix, addicts.

Spiritually hollow we’ll cram anything in that hole,

Chicken soup souls for the soulless faux wholeness.


We’re frightened, of ourselves and of our neighbors.

No savior in sight, try as we might, we are alone.

In front of TV screens, computer monitors,

Even sitting next to eachother, we are alone.

Homeless veteran who fought for a lie, dying in the streets,

Frozen in your sleep, please don’t cry…

Because Truth…

Like time heals all wounds and soon it will sledgehammer shatter

The mimeo-obscura movie screen false reality,

Samsara scented visions that cloud our thoughts,

Causing society to rot the apple core of knowledge.

But even a rotten core can still hold seeds,

If cultivated with care we can grow something new.

Reach within your own rotten core,

And seek the seeds inside.

Nurture well with tender care,

A phoenix waits to rise.



I Am My Threadbare Suit

From far away when people see me,

They see a white man in a suit.

They see my brown hair, freckles,

And the bags under my brown eyes.


They don’t see my Portuguese ancestry.

Immigrants like everyone else,

Who came here seeking a better life,

And got it through blood and sweat.


They don’t see the esteemed privilege,

Of growing up white in the suburbs.

Being gaybashed in middle school,

To the point where you leave school.


They don’t see that my three piece suit,

Which looks flawless from a far,

Is threadbare, breaking down, and worn out,

Held together by string and staples, love and hope.


They don’t see that my eyes used to change colors.

Long ago, with my mood, when I was something

Other than somber, melancholy, beaten down.


While they may see my eyes, burning intense eyes,

And they may see the bags, signs of a soul spread thin,

They do not see what wearies me, they do not see what ignites me.


If they came close enough to talk to me,

They would learn that I am no different from they.

I am flesh and blood, skin and bone,

I am a human being with feelings and passions.


They would learn that my passions are inflamed by injustice.

By the belief that a person being in a suit makes them better.

By the existence of my privilege, and inability to wash clean.


They would feel my exhaustion, radiating a latent dis-ease.

Exhausted from working, fighting, fucking, and friending,

From stressing to depressing, and a generalized lack of release,

From saving, from spending, of the cycle never ending.


Exhausted from planning and priming, and having to make poetry rhyming

From heartbreak and back ache, the labors of love and capital.

From subprime lending and rich rule bending, and all that corporate bling

From people living asleep, walking through the charnel house as cattle.


From far away when people see me,

They see a white man in a suit.

They see my brown hair, freckles,

And the bags under my brown eyes.


They don’t see that the man is the three piece suit,

Which looks flawless from a far, but is threadbare

Broken down, worn out, held together by love and hope.

Love for all beings, and hopeful for our future


They don’t see that my eyes yearn to change again.

On the horizon, seeing something other than oppression,

In my body, feeling something other than depression.


While they may see my eyes, inflamed by injustice,

And they see the bags, the signs of an endless struggle,

They do not struggle with me, they are merely coal.