Friday, October 28, 2005

A Requiem For Sister Rosa

Rosa Parks has died. May she rest in peace. Let's stand up for someone who sat down for justice. Let's be the bouquet of roses that celebrates Sister Rosa. A light in a time of darkness; a woman who said no and no more when a nation was still saying yes and wait!; a small, quiet voice in a world of noise. It is because of you (and others like you) that I(and others like me) can sit where we choose, whether on a bus, train or plane. May you not be forgotten, though I doubt that you will be. May you most certainly rest in peace, whereever you now sit--your time here on earth has earned it, as I'm sure that God has now welcomed you with the words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant!"

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Def Poet

Below is a poem that is featured in my latest chapbook, "Mofo' Risin' ". It is titled, "Def Poet". Enjoy!


If I were a slam poet
and, I'm not, by the way,
I'd breathe similes
into your nostrils
and give you life;
(w)rap metaphors
around your ears
like the garland wrapped
in Billie Holiday's hair;
I would not lull you
to sleep,
because my words
would be on fire,
shocking you
existential soliloquies,
to be
or not to be;
making you
hear songs
in the key of life;
making you
hear rhapsodies
in the key of blue,
if I were a slam poet.

If I were a slam poet,
in three minutes or less,
I'd fire word darts
into your mind,
fire projectile missiles
of poetic wisdom,
like a sermon on the mount
in iambic pentameter;
spin romantic sonnets
that would have made
Shakespeare jealous;
from behind the mike,
my words
would spring forth
like an Ellington tune,
played by Miles Davis,
alongside John Coltrane,
backed by Thelonius Monk,
and Charles Mingus;
like your mama's voice,
when the hurt was so bad
and nobody else's words would do;
make you recall memories
you'd long forgotten;
recall memories
you wish you had;
makin' those three minutes,
a memory
that you will
never forget--
that is,
if I were a slam poet,
I'm not.

© Copyright 2004 Joseph Powell

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Bohemian Rhapsody

I'm trying to stay sane in an insane world. Trying to find words that speak truth, conveys pain, and highlights my ugliness. I am Bukowski in his drunken poetry; I am Baldwin, in his fiery rage; I am the savage beast that will not be tamed by music alone; the fallen angel trying to fight my way back into heaven; the poet whose pen is filled with blood. My faith is doubt; every breath I take is on loan and I'm wondering when my balance is due. a last resort and all the other inns are booked up. I'm not crazy--just fucked up and not fucked enough. Am trying to keep the demons at bay, but sometimes they fuel my fire, feed my soul. It matters not who sees this--what difference would it make? No one pays attention to writers anyway. No one cares for the outsider, the monster, the ones who are not like them. But I am you--the secrets you try to keep; the words that you will not say; the skeletons in your closet. You can't hide from the truth--maybe you too are trying to survive, stay sane, live life, breathe freely, trying to get just a touch of grace. But I can't help you unless you choose to acknowledge me or die trying. Open your eyes, open your ears, read between the lines, dare to feel something for this bohemian and his kind--who knows, like they say, the truth just might set you free. But then again, this may be much ado about nothing. You decide.