Melbourne Spoken Word (long)

1st reading – Bar Oussou 27 February

A simple stage, lights, mic
A lonely poet
From a heart to a crowd
Speaks words off a trembling page

In essence,
This is spoken word
All else is

I do spoken word but
I’ve never known the reason why
Then I heard Bigoa Chuol say
“There’s nothing to explain.
Its just part of who I am”
Her words went to the core of me
Deeply down she made a score in me
Released my joy cradled my pain
It’s just part of who I am. Again.
It’s part of who I am.

Spoken word’s a baby
Born almost every night
You’ve been at it’s birth
It has older siblings too
Richly entertaining
Let me introduce a few

I bare my belly
So you can feel
My electricity.
My navel is the source of my authority
Umbilical connection to the Oracle of Delphi
I speak for ancient shaman.
It’s part of who I am

I am a nurse
By suffering patients
I don’t get a lot of sleep
At night I write, I weep.
I cry out my frustrations
It’s part of who I am

Had a little trouble
I been in the can
I kicked a feller’s head in
He was only half a man
And I showed his missus
The colour that his piss is
Rhyming see – off me lips like kisses
I’ve changed like cheese to chalk
And all it took was talk
I’m a completely different man
This doctor’s got me writin’ stuff
Not Shakespeare, but good enough.
I shout me poems in the Dan
I like this new part of who I am.

I take these little white pills
They keep me stabilised
My words hold back the feeling
Of being less than human
Of being tranquilised.
My treatment is unjust.
One day my words will
Thunder like a spill
way from a dam.
When I speak it helps me keep
A part of who I am

I’ve got a bible in my hand
A needle in my arm
A tattoo on my leg reads
“Thou shalt do no harm”
My smile looks like a grimace
I’m OK I’m really not a menace
I speak of junkies and the cross – and damn!
They’re all a part of who I am

I wear a suit to earn a dollar
My colleagues call me mouse
This place is where I holler
Throw away my collar
And let rip about the refugees
Government atrocities
This unjust society.
As Archimedes almost said
I will move the world
Just give me a mic and stand.
I want to lead a band of revolutionaries
It’s part of who l am

This is my first time
I’m glad I got up there
And said my little piece
You’ll not see me again
It’s not a part of who I am

I had a boyfriend
Our love was my poetry
Turns out he’s a jerk
He messed me up
Now I write a lot of stuff
Getting over him
I’ll build my house on his bones
It’s a part of who I am

I’m back on the shelf.
I ease my ache with
these poetic types.
I see them in the spotlight
I hear their tenderness
I sleep with their words.
I speak to be heard
by someone special.
Until that day comes
Being out in front of you
Will do
To be a part of who I am

When you see me on stage
You’ve come to my audition.
So like me!
I’m the next big thing
I dance I act I sing
I’ve got the looks
I’ll do anything
All I need’s a break.
No matter how many doors are closing
I will keep on going
From slam to slam
It’s all of who I am

The thing with with spoken word is
Anyone can. Take two lines
And make them rhyme
What have you got?
Whamabamasingsong Alabamaningnong
Melbourne Spoken Word
On any given day
Could pass for breakfast banter
On radio TripleJJJ
But I keep coming back for more
First-timers are who I listen for
Doesn’t matter how good they are
That no one’s heard of them before
It only matters what they say
To strangers and friends, in their way
Almost without failing
Gold flakes are in their tailings
A heart glitters through the mic
And they’re always welcomed like
They are the Welcome Stranger
I love to see them take the stand
To learn that it’s not so hard
To find that part of who we are.

I dig deep for my words.
When I’ve cleaned and set them
They shine.
It is good they please myself
Better they impress my friends as well.
I want to have more fans than friends
To get invited overseas
To earn artist royalities.
I walk a line between
Satisfaction with the art of it
Frustration at the paltry market.
The work is sufficient
But when it comes down to it
I’m just another miner
infected with a fever.
Words are my rush
I’ll NEVER have enough of them.
They’re the best part of who l am

I know I’m not the best
I’ve dug a hole to
understand and explore.
Forgive me that my words are poor
I hope one day to speak words I can be proud of
I won’t drone on any more
I don’t want to bore you.
For this time
And this space
I just adore you.
Thanks for being part of
The part of who I am


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