In 44 communities across the U.S., teenagers are competing for a spot on their regional teams in order to compete in Washington DC at the National Slam Poetry championship called Brave New Voices. Russell Simmons’ Brave New Voices is a new seven-part HBO series documenting the stories of six competing teams.
Last night I saw some of the HBO special “Brave New Voices” and I was inspired to give slam poetry a try.
Slam poetry is typically intended to be heard instead of read so I have recorded an audio version of my poem in addition to including the written version.
It was almost enough to make me stop believing
ALL the proclamations
I had taken the bait
Walked through the narrow gate
Learned what to hate
Was certain of my eternal fate
I could spew the roman road, so proud so bold, part of the fold, believed what I was told
I’m in – you’re out – no doubt what I’m talking about
I know – I’m right – I’m the one walking in the light
You lose – I win – come on I’ll point out your sin
Prostituting every opportunity
Wanting to be the supermajority
Working to oppress homosexuality
Don’t forget about being offended by profanity
Let’s hang out in our Christian bubble
Let’s try to stay out of trouble
Don’t wander away from the holy huddle
Forget about conversation – debate for domination – practice your presentation – and talk about eternal damnation
Pick a verse to justify being chauvinistic,
Deny it when they say you are legalistic,
Preach a gospel that is individualistic,
Forget that it seems a little imperialistic.
Don’t question the authority, know what’s a priority, don’t worry about the minority, that’s our expository
The Christianization – the dehumanization.
The demonstration – the incorporation.
Made me start to question
What about the brotherly love – the justice that was spoken of –
the one we were in awe of – the mercy they talked of
Didn’t they get the memoranda that we were supposed to love with no agenda
Didn’t they notice the lack of transformation – the absence of civil conversation
Weren’t we supposed to be known by our fruits instead of our refutes
Weren’t we supposed to make the world a better place full of love and hope and grace
Where was the creativity – the spirit of generosity – the chance for serendipity –
Thank God I broke free
Cause it was almost enough to make me stop believing.