Rambles about parallels between Facebook and poetry slams

I believe we, poets and social media gurus should be seeking to change thinking.

There are severely radicalized dude bros finding their mouths in the fist bump of this colonial white patriarchy. They are growing aggressive and we are sitting on our facebooks being praised for recognizing it. I am deeply opposed to negativity being celebrated as activism and profound insight. If you are “woke” you are not automatically a saint. Even if you have intersections that aren’t white-cis-man you are not automatically a saint.

A movement that is powerful is founded on inspiration, compassion and a drive for growth. There is no power in listing problems and never fighting for a solution. That is entitlement, not activism. To be an activist, write articles, letters, march and speak out to those who do not understand the problem. Go into the world and make change. Write to your MP every day. Shut down a racist or sexist comment when you hear it and don’t expect a gold star. Don’t just feed the same angels that have fed you. There is no activism in an echo chamber, only entitlement and praise from those looking for the same thing back. Rise against, up and fight- but not to be seen and validated.

That being said, having a common ideology and sharing that with people like you is not bad. It is even good and can make you feel great. There is awesome energy in it. Especially when most other people aim to oppress, hurt or demean you. I love Facebooking my thoughts and loved slamming, there is huge inner strength that comes out of the validation. Take that inner strength out of the safe zone. Even in small ways. The more power you have, the more risk you can afford to take.

My problem with poetry slams and Facebook is that it gives you a gold medal for being loud and yet, silent. Keep being bold when you step out of the micro cosmos. Be humble even though you know all the right things.

UBC SLAM

Ever since coming to UBC I wanted to come and check out the slams. It’s been pretty cool to check out a new popsicle stand as the kids say. I’ve done it twice now I think and would love to get involved a bit deeper if I can.

Also one of these times includes my first 1st place, in anything ever, including a slam. Which was indeed very very wild. So far I’ve performed, the to-do-list, the omnipresent blank ghost, the news and something else new which I dropped.

I’m already making some new poetry pals at UBC, and am excited for poetic times while eating Dendy’s Bagels and making sweet iambic pentameter joke and getting moody together, because what else do poets even do?

Really ready for this year to bring some not only more Australian 5 dollar bills and tampons but also some good poet gangs to hang out with and get all kinds of miserably existential in one moment and the next be total clowns. Also want some clowns to hangout with.

ubc-slam

 

Gleneagle All Star Slam

SLAM. POETRY. SLAM. FUN. EXPRESSION. CREATIVITY. HIGH SCHOOL. Wait? Did you just say high school?

Indeed I did oh silly blog readers. A couple weeks ago, (sorry for the belated blog post) I was performing at The Gleneagle All Star Slam Night. Which as you guests talented blog readers, is situated inside Gleneagle Secondary which right again- is a high school.

Skeptical at first I was proven wrong- high schools can indeed foster growth and community. Black table cloths, round tables, coffee, lights, a stage and four of us poets split the stage in quarters spewing poems for teenagers that were accepting, kind and full of praise.

I was so well received I even felt the urge to try out some of my stand up lines I’ve been keeping in an invisible ink notebook in the back of my metaphorical closet. And the event was so great I wonder if these people even go to a high school.

We had three rounds of poetry each three minutes long I did my three favourite pieces (at the time) Strands, Harvest Moon and 100%.  And I got to listen to my fellow poets, Coral, Andrew and Everett share their own works.

Afterwords I actually made some $$$ selling my little poetry books.

Now, I think we will be doing a little high school touring session as my next fun thing. Starting at Andrew’s old high school and going to mine- “poetry, did you say basketball?”

Writing Our Dreams: The Finale

DSC_0017.jpg

I was delighted to have been invited to work with this year’s Writer in Residence, Sally Stubbs. I helped her in the creation of Writing Our Dreams a series of workshops followed by a finale of prose, plays and poetry at our local performance hall.

It was a great opportunity for me to understand to a fuller extent the complexities of being a writer and the importance of creating, thinking, exploring and well submerging into the dream realm of things.

I was her little assistant if you will or tall assistant if you shall lie to yourself. I helped out with the youth workshops mostly, but also assisted with other things like designing posters/programs and piecing the finale together.

The workshops were an enjoyable experience. We had a team of 10 youth to work with and I hope it was a meaningful experience for all of them. They were all such good writers ahhhhh! How do you even lead a workshop when they are already so talented? On another note why does Arnold Schwarzenegger have a trainer?

Because we can keep growing! All of us. I slid into the learning seat as I slid into the teaching seat with these workshops, it was interesting to interview my knowledge of poetry with Sally’s play writing. Did I mention I am in sheer admiration of her?

There were three workshop sessions in preparation for the finale. We went through the importance of character-an attribute I often neglect because I focus too much on theme, the allowance of expression without judgement and how to limit exposition in every form of writing.

Together, the youth came up with powerful new works with strong characters. Art is a work in progress and in our finale we saw the art progress:

Many bodies came out of their way to see a core group of each of the workshops (which included not only youth but also seniors and children with their parents) and many bodies were impressed with the quality of the creation of these flourishing writers.

Writing is not something that was taught in this series but rather uncovered. Uncover the inner truths then the inner dreams might take you somewhere else if you let them.

 

Time keeps on slipping slipping…

Into the future!

 

Fly like an eagle- that’s all I want to do Steve Miller Band. I can’t believe 2015 is almost over. I can’t believe everything is almost over. I can’t believe it! As in I really do believe someone, cough- the puppet master of the universe- cough, has hit the acceleration button on my life. Beep. Beep.

But seriously. That puppet master is in its revival. Once I said goodbye to my iPhone 3 I was replaced with Robot 5s. Thankfully with my new robot things are moving faster, so I can catch up to life. Right?

Ha. You are wrong silly blog reader that has rhetorical questions answered for them. Ha. Silly.

But seriously. Yesterday I texted the bus stop number instead of walking across the street. Then I almost cried because I had to move from Bus Stop A to Bus Stop B.  And I run marathons. What happened to the good old days, the golden age of looking at the paper that says the bus times underneath?

Back in the old in days, people had firmer leg muscles.

Having a Robot 5 comes with great responsibility. I am in charge of the look up of the menu of the restaurant, because god forbid my friends or family don’t know what is the special before they walk in. God forbid a human tells me the special instead of my portable robot.

Back in the old in days, people had stronger vocal chords.

On that not my portable fifth generation robot also beeps reminding me to buy milk and twice as many eggs.

When can I just be a robot? Time doesn’t exist for robots because they are so fast.

Back in the old in days, people were good at under eating.

And if time is moving so quickly doesn’t that mean that what we want to do in our lifetime is enhancing and becoming more complex or meaningful- or is it just destroying every entity that is capable of happiness and making humanity crumble?

Back in the old in days, people didn’t have to think about purpose.

But I guess now we don’t need to either. We have robots to think about life’s purpose for us.

I asked Siri the meaning of life the other day and she redirected me to Steve Miller Band.

THERE IS NO WAY OUT.