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America?

January 23, 2011

In college, there is no time — and this quarter, Winter quarter, there has been less time than ever! Something that has been taking up a lot of my time has been the Devised Spoken Word Trilogy of which I am a part. The Spoken Word Trilogy is a part of the Regina Taylor Project: The State(s) of America. Myself and three other people in my ensemble gather for 4 hours a day 4 days a week to write and discuss America with the ultimate goal of creating three 10 minute spoken word pieces to perform at the end of the quarter. During these meetings, we write … A LOT. I have a journal that I’ve kept at these rehearsals, and I have more written material than I have ever had … and I LOVE it.

So, in an effort to keep up my blog even with my significantly decreasing amount of spare time, I’m going to post a daily piece that I’ve written at rehearsal — and the title of the blog post will be the title of the piece or the writing prompt we were given. The blog may or may not assume an extremely politically charged vibe, but hey, who ever said that was a bad thing?

Enjoy!:

America, can you hear me?
America, I’m screaming across the seas, can you hear me?
America, I’m pounding on the doors of every inner city family in the states — climbing the gates of every upper class family in this place, can you hear me?
Can you feel my beating heart, America? This beat that greets each pair of feet as they make their way through the piss stained streets to meet their ultimate fate with a plastic smile and handshake covering their rage like melting crayons in a cardboard box — can you hear me, America?
America, I’m screaming from the top of my mind and the bottom of my soul —
Where’d my independence go?
I’m screaming for you like it’s everything I know and I have nothing left to show but my calloused hands and my ragged, drawn-out lungs.
America, I’m trying to sing the songs that have yet to be sung.
I’m pulling people up the social ladder on the bottom rung
But the steps are too creaky and the people’s faucets are leaking and they’re moving their mouths but you can’t hear them speaking.
I’m speaking for them, America! Dammit, I’m shrieking!
I haven’t forgotten them yet — it’s for them my heart is beating!
Remember me, America? Remember my name?
My hands may be empty, but my soul’s still the same.
We entered like brothers but somewhere you changed and I forfeit the game of placing blame —
That gives us nothing — just more of the same.
Remember my drive, my will and my spine?
Remember the years we both spent intertwined on a bed of shared values we created together?
And the world we promised each other we’d make better?
I’ll never forget you and I won’t forget them,
and I’ll keep yelling and singing and ringing until then.
I’m here on your doorstep, I’m ringing your bell.
Freedom’s ringing, America, and I miss you like hell.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. rosh permalink
    January 23, 2011 8:26 pm

    why are you the most brilliant, talented, incredible person i know?

  2. Gus permalink
    January 23, 2011 9:09 pm

    Gus loves freedom, too. And grammar…

  3. Kirk permalink
    January 23, 2011 10:08 pm

    beautiful. a rebirth.

  4. Sibila permalink
    January 23, 2011 11:03 pm

    I like it very much ! Great!

  5. January 24, 2011 11:31 am

    That was absolutely wonderful. Sort of like a Carl Sandburg rocking a poetry slam! Bravo!

  6. January 31, 2011 4:39 pm

    “This beat that greets each pair of feet as they make their way through the piss stained streets…” — LOVE it!

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