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Joint Slam

February 4, 2011

Our ensemble was separated into groups of two and told to write a slam together on differing perspectives. My partner in this assignment is Catherine Mounger — a talented poet! Enjoy!:

ME: Look at me — hear me — I’ve got a voice:
A piece of mind to share — toss in among the noise from the back and
forth pattern of American girls and boys.
I just wish sound traveled as fast as the snap judgments you make when
I make my way through the hallway in the shoes I’ve worn for a decade.
My jeans torn and frayed from years of hard play and not giving two
cents to the cash I’d have to pay for
Another pair of jeans.

CATHERINE: I just need another pair of jeans for this interview–
a few late night shifts, and I’ll be through
to my dream school–Princeton–
or at least in the pool
of students Giving it all
to get there.  Here in America,
I’ve got a chance.
we’ve all got a chance,
You just gotta want it bad enough.

ME: Enough of your promises of equal opportunity —
Enough of these hollow dreams you’ve let me dream —
‘Cause my dreams are vivid, my dreams are bright —
But you’ve summed me up — drained me dry
You know who I am and haven’t looked in my eyes
You haven’t walked in my shoes — Hell they wouldn’t fit you
You’ve got everything to give, I’ve got nothing to lose.

CATHERINE: I’ve got nothing to lose by trying
when they say, “You won’t get in”, they’re lying.
You with the torn jeans,
You think I haven’t seen
you, but I know. Your dreams are dying
You gave up, you gave in,
had one nightmare and woke up crying!
They say winners never quit
and quitters never win
cause quitters don’t have grit, go, and drive.
I sacrificed to get this life…
These jeans cost a meal,
yes that’s for real.
You think I’ve got it made?
I worked everyday after school for my grades,
joined choir, school plays, and God knows I prayed.

ME: God knows I prayed — but he put my words on hold —
Kept me waiting longer than a corporate telephone —
So long that I wondered  if the man was even home —
I couldn’t wait for him, and I found new ways to be alone
Man, I can slam, I can jam — get me a guitar and a mic stand,
and the music I make and the words that I say will lift you up higher
than the botox in your face —
my mind’s moving at the speed of light — still not fast enough to get
past the picture you’ve made of who I am and what I stand for
My paycheck’s a price tag — I’m worth nothing more.

CATHERINE: I’m worth nothing more, people say to me–
but damn that
my skin is not my testimony.
I’m worth more than jobs that paid
me minimum wage
Through one little page
I wrote my thoughts
and now, I got my chance
I’ll break the cage
that’s caught the rest of my race.

ME: The rest of my race has succumbed to the pace of their success.
Slower than molasses rolling down a frigid can of waste
And I can try — yeah! I’ll try, to prove myself here,
I pick myself up, say fuck off to my tears
But Overcoming the unbearable weight of your fears
Is too much to handle — my glass may be clear —
I can see to the other side
I see past the bullshit that riddles your mind
But my glass is half empty, screw that, it’s two thirds.
Life’s punched me in the stomach, I got no breath and my vision’s blurred
And I feel like any hope I could come up with is absurd
compared to the weight and the hate and the hollow heat of your words
That soak every corner of the land of the Free —
What does Freedom mean? Freedom from acceptance? Freedom from love?
It’s been 19 years and I can finally see
Your definition, and the result? No one’s ever loved me

CATHERINE: See no one’s ever loved me,
no one’s ever tucked me into bed at night,
or hugged me tight before school in the morning.
But I’ve made it on my own
through all my parent’s fights
and the sight of my mom
screaming through the alcohol.
I know I’m not alone.
I am loved by God.
That’s all I’ve ever really known
No matter how hard things became,
I know we’ve all got a chance to be something
cause we were created by someone.

ME: I was created by someone who kicked me out
turned their back to my face and a deaf ear to my shouts
My passion didn’t matter then, and I highly doubt
that they give a shit about me now.
They brought me into their world — and then kicked me right back out
They didn’t love me and they didn’t care
So I quit. I’m done. Hear that, America? That’s my two cents to spare.

CATHERINE: They didn’t love me and they didn’t care
But I won’t quit. I’m not done. Hear that, America? Guess my story’s rare.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 3, 2011 8:48 am

    yeah nice

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