The Knowledge Degree, A Poem

Spoken word can be so liberating. It is almost as if the poet is throwing a pretty fit with rhymes, and alliteration and sprinkles of metaphors and imagery that keeps you hanging on until their very last period.

It is an art form that must be practiced. A true performance of emotion within a poetic structure that demands attention from its listeners.

Here is a poem I wrote that is inspired by Zora Howard and her poem Bi-racial Hair. 

The Knowledge Degree

This day in age,

you need a college degree to do anything.

A skinny sheet of paper

equipped with a scribbled signature

of someone who is a little more knowledgable than you

(who probably attended the same college as you).

Proof that you endured a structured system,

allowed yourself to be punctured by them,

poked and provoked by them.

The old you, murdered, resurrected, and molded by men

who trapped you at the age of five

and told you that the world has one divide

between black and white.

No vision of religion.

Folding your hands

in front of your face at the lunch table

was a disgrace. So you dissed grace

and God became a name

you were no longer allowed to say.

But the teacher makes you stand!

and pledge your allegiance.

Place your hand over a heart you don’t understand

because since you pledged to America

you are part of a united State

and no more your own man.

Instead, you are a student.

You will disover only what is uncovered.

Dig for the truth,

it will take tears to recover.

Red blood is first blue,

Old is first new,

and most times,

we don’t feel the pain until we see the bruise.

Let us open our eyes

and truly Unite!

Break out of these chained-brains

that have been overrun and overwashed.

Reclaim this blood in our veins and

Fight!

for the slaves of our day.

I have gone to school

and followed rule after rule.

I’ve memorized the lives

of Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King.

Tell me ONE thing,

who eXed out Malcolm

from my favorite, sacred texts?

Don’t tell me about the American eagle

but leave out the Falcon.

Honestly, what else happened?

Oh, that takes graduation and further documentation?

Lord, give me patience-

and money to make another payment

to a government who uses my currency

for their own entertainment,

when all I want

is a fair, complete education.

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SILENT P-OWE-IT Twitter as a Virtual Diary: Tweet-Keep Your Secrets

technobiography is what it sounds like no matter how new media scholars try to decorate it. It is technology and biography combined. Technology helps piece together our life record or autobiography through social media.

Teens are no longer hiding leather-bound journals with silver locks and keys under their mattresses anymore. There are no more secrets. Kids are snitching on themselves in social media. Posting pics of their #WCW, or Women-crush Wednesdays and #TBT, or throwback thursdays. There is no more shame in having a crush or who kissed who last Thursday.

You can’t be private on Facebook. At least, you can’t expect to be private and have friends. But what if we could post our deepest, darkest secret on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – or all three – and still be sure that our secret is still just that – a secret?

Diary, secrets, poetry

My Virtual Diary – Not Private! Read Me!

Poetry allows us to do so. What rekindled my interest in poetry is the ability to express what is in the caves of your own heart with full vulnerability without being eaten up by your own frailty. People will read what you have written of course. But if the poetry is powerful enough, it will transcend into their own lives. In turn, they will reflect on their own lives instead of yours.

Let’s start with sharing our secrets on Twitter. Oh, don’t be scared.

HOW TO TWEET-KEEP YOUR SECRETS:

1. Haikus

Haikus or short 3-lined, syllable-structured poems are a good starting point. The 140-character limit is tedious for any writer, but will help you in the revision and editing process in the long run!

2. Be Specific

Don’t worry about the details being too revealing. Add color, noise, sound, emotion! These elements do make your poem more true, which only helps the reader relate more.

3. Rhyming

Not always necessary, but gives rhythm to your words. If your poem is of high-quality, your followers will probably think you tweeted the lyrics to some hot song they haven’t heard yet.

4. Pictures

Tagging pictures to your “tweet poems” will enhance connection with the reader. Don’t forget, we do live in a visual world.

5. Freedom of Speech – Know Your Rights

If you have some gory confessions (which some of us might), don’t be afraid to watch your language. But I challenge you to show your confessions using language tricks like metaphors and puns. How can you make the reader think about what you are trying to say?

For example, let’s say I cheated on a test and I want to twitter vent about it. But I can’t broadcast that on social media, so here is a sample tweet:

Look left, silence.
look right, silence.
Look down, write with violence.
Scribble once, Scribble twice.
I know the answer is right.
The tweet has rhyming and word play. At a glance, the reader is unable to tell that I cheated on my test earlier that day.
Poetry can free us from forfeiting our privacy online. We will be more creative in our communication and our technobiography will be much more than typical “selfies” and mundane “What I’m doing now” updates.