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
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.