I had plans this evening to see my friend perform at a poetry slam. Fun right? I love listening to other peoples’ poetry,
We wound up being early for the slam and just on time for the pre-slam work shop. Yeah.
So suddenly, I went from quiet observing mode to having to run around saying what I had for breakfast in different tones of voice to saying random lines like “how could you lie to me” to the complete stranger in front of me in order to feel different ranges of expression.
My comfort zone? Oh yeah apparently that stopped mattering.
Then we had to do a “free-write” which I approximated to the poetry way of saying stream of consciousness.
Predictably, my semi-poem ended up being sad. As all the poems I write tend to be. Which is why I don’t write poems.
As I was writing this I thought, I hope we don’t have to share this poem with anyone. It’s so personal. Then my rational side was like “no of course they won’t make you share this super personal poem with anyone.” WELL GUESS WHAT GUYS? Most poets aren’t rational, they’re all feel-y and artsy and expressive. So suddenly I was sitting knee to knee with a guy I didn’t know about to read a raw and unedited piece of semi-poetry about my deep dark feelings.
I was shaking. Like physically knees shaking so that I had to use all my mental energy to sit still. My heart felt like it was all the way up in my throat and my mouth was as dry as a desert.
And I read it. And I had tears well up in my eyes because it was so scary. And you know what happened? He listened to my poem. Then he read his own. And then we continued on with the exercise.
I DIDN’T DIE!
So now I feel kind of empowered. Because I expressed my feelings and came out of it okay.
Background note: The last person I opened up to basically took my heart and threw it out of the CN tower.
So naturally, sharing any sort of feeling that’s not happiness or anger is one of the most frightening things I can think of.
But now I’m seriously considering getting into spoken word. Because here’s the thing… Strangers don’t have the power to hurt me like that. If I get up on a stage and share my pain with them the worst thing they can do is not snap as much for me as the person who performed before me.
I’m feeling kind of empowered, liberated etc. And I like it.