i know, i'm late again. i haven't been inspired towards a particular topic today, and i didn't have the time last night. got some laundry done, though! *sitcom applause track plays* big weekend coming up. ooh- wait! i got something. (ain't that amazing, i actually started to just leave a message along the lines of, i'll holla back at you, like how the hostess and beloved do sometimes, and now here i am about to actually write about something.)
criticism. i like the concept of good constructive criticism. it can be a very good thing. i thought about this as i was remembering how last night, a friend gave me a dvd that recorded me on
good constructive criticism
i was introduced by one of the coolest poet friends i have - the one i did the collaborative piece with. my friends made a lot of noise for me - so much so that i had to give them the "y'all are freaking me out a little bit" screwface, which made the audience laugh along with me. i noticed before it was my turn to spit that an earring was missing - i did the logical thing and broke the ice (and entertained the audience) by putting out an a.p.b. for my jewelry. i figured it was worth a shot. i had to deal with the peanut gallery (i love the front row!) asking what they'd receive for finding it. dag, couldn't gratitude be enough? a sista suggested offering a hug as a reward, which i said i could deal with. (aha! yet another dangling preposition.) i told the audience that i had gifts for them, and then began to read my pieces.
the first gift, for women, is entitled snowflakes. it skims the surface of a lot of things we deal with. self image, societal pressures, jealousy, pride, community. men seem to like the piece
i'm trying to give you
the best of my spirit
i looked at myself. i tried to look at me as if i wasn't myself. as if the girl on stage was some other person, completely separate from the girl on the couch watching - as if i only knew her by stage name and face. i saw a young lady, clutching a tattered black and white marble composition book, wearing tight jeans and some flowing interesting looking brown shirt thingie and a round
i wanted to hear her
tell the story
the next piece i read was dear to my heart. i was minding my own business (when does anyone ever NOT mind their own business in a story) and the words started happening in my head, and i had to get paper and a pencil to write it down. i remember the emotion i felt when i wrote it. i
a joy to write and express
my last poem surprised even me. i hadn't planned on reading it. another poet wrote a piece, "i want to be assassinated," which describes his desire to be, as they say, out for his people. he encouraged others to write their own versions and riff off of him. i had no intention of doing so,
i wasn't expecting
that amount of power
to come out of me
and to critique. 'cause i know what i want to improve on from watching myself. criticism is good. i timidly but sincerely volunteered some constructive feedback to another poet last night, and was surprised by how grateful he was to have someone say something other than, "yeah, that was tight," or "yeah, i liked it." critique can help you grow.
and growth is the goal, right?
a postscript: a sista did find my earring. and i did give her a hug.