I got this book and Anis Mojgani’s “Over the Anvil We Stretch” for Christmas last year, finished it in a week and only blog about it now. Not cool.
I still read both books when I am bored of whatever other book I was reading, Like with Pramoedya’s books there would be chapters about government and it could be quite a drag at times, and that would be when I pick up one of these two books. Also when I was reading Soe Hok Gie, which was funny because I noticed Soe Hok Gie too was a slampoet, listen to this and read this. How cool is that? Come to think of it, the poem in Ada Apa Dengan Cinta the film was definitely a spokenword poem, no doubt about it.
One of the reasons why I enjoy slampoetry as much as I do is because it comes with less drama but is still captivating. A mother could be reciting a spokenword poem when she’s reading a bedtime story for her child. It’s just like a lower note of classic poetry, more relax and laid back. In my opinion it really is simply a soliloquy, a monologue but what sets slampoetry apart from being just a monologue or a soliloquy is : the attitude.
For The People At Bookstore Readings Who Keep Asking Me Why I Still Slam Now That I Have ‘Real Books’ Out
(Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz)
Because the microphone slouches like a bad boy
whose neck I want to choke.
Because sometimes the poems punches its way
off my tounge, and other times it needs to be
dragged out by my ribcage by its hair.
Because I have said things in front
of a roomful of strangers that I would never
say to my own mother and for good reason.
Because I have heard poets say things
in front of a roomful of strangers that made me
pulse, made me sweat, made me want to push
further, risk everything, be that beautiful.
Because sometimes I have felt that beautiful.
Because sometimes I have felt ugly too
and it was okay.
Because I still have stories to tell.
Because I have had my heart broken.
Because I have had my heart broken and survived.
Because I have had my heart broken, survived
and someone told me the poem I wrote about it sucked.
Because I survived that too.
Because the bear hugs, because the uh-huhs
because of the venomous looks people give
to the guy whose cellphone starts ringing
Fuck you, Ashole! Can’t you see
we are listening to poetry here!
Because people are listening to poetry here.
Because there is poetry here, every cracked voice
every stutter, every stumble is poetry. Every
shaky piece of paper held by shaky hands,
every nervous laugh, every awkward pause : poetry
Every braided head, every untied shoelace,
every spilled beer, every Yo, this is first time I’m doing this,
every Man, it’s been a minute,it feels good to be back,
every time the poetsays, this is some new shit
and peoplein the audience lean forward like a dare,
like they are looking for a light,
And the poet’s flint be sparkling.
Because some nights I didn’t feel like it
and it seemed like those were the nights
i needed it the most.
Because I’ve won, and it didn’t make me
more of a poet
Because I’ve lost, and it didn’t make me
less of a poet.
Because I’ve cheered until my throat ran raw,
laughed and cried and fell on the damn floor
like fool, for poetry.
Because I am fool for the poetry.
Because of the poetry
Because this is poetry.