P / P Poetry: “Theme 4 Inglish” (Da B-Mix)

Written By: Slangston Hughes

Photo credit: Pen Station

I’ve written this before, and I’ll write it again: I don’t know much, but I hope to understand one or two things before my life is complete. One thing I hope I understand is poetry. I hope writers like the Baltimore based poet, Slangston Hughes finds solace in the fact that there are people who still connect with poetry and still support it for the sake of the art form. We at Publik / Private believe it is a necessary form of art and communication, so we’re pleased to share a piece from Hughes.  -je

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Slangston Hughes is a National Slam Champion based out of Baltimore, Maryland. He’s a decorated performer winning many competitions and awards across the country. Hughes also gives back to the community as the Director of Youth Poetry at Dew More Baltimore and lead coach of the world champion Baltimore City Youth Poetry Team. Slangston Hughes was the first ever Word War grand slam champion in 2008 (Baltimore) and the 2010 Baltimore Crown Awards “Poet of the Year” recipient. His work has been published in the Poets ‘ America anthology via the Kratz Creative Writing Center. Slangston published his first collaborative literary work “Writers’ Alchemy with prosaist Devlon E. Waddell as part of E.M.B.O.D.Y. In addition Slangston is the founder of Speak Out: Slammageddon. Slangston was also a member of the Slammageddon Baltimore slam team that won the 2016 National Poetry Slam.

The Baltimore release of his book, “Slanguage Arts & Griot Glimpses (Black Jesus Edition): Poems 2002 – 2017” will officially be released at Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse in Baltimore City on Saturday, May 13th. Support independent writers:

“Theme 4 Inglish”(Da B-Mix)

“I Gotta Write”

“I gotta write, I have to write, these lines are my life”

“Go home
and write a page tonight
and let that page come out of you
then, it will be true”

so this is me right?
this is me write

what you see is what you get
stand on stages and let therapeutic phrases operate like mirrors
facing the faces of the people
you think this is entertainment
and I’m just up here regurgitating
out my soul for kicks
and that what I spit is simply for snaps and oohs
pounds and cd sales

cause sometimes, sometimes
it’s hard to tell if their looking at the poet or the performer
the artist or the human
using pain like notes to music
and they say that the blues is the best way
to turn
hurt into harmony

so follow me, yea “follow me
into a solo that you can picture like a photo”
that I took of myself

the photographer captures such beautiful images of life
when reflecting light upon the energy of others
so I’m going turn towards the mirror and capture me
develop the film within my soul and place it on the opposite end of the glass

but if it’s the negative that gets developed and shown
does that mean that the positive and true origins of our nature never see the light of day?
is the artist ever viewed for who they truly are
before the people change them?

so I’m telling you to see me for who I am
saw the true me in the mirror and captured the moment
a soul frozen with sharp shards of emotion
stuck inside my spirit like pieces of poems
so that when I write it’s like I’m showing you my life
peep deep beneath the sloppy illegible ink and personalities

yea I’m Victor Frantz Rodgers the Second, son of the First
temper just like his
he always said “don’t procrastinate and don’t be like me
write something good son”
these are my “Hidden Chambers”
whose physical foundation no longer stands

Big Kitch rest in peace
209 Chambers street rest in peace

Transition

Transition like crucifixion
into what was written
book of my life and I’m just finishing
the chapters that he never started
author attempting to pen a better draft than my fathers
if he was here he’d say “Vic don’t procrastinate”

but I’ve been afraid to write this page
the last barrier of the name, baptized in mill smoke and flames

I use to let my pen imitate a gage, put it to my brain and fall face first off stage
and the crowd would be so frightened yet entertained
but failed to realize how I enjoyed the sheer poetry of the pain

like angels who fail from grace and for the first time could taste their own blood

and knew they were alive

beyond poetry in motion this is art in the flesh
my love and my stress
my worst at its best

and I’m searching

struggling to stay connected with myself
digging in old boxes of cassettes worn by time
the tapes tend to play backwards
and sometimes I just wish I could go backwards
like the words that play back-words
and return to a simpler time

we use to play stick ball in the yard and tackle football
on the concrete
rhyming around the table while somebody made a dope beat
I seem to keep flashing back

Yea I’m searching

searching for better reasons to write
these lines reflect life
and it’s like this page is my mirror at night
so I’m searching, I said I’m searching

trying to achieve higher purpose in these verses
but sometimes when you broke the lines and the grind appear worthless
so I’m searching not always certain if I’m on the write path

when they say how you feel and I say aight
99 percent of the time lord knows I’m lying
but I just keep rocking this mask
I’m searching

searching right

yea music is life and I love the mic
but where’s my wife?
I’m searching

revisiting old themes it seems memories that scream
are much louder than dreams that whisper
wishing I hadn’t missed as much time with my youngest sister

she cried like the Power Puff girls had died
and so did I that one time I left
tried to tell her with teary eyes
“Joy don’t worry I’ll be back soon aight”

and let’s just say if I was the sentimental type
I’d tell my sister Michelle how much her brother loves her
but even more importantly how much God loves her
because sometimes I’m not sure if she remembers

however our relationships a little deeper
than corny pretend hugs and kisses
I’d like to think that we just know
how much we mean to one another
been through the bliss as well as the hardships together
from priceless good memories and laugh attacks
to nearly frozen in the coldest of winters
ice cycles like splinters
shivered next to kerosene heaters beneath covers

and to my mother, my role model
if I could find a women with just half of what you possess
I’d be set for life

you are a warrior and I promise you with every breath of my life
that one day you won’t have to work so hard
I remember how my friends spent more time at our house
then their own
cause it just felt like home

and I use to be happy then

sometimes I wish I could find a way back
and I’m still searching trying to find my way in life

trying to find a point to college
trying to find a way to “be free” as an artist
free from money, flesh, and the planet itself
free from myself
God I’m searching

I want to find Jesus

not who he is or what he looks like, like I mean find Jesus
no I really want to find Jesus, find Jesus, I want to find Jesus
I mean I actually want to find Jesus
No you don’t understand
I need to find that nigga

walking through the projects gripping a tech that shoots life
re-writing dead scrolls reviving pages
back to their original stasis
before Homo-Sapiens starting reshaping them and him into their own image

before we had thee audacity to touch with filthy hands gifts that weren’t ours to begin with
I actually want to find Jesus

wearing his real name standing on stage write next to me
delivering a message in the form of a poem to me like son
its going be okay

I want find Jes-us
I want to find Jes-us
I want to find Jes-us in us

I want to find him, I want to find him

sitting at my Aunt Teresa’s bed side
with arms made of miracles
hugging the osteoporosis away
and what the doctors and physicians in that hospital
never knew
is that God held the true prescription
so no Satan you shall not
shake this family’s faith!!!

and sometimes when I write it’s like I’m bugging
and all I can see is the imperfection of what I create
but hopefully I’ve been able to make just enough corrections
to set a good example for my cousins
while David stays at the table drumming
and Daniel got those rhymes and poetic lines ready
said I inspired him to start writing poetry
but if only he knew how much his writing has inspired me

pray I live long enough to over-stand the wisdom
given in conversations with my grandmother
at least now I know that the lectures were a blessing

and when I die, when I die liquefy all my poems and music
and put them inside me in place of embalming fluid
before you burry me
and then maybe heaven
won’t even be necessary

cause no matter how hard I tried
I still couldn’t find peace of mind
so I took a piece of my mind
and put a piece on these lines
so maybe if I piece together enough pieces
of my minds pieces
on these lines
through the pieces
of my mind that I pieced on these lines
I might be able to find a piece of my mind on these lines
and achieve peace of mind
in these lines
that I give to you

“Go home
and write a page tonight
and let that page come out of you
then, it will be true”

“because I gotta write, I have to write, these lines are my life”

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