Read Poem: Black Person, Should I Be More Like You?, by Sway Writes

Cookie cutter black person
What does it mean to be like you?
What do I need to do?
How do I say what I need to say to sound more like you?
“Be more black, act your race” is what they all say
What does that even mean?!
I refuse to be a cookie cutter example of you
Why can’t I be me and do what I do
So what I like to listen to rock and pop and maybe a little alternative too
Is that deemed white music by you?
I like to listen to rap as well
Am I finally acceptable to you?
I love my black people and I love my brown skin
But I refuse to be put in a box
Because you’re satisfied enough to live in it.

Read Poem: Conscious Monster, by LayeDaWriter

Oh, well there friend

Why won’t you tell one, where you’ve been

I mean you don’t have to say, because of course I know

That there, is a secret I’d never show

Remember, I told you once you gave up your mind it was over

In the back of your head, cruising, you as my chauffeur

Want me gone, yet the fun has only begun

You gave a part of yourself and wasn’t thinking of a refund

Now, where do we go from here you ask

Take a sip from that flask

Close your eyes, this may get bumpy

The next morning you may be a little grumpy

All the while, I sit back and watch you squirm

But due to your lack of awareness my grip became firm

More control I receive, as you fight Throw in the towel, exert no more might

The battle you urge to win, you lack the most essential tool

This battle resulting in a loss playing you as a fool

Yes I am the master and you come to me for the ultimate decision

One bad choice, and I eat at you slow with precision

Without me, you run through the world as a mad man

Bit and pieces of what you see create me, yes I stan

Once upon a time, you had the power to shift me in your own way

Yet you chose to let society devour you, creating more of me day by day

With you forced to be my driver, helping me collect more

I’ll get the things I need to help reach deeper into your core

-LayeDaWriter

Read Poem: UNDERSTAND ME, by by Natie Jay Tembe

I am not a usual thing; I am not the standard spirited young adult, still brimming with teenage angst and aged wisdom passed down from the withered hand that put me too sleep many years ago. I am not the oh-so-common, die-in-your-mid-twenties young adult that fought, screaming at their own reflection every day in both pain and fear… “Believe me!!! I’m trying.”

I am not either of these things, because I am both of these things.

I died 8 years ago, aged 15 when my best friend told me she was tired of how much I loved her. I died 7 years ago when my mother left my father because he was a sad shell of a man that raised us on the back of the broken principles that shattered him. I died, 4 years ago when I realised my dreams were just that.

I died yesterday when I woke up and felt like breathing was a chore and living was a privilege I never intended to receive.

Every night I attend my own funeral, and every morning I open my eyes to a miracle. At night I close my door, lock it twice; slip off my slippers and slither into my bed. As the uncomfortable comforter slowly covers my head, like the end of an open casket funeral, I lay there and picture how my life would have turned out if I were one or the either.

Songs carry me to my annoyingly not-eternal slumber. The voices of the Delta slip me into a blissful mental coma, and Bon Iver sings to me of moon water and creeks.

I share my headspace with unrelenting heartbreaks, and a constant fear of my own mortality. I fear the day I scream at my reflection, so I don’t try; I fear the day when the wisdom I have been carrying slips between my fingers like sand, granulated and eroded … so I don’t try.

I have screamed at stars all alone during winter nights and I have cursed angels during my twilight at twilight. My hands have laid down lines of lead and ink, and my heart has bled on paper of all colours; from standard white, all the way to rosy pink; my mind has regurgitated my reality in the form of words on blank pages so that you may catch a glimpse of the weird and wonderful world I exist in.

I have seen the darkness of man and the beauty of his heart.

Understand me! I am the vile and venerous vilification of my history and the hauntingly splendid exoneration of my history. I am no usual thing; I am both alive and dead. I die a million times within a day, but I was only alive once… way back when.

Believe me… I’m trying

Read Poem: Genere is Friendship, by Mallika Kumar

Dedicated to my friend Raghuvendra

Sweet memories, that will always shine,
Shimmering of them will do remind
Of Someone who is very special.
To some he’s a chattering box…
For some a pain in the neck.
This is what others perceive him as;
Who fail to see a beautiful mind,
a caring heart and a sensitive soul.
Who is always there to console.
An elf for sure, for a little talk, would bring back your smile.
Worries would sublime….and you will feel light…
Hold him tight or he will fly..to someone who needs his Elfy delight, to bring light in others life.

https://ecofamily.food.blog/

Watch the AUGUST 2019 Poetry Readings

All performed by Kat Smiley

POETRY Reading: Almost Homeless, by Perry Terrell

POETRY Reading: The Old Man and the Tree, by Andrew Smith

POETRY Reading: THE DEVIL’S CLUTCH, by Kevin Parish

POETRY Reading: End, by Christine Bolton

POETRY Reading: Bully, by Travaughn

POETRY Reading: Bully, by Travaughn

Performed by Kat Smiley

Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Festival Moderators: Matthew Toffolo, Rachel Elder

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Ryan Haines, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Ryan Haines, Temitope Akinterinwa, Efren Zapata, Zack Arch

POETRY Reading: End, by Christine Bolton

Performed by Kat Smiley

Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Festival Moderators: Matthew Toffolo, Rachel Elder

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Ryan Haines, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Ryan Haines, Temitope Akinterinwa, Efren Zapata, Zack Arch

POETRY Reading: THE DEVIL’S CLUTCH, by Kevin Parish

Performed by Kat Smiley

Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Festival Moderators: Matthew Toffolo, Rachel Elder

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Ryan Haines, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Ryan Haines, Temitope Akinterinwa, Efren Zapata, Zack Arch

POETRY Reading: The Old Man and the Tree, by Andrew Smith

Peformed by Kat Smiley

Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Festival Moderators: Matthew Toffolo, Rachel Elder

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Ryan Haines, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Ryan Haines, Temitope Akinterinwa, Efren Zapata, Zack Arch