Happy Creativity Thursday!
Here’s a lovely poem that shares the moment I lost my poetry virginity in the 1990s! Enjoy!
When I Lost My Virginity as a Poet from That Which Awakens Me
Before Busboys and Poets arrived on the scene, spoken word poets congregated at Soul Brothers Pizza on the corner of 14th and U in the early 1990s.
Two Morehouse brothas opened it up and kept it going for a few years.
Soul Brothers Pizza is where I lost my virginity as a poet.
It happened one night when my friend Kwame was hosting an event.
He had just helped me publish my first chapbook of poetry.
WPFW 89.3 radio host Grace Cavalieri had recently interviewed me on her show, “The Poet and the Poem.”
Despite these accomplishments, I was nervous.
I had never read my work in a public venue before.
As soon as Kwame introduced me, I could feel my hands trembling.
By the time I reached the makeshift stage, my mind was playing tricks on me.
My five senses soaked up the scene.
The second hand smoke made my eyes itch.
Conversations at nearby tables overwhelmed me.
I stood looking into the small crowd and wondered if they would even listen to anything I had to say.
Just when I thought I was going to sit down, words tumbled out of my mouth.
They were rushed.
Some folks stared at me for a nanosecond before returning back to their conversations.
The volume of table banter increased.
Kwame asked the audience to quiet down.
A few moments of silence emerged.
I closed my eyes.
That’s when I offered a few lines of my poetry.
After I uttered the last word, I opened my eyes and stared into a sea of blank faces.
I wondered if they understood my poem’s meaning.
Maybe it was too deep
Or maybe they just wanted to keep talking and eating.