What an incredible week...as I sit here listening to my girl Iris Leu live at Borders Books. Her voice is so pure that anyone would become simply inspired by her smooth lyrics as she makes love to the piano keys. (You did great today Iris)!
This week holds such a creative imprint on my soul. I felt as if my week started on Thursday night when I was a featured poet at the South Dallas Cultural Center (SDCC) then continued on Friday night when I heard one of the toughest bands perform in Dallas called Melody Memory who played the jump off from the Roots, "The Next Movement" one of my favorite hip hop tracks to get hype...continuing on to Saturday at MINC night club where ArtLoveMagic brought it with live artists, painters, creating magic in the space and the spoken word jam with the poets then ending on a high note on Sunday listening to renowned artist Carolyn Mazloomi talk to just a handful of us about the ups and downs with publishing and all her knowledge on the subject! Whew!
So as I sit here concluding my day listening to Iris Leu I reflected on Thursday night. I was blessed to be a featured poet at SDCC for Women's History Month! This place is truly a jewel in the community and my second home. When you walk in the building you feel like you've been transported to cities like NYC, Philly, DC, LA and even Johannesburg, SA with the cultural flavor! But no it's right here in Dallas! They spread cultural experiences through the arts and pay attention to African American heritage to uplift the people.
As the Black Box theater echoed the sounds of Jill Scott's Crown Royal song all those who had an intense work week suddenly fell into another dimension called the world of poetry! The red and purple lights soothed me as I was immediately put into the zone.
I was so humbled to have a few friends come out and support me (thanks to all of you)! A couple even blessed the mic! As the evening went on I was amazed by the young men who came from the Catrell House facility that blessed the mic and shared their stories of both their good and bad journeys. Catrell House is housed in Dallas and serves as a place for teen boys who have been locked up, detention, and basically sent to the system. The staff believe in exposing their young men to the arts and other venues to teach them that they can have creative outlets.
The moment finally came when I was introduced. I already felt inspired by all the poets before me and was energized. It was hard picking out which five pieces to do. I did Divine Mold first as I told the audience I wrote this piece a year ago when I was upset that a brother that I was digging not only wasn't digging me...but was feeling my friend. Oh no! So after I wrote an angry/depressing poem I went to bed that night. At 6:30am on Sunday morning I woke up and wrote Divine Mold. I knew God had someone in store for me after writing this piece...
I then went into my newest piece titled, "His Voice." I first posted this on FB a couple of weeks ago. This piece is dedicated to my true men...the troopers. This is my first piece about how much I love a true and worthy man! I've learned over time that not every man ladies and gentlemen are cut from the same piece of cloth. This piece also depicts the man that God will bless me with one day...
Okay breathe....as I'm going off on this keyboard so full of excitement about the week...okay second half.
So the second half of the open mic was full of more great poets and I felt the electricity in the air! I had to gear up as I now had to do three pieces of poetry. The next piece pulled heart strings as I knew it would titled, "Da Flip." It's about a young teenage mother and her young grandmother (35 to be exact) and how life can turn in another direction when our babies aren't careful. Beautiful and brilliant young girl...who made a choice that she now has to live with forever. We all get CAUGHT UP, but some of us don't get caught as this young lady did. Her son is turning three this year and she's going to college next year as she's learned a valuable lesson in life.
Tears formed in my eyes but I couldn't cry...I still had two more pieces. I think poets should have what I call, "Interludes" heck musicians have em why not us ;-) so Reconstruction is my poetic interlude. It helps shift direction as I talk about how people have to be put back together as they either fell or were taken a part. Once we are reconstructed we are stronger than ever! Once the shift occurred I was able to end the night with Nubian Woman (one of my favorites and a signature piece). I told the audience that once God reconstructed me I was now a Strong Nubian Woman!
I know this blog is long but folks back home asked me to recreate what they naturally missed and I was so hype over this week and Thursday that I had to obey the command.
So the night ended with me feeling refocused and re-energized! I knew I had to get my poetry into a book and out into the universe soon! But what I heard when it was over I wasn't prepared for...
A couple of young men approached me. One in particular. He said, "Ms. Serena I want to thank you for that piece Da Flip. I'm 16 and have 3 children and I promise that I will be a father to them."
I wish the young lady I talked about could hear him as a couple of others thanked me for that piece and "His Voice". You never know who you're touching and affecting until it hits you. He shook my hand and I only pray that when this young man is released in three weeks that he will be a productive citizen and a father to his children.
I was grateful to have sold three framed poems that night as my friend Damion asked me for my autograph on the poem itself. So as I took the piece out of the frame a sista walked up to me and asked to buy two frames and, "Yes I want you to sign them too."
Ahhhhhh, thank you for making a sista feel good y'all! Trust me people I will never let my head get big. I just want to do what God blessed me with and pursue my love and passion of writing! Thanks to all the supporters and the South Dallas Cultural Center (Vicki, Harold and Tisha) for having me that night.
Be inspired, open your eyes and mind to all that life has to offer...peace!