Slider 1

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Spoken Word as a Practice of Self Care

Sometimes writing can be a form of stress relief for people. It can have physical and emotional benefits. I went around and asked a couple of students to share some of the things they have written and why they write. These are their stories.

This first piece is by Egypt Howard a staff member on campus:

I'm black
I come from ancient kings and Queens
But being black ain't always the blessing you think
They laugh and they joke that being black is ugly
But what do they really see when they look at me?
My kinky hair can be short and long,
Curly and straight there's no right or wrong
My brown skin can be light and dark
Kissed by the sun it's my beauty mark
I'm a survivor and I do my best
To be unapologetically black in the middle of all this mess
I'm a strong black woman you see
And I’m Born from ancient kings and Queens
I use my knowledge and wisdom to create understanding,
And there is something I need y'all to understand from me,
Black is beauty
I got a foot and arm and face just like the rest of my human race
If black lives matter why is there so much hate?
It's black and brown lives that have suffered the most
I have a dream too I'd rather not suffer from hope
Hope is to black people as drugs to a fiend
We take a hit and see Oprah Winfrey
Then it all comes down
Take another hit, and Kendrick's back at it
skittles and an Arizona is all it took to kill it
I'd rather live in a world that actually valued me
We say we value diversity
But can that truly be when there's only like 2% of me
If the masters tools can never dismantle the masters house
Why are we choosing all the wrong routes
It's time for a revolution y'all
Let's get in formation
We come from ancient kings and Queens
It's our time and it's up to us to create it

“I write because it is a release, it is an opportunity for me to feel my anger and sadness authentically without the judgment or opinions from others. I write because it my brain is filled up with emotions that are unacceptable to voice without the repercussions of being labeled the ‘angry black woman’ and my voice being shut down. I write because there is so much going on in the world that no one person can possibly hold it all in and stay sane. I write because I hope that I will look back one day and see that things have changed. Writing is a release, and release is something you need when you live in a world that doesn’t value you, so I write.”
–Egypt Howard

This next piece is by a Latina student who prefers to remain anonymous:

The skeletons in my closet are beginning to overflow
I try harder & harder to keep them from falling out the door
The lock is broken and I don’t know how to fix it
I can’t close the door

I thought releasing a few would alleviate the strain, but all it’s done is make them stronger & stronger
Wounds are reopening
I can feel all the pain like it was just yesterday
They keep getting louder and louder. Nothing I do can drown out their screeches
Please close the door

Spoken words became my broken words
Tearing me apart, deep inside down to my core
Making me hide
From you
From them
From me
They’re getting harder to hide from
I keep running and running
They keep chasing and chasing
Please close the door

My thoughts transforming to words
My words transforming to nightmares
My nightmares one again transforming to my reality
making life unbearable
As tears being to flow I can’t help but think
Why me? What did I do?
Someone please shut the fucking door

If one more person tells me “I know how it feels” “it gets better” or some shit like “time heals everything”
I’m going to punch them in the throat.
Just close the door

I don’t want you to feel my pain
I want you to heal my pain
If you can’t do that then there isn’t room for you here
Please shut the door

I’ve been told its okay to be selfish
And I need to be unless I want to drag you down with me
Destroy you like I’m destroying myself
Slowly but surely it will happen
As time goes on the skeletons are getting bigger & stronger, their bones starting to develop muscle that’s turning into flesh
So please, I beg you, please just help me close the fucking door
before it’s too late.

“I write because there are sometimes no words to describe how I feel to tell anyone else. It is my way of being able to release all of the thoughts that tend to consume my mind and my life. I write so that they will not have as much power over me. Writing helps me feel like a huge load has been taken off my shoulders. I write so that I am able to continue searching for hope. This is a way I can feel better about myself in a healthy manner.”

Life is always going to have its ups and downs, and we all need healthy ways to get through it. We all have various different methods we use to de-stress. Whether that is through meditation, working out, napping or dancing. Spoken word is a form of poetry various individuals use as an outlet for their emotions. When people write, it allows them to reflect back on their experiences and sort out their thoughts and emotions. Next time you are feeling overwhelmed try something new - take a pen and some paper and let your thoughts flow out of you. You might find yourself becoming a spoken word artist. 

Consider submitting one or more of your pieces to for our event, "Disrupting the Silence: Using Anger as a Form of Art" which will be in Selvester's Cafe on April 28th from 7:00-8:30pm. 

By: Griselda Avila

No comments:

Post a Comment