Paulelmo's Blog

Reasons to Slam–a slam (No. 3 in the Empty Glass Series)

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Dear friends,

This is the third of the slams written with performance at The Empty Glass in mind. I believe it was written in 2005, but I’m not sure. Once again, there is the thought of what I might want to convey to the audience once I got up there on the stage. I really love this piece. If I’ve attempted to write somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 or 500 verses in my life, this one is easily in the top ten, and it may even be in the top five. It says so much about what I believe and why I do what I do. If you search the site, I think there’s also a spoken word video performance of it on here. Maybe. If not, hopefully there will be soon.

Sending prayers and warm thoughts out your way, lovelies. We’ll talk soon.

***

“Reasons to Slam”

 

Why do we speak in such—
fashion?
Why do we speak in this—
way?
Why do we string words together like this,
put them to rhythms, and send them on waves?

Why do we come to these stages?
Why did we come here tonight?
Why do we fill up these pages
with the thoughts and the sights from our lives?

Do we really think folks will listen?
Do we really think someone will care
to hear us speak the condition
in hopes to better some other then’s there,
or are we just mentally fragile
and fraught with the need to feel
that we’re more than we are,
that our clumsy minds are really quite agile,
that, living in our gutters,
we can dream of the stars?

Yes.

We do think folks will listen.
We do think someone will care
to hear us speak the condition
and have good effect on
some other then’s there,
but we are a bit mentally fragile and
fraught with the need to feel
that we’re more than we are,
that our clumsy minds,
with words, become agile,
and even in the gutters,
we can have some faith in
our dreams of the stars.

Because words are never just words,
when we string them together
with performance in mind;
they are music with meter and rhythm, and
they can soothe the souls of
beings of like kind.
They remove us from all that is physical
and put us in dimensions
closer to God,
the wave and the ray,
the beauteous and lyrical.
And we realize it’s really
not all that far
from lying there in our gutters
to flitting among the stars.

Oh, why?
why?
why?
Why do we speak in these—
manners?
Why do we stand and—
recite
words we’ve committed to memory
from the all of forever life?
Do we really think
we’ve found some answer?
Do we really think
we have a clue?
Do we really think
words can salve the wounds
of a heart
and let some healing get through?
Do we think the beating will—
ease?
that beating with which life
can punish us all,
that the mind will find peace and
the soul will find rest,
just because we turned words into song?

Yes.

Because the soul is born in rhythm and light,
wave and ray,
free from the confines of physical bounds,
we can release ourselves on the musical sounds.

2 Replies to “Reasons to Slam–a slam (No. 3 in the Empty Glass Series)”

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