This the Common Air That Bathes Us

That’s what she said.

That’s what he said.

That’s what she, he, you, me, we said.

20171028_070905

Said it to each other

Said it across long distance phone calls

and short distance pillow talks.

Said it to the mirror,

probably not often enough.

Said it to dogs in high-pitched voices,

and, in face licks and tail wags,

definitely had it returned

in ways other than words.

Said it on accident.

Said it too soon.

Said it too late.

Said it amidst arguments

that were never worth having.

Said it during love making

which was definitely worth having.

Said it to unborn children

Said it quietly over the graves of those now gone.

Said it to our parents

Said it to our parents exponentially more frequently

when we were low on cash.

Said it to the sky.

Said it to the stars.

Said it late at night

to new friends in old bars.

Said it in too many languages to count.

Said it soft,

then said it loud,

then said it louder,

and when it still wasn’t said loud enough

we created a Facebook event page

and invited everyone

so that we could all set our clocks just right

and simultaneously say it at the same time,

and after we did,

the earth grew a little quieter,

see, somehow we all collectively decided,

that anything that was ever worth saying,

had already been said.

I love you.


 

This the Common Air That Bathes Us

What the Dead Know By Heart

lately, when asked how are you, i
respond with a name no longer living

Rekia, Jamar, Sandra

i am alive by luck at this point. i wonder
often: if the gun that will unmake me
is yet made, what white birth

will bury me, how many bullets, like a
flock of blue jays, will come carry my black
to its final bed, which photo will be used

to water down my blood. today i did
not die and there is no god or law to
thank. the bullet missed my head

and landed in another. today, i passed
a mirror and did not see a body, instead
a suggestion, a debate, a blank

post-it note there looking back. i
haven’t enough room to both rage and
weep. i go to cry and each tear turns

to steam. I say I matter and a ghost
white hand appears over my mouth.

— Dante Collins, What the Dead Know By Heart

What the Dead Know By Heart

Where Does Slam Go From Here?

Click here to read the full post.

Poetry would improve if it was not an option to tour for a living, if poets didn’t consider “slam poet” as an encompassing identity, and if being part of a clique was considered less important than producing beautiful work. We need to worry less about feelings and more about craft. If only poets realized that slam is a tiny, tiny pond, that being a big fish in it is absolutely meaningless.
—Alvin Lau

Where Does Slam Go From Here?