Local Fort Worth night club, Barcelona, hosted a poetry slam and open mic this Tuesday, July 30. The stage was set for spoken word, with the mic standing under a modern and minimalistic crystal chandelier. Tucked in the basement suit of 515 Houston Street, rustic adobe walls complemented the ornamental, Spaniard motif-inspired booths. Poets Velvet Rose, Knowledge, Kristen, Joseph V. Hill, Patrick Steven, Krystal Taylor, Big C, and X Blu Rayne warmed up the open mic before the slam.
Velvet Rose graced the mic with her poem, “Caught-up Woman,” a raw narrative of a woman breaking free from the snares of life’s temptations: “Blue-step woman, she is not yours… caught-up woman, she will be let loose.” Next up was Knowledge, with a wide, deep, and spiritual poetic scope. Knowledge spoke of human creation as a gift and a miraculous experience, “If music don’t bring you closer, then poetry won’t do.”
Kristen shared her first experience on the mic with her poem, “September 21st.” Titled about the upcoming 2013 World Peace Day, the message spoke to the irony of fighting war for peace: “Lady Justice put down her blindfold to wipe his tears, and put down her scales.” Joseph V. Hill shared a confession of doubt, with his journal entry style poem, “May 30, 2013.” Hill spoke, “I can’t find a sanctuary. Perdition. Nirvana is a myth.”
Patrick Steven continued the confessional style, but with a comedic twist. His standup act included the joke, “I used to be so egotistical that I picked up girls at planned parenthood.” Krystal Taylor brought the crowd back into the poetic realm with her poem, “Friends with Benefits.” She spoke of the failure of a strictly sexual relationship, “This girl decided to do a little wrong while waiting for Mr. Right,” then admittedly realized, “I can’t get to Mr. Right by walkin’ in the wrong damn direction.”
Big C flipped the script with a poem about indiscriminate racism. C used her “I hate everyone” approach to trick the audience into empathy or repulsion, ultimately making her listeners question his/ her own thoughts on race. X Blu Rayne closed the mic with “My Friend,” a poem confessing the broken bonds caused by her absent mother, “Mama, we could have been friends.”
The evening’s entertainment organizer Mike Guinn kicked off a short slam session, warming up the mic by using himself as a “sacrificial poet.” His poem answered the stories of unrequited love by expressing a willingness to commit, yet never being noticed. Knowledge spoke of finding himself in darkness, “darkness only means the absence of light.” He emphasized the need to find light within the self to guide the path.
Purpose Speaks read her poem, “Never Been Kissed,” a story of unrequited love, yet a willingness to continue. Patrick Steven laid his ego down, concluding that “it’s up to us as human beings to change.” Ultimately X Blu Rayne took the title, concluding the evening with words of wisdom, “Pain is the evidence of living.”
Fort Worth’s Poetry Slam team is set for nationals next Tuesday, in Chicago. Find out more about spoken word events in Fort Worth here