If I am crying, I want to sound like I am crying, and be each tear-drop. If I am dying, I want to sound like I am dying and be each death. Today I did my poetry reading, and realness was my edge, my voice, my tone, my feel and flow.
I do memorize and say my poems out loud, but my readings are spontaneous and unrehearsed. I have no set voice, or tone, or standard modulation. I try not to speak too fast, and pronounce my words clearly. Because, I do hope folks get to savor each word, and let the beat and rhythm ring inside them like cello, violin or native flute, letting each word flow its distance in a cadence that blends one word after another. Sometimes I do rush through a reading, because I think, who am I to stand in front of anyone and read poems. Who am I to think what I offer is worthy of anyone's ears. Still I like to engender my own flow in the moment and not be rehearsed or sing-songy, but just let the moments flow as deep and real as it need be.
If I am sad, happy, angry, proud, romantic, sexy, lonely, crazy, melancholic or bitter, I want that flavor to be expressed. I am a river, a bird or a mountain's cry, whatever those moments entail. I believe we all have our own voice, cadence and speech patterns. We must cultivate that realness, that speaking poetry in our own voice. The power of realness, as steel sharpens steel. Today I opened my poetry reading with my poem “Sag” and closed it with my poem “No beauty in cell bars” and my edge was anger.