“These Are Not Just Words” – A Spoken Word Poem


To you, these are just words. Carefully crafted,
hopefully pleasant, imaginative verses. Adjectives woven into wordplay like fine silk spun into
the gold. But for me, these are not simply words. You come and hear me manipulate the
subtle sounds of the language into order to entertain you, and then you leave. You take
with you the interesting bits of my soul that manage to break through your psyche, and maybe
approach me after the show and tell me how much you enjoyed it. But for you, that’s all
it is: A show. Something to liven up your evening and perhaps offer fodder for future
conversations.But, you know, for me, these are not simply words. These are blood-red
drops of my soul spilt upon this page after penetrating my heart with this pen. These
are dreams and nightmares ripped from my head and laid bare before you to see and judge
them. These are not my poems; these are my truths, neatly packaged with a bow so that
each night I can come up here and show you that you are not alone. The emotions that
we all feel–love, heartache, anger, fear–I take all of these sometimes painful ideas,
put them in a pretty poetic form, and give to you the only give that I have worth giving,
which is my secret self. But you know what’s funny? Many of you sit there and don’t actually
realize that’s what I’m doing. You think of this as nothing more than entertaining fiction
meant to move or shock you into some sort of reaction, because for many of you, these
are just words. And it’s a shame. Because I get up here, lay down my arms, lay open
my breast, and give to you a part of me that many don’t get the opportunity to see. And
yet, it’s BECAUSE I do this that even those closest to me have been guilty of not realizing
what I’m truly saying. It’s a sad fact that I’ve realized that if you keep everything
locked inside then you are dooming yourself to purgatory. However, if you release that–if
you open up your heart and allow others to see what’s there–then you are also risking
obsolescence. You are taking the chance that your words will simply become white noise
in the background of a world that’s mostly-deaf already. And I’m not saying that poetry is
not worth doing; this is a craft that has saved my life more times than I can count.
At this point, it’s as much a part of me as my thoughts are to my mind or my heart is
to my body. I’m just saying that if a poet gives you the opportunity to see that secret
part of them–if they stand up before you and deliver a poem–please don’t take that
lightly. Realize that they are not simply telling you a pretty story, but rather, we
are reaching into our own darkness, pulling out a small part of us, blowing off the dust,
and handing it to you, hoping that you will take it seriously and treat it tenderly. These…
these are my words, but they are so much more than that.

5 thoughts on ““These Are Not Just Words” – A Spoken Word Poem

  1. What you craft is so much more than words, living with PTSD, depression and anxiety (and a medley of medication) your words represent a bright light that proves to me that even in my darkest times there is hope. That despite how self destructive I may feel in the moment there is always a light to guide me back to a better place. Unfortunately as you say there are many people who are unable or unwilling to understand just how much you, your friends and other poets are prepared to share with the world. But from me please accept a Thank You from the bottom of my heart for the hope that you give me and one day I may be able to catch some of the ideas that zip around my head and commit them to paper so that I may share them with people to try and  lessen their hold on my being.

  2. Very good piece! I agree that spoken word is definitely a way for some people to release pain from certain scenarios they have gone through in their lives and more people should be mindful of that. thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. I understand where you are coming from. When I hear your poetry, they are not just words to me. I feel your pain as my own. I write as well and I don’t know if you’ve ever felt it, but when I’m going through a particularly difficult time, I have a burning urge to write a poem. It’s a fire inside struggling to erupt. It never goes away until I take the time to do it. You are right in that it does release the pain and whether it helps someone else, I won’t say it’s irrelevant, but for me, it’s written FOR me if that makes sense. Your poems need to be shared particularly with others who share your struggles and feel the way you do so – thank you! My brother died this past October. I’ve yet to write about it. I feel the urge but it’s like I’m holding back. Maybe holding on to the pain – I don’t know. Anyway – well done as always. Your poems go a lot further than YouTube and the venues in which you share them. I share with loved ones and they in turn do the same. Your are making a difference. Keep fighting. You got this my friend!

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