Event 5: Poetic Justice

29 11 2010

For my 5th event I chose to see the poetry reading and spoken word event at CSUSM. Poetic justice is a yearly event that incorporates spoken word, rapping, freestyle, poetry and song. All of these types of expression encompass different social causes and problems that are happening within our society. When I first arrived to this function I was surprised by just how crowded the room was, and especially, how so many people from different backgrounds, ethnicities and ages were present for the show. The show started with my favorite CSUSM poet, Ant Black. His poems are so extremely emotional and moving that I am almost always left in tears once he exits the stage. He chose to perform a poem “Diary of a substitute teacher” which i had never heard before. It was a very simple message about gender inequalities between men and women, but was told from the view-point of s substitute teacher trying to explain to a girl in his classroom why she couldn’t or wouldn’t be able to achieve her goal of becoming a world-famous tether ball champion. The poem was so driven with emotional and deep that it brought the entire room, once bustling with energy to completely silence. I cried as I knew I always would when hearing the immense amount of passion that comes from an Ant Black poem. This just set the tone for me of what an amazing and socially conscious night I was going to be able to be a part of. Many others performed poems but the two that stuck out to me the most was the Jerrica Esposito piece about teenage pregnancy. It was delivered with such rawness and with such pain that it not only could bring one to tears, but it made one want to get involved in the struggle to change how these mothers are viewed by society. The other poet that grabbed my attention was a professor from Palomar Professor Leiman. As he approached the stage he seemed flustered, almost too nervous to really make any sort of impact with his words. I underestimated him by his short stature and his meek voice. Once he launched into a poem about his own personal story and struggle with racism, it literally brought chills to my bones. He was so enraged and so hurt by his own battles against societies view-point of him as an asian man, that it was impossible to not directly feel his pain. When he started to cry and forget his lines, it was the audience that supported him in continuing and finishing his message. It was so moving to watch this man go through so many different emotions and to witness the fire inside him growing passionately with each word he delivered. He was my definite favorite and I felt extremely lucky to have been able to share the experience with him and everyone else in the room. This event was really the most important event I attended this semester, because it was the one that really struck me deep to my core and made me appreciate alternative forms of expression so much. It was with these spoken word poems and stories that I was inspired to become a more socially active and conscious person and I think that is what alternative expression is for.

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