“Poetry saved me while I was in the asylum for three months. They had me on suicide watch; I didn’t want to live any more at the time. My dad rushed me to the hospital after I overdosed on painkillers. I lost everything. I lost my car, my house, my job. I felt like taking my own life was the best option. Poetry really saved my life, because I wrote about it.
The first time I read my poetry was at Long Beach City College about five years ago. I was really nervous when I went on stage. I was shaking holding the notebook paper. The poem I recited that night was called, ‘Impossible Doesn’t Exist.’ I wrote about how George Foreman was 40-something-years-old and how he knocked a guy out. Then I talked about how Saul in the bible was killing Christians, and how he turned his life around.
I just kept reciting; I felt the love. I started going to a lot of open mics in Long Beach, and that’s how I created my poetry family network. There’s a lot of talent that you don’t hear out here. They be out there, they just getting slept on.
I’m very versatile in my poetry. I’ll talk about love, especially about my girl. I talk about what we face as men of color, and even how women are treated in this patriarchal society we live in. I haven’t reached my full potential yet, but I’m still working on it.
It’s hard writing as a man, especially being a man of color. It was difficult growing up. They see this big guy who should be playing some football or basketball. They’re like, ‘You’re writing poetry man? That’s for girls, being in your feelings.’
But this is the gift God blessed me with; I might as well use it. I have to share my gift with the world. We need writing to heal our communities. You leave that burden once you release those words.”
My Letter to 2Pac
‘…But to have a conversation without
To learn from you about the
Struggle of being black
How to overthrow the nation
That our ancestors built
To now have our own nation
To end poverty
To make our neighborhoods better
Like you said…’