Yes, I know this guy and proud of it. We have shared stages and shared non-conversational moments of the poetic kind. I have respect and admiration for the continuous presentation of his gifts. He speaks in ways that hold us accountable as human beings. He is in your face with that confident wordsmith kinda power. He doesn’t have to speak loudly or often to actually be heard and remembered, I think that is what has always drawn me to his work and to keep up with what he has going on.
From across the landscape, I have sometimes wished I was hangin’ back in Brooklyn with some of the folks, Tai being one in particular. That’s ok though, I can read and listen to his new works!
“The award-winning poet/soul singer’s new project uses poetry and songs to create a narrative around innocence lost to abuse and weaponized love.”
#NoJewels is a book that tries to narrate a young man’s life that was loved well, loved wrong and, once, not loved at all. Sadly, this story is not an aberration or oddity. There are numerous No Jewels tales in every city. This book of lines, devices, stanza, and spaces hopes to serve them all.
The 20-poem chapbook reinterprets classic literary forms, such as triolets and haiku, to create a narrative of a young man’s loss of innocence. The book follows a psychological path of being subjected to an abuser’s potent mix of love and abuse and the subsequent emergence.
“There’s a lot of trauma in the world, in this story,” explained Allen. “But, even in the midst of that, the collection is about finding yourself. You can emerge on the other side.”
nothing to offer
but remembers (without “whys”)
of a fall i raked,
bagged and placed on the
curb — cliche-close to the cans
waiting for trash day
Please be sure to check out the sound that accompanies the book!!! Get ready to Groove to truths and beats!! Right up my ally!! THE “TRAVEL SONG” HAS ME SWAYIN’ AS I WRITE THIS PIECE…YES, I PUT IT ON REPEAT!
Tai Allen is a respected creative who excels in multiple disciplines. The Brooklyn-based creative director is a poet who sings over music he has produced. His poetry has been published in noted tomes ( Bomb, Killens Reviews, OPEN and African Voices) and his music has been heralded by such publications as SoulTracks, CentricTV, Soulhead, Okayplayer and Uptown Magazine. He has headlined such venues as BAMcafé Live in Brooklyn, Nighttown in Rotterdam and the American Jazz Museum’s Blue Room in Kansas City, as well as co-hosted the main stage for Art of Cool Festival in Durham.
Be sure to check out this artist and his work. Please feel free to share any and all information you find here!
Thank-you Tai Allen for using your story and your art to open hearts and minds. To bring things to light! To create spaces and places for us to shine! 1Luv always!