Category Archives: poetry

That dude Tai Allen, POET, MUSICIAN, A MAKER OF THINGS

Tai Allen

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.

VISIT: TAIALLEN.COM

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.”

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#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.”

No Jewels

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

-tai allen

released April 11, 2017

Available on Amazon

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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.

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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!

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The Spellcaster’s Manual by Ainsley Burrows! 20 Years of Poetry

Since 1999, Ainsley Burrows has been a lean, mean, poetic machine, having toured at least eight to nine months of the last eight years; hitting almost every state in the United States, as well as several venues in Canada, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Germany. He has released several books, musical albums and most recently he has compiled over 20 years of poetry in his new project entitled “The Spellcaster’s Manual” (click link or cover image to order book) cover photo by Barron Claiborne

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Find out more about this creative and dynamic artist who considers himself a Poet, Writer,  and Imagineer!

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OFFICIAL WEBSITE

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The duo ‘Climbing PoeTree’ is art meets activism in its most powerful revelation

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These two young ladies “ALIXA + NAIMA are at the forefront of using art to speak, to inspire and to share thoughts on the state of affairs in the world at large.  They have inspired me for a few years now.  As a poet and mother of a young lady, I am thrilled to share the story of these immense artists with my daughter and those I come into contact with.  They epitomize exactly what we do here with NevahBlackDown, we use art to uplift and promote positive change.  They bring truth gloriously mixed with a passion that creates a template to be honored. (photos by Pablo Aguilar)

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“Creativity is the antidote for violence and destruction. Art is our most human expression, our voice to communicate our stories, to challenge injustice and the misrepresentations of mainstream media, to expose harsh realities and engender even more powerful hope, a force to bring diverse peoples together, a tool to rebuild our communities, and a weapon to win this struggle for universal liberation.”
– Alixa + Naima

“Over the last 13 years, Climbing PoeTree has infused our movements for justice with healing and imagination, inspiring thousands through their award-winning multimedia theater, dual-voice spoken word, visual art, sustainable touring, and community organizing. Co-creators Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman are cultural architects committed to reframing the story through multi-voice spoken word, hip hop, world music, and multimedia theater that translate deep research around the most pressing issues of our time into stunning artistry that catalyzes their audiences to activate the transformation they wish to cultivate within themselves and their communities.” Read and find out more about CLIMBING POETREE

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Climbing Poetry has just released their latest album “INTRINSIC” A must purchase for your music collection!

On 3/31/2017 Climbing PoeTree released a new collection of rebel-rousing anthems, bilingual ballads, and unconventional love songs. Backed by 33 world-class musicians, vocalists, and producers, Alixa and Naima’s impassioned lyricism propel 17 soulful compositions bridging electronic music and live instrumentation, combining hip-hop, spoken word, rock, blues, folk, and Afro-Latin beats.

Produced by the powerhouse music legend, Toshi Reagon, INTRINSIC features an incredible cadre of collaborators including Carolyn MalachiRising Appalachia, B Steady, Taina Asli, Arooj Aftab, Juliette Jones, Ayla Nereo and many more.

Check out the official video for ‘WE SURVIVED’

There is so much more to check out with these powerful young ladies.  I suggest a visit to their website CLIMBING POETREE

NevahBlackDown is proud of the profoundly positive and strong images these young ladies present to the world.  I hope they continue to speak up and share their gifts with the world!

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Baub: Poet, Actor, Playwright

“If New Haven’s hip-hop community has a Renaissance man, it just might be Baub Bidon.”—

Jim Shelton, New Haven Register

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Yes! I am finally sitting down to share with you an artist that I feel is keeping it real.  Baub speaks to the times, he speaks from the heart.  His pen is littered with truth.  He holds nothing back and stands behind everything he writes.  We have been sharing inspiration and poetry for more than a decade.  There are people who come and go and then there are people who lift each other up.  He is one of those people, one of those artists.  His poetry sticks to my thoughts and keeps me engaged.  I visit his page often for inspiration. He is mighty and strong, he uses the medium of poetry to bring wisdom, change and thought provoking messages to light.

Baub ( pronounced:Bawb ) Bidon is a Haitian/African American Poet, Actor, Writer, Playwright.

He writes to tell the stories often marinated from the ghettos, and jails throughout the United States. His poetry speaks of injustice and poverty. His hope is that his work uplifts and empowers those who are and have been victims of oppression.

Learn more: HERE

Jogging the Mind (6/30) 1986

In middle School,

Mr Neff, would have me read a dictionary

write the words, and definitions

as a way of punishment

eye would have to eat my lunch in class

in an empty room

while the other kids, would be in the cafeteria

eye could imagine some rapping,

and banging beats on table

but eye was alone

pounding, these webster pages

filling these legal sheets,

with words, eye didn’t care for

just wanted it to be over…

Father of,

translated into Arabic

is Abu

Prince defined

as Mumia

Put together, as…

Mumia Abu Jamal.

1986 marks, five years in prison

redesigned plantation

blamed for the crime, do the time

lose time, plant slavery in the mind

keep the body, close the blinds

the blind, don’t see injustice

nor read the fine print,

etched in the 13th amendment

my friend J-sun once said…

“slavery hasn’t been abolished, 

it’s just been polished”

Cleaned up, like a Philly crime scene

scarecrows, hide behind smoke screens

communities gated

the privileged keeps their suburbs

closed, to black hope

hope done died, with Jessie’s rainbow

Knock on Al Sharpton’s door

where’s the marches,

and all that freedom talk

what has it done, since he lost weight

privatized prisons, pockets much fatter

subsidized households, holds an empty plate

empty platter promises.

talk that freedom in your mind, Mumia

put it on radio, like hip hop

like, don’t stop

like, a head bop

bang on that wall my brothah

jog your mind, till it grows feet

till it knows how to defeat

till it runs out of that cage

and onto the streets

jog your mind…

till it becomes free

Copyright © 2017 Baub Bidon

 

READ MORE POETRY: HERE

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STAY AWAKE – A Poem

locked up inside

we all hide from each other

hiding inside of boxes

trying not to get swallowed up

by crates full of promises

like

American Dreaming

piling up like

things

that get heavier

and heavier

as the nights go on

and days grow longer

STAY AWAKE SHE SAID

STAY AWAKE HE SAID

LET’S STAY AWAKE

TOGETHER

locked up inside

we all hide from the light

wrapped in shady shapes of judgment

written in blood on paper

like

paper chasers

sweeping streets

looking for nickels and dimes

see

we must be vigilant

we must be reminded

of the dreams

we thought we lost

we have to stay away from those

boxes full of promises

like

American Dreaming 

STAY AWAKE SHE SAID

STAY AWAKE HE SAID

LET’S STAY AWAKE

TOGETHER

(c) kgr 2017

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KARENGIBSONROCPOET.COM

photo: Eliot Aether

New Single Release by Karen Gibson Roc — SpokenWord&Music “CROSSROADS” avail on iTunes

Exciting news! Today we released a new single “CROSSROADS” avail @ iTunes This one is very special to me because it is my first release on my Label 13ORANGE RECORDS — produced by Suede Jenkins — it’s a dedication to my coming up as an artist in Brooklyn and finally finding the confidence to stand […]

via New Music Release by Karen Gibson Roc — CROSSROADS avail on itunes — The Karen Gibson Roc Blog

Black Hair: A Modern Day Controversy

These days I find I can continuously ask myself this question “Why is black hair such an issue?” After all,  it is an unquestionable natural state.  My hair doesn’t grow out of my head straight, it grows out of my head frizzy, somewhat curly and nappy.  That is a definitive fact.  My ten year old daughter’s hair is the same way, my mom’s hair is the same way, my two sisters have the same texture hair.  I am surrounded by a plethora of black women with the same hair.  So why ohhhh! why is this such a huge discussion.

So (lol) I answered my own question with another question:

“Does BLACK HAIR instill in others the fear that black women have actually found and have fallen in love with their truth?  With their beauty?  With self?”

Please feel free to answer this question in the comment section below! I would love to hear from you!

“Art stems from the concept of being or tuning into one’s authentic self both on the inside and out.  Our hair is natural.  Our hair is our natural expression. Our hair is our art!” Karen Gibson Roc

Fifteen years ago my sister dared me to grow out my natural hair and wear an afro.  At the time I thought she was absolutely mad.  Why did I have that reaction?  This is another question I have pondered on.  What was I afraid of?  Back then not many people were doing the big afro natural thing.  In our little bubble of Fort Greene, Brooklyn, we held each other up so we could express ourselves in whatever natural and artistic way we wanted.  I was cradled as an artist so I went ahead and followed through on the dare from my sister.  I loved rocking my afro.  I loved everything about it.  I stood out in other areas of NYC, people stared, wanted to touch all that crazy shit!  Now, however, an afro is a natural sighting pretty much anywhere.  So why still the controversy?

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Karen Gibson Roc Live @ The Whitney Museum 2005

Does it have anything to do with the climate of the times? Oh gosh! another question! That’s what this topic unearths.  It unearths questions and more questions, truth, power, self love, empowerment and the natural gift of hope for something/someplace more loving and accepting!

Check out this most powerful SpokenWord piece by: Elizabeth Acevedo

This is a world wide discussion. I hope that through our daughters something will burst through and really make a change!

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