The Ombudsman Speaks

465049102_c141816983 Three years ago, I hopped on a plane to London to go visit my home-girl who was studying abroad.  She told me that we were going to hit up this club to listen to some poetry. On a whim, I put together a piece to perform – something I had never done before. Much to my chagrin, they called me up to read first. I cleared my throat, took a deep breath and dived in.  When I was done, the entire room was clapping. Women were teary eyed and dudes were nodding, “this kid’s pretty good.” Flash-forward five months, and I’m still reeling from all the London Love.  So I decide to read the exact same poem at an open mic event in Chicago. They called my name and I walked confidently to the microphone. I cleared my throat, took a deep breath and dived in. When I was done, it was so quiet you could hear a rat pissing on cotton.  The host, realizing I was finished (and mortified), started a loud, phony clap to let everyone know I was done and…well…that they should clap too. I stepped down off the stage, pulled my Kangol down over my eyes and never wrote/performed a poem ever again. When I saw ASK debuted a new column called “Poetry Sundays with Stacia,” I grumbled. Poetry? Really? Do we have to read this? But then I realized: I’m bitter.  I let an uppity group of faux neo-soulers steal my thunder.  Poetry. Spoken word. It’s all great stuff.  Maybe it’s time I reopened myself to the possibilities of what a great poem can provide.  Inspiration? Clarity? Entertainment? Poetry Sundays with Stacia: Not sure I’ll love it. Probably won’t hate it. But I’ll definitely read it. I know one thing, If ASK tumbles for me one more time, I may scream.