MP3 Radiant Raven - Cloak of a Culture
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SPOKEN WORD: Poetry, SPOKEN WORD: Inspirational
In some ways, the story begins with a drum.
Sixteen and broke, I was escaping from the disappointment of my world into the worlds I learned to create on the page.
I wandered downtown, dragging my feet, and in a store window I saw a drum. I suppose I wanted its voice to help make mine louder. Maybe I wanted itâs clear, piercing call to help me shout truth at the streets that had lied to me.
I didnât know how to play music well enough to busk, so I learned to sell poetry instead.
Surprised, I quickly earned the money to buy the drum. I intended to put the poetry away. It had served its purpose. Instead, the words seemed to attract gravity, having been exposed to the weight of the world, and sank down, into my body. Iâd never been hungrier, never more full.
The drum came with me when I left. I hitchhiked from ocean to ocean, sitting on street corners exchanging words for food or change.
For years I refused to write down a word of it for anyone else. I grieved the loss of the oral tradition and theatrically thought of my words as solemn petals left on the gravestones of the bardic tradition, the indigenous teaching stories, the rocking-chair tales.
After realizing that no story is ever passed on well in a single sitting, I resigned to writing out these poems by hand for anyone willing to commit the poem to memory and then, having done so, burn the paper. It was understood of course, that having done this, the poem would be theirs to alter however they wished. I am still touched by those who were moved to do this, and like to think of those stories out there somewhere. Un-owned. Free.
Eventually I came to acknowledge the inspiration that had come to me through written and recorded word and had to, finally, surrender that these two mediums could support the oral tradition, rather than overwrite it.
As I wrote and spoke, I grew. I got beneath the damp emotions gathering mildew and awkwardly aired them out with as much grace as I could muster. Eventually, the wind had enough room to sweep through and carry new stories in. I began to see streets and strangers, lives and longing, and indeed, our whole cultureâs story rendered in playful potential.
So I wrote about that.
â Samuel Stevenson aka. Radiant Raven
I believe poetry is meant to be spoken, not owned. Please say these poems aloud and free them.
People who are interested in Saul Williams should consider this download.
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