Sample Pages from Slam! Bringing Poetry to Life

I'm not
by Titania Velasquez

I'm not a model
I'm not a fashion expert
I'm not an average girl you
meet on the streets.
I'm not the best friend, sister,
girlfriend, lover.
But I can love and
feel like others.
I'm not an only child
I'm not a part of your
traditional family.
My family doesn't own
a house
We're not rich.
I'm not the smartest
or an artist
I'm not what you want me to be
I'm just me.

"This Can't Be Life"
by MC Beraud

Let me put it like this to you
The world is over already
Damn, I bet y'all didn't see that coming.
Guess what,
I had visions about it.
I saw kids crying because they were homeless,
I saw kids crying because they were lonely.
I saw kids crying because they were hungry.
The worst thing about it is seeing grown people crying
because they're in pain.
I told myself, this can't be life.
I started to cry, screaming, bleeding because
I saw my body on the ground looking for my soul which was already weak.
I couldn't walk, couldn't talk or show my own name, not even God's name.
I was scared. It was the end of all things, everybody, every soul, every brain, all systems just shut down like a PC, dying slowly.
I felt somebody drying my eyes and told me: "This can't be life".

If I had it my way I would lay back from the day I am born till the day I die
Cause that's how life was meant to be.
Twist my hair into dreadlocks as I escape street locks and stress locks.
If I had it my way I would do all the women and love all the angles.
If I had it my way I would be floating in the air.
If I had it my way I would be one happy person,
Never to be said, always to be glad.
By Ailson Ferreira

"Seven Days" by Veronica Nieves

In seven days God created the Earth
There's seven days in a week
Seven days I wake up to see the sun
Seven days I got to sleep.
Never know if you are going to survive the full
Seven days.
It all depends on the man above if
Everything goes his way.
Six days I work and the seventh day I rest,
Thinking if that day will be my last.
Seven times you can offend me and seven times
I will forgive and forget.
You are either loved or not important, that's how
Far it gets.
Seven times I may stumble and fall, but be sure Very
Will get up again
All in seven days
Rest assured that this person
In front of you is strong and not weak
All in seven days
Of the week.

If I had it my way by Sierra Bell

Everyone would stop criticizing each other on the way other people look.
God gave us all a different look so how come some people are afraid of their look?
When I look into a mirror I don't see someone ugly
I see someone who is dark skinned, black, and pretty
The most beautiful black thing that God ever created
So why judge me?
Everyone has a certain look so let them be
Just because they don't have name brand clothes
You judge them
Just because they don't have name brand sneakers
You judge them
Just because they are not they type of person who you want to hang out with
You judge them
That's why we are all different
In having a certain look,
A way of dressing
Not to look and dress like you
If I had it my way the world would see a different side of people
The side of non-judgmental, cruelty.

"Counting Steps" by Mallory Williams

1 The first time I looked into your eyes
2 I just couldn't stop staring
3 was the smile that came with your reply
4 the depth of my caring
5 I would count while holding my breath
6 While I ponder my chances with you
7 times over never counting my steps
8 until I can bathe in your love
9 reasons why I never count
10 that day I took my last step.

"Traffic Mind" by Sandra Cuff

Exactly November 25, 2001, 5 p.m. I arrived to the skating rink, 3 seconds you came to me. You ask me if I'm seeing someone, he said it twice. Tic toc tick tock speak baby girl every second is wasting time. Don't think just do, start something new. He's looking in your eyes, I'm nervous, he's a cutie. The music is pumping. Everyone is looking at everyone, they need to give each other space and not the evil eye. He's waiting I said no! (617) 861-3462 I gave it to him. No no no. 3 times I said wrong number, it was the rejection hotline number. I gave my real number, he smiled. People need to mind their own business. Can I just do my thing? It was time for him to go. He left suddenly he ran up and we both said what your name? We laugh once. I was singing to myself (I don't really want to stay, I don't really want to go). We been with each other ever since. 2002 in December we broke up twice. Several times I ask myself am I ready to move on? Yet I love him to leave him. I tried to come back for fun, but I only love him only once.

"I am not who you think" by Carlos Fernandes

I don't got money,
I am broke,
I don't have a car,
I take the bus,
You want to go out on a date,
Don't be surprised when I say, "I'll meet you there",
I am not cute,
But not ugly,
I am not fat,
But not sexy,
But there is something about me that makes you want me,
Is it my personality?
But I am not nice,
Or am I? Probably but sometimes
I ain't a sex fiend
But I love it,
I ain't a dope fiend
I never found a reason to do it.
I ain't a regular black dude,
Or is there a regular black dude?
I ain't a stealer, killer, robber, gang member,
So there ain't a regular black dude,
I am a human with dark skin
I ain't white
I don't talk white,
I don't act white,
Or is there being, taking, or acting white?
I am me that's all I have to say,
End it with a paradox, F--- you, have a nice day.

"Catch 22" by Jovani Fox

9 planets revolve around the sun
1 life to live in infinite perspectives
22 reasons for conclusiveness
365 years my people were prisoners, slaves
17 years I've been a P.O.W. in my endless misconception and deceitful ways,
all only to find who I am.
5 bad relationships
1 broken heart
and just now I am learning from my mistakes
22 reasons why I died mentally on the inside
pulling an invisible trigger,
killing myself piece by piece
1 person who stares back at me in the mirror
2 children in my future I wait to see, love
and teach right from wrong.
8 fractured bones
12 scars on my legs from running with da boys
22 reasons to laugh and hate my scarred up childhood
500 strokes to finish the race
2,000 meters from the start to finish
22 reasons to endure the inevitable
9 planets revolve around the sun
1 life to live in infinite perspectives
22 reasons why I dropped 22 stones but picked up
22 more.

The world is destruction
Can you look in the eyes
Of an American eagle for justice?

What is the cause of conflict
Issues that can't be resolved without using the force of

A human mind seeks out for the
Definition of the word unity. A word that
Was born through the eyes of Martin Luther King,
Who believed all in one (equality).

What is a world of violence?
If there's no war how can
There be peace?

Is it possible that our countries
Can rely on peace?
Peace is a garden of unity
A unity of us creating a world to new era.

If there is no war how can
There be peace!!!
We'll just have to wait
And see as we breathe.
By Victor Brandao

I am not
I am not
Ignorant to the fact that people
Are losing homes in Baghdad
I am not
For this war thing
I am not what the government
Is trying to make me

I am not
Rude, ignorant or stupid.
Yes, I am a young Black teenage female
But no I am not pregnant
No I am not always chasing after boys.
But yes I do still play and hang with my family
Yes I do hang with my friends
But I am not my friends so whatever they do
No I am not a follower
Yes I am independent
So I am not the person you think when you see me
In the streets or in the halls

I am not
Fat, dumb, ignorant
I am not
Crazy, stupid, rude

I am not
your typical young-minded teenager
I am not different
Because of my skin color

I am not
The person everybody thinks I am.
By Tyeesha Mendez

"I'm not" by Titania Velasquez

I'm not a model
I'm not a fashion expert
I'm not an average girl you
Meet on the streets.
I'm not the best friend, sister,
Girlfriend, lover.
But I can love and
Feel like others.
I'm not an only child
I'm not a part of your
Traditional family.
My family doesn't own
A house
We're not rich.
I'm not the smartest
Or an artist
I'm not what you want me to be
I'm just me
Everything that you don't want me to be
But I'm not.

I wanna b the best
Forget about the rest
Number 1 is where I'ma be.
Don't wanna ever be number 2
Greatness is only 4 a few
I'm not new to this game
So I know where I'ma aim.
I wanna b tha best
And I'ma forget about the rest.
By Alvin (A.J.) Lewis

"Death or Life" by Rodnelo St.Fleur

Life is a pain in the ass
Dead? Dead is the same, but in a different way.
Hungry children, dying of starvation and get a new life in the unknown world.
Is it better in the unknown place? Well, let's take a peek.
Oooh maybe not.

On Sunday morning Jesus, the devil, and demons
Having a party for a celebration of
Jesus's birthday.
Well you know I'm a famous guy so they invite me to the party.
Everyone thought that I'm going to wear a fancy suit with diamonds and gold.
With my name on the back.
Guess what, that did not happen.
I wear short jeans with two holes in the back, bare foot, nappy hair…
My clothes were so fancy and sexy, make me late for the party.

When I finally got to the place I was so happy to see
Jesus, devil, demons. This guy was my buddy at pimp school back in the day.
The house was huge and fancy looking with chandeliers and everyone was dressed with tuxedo. I was the only one dressed like a bimbo.
Everyone was laughing at me saying, who is this guy?
They were laughing so loud it went in to Jesus's ears
And he finally decided to see what was going on.
He walked to the crowd and saw my legs shaking.
He asked two weird questions-why are you late?
I answered him with a cold voice.
There's no cabs going by this neighborhood.
He look at me and smile and ask me, why are you dressed liked this?
With the same voice I answered, I thought you said no matter who you are
White, black, pink, purple, green
No matter how you look like
Or how you dress, you still son of God.
He look at me again. Smiling on his face
With bright, shining teeth that definitely don't look like my grandpa's teeth.

Then he said, since you are a pimp you could go ahead,
Have fun with all of my sexy hoochie angels. You
Could say any freaking bad word you want.
Do anything that's bad and I won't mind but you definitely going to "hell".
And I said, thank you my Lord.

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