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After Millions Stay Home, Many Rushing "to get back to the lives they hated" Says Spoken-Word Poet

Image by George Kourounis

Featured in Poetry

"Facts About Myself"

Tucker Bryant 

A powerful coming-of-age spoken word poem by a young poet at the 2015 Button National Poetry Slam.  This is a heart-felt performance about self-awareness, personal development and learning to appreciate the important things in life.  

A  brief history of spoken-word poetry & the perspective of a poet on his art, isolation, & seizing the opportunity to grow.

in creative writing

Poet Spotlight

Dominic Chianese Jr.

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 Known to most as a generous friend and devoted father. He was born and raised in Brooklyn New York and in every way, he personifies that city. From its classic appeal and mysterious alleyways, to the soft glow of the city lights that dance on the river at night. In all aspects, he is New York.

His writing is bold and speaks his truth loudly, yet Dominick himself is quite softspoken. Friendly and kind to all who shout their hello’s, and many do.

 

At first glance, he appears a bit rough around the edges. Cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth, a skeptical look in his eye like he’s evaluating all who come close, and chances are...that’s exactly what he’s doing. For one to survive in the city as long as he has, they must always hold onto a bit of skepticism. It comes with the territory I suppose and is what causes the slight darkness in his eyes.

 

Catch him on a day he is accompanied by his raven-haired son and that is when the darkness fades, and his eyes are full of light. Like most fathers, whatever life was before a child is long gone and the most important role is, Dad.

 

He writes because creative people need an outlet and sometimes life can only be expressed through the written word. I feel honored that he is sharing a bit of that with me today and I am able to pass it on to you.

You can find more of Dominic's work on Instagram.

To dive a little deeper into his work, check him out in the Sopranos, Law and Order, All About The Benjamins, The Thomas Crown Affair, and many more television and movie roles.

For more on Dominick click here

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emulated 

a bit extra 

a silly something grabbed

the child's imagination

and made it follow

along the streets

of limited excess

the smell of fabrication 

of factory-made flowers

lingered

like the echo of heels too high

and we borrow the voices of the average 

as we mimic the mannerisms 

of the mundane 

believing that we are

exceptional 

carry my bags sweetie 

I have held them for centuries 

thatagirl 

-Dominic Chianese Jr.

upended

in stark relief 

in a state of suspended belief 

O mythical beast

your light floods the room 

and the wolf and lion feast

in the night of a blood red moon 

we did the very least

and the changes never come too soon

we raise the knife 

and we mourn 

the mind slays the life of the unicorn

as we trifle with truth

the fabric is torn 

from this trouble and strife

a new dream is born

 

fly into a lunar eclipse 

as soon as the lies leave our lips 

we try 

and we try

for the moon and the sky

to rise from sunken ships 

-Dominic Chianese Jr.

the ground is getting soft

as April skies drench the fields

the garden needs tending 

and Mother is getting impatient

the purse grows thin on the pig farm

we clamor to the market

to meet the mortician

a makeover for the face of fear

we are open for business

and across the land lines form 

gravediggers wanted 

for the worms must be fed

-Dominic Chianese Jr.

Jon Lupin

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Read more of Jon's (AKA The Poetry Bandit) poetry on Instagram

01

When I’m with her 

Even my demons

Dress up

For dinner

And behave

 

-The Poetry Bandit

02

I have learned not

To fight the voices

In my head

So I built them a 

Chapel and made

Them my choir

-The Poetry Bandit

03

I wasn’t given a

Second chance

Just to

Play it safe.

Mediocrity can

Kill,

And I am 

Done with 

Dying

-The Poetry Bandit

Dany Johnston

Follow Dany on IG & check out her website 

01

My muse will be the death of me.

 

I pray the day she'll set me free.

But also plead she'll never leave,

My empty heart left cold to grieve.

Unsure how I'll create alone

Pluck my words from the unknown

And so I hand my heart and soul

My very life I've given whole.

For I cannot stop these deep desires

From taking form and setting fires,

Within my soul and on my skin.

I close my eyes and breath her in.

My lips do part, the treacherous pair

To taste her perfume on the air,

And as she leans her body in

I feel her breath against my skin.

There was no chance I could resist.

Her tender lips do steal their kiss.

And though my mind proclaims my hate

My body answers a beat too late.

My breath it holds, my heart it skips,

My hands reach out, her waist they grip.

And as I pull her form to mine

I feel our two souls love combine.

Her shapeless form runs hot through me

And once again, the words run free.

-Dany Johnston

02

I felt my soul ignite like a thousand candles.
Each tiny flame representing something I'd heard her say or seen her do.
What hope had I to extinguish those flames,
When she was the very oxygen that fed them.

-Dany Johnston

John Hardman

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There was no hot angst, singing

Or street, sweet summer dance

Nor joyous teen, kisses chancing

Or glancing, fleeting romancing

 

No room for comparisons

 

Squat down squashing, rotting

Dirty hobnailed boots

Implanted, planted

Imprinted, dinted, stepped on

Stumped, growth stunted

Crazed selfish- taking

Stomping, stamping, raping

Contemptuous scoffing, hating

 

Yellow acid clotting wounds, fake

Fucking false, lost, self fraudulent

Saddening, bewildering foolishness

 

Choking down on bronchial gunk

Spewing out self-preservation, inner laws

Violent violation, charcoal black, blood

Bloody pulped red, Bruised blue

Wall to wall, through and through

Thick and thin

Where to ever begin

 

Scurry wasps, to and fro

Angrily frustrated

Snarling

They come and go

Hungered, frantic

Deep in memory, minds panic

Visiting filthy crash sites

All related, impacted, penetrated

Doomsday created

Self-worth, self wasted

 

Escape this contemptible maze

Fucked up, fucking daze

Unlock the flesh- rotting cage

Releasing anxious craze

New wave, rises up

Cuts the noose, let us loose

Untethered from the choking haze

 

There is no comparison

Stolen youth, vision grazed, glazed

Systematic use, dogs abuse

No comparison

No compassion, no truth

-John Hardman

@johniwrites

01

Stephanie Lynn 

Image by Vlad Kutepov

01

Art is expressed in so many ways,

It is emotion and feeling, and how the mind plays..

 

Whatever is felt, whatever is known,

It is from the heart and mind that these expressions are shown..

 

Whether it is abstract or understood,

The feelings and emotions are what make it so good..

 

The heart itself is quite a sensitive thing,

Sadness, happiness to the soul it brings..

 

Unrequited love or American tragedy,

Expressed artistically to make us all see…

 

Artistic freedom is more than a state of mind,

A searching of the soul deep within we shall find..

 

Freedom to feel what is in ones heart,

Grows and matures into a beautiful piece of art...

 

A beautiful mind is a terrible thing to waste,

To meditate and ponder one’s own creative tastes..

 

To search within the soul, to search within the heart,

Artistic passion, of which we must be a part..

 

A starving artist, artistic sage,

The fruits of their labor used through the ages..

 

Art is to create, art is to feel

The finished product is what makes it all too real.
 

Feed your inner artist, find your inner sage,

In every artistic expression, the whole world is a stage.

 

As our brain fine tunes to our choice artistic passion

Our heart follows in the same artistic fashion.

 

Artists may win some, may even lose some

Heart and soul is felt deep within for a lifetime to come

-Stephanie Lynn

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Joseph Roman 

 Joseph Roman grew up in Bensonhurst, a working-class neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY during the 1980s.  At the time, very few people in the neighborhood were into the creative arts, which left him feeling out of place when he dreamt of becoming a writer.

He became more serious about his writing as he matured and made his way through high school. Unable to relate to the poetry he read in English classes, he searched for more modern works with more edge and grittiness to them. The first poet to truly capture his attention was Jim Carroll. He could relate. Carroll had a tough upbringing and drug addiction. Two things kids living in Brooklyn in the ’80s were all too familiar with.

When Roman left the neighborhood, moved out on his own...he did it big. He left his writing behind and headed to California. Unfortunately, a new location doesn’t change everything. He was still plagued with hardships and sorrow. To deal with the pain of many catastrophes including the tragic death of his mother, he turned to the only thing he knew would ease his suffering; writing.

 

Roman states that he writes for those on the fringes of our society, for those that feel they have no way out and no escape from the pain. He feels his work can best be described as “punk rock” poetry. He humbly says his work isn’t for everyone, perhaps better suited to those who enjoy reading poems in dingy cafes.

 

He’s a rule-breaker, a bit on the dark side of the writing spectrum, and has no desire to fit into the crowd. 

We're proud to feature a few of Joseph's poems.  We hope you enjoy! 

 "I write for those on the fringes of society. I write for those who feel that they have no way out from their pain."

Image by Dawid Zawiła

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Faint whispers are the only language I can understand.

  I’m the secret best kept for the words on sullen pages.

I smile

  To make the pain subside,

but it’ll be waiting for me as the day ends.

  I’ve crossed so many battlefields.

I’m too tired to cross another.

  The drunken days used to excite,

now the thought of intoxication bores me.

  I can hear the sounds of music somewhere,

I hope their smiles are genuine.

-Joseph Roman

@anguished_artist

Image by Gabriele Stravinskaite

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this love

  skins me alive

revealing 

  a soft residue

lips 

  speak to her skin

& the sand contains purity

 

i can see it

 

  i’ll wait

Until

  her eyes beckon me once more

-Joseph Roman

@anguished_artist