After Millions Stay Home, Many Rushing "to get back to the lives they hated" Says Spoken-Word Poet
Featured in Poetry
"Facts About Myself"
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
Dominic Chianese Jr.
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.
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
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
carry my bags sweetie
I have held them for centuries
-Dominic Chianese Jr.
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
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
for the worms must be fed
-Dominic Chianese Jr.
Read more of Jon's (AKA The Poetry Bandit) poetry on Instagram
When I’m with her
Even my demons
-The Poetry Bandit
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
I wasn’t given a
Play it safe.
And I am
-The Poetry Bandit
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.
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.
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
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
They come and go
Deep in memory, minds panic
Visiting filthy crash sites
All related, impacted, penetrated
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 compassion, no truth
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
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."
Faint whispers are the only language I can understand.
I’m the secret best kept for the words on sullen pages.
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.
skins me alive
a soft residue
speak to her skin
& the sand contains purity
i can see it
her eyes beckon me once more