People spend their entire lives without being recognized. Most folks live everyday as a piece on a larger puzzle, and in that role, the surround pieces see that you fit, but those in the corners may never see your shape.
I will be the first to say i am blessed. I’m blessed to be around people who allow me to be myself for the most part. I’m a nutty, emotional artist, who has a job that utilizes his artistic and emotional capacity. that is a blessing for me. but even in the field, i often feel forgotten or misunderstood.
I’malso a poet. I often feel that poets never get their just due while living because of the nature of the art form. I perform, but I’mnot the strongest performer in the grand scheme of things. I recognize that. I play my part. I host with my brother, who is a supernova of poetic prowess and performing perfection. He can cast a large shadow that i can easily sit behind. It’s not his fault, how can you ask a supernova to not shine as bright? i never would, but as he and I discussed before, we wonder if we created a poetry scene in which we couldn’t be creative and free.
Last night changed things for us.
Without our knowledge, member of our spit dat open mic community galvanized a star studded group of performers and friends to share stories and a poetry from, and inspired by Droopy the Brokeballer and I. Not only were we surprised, but we were deeply touched.
As some of you may know, I’m not exactly the best when it comes to on the spot remarks, (as proven by my remarks last night) but i wanted to say something a bit more eloquent and thought out, and there is not more fitting way to use my 1000th tumblr post, than this.
Droopy was hosting at JavaHead cafe with a regular base of maybe 10 poets. I was one of the first regulars for the set. I’ve been a student in the school of hosting under droopy’s tutelage ever since. On days that he wasn’t available, i would cover for him. when he couldn’t remember the rules, i would hope in for him, when he couldn’t finish his lyrics, i could keep the verses going for him. we became brothers, and it’s much deeper than the poetry and performances.
Without getting into that too much, Droopy announced that JavaHead would be closing as we went into 2005. We began a tradition that in December, just before my birthday, I feature at spit dat. This would be the last feature for us at JavaHead, it was also on my 21st birthday. I have a video of this performance if anybody want to see and laugh at droopy and i and our ridiculous “style”. Droopy new that there was a need for spit dat to continue, but there weren’t any venues that were expected to have the same level of understanding and openness like JavaHead.
The owners of JavaHead told droopy about a new restraunt that was opening called Mocha Hut, which was interested in having an open mic night. Droopy was down, and he asked if i would co host with him. The rest is history.
The beautiful thing about Spit Dat is that its not just poetry. Its a culture in its self. When you hear Lions and tigers and bears, you instantly think “oh my”, “fat boy shawn” in the most popular performer on the planet, and there will always be a soft spot in my heart for “Mess with Shea day”. When you come to spit dat. you aren’t coming just for poetry, you are coming to be included. To understand the stories behind the traditions. To be a part of a family.
Spit Dat has grown into more that i could have ever seen it, and i cant wait til droopy does his inevitable memoirs and we chronicle the full history of Spit Dat.
Thank you with all of my heart for seeing the hard work we put in. It’s all love. Know that the love and energy that we feel from y’all is what makes it all completely worthwhile. We would not be who we are without you.
Lions and Tigers and Bears.