A Poetry Slam For Valentine's Day

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More Poetry From The Slam

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In honor of Valentine's Day, Tell Me More hosts a love-themed poetry slam, featuring poets Derrick Weston Brown, Rob Sachs, Olu Burrell, Mary Ann Larkin and Kentry Kinard.

While their poems all focused on love, each offered a different take on what love means. Often employing humor, the poets analyzed the good and bad — from broken hearts and unreturned emotions to long-lasting love and the joining of souls.

The Four-Letter World

Olu Burrell performs in Studio 4A. i

Olu Burrell performs in Studio 4A. Arwa Gunja/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Arwa Gunja/NPR
Olu Burrell performs in Studio 4A.

Olu Burrell performs in Studio 4A.

Arwa Gunja/NPR

I've taken the liberty
Of placing my heart
In your grasp's captivity
Allowing me
To fall heart-first
Into this four-letter world
Called L-O-V-E
And now I just want to return the favor
Of the one who causes me
Such sensations
As the pitter-pattering of my heart
— A direct result of my cheeks' inflammation
(In other words, you make me blush)
I'd rather be a scream from your consciousness
Than to part from your touch
So what is the rush?
I want to know if there is a possibility of "you"
And "I"
Becoming an "us"
If so, then please let me know
Because I am the type of brotha'
Who believes that talk is cheap
Unless you are hosting a show
So I'll show you
And hopefully by the end of my confession
I will leave you deep in a state that
You'd only otherwise reach
Oh, undeserving me

Now, I have never made a claim to be perfect
I have made some mistakes
I have been on the giving end
Of a couple of heartbreaks
But see I've yearned to earn what it takes
-To have a heart that endures pain
And after love, gives chase
And that's why I keep a picture of you
Woven into my pillowcase
Because it is so much easier talking to GOD
When you're so near an angels face.
Could I be the man of your dreams?
Hell, it could be a nightmare,
But at least I am on your mind
I'm likely to take classes on the sun
Just so I can learn how to compare
To your shine
And just by you being you
I have summarily stumbled upon
What I so long believed was a falsehood
-A love that is true
So now as I pace in these stages
I am overcome by the emotion that puts motion
On my pages
Fueling my creativity
And filling my inkwell
So now I get entranced faster than I think, well
I believe that that's a direct result
Of being under your love spell
See I've come to realize that you are a part of me
That when I look into your eyes
I can finally get the courage to break free
From that which binds me
Which is fear, distrust and insecurity, mostly
That's why I want to feel like
You're holding on when you hold me
Like if you let go a moment to soon
Then something terrible might happen
Like a dark night and no moon
Or a broken heart with no room for anything new
See, I want to trust you
Like I do my mother
I want to care for you with no comparison
Or competition from any other
I want you to think of me when
When ANY song plays
I want to make you happy for the rest of your days
I want to be that smile that you get when you....
Hell, I just want to be the source of your smile
I want to purchase a ring for you
And ask you to wear it for a while
Like until right about the time when our souls die

But then again, that's a longtime, -souls do last forever
Well in that case, wear it until "always"
Becomes synonymous with "never"

I want to have a historical love
Like Romeo and Juliet
But without the Montagues and Capulets
Has it become clear to you yet?

I want to be, simultaneously
The golden delicious of your eye
And the one who whispers nothings in your ear
Before you is the product of Cupid
Putting out a hit on me
But I wouldn't label this a calamity

Well it looks as though you have succeeded in turning
My ode
Into an epic, so listen to my story
I was a knight in dusty armor
Searching for a battle that was worthy
I had been wearied by wars of words
That had resulted in my heart
Becoming a casualty
But I'm a little more careful now
I don't just jump into things haphazardly

And I wouldn't exactly refer to you
As a damsel in distress
But rather a woman who was independent enough
To demand her respect
If I were to call you anything
I would say that you are the damsel that took AWAY
My stress
That's why I smile when I sneeze
Because I know God has already blessed
Me with you
And you have me defying time
Because I feel like I am trapped in the 80's
Because I want to take you roller-skating
(Even though I can hardly skate)
I want to tell people that we're "an item"
By you Now and Laters(TM) and since I know that you don't
Like 'em, -I'll eat the banana ones
And I want you and I to "go steady"
And if you're not now
Then I'll wait until you're ready
I'm not trying to bear down on you;
I'm just trying to be your Teddy
And spend the rest of my life in this four-letter world
Named L-O-V-E
Please let me know if this is a possibility.

Copyright 2009 by Olutosin Burrell. All Rights Reserved.



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