“We Are Not Only a Mouth and Luring Siren We Are the Women”

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Lately when things have been feeling a little gloomy or when my body and my mind has been feeling unambitious, I’ve been turning to reading poetry, listening to rap and hip-hop (with a conscious message) or watching spoken word for that extra motivation and wisdom.
 
It’s compelling because poetry and spoken word have typically been a world for me untouched and unexplored. I have always appreciated, been more than curious, and admired the powerful individuals inside it. With their booming voices and insightful word choices, whether their content be delivered through pencil or mouth, paint brush or spray can, rapping or singing, sign language or Spanish, I’ve always been curious.   When it comes to the message and the content they are spitting it’s okay to agree and disagree, for I’ve always loved to question and to be questioned. The beautiful thing about art is there isn’t a way to “do” poetry, to “do” spoken word, to “do” art. Yet despite my long lasting envy, there was a part of me buried under my insecurities that did not feel like this world of poetry was my territory, even if it was in my own bedroom.
 
But lately… I’m all up in that territory and I’m not gonna lie that shit feels great and I’ve never felt more inspired.
 
So a few weeks ago, when I was having a… we can call it one of my “unmotivated moments”  lying in bed, slowly eating ice cream, I stumbled upon this spoken word piece called, “Khaleesi,” by Tonya Ingram and Venessa Marco. (and sorry no Game of Thorn Fans this piece is not about that Khaleesi). But this piece, these two women really blew me away. Every day since I first saw it, I’ve watched it for motivation because as weird as it sounds, I’ve been spending a lot of time discovering my voice and how I want to be heard, even if it is scary.
 
 
My two favorite verses from this are:
 
“we are not only a mouth and luring siren
we are the women
who dare think of ourselves as more than a fuck
when we lend our thoughts to breath
we know often
we are speaking the words that will kill us
for we are then called
bitch
cunt
whore
never a voice
just static sound”
 
I really also like the ending verse:
 
“This is our birthright
this is our inherit
we are women who capsize entire crowds
with the sayings of the wind
holy knuckles
full
of fight.”

So what or who has been motivating you lately? I would love to hear from you, even if you just post the link in the comments below!

pssst. other RLA’ers love spoken word and poetry too and hey, some of them even spit themselves (let me take you back in time and you can check out what they are writin’ or lovin’):

5 BADASS SPOKEN WORD POEMS ON BODY IMAGE

CHEERS TO A NEW YEAR

I DON’T WANT TO BE AFRAID

I CRY: WOMEN IN WAR

RISE WITH THE MORNING (AN ORIGINAL POEM)

ARTIST REVIEW: ANGEL HAZE

Just some Friday Fun Links that highlight spoken word pieces or poetry:

BLACK FEELS LIKE

SHRINKING WOMEN

RAPE CRISIS AT OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE SPURS SHARP CRITIQUE– IN POETRY

HEY GIRL HEY: THAT GAY MISOGYNY AIN’T CUTE

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Also not only shout out times a million to  Tonya Ingram and  Venessa Marco.  but also Button Poetry (where I found this link). Button Poetry is a  Minnesota-based organization dedicated to improving the quality of performance poetry media. 

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18 thoughts on ““We Are Not Only a Mouth and Luring Siren We Are the Women”

  1. rose**** says:

    That video was so amazing!!
    OK so I just went to the New York Feminist Zine fest and it was amaaaazing and I went to a zine reading session where zinesters got to read there own work. It was so inspiring- in particular Suzy X was hilarious and so on point with everything that she said. She read from her zine called “Chronicles of an 8th Grade Mallgoth” in which she publishes her diary entries from 2003 eleven years later to the day. (http://mallgothphase.tumblr.com/)
    However, I didn’t realize until after that I’ve actually been following her comics for a while! She’s the author of “The Best Song Ever” which is featured on Rookie, which is a comic that follows an all girl (all WOC, too) punk band. (http://www.rookiemag.com/author/suzy/). Her work is so fantastic and hilarious and real.

    Like

    • meganleys says:

      Thanks Rose! I’m so jealous that you went to that Zine fest (as anyone who knows me lately I’m a little obsessed). Maybe if i move there next year i can go… haha. Anyways I’m excited to check out her tumblr more and thanks for sharing! I think it’s so interesting to see multiple different types of art that inspire people.

      Like

  2. dhefff says:

    Megan this is a great post, that spoken word gave me goose bumps.

    Something, or someone rather, that has been inspiring me lately is Dessa. I never listened to her much when I lived in Minneapolis but always knew who she was. But it turns out, she loves the north woods and randomly does a lot of shows up here at Lutsen. She has such a powerful presence on stage. Her hair pulled back in a power braid, black tank top, dark jeans, and multiple thin silver band rings; homegirl is the essence of cool. Then she speaks and its incredible. She stares into your soul. But the point of this comment was an event at her most recent show.

    Dessa got down into the crowd and began rapping. A girl went up to Dessa and tried to grind on her. Keyword: tried. Dessa then shoulder checked the girl off of her and said “Nobody touches Dessa without Dessa’s permission, man or woman.”

    It was incredibly powerful and inspiring. It reminded me to always speak up for how you feel no matter if that may make someone not like you (the grind-girl was not pleased and left). Because it’s my body, my choice.

    Like

    • meganleys says:

      “Because it’s my body, my choice.” dang Danielle I love that comment and that story. I must admit I’ll have to start listening to Dessa again because I haven’t really been listening to any of her new stuff regardless of how bomb I keep hearing that it is! So thanks to you this week I’m going to be blastin’ that Dessa.

      Like

  3. dhefff says:

    And this!!

    Megan I remember you and I laying in my bed watching this over and over!

    Like

  4. lexismanzara says:

    Amazing! Wish you could have seen the these two workshops I went to on Monday I think you would have loved them and they were super relevant to this AND were both highly motivating!

    One was “Art for Social Change” which made me eternally dedicated to taking a theater class – shout out to Penumbra theatre! Other was “Writing for Social Change” like a how to for writing a spoken word by Guante.

    Let’s get on the social change revolution starting with spoken word!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. meganleys says:

    Elena thank you so much for sharing this! She is so so powerful!! As I watched it I got goosebumps! Have you seen her perform? If she’s ever in Minneapolis performing we must go!

    Like

  6. meganleys says:

    Honestly there are just so many powerful young women out there. Check out this article about the poem “Chi City Youth,” by student and spoken word artist Jazmine McKinney.

    http://www.chitownreview.vincedixonportfolio.com/spoken-word-young-poet-takes-on-chicago-violence-with-video-lament/

    Like

  7. toastie072 says:

    Liked by 1 person

    • meganleys says:

      Wow, taking things to a new level, but very true. He’s making me feel okay that I never have a phone tho lol.

      Also this reminds me of what you could be thinking about in Montana all the time.

      Like

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