Shut Up and Put Up

Decimas For The Poet In You

Jose 6 Comments

Shut Up and Put Up

Shut Up and Put Up

These poems were birthed from a poetry workshop Tara Betts did as the featured facilitator for the Acentos group. Some of the poems I’ve been sharing over the last couple of weeks have come from that workshop. These are obviously all drafts, but check the rhyme anyways:

The first is dedicated to people who won’t shut up.

“Shut Up, In Decima”

Just shut up for a quick second
Let the sound of someone come clear
Silence, replace fear from the ear
Let go of the shame you beckoned
When you spoke so unclear, I reckoned
You sounded like lines rehearsed
What if the roles were reversed?
You too might question your untruths
Ill sense of humor, more like spoof
Witchcraft like spells, but made me curse.

This second is dedicated to these guys.

“You’re a Black Star” (The one I read aloud)

Everyday I wake up inspired
Every night I sleep, challenge stars
Write bright till my graphite’s like fire
Heat from the tips, songs from a choir
Make movies from the way I light these bars
So furious when I get on stage
Don’t want just applause, but remark
Not just a footnote, front page
Etymology for dummies, stark
Lyrics and a DJ, rhyme and rage

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Comments 6

  1. kat

    I am not a big fan of poetry. There are certain poems that have entered my life and had a lasting impact, but not many. It isn’t like books, where I can go into a book store on any given day and find 15 I NEED to be reading. When I read anything I imagine I am having a conversation with the author and just like I wouldn’t want to have a conversation with a phony person I wouldn’t want to read a phony book or poem… which is often what poems appear to be, to me anyway. I think it is because I have a taste for writing that is frank, forthright, candid, up-front, blunt even. Anyone that has read my writing knows I am all about being completely open about the human experience. I don’t enjoy being tricked by pretty words, rhythm, melody, or rhyme. Still there are some poets that encompass the pretty aspects of poetry yet remain true, raw, and open. This poem did that for me.

    “Shut Up, In Decima”

    Just shut up for a quick second
    Let the sound of someone come clear (This is such a great line in that it will touch everyone. People are constantly fighting for energy when in conversation with one another. Another great perspective to have on this line is to direct it to inward towards ourselves. Our monkey mind is so full of chatter, sometimes the best thing to do is telling it to shut up so that clarity and truth can finally fill it, as oppose to ‘stories’ and drama.)

    Silence, replace fear from the ear
    Let go of the shame you beckoned
    When you spoke so unclear, I reckoned
    You sounded like lines rehearsed
    What if the roles were reversed?
    You too might question your untruths
    Ill sense of humor, more like spoof
    Witchcraft like spells, but made me curse. (lol its just funny how I love this whole paragraph. Fear and shame are all layers that block our light/greatness from shining through. Silencing the fear/jealousy/hatred/shame/unhealthy ego is the path to self mastery. By self mastery I mean the ability to truly control everything that happens to you. No longer allowing your behavioral patterns to run you…even if you do nothing differently it is shifting the power so that you run them.. and if one day things didn’t go as planned you wouldn’t go back to the same frustrated disappointed reaction because that’s an old behavioral pattern you’ve broken. The lines being rehearsed ??and the roles reversed? This is exactly what most of us are doing. Playing into roles and restating that which we hear over and over and over again. When was the last time you heard anything new? In the Allegory of the Cave it is wanting to be the best at ‘identifying’ the shadows because those are the people that win prizes. This changes once you’ve gone outside the cave and acquired higher consciousness and a greater awareness. When you come back into the cave you no longer care about fitting into that same admired role. You don’t want to say what you were taught to rehearsed.. you would rather be the worse at the game, which you now know isn’t reality at all, then the winner.. and so “Tis better to be the poor man’s slave than the poor man’s master.” It is much more fulfilling to be the worse at being blind, shortsighted, and unclear and at the same time be closer to truth.. reality..and eventually that turns into love.)

    “You’re a Black Star” (The one I read aloud)

    Everyday I wake up inspired
    Every night I sleep, challenge stars
    Write bright till my graphite’s like fire
    Heat from the tips, songs from a choir
    Make movies from the way I light these bars
    So furious when I get on stage (They say inFORMation derives from our physical bodies and inspiration (In Spirit) derives from spirit. We have a desire to own physical things and feel good when receiving them but when we are inspired the level of skill and confidence that was once dormant inside of us comes alive. I refuse to live an uninspired life. This is how to live life.)

    Don’t want just applause, but remark
    Not just a footnote, front page
    Etymology for dummies, stark
    Lyrics and a DJ, rhyme and rage

    Thank you for posting that. Its like I’ve said before about really liking what you do

    K

  2. nordette aka verite

    I have a love/hate relationship with rhyme. People often prefer it as the clear sign of poetic language, but bad rhyme is a nightmare and good rhyme is tricky. The poet must be careful not to sound like a Hallmark card, not that some Hallmark cards aren’t written perfectly, because rhyme is deceptive, sometimes making a mature point sound like children’s verse.

    The rhymes here are not the trite things of the amateur.

  3. Post
    Author
    Jose

    Wow, ladies, thanks for the comments. I’m going to have to get back to you via e-mail, kat. That’s extensive and well-appreciated.

    Nordette, there was definitely a point where I stopped rhyming. I didn’t want to rhyme because I didn’t want to come off too sing-songy, and frankly, I love freeverse. It’s anarchy at its best. Yet, there’s something about decimas that sing wit, and make it perfect for talking smack. Really it is.

  4. Tara Betts

    “Yet, there’s something about decimas that sing wit, and make it perfect for talking smack. ” I like this notion. I think the form compels the rhyme to break the cliches since the lines and the entire poem is short (only 10 lines). Thanks for sharing.

  5. Tara Betts

    I also wanted to comment on Kat’s comment about not enjoying poetry too. I, too, dislike flowery words that lack substance, but there are a lot of poets and books that do the very things that excite you about writing and language. There are so many poets that have books that tell stories, have conversations and remain “candid…even blunt”.

    Sometimes, these books don’t even get put in the store because people believe that poetry does not/will not sell. Some people still think poetry is the bastion of long old dead white men or that poetry sounds like a bad open mic stereotype. I think it’s a matter of finding something that really hits you in a visceral way with poetry, and if it doesn’t, well…then you won’t read it. In any case, Kat, I hope you’ll reconsider poetry. Some of us poets would like readers who like conversations, narratives, and yes, even bluntness.

  6. Post
    Author
    Jose

    Tara, thanks for your reply. As someone who will most definitely have her own exciting work come out, it’s important to let it be known that poetry is indeed not dead.

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