Art Burglar (Slam Poem)

This is a short-version of my original poem, and one for performance-only. I’ll revise the longer version for my book.

“I Celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belongs to me, as good belongs to you.”

(Allow the audience to cheer.)

Thank you.
(Pretend to walk back to the seat, leaving the audience confused, but instantly turn around towards the mic.)

That line was not actually mine.
But that’s fine! You don’t have to be original to shine.
You love it! Whether it’s my words standing fast,
Or the booming echoes of the past.

Because poetry is not the words I speak –
it exists in the air, and every stare
That you give me – right now –
And the sound of you clapping.
My poetry is your applause, and perhaps…
an uncomfortable pause.

But we’re told all the time in these senseless chimes,
That it’s a crime if our words don’t rhyme.
But what are we missing?
Perhaps a smile? A Smile of Love? A Smile of Deceit?
A Smile of Smiles where these two Smiles meet?

Look at my shiny teeth. (Grin)

We weren’t born as we are;
We were cradled by the stars,
The billion dreamers of the past,
From whose mold we are cast.
We ALL spring from the exact same mud,
We are forgeries of each others’ souls and blood.
Flocking like birds of a feather,
(Dance) “I am he, as you are he, as you are me, and we are all, together.”
Connected in ways you couldn’t know any better.
Forged by words we’ve heard, and word left unsaid;
The poetry of the earth is never dead.

All these innovations need SOME improvement.
I’m not ripping anyone off, I’m making an Art-Movement!

Good artists copy, great artists steal.
But even better artists know how to plan their meal.
Keep the best, remove the rest,
Compel it to stand time’s own test
Using the Hadron Collider of your mind
To smash two ideas for something new to find.


It isn’t poetry if nobody has heard it.
It isn’t poetry if nobody is moved.
Every song demands to be heard.
Every pain demands to be felt, not removed.
There are masterpieces, locked in vaults of your heart,
And we Robin Hoods rob this treasure, and then we impart
All of it to malnourished ignorants to know and feed,
Even if they have no idea what the hell they need!

That is not your obligation. But one great choice,
To enrich the world with your voice.
Until tears of their cheer are on the run,
Your work, my friend, is never done.

But don’t just build yourself from someone else’s blueprint!
Because brick by brick, when you build from the earth
That is already there, you give birth
To a stroke of paint upon the canvas of your soul.
So design the masterpiece that makes you whole.

Yes, I’m a thief of words and dreams.
Now, you would wonder what else I’d rob.
Turn the knob of your bosom, and look for what’s missing.
And by the time you’re hissing, I will be gone!
Maybe encompassed by the ages, lost in a billion pages.
Crossing from mind to mind, becoming… an idea.

“Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.”


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