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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