poet

The Game of Life

xcover2.jpg

Mortal Man

The Game of Life

By: Cleavon (Proph3ssorX) Matthews Jr.

Mortal: 1.) That must die at sometime 2.) Of man as a being who must die 3.) Causing death of the body and or soul 4.) Lasting until death  5.) Very great; Extreme

Man: Noun- 1) An adult, male human being 2) Any human being; Person 3) The human race 4) Human Servant 5) A husband 6) Any piece used in a game. Verb- 1) to supply with people for work, defense ect. 2) To take one’s place at on, or in 3) To make oneself stronger or braver  Suffix- 1) A person of a certain country 2) A person doing a certain work 3) A person who uses or works some device.

black man blues-046.jpg

When we are young we wish to be old. When we become old we seek our youth; however, it is when we mature that we learn to appreciate each moment that makes up this thing called life. Any and every human being will encounter struggles, even without them the scales of life are not the easiest to balance. Yet, there is only one fact that remains no matter who you are or what you do; there must come a time where all living things must die. So what will you do with the time you have here? Do you get consumed in your ego and drown? Have you allowed defeat to get the last laugh? Or did you overcome that in which seemed impossible?  Did you hide in shame of guilt or did you share your story so that one day when met with the same challenges as you someone else can know that they too can make it? Or did you just share in order to boast?

black man blues-048.jpg

With that being said.

What are you willing to die for?

Better yet, What are you living for?

The games life plays can you deal with it?

The constant repenting and sinning cause we all fall short

It's not the trip but how you recovered the slip

When times get rough did you just dip?

What work did you supply?

Whom did you serve?

What legacy did you leave?

What marks did you achieve?

If none then I respect you still

It can’t be an office without the real people in the field

So I salute you

Your value isn’t placed in a bank account and possessions

But the opportunities to learn lessons

Protect yourself at all times realize

Sometimes the tricks are only in your mind

Don’t forget to be kind
No matter what country you are in don’t miss the chance to meet a friend

share a bit of time to admire each others works

Growing stronger and braver together in order to take our rightful place.

Understanding we are apart of one race.

Clipping dying buds blooming bountiful blossoms of bliss

We are more than just husbands, sons, brothers, uncles, cousins, friends, we can not be bound to our professions and the ideals impressed upon us by society

We carry the seed of life

Molded by Mistakes

Made through Mishaps

Manifested outta Misery

Mounted on the shoulders of those who has come before us

Mortal men we are

Monuments to love

UnMeasured and Magnified

Mortal Men are We

 
black man blues-044.jpg

The Game of Life

Cleavon (Proph3ssorX) Matthews Jr.

Human | Artist | Writer | Teacher | Culture Critique

Cleavon is my friend that collaborated with me at my (The Way I See It) photography exhibit. Our conversations on life helped plant the seed for me to start the Mortal Man project.

You can keep up with him on social media at:

Instagram: @proph3ssorx

Twitter: @prophessorx

Permission to Cry

mortal man

permission to cry

by: tripp fontane

KBS order (1 of 1)-7.jpg


Permission to cry, mama?

I know you say big boys aren't supposed to

What about when I don’t feel so big

When I feel as small as singular salt stain on cheek

I’m hurt

Watching you hurt

Forcing your body well past 40 hours

Working your fingers to arthritis

Struggling to interlock your fingers

Planting prayers under your pillow

Crying over them nightly

At least let me cry with you

Maybe they’ll grow faster

 

Permission to cry, babe?

I know it makes me weaker

A little less man with every tear

But I'm tired

Exasperated

From keeping it all in

My arms aren't big enough to hold us both together at once

I'd rather let it out than let you go

Are my tears safe with you?

Can I trust you enough to lay down my burdens

And them not being weaponized and held against me?

Can I be imperfect?

More man than super

Must my masculinity be my kryptonite here too?

 

Permission to cry, my nigga?

I mean I was there when it happened

I know it's against the code

But I don't wanna be a G right now

I just wanna grieve

My eyelids ain’t got much strength no way

Closing my eyes couldn’t stop closed casket

Couldn’t stop me from seeing just how cruel fate can be

I can’t continue on congested

Heavy

No Paul could bear the weight

Eyelids weary from playing dam to an overdue river of truth

My eyelids not strong enough to stop me seeing

 

Permission to cry, dad?

I know it’s not how you raised me

But, I’ve fallen

Too many times to ignore pain

I’ve been in pain too long to continue neglecting the healing process

‘Cuz I don’t wanna be the man your actions taught me to be

Cold

Bitter as tears that never fell

Oppressive weight you were too “strong” to let go

You taught me emotionally immature

You taught me to trap myself behind walls of bravado

To call them protection

Call them manhood

Do you even remember how to cry out for help?

 

Permission to cry?

‘Cuz I’m broken

From contorting spirit into stereotypes called masculinity

From trying so hard to pull the pieces together

They’re never all they cracked up to be

Permission to be

Okay

Or

Not okay

And express is

Permission to express

To evict negative energy without fear of judgment

Permission to breath

To sigh in the name of relief

Permission to baptize

To be cleansed in a collection of my own tears

Permission to...… to...… to...


Tripp Fontane

Rapper | Poet | Educator | Author

Tripp Fontane is a Dayton native - rapper, poet, educator, author of the book (All Is Fair - A Collection of Poems and Thoughts on Love) and founding member of the spoken word group of Underdog Academy.

instagram: @trippfontane and @underdogacademy

facebook: Tripp Fontane

twitter: @TrippFontane

website: uapoetry.com

booking inquiries: trippfontane@gmail.com

order Tripp’s (All Is Fair) book: All Is Fair

Neverland

_AP27683-Edit.jpg

Mortal Man

Neverland

by: Nathan Tipton

That morning I couldn’t hear the tick tock of the timer clock resting in the crocodiles scaly stomach, as my ears were submerged underwater.

But I could see the band of pirates we were racing against to see who could touch the wall at the edge of the ocean first. I don’t wanna brag but I won that race.

After the victory, we made it back to the forest, I mean after the swim meet we made it back to my house… Sorry I had a big imagination as a kid.

_AP27691.jpg

But, at a young age Peter and Tink, I mean mom and dad, taught us all we had to do is think lovely thoughts and we could fly.

And that’s all I would do, going on an adventures, exploring new lands, battling pirates, which is what I was doing after the swim that morning, until my brother and I heard a cry coming from the edge of the forest. It was Tink?

“Peter is hurt”, she screamed, “Please call an ambulance!!!”

We got the lost boys on our communication devices. Tootles, Nibs, Slightly, Curly and the twins sounded older than I thought, but they said they’d be over right away.

When we went to go see what was wrong, Dad wasn’t breathing so we had to give him...

I mean Peter was fine he just needed a sprinkle of pixie dust.

The lost boys rushed in to help and said they’d take it from there.

They made so much of a mess, I remember joking that we could have peter clean it up later.

I asked one of the lost boys what was wrong and the officer replied, “He went into cardiac arr…”

_AP27666.jpg

I mean tootles said Captain hook caught an attack Peters chest when he wasn’t looking.

We rode behind the ambulance to the hos…

SORRY… I mean, I was have a hard time flying so the lost boys flew us to the Piccanny tribe, where Peter would be healed.

Son it’s fine, don’t forget the happy thoughts, all you need is happy thoughts

Please come here Son, don’t forget the happy thoughts, all you need is happy thoughts

You have to go say goodbye to your father, don’t forget the happy thoughts, all you need is happy thoughts.

When I walked in, I only remember seeing a beautifully painted picture with the color in the middle starting to bleed to the outside.

Dad don’t you color out. Dad don’t you bleed on out.

Stay in the lines.

Stay in the lines.

_AP27710.jpg

In loving memory of my father. It is interesting to see how positively the growth from my father’s absence has affected me, and how it taught me (cliché alert) how short life really is. It taught me that there are so many points in life where one can deconstruct negativity and (hopefully) find a basis of gratitude. For instance, yea I am stuck in traffic, but when was the last time I was consciously thankful for my shoes, and whahahah I’m in a vehicle right now that can accelerate at inhuman speeds with the touch of my big toe!!!! WHAT THE F*** LIFE IS MAGIC!!! Granted it is also important to recognize that sometimes really real life can really real suck, and the emotions caused from that should not be invalidated. But recognizing how passively American culture has taught me to take my life for granted was very liberating to realize.  Trying to live in a space of constant communion with every relationship in my life (animate or inanimate, haha) makes it soooo much better. Whether that relationship is with my family, my friends, my strangers (yes, the strangers I interact with, not you haha), the mugs that holds my coffee in the morning, the seat I take on the bus, my car, my socks, the nature that I interact with, the sounds my ears hear (like even the sound propagating from my footsteps into my ears, then processing it through my brain is on some level infinitely complicated!!! AAAHH LIFE F***ING MAGIC!!!)...

_AP27693.jpg

 

Anyways, for myself, this trauma offered an opportunity equal in magnitude to grow. I could not be more thankful in this moment for my father, for the lessons he taught me while alive, and for the lessons he taught me in his absence. Love you Dad!

 

 
_AP27700.jpg

Nathan Tipton

Neverland

Student + Acoustician/Physicist + Poet + Musician/Composer

Author of the book Jokes and Therapyhttps://www.amazon.com/Jokes-Therapy-Nathan-Tipton/dp/1548657301

Sound Design/Composition:

Junior Astronaut: https://soundcloud.com/junior-astronaut

ReFlex Series: https://www.facebook.com/reflexseries/

You Changed Me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iz-m_ETjUMc&feature=youtu.be

Audiobook of The Love and Theory of Womanology by Leroy Bean

instagram/twitter: @juniorastronaut

snapchat: @blondrethegiant

inquiries: nathandatipton@gmail.com

Mortality.

cover
 

Mortal Man

Mortality. 

by: Matthew Vaughn

 

11/26/17

Sitting diagonal to a queen two moons past comfort, I try not to breathe too heavy. Afraid I may frighten her into forever, I speak softly, but with bass enough to be felt. I have never met this beauty, but she is fairly familiar with my face. I am told I resemble Her brother, my grandfather. I find this to be truth when a smile awakens to the mountains of Her cheekbones and a whisper is screamed into my spirit, “How are you doing?” I recite a half truth and tell Her I am well, feed Her hand into my own, and watch as Her wisdom dances still. We share a brief kiss of the eyes, mine, drifting above Her brow to the grey coils wrapping towards a crown.

_AP26846.jpg

Tears of another elder cause a chaos in my chest. I witness the pain between two weeping rivers of remember when and a future without. A loss of hope engulfs the hearts of Her lineage, a gain of understanding sweeps them with purpose. Traveling word informs me, she is given the remainder of the week. Directly into the ear of my mother, and to the lip-reading eyes of my grandmother, “I'm ready to go,” is Her calling.

 

_AP26840.jpg

I write this story without a drop of sorrow, not because I am strong, but because I was only awarded with a moment, and, fortunately, a living and mysteriously nostalgic one. Death often attacks without consideration for those outside of its grasp. It usually does not wave goodbye nor express its love one last time. But it is one last time that we get. Whether or not we know it is then is for the moment to reveal itself to passing truths. This year, a year of unexpectedness, my first year at a college and my first year losing a friend from college, a year which my father's mother volunteered mortality and was denied in her effort, a year which my mother's mother shivered at the mere mentioning of such… as we still await her results, I have learned how troubling the acceptance aspect can be. This is, however, a glorious reflection on the light we have casted in whatever amount of perceived time we are here. It is intentional in both the process of mourning we endure, in whatever way that may be, and the clarity and lessons learned following. Although mortality is on its way, we can still live with enough purpose to enjoy and be enjoyed in everlasting life. In the hearts of our homes. In the memory of many spirits. In the love we spread which lasts, without conditions, into eternal.

_AP26848.jpg
Alexandria Austin 9/16/96—9/26/17

Shirley Williams 4/8/37—11/27/17
 
_AP26824.jpg

Matthew Vaughn

Mortality.

Student + Spirit + Poet + Tree + Maroon Arts Group + Member of Underdog Academy

instagram: @MatthewVaughnUA & @underdogacademy

twitter: @MatthewVaughnUA & @underdogacademy

inquiries: underdogacademy937@gmail.com

website: uapoetry.com

Be sure to keep up with Matthew on social media and please leave comments on this page to offer words of encouragement, to share your story and to keep the dialogue going.

The love and theory listening party

by leroy bean

Book Release-3.jpg

welcome to the center of my imagination; the color spectrum of my feels. where I gave my all in every piece of it or chose the right people that could bring it to life. nathan tipton a.k.a. junior astronaut was the executive producer on the album. i knew with his imagination, good ear, and taste in music he was the perfect person to create the sound for this album. from the very first recording session all the way to the end, it was almost too easy the way it came together. my favorite track we did, because of its complexity, is "women is/what is god". if it isn't bad enough that it's a pantoum poem (look it up) with color coded lines to create five poems in one, nathan brought the colors to sounds. so every color and every line was given a note and just so happened to come out beautiful when we played it. also since a pantoum plays on repetition he created a voice effect for each line, so you will notice lines that share the same vocal effect, are the lines that repeat. then the transition into "What is god" was so perfect! even though we did both tracks at separate times.

IMG_0346.JPG

my brother matthew vaughn from underdog academy (ua) also has one of my favorite parts on the project. in the track "slippery slope" nathan got an idea to sample matt's vocals from his song "dream factory" on soundcloud, as well as some left over sax from a session with ric sexton. slippery slope instantly became a favorite for me. speaking of ric sexton, his place on the album was perfect as well; from "thank god for your existence" to "do you mind, love", he really added that smooth jazzy feel that i wanted. i love the sax!

and lastly my girl mariah is the featured singer on the project. when you have any type of musical project i feel like singing has to be in there somewhere! i'm a huge fan when it comes to her voice and i'm glad my project was one of the first to help her increase her confidence. my favorite from her is "what is love" because the feeling and emotion she put in that was crazy! but "what is beauty" is low key my favorite because of how smoooooooth it rides.

for this to be my first music project, i can say that i am very happy with it and I hope you enjoy it as much as me. 

what is woman?

Darsheel-23.jpg

darsheel

untitled

how can i express womanhood when my mother tongue was buried?

my fluid and expansive nature

violently torn into rigid, unrecognizable, colonial binaries of

male or female/straight or gay/american or foreign/- you can only be one or the other

these are not my categories. 

this isn't my language.


i come from sovereignty.

the blood of spiritual warriors.

lioness. princess.

waheguru.


spirits of mother earth and father sky.

ancient wisdom carried through the wombs of our grandmothers
that hip hop flow, creativity, swag

remixin lands and waters, tongues and ways of knowing and being

honoring those who came before, those here now, and those to come.


my womb is connected to the moon

and the waves, they move through

let them flow, bout all i can do

and i aint got nothin left to prove

kaur is my gender identity

who i am has more to it than that

i carry all the peoples who have poured into me

i belong to the earth, not any nationality

i don't pray to other gods

def not the constitution.

 

do my best to
always serve and love

be part of the solution

i wanna be known with my complexities, not put in a box

so here it is, i share with you

some of me and my thoughts.

 

hip.hop.kaur.

Darsheel-144.jpg

the anatomy of a project

announcing: what is woman

coming september 2, 2017

what is woman-100.jpg

for the past couple of months I have been working on a project with leroy bean “formerly hyerxconscious” and long standing member of underdog academy and big dave scott of ted (the epitome of dope) called what is woman?

 the event takes place saturday, september 2, 2017 at third perk coffee house and wine bar in dayton, oh. and will have serve as a launching point for leroy’s debut chapbook: the love and theory of womanology. the chapbook is a collection of poems that explores the beauty, power and challenges that women face in every day life.

when leroy approached me about the project and provided me with a copy of the book to review there was no doubt that I had to be a part of it. his writings resonated with me on so many levels, forced me to think about the impact that my mother, wife, daughters, aunts and various women have had on my life as well as the positive/negative impact I may have had on women throughout my life.

what is woman-34.jpg

my role in the project was to do a series of portrait with women, “there will be a single image of each on display during the event.” during the sessions  i had open conversations with each of the women about various topics surrounding their personal struggles, triumphs and joys of womanhood ranging from body shaming, expectations, entrepreneurship,  motherhood and identity. these women and their stories will be featured on my blog/digital magazine ap2photography.com/blog on tdb and I highly recommend setting aside time to read them.

please come out to our event: what is woman? on september 2. there will be female vendors on hand and the event will consist of guest performances by spoken word artists siri Imani and azizza love of the blvck seeds, the photography of your’s truly ap2 photography, the artwork of big dave scott, the poetry of leroy bean and a much needed panel discussion whichwill provide us an opportunity to openly discuss the love and theory of woman.

IMG_1438.PNG

there are a limited number of tickets available which can be purchased here at: eventbrite.

you will also have an opportunity to purchase a copy of leroy bean’s chapbook: the love and theory of woman.

be sure to follow us at: for more details!

what is woman?

7:00pm - saturday, september 2, 2017

third perk coffeehouse & wine bar

cleavon by prophessorx

merely a man

_AP21098.jpg

last night i had the honor and pleasure of attending my brother – cleavon’s (known to many as x or prophessorx) book release launch at third perk coffeehouse & wine bar in dayton, oh. to say that I’m proud of x would be an understatement. i’ve been fortunate enough to witness and observe a lot of growth and confidence in x as a man as well as in his poetry and writings.

the chapbook is titled: cleavon by prophessorx and consists of 20 different poems/haikus that are captivating, powerful, unapologetic and emotional. x performed a selection of these writings in front of a crowd of family, friends and fans of his work leaving them inspired and eager for more.

_AP21078-Edit.jpg

If you are interested in purchasing a physical or ecopy of the book “which i highly recommend,” you can do so on his website proph3ssorx.com or by contacting him directly at proph3ssorx@icloud.com.

DSCF2500-Edit-Edit.jpg

follow x on his website: proph3ssorx.com on instagram @proph3ssorx and on soundlcoud.

_AP21122-Edit.jpg
there’s a destiny that makes us brothers; no one goes their way alone. all that we send into the lives of others comes back onto our own.
— brotherhood

cook's row

by: rachelle smith

the line of store fronts are all smoky bbq, clattering feet and saxophone jazz.

on this busy NOLA street i hear a trumpet tribute as i twist the sign to “open” on my tiny eatery.

i wrap my head in a white scarf and pray by the door.

i want the spirits to eat just as well as we do.

ooo! ooo! ooo!

that gumbo appetite heat wave riot.

tap tap a full glass of water with ice.

summer air as spicy as my rice in tuesday’s blue special.

cook’s row is all people shadowy pavement with clustered conversations.

rat tat tat of a snare.

“giiiiirl!” from across the street there.

smell the louisiana breeze.

new as today.

old as voodou.

taste all the home cooking stories you hear.

 

rachelle smith

is a spoken word artist residing in dayton, ohio. words are her passion. her poetry and short stories are inspired by personal experiences, spirituality and the drive to move the reader emotionally. chelle also is an author, grade school teacher and graduate of miami university with a b.a. in creative writing.

connect with chelle: instagram - @sculpchelle | twitter @sculpchelle