spoken word

Urban Diary

Christian

Mortal Man

Urban diary

By: Christian Richardson

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“Home,
is where the Hurt is...
A post circumstance perspective.
A perpetual predisposition
in a climate
too warm for winter,
too cold for love,
but just humid enough
to Hate ourselves...
The Heart of the city...
Leaving holes,
Where it kept beating,
our children
to the punch.
Our residents parked
permanently in gated
communities,
a rat race
Among boys.
trying to see who
can get nowhere
the fastest...
trying to see
how many burdens
they can carry in each casket.
The Gem city.
So much weight
on our shoulders
on the West side.
We always wanted to be
the closest thing
athlete.
The closest thing Dunbar.
A hometown hero,
A Colonel White parallel
between five oaks
and witch trials.
Where there is only enough rope
to hang on by a thread.
but just enough tree,
to be a raisin in the sun...”

 
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“These bones...
are the Storm.
Surrounded on all sides,
imploding at all times.
and they just want to tell the Truth;
that the Silence
is just a calm
In a storm that will never settle...
That this Body of water.
will always remain 60% fluid identity.
That I will only ever know myself;
in waves.”

 
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“It's dark here.
And
It always smells like yesterday
No matter how much
I thrift, throw, and tear
I am still very much a sheep
trapped in wolves clothing
attempting not
to swallow myself whole.
Meanwhile,
Holes
as big as my reflection.
Empty yet still full of shadows
tongue heavy
speaking a language
only winter could understand.
breathes deep...
In hell,
Or some other location
To be determined,
to be damned,
Or
to be diagnosed...
Exhale.
Escape....”

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Urban Diary

By: Christian Richardson

Son | Brother | Artist | Member of Underdog Academy | Nobody Important

You can keep up with Christian at:

instagram: @ c_rich123

twitter: @c_rich123

twitter: @underdogacademy

uapoetry.com

Christian and all of the members of Underdog Academy have participated in the Mortal Man series. On June 29, 2019 they will be hosting: Underdog Academy presents Broken English 101: “Stories Within the Margin” at thePNC Arts Annex - Theatre in Dayton, OH.In this installment of the Broken English series, UA dives into the vantage of the young black male in order to provide perspective on the culture, dialogue, and climate. With a UA only roster, come get to know the minds and the men behind Broken English. Get your tickets early and enjoy a full service bar with table service available! Seating is limited! Tickets available here.

Permission to Cry

mortal man

permission to cry

by: tripp fontane

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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

The love and theory listening party

by leroy bean

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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.

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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?

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love yourself

by kimberly newton

she sits in silence

pondering how gracious her inner being has been to herself

she looks at everything she once believed, everything she told herself.

some good, some bad. some things she wished she never had…..said or done…..

she sits in wonder.

through her darkest days. how she was afraid to show her radiance to the world.

she sat in her loneliness. her view obscured by darkness, aphotic, lifeless.

she avoided the truth like the plague. creating illusions that haunted her. stood in her fears, crying in shame. but who’s to blame?

she aimed to claim fame, but constantly burned by her own flame. too afraid to put out the hate, scarred from her past of bad relationships. sexual involvement with multiple partners. she lay. empty

such a precious jewel but fueled by animosity of her own atrocities and the detestation of others who seemed to have hated her but only hated themselves because of their own self-projections. what a reflection.

wake up beautiful one. find your peace. not a piece. he can’t offer you anything but waste your time with lies, full of deceit all smoke and mirrors when you look, who do you see?

love yourself until you love yourself. but what does that mean?

look within goddess.

through meditation and forgiveness you’ve learned to keep pushing. reveal yourself. unveil your past. it is not your future. it does not predicate who you forever will be. don’t you see?

love

something so mundane. very easy to say but so hard to claim.

love

not what you say, but what you do. through generational curses, you can subdue the untrue you, push through... goddess.

what your mother carried in her womb has been released through you. you do not have to carry the torch of her past, pasts, pasts, transgressions and untruths.

love conquers fear

trumps guilt

overshadows hate

cures evil

transcends distress ‘til all your fears dissipates

immortalizes immortality

and circumvents your discomfort

god-dess

god…….desss

god….does

god….is

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love yourself until you love yourself

create a harmonious sound that resonates so deep within you that the heavens seep in the lives of others from the godly words that you speak. keep your waters pure and your integrity meek.

be open to love in various forms. respect yourself and all others. love does not hurt it gives joy to all your sisters and your brothers.

from your lowest esteem to your highest esteem. let your femininity shine bright. for you are wombman a goddess, you are a bringer of light.

a sexual being and a sensual being. in your totality you are truth. your truth compliments your being. from what you birth it shall never die. be the LOVE that you seek. goddess awaken. now is your reprise.

being woman is claiming your freedom!  inside and out!!!

kim is an artists of multiple talents, you can connect with her on facebook: kimberly newton and on instagram: @poetik_lioness

what is woman?

leroy bean

this guest blog is by leroy bean, author of the love and theory of womanology. 

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a spoken word poet  from dayton, ohio starting my new artistic journey as leroy bean. after being apart of underdog academy for over 2 years, i have had the opportunity to perform at many colleges and universities such as ohio state university, ohio dominican university, university of cincinnati and more. i was the 2017 litfest poetry slam winner for the university of dayton and was chosen to be published in both their orpheus and writ literary magazines. i am the host of the underdog academy's expressions open mic and now i am finally releasing my second chapbook - the love and theory of womanology.

this complete project includes a chapbook with 37 poems, including a 7 poem series, 16 haiku's, and a pantoum. also includes an audio book that isn't your traditional read along on tape. the audio book is all put together over instrumentals to provide a completely separate experience from the chapbook itself even though the poems have not changed. one gives you room to implement your own imagination and the other sits you in the center of my imagination and feel for the project as a whole and the individual poems.  i've always approached my poems from a different perspective; creating story's or satirical poems to get my point across.

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in december 2016 I was inspired by music, conversation, and just consistent signs pointing me down this path to create a chapbook dedicated to woman. after reaching a new point on this journey for developing a better understanding for love and compassion for all life, i realized that i have been blinded by my male privilege. from the experience as a black male in america, i have witnessed oppression first hand and was able to transfer that comprehension to the relationship between man and woman. it was made clear to me how much of a habit sexism was alone and although i did not install this way of thinking on my own, it is still my responsibility to recognized my mistakes in order to grow as a human. this lead me to build a chapbook, metaphorically giving woman the power that was bestowed upon men, "in the beginning", with genesis by characterizing god as a woman that not just created but gave birth to the universe. also emphasizing on the characteristics that woman are deemed weak for, such as their love and support. also bringing important woman characters to the forefront such as mother nature, eve, and the roll of "the mother" in american society.

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upon the ending of the books creation it dawned on me that if i really wanted to help influence as much of the community as possible then I would have to bring the book to life. this lead to the event, "what is woman?" where I teamed up with ap2 photography and ted's own big dave to help bring the vision to life; men using their platform to help bring shine to the woman's perspective and experience. although this is a release event for my new chapbook, the book is far from being the face of the event. this premium art experience showcases nothing but the strength and struggles of women. using the power of art and it's influence on people, we dedicated paintings and photo shoots to the diverse beauty of woman and counter the countless shaming that society puts on women that don't fall within it's standards. what is woman? showcases female vendors and performers to portray the wide-range of talent that women have. It will be held in a business owned by a woman to show their strength and intelligence. what is woman? will challenge the audience with that very title by having a panel discussion to assure that the voice of the woman is heard. even if it is only in front of 50 to 100 people, i know it will still be effective because at the end of the day, communication leads to solutions and  seeds will get planted to initiate a ripple of change in the minds of the future. 

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what is woman will take place satuday, september 2 at third perk coffeehouse & wine bar in downtown dayton, ohio at 7:00pm. tickets are limited and are available to purchase on eventbrite, “includes the option to preorder the book as well.” 

cleavon by prophessorx

merely a man

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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.

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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.

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

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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