Written on:December 26, 2017
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Writer’s Note: I don’t know if the following is a rant or a poem or something in between but I wrote it in New York City while ingesting the malodorous, beautiful smell of smog and gazing up at the colossal concrete redwoods as they competed for a glimpse of God. So whatever this writing is, I was inspired to abandon constraint and explore a lack of boundaries for my words while soaking in the city. The Big Apple is an imposingly magical place to be an artist creating art. To quote John Lennon, “Today America is the Roman Empire and New York is Rome itself.” Game on.


The difference between writing poetry
+++++and writing song lyrics
++++++++++is that with poetry,
+++++++++++++++the rhyming is optional.

One might think that the inherent freedom
+++++would make poetry easier
++++++++++but in my experience,
+++++++++++++++an open canvas is harder.

Your soul is more exposed.

+++++There are only
+++++so many ways
+++++to express yourself
+++++through the limitations
+++++of rhyming.

++++++++++Don’t get me wrong,
+++++++++++++++I love the challenge.

+++++++++++++++In fact,
++++++++++I crave the adrenaline rush
+++++of being backed into a rhyming dead-end
and punching my way out of it.

Case in point,
+++++I’m currently sitting with a pen and pad
+++++on the 31st floor of my hotel in hip hop’s birthplace
++++++++++drawing inspiration from the beats of the city
++++++++++to get my rhymes perfect
on some bars that had been giving me trouble.

There’s something almost spiritual
+++++about being present
++++++++++in this space
+++++that has cultivated
++++++++++an incomparable community
+++++++++++++++of emcees
++++++++++and finding a way
+++++to tap into
their inimitable artistic energy
+++++++++++++++in order to conquer my verse.

+++++++++++++++But having this ability
++++++++++to benefit from collective creativity
+++++to solve my rhyming challenges
my belief
+++++that the open canvas
++++++++++of poetry
+++++++++++++++is harder.

With poetry,
there is no community to rely on
because the page
is a mirror.

++++++++++There are also
++++++++++no structural excuses
++++++++++for hiding in
++++++++++the safety of form.

When I press pause on the city’s instrumental
+++++and retreat to the deafening silence
++++++++++of staring down the barrel of a blank page
+++++++++++++++that’s been designated for writing poetry,
+++++++++++++++I know I’ll be alone with the taste
++++++++++of my solitary experience
+++++in this city
of nine million people
+++++++++++++++I’ll either
+++++++++++++++blink or

Written December 2017 in New York, New York

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