Posts Tagged ‘street poetry’

It is not, what it is

You’ll never change what it is

If we did what it is we want/

Bet these guys would stop touching kids

This world makes you feel crazy

Like you’re the only one seeing this

There’s a homeless man down the street

He got no insurance; he’s real sick

Whistling while we walk by

Oughta/ give him a roundhouse kick

& it’s only getting colder

Even though the ice is getting thin

Live a life but are we living?

Heart atrophy & we’re all in

Bought the fear; just hoping for change

We all know something needs to flip

As the story/s getting older

Anticipate apocalypse

I will be what I am

No one person owns

A fail-safe identity

Write on that tape

Over your mouth

Continue to laugh

Till the truth comes out

Can keep riding this bus

But it ain’t changing its route

Don’t play a part

We never were any more

©2012 (zenspeak9 publications un/incorporated)

sketch by Eric David Lough

Put on your best and head

To the new church

Of the Paradigm Saints

Embrace this pain

Because the truth it hurts

And may God bless the T.V.

How ever would we see what was happening,

if we didn’t get it intravenously?

But we can only do so much vicariously

Feel the pulse of the streets

A disease spreading

Something darker

More consuming

Than even poverty

Of more value

Than mere wage slavery

Come off your knees

Survey the scene

Before it’s too late

There’s miracles to consummate

Forget the new speech of old newspeak

Hope and change that no one believes

Rigor mortis of humanity is setting

Take time out to look in

Went from night to day to memory

And every bloody Sunday

To a ghost haunting in small doses

An hour here

A summer there

Been no bed of roses

Drawing dreams like a last breath

Sewing torn seams

Is all we got

I love my city and I every day I watch a little more of it burn away.

It’s said the world is a stage and I’m but an actor in a play.

I want a new disguise.

Tired of these tired-old lies.

But I am really happy for these guys.

A real show of hands.

Finding a way to profit under any type of circumstance.

And all the jobs this suffering creates.

Yeah… it’s great.

But people are dying here.

Bombarded with mongered fear.

With no clear destination.

But that is what happens when you let yourself be taxed without representation.

We nodded off at the wheel.

We missed out on the new deal.

We got kicked in the gut.

But now we’re waking up.

Little by little returning to grace.

It took us awhile to develop a different style of syntax to articulate this new kind of treachery being perpetrated upon the human race.

Thieves nailed next to Jesus.

They got us.

Slaves in a machine.

We’ve been sold our own dreams.


Enjoy it for it won’t happen again.

Everyday a few more thieves are raised from the dead.

Hey fellow Word warriors.

Strange days around these parts. The final edition of the ZENspeak publication has arrived. This self publishing foray has been a trip. At first, I didn’t know what to think of self publishing. I am of the generation that thought, crazy though it may be, the artist was paid for his work, not the other way around. But in this age where everything is turned into a racket, it was silly to think that something as potentially commercial as writing, would be safe for long from the evil clutches of American marketing. Maybe that’s not a bad thing. Maybe it will give volume to millions of voices that had otherwise never been heard. I thought self publishing could dilute the credibility of art, letting any Joe with a couple hundred dollars available, loose on the art scene. I thought the only people it really empowered were those with access to money. Thus the impoverished, were where they have always been, left in silence. I thought money would come to dictate art. But then I thought, that’s how things already are. I thought a lot of things. But here I am, self publishing. Maybe I thought wrong. I tell you what dear reader, in the last six months I’ve learned: editing, publishing, promoting, digital photography, editing digital video, and developing and publishing a web site. And of all of it, I can honestly say none is more daunting than the book’s formatting. Don’t say I didn’t warn you aspiring hacks.

The 5 edition of the ZENspeak spoken word features 4 poems including: HyperREALity Of The INNER City; The Magic Show; And She Says She Wants Darkness; Gothic America

HyperREALity Of The INNER City is the result of a prose/poetry hybrid I’ve been developing for years. This is nothing groundbreaking. Many have attempted this before me, arguably, Arthur Rimbaud to the best effect. Usually, this style has a phonic ring to it that enables the reader to identify the poetry embedded within it. I wanted to strip away all such poetic devices; no alliteration, consonance, half-false-full rhymes, anything that gives the piece poetic characteristics. But it can’t be read as straight prose either. I want the reader to feel this discord. It just doesn’t fit. It’s strange. The subject deals with the O.G.s of the inner cities. O.G. is an extravagant term. They are just bums that have been bumming for decades and have achieved a certain type of “hood fame” for basically just surviving fiend-dom. These old timers believe they are privy to a certain esoteric knowledge. That the youngsters just don’t know the secrets of the game the way that those that came before them knew the secrets of the game. But those secrets wind up being no more than lies and death, and they don’t come cheap.

The Magic Show rewords every bad relationship I’ve ever had the unfortunate luck of getting involved in. A particular one came to mind while penning this piece. It started out pleasant enough, with a girl who thought I was the cat’s meow. I always did these magic tricks for her. She’d go nuts for them and always try to get me to tell her how I did them. After a few months of tricks, I broke down and taught her the in/s and out/s of my magic. She never wanted to see any of those tricks again. She seemed mad, once she found out how simple the tricks were, and that there was a time when I had tricked her into believing in them. After we broke up, the whole relationship and how it turned out, seemed to be reflected by that lesson in magic. At first, it’s all sparks and intrigue; but, in the end, we fall for a trick, and once we know the trick, the magic is gone, never to be regained. I don’t stick to form and rhyme schemes very often. Show and Darkness are two of my better examples of such.

And She Says She Wants Darkness has been traveling with me for years. It has always been one of my favorites, but I never could find it a proper home. It was too short to stand on its own. When the ZENspeak book came along, I found a perfect fit. Darkness was born of a time that I was reading a lot of Milton and Plath. Milton’s blank verse was definitely rubbing off on me and Plath was a monstrous influence on me. When I read Plath, I feel as if I’ve been reduced to a child psychologically. She throws me into a world of boys and girls and daddies and mommies and everything seems normal on the surface, but there is a terrible distress bubbling under the surface. Darkness is a brief account of a girl that has a pretty uptown life, but she also has a second life, a darker life, a second face that no one from the uptown area has ever seen her wear.

Gothic America comes from my constant entanglement with the romantic literary movement. I wanted to illustrate the romanticism of the United States. Most Americans suffer from a romantic-self-aggrandizing. We believe that we are everything good that is holding this evil world together. That it is up to us to save the world. To give the world freedom. Even while we are destroying it. It’s not just that. Walk up to someone and ask them what they are. Bet they don’t say that they are American. You may hear, “I’m Italian, or German, or Dutch,” but you won’t hear, “Why silly sir, I am an American!” We blame our heritage for little quirks like our temper, or our inclination to gossip. Ever hear, “I just can’t control my anger, you know I’m Irish.” We remain connected to our cultures, but in a way that doesn’t require much leg work. We don’t practice the rituals and traditions that come along with a culture. We have a romantic sense of what it means to be German or Irish. All of this brought me to the funeral of Percy Shelley. To those that don’t know, Percy had drowned out at sea. Back then, a body found at sea was quarantined, not to leave the beach for the possibility of contagions. A small group of Percy’s inner circle collected on the beach, to burn his already decomposing body. This resulted in a story that has been dramatized to an effect that would make any true romantic proud. Some accounts tell us that Trelawny plucked Percy’s heart from the ashes of this raging fire and wrapped it in Percy’s poem Adonais. The heart, and its clever wrapping, were later to be sealed in Percy’s sarcophagus. The detail that his heart was wrapped in his poem, Adonais, is not wasted on those with even a cursory knowledge of Shelley’s work. Percy wrote Adonais as a tribute to the then, recently deceased John Keats. Keat’s tragic passing at such an early age, deeply affected Percy. Beautiful this symbolism may be, the real account differs slightly. By the time Trelawny reached for Percy’s heart, the organ was carbonized ash. The heart was not buried nor enshrined in a tomb, but was ultimately entrusted to Mary Shelley, who eventually passed the morbid keepsake to her and Percy’s son. With all this said, I thought of America, how she seems to be dying, and who can really face the reality of this. Who will light the great pyre for her? Where are our prophetic romantics now?

…and if you get a chance check out the ZENspeak book. There’s a twenty page preview floating around.

ZENspeak publications spoken word reading volume 4: Mind Forg/d Manacles; Art of Being Nobody; Awaken

I had a dream

More like a nightmare

I was walking down a

Lights-out road let/s

Just say Parkview street

A police car drove by

Knew what would come

Next so I threw the

Fire & waited; the brake

Lights came on &

the car hit reverse

& next thing I knew I

Ran for my life

& I was panting,

Jumping over fences

An abandoned

House came into view

Its broken window made

A nice entrance

I huddled in an

Empty corner while more

Cops arrived on

The scene getting REAL

Close; patrolling; creeping

Through yellow yards

It was a matter

Of time; damn, why the hell

Did I run; flee

The scene; though there was

No scene from which to flee

A felony

So I waded out

Before they found me; tried


They drug me back to

The street; smacked my head off

The hood; chipped teeth

Tombstones buried in

Pink soil; thanks Gunslinger

These guys must think

That they/re king; then my

Friend drives by & parks down

The road & starts

To record with his

Phone camera this now

Turned travesty

They arrest him &

He/s charged with obstructing

Next we/re sitting

In county; cop comes

Up & asks me, “Why did

I run?” I tell

Him, “Cops freak me out

& scare me.” He says, “There/s

No worry if

I/d done no wrong.” I

Smile through my bloodied teeth

These Goths…

With their designer clothes.

Designed to look non/designer.

& their mascara running.

Is not America Satanic enough?

I bear scars.

Saw infected arms.

Heard store alarms.

I/ve known tricks

that sell their souls real quick

for a bag to get off sick.

A land where your existence

is measured and weighed

& factored in as economy.

Do not tell me

about the dark reality.

The hell with Crowley.

You want scary?

Go into the heart of darkness;

the INNER city.

Behind every building,

under every bridge,

in every bathroom stall,

are our cities’ deepest pits.

There the dark sits.

Where are the real Gothic?

Those who burned the body of Percy?

Whose heart was collected

from the ashes of that great funeral fire.

For the human heart

is notorious

for being difficult to burn.

His heart enveloped

by his poem Adonais.

Words which cemented

Keats’s legacy.

Those magnificent lights that never stay with us.

Where are the:

Blakes and

Keats and

Byrons and

Clares and

Shelleys and

Coleridges and

Wordsworths now?

Who will light the pyre for America?

For she IS dying…

Who here will burn their hand taking her heart from the embers of the fire?

Who will wrap her heart in the already*blood*soaked constitution?

That shining poem…

Written as testimony to those that came before us:

That we were here.

That we saw truth.

That we would crawl from underneath

the tyranny of aristocracy.

Never again living on our knees.

That shining moment…

When we still believed.

Before this dark wind of apathy

swept over the streets of our cities.

Now is the time…

We can finally breathe.

For us to speak.

For us to dream.

Now is the time…

We learn to live again.

If Blake could see this:

The industrial wasteland,

My city has become.

Like its sisters,


Across this spiritually thin country,

Prostitutes excommunicated.

Waterways contaminated.

No clean hands will touch her again.

The skeletal remains of factories,

Lay strewn about,

Shattered fragments everywhere,

Lots littered,

Buildings riddled,

With patterns of glass-less windows,

Broken by a seemingly random nature,

Towering in defiance; offering no compliance,

To the natural laws.

Something so unnatural,

So destitute.

Haunted by the ghosts,

Of a thousand men:

Who gave her every wish,

Every dream,

Every nuance of energy,

Their very hope resided with her..

The place that would in one day,

Terminate all hope.

A holocaust of hope,

You could say happened that day.

And what of the survivors?

Those who lost everything?

Families wounded so deep.

Fatally; but slowly.

Those who stayed;

Yet, knew this town would yield nothing but more pain.

And a multitude of bastard children.


With little hope left for their future.

Those abandoned by the Fathers’ of Industry.

The giants of the earth.

Children that know better than ask,

“Is dad coming home at last?”

And what would we say to William if he was here?

… that painter, that poet, that seer…


“We thought someone else would figure it out down the line?”


“We thought the children would take care of it in time?”

Or would we just stand and look stupidly,

At the face of this prophetic force,

Then try the terrible truth,

“That we knew it was never to get better…”

“That we knew it was only to get worse…”

“There would never be any “fixing” of it…”

“That we were there to cash out, before it collapsed in on itself.”

“Better the future than us, William. Better them than us…”


When I first started writing on WordPress, I had a target goal in mind: to search the artistic WordPress community for like-minded individuals and start an artistic conglomeration of street artists. What is a street artist? Well, that is a difficult question to answer. I’m not sure that I can even answer this clearly. There’s the street artists like Banksy and Fairey. Which further begs the question: is a street artist just a graffiti artist? What is street art? Maybe, I can not answer that directly either. But what I can safely say, is that I will know it when I see it. Now, I can tell you what street poetry is. Basically, street poetry is spoken word in written form. It is an interchangeable form with its sister art, the spoken word. Street poets write about the social issues and injustices of the world around them. They write about the real. The real shit that is happening around them and to them. This conglomeration of like-minded artists will be called The Ninth Circle.

In the Divine Comedy, Dante poetically illustrates the Ninth Circle of Hell as the domain of the traitors that betrayed their fellow-man. The politicians and bureaucrats and judges and papacy. Not much has changed here in the 21st century. It is our dream; to gather a conglomeration of disenfranchised-starving-street-artists to help those, still lost in the darkness of the ninth circle, and artistically aid their ascension from that circle to achieve their true potential.

Our goal will be to create a non-mainstream movement in painting, poetry, writing, music and any other artistic endeavor that is creatively aligned with the Circle’s agenda.

And what is our agenda exactly? To create pure art and help others create a pure form of their art by providing them a network of other street artists that offer creative support, collaborative efforts from our other artists, and promotion from a social network able to reach thousands when all the artists of the Circle pool their publicize resources together.

We accept everyone with work that is artistic and relevent to the world around us.

We don’t have to supplicate or compromise our works to a system that sees profit as the only merit that art has to offer.

We will always support our brothers and sisters in the Circle.

With a unified effort of considerable talent, we will create an artistic movement that operates and changes on its own terms, and must be recognized by the mainstream.

If one makes it, we all make it.

Nobody who puts in an artistic effort gets left behind. NEVER…

Join The NINTH CIRCLE; for soon, we will be legion…

Carl-Paul Henneman

The Forgotten City

Posted: December 3, 2012 in Poetry
Tags: ,

Disconnect me

From the very fabric of reality

Know thy enemy

Drag them around on their knees

You can smell them bleed

A child unaware of this cabal

Perpetuating economic slavery

Help me

Rewire the fire of my synapses

Readjust me after the relapses

Rework my fried circuits

Help me

For I am sick

Sick of myself

Sick of being sick

Of everyone else

Where is our GOD?

We are on our knees

Help me

Your children are suffering

They are on their knees

Help me

I am so sorry

Your poetry is not what I’m living

Is not what I’m seeing

Help me