we rise from moments like these
poems like we rise
like these us
gathering the salt
into our palms
until we need them
I haven’t felt like much of a poet or an artist lately. The last poem I wrote was in March. The last time I picked up a pen to write a poem was in April. But tonight at the APIA Summit Family Showcase, as I watched folks go up on the mic giving everything they got and receiving so much love, I realized how much I miss performing. It’s been a struggle to give time to my own artistry as I try to balance Sulu DC, the day job, and a personal life (when I get the chance). It’s always going to be a constant struggle, I know that. But for a minute there I thought I had lost it. Lost the drive and the hunger to write, to perform, to share stories, to speak.
For the past 24 hours all I’ve done at this Summit is talk and listen. To elders to get perspective on the history of the Summit and the process they went through to plan one. To mentors and friends who have seen me struggling with hard questions about art, work, and love. To emerging poets as I realize that their current reality is my past and my current reality is someone else’s past. Never have I been at a Summit at such a critical time as now. The first one I went to in 2005 introduced me to the space, but this one gives me meaning.
Props to all of the Twin Cities crew of organizers. Thanks to all who are here.