Feb 27, 2006

In case you ever get stuck...

In case you ever get stuck...

Try this link, if you want a new suggestion, just click f5 (or refresh your page.) The button doesn't seem to work...

What do you think, helpful isn't it?!


Feb 26, 2006

Somethin' New!

Hey guys, congratulations again on yesterday's exceptional performances at the Urban Word Preliminiaries. Not in a thousand lifetimes could I have predicted that outcome! You guys never cease to amaze me with your level of commitment and sacrifice for your craft and for each other. Simply impressive.

Last thing...I'm quoting this last part from Fish Vargas' blog. You guys remember him right? What do you think, does this sound familiar, relevant? Let me know...

"I have been facilitating workshops for various organizations for about 1 solid year now. So far the bulk of my teachings have been with Urbnan Word Nyc. If you don't know who they are- you will eventually if you are a poet. They are straight leading the way in performance/slam/poetry in NYC for the teen sector.
Last night I go through my freshly stolen books of poetry. I want to pick out a poem or two to take to my class. I did something completely new to me. I went for the good poetry factor. I usually pander to my students and get them something I know they would be interested in. This usually culminates in raps, lyrics or poems catering to something they understand or relate to. It's not easy to keep the attention of someone who is 12 - 16 years old. They are only interested in becoming a Beau Sia or Stacy ann Chin on Def Poetry. They want tp perform before they even learn to write. So of course I try to meld the two.
" If you write an awesome poem, you will be able to perform it"
Usually they just get to read from their seats. It's a battle and it's not easy. Especially when you want to reach EVERY single one of your students.Today we learn " My Mother is in Los Angeles " by Patrick Rosal for Liza Alegado. I have no clue who Liza Alegado is so can someone e-mail that info."
The original post is in the archives of his blog

Feb 24, 2006


Gotta write, gotta type
Place these similes and rhymes just right
Tweak it a bit, fix it a bit, not too much, not too tight
Have to enjoy it, don't be tight
So many ideas from so many minds, no matter the color, black or white
Creating negative images for people to see, what a sight
May be hurtful, maybe too hurtful, but it's the manner in which you show it that matters
Talk about anything, your beauty or your disgust about how you're getting fatter
Lil kids writing about animals, teenagers trying find themselves, searching for that ladder
That takes you to the next floor, next level, next journey, it might be harder
Tired of seeing people complain about their leader, BUSH
Weren't they the ones who voted, or who didn't, either way, giving him that extra push
I'm not trying to start any problems, we have enough problems already
Like over-populated schools, dropouts, deseases, and lost babies' daddies
But fu*k those babies' daddies cuz our next generaton seems to have a plan
Maybe they will expand knowledge like we expand land
Maybe they will make intelligence as desirable as money
Maybe they will make it mandatory for every baby to have a daddy
Maybe they will

Feb 8, 2006


We can’t stop it and I can’t tame him
That’s why I got a Jew praying for Allah to save him
Just stare fear in the eye come to a conclusion
You aren’t shot up so this isn’t a delusion
Seemed so tough but now you’re a coward
You was on top of it all now you don’t got no power

Fear messed with people minds but I don’t give about anything now
You all should be ashamed so go put your face down
We got so many phobias it’s a phobia itself
Instead of facing it, we run because we can’t help ourselves

You said you were going to face fear but you don’t have the guts
You wouldn’t face it because there was a spider on the wall
You are all crazy, your afraid of stupid stuff you heard
Like spiders, volcanoes even birds and words

One Halloween a guy runs faster and faster
He runs hide under a sheet because he is afraid of Casper
I have a friend he says he is a hustler
But he is so afraid of ghosts he calls for Ghostbusters

Fear is not a fear so don’t fear it
It’s all in your mind so why are you scared of it
What you should be scared of is guns and knifes
Because those are actual objects that might take your lives

When you’re faced with gats and straps you should be scared because of a simple fact attached
Because it will turn a dark alley into a wrestling match
When fear comes this way you quiver
And become so stiff you make your body heat shiver

When fear comes no one dares confront it
Unless a daredevil dares to confront and hunt it
So it all leads up why are you scared?
Why do you fear something you fear?
Wow! no answer that’s a big step
So when you step to a gang you will only have one lung left

People say “fear has nothing to fear except fear itself”
That’s crazy because fear doesn’t fear because it is itself
What people say don’t listen to them
The truth is you face your fear then you don’t need help

Don’t be scared the truth is here
So don't be a coward just face your fear

Feb 7, 2006

Style is Beyond

My mind is in the right place but you don’t know
You can’t knock off my "Hustle and Flow"
You can’t knock off and steal my show
Cause I have only begun and everyone knows

Let me take you back to my first time
The first time I read between the lines
Back in 2004
Where I step into that poetry door

Back to the time where I first confronted my fate
And just got rid of the jealously and hate
It was poetry my future soul mate

Wait freeze
I need to freeze and seize the moment that I have hoped for
Being listened to yeah that’s what I longed for
Through the many depth of my heart that what I mourn for
And finally complete my destiny that’s why I came along for

I staggered my way up just to reach a dead end
It was a wall with backstabbers, pretenders and wanna-be friends
But I didn’t stop
Knowing my style was beyond I didn’t stop
I continued clawing my way to the top

I hoped one day I’d get the chance
For someone to see my first poetry stance
They said I had no flow
I had stupid silly similes and metaphors
If only to see me now just to see their face
I’ll know they’ll be surprised but I’ll be amazed
They say I’m not a poet, it’s never meant to be
It’s obscene but they didn’t seem to see
My style was beyond will carry me along until my day will come
For me to be number one

I need to soak up this moment because this is for real
No body knows how happy I feel
This moment
My chance to rise I still have a long way to go but
Looking at your wondering eyes
I see someone finally listens
Finally see my poetry
When I weave the stories that everyone believes
My life changed and it set my mind at ease
Finally someone that listens
Someone that can hear me when I recite
Despite I struggle with all my might
Some one listens

So everyone needs to listen because
I come here to yell and berate
The truth is I’m here to create
Create opportunities for those who never had one
Never had fun
Hopefully your style of beyond will help you so
And lead you to the paradise that you wanted to go

Feb 6, 2006

Impassioned Inappropriateness

Impassioned inappropriateness, misdirected anger, flat out frustration...I embodied these traits today at the end of our semi-final match. I was indeed frustrated, but am also grown enough to know that what transpired as a result of my frustrations was unnecessary, unprofessional, unlike me, and probably confusing to many, myself included.

I would like to apologize, and reiterate that I meant no disrespect to the competition (who wrote and prepared their own amazing works of art,) the judges (who judged to the best of their ability,) the poet/coaches (who I admire greatly for the pride in their own craft that they instill within these kids,) or the staffs of either school (who are generally cooperative and set aside any animosity stemming from rearranging their rooms etc…) Yet with that said I'd like to explain. This is not an excuse, because I know the hang-up was wrong, but I would like to state that after weeks, and months, and years of helping these students actualize their potential, I couldn’t sit by and watch them get punished for taking risks with their works. I don’t hesitate to say that I love these students; that I’m there when they need me to be; that I respect what they do; that I am their worst critic and their biggest (non-family) supporter, which is why when I saw them not receiving praise worthy of their talents, I became incensed. It is true that judging is a subjective task, but these kids have absorbed the performances of others, both professional and amateur and have dutifully studied the rubrics and know that they were better than their scores reflected today. As do I.

Again, this is not to take away from what the students and teachers at (…) did to prepare for this competition. They performed admirably, in the face of older, and perhaps more experienced students. We certainly remember what that feels like from our fledgling beginnings, but we grew as a result of our defeat, and have become better poets as a result. I have no doubt your own writing, performing and passion will continue to grow as well.

All in all, my students were standing and gathering to both congratulate you on a fine competition, and wish you the best in the spring slam. It was I alone who controlled the remote and disconnected the call prematurely. This was in no way directed at you, nor should it be misconstrued as such, I was simply frustrated with what I felt was inconsistency in judging. My own students looked as confused as I’m sure most of you felt, and I have been verbally chastised by them as well as frowned upon by my peers. My apologies and no disrespect.

Mr. Craig L. Moss

Feb 3, 2006

Slam Week!

Yeah, it's finally here and the competition so far has been both fierce and praiseworthy. Of course speaking as a teacher, I always seem to think the students are awesome, but in this particular case, they truly are; all of them. I am continuosly amazed by the abilities, and emotions these students bring to their performances, as well as the amount of time, effort, NRG, and passion that exemplifies the habits of dedicated poets. Whether they stuck with one poem throughout, tweaking similies and metaphors until it sounded just right, or if they continued to decide from among many poems, waiting until those final weeks before the slam to really decide, and even then still had some doubts...they all brought it to the table and slammed well. And as we are still in the midst of competition, I can only expect the poetry to get better.