4 Your Eyez Only
Updated: Jul 13
This blog is setup into different sections. A lot of different emotions throughout.
Love you for reading. Thank you.
The past 8 days in short was the most ridiculous whirlwind of emotions. I was sad, confused, awkward, laughing a ton, uplifted, pumped, happy, stressed, felt seen and physically sick all at once.
u, To Pimp A Butterfly
Starting with last Wednesday, July 6th. I went to Palms Up Academy’s RecessMic with my friend Sky to introduce them to the community. However, I was extremely exhausted due to having a panic attack at Sunday Jump and dealing with other personal emotions that day and 4th of July.
Sky, on July 5th told me they was gonna be in town and I made promise to them the last time I was in Monterey I was going to make that introduction so they’ll be surrounded by great, supporting, trustworthy community of people as they move to LA in the near future. We also made plans to go to a drag show after the mic.
5 minutes in the car ride to PUA, I told Sky I was mad exhausted and waited til the last minute to go with them. They was super understanding and said “next time you feel you need to rest, rest. I’m not gonna take it personally. Put yourself first.”
We get to the mic and I decided to perform the same triggering poem I did at Sunday Jump for two reasons: 1) I feel that the poem can be used as exposure therapy. The more I perform it, and talk about it through an artistic expression I can get passed it. 2) Since I decided to enter the San Diego Slam which was a few days away from that point and I had Sun Luu coach me on how to hit my lines for slam crowd. I had to cut a ton of lines and stanzas to make it fit for the competition time limit.
Not only I completely butchered the performance, I forgot lines, fumbled lines and at the end I had another panic attack shaking. I was looking at everyone as if I was in danger to get jumped or get thrown out. To be clear no one showed those signs. That's my PTSD speaking. I was terrified. Even after get props and praise from everyone including the creator of the mic, I was still completely on guard.
This is my most vulnerable piece I ever done for several reasons as I expressed on the previous blog: my family’s history of abuse, being falsely accused, my personal history of inflicting violence on others, colorism then wrapping it all up with a situation I’m currently in where I hold feelings someone and attempting to self-sabotage myself by tell them constantly throughout the poem.
“Don’t waste your time.”
I didn’t go to the drag show with Sky. I didn’t feel safe so I went home. I barely slept. The next day went right back to work with Sun Luu on improving the piece. Something about myself, I am very stubborn. If I say I’ma do some shit. I’m going to just do it. Fuck it. Friday, in the middle of rehearsing my piece my throat was feeling weird. I thought maybe I was pushing myself too hard, so I stopped early. Next morning, I had a sore throat. I was super upset. At this point it’s two days til performance and I’m just like this shit would happen.
My good friend Kaitlyn gave me a at home remedy of mixing tea, ginger (if you can ginger powder), cayenne pepper, lemon juice & honey. I didn’t have honey unfortunately, so fellow artists if you in a jam use this! I didn’t use it until the next day because I was exhausted coming home from work. I just turned on my humidifier and went to sleep. Don’t do that lol. Woke up the next morning feeling worse. I had a fever of 102. Lightheaded. Small headache. Extreme fatigue. Sneezing a little and still had that sore throat, but a little worse.
I put the tea together. Drank a cup then took a shower. When I took a walk to the store later in the day, I felt my throat get better which was a hour later. I WAS SO PUMPED.
Life In The Marvelous Times, Ecstatic
Carpooled with another good friend, Lara to San Diego around 8:30pm to crash at local slam legend, Joe Limer’s place. That night we watch a clip of brave new voices and discussed slam culture and the politics of participating in slam.
The following morning woke up early, got breakfast burritos and did a film study on poets that participated in the write about now slam in texas. Talking about what worked, what didnt work, predicting what scores the poet would get based of the performance and crowd participation etc. Hours later couple more friends, Miko and Ashley came through. Me, Ashley and Joe rehearsed our poems and gave feedback. Miko gave feedback but didn’t have plans on participating in the slam. I was strongly advised not perform the triggering poem I did at Sunday Jump and Palms Up. Combining the nature of that piece and how it effects me with the unforgiving culture of slam it can be a potential disaster.
Photo by Ashley C. Lanuza
In the Photo from left to right: Ashley (top left corner of the screen), Miko, Myself, and Joe Limer.
We got there about an hour early and while standing outside talking about poetry other poets in the slam was sizing each other up in small ways. Asking how long you been performing and about credentials. So it was mad competitive. There was one poet who opened for Jill Scott there, but got there a bit late so she couldn’t perform. Everyone had mad anxiety and stress. The sacrificial poet scored high and set the tone for everyone.
How scoring works in slam theres five random judges in the crowd. They rate you from 0-10. The lowest score gets dropped and the highest score get dropped. For example, if someone got: 5, 7, 7.5, 9, 10 then the 5 and 10 would not count towards your final score.
Everyone got back to back high scores and positions was off by a fraction of a point meaning 0.3, 0.5 etc not a whole point.
When I got called, the fear of God struck me like man I can’t fuck this up. I do the piece and after I sat down im like could’ve hit certain pockets better. I got Ashley to time to make sure I didn’t go over, then when they said I got a lowest score of 9.2 I knew I made it to the second round.
The second round consists of me, Joe Limer, Joe Mac and the guy from Las Vegas. I was placed last to go up out of the four. After the first performer of the second round, i walked out got myself together. Came out to Joe performing. Saw his score of hitting damn near 10’s across the board. I forgot what was his lowest score.
I got called up and I ended performing the triggering piece. Another key factor as to how dangerous it is to do this piece is the fact I called out white female feminists. If a white female feminist just happen to be a judge I’m fucked lol.
I was a bit shaken up. I was triggered. Sat my ass down and heard “starting with a low score of 9.7” in my head i was like oh shit. I got a 9.8, 9.9 and two 10’s. Joe Limer and Joe Mac ended up tying for first place while I missed the tie by a literal fraction of a point so I got third place. I had to step outside because I had an attack and started crying.
I’m not mad at all whatsoever in regarding to not getting 1st or 2nd. I stood toe to toe with legends and held my own. More than satisfied just with the opportunity itself to be up there.
Later on, the crew, Ant, some new friends and Rudy Francisco all went got dinner together. Laughed, asked questions had a great time.
Photo by Miko
in the photo: Myself and Rudy Francisco
We got back to Joe’s place and we accidentally locked ourselves out of the house haha. Miko got the door open an hour or two later with a card. Lara went home that night.
A.P.I.D.T.A, A Written Testimony
Photo by Ashley C. Lanuza
In the photo: Miko (picking the door lock) and Lara
The following day, me, Miko and Ashley did a short writing workshop. The prompt was to write about the experiences we had the past two days using 10 metaphors and similes within 20 minutes.
How my writing process is it takes very well either an hour or couple days to get one line down going at a topic.
I was reluctant to share what I wrote because it was actually a bit personal. But here’s some of it:
“Attempting to swallow moons
mid-conversation i knew
our prologue tracing constellations
could get lost in my orbit
with simple questions”
On many levels this trip was a challenge for me to vulnerable and open. Not only in the performance space, but the interpersonal. I struggle with opening up to my friends and others on that level because I have a fearful avoidant attachment style. In other words, the “love to get close, but don’t get too close/ I got something to share, but I’m scared what you going to say so I’ma self-sabotage myself” attachment style.
Having great conversations with these great individuals put myself in a position of self-vulnerability. How am I doing? Do I have capacity and energy to share? Why exactly I don’t have that capacity and where it’s stemming from? All the scary questions when confronted with decisions to utilize that gut feeling to jump out a plane and land on cloud 9 or nosedive in the ocean.
I didn’t quite hit the cloud, but I’m not nosediving either.
I’m still falling and trusting wherever I land I’ll be okay.
Understanding that not one person that’s dead had everything figured out, so why waste every waking moment being alive attempting to resolve everything around and inside us? You deserve to enjoy all experiences life has to offer.
I once heard, “Joy is the single biggest revolutionary act.”
Maneuvering in a space of Joy is uncomfortable because the over-protective nature of what’s going to mess it up instead basking in it. Past couple days, I basked in it.
Trust your spirit. Keep moving in Joy.
By any means.