“Oh, the hybrid of ringwraith and dementor, / Have you met me under a false day / Filled with the burning area of the perimeter of my own frame / I cast thee down from your dismissive overcast.”
These first verses of my own Get Angry, Stay Angry, Fight were slurred over a meretricious microphone anterior to a long curtain draped over what seemed to be tall easels in the basement of what used to be a local music shop. Young@Art, a pending non-profit art organization, at this time was only four months old in May of 2014. While prior, many believed that poetry and spoken word had died out among young adults, Young@Art has not only revived it in myself, but has created the drive in me to want to pursue a career in teaching English.
Continuing my commentary from that night, I set aside my own pride and decided that I would display my love of poetry to a much larger audience than just my mother from my throne-like seat in the kitchen of our two bedroom apartment. The week beforehand was spent prepping in between mentoring fellow students in Manchester High School’s Writing Lab. Satisfied with it, I let the crowd that night move my projection. Of course, I still stammered and lisped, but either way, it was finished. After reading the last phrase, the enormous amount of support was absolutely vindicating. I came to believe that there was an imaginary applause sign hanging in the middle of the makeshift background scenery that I could not see. I still like to believe that today.
That night broke a boundary in me. I felt confident and impulsive. For the first time in my three, at the time, years of high school, I found my calling. Elated with the suggestions that I was receiving from people in the room with me (“Lose the old religion in poetry”, “You could add a bit more alliteration”), I had this desire to make them proud. I wanted to make all of this happiness worth it. It was then that I started my collection of poetry, later greatly dubbed “Volume I” by the owner, Chris Chaffin. However that wasn’t the boundary. The revelation was that I wanted to make other students feel as valid as I did.
Fast forwarding from May, the underground feel gave it an edge. The walls now painted with requested pastel colors with encouraging phrasings, the overall outlook on the room definitely matched with the atmosphere of what both the crowd and many volunteers gave off. Time molded me according to season and I flourished in branching out of my comfort zone.
As I wrote at Young@Art on my days off from my part time job as a sales associate at Manchester’s Once Upon a Child, I was able to write my stories and experiences in a quiet and positive space. In doing so, I was putting everything from pen to paper which made my poetry physically and metaphorically real. In a sense, I was becoming real. To make other people feel as authentic and genuine as I did would generate so many collaborations and communications to emerge in the world.
Now, the question is how to start. Although it is not as exuberant as Young@Art, the way we allow the classroom environment to develop and learn can instill greatness within the self and each other. If teaching English and writing my poetry is a way to inspire others to do that and revel in it, then so be it. If Young@Art can instill that in me, I know that I can instill that in others.