Posted: January 28, 2010 in Poetry

Two part interesting discussion on Slam between Amazon Syren and myself. Join in, if you wish!

Amazon at ‘Most Curious Thing’

Me at ‘Rusty’s World’

CONTEXT: November, 2006

This is a poem not many people have heard, and I’m not sure why. I like it. I think the idea is interesting and so was the execution. Yet I have slammed it once and done. I wonder why…

The challenge in transcribing this one is that there is a visual element to it. When I performed this I was moving around the stage, so when you get to the part that says “here – or here – or here” picture that referring to different areas on the stage as I walk around, mic in hand.


Don’t listen to the words in my poem.
There is more to a poem than the words
Nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs.
Words to a poet are their bread & butter
But there is more to hear than what I utter.

Think instead on the spaces in between
They are to words what sleep is to dreams.
It is the miasma, the unseen spirit.
Still mysterious, even when you hear it.

Spaces are pacing – silence as art
Though ‘nothing’, they still do their part.
They give emotion, or knowledge
or timing
Or even a chance to ponder the rhyming.

Pauses give words context
Though that idea may perplex…
Think of ME as a word, like ‘handsome’ or ‘witty’
And this stage is the spaces all around me
If I tell a poem from HERE – or HERE – or HERE
The word is still exactly what you hear
But context changes perception
Perception alters comprehension
Until what is here changes what you hear.

The thing that makes spaces really special
Is not their existence, but rather potential.
A word in a poem has a meaning,
Maybe a second or third if you are gleaning
The art and sub-text of a poet,
If the spacial context doesn’t already show it.

But a space has an infinite number of chances
Until the next word comes, the space fancies
Itself the harbinger of the next thought,
The next utterance, the next effort wrought.

So why concentrate on what is
When you could look at what could be?
Facts are just facts
But the future is mystery.
Let imaginations work and let minds wander.
Poetry is words and spaces,
Neither to be squandered.

So here is my job for you –
I’ll give you one line, not two,
Ending in a space
For you to embrace
To see if you can find
The next line in your mind.


“There once was a man from Nantucket…”


So? Who will take the challenge? 🙂


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