When novelists think love, they draft words of wondrous passion onto their notebooks filled with fantasy. When slam poets talk love, sh*t gets real. These artists utter words of desperation or perhaps the complete opposite: satisfaction with living the single life. Love? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
You never know what provocative story each poet will tell when they stand center-stage. Since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, we’ve got a few feel-good performances for you to watch, regardless of your relationship status. Single, engaged or it’s-kind-of-sort-of-really-complicated? Here’s some authentic poetry to remind you that you’re not alone. Or that, if you are, it’s all going to be ok.
For the single ladies and gents: You’ve got to love yourself first.
The wise Poetri convinces his audience that there is no better partner a person than him or herself. His poem “Dating Myself” argues that there is no point in trying to find someone to love when you are already happy with yourself. He says, “I like myself. I think I’m attractive.” Sweatpants, cap on, chillin’ with no makeup on, Poetri’s the prettiest and, no, he doesn’t take it wrong. The Def poet has always wanted to be with someone just like him, but now realizes that, “there’s no one more like [him] than [him]!” After all, if you are your own soul mate, then why not save yourself from a lifelong search for love?
For the awkward fella who is struggling to express him or herself: Words can be stronger than actions.
Mighty Mike McGee’s poem, “Like,” attempts to woo his girl, not with grand gestures, but with words. The cubby (combination of cute and chubby) poet relates his feelings for his girl to the way “Texans like Texas/Like fat kids like cake.” In more interesting comparisons, he says “[he] like[s] [her] similar to the way pirates and frat boys like booty … like testicles and homeboys like to hang.” If you can’t tell already, McGee uses his wordplay and cubbiness to his romantic advantage. You should try it too sometime.
For the introvert who’s ready to leave their shell: This is the lingual way to mingle.
Slam poet Beau Sia admits that “love is the most beautiful thing in the world,” no matter how cliché it sounds. His goal is “to read poetry in order to get women to fall in love with him.” In the poem, “Love,” Sia — dressed in faded black jeans and a pink, knitted turtleneck — says that the sensitive side of love sucks. “[It] sucks. [He’s] been there. You can only imagine the kinds of sweaters they make you wear.” Although the poet uses unusual, but hilarious ways to define love, the poem ends with the simple cry, “All I’m saying is: someone love me!” If you so desperately want love, leave your shell and woo that person with beautiful words.
For the carved-in-tree-bark lovers: Dr. Love once said, “Don’t brood. Get on with living and loving. You don’t have forever.”
Shihan writes the poem “This Type Love” about the unexplainable, unrealistic, but actual love that he shares with his wife. This type of love is the “[him] thinking of [her] thinking of [him] thinking of [her] type love … [wanting] to spend hours on the phone not saying sh*t” type love. Def poet Shihan doesn’t want the “high cell phone bill type loves,” but wants the “love that makes [him] need to change [his] cell phone calling plan” type love. Each one has his or her own type of love, but all should recognize its worth. Not love’s monthly phone bill total, but love’s sentimental worth, of course.