This Poem was Submitted By: Latorial D. Faison On Date: 2005-06-10 10:47:31 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

To Listen to Music While Reading this Poem, just Click Here!

Click Here To add this poem to your "Voting Possibilities" list!

I AM . . .

I am somebody, on my way to somewhere I am she who interrogates those who stare I am too much for this wayward world to digest With pen and paper, I paint pictures with frankness I am the pages, I am the pens What whiteness begins, my blackness ends I am the black man's rage, the black woman's stage If you care to recognize, just turn the page I am the journey, the memory of yesterdays I am the plight, the result of evil ways I am Jesus Christ crucified,  They hang me high and stretch me wide I am the ears that hear the cries of the deaf I am fingers picking up those pieces left I am the hands that write the words I am the one who flies with the birds I am the music that bears the beat I am the stranded one enduring the heat I am the parent who lives with the shame Of a child who steps outside the family name I am the rape victim turned inside out I am the child abused, without a doubt I am black America's complex I am white America's "What's next?" I am Dr. King's Dream,  I am Malcolm's extreme I am the Catholic Pope's next big issue For every child politics leaves behind, I am the tissue I am the dream dared, the broken repaired I am the truth challenged, the minority compared I am the arrival of hope, the departure of pain the explanation of turmoil, sanity for the insane I am somebody, on my way to somewhere I am she who interrogates those who stare I am too much for this wayward world to digest With pen and paper, I paint pictures with frankness

Copyright © June 2005 Latorial D. Faison

This Poem was Critiqued By: Rick Barnes On Date: 2005-07-02 07:15:42
Critiquer Rating During Critique: Unknown
Latorial, Man O Man! When you let it out you don't screw around do you. This is one of the most direct,straight-forwardly human staements put into peotic form that I have EVER read on this site. I love the couplet form that you chose, or that chose you as I am want to say. Work like this is why I read and write poetry. Damn this is good. Rick

This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne M Uppendahl On Date: 2005-06-28 12:14:45
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.88571
Latorial: Your writing never fails to move me. I felt a lot of turmoil and power beneath the writing of this poem. Though I have not experienced many of the things of which you write, I still am a keen observer of the changes (or lack thereof) during the turbulent 60’s and beyond. It seemed as though during Dr. King’s day that things were changing, would continue to change, would bring peace and healing to a divided nation. And yet, the more things change, the more they seem to stay the same. I love the rhythm of this work, and every time I read it I read it aloud. For this is, without doubt, a performance piece. And could not be read just anywhere! The title and the two first words in each couplet threw me for a split-second as I am accustomed to “I AM” as recounted in Exodus, in the Bible. "And God spoke all these words, saying: 'I am the LORD your God…” That makes it a very powerful statement, indeed. I think that “I am” is the strongest proclamation that we can make as individuals. And you make it, abundantly. With such great force and syncopated rhythm. I am somebody, on my way to somewhere I am she who interrogates those who stare I am too much for this wayward world to digest With pen and paper, I paint pictures with frankness The opening and closing two couplets just stand there and declare! Reader, take caution, because “I am she who interrogates those who stare.” And the poem can be stared at, because it dares to declare its right to do and be what it (the poet) is. Outspoken, angry, compassionate, alive, full of energy, memory, suffering, hope, music (most of all music!) and aliveness that sizzles and glows. I am the pages, I am the pens What whiteness begins, my blackness ends I am the black man's rage, the black woman's stage If you care to recognize, just turn the page As someone outside of your heritage, I appreciate an inside view, one like this which bars no holds, pulls no punches. Why not ‘tell it like it is’ poet? What do any of us have to loss by forthrightly speaking our own truths? We could be criticized by some for being too bold, but then, are we really bold if these feelings are smolder inside of us, just waiting to be spoken, to be aired and declared. (See your style is infections as laughter.) <smile> I am the journey, the memory of yesterdays I am the plight, the result of evil ways I am Jesus Christ crucified, They hang me high and stretch me wide Oh, this one’s tough! I know of your deep faith, from our discussions and reading your books. I hear the identification with Christ’s suffering as not sacrilegious but as identification with suffering. How many hangings have happened simply because of the color of the victim’s skin? I am the ears that hear the cries of the deaf I am fingers picking up those pieces left I am the hands that write the words I am the one who flies with the birds Power, energy, determination, boldness … all here! Not one to sit around complacently, writer. You declare yourself as one who acts. I am the music that bears the beat I am the stranded one enduring the heat I am the parent who lives with the shame Of a child who steps outside the family name Definitely the music! <smile> And of the child and the parent, you speak with such condensed accuracy. I won’t go into details, but you cover so much territory here. I am the rape victim turned inside out I am the child abused, without a doubt I have to deal with this couplet singly. This was my life’s work until recently. Until I felt that burn-out was taking away some of my ability to be the most effective therapist I could be, because of my own emotions in response to years of coping and addressing the extreme traumata of children and rape victims. A family member was a rape victim, which is what I think launched me in this direction. Anyhow, the visual images of the first line simply send me back into secondary post-traumatic stress, but only for the moment. That woman/man/child needs recognition for the reason that we so often turn our heads aside. And then again. If we are white, and the victim is black, some of us automatically feel guilt. But may not take it to the next step and become an advocate. This is one of the rewards of the work I did, as I went to the wall, so many times as such an advocate, and I will never regret having done so. Many were black -- perhaps as many as half. I am black America's complex I am white America's "What's next?" The dividing lines between the races are apparent here, and the unsettled business, the uncompleted tasks of the beginnings of the civil rights movement are summed up here in two nine-syllable lines! I am Dr. King's Dream, I am Malcolm's extreme I am the Catholic Pope's next big issue For every child politics leaves behind, I am the tissue You give a very broad, inclusive view above, for you speak of “every child” that politics leaves behind, so eloquently. And of the tissue – and the ocean of tears shed, compassion. The rhyming of the firs two shortened lines is simply stunning. Six syllables now – intensification. I am the dream dared, the broken repaired I am the truth challenged, the minority compared I am the arrival of hope, the departure of pain the explanation of turmoil, sanity for the insane You use bold plosive d’s, b’s and p’s to express the challenge in “dream dared” and “departure of pain” for example. The ingredient of hope appears, the energy to dare the dream. Sanity, so need. Explanations beginning to be seen. A welcome departure of pain. A reminder that the work is still to be done. Someone’s got to be the one(s) bold enough and strong enough and committed enough to do it. Reading this energizing poem may just get some people off the couch and on their feet, ready to march. I feel as though I have heard you and walked with you and maybe even not completely understood you, but I admire your boldness and courage and the willingness to step out there and be heard! And my hope is your hope, that there will be, one day, the realization of Dr. King’s dream. As powerful and compelling a work as I have read anywhere. And so completely filled with your music. Thank you for the opportunity to read and comment. My best always, Joanne
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mandie J Overocker On Date: 2005-06-22 16:26:27
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.47368
Latorial, Frankness is your style as this poem reveals. I love the flow and the images you create here. We are as poets each and everyone of these things and so much more. When will we all in this world realize we are all of the same creator, all of the same creation, we share the same air, drink the same water, walk the same earth? Thank you for this inspiring and thought provoking piece. Mandie
This Poem was Critiqued By: arnie s WACHMAN On Date: 2005-06-19 13:57:04
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.40000
And paint pictures with frankness you sure did. Painting pictures of polar opposites here you certainly said a lot in one piece. I can almost hear your pain. It reminds me of the lines by a person whose name I do not know..."How do I know where I'm going if I don't know where I've been?" Now why did that pop into my head? I hear the anger in you asking white America "What's next?" You know Latorial, I guess I am somewhat isolated here in White Canada (but I do hear and watch the news so I'm not all that isolated). If one sees a Black person around here more than likely I take them to be stereotypical of a sports person, musician, or along those lines. There are none that I know personally (I did meet Oscar Peterson on several occassions). As a Nurse I never worked with a Black person. There just weren't any! Just thought I'd let you know for some reason. Perhaps you DO need to take that trip North and find out how your people are treated here. Anyway, nuff said. Your format and expressions work well here. Your title of "I am" is somewhat akin to Jesus being asked if he was G-d, and I don't know if that's what you had in mind.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Duane J Jackson On Date: 2005-06-10 23:50:25
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.85714
Hi Latorial! I am thrilled to have this 'in your face' piece at the top of my list. The title, 'I AM', is addictive and seems to form a shield around the poem by telling all who read this and others who don't that you (African american america) are the way you are and that there is nothing anyone can do about it. It all sounds very firm and final, an anthem for the struggle for equal rights for the minority in America. I ove plain-speak in poetry and it is reassuring to know that there are still those who speak their minds. 'I am she who interrogates those who stare' - beautifully put across and this is exactly what you have done in this piece. And if skin-color is the basis on which policies are framed, the world needs to sit-up and take notice. 'What whiteness begins, my blackness ends' - the challenge in these lines is loud and clear, the piece has a no-nonsense vitality enveloped around it; the anger is prominent but so is the self-confidence. 'I am white America's "What's next?"' - it seems that any line of action to cater to the minority isn't final. This line gives the reader a very real impression of a toying with the community's future with no firm commitment or endeavour to bring about change. This was another invigorating piece on the issues faced by a minority community and the pieces keep getting more and more powerfully expressive. I liked the rhyme employed in this one, the strong words used to best bring out the theme and thought. As a suggestion ( and I have been pondering this while responding to the piece), I would recommend replacing the word 'frankness'. I tried thinking of a replacement and could only come up with 'veracity'. Just a small suggestion though. It cannot take away from the depth and fire in this very well-written piece. Excellent job done..again!!!!! Take Care, Duane.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Claire H. Currier On Date: 2005-06-10 18:05:20
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.81250
I Am....title of one of my poems written awhile back poet.......actually it was done after my son worried about being married outside his faith....would God accept it and bless the marriage.......well I must say I asked God to respond and He did, in kind, with the poem, I AM....... You my dear friend are the female version of I are so willing to take that extra step to say what is within your heart and soul and not be afraid of the reach out and touch people of every color, faith, your spirit is larger then life itself.....this poem is so well structured, it grabs hold right from the start and never lets go.....your word flow bring forth images which indeed you have freely painted with the flare of your pen....over and over again.......I know this one is a winner, you are a winner and I know the Lord moves through you all the time.....thank you for posting and sharing this with us, be safe, God Bless, Claire
This Poem was Critiqued By: Lora Silvey On Date: 2005-06-10 15:51:37
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.72727
Latorial, Wow, you took my breath away. I can not point to any one line that stood out more than another, you have left we with "you are truly the child of God" and a child of the cosmos, the issue that won't be hidden. You are the here and now, you are more than watcher or seer, you are the crux of interaction not merely by being here but by your action. Your work will give everyone a chance to pause and hopefuly take a look around. Powerfuly stated, this takes me beyond the throws of all those publice debates...this takes me to the true heart of the matter... Recently a friend was discussing with me about how she felt others percieved her, I told her to be content with herself for she was just as she was suppose to be...why did she want to change that which God had made, she was like he, the "I am" and if that was good enough for him, it should certainly be for us all so... just a thought to share with you. I like it, "take it or leave it": I am too much for this wayward world to digest With pen and paper, I paint pictures with frankness you are as you are, and that is as it should be. Lora
Poetry Contests Online at The Poetic Link

Click HERE to return to Database Page!