It was the Spring of 2000, and I was an ambitious sophomore at Georgia Southern University. I had survived my overwhelming and exciting freshman year, and I desperately needed to find something to do in my spare time when I was not consumed, and inundated with studying. I was eager to find an organization to be a part of… whether it was pledging a fraternity or some other social organization… I needed something or some place where I could socialize, meet new people, and have a good time.
My roommate invited me to go to Esoterica, an open mic, spoken word event that was being held at the Student Union every first Wednesday of the month. Of course I agreed. I had heard about the welcoming, urban vibe and the creative ramblings and verses that was crafted in that atmosphere, and had been meaning to check it out. Needless to say, what I witnessed and experienced that evening changed my life. I was mesmerized by the silky, smooth sounds as the various poets blessed the mic. The whole atmosphere was absolutely intoxicating with the jazz music, the dim lights, the scented candles, the laid back lounge vibe, the oversized throw pillows… yeah, that part. It was at that moment that I knew that I had to be a part of this experience.
Two of my very close work associates were also into the spoken word. I will call them Z and L. Z was, and still is this neo-soul, beautiful, free spirited sistah who I hit it off with from the very first time we met. My girl Z had a way of demanding the attention of everyone in the room when she spoke. I can say the same for L. My girl L was more soft spoken, but believe me when I say that she knew her way around a pen and paper. We started writing and perfecting our craft so that we would be more comfortable performing during open mic night. We eventually became the best of friends. It did not take us long until we were comfortable enough to share our thoughts with the audience. I must admit… compared to the really good poets, our stuff needed some tender loving care, but we listened and we learned… and eventually we began to slay the audience with our brilliant rhetoric. Baby we started feeling ourselves, and we soon chose to call ourselves “The Poetic Prophets”. I will never forget when we slayed the crowd with a piece we called “Cafe Conversations”. I am smiling right now thinking about it.
Those were some of the best experiences of my life. The moments that we shared, the mics that we blessed, and the spirits we touched makes me humbled, thankful, and grateful. The bond of our friendship… which is still tight to this day, will never be broken. Even though we are hundreds of miles away from each other, we are still the best of friends, and we will always be there for each other.
I just have one final thought for each of you. Keep writing… Keep dreaming… Keep existing my Poetic Prophets. All of you… near and far. You have inspired and continue to inspire me and empower me, and I love you.