Joshua Bennet: learn that name because one day, he will change the world. Last spring, Bennet, a spoken word artist, visited my high school, and completely changed my idea of what poetry is. His passion, rhythm, messages, and rhymes make his poetry stand out amongst the rest. He is currently earning his PhD in English at Princeton (he’s a smart cookie).
He read a poem called “10 Things I Want To Say To A Black Woman”, and it was a chilling experience. My creative writing in teacher had us then write our own 10 things. This poem hits extremely close to home, and I remember the first time I read it, it was really emotionally taxing.
I chose to reinterpret this poem in dance form because dance is my true passion, and what better way to converse one art form with another (duh). Currently, I’m having some technical issues so apologies for not having the video in this particular post, but hopefully, it will be up soon.
Meanwhile, PLEASE take a look at Joshua Bennett’s videos, he is a poetic genius. Also, the transcript of my poem is attached.
10 Things I Want to Say to Fathers Who Have Cheated on Their Wives
1) Admit to it. The denial trapped in your throat, begging, pleading, striving to become free, has had enough. It is sick and tired of being imprisoned, of being trapped; so that when the truth finally does slip, it slips like soil after a rainstorm, honest and rocky,
2) You are smart. In fact, one of the smartest people I know. Your knowledge is like the depth of the ocean. Somehow, it seems like it can last forever and ever. But what happens when the horizon stops? When you cannot see the other side? I can’t help but think that that’s starting to happen. You think that the land on the other end is becoming more visible; greener, plusher, fresher. No. Just the opposite: brown, dry, rotten. You’ve become a horizon that falls short, disappoints.
3) Apologize. It does not matter if she or anyone else forgives you. Just say you’re sorry.
4) You were the love of her life. The one she would go back in time to marry over and over again, press rewind a hundred time to see the picture, hear the laughter. Never did she imagine you would ever press stop and record over that tape.
5) Why don’t you call me? Why can’t you find the strength to even try? Once a month, barely at that, is NOT enough. If you really wanted to make an effort in uncovering the severely wounded scars, you would unglue your tired eyes from your second life and dial. Even if I do not answer, talk. About you, about me, about the weather. About whatever. Talk.
6) Share the wealth. There is only one of you, I understand, but when you are here, please, at least make an effort to detach yourself from the woman who tore my family apart. It’s the least you could do.
7) Be nice to your ex. She was the one who raised me.
8) Take a closer look at what you’ve left behind. Yes, you can call yourself my father, but in no way would I ever consider you my dad. My awkward tween years when I decided to cut my own bangs, the parent-teacher conferences that you’ve put off for my entire academic career. They’re gone. Those moments are gone, fluttering in the wind where they cease to continue. You have missed them and it’s too late now.
9) Remember your past; where you came from; who you were, are, will become. Remember that I am still your baby, even though I know I can’t compete with the real one you have now; remember that I used to always take your side.
10) I will still love you, no matter how dumb your decisions may be.