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Desiree McKenzie, performing at WoWPS 2020 in Dallas, TX.
Button Poetry is committed to developing a coherent and effective system of production, distribution, promotion and fundraising for spoken word and performance poetry.
We seek to showcase the power and diversity of voices in our community. By encouraging and broadcasting the best and brightest performance poets of today, we hope to broaden poetry’s audience, to expand its reach and develop a greater level of cultural appreciation for the art form.
The islands Its people so in touch with themselves Learning Rhythm before they could walk tessa and Steal pan before our own heartbeat Smiles before we could speak Our history taste of calypso and sweet Chutney with a little bit of scotch Bonnet but My grandmother always denied how much Pepper was in the pot Anyway cause i'd like to believe that All this trauma Can be boiled down to caribbean time Always behind but always arrives with a Smile almost as if The intergenerational cycles smuggle Their way between the trinidad cheese And indian sweets In our parents suitcases when they Immigrated here because it's so easy To believe that the things that hurt That happened are more Temporary because bruises fade away Drunkenness goes away the next day and The more broken we are as people the Easier it is to sweep things Under the rugs right the same rugs we Played on as children The same rugs our mothers felt while Being beaten by both husband and father The same ones our fathers pass out drunk On because it's so easy To believe we're all okay when everyone
Says west indian people Are the friendliest people they know When i promise you Smiling is all we could do smiling is All we could hold on to when you have A culture that direct deposits you pain Clings to you like a curry stain Like the national flag droops with all The tears we were never allowed To cry when our mothers are fasted to Say aiza trini Before eyes are human and our fathers Knowing that rum go kill the whole Family but never fighting back but these Are the islands right smiles before we Could speak Rhythm before we could walk and Hospitality like we've known you Our whole lives and pain Passed down like recipes Never written down just known Just felt with our heads And our hands so heavy with pepper but We Always deny how much Is in the pot anyway because these Are the islands You