Jordan Bailey – Black Boy Rage 2

Curated By Ralph

"The Road Not Taken" is a source of inspiration for me, because it encourages me to seize opportunities and chart my own course in life.

Become a Member for exclusive perks and videos:
Jordan Bailey, performing at Rustbelt 2019 in St. Louis, MO.

About Button:

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.

So I have this poem,
and it's called "Black Boy Rage." I'm not going to do that poem, but I notice every time I say the words
"Black boy rage," White folks usually deem me angry,
upset, dead in the streets, Resisting arrest, usually think me a fuck the police church hymn, And I ain't gonna lie, y'all,
I be that most days. But some days, I be a Milly rock dance battle In the middle of parking lots,
maybe after this show, Or I be a bathroom stall breakdown
in the middle of Charlotte. I also be a Midwest street interview
saying, "Fuck what you heard, It's the South versus everybody." You see, Black boy rage just be Black boy Trying to love all the things
he fails to understand about himself. Like Black boy rage be doing
a group piece with my mentor About the first time we were happy. It'd be the anxiety attack I had
two hours before. You see, Black boy rage means Black boy knows anxiety. He knows depression,
but he also knows love and joy, And ain't afraid of none of it. Black boy rage, it might sound like Damien Speaking about passing down joy
as a character trait In the form of rollerblades. It might sound like Jahman
loving his Black body Like his Black body loved him back. It might be me getting to slam
with Ed Mabrey who is treating me Like he is the father figure
I never got to grow up with. Black boy rage be me staring at my national poetry slam trophy For first place And convincing myself
that I was worthy of it. It be the fistfights with my demons. It be the fist up at rallies. It be capturing all my darkness
and putting it up on Instagram, Never to publicize my pain But to let people who cry like me know it actually exists.

Black boy rage be the knuckles
I wanted to put in the face Of Courtney's attackers. It be the kicksteps
I do with Dax at parties. It be the late night cry sessions
that I have with Kaelen. It be adopting all of these Black baby poets Whose tears look a lot like mine
and letting them know that it's okay That the god in them
allows them to electric slide All over the emotional spectrum, And I wish, I wish I had somebody when I was their age To see me in my room, Not killing myself but instead
reading that to Kid Cudi lyrics, You know, punching walls,
fucking up my hands. I would've said, "Yeah, fuck that wall.
It can't handle your magic. [You're godly]. Your words already pack punches. How do they expect to handle
actual punches?" So yeah, I am Black boy rage, And some days, I'm gonna wear it
as quiet and soft as a heart hickey Or as loud and boisterous as a garden in a sea of black T-shirts. Some days, I wear it like a basket case, Then like a national champion. I wear it like dead at 18, Like jokes on you, I'm still alive, Like why am I still alive? Like one day, I'm gonna figure out
why I'm still alive. And Black boy rage was me waking up this morning and looking at my reflection And reminding him that I still hate him, But somebody loves me. So fuck a slam. That's gonna be more than enough. (cheers and applause)

Hey... I'm Jasper!

Would you like me to help write your next poem? (Claim Your Free 10,000 Words)

Leave a Comment