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Kyle ”Guante” Tran Myhre, performing at the Button Studio in Minneapolis, MN.
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.
To the informants in the audience Tonight Welcome to a heaven That hates you Memorize the joyful faces you will never Touch compile that list of names to take Back to your leering master placed on The scale across from your soul welcome To a heaven you can only surveil If these words are harsh Feel free to leave Better yet Feel free to Feel free as easy as it is to forget That leash around your neck is only a Metaphor what if you slipped it What if you stuffed your bloodhound Snout with the scent of bonfire of salty Fried mushrooms of bodies in motion and Collapsed your many shadowed selves into One Because you were one once Untouched by any handler reporting back To no one but that rhyme book under your Mattress you had a name just one that Now feels like a song no one is in the Mood to sing do you even remember it Was all that lives in your mouth now the Yelp and wine of obedience the howl Interrupted by a yank of that leash We would sing with you If you could remind us the melody Maybe you were bullied Maybe you were the bully
Most likely both and you are not the First to witness suffering and survive By rationalizing it to see a child Starve and think her parents should have Followed the rules to see a man’s entire Life locked away and think it is a small Price to pay for safety you are not the First to sacrifice to the god of control To say they may hate me but i am not Evil i am only doing my job Neutral As a noose as if one had to be evil to Do evil you Are not the first to say I just want to protect and serve my Community and then out of the many Thousands of ways one could truly do That teacher builder healer artist Farmer instead pull chains like Intestines from your belly wrap them Around your neighbor’s wrists around Your own neck around that tattered empty Balloon that used to be an imagination You know you don’t have to do this right To the informants in the audience Tonight These words are genuine but they are Also delivered without expectation a Courtesy you have not earned But receive all the same Because here Our scales weigh differently Here So many who have earned blood spill only
Paint So many who have earned fire seek only Respect so many who have earned cutting The throat of the world Want only to see their children grow up Happy here Justice Is not punishment Or vengeance it is our children growing Up Happy So when you return to your master When you tell him all that you witnessed Tonight watch his face Let it tell you what justice is to him Do you think there will be joy do you Think there will be singing do you think If you try to find some kind of heaven In that face one you could attend Without crashing do you think you’d find It Or will your formidable memory return to Us This beautiful evening this fire Like the last star in a dying universe The last warmth in the emptiness you’ve Earned To the informants in the audience Tonight If you ever remember that song You are welcome to sing You are welcome to slip free of the Chains to howl And be lifted
By a hundred other howls The pack you thought to betray The pack That welcomes you home Still Cool