Spoken Word Poems Performed at the Fall 2013 Poetry Slam

In case you missed the Poetry slam, here are some spoken word poems that were performed. When reading, please remember that these poems were meant to be read aloud rather than be read on a page. Any non-traditional spellings here can be understood as “poetic license.”


Class of 2014

By Nicholas Rodriguez

I was born into a generation,
Where the type of shoes you wear
Defines you more than character
A generation in which we
Confuse lust for love and
The meaning of life.
Because we sum it up with YOLO,
When it should be living each
Day as if it were your last.
But not in the sense that is
Measured by breathalyzers or drug tests,
But by the memories we leave and
The prints we have on other people’s lives.
You see, I’m torn. Because I need to
Play roles that are conflicting:
A son at home, a brother too,
A student at school, and a friend.
A teenager for a few years,
Yet an adult every day of my life.
I was born into a generation
Where we idolize rappers more
Than those who’ve changed history.
A generation that believes magazine
Articles to be too long, and
We’ve given up on literacy.
Where cutting our arms has become
More acceptable just because the
Blood that spills on those tiles will
Never tell our secrets, like people would
If we ever opened up to them.
Because, you see, I live in a
Generation where fake friends and
Fake smiles have become an art form
That has been mastered by many.
I live in a generation where
Facebook and Twitter have become
Popularity contests, just like those
Hallways in High School. I guess
They don’t realize, that they have
This fame for only four years.
That after this we only have our
Shadows to keep us company
I was born into a generation
That I wasn’t meant for, but that I am
Now a part of. A generation
That cares only of itself.
My generation: the product of society,
The Class of 2014.

– Nicholas Rodriguez


The Last Poem

By Penda Smith


If words could kill,


The silence wouldn’t be so deadly


The silence is everything but quiet.

It is death defying.

It reeks of a virulent soul dying,


A broken heart, crying.


The ghostly goodbye,

Was as loud as a,

Thunderous roar bellowing from a ferocious sky,

Butterflies that once roamed harmlessly about,

Now poison me from the inside,

It`s hard to believe everything was a lie.


I promise to tug restlessly at pages,

That remind me of you.

I Promise to unmercifully burn them,

Take the ashes and discern them.

I will erase memories and

unlearn malicious repugnant melodies,

that endlessly put marks on parts of my heart.


I wonder if this poem was fated.


It was already written in a future that awaited.

You promised to give my heart a break—

Not break it.

I hate it cause I genuinely believed we would make it.

You said you’d always be waiting.

So c`mon Cherie,

Where are you now?


I guess you`re with her,

The answer is inevitable,

The ebb and flow of my blood,

In my veins,

Turned into a turbulent wave

It resembles flames spewing from,

A volcano’s rage.

So I breathe fire into this pen,

And burn this page.


If you ever decide to hold her,

Will you tell her the same lies you told her,

And her, and her—and me.


I remember looking into warm eyes,

They were just a disguise.

I told them that I was falling,

And that I was falling fast.

My heart was composed of fragile glass,

And one more drop,

Might be my last.


You said you could hold my weight,

But I should’ve known,

Cause you can’t even hold your own.


I just want you to know,

That this is your last poem,

I will rip your name out every line,

I’m tired of wasting rhymes

On people who don’t deserve my time.


You ravaged my heart like a savage.

Your hands clutched the distorted pieces

And I am left speechless …..


If words could kill,

Perhaps the silence wouldn’t be so deadly.

-Penda Smith




If only I could move this pen on paper without having thoughts about my parents, college, and money fly across my mind

If only I could take a deep breath of serenity, comfy couches, warm tea, and spoonfuls of nutella

But instead I take deep breaths of the cigarettes my grandmother smokes in the kitchen, the yells of my mother ordering me to mop the bathroom floor, and court trails

These same thoughts press the walls of my mind as I took my AB Calc quiz today

The walls of my mind are pressed by the same bars my family squeezes their hands on, the same papers my mother sorts out at her job, and loud screams of satisfaction and disappointment

The deeper the pain the wider the smile

My mind is being pressed as I press my pen to this paper, as I press my fingers to each page of the book “Frankenstein” that I turn, and press each button on my laptop while filling out my Common App

And so I press on…

Not knowing which train stop is coming next, just waiting to be blessed, and wishing the same for the rest

Despite every mountain I`ve climbed and the moments I`ve experienced through time…

All the dishes I washed

All the classes I passed

The one pair of ungrateful lips that I kissed

All the hands I shook

All the eye contact I made

And all the memories in mind that won`t fade

This is me now….

The girl who is still finding herself and discovering different aspect of her personality while avoiding the search for love

“A work under construction” that would take a lifetime to finish

A seventeen year old girl who is trying out which products work best on her wild curly hair and passions that wouldn`t tear

So yes…

My eye is on the prize and these eyes will never see demise

Like a phoenix from ashes, I will rise

Through the intense heat of the fight and binding pressure,

I will form into a diamond whose worth cannot be measured.