I’m sure a couple of you went “Obviously!” and rolled their eyes on reading that title but I beg for your ears or more specifically eyes. I’m honestly tired of the concept going round in the poetry world that a poem is not a poem if not performed. Now, not to rake anything away from the performance arts (as a matter of fact I am quite the fan of good poetry performances) but some writers just aren’t cut out to perform and some performers aren’t cut out to write. I mean haven’t you ever heard a piece performed and fell in love with it only to read it and find out that it wasn’t all that? Or heard someone stumble through a couple of words stammering and all only to read the piece later and find that it is actually amazingly well written. Truth be told the scene in Kenya(and apparently in America as well according to a few well placed friends of mine) is making it feel like you can’t really call yourself a poet or writer unless you have performed on some level or the other.
I mean isn’t that the reason the terms writer and performer are two different words that have absolutely nothing in common with each other? I know people who write and write and write and are amazing (i have to find another word to use) at it. Their performances however leave much to be desired. Why then must they be shoved into the world of performance art? hence the title ‘ I Write to be Read.’ Because, I do. You may hate on how I perform my poetry. Yes, I may not “kick it” when I step to the mic, but when i have that pen in my hand and the inspiration hits me, the piece that comes out moves more than a pen on paper.
A famous (in fact borderline cliche) quote says the pen is mightier than the sword. I believe it is. The pen (or keyboard for the fact that I’m typing this) has the ability to change people’s perspectives to create images in people’s minds. That is what i write to be read. For the reader out there to take in my words at their own pace, as many times as they want, create mental castles, build castles in the air, take trips to whatever land they feel like setting my piece in, whatever time. So yes, my poetry may be completely structured, my prose may be a bit long and complex, I may stammer or rush through my words when I perform. But when you read my piece, Properly put your mind to it and read through whatever I have to write, let your mind take you away, you will see why exactly i say, I write to be read.