Are you a virgin to the mic?

Are you a virgin to the mic?

Are you a virgin to the mic?
February 11
14:54 2018

House Rules:

  1. Respect the mic
  2. Say “blaze” when you hear someone say something that resonates with you
  3. Snaps, not claps

These three rules are pretty much all there is for those in attendance at a Poetic Justice meeting.

As a performer you are greeted with a warm, supportive audience’s undivided attention.

As an audience member, you are warned that there is no topic off limits. If you get uncomfortable, senior integrative studies major and Poetic Justice president Evan Jones says, “There’s the door,” while pointing to the front and back exits.

As the president, he kicks off every meeting reciting rules for newbies and getting the crowd warmed up. When asked after last Tuesday’s meeting if he always has a piece to share Jones said, “If no one gets up, I’ll perform first as a kick-start to motivate and inspire other writers to make time for their art. Just get it done.”

Most nights seem to start off pretty slow, but as nerves settle down, the line grows. By 10 p.m. there are at least 12 people on deck, excited to lay out their problems in front of a room full of strangers.

I think as the night goes on, people in the audience start to feel a sense of unity present they do not typically get many places anymore.

As I watched a girl stand tall in front of more than 50 other students to share her story of being sexually assaulted, she asked a very powerful question, “Why do I have to hurt?”

I realize she was speaking to herself at this point in time, yet I could not help but look around the room and was able tell this question was one numerous people around me asked themselves before.

This brave soul may have cried at the truth and pain of her words about her past, but she walked away smiling. She walked away smiling because she found some kind of peace in sharing this story and her feelings aloud.

Sophomore sociology major Tariq Otuemhobe writes poetry everyday.

One line from a poem he shared, “Pick Your Poison,” seemed to incite a response from nearly everybody. The line read, “Ladies, do you make love trying to find it?”

He spoke on being trapped in the system and working to figure out what is right versus what is wrong. The subject matter is so universal in nature — no one really paying attention can truly convince their mind to settle on a single and proper emotional response.

His words held a certain power over me personally, that spoke to my entire soul. Love is complicated and messy and subjective to the person who feels it, not the person who wields it.

I love that Poetic Justice is such a safe space.

The artists talk about school, abstinence and promiscuity among so many other things. However, I do fear it is not as recognized as it should be on campus.

I think people hear the word “poetry” in Poetic Justice, and assume poetry is all there is to it.

This is not the case, though. Singers, writers of all kinds, musicians, actors and any other type of artists are welcome. Poetic Justice is not just for the outspoken black student trying to air her grievances.

It is adaptive and fit for all to watch, inspire, take part in and truly appreciate.

School and life in general can be very stressful. Sometimes you just need to vent or even watch someone else do it.

I guarantee you are not alone in your frustrations. The best part about having a club like Poetic Justice on campus is to show students they are not alone, and there are people to turn toward who will listen to anything and everything you could possibly have to say.

Meetings are from 9-11 p.m. every Tuesday. The location changes on a weekly basis, but the Twitter and Instagram pages are updated frequently. Please try it out at least once. Relax, bring homework — leave early if you have to. But you won’t want to. 

Featured Image: Illustration by Gabby Evans

About Author

Brianna Adams

Brianna Adams

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