Do You Slam?

 

So out of nowhere

This old cat comes up to me and asks

“Do you slam?”

 

“Do I slam? What?

Beers?

Shots?

Heroin? What?”

 

“No man,” he says, serious as hell,

“rhymes,

beats,

words,

po-e-try.”

 

Now mind you,

this guy doesn’t know me from the jump.

He doesn’t know of my love of language,

my romance with the printed word

and my need to tell a story.

 

“Nah, I’m too old,” I said,

“Nobody wants me hanging out

in alternative coffee houses,

espresso bars

or community theatre

spouting my foolishness and trying to spin it as wisdom.

 

I’m an old cat like you and I don’t mean to be rude

but you’re older than me!”

 

“Hey man,” he says,

“words matter.

How is anyone gonna take us seriously

If we don’t make noise?

Sometimes you got to holla

to get their attention.

 

Especially to the young.

And if we don’t teach them their history,

who will? School? The state?”

(Neither would be my first choice.)

 

He’s right.

Maybe I should wander into the coffeehouse some night

and “holla” at these kids

just to see what happens.

 

Copyright 2017 by Jose Antonio Ponce