Cheyenne Dorsagno, Copy Editor
The Poetry Slam Association hosted their second story slam of the semester on February 24. The first ten people to sign up at Union Square were given six minutes to tell their story. Unlike a simple reading, these events are performed vivaciously and received with intense reactions from the crowd.
The slam opened with Genique Greene, who beautifully sang original songs, which can be found on Spotify and iTunes.
“You can’t have a relationship with an artist,” she warned. “Because then you’ll break up and they’ll write a song about you.”
Greene explained that after breaking up with her boyfriend, she was inspired to write a song which addressed him by where he’s from: Harlem. Her clever verses asked him “What have you done?” and expressed that she was “so caught up in everything.”
Her ex’s friends reacted to “Harlem” by calling her crazy, which caused her to write the song “Wild N Out”. Greene’s confident voice and demeanor were accompanied by rhythmic beats and her own backup vocals. She even encouraged the audience to sing along with her by teaching them the chorus before starting her next song, “Afraid to Love”. She prefaced by saying that millennials are living in a generation where “everyone’s waiting for a text back.” People have resorted to playing games out of fear of loving and getting hurt.
Paige Welch read a deeply reflective piece, which was accompanied by Denny Agassi’s soft, uplifting vocals as she sang “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. Together, they wielded the tale of a growing girl who began realizing her universal insignificance, vulnerability, and impermanence. At one point, the narrator asked her father if the world was going to end, hoping that his reassurance would “save her from oblivion.” His response was that people cannot control everything and they have to keep on living their lives.
Welch explained that this vignette reflects on mental disorders and her own anxiety, which overwhelmed her as a child who did not yet understand it.
“Sometimes it speaks for me and absorbs sunlight from my bone marrow and I weakly protest our parasitic relationship because it has told me that I deserve to have everything taken from me,” she said.
After the show, Welch said that these feelings can surface without reason and sometimes the disorder speaks for her. As life goes on, she continues to accept that the variable between being grounded or lost in oblivion is her own fear.
Timberlyn Weber was next in line, emphasizing how blue and pink have been made representatives of the gender binary that is assigned at birth.
Ruben Delgado gave a brief but impactful speech using internal and end rhyme to create an electrifying flow.
He was looking back at his time at community college and his lifetime of experiences of others trying to define his identity. Society tried to convince him that he’s “not smart enough” to make something of himself. He wondered how this mindset could put down black children, especially those whose fathers are absent because of imprisonment.
Katie Hebert described a “toxic relationship” with herself. By referring to herself in the third person, she explained in a relatable way how someone may not understand their self-abuse, how there is an internal battle seemingly between two different beings.
“Anxiety is my best friend,” she said as she recounted a few reoccurring, nagging thoughts.
While medicine may combat the negativity, it can still feel as if she is somehow strangling and imprisoning herself.
The night finished off with Carly Stone, who strung together a series of images and ideas with a similar, underlying tone. Her illustrative performance and scattered content made the imagination bloom and perhaps reflected her thought process. She described a poison like sugar settling deep within her.
“What do you do when you know a door is a mirror,” Stone asked, perhaps alluding to how one’s decisions reflect who one is.
“What do you do if the pen in your hand can’t spell commitment? C-o-m, strike it!”
Stone continued to speak about the writing process and sensuality as a deception, one of a snake alluringly calling her “darling.”
Between individuality and possession, she ended the poem saying, “You choke with a last breath, ‘Who am I?’”
The next poetry slam is at 8 p.m. on March 30 in CME, Lee Hall. It is a perfect opportunity to realize all of the talent and creativity at SUNY Oneonta (or to be that creative talent!) while also sitting back and being told powerful stories.